038R - FireWalker

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1 - 46 Jonathan Mendonsa OK guys welcome back. The choose FI radio podcast. We're excited that you're joining us today as we continue to go down the road less traveled this past Monday we did the episode. The why of fi exploring Brad and my decision tree on why we chose this path that at its very face could seem a little bit unorthodox and certainly contrarian but we think once you actually dig into it it is the perfect decision for for the life that we want to live. And we took about 30 minutes to really walk through that and hopefully it resonated with you. Hopefully it's something that you want to share with somebody else. But today's the day that we like to take a step back from that and actually kind of open the floor up and talk about this a little bit more and a little bit of a less structured setting and bring in our communities feedback as well and to help me do this. I have Brad here with me today. How you doing today buddy.
46 - 69 Brad Barrett Yeah I'm doing quite well Jonathan everything is going great here. This was a fun episode to do on Monday. I definitely enjoyed that. I think we did a good job with it. I think it was something that was stressing us out a little bit because in the back of our mind we wanted to do and do well and I think we covered it and I know we have we got a lot of positive feedback from the community. We also got some comments and things that hopefully we're going to talk about tonight. So it should be fun.
69 - 117 Jonathan Mendonsa Well before we get started with that I've got to tell you Brad that I had a frugal win I went to Costco earlier this week as part of my pseudo biweekly Costco run and someone had been talking about how they really enjoyed the Costco nutrition bars which they compared to the quest bars that I know that you're a big fan of. And I finally found them for the longest time I didn't think that my particular Costco offered them but I finally found them I did the price on it and then they run around 87 cents a bar and I got to say the macros look relatively similar to what I know you've raved about with the quest bars and they're delicious. So I just thought I would let you know that since it essentially would cut your your quest bar addiction in half. Maybe that's something that you could check out if you wanted to but they're really good. And they come in a two pack Brownie and cookies and cream. So it's the little things in life that you need to know and I just thought I'd take a second and share that little win with you today.
117 - 175 Brad Barrett Yeah that's a cool and one of our community members had actually e-mailed me that just a couple of hours ago which is really interesting that you found that as well. Yeah. I mean I'm not hooked on quest-bars by any means so I'm definitely going to look into this just why not if it's if it's essentially the same thing and it's less than half the price. To me that's an absolute no brainer. I mean frankly like. The reason why I like Quest Bars aside from I've heard good things about them by the guy Tom BILYEU who have spoken about many many times from the impact theory podcast which is one of my all time favorite podcasts. Just to kind of reset your entire mindset and how you approach the world and I think that's so powerful. As I talk about here on the podcast so often but he's actually one of the co-founders of Quest's So it's it's partially a support thing and partially just is I've heard they're good protein bars essentially And so yeah I'm very open minded and I appreciate both you and Pat telling me about that.
mindset
175 - 246 Jonathan Mendonsa Well go with Kirkland go with Quest. Either way they're delicious and nutritious. Well the overarching theme to that is that I'm trying to implement systems in my life predictable patterns that I can rely on to produce an outcome and part of that is my overarching fitness goals for the next year and a theme that we've kind of talked about over and over again is this idea of simplicity and using repetition which prevents decision fatigue to your advantage. And so in my mind at that with the place that I am now there are seven breakfasts that you need to do each week and I'm alternating now between doing a quest bar on either two or three of those days plus I'm actually taking your suggestions and doing two hard boiled eggs and a black cup of coffee that's two or three of my seven days and then on several of the other days maybe another three days I'm doing like a egg frittata scrambled eggs or eggs avocado almonds just as really nutritious breakfast. But it takes a little bit more preparation but when you add those two together prevents decision fatigue will inevitably propel you to the fitness outcome you want to be at. And it's just kind of putting the system in place that's been a good experience. And these bars are quickly making my life easier on that front.
fitness
246 - 272 Brad Barrett Yeah. Jonathan I'm all about that I think cutting down on decisions just helps you generally I know when I go downstairs every morning it's one of two breakfasts. It's Quest bars or eggs and you know I add some vegetables in there and maybe some carrots and peanut butter or almond butter or something like that but it's really straightforward. I don't need to stress about it. And now with your little hack to save on the protein bars I just got half off. So not too shabby right.
272 - 396 Jonathan Mendonsa Yeah absolutely. I think it's just a great life hack is automating different processes that will force an outcome. So let's talk a little bit about just the Monday episode in general. We did the why of FI and I think there's a couple of things that are really important this episode to me is the most important episode that we will ever do and I know that sounds overly hyped up but I want to try to communicate why in my opinion there are some very powerful tools that we have discussed and we will continue to discuss. There's a lot of amazing tools out there that we want to find. We want to learn and we want to share with you. But none of that matters if you don't understand why you're doing it. Now many of you the expert FI people the people that have been in the fire community for 10 15 years the people that discovered your money or your life for Mr. Money Mustache five years ago. There are many of you in our audience that are still enjoying the stuff we've tried to create a platform that will engage you and at the same time bring people along side for that ride. But ultimately we don't just want to empower you we want to grow this movement. And one of the things that I found so challenging is explaining my choice to my parents explaining my choice to my family maybe my extended family explaining my choice to my friends because it's difficult to know where to start. And I don't think there is a way with 30 seconds to explain that choice but what if instead of you trying every single time to start from scratch and come up with a 30 second explanation for why you're saving 70 percent of your income you could point them somewhere where somebody had taken the time to unpack over 20 minutes or 30 minutes a logical decision tree that you can't walk away from. You have to consider it and hopefully take some sort of action. Not everybody is going to make the same choice but at least consider it and understand it. That's what we wanted to get across that's what we wanted to provide you with a tool that you can use to understand why you're making these choices. Hopefully be able to verbalize it to some degree. And then also when you don't want the pressure of verbalizing it yourself give you something that you can share with somebody else that will verbalize it for you and get the job done.
