014 - The Phases of FI with Mr 1500

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Time Speaker Text Tags
0 - 4 Jonathan Mendonsa Welcome back to the studio I'm here today with Brad Hey Brad.
4 - 5 Brad Barrett Hey Jonathan how's it going.
5 - 41 Jonathan Mendonsa Very very good. Awesome Today we're going to be bringing in Mr. 1500. He is. Very very cool. Going to be doing a lot of cool things. He's been documenting his journey to financial independence. And I think he's almost there. So we've got him in the studio today we're really excited to talk to him a little bit about the phases of FI and also his own personal philosophy on money I think it's going to be very valuable just for you when you're building your own personal money philosophy and you're trying to decide what do these distinct phases of financial independence actually look like. So. Carl welcome to the studio today.
41 - 57 Carl "Mr. 1500" Jensen Thank you so much for having me. It's a big honor to be on with my old friend Brad Brad and I go way back in the early years. I think I met Brad three years ago at a fin con conference so super cool talking to him again and my new friend Jonathan.
57 - 59 Jonathan Mendonsa Thanks man. I'm glad to be included.
59 - 73 Brad Barrett Yeah we're psyched to have you here. Yeah we've met up I guess. Now 3 straight years of fincon. Yeah it's always. That's the one of the highlights of my years. You know it's always good to see you and Mrs. 1500. And you know the the rest of our group of friends there.
73 - 98 Jonathan Mendonsa It amazes me. You know you get this huge you know global world out there and people that live in and just you know every single different state and in some cases in different countries that are talking about personal finance and just how small that community you know actually really is. And you know each other you go to you go to conferences with each other you collaborate with each other on different products. It's really cool. I mean it's kind of inspirational to some degree.
98 - 130 Carl "Mr. 1500" Jensen Well yeah and I think the most amazing thing about it is I consider myself a pretty deep introvert. Meeting new people makes me uncomfortable. But when I go to a place like fincon or meet someone like Brad I've already I've already read a little bit about them and I know he's going to be a lot like me if you've got money in common you've got all these other things in common so I always find it. How strange it is that I'm so comfortable around these people like five minutes after meeting them which never happens, usually takes me like two years to warm up to someone in real life. But yeah it's a very cool community. I wouldn't trade it for anything.
130 - 165 Jonathan Mendonsa I know exactly what you're seeing. I think what it is is when you meet someone just on the street or you meet a neighbor or you moved to a new neighborhood and you're trying to figure out what is it that I have in common. Because you can't really talk about this stuff with your neighbor right out the gate if you do you're that weird guy and it's probably not even appropriate. But and especially if they're got the $60000 car and you're driving your 10 year old beater and it's just a conflict of values but you find someone that you know comes from that same personal philosophy of money and you immediately have that baseline you can build a real relationship on that. And I think there's something there really is something there.
165 - 179 Carl "Mr. 1500" Jensen Yeah. And once you have money in common you find out you have all these other things in common like my friends who who like to blog are financially independent and like all this stuff also like board games they like to be able to live games too. Yeah. See it right there.
179 - 181 Jonathan Mendonsa I know I'm in it. I'm in the club.
181 - 191 Brad Barrett You should see his cabinet over here. He has about 100 different board games. It's amazing. There's nothing frugal about that boardgame collection but it is awesome.
191 - 216 Jonathan Mendonsa That's actually one of the things we wanted to talk today about was just kind of discussing your personal philosophy on money and one of the reasons we wanted to talk about that with you is because you have essentially what we like to refer to you as a pillar post where you've really kind of thought through this aspect in a very deep level and I know there's a there's a lot of people that have Appreciate your insights so maybe you could just unpack that for us just a little bit today.
216 - 292 Carl "Mr. 1500" Jensen Yes so. A long time ago not all the time ago but about a year ago I was being interviewed for a different podcast and the interviewer had sent me the questions ahead of time and most of them were pretty easy softball ones. But then I get to the last one and it said what's your philosophy. What is your philosophy about money. And I'm like oh my god I have no idea and I sat and thought about it for weeks on end and I couldn't come up with an answer to this. Why is it so difficult. My whole blog is supposed to be about money and I don't I can't come up with any philosophy about money. And then it hit me one day that the whole thing isn't really about money it's about living the right way and money is just a facilitator to that. So the true goal, the end goal of this whole journey isn't actually money. You think it is, we all have these financial goals Oh i'm going to get a million dollars or whatever your number is but that's just a stepping stone to a better life. It's just a tool that we use to to do what we really want to do and to free ourselves to be able to pursue our passions so it's not really about money it's about life. So my philosophy about money is money is just the facilitator it's only a tool to help you live how you really want to live.
blogger, lifeoptimization, podcaster
292 - 316 Jonathan Mendonsa That's cool. That's totally cool and I think we were we were at a camp recently in southeast Florida the southeast mustache camp and J.D. Roth was there and he was giving a talk on creating a personal mission statement and he incorporated some of the same thoughts as well and the money makes a really horrible goal. It's a nice you know benchmark tool you know you're reaching your goal but it shouldn't be that that ultimate goal.
316 - 334 Carl "Mr. 1500" Jensen Yeah that's exactly it. And all of us don't realize that it seems obvious but. Yeah. Money is not the goal. We put money on this huge huge pillar and we set these goals and we run towards them but once we get to them there has to be something after that. Money isn't a final goal it's just a part of it.
334 - 337 Jonathan Mendonsa Do you want to walk us through what some of your goals are.
