049R - FI Festival

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0 - 101 Jonathan Mendonsa All right guys congratulations you made it to the weekend and this is your Friday roundup. For those of you that are listening to the podcast for the first time, my name is Jonathan and my co-host's name is Brad. Together we host twice a week show on Mondays and Fridays. Monday we talk about a new concept or idea. And on Friday we actually get a chance to deep dive into that episode and to present our takeaways and also bring in some feedback from our community. It also gives us a way to interact with our community on a week to week basis. So this past week we actually featured an episode with Barney the escape artist and Alan Donegan from pop up business school out of the UK and we really tailored this episode to be one to feature their respective stories. Pursuing fi in the UK but the extension of that was to offer some of the nuances to this UK path to FI what Brad and I have found over the past eight to 12 months is that there is this overwhelming desire to access this information not just in the United States we've been aware of how powerful this concept is for some time now but what we've been seen is that you're starting to see the spark light in other countries and the UK and Australia and Canada and Norway it's really amazing. And what we hope to do with this episode was to some degree just begin to bridge that gap and help people that are fascinated by this concept find the influencers in their own unique geographic location that can give them the specific information that really highlights the nuances of their own social structure and the nuances of their own specific tax code which obviously varies from country to country so just to absolutely wonderful upset and very excited to get a chance to talk about it a little bit further today and to help me with this I have my co-host Brad here with me today. How you doing buddy.
101 - 127 Brad Barrett Jonathan I am doing great. I am really doing well and this is our first time recording in a couple of weeks which is interesting because you've been in South Africa and you actually just landed a few hours ago and we are here recording it's incredibly it's Thursday at noon and this thing is going live in about 13 hours here which is a little abbreviated And so again this is fun. Welcome home. How was the trip.
127 - 162 Jonathan Mendonsa The trip was amazing. It's one of those where I think just by the time that I was getting to the end of this two week vacation this family vacation I suddenly started to get the hang of it because I've been so down in the weeds working on both choose FI and producing the content that we that we present here you know every Monday and Friday. But also preparing for fin con and for the various events that we had leading up to that that it was hard for me to almost take a second and breathe enjoy family and it actually took a few days just to decompress unwind and actually get a chance to just breathe. Right.
families, familytravel, fincon
162 - 189 Brad Barrett Nice. Yeah I totally hear you. And I'm curious like I'm always kind of joking on you about how often you're checking your phone or checking Facebook or whatever like. Were you able to put the phone down like that. How did that work. Obviously I wouldn't go so far as to say look you're addicted but I mean like on some level there is a psychological aspect of of checking those things right. Like did you find that it was hard to put it down if you did in fact put the phone or the computer down.
189 - 266 Jonathan Mendonsa it was very easy when I didn't have internet signal. But unfortunately I have I have project fi which is it's a cell phone service that's actually provided by Google. And I love them I've talked about them in a previous episode I believe that was Episode 20. But what I found out is that Google actually has service in Johannesburg so in many parts of South Africa I had full I had full coverage I had I could say I could make both calls and use data on my current rates here in the States which really was shocking to me. So I did struggle with it. I continue to struggle with it. There are things you know I think you need to grade yourself at the end of the year and kind of evaluate where you really shown some significant strengths and where do you need to shore up your weaknesses. And it continues to be a battle for me. I think that was one of those things that I got progressively better. I was still writing the the highs of the fincon that we just come down off of and there were so many different things to follow up on new contacts that we had made. Just wonderful interactions that we had had that we wanted to continue that dialogue. Honestly it was very difficult for me for about the first five days which is really sad to slowly just extract myself from that and say you know what you're here with family. But I got progressively better at it.
families, fincon
266 - 292 Brad Barrett OK that's good. Yeah I know you came back super enthused. Probably nobody out there would be surprised that Jonathan coming back with enthusiasm. But man if I flew for 20 hours I would be exhausted and like here I am Brad. I'm sitting here worried about you. Like are we going to be able to record today. How on earth are you going to be able to edit this. And you just come back rip roaring. and So it's good to have you back. And I'm glad the family vacation went. Well.
families
292 - 298 Jonathan Mendonsa Thank you. Yeah it was a wonderful time. I'm sure I'll have some additional stories to share in future episodes. But it was a lot of fun.
