020R - The Friday Roundup Our First Crowdsourced Case Study

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Time Speaker Text Tags
0 - 10 Jonathan Mendonsa Once again it's come into the weekend. It's Friday you made it. The week is over and you're back with us as we do the Friday roundup. Welcome to the show. Hey Brad how are you doing today buddy.
10 - 12 Brad Barrett I'm doing well. Jonathan how are you.
12 - 39 Jonathan Mendonsa I'm doing great. Super excited about doing this episode today partially because this is one of the first Friday roundups we've done that followed a Monday episode that me and you did ourselves which is which is unusual. When we did when we started the Friday around us it was always to really go over other guest content initially and then open it up to the community. But what we're just talking about what we just talked about ourselves that means we have more space to really give this out to our community and really crowdsource this. I'm excited that we can do that today.
39 - 57 Brad Barrett Agreed there should be a very good episode. We have a ton of e-mails from the audience. We have a bunch of voicemails which should be fun to go through. So yeah this should be a lot less of of us talking just about our own stuff and really bringing in the audience which is which is the whole goal of ChooseFI So yeah this should be should be real good.
57 - 153 Jonathan Mendonsa I love the feedback that we got this last week guys. Y'all sent us over 30 written reviews from five different countries. It was mind blowing and it was incredibly rewarding and I think it adds value to the show because here's some additional information that our audience could use to supercharge their path to FI. And so you know as Brad and I get a chance we are going to do our best to get out of the way and share this information with you when we take the time to say the Friday round up is crowdsourced by fire for fire. That's what this looks like and how cool is it that we've created this platform that we can actually have this we can share this. This is like a blog in the comments section where it's gone viral and everybody gets a chance to contribute. But instead of it just being one comment buried under forty five others you know you're getting to put this out there on a national platform. It's just fun. I'm excited. I'm excited just to be a part of it and I'm excited to benefit from the knowledge that you are sharing with us. Eyebrowed Well let's just take just a couple of minutes and talk about maybe some of the you know the highlights from this Monday's episode and in particular the biggest thing that struck me was you know we put this together and I don't feel like we're doing anything crazy I live just this entry level middle class lifestyle. And I try to live just a little bit smarter than maybe you know average Joe and essentially have their say their same lifestyle for a fraction of that price. And honestly I was expecting some blowback like people saying oh that's unreasonable that's crazy. How could you possibly do that. But you know with all the feedback we got over this last week it was 90 percent. Wow I hadn't thought of it that way before. That actually sounds entirely reasonable and doable. And how am I spending so much. And then it was driving people to go look at their actual line items and see where their money was actually going and how cool is that.
testimonial
153 - 395 Brad Barrett Yeah it's fantastic. And that really cuts to the heart of Fi and the way that we approach it at least you know there are people who are extreme obviously but you and I are just regular guys. We're not doing anything crazy. We're just living a little bit smarter. And Laura and I had a conversation. What's really cool. Laura is now listening religiously to this to the podcasts and we have a lot more actual conversations about money now and about fi in general. So it's it's definitely helped us even though you know we're pretty good at this obviously but it's helped us talk about it more. So you know we were trying to sit back and say look what are we doing. That's all that different from anybody else because it doesn't feel like we're doing anything special honestly. And you know we're we are going through like just kind of ticking off items in our head of what's so different and you know compared to many of our friends in this area where we you know we bought a less expensive house but we still probably bought a more expensive house and then we should have in the grand scheme of things so we're not saints here by any means we bought in an expensive part of town but we bought one of the least expensive houses we could find in this area. So as compared to our very close you know local group of friends were probably spending 800 to $1000 or less on our mortgage. Just boom right there where we don't have car payments so that's at least what seven hundred dollars minimum. If you're talking just decent cars. So we're up to maybe 1500 to maybe a little more just between the two of them probably 500 to 700 dollars on food just less in going out. And also just frivolous spending or like we've talked about in prior episodes just not intentional spending with food right. Of going in last minute and picking up some prepared food at the food store which is $10 per person per meal as opposed to the $2 per person per meal that Laura can can amount to when when we cook at home. So I mean that's over $2000 right there. Then you get into little things right. The cell phones are a couple of hundred bucks a month. Maybe the cable and etc is 100 bucks a month so I mean right there you're talking probably twenty five thousand dollars a year at minimum just thise couple of things right off the top. So that's a pretty darn good savings rate just right there in and of itself. Again just kind of talking about how this is really not that hard and it's just a regular lifestyle just a little bit smarter. Yeah and in that same conversation with Laura we were just kind of sitting there and talking about the discretionary expenses that maybe we don't spend on that other people do and I know Jonathan likes to talk a lot about the fixed expenses which is what I what I just went through but the discretionary things. We also don't spend money on many people just like to upgrade their house or add little throw pillows or I don't know redecorate in some manner or you know we know our friends who have kids who they've redecorated the rooms three times by the time they were 9 years old like my daughter Anna. And Anna doesn't even know that that's possible. She just knows that it's her room. She just never would cross her mind to oh Mommy and Daddy I want to repaint my room and get new comforters and get new pillows and all this stuff. You really would never cross her mind because we don't do it. We don't model that in our lives and it would never cross her mind. So you know it's similar. A lot of these things. Like I I always wonder. My kids are not very materialistic. And this is not like a holier than thou. I don't think you know we're the best parents in the world by any means but I think it's because we don't we don't exhibit wants for anything that our kids don't see us buying lots of frivolous stuff and therefore they don't ask. So when it comes time for December and many of their friends have these long Christmas lists my kids have never had a Christmas lists. It would never even crossed her mind to want something. It's so it sounds weird to say. I can't fathom a day where they would walk into a store and say Daddy Daddy I want to buy that. It just doesn't happen.