337 - 398 Carl "Mr. 1500" Jensen yeah so backup a second. So my original goal I started the blog was to have a million dollars and no debt and I was in my living situation was in flux at that time we were an expensive house and we were silly for buying that. And so we knew we had to get out of it. So what we eventually did is downsize to a smaller or more reasonable house. So my goal kind of changed at that time. I like low interest rates. So I decided not to have no debt. I decided to keep my mortgage debt and just have a million dollars and then enough money to cover the mortgage and that was my compromise to have enough cash. So at that time I needed $120000 to cover my mortgage so my goal My goal became to have one million $120000 and that we've had a very strong market at our back recently saw him up to about 1.7 million dollars now. And I met my goal last year. Yeah. I'm very fortunate. Thank you. I'm thankful every single day for.
blogger, debt
398 - 411 Brad Barrett So Karl that's four years. You know I'm at your blog in the sidebar now. So when you started the blog I guess on January 1st 2013 your net worth was just south of 600 K is that right.
blogger, networth
411 - 425 Carl "Mr. 1500" Jensen Yeah And at that time that was only my portfolio I wasn't counting the hundred fifty thousand dollars I had in home equity we just bought that fancy house a short time before that. So my. So my net worth was around 725 thousand.
425 - 436 Brad Barrett Gotcha. So the story of the house I've always found fascinating. Would you mind just telling the audience just a little bit about what went on with that. The big house that you guys kind of sold in a rush.
436 - 532 Carl "Mr. 1500" Jensen Yeah. Well there were a couple of them. We did a fix and flip in Wisconsin and that was on a lake it was a fancy house where we thought we'd be able to make a bunch of money from it so we bought that one in 2006 and we know what happened right after that. The market crashed worldwide and the luxury market really took a hit. So after years of hard work we sold that one and probably broke even on it. I fully admit that I'm too scared to look at the numbers but I don't consider that a mistake as we were were a victim of the timing. We didn't know the world was about to collapse. But then after that and I think this what you may be referring to Brad we moved out to Colorado when we bought this big cookie cutter house in this in this newer subdivision. The house was almost 5000 square feet. And you know it was ridiculous we had four bathrooms like 5 sized bedrooms in this place and then we were going to finish off to the basement to make even more space so we kind of lost our way and bought this big house and this big house turned into a disaster for us with it. I remember we're staying there about a week after we moved in and our older daughter was like five at the time and some other kid walks up to her and goes how many American Girl dolls you have. And my daughter had no idea what that was. So she kind of just shrugged. And so their girl said how many American Girl dolls do you have. My daughter is like I guess I don't have any of those I have other dolls and this other girl kind of made a disgusted sound and walked away. I'm like oh my god I can't bring my kids up in this neighborhood. This is terrible. These kids like 5 and already judging my daughter b/c She doesn't have the right kind of doll.
532 - 535 Jonathan Mendonsa Living next to the Joneses can be very expensive.
535 - 550 Carl "Mr. 1500" Jensen And it was at that site I discovered Mr. Money Mustache and I thought what are we doing we've got this big expensive house and we're living around people who don't share our values we must get out of here. We put a For Sale sign in our front yard two weeks after we after we moved there two weeks.
550 - 559 Brad Barrett That is that's amazing. I mean you guys obviously knew instantly so I mean was it literally that comment about the American the American girl $100 American girl dolls.
559 - 611 Carl "Mr. 1500" Jensen It was some of that. We you know we noticed it wasn't super All right but we kind of noticed that others were judgy of us. We have like a 2300 element which is a nice car but these people who lived across the street from us their twins had just got their driver's license and they got like matching new Camaros. And then like two weeks later one of them smashed it. And then their parents went out and bought a new one. So all the high school kids had better cars than us and you know I felt extremely uncomfortable. I don't think we ever fit in. And we made efforts to walk around and hey we made some cookies for you and all that. Yeah I can tell people just kinda look down at us so it wasn't for us and I could have probably stuck it out although I wouldn't have been happy. But there was no way I would want to raise my children around that materialism. No thank you.
611 - 638 Brad Barrett You know I think a lot of the pursuit of FI and FI comes down to psychology and I definitely want to talk to you about that more more in this podcast. But you know you and Mrs. 15:00 are both. You know I've met you both numerous times. Really smart people think i'd love to hear about the psychology of moving into that house if you don't mind. What were you guys you know literally what were you thinking like it's hard to imagine the Karl that we know today doing that.
638 - 783 Carl "Mr. 1500" Jensen Yeah. I think back through it to I'm like how did we do this. I think part of it maybe some of it was a reaction because we had spent all those years remodeling our other house and getting just about nothing out of it so maybe some of it was a reaction to that wanting a house that was kind of done and yeah another part of it might've just spent desperation. We'd been looking for a long time for a house in this area and I kind of remember having ominous feelings about it when we made the offer. I was like forget it I think we'll eventually grow to like it. I don't know I don't have a good answer for that one. It wasn't me it wasn't a wise move. It was it was a beautiful area. We're up on top of a hill and we can see everything could see that Rocky Mountains in Denver so I'm not sure what got us there. I would never do it again knowing now if I knew then what I knew now I would never do that again. But yeah I guess I temporarily lost my mind. You know I should tell you about this story the blog a little bit. So shortly after we bought that new house I had this. I had an epiphany I guess where I had a bad day at work and up until that time I would just plan to be like everyone else work some 62 or 65 and then take my Social Security moved down to Florida and die. And then I had this bad day of work and I Googled something like How do I retire earlier. I don't want to work. I'm 62 or 65 and the Mr. Money Mustache blog came up and he showed me something that had never occurred to me before and that one thing was that you don't actually have to work until you're 60 to 65. If you save your money and don't look like a crazy person. Luckily despite that house we had been savers at that time I had over over 500000 saved up. We had maxed out our 401K. Most of the time not all the time which is a mistake. But we've been savers so we weren't too far from where we needed from where we need to be. And so right after I remember the day I read this it was like a middle of October 2012. I did the numbers really quick. If we can live on 40000 you're easy Mr. Money Mustache talks about the 4 percent rule. If we save a million dollars we can retire. So the first thing I did was run down and told my wife about this like hey look at this I found. You know maybe have having all the stress of work. It's incredible. If we just save up all this money we can retire like in four years I think. And that's where the 1500 days came from by the way. So it seems like OK that's good I'm on onboard with that. So that kind of surprised me.