298 - 313 Brad Barrett And Jonathan since this is a show financial independence like tell us about the cost of a trip like this I know from a past episode you actually were able to use Chase ultimate rewards points to book your flights so they were free right. They were $0.
travelrewards
313 - 377 Jonathan Mendonsa Yes so we actually book three tickets one for myself my wife and my six month old son tickets would have cost $1800 apiece. My son would have flown free because he's a lap carry. But instead of that we were actually able to use travel rewards points and book for 128 thousand points so if you listen to one of our earlier episodes on travel rewards that's Episode 9 and you can listen to that if you want to go to the website and choose FI.com slash 0 0 9. That kind of walks you through the process of how to go about accumulating those points. But you know if you just follow that very simple process it's extremely easy just to be able to use your travel rewards and set up points to book that trip and then once we were there we stayed with family and they wanted to spoil us and they were amazing incredibly generous so we essentially had to spend almost two week period of time. We were in Cape Town South Africa. We went to Plattsburgh Bay where we're inside this home that's looking right out over the sea and right on the sea. There are hundreds of dolphins moving by this window all day long. Honestly Brad there were more dolphins in that water than there are squirrels in my neighborhood. I am not exaggerating. That is truth.
families, travelrewards
377 - 382 Brad Barrett That's pretty amazing. Yeah I'd love to see pictures of that. Maybe you can post it in the Facebook group.
382 - 390 Jonathan Mendonsa Will do. Will do. So I mean what about you though and I mean so I'm back now I know you have a trip that you're planning using travel rewards as well do you want to talk about that.
travelrewards
390 - 529 Brad Barrett Yeah yeah. So Laura and I have pretty much gamed out our next two big summer trips so in a past episode with Brandon Pierce from Pierce on earth we talked about international family travel and he said that him and his family dove into this with a roughly six week trip. The first time and that kind of lit this fire under us and we decided like we're just going to do it. I know I had a bunch of excuses. Jonathan you told me but just just do it man. Right. And so Laura and I and the girls will be going to Europe next summer so we have booked the flight for 2018. We're not doing anything terribly exotic but we're basically going to take 24 days I think it is and travel through England and Scotland. We're going to visit Laura's sister and her family in London. Probably going to see Actually Alan and Barney. From our episode on Monday which would be really cool. And then we're heading up to Edinburgh where Brandon the mad Fientist and his wife Jill live. So yeah I mean we're just going to have this nice relaxing three plus week trip to the U.K. basically and it's already booked. We used chase ultimate rewards points. It wasn't the best redemption in the world so it's not something that I'm like overly overly proud of. But that said it was essentially free so we saved at least 1000 plus dollars a ticket and that's not nothing right. I mean $4000 is $4000 saved and we're able to accumulate a lot of points so it was one of those things where I actually sat here and hemmed and hawed and had this conversation with Laura over should we use points should we not. And we just came to the conclusion that we have so many points and so many of them are just sitting there at this juncture. let's just use them so those flights are booked. We are going to Europe in 2018 and then we're actually going to South America to visit my brother in August of 2019. So we're going to go to Santiago Chile and rent an air BMB apartment for a month or six weeks and just kind of hang out and live that life there. So yeah I mean like we always say here too. It's about taking action. And I had a litany of excuses right Jonathan I mean like I sat here and you basically told me hey kind of put up or shut up right.
families, familytravel, travelrewards
529 - 530 Jonathan Mendonsa Just do it and just do it.
530 - 551 Brad Barrett And so I did it and it's booked for 2018 and it's on the books for 2019 as soon as those flights become available with points. We have a ton of United and American miles and both those are pretty good options so we'll book it as soon as it becomes available. So yeah it's it's amazing how the world opens up to you when when you have these points.