families, savings
396 - 474 Brad Barrett And isn't it crazy that we have to rationalize why we're saving money as opposed to just the regular people who spend everything like that. And it's just such when you really take a step back. That's fascinating. From a societal perspective that we're the weirdos and I say that as tongue in cheek as I possibly can but like we're the ones that have to explain. And we have this plan whereas everyone else is just kind of blissfully unaware spending every dollar they have and frankly maybe because they've never been educated about it or they just don't know that much about money or or they just kind of go through life whatever it may be. That's the norm but we're the weirdos. That's just so crazy to me. But now I think hopefully with an episode like this it can give people an understanding. Like Jonathan said this wasn't a two hour episode that wouldn't have fulfilled the goal of really explaining to people in kind of an elevator pitch. And that's why we made it a shorter episode. But it really explains why are we doing this. It's not about frugality for frugality sake or just being cheap. I mean that's that's the exact opposite. I don't think of myself as cheap at all and never even crosses my mind. It's just I have a plan and it's taking decades of my life back. That is the ultimate luxury. And that to me is it's open and shut that it's an open and shut case that hopefully this episode really helps communicate.
frugality, savings
474 - 575 Jonathan Mendonsa We got some feedback on the episode and one of those came from Steph and she said listening to Jonathan describe the hamster wheel and she said she started to feel dizzy or anxious. And the second half of that was Steph actually hosted a meet up. And the people that came together actually started with what was their particular why of FI. This is the conversation starter in the fi community. It's not what you do for a living. It's. Why did you choose this path. And people latch onto this concept for different reasons there why at face value can look radically different. But once you get out of the way of that and you start to dive deep into their motivations you start to see some commonalities. Usually what it comes down to is this idea of allocating your time in a way that brings you more value. Being able to invest that time in the people that you care about and the relationships that you get value from and personally for me that's what I found the most rewarding. And Brian let me tell you this Saturday for the first time ever I took my Saturday morning I took my wife and my son and we just went to the library and we hung out at the library from 9 a.m. to basically lunchtime. It was just can I use the word glorious. It was glorious. It was the most relaxing period of time. Amazing amazing quality time. We weren't glued to a TV set. I wasn't even reading a book. I was just taking a step back enjoying the peace that comes with not having a never ending to do list that has you freaking out because you have to go back on Monday. I mean when you can recapture your time and instead of using it but cringing knowing what you have piling up in the background you can just be present. That's a powerful sensation.
library, relationships
575 - 674 Brad Barrett Yeah I completely agree. It's just like a reorientation on life as opposed to type a go go go check everything off and do X Y and Z in a weekend. You can just say hey maybe I'll enjoy that time with my wife and my son better if we just kind of chill out and enjoy each other's company. And yeah I mean there's really there's great value there. So I know we're focusing a lot on this and getting away from the numbers and just getting toward the psychology but as you've probably picked up from me over these 60 episodes I would argue the psychology is more important than the numbers. It's not even like a 50/50 thing it's that if you get your psychology and you get your brain straight the rest of it falls into line because you have your why and that is crucial. Once you have your why. It's easy to cut the cord on your cable and to not buy an expensive new car because you have that Guiding Light too. I want a better life. And then all these other decisions fall into line. So I think it's important that we of course always focus on the numbers and ways to save money and smart things to do to invest. And believe me we are certainly going to get back to that. We're always going to intersperse the real in-depth interviews with the urns of the world or we're going to speak to the blogger behind the retirement manifesto soon on drawdown strategies. That is always going to be a focus of this podcast. But the psychology man you have to get that right. You have to get it right from the beginning. And this is an episode you can listen to again and again just because it is so fundamental.
blogger
674 - 755 Jonathan Mendonsa And Brad I got to say there was very specific feedback that I was hoping to get about this episode. What I wanted to see was somebody say finally I was able to give this to someone that didn't get it. And I saw the light bulb go off and it took several hours but Stacy messaged us and she said Brand Jonathan I cannot thank you enough for this episode. I send it to my husband to listen to as he still was not quite understanding what my thoughts were on our goals and still had. Are you nuts. Quote unquote gleam in his eye when we would discuss them. He was on fire. Pun was completely intended here. After listening to the episode next up pillars of FI she said thanks guys for your hard work on this relatable episode. That's it man. It's this idea of giving you the ability to explain what to mean you is such an obvious choice but it's difficult to explain it when you're starting from scratch. Where do you start. And I would have loved to have done this just as Episode 1 but I don't think I completely understood it going into it. I knew enough of it that the light bulb had gone off and I got that working towards this was going to be a good thing but it took talking to now 30 some odd people about their specific decision tree and grabbing all of these different tools the psychology that their wins and losses. It helped me turn that personally into a story that for me resolved this decision tree in my mind.
755 - 803 Brad Barrett Yeah I completely agree. This has been a journey for both of us right and it would be interesting for us to go back and listen back from episode 1 and hear the change in the language that we use hear the change in the focus because I think there clearly has been that change. And like I just mentioned a few minutes ago it's important to get that why right and to get the psychology down. And I think you personally Jonathan I have seen a change in yourself just over these handful of months. I'd love to hear more about that how you thought about this concept of financial independence when you were first introduced to it. And like I know you are as you say the reluctant frugal list and a lot of it came down to dollars and cents but now it seems like that has shifted a little bit. I think it would be interesting personally for me to hear it. And for the audience to hear it as well.