401k, blogger, socialsecurity
783 - 792 Jonathan Mendonsa So essentially you are saying from the network that we're at now. Fifteen hundred days we can achieve what we need have to have the 4 percent withdrawal rate and essentially be financially independent.
792 - 823 Carl "Mr. 1500" Jensen Yes exactly. And then I told her one other thing which she was not happy about. Like yes and then I discover this Mr. Money Mustache blog. And and I'd like to start a blog too and we can write about this and she's like oh that's a horrible idea. So it always cracks me up that she thought my my crazy out of the ordinary idea to retire when I was like 43. she was fine with that right from the start didn't question it whatsoever. But then the idea to write about an on line was it was horrible. She's like you're insane you're going to run out of things to write about.
823 - 832 Brad Barrett I've seen your draft folder in your wordpress site. I mean you have hundreds of drafts right. So I don't think you're going to run out of articles anytime soon.
832 - 837 Carl "Mr. 1500" Jensen Yeah I'm going to click on it now since I'm in front of my computers and tell you what it is. I think it's like 400 now and.
837 - 839 Jonathan Mendonsa You have 400 drafts.
839 - 841 Carl "Mr. 1500" Jensen And they're all in various stages.
841 - 843 Brad Barrett Most prolific person I've ever seen.
843 - 845 Carl "Mr. 1500" Jensen Yeah I'm pretty prolific.
845 - 848 Jonathan Mendonsa What's your publish rate. How often are you putting a new article out there.
848 - 852 Carl "Mr. 1500" Jensen Two or three. Oh I've I've culled it recently. I have Two hundred and seventy eight right now.
852 - 857 Jonathan Mendonsa What restraint. That's amazing. OK.
857 - 860 Carl "Mr. 1500" Jensen In all honesty most of those will never see the light of day.
860 - 879 Jonathan Mendonsa So well I tell you what so these are some things that I just pulled from one of the articles you wrote talking about your goals and maybe I can just get your thoughts on these see how this kind of lines up with where you're at currently. And I thought this is really cool. It lines up a little bit with how you know with what I view to some degree some of my goals keep my body in an optimum form without health. Nothing else matters.
879 - 922 Carl "Mr. 1500" Jensen Yeah so you know I would say we got to the Berkshire Hathaway conference every year which is uh. Warren Buffett's holding company and you know I'll never forget this one time. You can ask him questions so this guy who was about he was in his 20s gets up to ask Warren Buffett a question and he said Warren which books what do you recommend what top 10 books are Buffett was like I'd write about this book in this book and this book and then Warren Buffett So you know and he went off on this tangent and I don't remember how exactly this happened but what he ended up saying is I would trade my entire net worth I'd give you my entire net worth right now to be your age and that's just stuck with me. You know if you don't have health you don't have anything. Everything else is useless if you're not healthy.
brk_meetup, health, networth
922 - 931 Jonathan Mendonsa So yeah 25 with the resources you have now or to be ninety five years old and be a billionaire. Which one you know which one would you choose. That's a pretty easy choice.
931 - 932 Carl "Mr. 1500" Jensen Absolutely.
932 - 938 Jonathan Mendonsa Surrounding yourself with the best people that you can. Being around people who challenge you make you a better person.
938 - 969 Carl "Mr. 1500" Jensen Yeah I think the people who are around us define us. I always I think I've told Brad this before like if I could design my neighborhood I would make Brad. and all my fincon buddies would move to my town or we'd all by a town live by each other because the people who are around you kind of define you and they lift you up and they kind of define how you live your life too. So are you going to be spending a thousand dollars on the weekend to go on a fancy ski trip or are you going to be happy playing board games and maybe sitting in front of a campfire in someone's backyard enjoying each others each other's company.
campfi, fincon
969 - 976 Jonathan Mendonsa That sounds awesome and especially with people who have a fair amount of free time because they're not having to go work to pay for their couch payment.
976 - 980 Carl "Mr. 1500" Jensen Yeah. It's makes it all that much more important. Definitely.
980 - 1032 Brad Barrett Yeah that that community Carl is a dream of mine. I was actually we were just down a camp mustache in Florida and I was actually speaking with Pete about it. And you know I desperately want him to build mustachian community and that whether it comes to pass or not. I mean it would be so neat to have a group of like minded people and you know again this comes back to to the psychology of you know what our lives are like and what we benefit what we value I guess is the way to say it. You know and to me you know sitting there with the craft brew around a campfire like you're talking about or a plane ticket to ride you know some type of word game I mean that's that's a dream existence for me. And actually you know connecting with people as opposed to just the superficial garbage that you know most people go through life you know dealing with as you know their friends or acquaintances.
1032 - 1043 Carl "Mr. 1500" Jensen Yeah Brad and I remember one of your you did something for my blog one time and you had that picture of the North Shore in Hawaii. So I think we should all pool our money together by a couple of acres and built a compound there.
1043 - 1046 Jonathan Mendonsa Now more people talking about that than you think.