551 - 689 Jonathan Mendonsa I love it. That's inspiring. So cool you guys are going to do that and then the actual places you're going to get to go. Wow that is awesome. And a couple of quick tips for you just because you're traveling with minors internationally. Make sure you take either the birth certificate or just double check ahead of time that your destination country that you're going to a lot of these countries overseas do require that you have the original birth certificate for your children or a copy so just you know take just a quick trip there go check and make sure the destination country doesn't have any of those requirements. Also if you're booking and you're doing it over the phone where you're having to talk to an agent and I know in my case I was talking with an agent over the phone because we had the lap carry when you're redeeming lap carrier rewards do the ultimate rewards portal you actually have to call them. Make sure they get the spelling right on all of the names of the passengers. You know it's just human error you have typing stuff and just make sure once they have it all book you triple confirmed they type everybody's name incorrectly. That's another way that you can just get hung up at the office. Hopefully you know this is just things that Brad and I have encountered over time and hopefully that helped save you some aggravation and frustration. And you have a wonderful travel experience please share it with us. If you use travel rewards to book a trip let us know when this is this is something that we get very excited about. We like to talk about it on the show we like to share it in the Facebook group. Just go to choose FI dot com slash Facebook let us know about your redemption. We'd love to hear what you actually did. And by the way if you're using travel rewards a very easy way to support this program is just to use our links whenever you sign up for a new car just go to choose FI dot com slash cards. It gives you access to all of the latest and the best sign up bonuses on each individual card that are available on the Internet. This is kept up to date year round so you're always going to get the best deal. And it's an easy way for you to support the show. All right so Brad let's go and take a few minutes and talk about this past week's episode with Alan Donegan and the escape artist and the place I wanted to start was actually the place that I finished the episode on Monday and it was this simple phrase the aggregation of marginal gains and that simple line crystallized something for me that I had been thinking about for literally years but I didn't have a way of saying I didn't have a simple way of expressing it. And it's just a powerful concept and it's one that I find myself sharing with anybody that will listen as almost a gateway to this topic. It's extraordinarily powerful.
Guest_Catchphrases, travel, travelrewards
689 - 939 Brad Barrett Yeah Jonathan this aggregation of marginal gains. It's a mouthful. Obviously that's not something that just rolls off the tongue. But I think it might be the most important concept that we've come across yet in 70 episodes I really legitimately believe that because I know Laura my wife and I we sit back and we talk about it like how did we get to FI because we didn't think that we'd live that differently from anyone else. Like how is it conceivable that everyone else is living paycheck to paycheck but yet we are saving 50 to 75 percent of our money depending on the year. How is that possible. And I think after having this crystallized with Barneys article which is linked in the show notes called the aggregation of marginal gains. Like once I sat back and reflected on it I really do think it's it's all these little decisions and I've talked about this along the way in many of our podcasts. So this is not a completely foreign concept like I said it's about making these little life choices that compound over time. It's not just money that compounds. In this case it's it's these life decisions it's the life hacks if you will that when you start adding one a week or a couple a week whatever it is like you start getting 50 100 150 of these new things that you're just more efficient about. You are saving money with, you're smarter about, these things add up over years and decades to getting you on this path to FI getting you a much happier simplified and more efficient life. We are constantly looking for ways just to make anything better even just as simple as like this is so stupid that it sounds silly that I'm saying it but like Laura was at Wal-Mart yesterday and she loves the baguets that they have there and they're normally like 89 cents or something they're extraordinarily cheap. We usually chop them up into quarters OK and freeze them and then when we have soup over the next couple of months we take out a quarter and we split it. Right so we're having an eighth of this for you know 10 cents per serving basically. Well yesterday it was on sale because the due date was coming in the next day or so it was not perfectly fresh. It was 31 cents. So Laura bought a couple of them and cut each of them into quarters and that just made it a third of the normal price. And it's like it's so silly because obviously in the grand scheme of things we have a lot of money saving 60 cents on a baguette is not going to make the difference but it's that mindset. It's as Barney said it's changing the operating system. He wrote quote If we want to get to FI we need to replace that default setting with a new operating system that is based on what is optimal given my FI objective is this spending really necessary. How can I use my creativity instead of paying money to solve problems what will challenge and strengthen me. And you know he had all these other things that he goes on to say and like it's just it's these little things how do you just make your life better one little life hack at a time. And that is truly the aggregation of marginal gains. It's finding these things to be 1 percent better just like the British Tour de France team bringing their pillows. Right like you think hey I'm going to a luxury hotel. The pillows are great there. Well I don't know about you but I go to a hotel and sometimes I'm not comfortable even if it's a expensive pillow. Having my own pillow would help me sleep better at night like. That was one of these little items and it helped the British Tour de France team win the Tour in three years. When people thought laughable I mean that is just amazing when you think about it like this is the path to FI. It's these little things of course it's the big things. It's not buying new cars and not buying expensive houses. It's not going out to dinner all the time. That's the obvious stuff. But at the margin it's getting these little gains that you can just keep finding in your life. And that's why I challenge people every single week in our FaceBook group. What was the one thing you took action on this week. Because I think that taking action is the most important thing you can do. And often it can be something little because it turns into something big over years and decades.