Brad_Catchphrases, needsvswants, savings
395 - 397 Jonathan Mendonsa You guys don't go a Toys R Us very often huh.
397 - 403 Brad Barrett No we do and they don't want anything. It's amazing I raising. I'm raising like these mutant kids.
403 - 405 Jonathan Mendonsa What are you putting in the cereal.
405 - 444 Brad Barrett I know it's crazy. Thank you general mills and cheerios. I swear them. It's really weird. Like I mean I wanted stuff when I was a kid we thought we were going to Toys R Us and ask for everything but I don't know. It's an and we have not. Honestly we have not been intentional about this. This is not something where Laura and I sat down with some master plan when they were born and said how can we make them into little second generation fire people. That wasn't that wasn't what happened. It just evolved I guess from having this lifestyle of not wanting things desperately. So yeah I know you had some to chat about around this. Jonathan.
2ndgenfi
444 - 546 Jonathan Mendonsa Well two things are lots of things this sends me in so many places it's hard to fixate on one. But the first is how powerful that is that is amazing. I hope that my child will be in a similar place. The second thought is I actually have a frugal when now it's from a year back that I hadn't really thought of and I'm not the best example of not spending money on discretionary stuff we talked about the fact that I'm this reluctant frugal us that I like technology that I have an eye for shiny objects like it's not the best example of this but I have a I have an example that I want to point to had this lamp in my house because I think one of the things that you were thinking about was the fact you guys don't upgrade your lamps so we had purchased these lamps. My dog comes running to the house and knocks the lamp on the floor it cracks in half. Now my wife's initial thought was to go buy a new lamp. But husband here husband Mr. Fix it got out super glue and I superglue that sucker back and it looked 90 percent perfect. It does have a crack on the side but I kept it in place and she kept telling me every week we need to go buy a new lab. You have to buy a new lamp. But on this one thing a year and a half later I won and that lamp is still there and I did not replace it. So that is my f w o T.W. frugal win of the week of the week hash tag FWOTW. And by the way guys we try to just kind of share these things. I took a picture of that freaking lamp which is just funny at this point I probably will never change it until my dog knocks it over again. And it's great. I'm going to share it on my Twitter page and on our Facebook page so not a big deal silly fun stupid. You know it's just it's just fun. But if you are following us on Facebook or Twitter this is where we do share kind of a lot of these little. This is what's going on in our life type stuff. So definitely check us out on there and you're going to see a picture of the lamp extremely Value-Added Twitter feed.
