Jonathan & Brad explore the world of Financial Independence. They discuss reducing expenses, crushing debt, building passive income streams through online businesses and real estate. How to pay off debt, Crush your grocery bill and travel the world for free. Every episode is packed with content and actionable tips and no topic is too big or small as long as it speeds up the process of reaching financial independence.
Tyson Koska shares his On Trajectory tool and what led him to his own path of Financial Independence. Brad and Jonathan discuss how Tyson got started with FI and how On Trajectory tools cover net worth tracking and digital options. For more information, visit the show notes at https://choosefi.com/149
Craig Curelop, author of The House Hacking Strategy: How to Use Your Home to Achieve Financial Freedom, shares his house hacking strategies. We also discuss Expense Ratios and the new book, ChooseFI: Your Blueprint to Financial Independence. For more information, visit the show notes at https://ChooseFI.com/148R
Andréa has committed her life to social studies and taking FI information to people experiencing poverty. She grew up in a similar situation. At age seven, Andréa saw her first violent murder. Throughout her childhood, being raised by a single mother, she struggled with food insecurity and housing insecurity. However, she was also a student in the elite private school system, which led to an Ivy League education. After coming such a long way, she has a unique perspective on the relationship between poverty and reaching FI. For more information, visit the show notes at https://ChooseFI.com/148
Compounding vs total return, envelopes vs simplifying your finances, and the potential value you could get from working with a “assets under management” financial advisor. Also, Tori Dunlap reached her goal to save her first $100k by age 25 on the day her interview aired! For more information, visit the show notes at https://choosefi.com/147r
Tori Dunlap about starting a business as a kid and tips for negotiating your salary. She is on a mission to help women earn their first $100k. For more information, visit the show notes at https://ChooseFI.com/147
This week’s Friday Roundup includes a discussion with Chuck Jaffe about why he can’t be part of the FIRE movement because he has no plans to retire. Also, a recap of Shannyn’s story from Monday and ChooseFI Book Launch Parties. For more information, visit the show notes at https://choosefi.com/146R
A Guided Meditation for When the Stock Market Is Dropping The market is plunging. You’re starting to panic. You want to hit the “sell” button! DON’T! Tune into this relaxing meditation, and let the soothing voice of JL Collins help you embrace this wonderful market cycle We interviewed JL Collins on episode 19 of our podcast https://www.choosefi.com/019-jlcollinsnh-stock-series-part-1/ Check out JL Collins Website JLcollinsNH where you can read the entire Stock Series https://jlcollinsnh.com/stock-series/ and his book the Simple Path to Wealth https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1533667926/
Shannyn Allan joins us to discuss "embracing the suck"--when life just doesn't go as planned. Listen to Shannyn's stories about graduate school, calling off a wedding, and wire fraud during the purchase of her first home. ...and how she found FI at the right time in her life. Listen to the whole story at https://ChooseFI.com/146
A discussion of what to do with a windfall, a review of turnkey real estate investing, and a meditation for stock market investors when the market is falling. For more information, visit the show notes at https://ChooseFI.com/145R
Paula Pant of Afford Anything returns to dive deeper into real estate investing. In this second conversation, Paula covers turnkey, deal syndication, and building a team. For more information, visit the show notes at https://ChooseFI.com/145
Crystal Law, Director of Financial Literacy Experiences, and Laura Goodman, VP of Volunteer Engagement join us to discuss Junior Achievement. For more information, visit the show notes at https://choosefi.com/144
As most have probably seen, the news is calling for a recession soon. Specifically, Peter Schiff, a prominent economist, is warning of an impending financial disaster. However, this market volatility is nothing new. Join us today as we talk about Market Volatility, going Beyond FI, and Andrew Luck Embraces FI? For more information, visit the show notes at https://choosefi.com/143r
How to simplify personal finance and discussing Paula Pant’s take on real estate from Monday’s show. Personal Finances Made Simple Jonathan’s Budget Evolution How ChooseFI Makes Money For more information, visit the show notes at https://www.choosefi.com/142r
Paula Pant discusses real estate as a path to FI as Brad shares his biggest financial mistake of his life - a speculative property in North Carolina. For more information, visit the show notes at https://choosefi.com/142
David Sawyer released his book, Reset. The book is aimed at helping people who feel stuck in their careers as well as an optimization strategy for Financial Independence in the UK. For more information, visit the show notes at https://choosefi.com/141
Nick True from Mapped Out Money talks about designing an FI lifestyle before reaching an FI number. Currently, Nick and his wife live in an Airstream trailer with the flexibility to live wherever they want to be. For more information, visit the show notes at https://ChooseFI.com/140
Last week, Jonathan ended up at the DMV on a Friday afternoon with a crazy wait time. What should have been a quick trip turned into an ordeal worth avoiding. Today Jonathan and Brad discuss: How to Reclaim Your Time Side Hustling through the Secondary Market and how Sunny funded a Roth IRA for his child For more information, visit the show notes at https://ChooseFI.com/139R