803 - 906 Jonathan Mendonsa Yeah it's pretty cool. This has definitely been a journey for me and I want to say that when the light bulb went off for me initially I have these very distinct moments in time where a concept has crystallized for me but it wasn't a world view at that point. It was more just a individual little light bulbs that to me said. That might be a good idea. Somebody else is winning by doing that. So the shockingly simple math of early retirement which talked about savings rate was a big one. Another lightbulb moment was JL Collins sharing his concept of index investing it really gave me a sense of inner peace about my investing strategy. Another one was travel rewards. Kind of how I could just be do things a little bit smarter things that other people who are hemorrhaging money on I could just find a way to just be a little bit more clever with things that I was already doing and now travel the world for free. Those are these wonderful concepts but they're not a world view it's not a way of life they're just individual levers that you can pull and they're very powerful. But to some degree they're in a box over the past 30 or 40 episodes. So I have started to craft a philosophy like a guiding philosophy for my decision tree and everything goes together now. And so for me I've latched on to your idea of simplicity. I've latched onto the idea of pursuing happiness instead of stuff I think before I just needed to have something. There was no space between stimulus and response. I saw the ad on TV I purchased the item I never considered that I went to the mall I saw the display object I purchased it. I saw the my friends would tell me about the vacation and they said it was awesome so I did that and I never considered the cost. Now there's this huge space because I'm starting with this idea of purchasing my freedom by going down the path of FI and we're going to call it being a firewalking right Brad.
indexfunds, savings, travelrewards
906 - 927 Brad Barrett Yeah and that's a cool new term that was coined by one of our members in the Facebook group Cody. He had this really remarkable post and I almost felt bad because the biggest takeaway in the comments was how cool that term fire Walker was and I was like Oh Cody just spilled this heart out here and it is it was incredible. But yet everybody just focused on FIRE walker.
927 - 1033 Jonathan Mendonsa Still it is documented for perpetuity like if you're in the shoes F-I community and you're on the path you're a firewalker. We're going to roll with that. That's that was really really cool. Cody thanks for sharing. But honestly I think what brought it together is these different guests that brought on aspects that I didn't expect when we started the show. I never in my wildest dreams imagined that we were going to bring a Dominic. And now is such a game changing episode for me about designing a future that you can get excited about and that you want to live into. The other half of that was I never in my wildest dreams imagined that we were going to get Alan Donegan on to unpack the side hustle and really validate that as a full on pillar of FI. Without a doubt in my mind. The side hustle is a distinct pillar of FI that I latched on to more and more. The farther we go down this path and when you tie these concepts together you tie in your savings rate you tie and travel rewards you tie in designing your future you tie in intentional living you tie in the fact that health and wealth go hand in hand. You tie in efficiency simplicity you tie in time with families you tie in the side hustle. If you are just looking at FI as just the 4 percent rule that in and of itself is an extremely limiting belief in my opinion it is way more than that. And if you can hit happiness on the way to FI you realize that every single morning you're waking up with a smile on your face because you're excited about what the next eight to 12 hours are going to bring your way. That feels like success to me. You know many times we talk about success being whether or not your 4 percent role was too much or whether or not you need to go to 3.5 or whether or not you can go up to 5 percent withdrawal rates. That's fine I encourage you to look into the math and go through the episodes to talk about that. But if along the way on the path to FI you realize that you've hit happiness by latching onto these other tools and concepts and you are in a good place that feels like winning and Brad and I just want to contribute to that.
families, hustle, savings, travelrewards
1033 - 1083 Brad Barrett Yeah that's really powerful Jonathan. And I love that so thank you for the explanation. And I just kind of want to drill down a little bit more if you don't mind like the reluctant frugal just right that something you always called yourself but you just described this sea changed for you mentally right like how you approach fi and more importantly how you approach your life. I almost get the sense that you don't value those things anymore. That like even if you won the lottery. Not that you'd be playing the lottery but if you won the lottery and you had ten million dollars to Marlock I don't think you would go back to getting those Amazon packages five times a day. Like I just find that hard to imagine because you've reoriented what matters in your life and I don't want to put words in your mouth certainly. But like I'd love to hear that do you think you fundamentally changed as a person in that regard. And if not I'd like just give us more info.
1083 - 1266 Jonathan Mendonsa I'd have to think about them more. But but I do agree with you that something has shifted. I do still spend money. Still I am still a spender. But I think when you look at what I'm actually purchasing the items that I purchased now tend to be more focused on personal development. It's things that will allow me to I guess hit my FI number faster because they're usually going to be business related to help me either achieve my long term goals to improve some aspect of my life. And so I think that that the mental construct that I work from is definitely different. I can give you a couple examples. I just recently purchased several of the Tim Ferriss books I will often go to the library now first to see whether or not I can get them for free. But when I put my money into something now it's I want to learn everything that I don't know and I want to do that in the most efficient way possible. So yeah I mean am I still a reluctant frugal. Sure but I've got to say when I look at things that I've purchased over the past six months it's a radical reorientation. When I look at my motivation I don't think that I haven't bought any clothes within the last six months. I can't even go into a T.J. Maxx and look at clothes and in any way shape or form be excited about them. I'm contemplating doing a no spend month because I get joy out of doing challenges where I stretch myself to some degree. It's that intentionality. It's kind of this new exciting lever that I'm pulling that in the past I couldn't do because buying stuff was a way for me to cope with my unhappiness or my stress levels. I don't really present stress. I'm this kind of wall of pseudo superficial optimism sometimes that is a way of masking I don't want to put my own burdens on to other people. And that is a cover a facade to some degree that I could use at work to shelter me from a lot of the emotional stuff that you would have to deal with in my role. I don't have to do that anymore. I don't have to I don't have to make up for that I don't have to cope for that I don't have to purchase stuff to help feed my ability to just present that facade. And so as a result of that I don't need to buy as much stuff anymore and instead of focusing on masking my unhappiness I just focus on happiness. That was a very real concept for me. And you know it's funny I actually had a couple other we have a couple of the pharmacist on our in our Facebook group that we think they were feeling my stress at a very real level and they were kind of identifying it with some of the stuff that I was saying there so I don't know if that's unique to my profession but it was interesting to me that there were several other pharmacists that were said they literally teared up hearing me describe the hamster wheel and Brad what about you. I mean someone called us the dynamic duo and I'm just going to say for the record I refuse to be Robin. I have a way better of Batman voice than you do. But I mean said that I do think we as a pair we bring something to the table and also a perspective that the other one doesn't have. So I'm just curious how has this journey that we've been on the last 50 to 60 episodes how has this changed your perspective. Has it just validated everything that you already believed or has there been any sort of pivot any sort of realization or actualization that you've experienced as a result of having done these 60 some odd episodes now.