FWOTW, housing
546 - 776 Brad Barrett That's really cool. And just to jump in real quick. Yeah. With the lamps I know we mentioned this off line that's why you brought it up but I mean we have these ridiculous lamps at all throughout our house. The cheapest things you could find. And like we. And it wasn't purposeful I mean we just you know we were kids when we bought these things essentially we didn't know what was you know what looked nice and what didn't but we never honestly can never look at them. We just wouldn't never cross our minds to upgrade the lamps in our house. It just literally never would. We have some decorations. Some vase above our mantle and that thing has been there for 12 years. I guarantee you if you take a picture of a house 20 years from now it'll still be sitting right there like it just would never cross our minds and it's just those little discretionary things that the other people just again frivolously just waste money on. And again this is not like a holier than thou. It's just I get no value out of any of this stuff. So why would I waste money and really more importantly why would I waste my time upgrading this stuff and going to five different stores to find the perfect window hangings or dressings or whatever the heck they call them and I mean I know people who go store to store to store just to find the perfect curtains. I mean if that's what your life has devolved to you got to find better priorities. It's just people walk around busy all the time just all the time and stressed. And really when you take a look at your life like you've got to figure out where you're spending your time and and I actually and Jonathan I think we will go back to you. I didn't mean to hijack you here but but I really I actually did want to spend a couple of minutes on the podcast today just kind of talking about this the life hack aspect of what we're doing here. You know this is not entirely about money. It's also about FI. To me it's about living a better life to living a more productive life a less stressed life. And just an overall happier life. And my kind of call to action to the audience this week would be take a look at your life and almost invariably you're walking around saying you're stressed or you're busy and you know I get that. I mean obviously we have busy jobs we have busy lives many of you have kids but try to implement just one thing that would make your life easier. And if you can do one thing every single week by the end of a year or two your life is going to be so much easier. I know I've mentioned previously one of the the best life hacks that I've put into place in the last year is using an app called to doist. So to DOIST. And I have literally outsourced my entire brain and all that to do is that I have in my life onto this app and I cannot tell you if you would have told me that that eight months ago when I implemented this that it would have transformed my life this much I would have paid $20000 for it honestly and I have every single time I have something recurring in my life. Even just like changing the air filters or you know you renew your CPA license I just put it into to do list as a recurring task and that is then out of my brain. So I now have dozens upon dozens of these things that are just that just in there as recurring task and I don't have to think about them. They are just in to doist and my life is so much easier. And then you have the mundane day to day you know things with the Web sites and my family and all this stuff so you know it does get down to the real granular stuff but everything is in there. I would say check that out check out to doist just or not even that just do anything maybe make a couple of dinners where you're not scrambling around every single day. You know what like we've talked about in the past make enough for leftovers for two nights and then that saved you an hour or two of your life. And honestly as we always talk about. Send us feedback. We want to hear what life hack you put into place this week. Take action and send us an e-mail feedback at Choose FI dot com. And we'll read it on next week's roundup. We want this to be a crowdsourced podcast and we want to make your lives better. That's what this is all about. So take action. Put something into place and make it happen and let us know. So yeah that's my little soapbox thing for the week so Jonathan I throw back to your buddy.
lifeoptimization
776 - 807 Jonathan Mendonsa That's super cool that that reminds me of two things one essentially what you're saying there's another quote out there and you probably know who said this. I don't do one thing every single day that matters and then apply that across the board. So if your goal is fitness What's the one thing you're going to do for fitness today that matters. If your goal is self-development What's the one thing you're going to do to develop yourself. If your goal is financial independence What's the one thing you're going to do today to get yourself closer to financial independence. You can apply it across the spectrum but if you've just focused on the one thing the end of the year you're going to be 365 steps closer to your goal.
fitness
807 - 954 Brad Barrett Yeah I love that I do not know who said that but that really rings true with me and is how I'm trying to live my life now. And I know you're trying to put this in place too. And I'm not only just in life but on the Web site right. We had this conversation two days ago where it's easy to get bogged down in the million different things you can do for the podcasts and the site. And it's so exciting. But a lot of that is taking you away from your growing family and honestly to me that's just not OK. Right. I told you that I like. I don't want you spending so much time on the site. And on the podcast because your family's more important. And if you focus you and I and everyone out there focuses on that essential one thing and there was a book actually called the one thing which which I've read and it is phenomenal. But if you focus on just that one thing that's really going to make everything else easier then that is value added. And that's how you should be living and. And you really like part of life to me is is getting better at this and having goals. And I know we've talked about this on prior podcasts but a lot of it now is is fitness related. For me I am trying to do two things and it is get into this Brazilian Jiu Jitsu that I've mentioned before and this is a total departure for me. I have never done any kind of martial arts or anything like that. But it's the coolest thing I've ever done and it's probably a 15 year journey to actually get legitimately good at this. And right now I'm terrible. You know I've been doing it for eight months and I mean I'm I'm pretty good for eight months in. But in the grand scheme of things I'm terrible and but but that's part of the fun. Having that that newbie mentality and in martial arts it's a white belt mentality. Just teach me and let me learn and let me try and I'm like the least flexible human being in the entire world. I always have been but I've been really working on that recently. And I know this sounds so silly but but it's just the fact of working on something every single day I'm like I've gotten to the point where when I you always had that. Touch your toes test right and like I mean I couldn't get within a foot of the ground I mean it was pitiful. And now I'm in. I'm at the point where I can almost get my palm on the ground which I turn myself into a flexible person by just working hard every single day and for five minutes. We're not talking spending an hour stretching I mean I don't have that kind of time in my life. But five minutes have five minutes to do anything. Right. And and that's what I would say for the audience so I know we're focusing a ton on life hacks here. But but this is really this is the essential part of life. And it just makes everything else easier by doing that. One thing that will actually provide you value.