Sunny and his wife are 88.92% of their way to FI at only age 28 while living just 15 minutes outside of New York City. How did they do it? They share ow to pay for collect, the Department of Defense SMART Scholarship, car flipping, and more. For more information, visit the show notes at https://choosefi.com/139
Anthony talks about the strategy he used to go to college for profit in his senior year. The strategies he outlines could be used as early as freshman year to make college a profitable experience. For more information, visit the show notes at https://choosefi.com/138
Another look at whether you should pay off your mortgage or invest, plus: Spam Caller Life Hack Life Hack for Small Business Owners Achieving FI on a Modest Income For more information, visit the show notes at https://www.choosefi.com/135r
Joel from How to Money talks about how he has pursued FI on a relatively low income, how he is reaching FI with five rental properties, and working on the Clark Howard Show. For more information, visit the show notes at https://choosefi.com/135
Kristy Shen and Bryce Leung talk about their new book, Quit Like a Millionaire. Plus, Brad and Jonathan give updates on solar panels and YNAB. For more information, visit the show notes at https://choosefi.com/134r
Jim from Route To Retire talks about about life after retirement and geo-arbitrage. His path to FI didn’t start with a community, it began when he was testing for Y2K bugs with Quicken. Don’t know what we’re talking about? You’ll just have to listen to find out. For more information, visit the show notes at https://www.choosefi.com/134
Possibly the most burning questions of FI: Should you Invest or Pay off your Mortgage early? We go through the numbers in today's show. For more information, visit the show notes at https://choosefi.com/133R
Zeona McIntyre built a successful AirBNB business and shares her best strategies, including Buying Properties Scaling the Business and Best Practices for an AirBNB Business For more information, visit the show notes at https://ChooseFI.com/133
Find out what kinds of insurance you actually need and where to find them. Jennifer Fitzgerlad, the CEO of Policy Genius walks us through everything you need to know. For more information, visit the show notes at https://ChooseFI.com/132R
Lisa Duke talks about her mindset shift and turning liabilities to assets. On today's show: Second Home--Asset Or Liability? Action Steps To Renting Out Your Home Getting off the "hedonic treadmill" ...and more. For more information, visit the show notes at https://ChooseFI.com/132
A recap of our conversation with Mr. Money Mustache and Mr. 1500. Plus, Jonathan and Brad answer listener questions about compounding and drawdowns during retirement. For more information, visit the show notes at https://ChooseFI.com/131R
Brad and Jonathan just returned from the world premiere of Playing with FIRE in San Diego. They discuss future showings (visit choosefi.com/tugg) and then get into the ultimate buy and hold portfolio strategy. For the entire show notes, go to https://choosefi.com/130R
Today we talk to Paul Merriman. The goal is to contrast the "Simple Path to Wealth Approach" with the "Ultimate Buy and Hold Portfolio." Paul is a proponent of the Ultimate Buy and Hold strategy and a legend in this space. The insights Paul provides about this strategy are priceless. For more information, visit the show notes at https://choosefi.com/130
Earlier this week, Liz from Chief Mom Officer explained how she leveraged her work ethic and will to succeed into a successful six-figure career. Today we dig deeper into the work ethic topic with John, a 24 year old currently making 6-figures. We also announce our newly created Travel Rewards Course. For more information, visit the show notes at https://choosefi.com/129r
Liz from Chief Mom Officer.org talks about working moms building careers from the ground up. In this episode we learn: ⁃ How To Grow Your Salary ⁃ Figure Out What You Should be Paid ⁃ Work Hard Strategically ⁃ How To Negotiate For more information, visit the show notes at https://choosefi.com/129
Gina Pogel joins us to discuss different types of debt and how to tackle them. We also dive into tactics to optimize both your health and your debt. The goal is to simplify your finances and your health by stacking multiple optimization tactics together. For more information, visit the show notes at https://ChooseFI.com/127R
Brad and Jonathan discuss health optimization strategies with Dr. Scott Sherr. This episode is packed full of useful information, however, do not make life altering medical decisions based on this show alone. Although we are talking to a real doctor, do not take this as medical advice. Consult with your own physician before making any major medical decisions. For more information, visit the show notes at https://ChooseFI.com/127
Last week, Brad and Jonathan talked to Chelsea Brennan about her Family Emergency Binder. In the same theme of planning for your family's future, today we talked to Mark Moss about estate planning. For more information, visit the show notes at https://choosefi.com/126
Chelsea Brennan from Smart Money Mamas and creator of the Family Emergency Binder is here to talk about her unconventional choices that led to a happier life. For more information, visit the show notes at https://choosefi.com/125