Guest_Catchphrases, lifeoptimization, mindset, savings
939 - 1339 Jonathan Mendonsa I love it. And I love that because this Friday roundup is dedicated to community right. I mean on Monday we eat we usually talk about a new concept or idea but on a Friday we're just living this out. You know I'm sharing my experiences with you Brad. But on the other half of that our audience is giving us their ideas their challenges their struggles what they're working on how they're growing and where they're taking action. And just the fact that they're willing to share just as much information with us and be just as vulnerable with us as we are with them. That's powerful. You know we challenge each other and I think what we're going to see going into the future going into 2018 and beyond is that we're going to continue to think of these little ways that we can improve every single aspect of our life by 1 percent by 2 percent. And maybe these different areas that we can even have this radical transformation and the aggregation of all of those unique and what you may have considered siloed aspects of our life are in Barney's words seriously non-trivial man. That's great. I've been wanting to say that all week. So that's actually I wanted to take just a second and highlight something that came to my attention by when I say it came to my attention. I mean I bolted out of my chair spilling my coffee. I was so excited when I saw that Rockstar finance published an article featuring the most popular personal finance podcast in the country and they actually sent out this survey to all of the bloggers in their directory and their email list. They got 140 responses and we were voted the number one overall personal finance podcast. And I just wanted to say to our community this is probably Rockstar finance is an amazing resource and they have a directory that is attached to it. Not only do they feature the best content on a weekly basis of different articles that are being published by different bloggers so it acts as this amazing curation Web site but they also have a directory that features all of the different blogs that are known to be out there that talk about this information that we obviously are so passionate about so this was a real honor and it's something that just first of all we're very grateful to have even been included in that. And just the fact that we were featured as the number one personal finance podcast. Just wow. So thank you to all the bloggers that were wrote in those kind words about us. And thank you to Jay money and the team over at Rockstar for just putting this article together. It really made my week. I can tell you that for sure and Brad's as well but the other comment that I wanted to make Brad is there were a few comments down at the bottom of this article that just cracked me up and one was from Jason at winning personal finance and he says the choose F I podcast is a must listen. They cover topics all over the spectrum and make it fun to listen. Trust me it's hard to make Tax optimization and index fund investing in sound fun. These guys do it. My only complaint about this podcast is when they talk about fasting I'm chasing Fi so that I can put food on the table for ever not so I starved myself. No thanks. I want to eat. Jay and Jason I just wanted to first of all say I love the comment and I can totally appreciate that. I wanted to actually take a say. I wanted to tie it. Back to we were just talking about about this aggregation of marginal gains. And and I think thats kind of losing sight of the forest for the trees when I talk about fasting. It is not to starve myself. I mean that I get no satisfaction from going hungry. I think there are some benefits that are worth discussing and actually Brad I think would be worth doing to go get some experts in the nutrition space to come in and talk to us about some of this bio feedback that your body actually benefits from when you start incorporating fasting into your life. I mean obviously its not a stretch to imagine that it improves body composition and fitness but on top of that I mean personally I have seen that and it promotes greater satiety So just generally after youve done a few fast you find that your body just requires less food generally speaking and that you feel full on less so it's just it's kind of a way of down regulating your appetite which can be very beneficial. There's thought that it boosts your metabolism it can support fat loss. There's some thoughts that it can encourage better insulin sensitivity cardiovascular health. There's actually studies that have shown that it can actually help the body eliminate precancerous cells. I mean that's on top of lowering your blood pressure lowering your blood sugar. I don't think it's a coincidence that almost every organized religion in the world incorporates some sort of fasting into their teachings. And I think there's probably something to be said for the fact that you don't know what you don't know until you do. And it might be worth exploring and without knowing all the results. I just wanted to try it. So I'm pretty sure it's something that I'm going to do again. So try not to hold it against us. I'm convinced that when you get tired of hearing about that we'll still have something for you on