library, myfinumber
1266 - 1425 Brad Barrett Yeah you know Jonathan that's a really deep question. I'm not sure that I've I've given it enough thought since. You're just kind of posing it to me but I don't think anything has has dramatically changed. But I think a lot of what I believed him a lot of what I've thought has been reinforced by this community and I know I do talk about community a lot but I think I've come to realize that community and friendship and connections with people matter more to me than I even thought. And it's funny it's like in my real life my actual life here in Richmond like the community that I have here is not as robust or as perfect as I'd like it to be. I've tried to get get togethers or just do stuff but people are so busy and it really frankly is frustrating. It's a big source of frustration for me because I do get so much value from being with friends and interacting and doing fun stuff. And it's hard because everybody else's life is so busy whereas like I look at Laura and myself and we are basically retired you know so I understand I have a different outlook on life and I think I've been able to take that step back but sometimes I almost wonder like have I taken too far a step back. Am I realizing what everyone else's life around me is like. And I think that is a little bit of a frustration for me honestly. And but that said then I see the ChooseFI and I see the people that I've got and a chance to get to know. And you know I had a phone conversation with Matt from our Facebook group who has a ton of knowledge about real estate and just a ton of knowledge about life and we have a lot in common. We hopped on the phone and I spoke with him for an hour yesterday and now as that was just fantastic. And I got a lot out of it. I love speaking with Matt and that kind of connection just simply would not have been possible without this podcast and without this community. And it's not just limited to me like I hope there are people out there and we talked about setting a meetup groups throughout the country in different cities and we've had a lot of people step forward with offering to be the local Meetup leader in their city. And if you are interested in that just send us an email to feedback. at chooseFI.com and just say hey I live in Tulsa Oklahoma and I'd love to. I'd love to be the meet up leader and it doesn't have to be something big can be. Once or twice a year you just get together with that community and you just never know who you're going to find. That becomes a lifelong friend or become someone you can text every couple of days about your frugal win and like it just becomes this re-inforcing thing where you're just working with each other and helping each other get to FI or just whatever. right it could be anything.
1425 - 1535 Jonathan Mendonsa And I think honestly you kind of hit on it but I don't think you even realized the biggest thing that was a surprise to me. And I believe truly it was that the shocking thing to you was just that the community came to life and that people found the show looking for a personal finance show not realising that what they really were looking for was community was connecting with people. Sure digitally in our Facebook group. But then that next step which in my mind is still shockingly rare is that we are actually seeing this turn into physical connections. People actually being able to meet up with like minds in their local zip code or forget zip code. Sebastian e-mailed us about being the local Meetup leader in Dubai. This is a global thing and the message of pursuing this idea of happiness resonates with people all around the world. And I think that as we see this story build right alongside that we're going to see the community grow and right alongside that we are it's going to open up doors for us to find like minds in our community. Trust me I don't care what city in this country you are living in. There are hundreds of people in your area that are interested in FI. We just need to find a way of connecting these like minds and what's really cool is when you have this first meet up and you're wondering what do I talk to them about in almost every other social group that I can imagine the conversation usually starts with what do you do. And then the next question right behind that that isn't asked is How much do you make. And that allows us to assess how to interact with each other what's our What's our role. But in the FI community you could care less. It's what is your why. Tell us your story and that is if it's a game changer I've experienced it personally and it's so rewarding. Brad community is that the thing that shocked you.
1535 - 1574 Brad Barrett Yeah I guess that is a great way to summarize it and I think I was kind of rambling with my answer so thank you for putting a bow on that. But really is it. It's not only A that the community has grown so quickly and that people are are jumping into this but be that it was so important to me. And I think I think I've realized that over the last six months to a year and I want to do everything I can to grow my own community here locally and then whatever we can do with this podcast. I mean we do have many many people listening to it and what we can do to help grow these connections throughout the country and throughout the world is just it really means a lot to me.
1574 - 1616 Jonathan Mendonsa But the other thing that we come to over and over again is just that all of these storylines come together when you treat FI as a world view as an overarching way of living. It all ties together when you guys surely at this point you see how everything is connected and when you view a life optimization strategy you can't separate these things out. So you're saying yourself well how does design your future apply to sequence of returns. Well this voicemail that we got from Jeff perfectly illustrates how how all of that comes together and how you tie all of that flexibility and how you tie it to the pillars of FI. So you're asking how could this possibly happen. So give me just a second. I'm going to go and play this.
1616 - 1830 Jeff - (voicemail contributor) Hey guys. Jeff just got them this to an interview with Big Ern on sequence of return risk. And I thought it was a great episode really got a good insight on that aspect of being unlucky depending on when you get in when you get out. And sometimes with luck there is no control. So as a natural person likes to think outside the box my natural instinct was OK if I have no control over the market what do I have control over. So what came to mind was that natural hedge would be gravitating towards a minimalist lifestyle. I think before I got to FI minimalism was something I'd been working on and continue to work on and I'm starting get to the point where minimalism is at the point where I've kind of quenched my consumer urges so I can actually walk into a mall and not buy anything where I can walk past a billboard or watch a commercial and really has no effect on me. Now again that's something I have worked on for many years and still continue to work on but it's helped me to have a natural edge so that in an economic downturn I can live with less and be content. The other thing that I started to do was with the sequence of risk return I started to come up with some other budgets that would mitigate any sequence return risks I might run into. So for instance if I plan to live in a 40 K I have a budget for 40 K but I've also created over 35 k 30 K and 25 K and this allows me to have flexibility within my budget so if I get $10000 less I can still withdraw but I can still have a standard of living that wouldn't necessarily hurt my nest egg on top of that. Another thing we start to look at is Geo arbitrage. I think the more it is becoming more more and more or less in a geo arbitrage may be a major pillar to FI. So if within my 40 K budget say I'm renting and I am and I'm paying sixteen hundred dollars well I need to have the flexibility and the ability to move from maybe a sixteen hundred dollar a month apartment to a 13 hundred dollar apartment so I can do that within my own city if I and I actually start looking at different sections of my study that I currently live in to make that happen. And also there are other sections of the country or the state that I can live with and where I can find reasonable housing that is living a less a smaller price that would help to mitigate any downturn. I've also not only looked at large scale items but small scale items so within my 40000 budget I may have AT&T as my phone carrier but within a $25000 budget I may say scrap AT&T and go to work with Republic Wireless or maybe just scrap that all together and go well with some free version of a phone or on my way to communicate through Wi-Fi or the computer. So you know these are the things that you kind of do to sort of offset what you have no control over look at what you do have control over and start to theorize how that would work. Another great thing that I thought about was really working on that side hustle. I think it's very realistic everybody in the FI community can develop a side hustle that is could bring in anywhere from five to ten thousand dollars per year with minimal work so one of the things that I've been doing is working alongside also but also they'll be able to develop that side hustle to the point where I can count on that five or ten thousand dollars. So it would be at a surplus in good years where there are no market downturns but also could sort of used as a stopgap in bad here. So that's what I got from there. You know really focus on what you have control over and not worry so much about what you do not control over. So love the podcast though what you guys do and thanks a lot.