Brad and Jonathan discuss the release date of a ChooseFI book, finding the best auto insurance rates, and Lynn Frair's path to FI. The book, "ChooseFI: Your Blueprint to Financial Independence" will be released on October 1, 2019. The goal of the book is to outline options for your path FI. Everyone's journey will be different because the concept of FI is really based on choosing your own adventure. However, there are common threads between all of the success stories. We pull that together so that you can make your own journey a successful one. To pre-order the book, go to https://www.choosefi.com/book The complete show notes can be found at https://choosefi.com/124R
Chris Mamula, the "Dirtbag Millionaire," describes the mistakes he made on the way to FIRE, the challenges he facing in his early retirement, and the origin story of a book that will outline a Blueprint to financial independence based on the information shared by members of the ChooseFI community. For more information, visit the show notes at https://ChooseFI.com/124
Brad and Jonathan give us an update about the "Playing with FIRE" documentary, hail mary FI and how to build an escape route from the corporate hierarchy that doesn't make room for you. For more information, visit the show notes at https://choosefi.com/123R
Kiersten and Julien from Rich and Regular talk about the specific challenges that the black community faces on their journey to FI. Recognizing the fact that not everyone starts from the same spot is important, so we are diving deep into the differences today. For more information, visit the show notes at https://choosefi.com/123
Brad and Jonathan are joined by Brian Feroldi and Karsten from Early Retirement Now. With the goal of gaining a deeper understanding of dividend investing, Brad and Jonathan ask the hard questions. As the devil's advocate, they uncover more information about dividend stocks from passionate investors. If you are ready to learn more about dividend investing, then let's dive in. For more information, visit the show notes at https://ChooseFI.com/122R
Dividend investing has been a hotly debated topic in the FI community. Brad and Jonathan dive into the details of dividend investing with Craig from Retire Before Dad. For more information, visit the show notes at https://choosefi.com/122
Angela from Tread Lightly Retire Early has been an active member of the ChooseFI community for around two years. She has built a life that combines FIRE with sustainability. Additionally, she is a leader that recognizes the women in the FIRE movement. Brad and Jonathan learn about Angela's journey and practical sustainability advice that could help the FI community. For more information, visit the show notes at https://ChooseFI.com/121
Jonathan and Brad discuss wielding the flexibility of money, how to move to the upper end of your salary range, and hunting with eagles in Mongolia. For more information, visit the show notes at https://ChooseFI.com/120R
Jean Chatzky is a well-respected figure in the personal finance community. The financial editor of the NBC Today Show and author of several books is recognized for a specialized understanding of the relationship between women and their money. However, both men and women can learn something for Chatzky's insights. On today's episode, Brad and Johnathan will delve into the relationships that each of us has with money. For more information, visit the show notes at https://ChooseFI.com/120
Jonathan and Brad discuss their favorite books from 2018, negotiating from a position of power, career hacking, and what they would do differently if they were recording episode 1 today. For more information, visit the show notes at https://ChooseFI.com/119R
Mr. Refined from Refined by Fire has overcome a staggering amount of debt that accumulated from student loans and medical bills. After finding the FI community, he was able to triple his net worth! Mr. Refined talks openly about his debt, how he negotiated his way out of debt, and why he is pursuing FI. For more information, visit the show notes at https://ChooseFI.com/119
Talent stacking, becoming a renaissance man, and financial infidelity: We recap Monday's show and highlight some listener comments. For more information, visit the show notes at https://ChooseFI.com/118R
118 | Talaat McNeely from His and Her Money talks about how his money mistakes led to financial infidelity. Most importantly, he shares how he was able to rebuild trust with his wife Tai and successfully work towards common financial goals together. Through Talaat and Tai’s story, you will learn practical ways to build the financial trust that many couples hope to achieve. For more information, visit the show notes at https://choosefi.com/118
Brad and Jonathan discuss "the Kleenex" of low-cost mutual funds, Bradley Rice's story about choosing to move towards part-time work, and make an announcement about a new voice on the podcast. For more information, visit the show notes at https://choosefi.com/117R
117 | Bradley Rice has successfully reclaimed the hours in his day by transitioning to part-time work.
He made this unconventional choice to take back his time when his daughter was born to spend more time with her.
Bradley works 20 hours a week, while still earning a high salary. Bradley openly talks about the path that allowed him to reclaim his time and how you can recreate a similar journey.
For more information, visit the show notes at https://ChooseFI.com/117
116R | Karen Hoxmeier joins the show to share how and why she built a coupon-sharing website, Brad and Jonathan talk about optimizing food, taxes and home insurance, and a review of Monday’s episode with Wendy Mays.
For more information, visit the show notes at https://ChooseFI.com/116R
116 | Wendy Mays, from House of FI, tells the story of growing her family from 4 to 8 through adoption all while moving states and changing careers, and ultimately kickstarting her family’s pursuit of financial independence.