the tax optimization side. But this is a show that's about life optimization. And I don't want to be the guy that just talks about tax optimization. I don't want to be the guy that's pigeonholed into one topic. I want to be the guy that when I read something that literally I can feel the tingles going down my spine. I'm so excited because I uncovered this idea that just added something to the puzzle. I want to talk about that and that can lead you all over the map but at the end of the day the thing that tides it back to financial independence is that it's the aggregation of marginal gains. Brad let's just talk just for a second about community now the perception in the UK is that this movement is very fragmented. There's no clear voice. There's no central place that is gathering the people that are interested in financial independence in the UK and the community really hasn't come together around this idea yet. I think that's changing. I really do. There's over 30 people in our in our own Choose F-I Facebook group out of the UK. Most of those people were engaged on a thread just providing feedback on this episode that what they liked about it. And also there you can already see the mind starting to work through this idea of would it be possible. Are there enough of us to start forming a local group out of the UK. I think it's going to happen. I think that's going to happen very quickly I think we're going to probably see it honestly within the next couple of weeks and it'll start to be the central place that realize the value of this aggregation of marginal gains that realize the value of the slightly more optimized path can come together. I know Alan Donegan has been promoting this idea for years you know and really has struggled to find that local community and I know that he is someone that will be passionate about this cause I think there are enough influencers that working together you kind of see this start to happen and we're already seen it not just in the UK but also in other countries Canada is starting to get a very vibrant movement. We're seeing some serious traction in Australia. I couldn't believe how many people were at fincon from Australia really blew my mind that this movement that was already that global And I think you're going to continue to see the Fi movement spread not just within the United States but really increasingly overseas and it's just it's very rewarding to see that happen live.
Guest_Catchphrases, blogger, fincon, fitness, health, indexfunds, tax
1339 - 1504 Brad Barrett Yeah. Jonathan it's incredible to see it grow internationally and of course we're going to do everything we possibly can to help facilitate that. Certainly from the ChooseFI end and I think also especially Jonathan you and I did a lot of brainstorming at Fin con that was that was actually one of the best parts is just you and I sitting there for hours just kind of chatting and talking about the future of the fi community about ChooseFI and I think we both hit on the fact that that these local groups just mean a lot to us and we think it's so essential for the community to grow and that's going to be a huge focus of ours going forward. And we've kind of screwed up on this frankly and in the past and we've floated this a couple of times a few months ago where I said I was looking for meet up leaders and then we talked about a slack channel. And one of the beauties of this whole community in general is that you guys are there helping us. Right so like we talked about the slack channel and we had this incredible feedback that you know guys that's probably not the greatest idea and we certainly took that feedback and really appreciate it and we took it to heart. And we said that's not the path forward. But what has seemed to work and this was not our doing actually is that local Facebook groups are popping up. So I know chooseFI San Diego already has a hundred members and they've already had two local meet ups. It seems like they're meeting multiple times a month now. I mean Jonathan we both live in Richmond Virginia and our own Meetup group isn't that vibrant and that's our own fault frankly. Like we didn't take the reigns and make it a regular thing but now these folks out in San Diego have emboldened me to get started with our own Richemont Group and make it more vibrant. I started a Choose FI Richmond Virginia subgroup just two days ago and I think we have 30 some odd members in it already and now we're starting to see a bunch of these pop up. I think this is the way forward. We have well over 5000 people in our main Facebook group. And if we can get dozens of these local city groups to form like then people have this community the backbone to rely on on a regular basis. And I know there are avenues where not only do I want to get together with people but I want to ask someone hey what's the best contractor to get my house painted or where do you take your car and to the shop. I can ask these people in the Richmond Facebook group now which is wonderful. Like I'm not going to realistically send an e-mail to 30 people but you can just shoot off a little note in Facebook and people can get back to you. I'm like that's also part of the power of these groups so I just see this truly being the future of the FI movement.