geoarbitrage, housing, hustle
1830 - 1831 Jonathan Mendonsa Brad how amazing is that.
1832 - 2132 Brad Barrett Yeah this is one of my favorite voicemails of all time. I mean Jeff just knocked it out of the park on almost every single level and this ties in so many of the various concepts and threads that we've talked about over the last 60 plus episodes. You know first minimalism while minimalism itself might not be for everybody. I think the concept of cutting expenses and getting your lifestyle creep back under control. Right. And being intentional about how you spend your money. Now that could or could not mean that you live a minimalist lifestyle in a 300 square foot tiny home. I mean that's almost beside the point. It's just getting those expenses under control because as Jeff said what do you and do you not have control over. And you clearly have control over your expenses. Now there's a big argument in kind of in the FI community over what's more important. Is it cutting expenses or getting a larger income and just growing that gap. And I can see both sides. Some people definitely subscribe to the theory of just earn as much money as you can and therefore you have a significant amount of savings. But to me as Jeff said it's about that control. So I do have control over my expenses and also because of just the simple and undeniable math of fi which again we talk about as a very back of the envelope of this 4 percent rule. Now that just means basically you take your yearly expenses and you multiply by 25 and that gets you to your fi number because you can live off of 4 percent of that number. Now this is very back in the envelope because as we talked about with big iron he thinks it's probably closer to 3.5 percent or even 3.2 5 percent. If you want to be ultra conservative and basically get yourself to 100 percent certainty that no matter seekers or returns or any of that kind of stuff. But we can argue around the margins because then you get someone like Joel from FI 180 who thinks that the 4 percent rule is entirely too conservative so all that aside we like to use the 4 percent rule as a general rule of thumb for fi. And if you keep your expenses lower then just by definition your fi number is dramatically lower. Right so at 40000 your fi number is a million dollars and at $30000 of yearly expenses your phone number is $750000. So that's a huge huge difference. And like Jeff said Here he is able to create these different budgets for different eventualities and that is all about flexibility which is another huge aspect that we touch on here which he is saying. Okay maybe my perfect lifestyle in fi would be 40000. But if something outside of his control happens like what Aaron talked about with sequence of return risk maybe the first five to seven years after you hit FI and pull the trigger maybe there's a prolonged and significant downturn in the market. Okay. Well Jeff has it set because he has flexibility he has these different budgets. I think he said all the way down to 25000. So that's cutting $15000 off of his only $40000 a year budget. That's nearly 40 percent down that he's already figured out hey what do I do if I need to put this into effect. And that might be geo arbitrage. Right. That's something he said might be a pillar of FI. And Jonathan I talked about this all the time even just within the US. Like I've said previously I did Geo arbitrage just in my own life of moving from a high cost of living area in New York down to Richmond Virginia. And he I assume in these different budgets has maybe even moving to a ultra low cost of living area like Thailand or Mexico or something like I like. Who knows. But at least he's prepared and he's thinking about these eventualities in well in advance. And we talked about that on a recent Friday round up just one of the last couple of which is kind of game planning what you'll do mentally when something happens and that's not insignificant. Right. I think we talk about that downturn or if the market drops 30 percent which it inevitably will. I don't know if it will be this year or 50 years from now. But there will be a time in a calendar year where the market drops 30 percent. It's going to happen I can assure you that what will you do. Well if you just react after it happens then you're almost inevitably going to make an error. In my estimation. But if you game plan this out and think about it think about it like what Jeff did come up with some options or listen to this podcast and talk about how we talk about the mindset of it. your mindset is important so priming and preparing yourself for that eventuality will help you immeasurably from not just making a reflexive and emotional decision. So those were the big takeaways that I had from Jeff's voicemail. And again that is one of the most insightful wonderful voicemails I've ever listened to.
geoarbitrage, mindset, myfinumber, savings
2132 - 2283 Jonathan Mendonsa So in the spirit of everything being connected I think that this is the perfect place to talk about the side hustle as Jeff was pointing to. You just need to use a little bit of creativity. And our audience knows that going back to the end of July beginning of August we initiated a contest partnering with Alan Donegan for papa business school and Alan offered to host his contest and actually help someone take their idea from the drawing pad and actually turn it into a real life start up side hustle or business. So practically what that means is that the winner of this contest is going to get one to two years of free coaching from Alan Donnegan so we convened a panel of people from our Facebook group to help us pick out six finalists and they went through all the audio submissions and first of all huge thank you to the people on the panel we realized that that was you giving up your own time just to help with this project. We're very grateful for you for doing that. We have six finalists. We're going to present three of those for you today at our Facebook group is going to be able to vote on which one of those you would like to see win this competition. We'll repeat it next week with the other three finalists and then ultimately we'll settle on one of these two individuals. And then from there we'll bring Alan back on. We'll do a full on podcast with this individual and we will just start exploring this along the way we've actually spoken with Keith from wealthy account. He's going to help partner with us to help walk us through all the tax considerations and ways to optimize. From his perspective so even if you didn't win this contest you are absolutely going to benefit from this journey because this is going to give you a framework that you can apply to your own unique situation because the tax code affects all of us doesn't matter what the focus of your business is. We all have to use the same IRS tax code. So hopefully this is something that you can lean on as well over the coming year. So anyways all that being said things are getting real. This is going to be a lot of fun and we're excited that you're joining us for this. Oh and by the way to our audience I'm sure as you listen to these you are going to want to be a part of this voting process and we encourage many of you have already joined our Facebook group. There's over 3000 of you in that Facebook group now. But we have tens of thousands of people in our audience. And if you want to vote for which individual you want to see win this contest in which journey you want to follow. Just go to choose F-I dot com slash Facebook and we will send you the link to join that Facebook group with over 3000 members. Hundreds of active threads every single day. Honestly in my opinion it's the backbone of the show. It adds so much value to what we're trying to accomplish and we hope that you'll consider joining us there. So our first finalist is Rachel.