1046 - 1071 Carl "Mr. 1500" Jensen I would love to do so. Yeah it's wonderful having similar people around like in our example we happen to live in Longmont which is the home of Mr. Money Mustache and there's lots of people like him around and some of them are we're fortunate to call our friends so if we need someone to watch our kid hey when you've got to do what we trade babysitting or hey let's let's play tickets right tonight or that. It's very pleasant being around.
1071 - 1083 Jonathan Mendonsa And that ties into many other goals. And you said you know live in a place that has this great sense of community, access to outdoor pursuits, and good resources. And then you specifically mentioned Hello library, is that a life hack there.
library, lifeoptimization
1083 - 1141 Carl "Mr. 1500" Jensen You know what I'm looking for a new town. The first thing I do is go to the library and to add Brad going back to your question about buying that silly house that I bought that should have been one of the first indicators because I went to the library and the top was about 100000 people and they had this little tiny horrible library so I'm like what's going on here. So I googled it and I learned that the town had voted a library down three times. They refused to pay for it. So I emailed the mayor. He's like Yeah we hope to get one built one day in this town by this county was Douglas County Colorado is the richest county west of the Mississippi richer than any place in California I think the average income there was almost 100000 a year. But they refused to pay for their library. I'm like oh my god this should be one of the pillars of your community. So yeah as far as a life if you're looking for a town try to see what their priorities are. Look at their open space look at their library see what they're spending money on and see what they're not spending money on.
library, midincome
1141 - 1177 Brad Barrett yeah I think the library that's something I've talked about in my original blog Richmond Savers. Yeah I mean we probably save easily $2000 a year minimum going to the library. I mean between all the books that we get for our kids and we're constantly reading the four of us and I couldn't imagine going to Barnes and Noble and and buying these books like everybody else it just seems so needless to me. I really can't comprehend it when you know you can literally go online to the Web site order up whatever book you want and they deliver it in our county at least to our local library that's a mile down the road. I mean that it couldn't be more convenient.
blogger, library
1177 - 1201 Carl "Mr. 1500" Jensen Yeah it just like our family we'd probably go there three or four days a week. And sometimes we go there for the programs they have or they have computers for the kids and they have a Lego Club just as a community resource. The books are absolutely number one and we do that too. I've got Tim Ferriss tools of titans in front of me right now that I just checked out. But yeah it's a good library is an awesome resource. Can't overstate that.
families, library
1201 - 1214 Jonathan Mendonsa And that sounds like that ties into one of you r other things which said raise your children to be good and hardworking people with strong values and increase your knowledge everyday by reading thinking and solving problems.
1214 - 1216 Carl "Mr. 1500" Jensen Well God I don't even know where to go on that one.
1216 - 1218 Brad Barrett But very deep. Very deep.
1218 - 1222 Carl "Mr. 1500" Jensen Kids are kids are difficult Brad. I don't know Jonathan if you have any kids but.
1222 - 1224 Jonathan Mendonsa One on the way first one.
1224 - 1226 Carl "Mr. 1500" Jensen Well congratulations when's the due date.
1226 - 1228 Jonathan Mendonsa April 22nd.
1228 - 1230 Carl "Mr. 1500" Jensen Care to reveal the sex. You know this.
1230 - 1232 Jonathan Mendonsa Yeah it's a boy. Very excited.
1232 - 1234 Carl "Mr. 1500" Jensen OK. That's awesome. Congratulations.
1234 - 1235 Jonathan Mendonsa Thank you. Thank you so much.
1235 - 1255 Carl "Mr. 1500" Jensen So yeah it's hard. Whatever kid asks you for something it's pretty easy to give it to them. It's A lot harder to tell them OK. When you on the dishwasher do your chores and earn some money. You can go out and pay for it. But they have to do that or else you're going to have a lazy child who's going to feel what the word I'm looking for. They're not going to have the right values they're not going to have the work ethic.
1255 - 1256 Brad Barrett Entitled.
1256 - 1276 Carl "Mr. 1500" Jensen Yeah. Entitled that's it. My parents were far from perfect but they never ever ever gave us anything where to work for everything. And I didn't like it at the time. You see all these high school kids getting cars like oh you want a car you better get a job. But I appreciate that so much now because. it gave me the work ethic and the values needed to be successful.
1276 - 1280 Jonathan Mendonsa And in your final two here. Explore the world and give back by volunteering.
1280 - 1361 Carl "Mr. 1500" Jensen Yeah, explore the world is more that might not be for everyone but I can't sit still for that long. I've been to 39 of the states and I'm going to knock a whole bunch more of them out this summer. I just love to travel and see new things, sitting at home is kind of torture to me and if I work from home I have to get out of the house and take a walk. But there's so many things to see and going back to that kid part gives some perspective too if you can show them how other people live, I think they can be wonderful maybe in some places of the world that aren't so fortunate. What a wonderful thing to show your kids firsthand. It's one thing to tell them of show them a picture. But if they can go and experience something like that's just great maybe through volunteering and you don't even have to be exotic about it, just volunteer a couple of days a year in your community. and the other thing is the volunteer part I think all of us are so fortunate especially those of us who have found this path like I never thought growing up that I'd have a million dollars. I thought that was some unattainable ridiculous goal and I still have to pinch myself every day. It hasn't sunk in. It's crazy. I wear socks with holes in them. I still have underwear. That I've had since high school, and I'm 43 now. and they look it too.
travel, volunteering
1361 - 1364 Jonathan Mendonsa On admissions you wish you could get back.
1364 - 1371 Carl "Mr. 1500" Jensen But yet those of us who are fortunate and for I don't like the word fortunately because our fortune has come through a lot of hard work for most of us.