families, fitness, podcaster
954 - 1012 Jonathan Mendonsa Very cool. That quote inspires me so much that I'm going to go ahead to a second quote today that also just this last two weeks has changed the way I look at the world and I'm not saying that now I am I am changing the action going forward but rather I realize that this is what happened to me over the last two years and that quote is by Jim Rhone and it's very popular and widely spread at this point but you are going to be the average of the five people that you spend the most time with. And when you apply that to your life so all of you those five people are all just living up to their eyeballs in debt and happy with it. And you know they're spending every penny that comes out the door living for them now not thinking about the future in any way shape or form. You are going to be that person if your five friends are all wildly overweight and are perfectly happy with it and they are sedentary and they don't move. You are going to be that way as well. But if your five friends or the people that you spend the most time with are all focused on financial independence and sharing life hacks and getting to this common ground this common goal you are going to hit FI infinitely faster than you would on your own.
debt, lifeoptimization
1012 - 1086 Brad Barrett Yeah that's a really powerful one and it definitely touches on all aspects of life. And for me I have found since reflecting on this over the last couple of years I found I have tried to remove a lot of the negativity from my life and a lot of just the inane conversations that I just don't want to deal with. And I just get no value out of and. And to me it's finding people that you enjoy being around who challenge you to be better. And for me a lot of it has come from people in the FI community and I'm constantly e-mailing with Brandon from the mad Fientists or Carl from fifteen hundred days. These are the people who I'm I'm closest with in this world now and we talk about little things we challenge each other even Carl and I are doing some kind of actually that fitness stuff that I had talked about previously where you know running a mile in X time and doing X number of pull ups and push ups and things like that and Carl created a Google Doc that we're sharing that we're keeping each other up to. And we're also involved. Steven who is the organizer of the camp mustache. Jonathan I went down in down in Florida or the three of us are now just kind of e-mailing back and forth and keeping each other accountable and little things like that that just make such a difference.
fitness
1086 - 1224 Jonathan Mendonsa And you know it's cool that guys is you know you guys are listening to us for more than two hours every single week. I mean of those five people like that there's real value there so we're already occupying two of those spaces of those five people which is really cool. You just have to figure out who the other three are going to be. And then you got this thing covered. You've got it all figured out you're going to win. So there's my encouraging message of the week and I hope you guys enjoy it. But I mean those two quotes together have the ability to transform your life when you apply them to every facet of your daily living. I had some great feedback from a listener this week and it was on this specific show and that's what I love about the Friday roundup like Brad and I do not have all the answers but we're concept learners just like you guys were always trying to find the next thing that can improve our life and speed up the path to FI for all of us. And so when we throw out these ideas of where we're going the input that you give us it speeds up our path to FI. And then when we share it with the rest of the community that accelerates your pace as well. So this came from a listener and Diedre sent me this comment and she said I was just listening to your latest podcast that was Episode 20 and she wanted to pass along the suggestion to look at this particular company. SBLI that's SBLI dotcom. And she says a lot of factors go into rates so it's tough to make comparisons between individuals but Dejah was able to get a $1 million 20 year term policy she got it at age 34 for under thirty five dollars a month and she said while I'm new to this financial independence stuff at these rates she said I prefer to carry too much insurance and not enough if I died in a car crash next week my husband would have to find a daycare with longer hours or hire extra help in the morning and the evening due to his commute. Both of those would cost more and he probably eat out more start using something like blue apron which would cost more than we currently spend on meals. Anyways with the upheaval in my own untimely death the upheaval that would cause i expect the cost could go up. Now all those factors being aside that email is awesome just because that isn't unbelievable rate. That's incredible I was assuming that for a 20 year term a 1 million policy that would be a minimum of 70 to 100 hours and that's just in my mind that's what I thought that would cost so legitimately if that's the price you can get. As you know 34 year old one million dollar policy that is that is a great deal. So I'll put the link to S-B LI dot com and the show notes if you are looking to get into a term policy that may be a great place to start. And Deidre thank you for taking the time to send us that we appreciate it.