For more information, visit the show notes at https://choosefi.com/116
A how-to conversation about strategies for tackling consumer debt, a review of Monday’s episode with Bonnie Traux, and a few updates about the ChooseFI community.
For more information, visit the show notes at https://ChooseFI.com/115R
115 | Bonnie Truax, a blogger and early retiree, shares her story of growing up below the poverty line, scraping her way out of inherited debt, reaching financial independence without knowing what it was, and understanding how to talk about money with your spouse. Bonnie grew up with family income that was technically half of the poverty level, but always debt free. In a town of only 35 people, W2 jobs were hard to come by, so Bonnie worked any odd job that she could find – mowing lawns, decorating cakes, roofing. What did Bonnie do with the income from her side hustles? Bonnie got married shortly after college and inherited significant debt. The first step to getting out of that debt, was learning spreadsheets and prioritizing which debt she would tackle first. Bonnie was managing thousands of dollars of debt and got back to broke, even as her spouse was actively spending and maxing out credit cards. What is Bonnie’s financial advice for people before they get married? Financial literacy isn’t distributed evenly throughout the country – not everyone understands how to manage finances. Not everyone is comfortable talking about money, even with their spouse. If Bonnie could do it again, she would start by talking about fears associated with money. When Bonnie started over she was 30, earning about $25k. Bonnie learned IT with her free time at a reporting job, eventually becoming the manager of an IT team. Before she got remarried, Bonnie and Trin had become very close friends at work and had already talked about finances, so she was confident about their joint approach to money as a couple. Trouble doesn’t have to be a disaster. Getting out of debt on a low income is possible – you shouldn’t have to eat rice and beans your whole life, but if you’re getting out of debt, you might have to them for a while. Bonnie and her husband automated their finances and didn’t give much attention them; they found a comfortable way to live regardless of their increasing incomes. Bonnie didn’t plan to retire, but when work became toxic, their savings gave them the freedom to leave work. Instead of just leaving money in their savings account, Bonnie and her husband began purchasing foreclosed home and renting them out. Without a knowledge of the financial independence community, how did Bonnie determine that she and her husband were financially ready to leave their jobs to retire? Bonnie and Trin are traveling the world for a few years before they decide where to retire abroad. It’s never too late to make tomorrow better. Anything that comes into Bonnie’s blog goes to support a safehouse in Ecuador. Fear of missing out is just an excuse; you are always choosing what you miss out on. For more information, visit the show notes at https://ChooseFI.com/115
Brian Eufinger returns to fill the gaps and address questions from the community about PSATs and National Merit Scholars, Brad and Jonathan discuss the benefits of creating a college-hacking strategy early, and the ChooseFI community responds to Monday’s episode.
For more information, visit the show notes at https://ChooseFI.com/114R
Brian Eufinger, co-founder of Edison Prep, dives deep into the college admissions process and explains how a student should approach grades and test scores to give themselves the best college options, and how to pay for college without collecting a huge student loan debt.
For more information, visit the show notes at https://www.choosefi.com/114
Tanja Hester retired early 15 months ago and joins the show to share her experience of being work optional, Brad makes a decision about solar panels, and a review of Monday’s episode with Grant Sabatier.
For more information, visit the show notes at https://ChooseFI.com/113R
113 | Grant Sabatier from Millennial Money and author of Financial Freedom, shares his story of unemployment and entrepreneurship, and his strategies for increasing your income and optimizing your finances. In 2010, with a college degree in philosophy Grant had been laid off twice and found himself living at home as 24-year-old. Grant sent out more than 200 resumes without a single callback before he found the information he needed to start learning Google Ad campaigns. The certification process took about 30 days and he received a job offer almost immediately. The first step to getting out of a rut is being honest enough to admit that you’re stuck. Most people are only 2 or 3 steps away from a life that they’d love. A million dollars could be 10 years away; just take the next step. When Grant looked at all his friends and his parents’ friends, they were stressed about money so he decided to learn how to do it differently. Grant learned how to build Wordpress websites and began selling his services to law firms, quickly securing large contracts at lower prices than large agencies. Grant’s first client became his most valuable client because he served as a credible reference for more than a year. How does Grant recommend getting your first client? What matters is helping your client look good to their boss. Selling is story telling – who you are as a person is more important that what you’re selling. The paradox of the gig economy is that many people are actually less flexible and more stressed about getting their next client than they would be working a 9-5. Whether you’re happy with your current job or not, optimizing your finances through your full-time job is where you need to start. Talking to recruiters in your particular industry will give insight into the direction the industry is moving, what parts of your resume might be lacking, and the market value of your work. How does Grant maintain relationships with recruiters? Face-to-face meetings Taking people out to lunch Form an actual relationship, don’t just try to get something from them. For Grant, forcing someone into a budget that cuts out small things like wine and coffee just reinforces a scarcity mindset. The only way to get from a 5% to a 30% savings rate is to decrease your housing, transportation and food costs. There is a limit to how much someone can cut back, but making money is unlimited. Grant invested 100% of his side hustle income. For more information, visit the show notes at https://ChooseFI.com/113
An evaluation of the long-term savings that result from driving old cars, a review of how Naseema McElroy has optimized her finances and reversed lifestyle creep, and a series of voicemails and messages from the ChooseFI community.