1371 - 1374 Jonathan Mendonsa But fortunate not luck.
1374 - 1392 Carl "Mr. 1500" Jensen Yeah If you've had that if you find yourself at a place in life where you've accumulated an amount of money more than you need I think you kind of. You ought to uh I hate that word. to You aren't the only one. Anything maybe but. I don't know we'll. We've all had help too. Like I like to say oh I made my own.
1392 - 1410 Jonathan Mendonsa But you made choices. There were people that were in the exact same position as you and their paycheck to paycheck and they could be exactly where you are. But they made a value choice that led them in a different direction and you followed. You made sacrifices. You had you know you had opportunities but you made different choices and because of the choices you made you know you're in the position you are now.
1410 - 1450 Carl "Mr. 1500" Jensen Yeah. So and I've had help like I didn't get any college help so I had loans but without those loans I wouldn't have been able to go to college. So other things whether they'd be government or people that helped me out. So I think we owe it to the world to give back in some way either our time or money at some point in life. And I think a society is coming around to that idea too you hear about Bill Gates Warren Buffett Mark Zuckerberg who has vowed to give almost all their fortune to charity over the course of their lives which I think is wonderful and I look forward to doing the same thing. My kids don't know this year. But I don't really believe in inherited wealth so. They might hate me for this.
college, college-loans
1450 - 1454 Brad Barrett That 30 million dollars they come in their way is not in anywhere.
1454 - 1460 Carl "Mr. 1500" Jensen Yeah I'll help them but money can has a funny way of ruining people too so.
1460 - 1466 Jonathan Mendonsa So Carl when you talk a little bit about what those those goals you know have in common.
1466 - 1483 Carl "Mr. 1500" Jensen Yeah. The funny thing about all those goals is you'll notice that none of them really involve that much money. Raising good kids doesn't involve money. In fact the desire to earn money kind of hinder that if I'm at a job where I work 60 hours a week those are hours I can't spend with my kids. It's volunteering, being outdoors, travel.
travel, volunteering
1483 - 1485 Jonathan Mendonsa That's a great plan yeah.
1485 - 1493 Carl "Mr. 1500" Jensen None of the stuff requires money. Some of it does a little bit but there's ways to hack it. See Richmond savers or travel miles 101 for instance of hacking but.
travel, travelrewards
1493 - 1494 Brad Barrett Thank you thank you.
1494 - 1517 Carl "Mr. 1500" Jensen Yeah. All these things I'm not talking about a new house a new car I'm talking about things that require more than anything else. Time so time is what's critical it's not really the money. Money is the facilitator and money helps buy us the time but it's not the goal. The goal is to have time to pursue these things before I'm old and shriveled up and I can barely take care of myself.
1517 - 1548 Jonathan Mendonsa Yeah I think it's amazing how much you see even out in the political environment talking about you know a minimum wage and dollars per hour and that sort of thing and the conversations that we're having are completely trying to separate your time from money. I mean that it's a completely different focus. We are encouraging middle class America. How can we separate your time from your income. And I think I think that that could potentially be very powerful. And what you're actually trying to do is you're getting to a point where you can hopefully work work less right.
1548 - 1582 Carl "Mr. 1500" Jensen Yeah absolutely not work at all. and work is a loaded word. I'm always going to work but I'm going to work when I want to, work on what I want to, and the big thing that separates my definition of work from what a normal person might define work as, my measure of success with work isn't the amount of money I make it's how much happiness and growth and fulfillment it brings me. It very well might bring me money. Like the blog it's a passion project. I did it for three years and I made like 200 dollars in the first three years. But I genuinely enjoyed it. And in the case of the other things besides money.
1582 - 1589 Jonathan Mendonsa Including including some of those those contacts finding people that share similar interests which I think has been very fulfilling for you.
1589 - 1594 Carl "Mr. 1500" Jensen Yeah absolutely. That's probably the number one thing I would say.
1594 - 1605 Brad Barrett And Carl as you move more towards you know actual financial independence and you know I think you've dialed back your work a little bit right where you have. Is it Fridays off.
1605 - 1609 Carl "Mr. 1500" Jensen I now have Fridays and Mondays off so I work three days per week.
1609 - 1655 Brad Barrett Wow that's cool. So yeah I mean you know I struggle with this too as I move closer to fi. It's you know you have 168 hours in a week. Right. Obviously you have to sleep. You need to eat. You know those kind of things. But there's just a ton of time left over and it's you know how do I use that effectively. How do I use it strategically and I don't mean that in the normal sense but just doing something of value doing something I enjoy spending time with kids. You know like this is where I'd love to just have a conversation you know. It's like what have you figured out as you move you know. Now you're in this you know three day work three day a week workweek. You know what have you. What are you spending your time on now that you weren't able to when you were working five days a week.
1655 - 1725 Carl "Mr. 1500" Jensen Yeah I'd love to hear your thoughts on this too Brad. But before we go to the three day week work schedule which is a fairly recent phenomenon over December something interesting happened to me and that is my work computer broke and it took me an entire month to get a new one. So all of a sudden I had four weeks completely free and the kids were out of school so they had absorbed some of that time. But yeah I learned a couple of things from that. Number one is you have to be disciplined. It's easy to go on the Internet rabbit hole and before you know two hours are gone. But yeah more important the and what you're getting at. Bred in what I always worried about was if I would have meaningful work to do. You can't just quit your job for the sake of quitting a job. You know what I mean? you always have to have some kind of meaningful work. There comes that word again to move to and what I always tell people is you should look at how you spend your weekends because if you spend your weekends sitting around eating potato chips and lay down on the couch you probably should never retire because that's not a good activity. And your if you retire your free time is going to be an amplification of that and you're going to die young of a heart attack.