hustle
2283 - 2510 Rachel - (voicemail contributor) Hi guys my name is Rachel and I'm so excited to be leaving this voicemail to enter the giveaway with Alan I've been listening to the podcast for a while and I love it. Thank you so much. Brad and Jonathan for all that you do to inspire and motivate the rest of us on the FI journey. And I like legitimately almost fell off my bike when I heard about this giveaway to work with Allen and you guys. So I'm a little bit about me and why I want to side hustle. My husband and I got started on the path to financial independence about six months ago when I randomly picked up Dave Ramsey's book our experience with Dave Ramsey is similar to what you guys had talked about on the podcast. Meaning that I really loved his book and I read it in like a day. Actually I read his second book really quickly as well. But while we loved his whole idea of maintaining a frugal lifestyle and living within your means and we were fired up about budgeting and saving up for retirement we also realized that of his seven steps we were on like Step Six and step 7 was like be rich and live. So we kind of had this feeling of well now what apparently we're doing it right. But we want to make it go faster. So we were a little lost and we didn't feel like his books outlined where we were going. So that's when I started looking around and I found your podcast and I just totally fell in love with everything that's talked about on here. So part of the reason that I would like to do a side house is I really love my nonprofit job and I don't want to quit just to make more money but I don't make a lot in nonprofit. So I would really love to increase my income and pursue something more entrepreneurial. I do work full time but I have a very flexible schedule and I often work from home usually two to three days a week. So I know you guys are looking for someone who has the time and the energy to pursue a side hustle. And I definitely have both of those things. My idea would be to open a cake baking and decorating operation out of my home. So here are the things that I already have. I already have the time to do this because I worked from home two to three days already and I have a very flexible schedule. Like I said and my nights and weekends are free. I estimate that I have about 25 to 30 hours to spend side hustling during the work week alone not including weekend time. I definitely have the energy and passion to do this because I've been doing it for the last 10 years since high school so I won't burn out but I just haven't been paid for it before. Only asked friends or family to cover the costs. And when I make stuff for them and I already have clients lined up individuals who have expressed interest and the organization I work for is interested as well and I do have the time to go on a podcast that will not be a problem. I'm a very transparent person and I love the idea of sharing my own struggles and mistakes and what I'm learning and I think we're all in this together. So I want to share so that everyone else listening can too because I know that's been very helpful for me. Listening to other people's stories when I need help with is setting up and dealing with taxes retirement accounts that kind of thing. Some of the logistics of dealing with like in the health department and licensing if that's even necessary a little bit of help managing maybe how to balance a side hustle. And this on the side and then how you go about like setting up how to order cakes and like maybe a website and delivering that kind of thing. Some of the logistical items basically all the the good stuff that Allen and his team are already pro at. And I think that that should be all you need for me. So I will sign on but I just wanted to take this time to say a huge thank you again for the FI advice and motivation you guys are putting out there on the podcast you guys are awesome. And I feel lucky to be part of this community. So thank you.
hustle, ramsey, savings
2511 - 2539 Jonathan Mendonsa Rachel I'm so glad that you sent us and this voicemail submission. Brad I just want you know this whole time we are going to do our very best to be somewhat dispassionate That way we can really allow our Facebook group to have their full say on who they want to see be the finalist but just to Rachel and to all of our advocates I just want you to know that every single one of these voicemails to us we just had adrenaline and the entire time we were hearing it and it was super exciting for us to be a part of this.
2539 - 2568 Brad Barrett Yeah I just want to echo what Jonathan said. We listen to every single one of these submissions multiple times and it's painful honestly that every single person doesn't get a chance to either appear on the podcast or work with Allen. But fortunately this is a competition and we did open up to the panel and now our Facebook group but we know that we loved every minute of listening to those submissions and it means the world to us that you wanted to be a part of the show and community.
2568 - 2573 Jonathan Mendonsa All right so our next finalist is Alex and Greg.
2573 - 2698 Alex & Greg Hi Allen Jonathan and Brad and the choose FI community. This is Alex and this is Greg and we want to win because we know a successful side hustle will let us reach FI sooner allowing us to spend more time with our children before they grow up. Alex and I have been almost 20 years since we met in school way back in 1990 and we both recently discovered the fire and choose FI community actually tell you the truth it was Alex who found it and turned me on to it And he did it after the power of partnerships podcast. That's correct. Once I heard that one of my best friends was on his journey with me man I'm so glad that he did. Absolutely. We were very fortunate to have wives onboard. We're making great progress that we are. And to give you guys a little bit of. background about Ourselves I have been on the hamster wheel the IT industry since that 1999 class and I started in the IT field for a few years before my entrepreneurial spirits took over and I started a business which crashed and burned it was a humbling experience. However it did help me launch a career into the defense industry and now a product designer that specializes in body armor and tactical gear for the military body armor and tactical gear man that's cool. America! It is fun Greg unlike my job. Anyway as we listen to all the ChooseFI podcasts we become significantly more interested in side hustles especially the episdoe with Allen donnagan. I first heard Allen on the Mad Fientist podcast. and I've been following his popup business a Website excellent weekly video tutorials since then after hearing how much choosefi. And hearing about the contest. I knew it was a dream come true then Alex called me up and we started brainstorming several great ideas and several bad ones. Come on Alex there are no bad ideas in brainstorming. True true we are excited at the opportunity to discuss them with Allen Brad and Jonathan yup and the power of partnerships allows us to dedicate twice the amount of time for our side hustle. Even though we both work full time together with our wive's help. We're willing to dedicate 30 hours a week combined. That's right. We try to be positive examples of the powers of partnerships we motivate and support each other on our path to FI. And we're excited about the opportunity to have such a great motivated coaching team to help us start and grow a business successfully. Thank you for listening and we hope you choose us.
hustle, military
2698 - 2703 Jonathan Mendonsa All right and then our other finalist today is going to be Dan.