For more information, visit the show notes at https://choosefi.com/112R
112 | Naseema McElroy, a registered and practicing nurse and blogger at Financially Intentional, explains how to accumulate $1 million in debt, and how she earned her freedom through financial independence. How does someone accumulate $1 million of debt? Naseema is from West Oakland, Ca., where she was taught to either join the military or go to college. She attended the University of Southern California for both her undergraduate and graduate degree, then later completed an accelerated nursing certification program at the University of California in San Francisco. Floor nurses where Naseema works earn above $200,000. How could Naseema have been significantly more efficient with her college education? Many nurses have two jobs: Naseema works part time with benefits (three eight-hour shifts), and a per diem job (two 12-hour shifts) without benefits, at a higher pay rate. Even after finishing her education and working full time, Naseema accumulated more than $1 million in debt, and was living paycheck to paycheck. Most of her debt was student loans and Bay-Area mortgage costs. What inspired Naseema to move from a 5002ft apartment closer to the city into a 40002ft home in the suburbs? Even with the house and the car and the seemingly perfect set up, Naseema did not feel secure, and even owed her family money. Dave Ramsey set Naseema on the course to pay off her debt. What was her first step? Once Naseema began tracking her expenses, she was an early user of Dave Ramsey’s Every Dollar app. A zero-base budget is projecting how much you’ll earn and set aside how much is intended for paying off debt, then adjust the remaining numbers to reflect other obligations and other adjustable expenses. What inspired Naseema to begin blogging at Financially Intentional? Before Naseema sold her suburban house, she had already paid $300k of debt. Naseema chose to leave one of her jobs when it became an unhealthy environment, because living debt-free gave her the room in her budget to do so. Currently, Naseema has moved out of the Bay Area and commutes back into the city 6 days a month for work. Building wealth is a mindset. You have everything it takes to be successful. Links: Clever Girl Finance The Stock Series For more information, visit the show notes at https://ChooseFI.com/112
111R | Jillian from Montana Money Adventures gives advice for laying out roadmap in your life, right after and Brad and Jonathan review Monday’s episode and highlight activities from several local groups around the globe. Brad and Jonathan reflect on last week’s episode with Billy Banholzer. A video inspires Brad to learn swimming from his daughter. Your current behavior or mistake doesn’t have to define you for the rest of your life. One of the first steps to Billy’s success was setting goals. What are Brad’s suggestions for developing into a better writer? Billy found ChooseFI while he was looking for a community of people who were pursuing the same things he wanted to pursue. Getting started on the path to financial independence can be really hard at first, but it gets easier as you move further down the path. Brad shares excitement about a local meet up and changes people are making locally. Highlight reel of local group activities: Combined Southern California and San Diego groups have a sold-out meeting where Jillian from Montana Money Adventures will speak. The Nebraska local group is meeting every two months with specific topics. A new group in The Netherlands has more than 20 members. The local group in Portland, Ore., met every week in 2018. A Northern Ireland local group doubled its membership in the past month. Alex, an admin from the Baltimore group, is setting up mastermind groups. Jillian, from Episode 84, talks about building a life roadmap: Focusing on your values is the first step to building a better life. How did Jillian and her husband create space to talk about their values and what they wanted their life to look like? Be. Have. Do. Jillian uses sticky notes to brainstorm her ideas and organize her thoughts. What is a Quit List? How does Jillian consider seasons of life? Each person’s superpower includes: What you’re passionate about. What you’re naturally good at. What activities you get caught up in and find really fun. Brad talks about listening to where there’s resistance in your life. Could. Should. Want. Writing down your thoughts helps clarify and anchor them. Tickets for Chautauqua 2019 will go on sale soon. For more information, visit the show notes at https://ChooseFI.com/111R
111 | Billy B., a writer, entrepreneur and blogger at Wealth Well Done, shares his story of finding freedom in prison, starting over in his 30s and pursuing financial independence despite the setbacks. For more information, visit the show notes at https://ChooseFI.com/111
110R | Voicemails from the ChooseFI community about saving on grocery bills, making life changes to optimize your circumstances, and a travel suggestion, as well as a review of Monday’s episode and updates from Brad and Jonathan about bills, travel, solar panels and more. For more information, visit the show notes at https://ChooseFI.com/110R
Rocky Lalvani, blogger at Richer Soul, shares his story of growing up as an immigrant’s child, learning how to save money in his early years, and how he’s teaching his own children about finances now. For more information, visit the show notes at https://ChooseFI.com/110
Big ERN, from Early Retirement Now, joins the show to talk about the current market climate – how it’s impacting investors, who could benefit, and what markers he uses to evaluate its actual condition – and a voicemail from Abby H. provides a few more helpful hints for teaching abroad.