1725 - 1728 Jonathan Mendonsa totally a valid point.
1728 - 1735 Carl "Mr. 1500" Jensen And I'm pretty motivated personally I like to keep myself and I like to keep myself very busy.
1735 - 1777 Jonathan Mendonsa So you know as you were saying that I thought to myself you hear about that the midlife crisis but I feel like you don't really see that in the fire community and that's because we've been developing all these other passions. You know this whole time we've been finding more passion about. When you hear about the midlife crisis usually it's the person that their whole life has just been at their job they've been 100 percent dedicated to their job this whole time and now as that's taking a backseat they have nothing to fill it with. And yet I think what you're doing is the opposite of that you're designing the life that you want now. And then you know as work takes more and more of a back seat you have more time to actually you know push forward with that stuff.
1777 - 1819 Carl "Mr. 1500" Jensen Yeah that's exactly right. And the money enables it. So I would say for most of us we've got all these passions like for Brad and probably you Jonathan you've got all these things you want to do. But if you have to work if you need the money then you kind of file them away. But then once that snowball starts accumulating and you start that money starts building up you realize hey if I lost my job then I could pursue these things and well things kind of starts changing at that point because you can do it. You're not suppressing those thoughts because there's no way you could do it all of a sudden you realize wow I really can take this massive leap. For me it's a massive leap to completely completely leave my job but the money enables it and I'm not sure where I was going with this. But Jonathan you were saying.
1819 - 1822 Jonathan Mendonsa But are you going to be bored.
1822 - 1906 Carl "Mr. 1500" Jensen Not at all. So. So I found those out for weeks and it was always my fear and my worst fear in life is to be bored i cannot stand being bored. And what I realized during my time off is I would try to be very disciplined. I'd have a big list I'd have like 15 or 20 things I wanted to accomplish. And by the end of the day I'd have like seven of them done. And not because I was un disciplined watching YouTube was just because I would get into one project I would say hey I want to write this post and it's going to take me half an hour. I always write how long I think it will take me in like. An hour and a half later I'm still working on it and I think it needs work. It's such a luxury to have the time because instead of instead of rushing through these tasks that I would do what I had to work 40 hours a week I can have this luxury to really do them right and same thing for working out. I would take like when I worked full time I would take half an hour to work out and get through as fast as possible because I've got to come home and make dinner. But once you have the luxury of not having your work you can spend two hours on your workout and warm up with a mile or two run and then do my weights for an hour and then run a little bit more after that. if I still have any energy and it's completely wonderful So what I found is my projects that I have expanded to fill my time and now I think I need more time to this three day week stuff is not enough. So I found that out very quickly and I was pleasantly surprised by that.
1906 - 1940 Jonathan Mendonsa Yeah. So you know you have an article where you basically go through the phases of FI and you know essentially you're approaching the end of phase three and now you're going into this phase four so you know and I think what were your phases call just for our audience you know Phase 1 I think was what normal life which is where probably most of us are. And then phase two running to a big pile of money so you kind of have this plan where you just need to acquire enough so you can do that you know four percent safe withdrawal rate and then Phase three is now what approaching FI or getting close to it.
1940 - 1955 Carl "Mr. 1500" Jensen Yeah. In phase one I saw a picture of that fancy house. She's got that picture that was my mistake. So in that period it was just my normal life with normal expectations. Work till We're 65. No matter what happens I just had no idea and I never thought retire early.
1955 - 1957 Jonathan Mendonsa Is that the McMansion.
1957 - 1960 Carl "Mr. 1500" Jensen Yeah that's it. That's my that's my mistake.
1960 - 1964 Brad Barrett The Starry Night picture in the background and I think.
1964 - 2010 Carl "Mr. 1500" Jensen Yeah It's actually it's actually in Madison Wisconsin skyline painted to look like Van Gogh so and then phase two it was just this one I just saw Mr. Money Mustache after my bad day at work and I realized hey I'm running to this big pile of money but I never considered what happens after that. And eventually it occurred to me that I have to figure this out like you can't just quit for the sake of quitting that would be the most ridiculous mistake in the world. So that kind of terrorized me for about a year and like geez I write this whole blog about financial independence. I have no idea what's going to happen after I hit financial independence you know and I had already decided I guess I can't figure this out. I can't quit my job. I have to stay working if I don't have meaningful activity and that decision that sounds like that is phase three so figuring out what that decision is.
2010 - 2041 Carl "Mr. 1500" Jensen Yeah. And that decision was on the Internet retirement police please call me up but you know I really enjoy coding and I've been talking to different people about about different computer projects that I'm working on now actually. So I'm going to continue to code and work on these projects and they might make money but they might not. And like I said before my definition of work doesn't have to be how much money I made. I don't have to validate my job by a paycheck which is wonderful when you're just doing it for personal growth and for enjoyment.
2041 - 2055 Brad Barrett Very cool. And it also doesn't mean that you can't earn money. I think like you said the internet retirement police I think people get bogged down in that oh you're quote unquote retired but you're still earning money. I mean I think that's kind of losing the forest for the trees.
2055 - 2067 Jonathan Mendonsa You know and that's why I like financial independence that phrasing so much more than retirement. I mean it just I think that is the problem retirement does seem like that is something where we're just done where financial independence is just a framework. that you are working for from.