healthinsurance, lifeinsurance
1224 - 1416 Brad Barrett Yeah that's very cool. We love giving these little hacks where Jonathan and I are going to look into that and see if we can save money. I mean honestly we we have not done the research on this company. So I don't know how that stacks up precisely but but it certainly sounds fantastic. I mean that obviously well enough that we're going to read it on the podcast and be super excited about it and that's the cool thing is people you guys out there there are tens of thousands of you listening to this podcast and you guys are doing cool stuff. And in many cases better than what we're doing so please. As always just send us the ideas feedback at Choose FI dot come. And I actually wanted to. This is not going to be applicable to everybody but just kind of ties into into that exact thought which is I was having a conversation with a buddy of mine over the weekend kids where we're playing over at our house and we're just kind of chatting for a couple hours and he actually listens to the podcast. Now I have a sense that he was interested in in finances and things like that. And I went out of my comfort zone and mentioned the podcast to him a couple of weeks ago. And he has just devoured the episodes it's amazing so I mean we had like a two hour talk on FI which was just so cool that I can have that in my real life now. So it's really super neat. And he mentioned that he has a new homeowner's insurance that's that's only good for people here in Virginia it's called mutual assurance of Virginia and he's paying like 20 percent of what he was previously paying in for homeowner's insurance. And this is kind of a special company and the details are kind of beside the point. But just the fact that now I have this thing where I might save $500 a year on homeowner's insurance because I had this one conversation about FI with one of my buddies who I never would've talked to him about it. And just because of this podcast and that's really neat to me and actually just kind of talking about him in this whole long conversation about Fi we really set him on a plan. He works for the state of Virginia and he has a pension actually. So that that kind of changes the FI landscape a little bit. He actually has to work for another 16 years. But even in a 20 minute sub conversation we basically put him on this path where in 16 years he's going to have to his two rental house has paid off his primary residence paid off. He'll have put in $18000 a year to his 457 and to his wife's 401K and have this pension every single year. I mean he's going to be rolling in FI dough in 16 years when he retires and they both can retire at that point which will be really decades ahead of when most people will be able to. And what they even thought was plausible. So that's just such a cool example of of how just talking about this stuff just makes such a difference. And I know Jonathan we we're constantly getting e-mails about about the podcasts and iTunes reviews and things like that people are saying this is the first time that I felt like I can actually share this with my friends. So like that kind of feedback means so much to us that people are listening to this and hearing us just as regular guys who are not doing anything special just kind of implementing these life hacks and and making the difference between maybe never retiring or retiring at 70 and having control of your life. So that's just it's just so gratifying So thank you. Thank you all.
401k, 457, insurance, lifeoptimization, testimonial
1416 - 1477 Jonathan Mendonsa I love it. I love that people are taking action. I love that people have had the ability to get to FI this whole time but just never knew the rules. And once you just show them the one through ten step process the simple you know the simple path to wealth. Exactly what it would look like for their specific framework. Suddenly nothing's really changed. They didn't have to get a raise. They didn't really have to you know completely transform their life they just had to do a few things a little bit smarter. Implement a plan. And suddenly now fi is an achievable thing that's incredibly powerful. OK we're going to listen to a few voicemails this week we got a lot of input. We're really excited about crowdsourcing this and getting you all on the air as much as possible as it fits the story we're trying to tell or adds value to the community. And so this first one is from Harrison and Harrison has some feedback for our listener that we talked about on last week's Friday roundup and she wanted to know how to get started with VTSAX and we gave one suggestion that was a pretty good one. But honestly Brad you listened. I mean I think Harrison trumped both of us do you agree. Yeah I do. All right let's take a look Harrison. Thank you for this comment. Very very cool stuff.
indexfunds
1477 - 1563 Harrison - (voicemail contributor) I'm just calling to leave a tip regarding VT stocks on the most recent episode. There is a letter from someone who was interested in alternative To VT Stocks without the $10000 minimum. And I just wanted to let you know that there is a fund from Charles Schwab s w t s x which is virtually identical to VT Stocks from Vanguard the way they track slightly different indices and yields at the Schwab's fund is slightly lower I'm looking at right now. And that's one point seven four percent yields whereas VT Stocks one point eight seven percent yields. But if you compare them for example on Google Finance they're virtually identical for the past 10 years. And the nice thing about the Schwab fund SWTSX is that there is no minimum and the fee right now at least the expense ratio is even lower than vanguards it's point 0 3 percent. Currently I have an auto invest set up with Schwab and my plan is that once it hits $10000 I can transfer that over to Vanguard once I reached there. The advantages that I'm having that my $200 continually invested whereas if I were to do that Vanguard and the ETF Yes VTI I would have to buy full shares so there would be money leftover. That wouldn't be invested if I put in for example $200 a month. So it's just an advantage possible alternative to consider. So just wanted you to know thanks.