For more information, visit the show notes at https://choosefi.com/109R
109 | Scott, a math teacher in Santiago, Chile, and Rob, a blogger at Getting Canned, share their experiences teaching abroad, including the financial and lifestyle benefits, and the how-to for making it happen. For more information, visit the show notes at https://ChooseFI.com/109
Brad and Jonathan talk through the various methods of calculating a yearly savings rate and the numbers necessary to do so, and review Monday’s episode about setting up special needs accounts.
For more information, visit the show notes at https://ChooseFI.com/108R
108 | William McVey, ChooseFI’s Chief Technology Officer, walks through investment options available to meet the financial demands of special needs children, and the strategies he’s used to prepare for his children’s future. For more information, visit the show notes at https://ChooseFI.com/108
107R | A year-end episode featuring voicemails and messages from the ChooseFI community sharing successes, progress, exciting discoveries, and hopes for next year of our journey toward financial independence. For more information, visit the show notes at https://ChooseFI.com/107R
Craig Attkinson, owner and founder of Green Side Up, a landscaping company in Richmond, Va., explains how he started his business in his mid-20s, what it took to grow and optimize the business, and how he’s optimized other aspects of his life as well.
For more information, visit the show notes at https://choosefi.com/107
106 | Deanna, blogger at msfiology.com, shares her journey from drug and alcohol addiction to recovery, paying off six-figures of personal debt, and getting started on her path toward financial independence. For more information, visit the show notes at https://choosefi.com/106
105R | Brian Feroldi joins the show to talk about the costs and benefits of installing solar panels and answers questions about his investment strategies, and Brad and Jonathan recap Monday’s episode with Paula Pant before announcing a new ChooseFI project on the horizon. For more information, visit the show notes at http://ChooseFI.com/105R
Paula Pant, creator of Afford Anything podcast and blog, dives into her love for travel, her rejection of the traditional 9-5, and how she built an income to match her lifestyle.
For more information, visit the show notes at https://ChooseFI.com/105
An update from Marla Taner on 2018’s best travel reward options, a hack for keeping your bills low, a review of Monday’s episode with Doc G.
For more information, visit the show notes at https://ChooseFI.com/104R
Doc G, writer at DiverseFI.com, shares his experience and mindset as he considers stepping away from his career as a doctor, and highlights the value of building purpose, identity and connection.
For more information, visit the show notes at https://ChooseFI.com/104
Captain DIY returns to recommend some accessible projects for the beginning DIYer, Jonathan highlights two recipe and meal organization apps, and several messages from the ChooseFI community.
For more details, visit the extensive list at https://ChooseFI.com/103R
103 | Tinian Crawford, blogger at DIY2FI and licensed electrician, talks about his path to licensure, the advantages of trade jobs and his transition to pursuing financial independence. What jobs are represented in the FI community? Base salary for an electrician is $70 minimum. Many people go to trade school in high school or immediately after, so there’s very little financial education in the trade-work community. Tinian’s father built his childhood house, and Tinian was enlisted to help with construction projects on their property. Does Tinian find value in the graphic design education he received in community college? Tinian’s first job was building signs – many of which were lighted signs – which piqued his interest learning about electrical work. What education do you need to start electrician licensure training? Tinian’s one-year program cost $25k. To be fully licensed, an electrician has to do a 5-year apprenticeship. Making $70 an hour comes when you work for yourself. Do most electricians jump right into owning their own business? Tinian’s recommendation: stick with a contractor you can learn from for your day job, and start taking jobs on the side. Additional trade jobs that would be great for FI: Garden landscaping and design Plumbing Tinian’s wife suggested that they save $20k by the time their first child was born. In order to avoid high childcare costs, Tinian and his wife split their schedules as much as possible. Tinian hopes to leave his day job at some point, but still needs to learn more about managing benefits and figuring out exactly how much he needs to support his family. In order to prepare for leaving a day job, it’s important to identify how much life will cost after the change. Beginning their investing with a local financial advisor and a socially conscious portfolio was a mistake for Tinian. Links: DYI 2 FI DIYCaptain - Twitter Burrito Bowl Diaries “Eliminating the Excuse” – Saving Sherpa