2067 - 2139 Carl "Mr. 1500" Jensen Yeah I completely agree with that. I hate the word retired, but yeah back to where Brad said you can work for a paycheck or you can work for yourself where your paycheck is your happiness and your fulfillment and growth. And that might happen to make money too. That's not the primary goal but I always tell people this if you find a hundred dollar bill on the ground are you going to leave it there? no you're going to pick it up of course try to return it. But then if it's no one's then it's yours. You're not going to leave money there just because just for the sake of it. So if your passion happen to generate income, your pasion might be woodworking or writing code like me, or writing a book if that passion happens to generate income. That's wonderful it's a good side effect and perhaps you use that income to make some kind of positive difference in the world, But when the income isn't the primary goal it completely redefines work and it makes it better it's funny how money. Well like the blog, I never did it I never thought about making money when I started. And now it actually does make money. But it was never the goal. It's funny how things work out that way. When you work on your passions you happen to make money as a side effect when you don't even try. And I think it's kind of because we do our best work what our goals align if we're doing something we really enjoy what we're going to do something very well.
blogger, hustle
2139 - 2166 Jonathan Mendonsa So well if you don't mind I'm just going to read this kind of final paragraph on your article because I thought it was kind of a good summary of where you're going with this. Basically you know you said one thing that I'm sure of is that I can't be the person I want to be with a full time job. There's too much that I want to do and I don't have enough time I want to be a good dad. I want to be an entrepreneur. I want to devour words for three hours a day and write them for another three. And that's that's pretty cool.
2166 - 2174 Carl "Mr. 1500" Jensen Yeah it all goes back to having that luxury of time. I'm so thankful that I'm able to have that soon. It's incredible. Really.
2174 - 2222 Brad Barrett Yeah. When you read that paragraph you you know it kind of makes me think of people ask Oh aren't you going to be bored in retirement. Right. And that just is such a ludicrous statement. I mean you literally have especially when you have financial resources you have the whole world in front of you. You can literally do whatever you want. Right. How could you possibly be bored. That has always struck me as like such just missing it entirely missing the entire essence of life. It's you have you can do whatever you want. Literally you can learn anything. Go for it. I mean How empowering is that. That to me that is the goal and I love seeing you know reading reading for three hours a day writing for another three. I mean that's that's pretty valuable. Valuable time spent in my opinion.
2222 - 2252 Jonathan Mendonsa And I can identify with that I find the same thing when I'm when I am writing even though I don't particularly enjoy writing I would much rather just do a podcast all day long even I don't particularly enjoy writing. I get excited when I'm actually doing it and time flies. I mean it is it's just fun and then especially if someone finds your content to be helpful if they relate to it in some way and then you know contact you about it or say hey this impressed me or this was helpful for me. That is just it's a great feeling that you just want to replicate and you do that by doing more of it right.
2252 - 2268 Carl "Mr. 1500" Jensen Yeah absolutely. I think my best moments for the blog I don't get them often but I've had people tell me hey I on this course and I've decided to I realized I was on the wrong path and I've changed the course of my life. I decided to change my whole direction. That's incredible to read something like that.
2268 - 2270 Jonathan Mendonsa you can't replicate that feeling that will make your day for sure.
2270 - 2273 Carl "Mr. 1500" Jensen You can make my month. I know.
2273 - 2284 Jonathan Mendonsa Well that was awesome. So you know the next thing we're going to do. Lucky you. You are going to get to do our hot seat today.
2284 - 2313 Speaker In a world drowning in debt and rampant consumption. Trapped by the chains of lifestyle inflation. These questions highlight the secrets of those who are broken free. Welcome to the choose F-I hot seat.
2313 - 2317 Jonathan Mendonsa Alright Karl Well first question. Favorite blog. That's not your own.
2317 - 2327 Carl "Mr. 1500" Jensen Yeah a lot of people are going to say this but I have to go with the old standard Mr. Money Mustache. He was a blog that set me free and caused me to reconsider my entire life. So.
2327 - 2341 Jonathan Mendonsa No it's powerful I think one of us went without one too we answered these questions a couple of weeks back. So absolutely it's a fantastic blog and maybe along those same lines. Question number two maybe almost too easy. Favorite article of all time.
2341 - 2379 Carl "Mr. 1500" Jensen Yeah and as you answered that it is the same blog that Mr. Money Mustache. I really liked his article it's called the practical benefits of outrageous optimism and that one really resonated with me because by nature I'm not an optimistic person but I realized after reading that post how stupid it is not to be optimistic. Most of the stuff I end up worry about never comes to happen. So from that post I realized that I should try to control only what I can control and not worry about anything else and to try to be optimistic it's a constant daily struggle for me. But there's really a lot of value in being optimistic instead of pessemistic.
2379 - 2395 Jonathan Mendonsa That's awesome. That actually was not the one I was expecting you to go with. And it's amazing how different things resonate with different people. I've read that one before but I think I'm going to go back and reread and we'll link to that one in the show notes as well. Awesome. Very cool. Question number three your favorite life hack.
2395 - 2412 Carl "Mr. 1500" Jensen Yes so I was listening to a Tim Ferriss interview recently and he was interviewing this Old Navy SEAL guy I think his name is Chako willing. And he said something on the podcast I think Tim Ferriss asked him what the most important thing is and he said something like discipline is power.
2412 - 2415 Brad Barrett It was discipline equals freedom.
2415 - 2418 Carl "Mr. 1500" Jensen Yes that's it. Thank you Brad.
2418 - 2421 Brad Barrett Chako has a great podcast by the way Carl you would love it.
2421 - 2453 Carl "Mr. 1500" Jensen Yeah. OK. I have not checked that one out. But yeah. And it's so true because if if you're disciplined and can get through a day and stick to Your goals you're going to accomplish great things. I see people who fail in life and it's mostly because they're not disciplined they go down the rabbit holes of YouTube are looking at their phone constantly if you can train your mind to do your work and to do deep work when you want to it's very powerful and very liberating. You can do anything you want if you can train your mind to be disciplined and to stay on tasks.