indexfunds, stocks
1563 - 1603 Jonathan Mendonsa Harrison that is that that is such a great tip. I did not know that was a feature you know this kind of should I use Vanguard should I use Schwab. This is like an ongoing thing. There's not a right answer here for this one. There's just where you are obviously you know Brad and I have an emotional attachment and much of the fi community has this emotional attachment to Vanguard. You do have other options and if you're listening to this from you know either in a place he doesn't have access to Vanguard you do have other options. The principle is index investing low fees. It is not Vanguard per se but the tip that you gave is amazing. I think that's probably what I would now take and encourage my brother to do instead of the advice that I gave him last week I would encourage him to do what you just what you just said. Harrison So thanks for sharing that with us.
indexfunds
1603 - 1625 Brad Barrett Yeah I agree totally. I think that that trumps VTSAX for for now. Right. For two reasons. Because A it doesn't have the minimum investment requirements and B the fee is slightly lower. So while we love Vanguard we're not in the bag for Vanguard by any means so Schwab is is a phenomenal company and that sounds like the recommendation. Thank you very much guys.
indexfunds
1625 - 1719 Jonathan Mendonsa Next thing we want to do this is actually I'm probably of all the ones I'm playing today. This is maybe the one of the most excited about just because you know not so much this particular message but because where this is going to go long term this is going. I think this will be a format that we continue to use. So what we're going to do is an ongoing case study and it will be spread out over three Friday round ups. So as we build this template We'll continue to get better with it. But just keep this in mind we have this one is from Paul. He has basically volunteered himself up to be a live case study on the show. But instead of Brad Knight just doing this we have like we keep saying one of the smartest communities around I mean imagine you know you're listening to a podcast that is also being listened to by 1500 it's being listened to by coach Carson Jim Collins. I mean the list goes on and these are people that are listening to it with you and then on top of that we have some of the smartest audience around. I mean the feedback you've left on our site is amazing. And this is the same audience that leaves comments on Brandon's site that leaves comments on Carl's site leave comments on Jim's site. We appreciate how smart you guys are and we benefit from your input so we're going to play this case. And then as we're playing it I want you just to think what additional information would you need in order to build a case study and then after that Brian I will share with you kind of what we came up with then we're going to get your input and then we're going to go back to Paul and we're going to get him to to add you know that additional information and then at the end of this three week period we will put together a case study for him and we will lay out that path to FI. And I think that that will be a model that we can use over the next five years to do case studies for people in different income brackets in different situations. But it will benefit all of us because we will get a chance to see what these different cases look like. Are you excited about this Brad.
podcaster
1719 - 1721 Brad Barrett Yeah man let's do it.
1721 - 1770 Paul Hey Jonathan and Brad My name is Paul. I love the show and the great guests that you had on so far. Here's my situation. I'm 51. My wife is 44. And our only child at home is our daughter who's 14. My wife and I are debt free including our mortgage and we have an investment portfolio of approximately 1.4 million dollars if we include our home of personal property that increases to about 1.7 million dollars. We're right on the verge of FI and being able to retire early but we haven't pulled the trigger yet. I've been reading and listening to blogs and podcasts from your guest and others. So I think I have a pretty good grasp on the concepts the tools and the processes but still there's uncertainty. I know this isn't anywhere near enough information to make recommendations so I'd love to volunteer as a first live guest case study on the show if this is something you guys I'd like to try. Please let me know. Thanks.
blogger, debt, podcaster
1770 - 1787 Jonathan Mendonsa How cool is this. Paul I love your question and I love that we're going to have to do this as a case study going forward. So I've already told you what the plan is here. We're putting this out to the community. Brad and I already right out the gate we have a few extra questions that we think we would need answered in order to do this right. Brad you want to go ahead and drop a couple of those now.
1787 - 1830 Brad Barrett Yeah. Sounds good. Yeah. Thanks again Paul this is really cool. So yeah I jotted down a bunch of questions. The biggest one is what are your expenses annually. That's an absolute essential thing to figure this out. How is that $1.4 billion that you have in networth split between 401Ks and other tax deferred items and regular taxable savings. 3 Do you want to quit your job. I mean is that something that appeals to you. And I guess 4 kind of related to three is it what does a retirement look like for you. You know tell us about that and I'm curious because that that could help us figure out how to get you to that path. Are you doing any kind of work or side hustle as people call it in in retirement or early retirement whatever. Jonathan you have anything to add.