102R | Brad and Jonathan explain the long-term tax benefits of using a Health Savings Account to pay for medical expenses, discuss the benefits of new index fund investing options, review Monday’s episode with Timika Downes. Brad and Jonathan are getting back to traditional health insurance, and excited about the Health Savings Account (HSA). Most companies offer health insurance options, typically including: Low monthly premium + high deductible High(er) monthly premium + low(er) deductible. The IRS defines a high deductible plan as anything higher than $1,350 for an individual, or $2,700 for a family. Employees with high deductible plans have access to an HSA (eligible accounts). An FSA (Flex Savings Account) is a reloadable account, that is primarily use-it or lose-it Putting money in an HSA is tax free, and rolls over to future years, and drawing it out for medical purposes is tax free. 2018 HSA contribution limits: $3,450 for individuals $6,900 for families After 65, if you have unused money in your HSA, you can draw it out like a traditional IRA and just pay your normal tax. Brad intends to save his receipts and wait to be reimbursed until later, as HSAs will earn interest the same as any investment account. ChooseFI community members recommend Lively or Fidelity. Review of Monday’s episode with Timika – similar concepts and action points as the recommendations from Alan in the Side Hustle Coaching Series. You don’t need permission: just take action. Dan writes in to report that he’s reached FI! ChooseFI has listeners across the globe – although not all the tax and investment information are relevant to international listeners, the lifestyle conversations are. Brad and Jonathan highly recommend Vanguard because they have low fees, which means investors keep more of their returns. In last few months, Fidelity began offering zero-fee funds and Vanguard has lowered its minimum investment from $10k to $3k for several funds. Investments abroad can have very high fees. Zero fees are not the only thing to consider when picking accounts: tax efficiency is very important as well. Links: Vanguard Ratchets Up Index-Fund Price Battle
102 | Blogger and podcaster Tamika Downes reveals how she went from $94K of debt to owning a six-figure income-earning side hustle while continuing her job as a school nurse and raising three children. Timika’s early financial experiences came through immigrant parents, from Barbados, hustling and saving. Having a side hustle was common place in Timika’s family. Despite her family’s habit of saving, Timika finished her education with $94K of debt. After her undergraduate Timika had $24K in debt. Student loans for her master’s cost $35K A second, nursing degree, cost another $30K Choosing to pursue something that you’re not quite ready for can often lead someone to pay more than necessary. Nursing degrees don’t have to cost $30K; immediately after high school students can become qualified Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) working in hospitals or nursing homes while starting at a community college and finishing through a bridge program at a 4-year school. Nursing is a trade; find the most efficient way to get qualified. Many universities offer tuition assistant to the children of faculty/staff, often including tuition at other universities. What options did Timika consider in order to decrease her student loan debt? Timika’s mindset changed when she started to own her life circumstances; taking responsibility for her finances was a natural result. Instead of buying a $20K car, Timika bought a $20K business – a lice clinic. Timika spoke with out-of-state clinic owners and did her homework before deciding to invest in the set up for her clinic. Since opening the business, Timika has increased her talentstack to include: Securing a business lease Blogging Website management Business finance management Timika went to coding bootcamp, for 75% discount as a female minority. The lice clinic is now almost passive income: Timika only devotes three hours a week and has hired employees who manage the rest. Links: House of FI Reluctant Frugalist Saving Sherpa The Road to Retirement: (Re)Learning to Love Work For more information, visit the show notes at https://ChooseFI.com/102
101R | Brad and Jonathan talk about their experiences with W2 jobs and building side hustles, Jose shares his own side hustle tip, and Alan and Tallis wrap up the 4-part Side Hustle Coaching Series. Brad and Jonathan are jumping into planned spontaneity. Do your actions align with your values? Brad recounts how the accounting firm he worked for right after college, one of the biggest in the U.S. at the time, folded and within 9 months no longer existed. W2 jobs aren’t all that risk-free after all. Having a side hustle is about diversification. Jonathan talks about how Dani is building an audiobook side hustle, using some of the techniques and strategies that Nick Loper talked about in Monday’s episode. Willingness to pivot your side hustle idea gives you a better chance at building a side hustle that actually works. Voicemail from Jose with a side hustle tip from Task Rabbit – sign up to help others with random tasks, and add a little extra cash to your pocket. Brad’s opting to rent a car through Turo, through which customers rent someone’s personal car, similar to AirBnB. Side Hustle Coaching Call Episodes to review: Episode 30, Episode 56 (Part 1), Episode 77R (Part 2), Episode 85R (Part 3) Tallis reviews how her initial cold calls, starting from further away geographically and becoming increasingly local as she refined her sales pitch. Tallis has 4 dance classes she’ll be teaching soon! Tracking results and feedback from the start of your business is important. Measuring results, and using valid tools respected within the medical community will be important to Tallis’ business. Where does Tallis want her business to go in the next 2 years? Keep pressing forward – it’s impossible to know how the business might grow, but Tallis is building entrepreneurial skills and opening options for her future. Links: 10 Big Chain Stores That Will Secretly Match Amazon's Low Prices