2453 - 2463 Jonathan Mendonsa That is super cool and I can identify with that and when there are aspects of my life when I have applied just pure discipline to it that the results are always amplified. Absolutely.
2463 - 2492 Carl "Mr. 1500" Jensen Yeah. And to build on that one other thing. So to get discipline in my own life I try to every night before I go to bed I write down what I want to accomplish tomorrow I try to estimate how much time it will take. And I even plan what time of the day I want to do it. For example I realized I can do a big weight exercise first thing in the morning. I just don't have the energy. So on a day off I planned my weight exercise for the afternoon but I can write in the morning so I try to I try to do that. So play in your day and stick to it.
2492 - 2498 Brad Barrett Very cool. Number four your biggest financial mistake.
2498 - 2554 Carl "Mr. 1500" Jensen Yeah. There could be a lot of them. I mentioned my house on the lake which I bought and I worked at that for years and made no money from it. But that was more of a result of the economy wasn't necessarily a mistake. We bought that in 2006 the economy crash so I'm not going to call it a mistake. In quite bad timing. You know I would say would it be buying a new car. In 2003 we bought our Honda Element which we still have to this day but that thing set us back about $20000. And I look at financial calculators now and if I would have just invested this in an S&P 500 index fund that would be worth over $50000 now. Wow. Which is amazing to think of what's happened since 2003 we've had the big terrorist attack we've had the biggest recession since the Great Depression. So all these terrible financial events yet that money would be worth two and a half times what it is now. So the orange box that sits in my driveway is my financial mistake.
2554 - 2565 Jonathan Mendonsa OK very cool I had a car as one of my financial mistakes too but that's not the worst financial mistake so I think you've done all right. Let's see. So number five the advice you would give to your younger self.
2565 - 2593 Carl "Mr. 1500" Jensen Yes I've always been a pretty good saver my whole life but not quite enough. I didn't max out my401K every year I freaked out when the recession happened in 2008 2009. If I would have maxed out my money the whole time I would have had a lot more than I do now and I'm not complaining. I've got one point seven million dollars. I'm very fortunate. I'm thrilled with where I am in life but it could have been even more so if I could go back in time and tell myself that I would say maxed out money.
2593 - 2614 Brad Barrett That's great advice. Yeah. I have similar advice to the world as well. I wish I could go back and kind of do some things over again. But you know it's when you're in a fortunate position currently it's hard to say oh my life you know I made mistakes but. But yeah in a perfect world you wish you could go back to when you were 20 and tell yourself all these things you know now right.
2614 - 2776 Carl "Mr. 1500" Jensen Yes exactly. And that's my easy answers so I'm going to give you a more difficult one more esoteric one and let me give you the backstory story really quick. So about a month ago Mindy and I that's Mrs. 1500 were invited to go speak a Colorado State University about financial stuff and I kept on going over and over my head what should I tell these kids because it's easy to show all the numbers and I think this stuff is kind of boring. You know you can show people financial calculators and show them how much they'll get if they if they start saving now and all that stuff is very powerful. But I started thinking like what more can I tell them and when I came to was this and this is going to be part three of what I tell them. So there's all these expectations that people have of us. So I remember when I was in college my mom was always harping on me about when I was going to get a girlfriend and then when I got one it was the next question is when are you going to get married. And then after that when are you going to have kids. And I remember at at work I had this crazy boss who kept on asking me when I was going to upgrade my starter home. And then I had some old piece of crap car and she's like oh Karl you have to get a nicer car. You're never going to get married unless you get a nicer car. She actually told me that she just bought a new new BMW. So she's like Carl you have to show girls that you have money and unless you do that you're never going to get married. So I started thinking about this and what I'm going to tell these kids at CSU and it's this. like everyone has all these expectations of you. Society does, your parents do, your neighbors do, but you should try to be your own person. live your own life. The thing that makes Mr. Money Mustache great is he thinks different and he doesn't care what society thinks you should do and that's about saving money about his job or about working on his house. He makes his own decisions and things creatively so people are selfish we think everyone really cares about what we're doing but they really don't. Wait but why has an awesome post on this google wait but why I think you'll find it. No one cares. Deep down inside what you do. So what I'm going to tell these kids is don't listen to other people who try to tell you how to live your life. Everyone's going to have advice for you and think they knows what's best for you. But you know conventional wisdom is for conventional people if you want to live an extraordinary life you're not going to do it by following the crowd. You're going to do it by being your own person and being a leader. just because something's been done this way and just because your neighbors or whatever tell you to do this and that doesn't mean you have to do the same. Be your own person that's how you're going to be great and that's how you're going to be truly happy in life. So that's what we're going to tell the CSU students. And they better appreciate it.
backstory, college
2776 - 2788 Jonathan Mendonsa Yeah that's awesome. That will be fantastic. I hope that they actually you know take away from that you know. Different things different actionable tips that they can implement their own life. Thank you so much for coming on the show with us today Karl.
2788 - 2790 Carl "Mr. 1500" Jensen Hey thanks for having me. Really appreciate it.
2790 - 2801 Jonathan Mendonsa Absolutely. I know we're going to have some audience members that are going to want to find out more about the work you're doing. Can you tell our audience how they can reach out and make contact with you or how they can get integrated into your community.
2801 - 2814 Carl "Mr. 1500" Jensen Yeah. They can visit me at the blog at 1500 days. That's just the number 1 5 0 0 Day dot com. And yeah you can reach me if you send me an email or reply to it or follow me on Twitter at. Retire in 1500.

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