401k, hustle, networth, savings, tax
1830 - 1940 Jonathan Mendonsa Yeah. So I guess another thing that would be important is you know what is your FI life going to cost so once you quit your job and you don't to commute you are not a lawyer anymore. You don't have to buy your expensive suits every year. I mean the cost of your life does go down surprisingly after you quit working right. Unless you go get that $50000 your golf membership but in general you're going to have less expenses. So what is your life actually going to cost. And then you know there's a psychological component to this so psychologically. Paul what's holding you back man. And then the other thing on here is your age so social security for you is probably going to be reality at some point. So you know that will impact your retirement to some degree. You know would you want to be taking that at the earliest age possible or would you want to delay it out. There is a difference in what you get. I think Brad and I we probably both have to research a little bit how social security impact it's just not built into my own personal F-I plan at all. I haven't even considered it. Everything is independent of that. But I think for Paul it is a reality that it'll be there for him and then also college savings. You have kids at some point they're going to college is going to be a reality. So do you have anything save for them for college so that's Brad and I's shortlists that's all that we've come up with right now. This is the part of the show where now for the first time we get to throw this to our community of 10000 plus people now very very high level firers right. Let us know what have we missed what would we need to fill that out. What additional information would you want from Paul in order to do this right. And so what we'll do next week we'll get the answers from Paul on the information that you send us plus all the ideas that we have will either play his response to that voicemail or we'll just get you know we'll read to you kind of his response to that and then on week three we will come up with a FI plan and we'll post that as an Excel sheet or PDF and you get it from the show notes but we'll also read it to yourself. That's kind of our general plan and this guys is going to be a template that we're going to use for the next several years. They will always change slightly as we develop it and get it better. But this is a crowd sourced by fire for fire and it's going to be really cool. Thanks for being a part of this.
college, socialsecurity
1940 - 1960 Brad Barrett All right. Yeah that's going to be a really cool case study and very excited to hear the audience's input and to get Paul some actionable tips to really make this happen for him and his family. So that's going to be fantastic. And now we want to play a voicemail from Isaac who is one of our frequent contributors and yeah he sent. He sent a voicemail in this week.
1960 - 2010 Isaac - (voicemail contributor) Hey guys doing a fantastic job as always. And congrats again to Jonathan on the newest addition to the family. I had a quick travel rewards question for you. I would have loved to have the card opening strategy piece that Jonathan put together when we first started to happen back at the beginning of 2016. While we've done well getting close to six thousand dollars of travel in just over a year since starting and having a nice buffer of points built up I'm a little hesitant as to what to do next because of the noviceness when starting my wife and I were both over the chase 5:24. We also didn't have any major trips currently planned but I've seen some really good offers out there recently. For example the British Airways hundred thousand point offer. What's the strategy from here. Do we open up airlines and hotels cars despite not having any concrete plans in the near future to use them. Does it become a hassle eventually to keep those accounts active in some capacity or is it best to wait out the 5:24 cycle until we can start going after some of those chase cards again look for the answer.
families, travelrewards
2010 - 2011 Jonathan Mendonsa That's a really good question isn't it Brad.
2011 - 2159 Brad Barrett Yeah this really is a great question. It speaks to the larger travel rewards strategy. And my honest answer is things are getting more difficult now and the banks to their great credit are making it more difficult to to open up cards continuously and to get these bonuses over and over again. Now does that mean it's impossible to to use traveler or credit cards going forward and to do this for years to come. No it does not by any means but it is more difficult than it used to be. There's no question about it. And honestly I haven't mentioned this either add my travel miles 101 site or here. But Laura and I are trying to currently get back under the chase 5:24 rule. So we have not opened very many credit cards in the last year or so because realistically most of the good cards are chase cards. So that's a potential strategy which is if you have a bunch of points you don't plan on taking any trips in the next year or so maybe kind of dial back your card opening strategy and get to a point where you're at zero out of 24 1 out of 24 which which to everyone in the audience is the number of cards you've opened in the last two years. Basically Chase does not allow you to open any credit cards within reason that they have a couple of carve outs. But any of their rewards cards if you open five or more credit cards in the last 24 months and that includes cards from any bank and includes authorized user cards so I give my wife Laura included me as an authorized user on one of her accounts. That counts as one of my five so obviously there's an incentive to not add authorize user cards. But so yeah I mean that's that's one potential strategy really is to just kind of sit tight and get back under that rule. Another potential option is to go to two other banks you know capital capital one has some good cards. Capital One venture capital one spark miles current. Those are. Those are solid. Citibank has American Airlines cards. Amex has a bunch of cards. The Starwood cards we love the Amex gold and platinum have great transferable points similar to Chase's ultimate rewards. So there are other cards to get certainly but but it really it s ultimately going to be a personal preference on what your strategy looks like. So for me we determine that it makes sense to get back under 5:24 just because we love those chase cards. And and it's been years since we've been able to open any of them.
banking, travelrewards
2159 - 2168 Jonathan Mendonsa That. Awesome. This is one of the highest level travel rewards guys in America saying that yeah the chase gauntlet reigns supreme.
travelrewards
2168 - 2170 Brad Barrett I know you love that term.