101 | Nick Loper, founder of Side Hustle Nation, talks about the benefits of developing a side hustle, and methods to actually develop a good side hustle idea. You can only cut so much from your expenses; a side hustle helps you expand your earning potential. Nick thinks working just a 9-5 job is risky – what happens if you get fired? Nick advocates several methods for developing side hustle ideas. Method 1: Intersection Method Write out three columns with lists that include what you can do, what you like to do, and the people in your network. Nick used the Fiverr website to test out his first side hustle idea. How important is it to pivot, instead of being discouraged by failure? Some of the best ideas are developed once a business is already in motion. Method 2: What sucks? Find simple sticking points in life and solve the problems. Some people find things on Amazon that suck, and find a way to make them better. There are manufacturing companies in China and the U.S. that work with small orders and require minimal up-front investment. You don’t need a brand-new idea, you just need a different market. Recommended episodes from Side Hustle Nation: Episode 173: How to Turn Your Ideas Into Recurring Revenue, with Stephen Key Episode 263: The Top 3 Amazon FBA Private Label Product Research Strategies for 2018 and Beyond Method 3: Rip, Pivot and Jam Find a business model that’s working, pivot it to a new market, product, etc., and then do the work. Are there side hustles that Nick no longer recommends? Sometimes the opportunity cost for a side hustle may not be worth the cash. One of the best side hustle ideas Nick has heard: Flea Market Flipper. How difficult is it to develop a passive-income side-hustle? Think Maids: found a category of businesses on Yelp that had really poor reviews, and found a way to provide better customer service. Links: Alibaba.com Smart Passive Income GoCurryCracker
100R | Brad and Jonathan explain how simply knowing the rules can save you thousands on taxes and college financing, Brad talks through the IRA Conversion Ladder and Capital Gains Harvesting, and a few updates from the community. The financial independence movement is growing, and seeing a lot more press coverage. Messaging matters: The Wall Street Journal published one article with two different headlines. Pursuing financial independence isn’t about buying brown bananas, despite what some media would suggest. Brad reached financial independence with intentionality about his priorities in his life. Brad and Jonathan don’t aim to tell people what decisions to make in their life, just give options and information. What did Brad’s family do to reach financial independence? Housing: chose to move to a less-expensive cost of living area Cars: Brad & his wife drive 15-year-old cars Food: don’t go to restaurants often Set up a life that doesn’t cost that much. Pursuing financial independence actually allows people to pursue jobs that they love. If life costs a lot and someone is in debt, it’s very hard to walk away without taking major risks. Knowing tax rules is a huge component of pursuing financial independence. Knowing the rules in regards to paying for college makes a huge difference in how much financial aid your student might be eligible to receive. A message from Matt about researching the actual requirements necessary for a job in nursing – the cost of nursing school can range from a few thousand dollars to more than $100k. Studying nursing in a less expensive area still gives you qualifications to practice anywhere in the U.S., with a potentially huge payoff. Roth Conversion Ladder & Capital Gains Harvesting – the goal is to pay little or no tax. Roth IRA Conversion Ladder: Starts with traditional IRA/401k. If you want to retire before 59.5, taking money out is taxable income. If you’re not collecting significant income, taking money from an IRA is unlikely to push you into a high tax bracket. Capital Gains Harvesting If you’re income is low, your tax bracket can be incredibly low. Email from Dan explaining how he and his wife paid off many of their debts, found a way for his wife to be a stay-at-home mom, and started a small side hustle. Brad shares a frugal win of the week at the optometrist. For more information, visit the show notes at https://choosefi.com/100R
100 | Brad and Jonathan look back at the ChooseFI’s growth during the past 100 episodes and hit the highlights of financial independence for new community members and recap their own financial independence journeys. Jonathan considers himself a reluctant frugalist, but the idea of not having to work won him over. Brad and his wife were natural savers, but chose to move from Long Island, NY, so that they could save more and work toward financial independence. If you want to take back your years and have the option to stop working before your 60s, you’re going to have to live differently and make different choices. The key to long term freedom is saving money. The benefits of pursuing financial independence are felt long before reaching FI. Jonathan put himself in a position to leave his pharmacy job when it stopped working for him and his family. A huge quantity of life’s stresses can go away if you’ve got some money in the bank. What you earn minus what you spend = the gap. The goal of the ChooseFI community is to help you grow the gap, and pursue what you’re most interested in. ChooseFI isn’t about the money, it’s a life optimization strategy. Small sacrifices add up in the long term. What is a talent stack, and how did it change Brad’s life? Starting with current income is the wrong place to start calculating the number you need for retirement. FI number = 25 x annual expenses (4% rule of thumb) If you’re only saving 1%, it’ll take you 100 years to replace on year of expenses. Getting as close to possible to a 50% savings rate is when things really start to move quickly. Being rich isn’t watches and cars – it’s money saved and pursuing what’s more important to you in life. What major decisions put Brad on the path to FI? Links: Mr. Money Mustache www.choosefi.com/start