2703 - 2864 Dan - (voicemail contributor) Yes. I'm a Dan and I guess I'm a thrifty mc maker I've been called and I design and build prototypes for people. So I've got 16 years in the natural gas energy R&D industry and less six of those. I threw the finger at the corporate engineering firm job. I've been self-employed so I've come up with an idea that is outside the realm of my silo as you guys say and it's just stumping me. It's a portable hammock and it's kind of an in thing right now hammocks. So there's is kind of prime but it's I've already built a prototype. I've done some testing on it. I can hold 500 pounds so it's more like a portable love seat than a portable hammock. And I don't know where to go from here. Do I. Some days I wake up and I think Shark Tank. Some days it's all I got to do. Kickstarter I have. I've got contacts from I've been so close to just biting it and thinking maybe I just signed an agreement with them. I haven't done any discussions with anybody. This is something that is just every time I think about it. I'm at a music fest or somewhere I can see these things everywhere. What's unique about it is the fact that it sets up instantly it's more like a camping chair than it is a portable hammock. You carry it you set it down and you hop in it when you're done you fold it up and you carry it away and it's on my side of things. I've been playing around with the design for a while to the point where I can make it commercially feasible but where do I take it from here. I don't know. So help me. I'm actually at a point in my company right now where I do not plan on taking on any more R&D projects for the next year. And I want to focus on this. So that's going to leave me with at least 50 percent of my time to devote to this whereas the other 50 percent I'll still be on the fabrication of my currently selling tools within my natural gas silo which comes pretty much naturally to me. But anything I can get out of this would be spectacular. I mean I would love to be the one to buy Alan tacos. But yes if it's a one way street where I'm just listening to the podcast. I still will be there and taking home everything I can. This is something that will be out there within the next two years but if I can get help it would be a huge leg up. I really appreciate you guys time and thanks for all the great suggestions and tips you guys have. Thanks.
2864 - 2941 Jonathan Mendonsa All right to our finalists thank you so much for your submissions. Now if you did not hear your name today we have next week we'll be revealing the other three finalists. But if you did hear your name today that means that you are absolutely in the running for this and are. As soon as this airs we are going to post the poll on our Facebook group which if you're not part of that group you can go to choose FI dot com slash Facebook. Everybody that is in that group will have one vote. You only vote once for the finalists that are in that poll. So pick the one of the three that you want to see get this coaching from Alan Donegan and then we'll repeat the process the following week with the other three finalists. All right. There are some other winners that we are absolutely going to be announcing today. This is kind of a this is a huge round up and it's specifically targeted to our community. So we are going to be announcing the giveaway for the camp in Florida. We had over 70 submissions for that camp drawing which is just a very personal level to our community. Thank you so much for your support. I mean you're validating. And my mind to the level of energy that Brad and I are trying to put into creating a product that serves you and gives you information that you can use. And we just very much want to let you know how much we appreciate you taking time out of your day to do that for us very very grateful. But today day we are going to announce the winner for the drawing to camp.
2941 - 2965 Brad Barrett Alright Jonathan the winner is Ed and Ed said Love the podcast The casual banter about an important topic makes it easy to listen to and absorb these complex topics. Alright Ed thank you very much. And we're looking forward to meeting you. Jonathan I will both be down there in early January. Outside of Gainesville Florida and that should be great. And we will get in touch.
2965 - 3011 Jonathan Mendonsa Congradulations Ed we'll see you there buddy. Now that we did say that we are going to do the same thing that we've been doing for the last several months which is a drawing for a book that we found useful. And we do two books. We have the simple path to wealth by JL colinns and we have Dominic's book design your future and just for future reference to our audience if you want to be in that drawing going forward. All you have to do is just go to choose F-I dot com slash iTunes. Just follow the instructions there. Leave us a short written review and then just send us a message to feedback at choosefi dot com letting us know that you left the review and what screen name you left it under so that we can match you up. And then every Friday on the Friday round up we announce the winners and we do one book for every five written reviews that we get. So we've got a lot of written reviews this week. Brad how many books are given away today.
testimonial
3011 - 3064 Brad Barrett Yeah just this last week. we got 40 reviews and so we're giving away eight books. Yeah this is the the big Friday roundup of giveaways. So we're going to try to quickly read eight written reviews from iTunes alright and the first winner is Chris and Chris said this podcast and its all star guests from the financial independence and early retirement community is to borrow a phrase a game changer ChooseFI is quickly becoming the warehouse of all things fire Brad Jonathan and their guests are out to prove that we don't have to play by all the old rules. We can take control of our present and build a future most people only dream of since discovering this podcast in March. I've devoured every episode as they are released every Monday and Friday. I actually look forward to the Monday morning commute to work because there is always a new show and great ideas from every show. Keep up the great work gents. Because of you the fire is spreading.
Jonathan_Catchphrases, testimonial
3064 - 3085 Jonathan Mendonsa You know Brian I love doing this particular portion of the show because I love seeing how FI has changed someone's life. And when you guys take the time to share it with us like this it gives us a chance to see how this choice that Brad I found so powerful is improving your life and helping you design the future you want to live into it's it's very very cool.
3085 - 3086 Brad Barrett Alright Jonathan the next winner is Kyle.
