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What would you risk to follow your dreams? Karen Schaler walked away from an Emmy-award winning career as a broadcast journalist--and cashed out her 401(k)--to move to New York City and establish herself as a screenwriter at age 40. You might have heard of some of her work, especially at this time of year: Schaler wrote the Netflix mega-hit movie, “The Christmas Prince,” which premiered in November 2017. Despite the film’s success, and the many subsequent projects she’s lined up, Schaler hasn’t yet recouped all her financial losses. Most financial planners strongly advise against cashing out your retirement savings, except in cases of serious hardship. But Schaler has no regrets: “It’s expensive to follow your dreams,” she says.

Best wishes,


P.S. If you like this newsletter, please pass it on to a friend! And if you got it from a friend, sign up here for email delivery to make sure you don’t miss the next issue. To listen on podcast platforms or smart speakers, see here. Retire with Money is presented by Athene.

Meet the Screenwriter of Netflix’s “A Christmas Prince,” an Emmy-Award-Winning Journalist Who Cashed Out Her 401(k) at Age 40 to Pursue Her Dream

“You either give up or you get stronger."

People Over 40 Shouldn’t Work More Than 3 Days a Week, Study Says

Tell your boss.

9 Ways to Write an Irresistible Email Subject Line That Will Always Get a Response

There are several ways to take a subject line from so-so to excellent.


Thanks to all who voted on our December Retire with Money book club title! The winner is Being Mortal, by Atul Gawande. Since everyone’s busy around the holidays, we decided to postpone our discussion until the first week of the New Year.


Should You Adopt an 80-Year-Old?

A number of programs allow you to assist lonely and financially-strapped older adults, both in the U.S. and abroad. NEXT AVENUE

How Your Home Might Save Your Retirement

Reverse mortgages deserve a second look. CONSIDERABLE

A Son Steals His Aging Father's Money

Establishing a trust might have been a better option for this elderly dad to ensure he retains some control over his finances. MARKETWATCH

Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period Ends Today

Act now to make changes to your 2019 coverage. CNBC


Elizabeth O'Brien is a senior writer at MONEY, covering retirement and health care. You can email her at elizabeth.o'brien@moneymail.com and follow her on Twitter at @elizobrien.

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