2170 - 2172 Jonathan Mendonsa Yeah I'm definitely attached to it. Yeah.
2172 - 2224 Brad Barrett The chase cards are great and it's hard. It's hard not to open them honestly. I mean they're they're just phenomenal phenomenal cards. So yeah I mean that that's where I'm going with this. And I wouldn't blame you one bit. Isaac or anybody out there if you decided to open cards from other banks so it's really personal preference and just a quick note. The British Airways card that you mentioned Isaac is actually not affected by 5:24. So there are just a few cards at least by the rules that I've seen it seems like there's the chase Hyatt card that Chase IHG hotels card and the chase British Airways card which are not affected by 5:24 which means if you're over 5:24 you can still potentially get approved for those cards. There are a couple of other ones as the Disney card and the Ritz-Carlton card as well but those are are not as desireable of cards certainly. So yeah I mean that's that's my answer. Jonathan you have anything to add to that.
2224 - 2330 Jonathan Mendonsa You know one thing is you know Isaac My comment is not going to help you unfortunately but there are so many people that are finding this for the first time that we're you know Dave Ramsey followers and he got he taught you the basics of saving. That's what one of our comments on our interviews was that he taught you the basics of savings but then he just left you high and dry and you're just stuck where you are but now you're debt free with no vision of where to go next. And that's what that's where this comes that you know you find different people to mentor you through different places in your life. But when you're debt free and looking for a FI plan or getting or how you're on the track to debt free and looking for a FI plan that's where this podcast is so value added. And you know if you are a Dave Ramsey follower you may have done something as extreme as lock your credit. And I had a friend that contact me that found out about the podcast and she listened to it and she was like I want to get I want to do the travel rewards and Dave Ramsey person I had my credit lock from way back. How do I do it. And she unlocked her credit. And now her and her daughter are traveling to Europe for free to gather and this woman is amazing. She has done so much for my family. And it was really cool that I could share this information with her. And now her daughter will travel the world for free and that's just something they wanted to do and they had to do with post-tax dollars and now they've gotten $3000 plus a year in free travel that they can use. And you know the Chase gauntlet is not limiting. If you do that five you know if you do those five cards for you and a spouse or ten cards every two years I mean the implications that's like almost a minimum of five hundred thousand air miles which is just a ridiculous amount of travel that you can get. So it's not exactly limiting and it's a lot of flexibility so for all you people that are finding out about Choose FI for the first time and maybe you hopped in in the middle are pinnacle episode on travel rewards is Episode 9, 0 0 9. So go back and listen to that. That is the one where we show you exactly how to get started. We're traveling the world for free and yes we are the home of the chase gauntlet.
debt, families, podcaster, ramsey, savings, travel, travelrewards
2330 - 2354 Brad Barrett Let me just jump in there real quick so you can get to that episode and choose FI dot com forward slash 0 0 9 where really the easiest way to see our entire travel rewards section is choose FI dot com slash travel and that'll send you to all of our articles all of our resources our recommended cards things like that. So that's definitely the way to go choose FI dot.com slash travel.
travelrewards
2354 - 2430 Jonathan Mendonsa All right guys so this is the reader recommended resource and we're putting just a couple extra seconds into this because we know that a lot of this content is America centric and that's just where we are. It's just a reality. But we do have international listeners probably close to 200 of you at this point and you all send us resources that are applicable to your life in your framework. And we want to do the same thing we do for everybody else and make sure we're sharing those as best we can. So this is from Nia and she sent it to us several weeks ago. She says Hi guys. I've really been enjoying your podcast lover you guys are doing. Last year a video series was created by an ex hedge fund manager and it's like a 101 course on passive investing. It was posted on the UK motivator blog and we'll put the link to it on the show notes. The philosophy and the information are actually applicable no matter where you live but being outside of the US. I especially appreciated its perspective on how to invest wisely but still keep it simple no matter where you are based. I've been sharing this series with as many people who will listen and maybe your listeners will also appreciate it. Alright Nia will go and send that out to everybody. Thanks for sharing it with us. And guys this is just you know a plug for our for our feedback line. You know if you want to send us your ideas something that you think will benefit the audience that would add value if only we knew about it. You can send that idea to feedback and choose F-I dot com. Do that any time. We we are neurotic about following up with your feedback and getting to incorporate it into the show. So thank you so much for sharing that.

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