3086 - 3130 Jonathan Mendonsa And Kyle says life changing material. Brad and Jonathan have done something amazing here. I am a fee only a CFP certified financial planner who works with people all the time to achieve early financial independence and I charge them hourly for it. The material that this podcast pulls together would put me out of business if everyone took it seriously and follow the principles and action steps they outlined throughout the episode which would be great. Then I could retire early. The topics they dive into are advanced on many levels but are presented in a very actionable way. Listen to every episode from the beginning. It will change your life. This is not hokey get rich stuff. It is the real deal. I just wish I could get the rest of my industry to listen to this material and change the way they work with clients and change our own personal finances. Keep up the great work guys. Kyle.
3130 - 3155 Brad Barrett Alright our third winner is Susan and Susan says I look forward to listening to Jonathan and Brad every Monday and Friday. They have excellent interviews with leaders in the community. They also do an excellent job of compiling FI information and presenting it to their listeners in an entertaining manner. I wish these podcasts had existed 10 years ago when I started my fire path. I'll be retiring in 2018. I will continue to listen to this podcast twice a week for many years to come.
3155 - 3213 Jonathan Mendonsa And our next winner is Chris and Chris says Worth every penny. This is hands down one of the best podcast I've listened to. Not just based on the specific topic but I'm talking in the big picture of things. I usually get tired of a podcast after 10 or 15 episodes or I dislike something about the format of the episodes. Or who knows what. I've worked my way through every episode of choose FI and I still love it. Admittedly I skip some parts and have ignored a few podcasts that just aren't relevant to me right now. But for the most part I listen to every word. I listen in the car I listen at home I listen during my walks in the park. Hashtag health and wealth. And now I've started telling friends about it. I've tried a few other personal finance podcasts including some highly regarded ones. But as with most podcasts I get lost on those and they can't keep me interested. There's just something about the way that Jonathan and Brad interact with each other and their guest and the listeners that keeps every episode feeling fresh and engaging. Plus it's helping me hone in on the things I've always kind of known in the back of my mind about money and teaching me a lot of new things along the way. Thank you so much Chris for that feedback.
health
3213 - 3256 Brad Barrett Our next winner is Terry and Terry said a lot of fire media has an underlying tone of I'm hardcore enough for this. Are you choosing fi is more like. I found this cool way to live better and work less. You can do it too. Let's hang out. These guys do a good job of appealing to people who are relatively new to fi but also going deep enough into their topics that more experience fires and newbies can both get something out of the same episodes. They slow down and explain terms that might be unfamiliar but don't dumb anything down the choose FI guys are also personable interact with their audience and social media. And while of course they're trying to sell themselves. They're also trying to build a movement and they're really good at making you want to be part of it. All right Jonathan the next winner is Diana.
3256 - 3299 Jonathan Mendonsa And DNA says the book ends of the workweek. Jonathan and Brad of the Choose FI podcast are the book ends of my work week. They are making Mondays great again and potentially making Fridays a thing of the past because when I reach financial independence every day could be Sunday. Keep it up guys about our next one is Alex and Alex left this review on stitcher and said Welcome to the Fi community. This is one of the most engaging podcasts I've ever listened to. I listen to a ton of podcasts and this is one of my absolute favorites because of how consistently it leaves me with tons of motivation and actionable next steps. While I have no doubt got tons of value out of other podcasts I listen to choose F-I is the one that I can clearly look back at and see how it's changed the trajectory of my finances and my life. Thanks to Brad Jonathan and all the great guests for having a real impact on the FI community.
3299 - 3302 Brad Barrett Alright Jonathan our final winner is Andrew.
3302 - 3479 Jonathan Mendonsa And Andrew says this is the best financial podcast for savers. Surprisingly this has become my favorite podcast to listen to. The host have organized the financial topics nicely. Unlike other financial podcast important points are discussed that directly reflect my life and are very relevant. I listen to each episode multiple times to make sure I am able to understand all the points to help maximize my financial goals. I can't wait to hear additional podcast. Thanks for all the work you do. Thank You Andrew we really appreciate it. OK guys will that brings this episode to an end. I did want to conclude just by letting you know that each year usually centered around the time of the fincon conference there is an award called the Plutus award which is set aside to honor bloggers and podcasters that have really had an impact on their audiences lives. So a couple of things come to mind. One is that we have had a lot of our guest. Specifically I'm thinking of ones like physician on fire big earn from early retirement. Now Coach Carson the wealthy account millionaire educator is another on Joel from FI 180 and several several others and I'm sorry if I didn't mention your name here. That not only have been on our show but are also extremely active in our Facebook group that I know have spent the time to directly answer your questions. And I just want to say if you want to give back and you want to help them for the information that they provided that you found very useful the Plutus awards are accepting nominations right now and you're taking five minutes out of your day to put their name in and nominate these bloggers is probably the single biggest way that you can thank them for the impact that they've had on your lives. So Brad and I wanted to make that as easy as possible and instead of you having to google the form and find the exact one to do it we have actually set up a short link. So if you just go to choose F-I dot com slash vote it'll pull up the actual form that you can fill out. It's very simple I'm pretty sure you just put your name your email and then there's a couple of different categories. Best podcast podcast of the year best blogger best new blogger. Things like that and you would just go there and just make a note of the bloggers that have had an impact on your life and that is a really I can't stress enough. How valuable and how helpful that is for these bloggers that have been willing to come on the show and have put so much time not only into just the episode that they did with us but also into answering your questions on the Facebook group also responding to your voice mails and also just churning out content week after week. It would be really cool if our audience which has tens of thousands of people on it if some of you would be willing to take a few minutes and go put their name and so they could get some recognition for that. And just personally I wanted to put that out to our community and see if some of you would be willing to do that. Anyways that brings this episode to the end. Just go to choose F-I dot com slash vote to go ahead and take action on that. Thank you for joining us for being a fire Walker and the fire spreading. So we'll see you next time. As we continue to go down the road less traveled.
Jonathan_Catchphrases

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