fincon, localgroups
1504 - 1596 Jonathan Mendonsa Man I mean of all the ideas that we talked about and that had to be one of the biggest. And Brad we're kind of in this unique situation that we can facilitate those groups we can hopefully help connect the groups to each other because they benefit from being able to have dialogue between groups understanding what's working what's not working what makes for a better group what makes for a better experience. You know what sort of features can each group have that can really add value to the local community. I certainly am learning from the San Diego group because they are crushing it. I mean just absolutely crushing. But Brad our podcast is reaching anywhere from 50000 to 100000 people at this point. And that provides a very real opportunity to add a backbone to those groups to add a funnel so people if that you want to find a group a local group you know you want to find a local community and this is going to be your third place. This is going to be your tribe in your local region and you just haven't really found a group of people that you feel like you can connect to. We can continue to facilitate that. We have over 10000 people on our e-mail list and we can send them the option to find a local group that serves them. And so I just think as this continues to grow the fact that we're here on a twice week basis we can continue to talk about what's working what new group is forming what new states you're seeing a lot of activity. And honestly when the fi community just gets just even slightly more organized to where there's a little bit more consistency across the board this message becomes much more powerful and much more difficult for people to ignore. Which honestly makes the world a better place.
localgroups
1596 - 1655 Brad Barrett All right sir Jonathan setup a short link that you can see all the current Facebook groups that exist so it's choose FI dot com forward slash local. So if you just had to choose FI dot com forward slash local. You'll head over to the page on Facebook that has a list of all the existing groups. But when we really want you to do is to comment below and tell us what city you're in. And we will form one of those groups. And if you want to be the admin of that group if you want to be the leader just let us know. That would be a huge help to us. We can facilitate 50 100 groups obviously. But but we can set these up for you. Jonathan has a neat little cover art that he'll create for your city and it's just kind of a fun thing. So we'll set everything up if you just let us know we can make you the Admin in that group. And that's the way to get it started. If you want that community in your local area just head over to choose FI dot com forward slash local and let us know and we'll make it happen.
1655 - 1723 Jonathan Mendonsa And guys I mean the possibilities right. I mean this is one of those things that the group is awesome because you're in it and just be creative with what sort of services a group like this can offer. I'm thinking right out the gate this would lend itself perfectly to doing some sort of tool share tool co-op. I mean how many people really need a leaf blower right shared resources recommended service providers you know frugal analog specific activities that are in your own local community. A board game group that was very selfish as that was more just for me not everybody likes board games. I will grant you that but if you do like board games and you want to join the choose FI Richmond Virginia group just let me know and I would love to have you tagged for something in the future. Local events and meet ups. I mean this is just these sorts of things. We don't need to be perfectly sophisticated with this. Out the gate we just need to have enthusiasm for this idea and support it and it will grow organically and we're just going to be here along the way. So very excited that you're joining us that you're wanting to be a part of this. It's going to be a lot of fun. 2018. Brad I don't know. I think we've talked about how FI seems to be on this hockey stick trajectory. I think it's going to hit critical mass in 2018 it might be 2019 but I have a feeling. 2018 is the year of FI.
1723 - 1808 Brad Barrett Yeah. Yeah I hear ya. I think really playing with fire documentary is going to be huge for our community and it would be fantastic if we as the Choose FI and the larger community can just get this infrastructure set for this influx of people. Right. Like that's why we want to set up this entire network of these local groups. So that's a big factor of how that'll help. Right you have all these people who are going to be introduced to this for the first time and meeting people in real live who are modeling this behavior and modeling this lifestyle. And it's it's not weird right. We all know that none of us are living these horrible lives of deprivation we're just living smarter more optimized and hopefully happier lives. And when you can model that for people and people see that oh it's not that hard to pursue. FI that really resonates with people. So I think these these local media groups really are essential. And like Jonathan said like FI is onto something it seems that people are hearing about this maybe through us maybe through Mr. Money Mustache or any of the hundreds upon hundreds of blogs and like people are understanding like it's not all about consumption it's about living a better life. So I agree Jonathan with you completely on that fi is on the verge of something and we're happy that we can help facilitate that community and it really is a special thing for us.
localgroups, playingwithfire
1808 - 1953 Jonathan Mendonsa Well while I'm dreaming let me go ahead and share one more big idea with you. It's one that has been kind of like simmering for a while now. And I think I'm just going to go and put some words underneath it and so Cody reached out to several I would say almost a month ago talking about this idea of you know Fincon is amazing. But wouldn't it be cool if there was something that really just catered to the FI community specifically because there are so many of us now we're so passionate and it's not just the influencers and the bloggers but it's their own respective communities. Wouldn't it be cool if we had a way of connecting those those different groups together in one place and you know Stephen who's talked about many times the organizer of camp FI actually has planned six events next year all over the country one of the most recent one that we've talked about is going to be Camp FI mid-Atlantic that's going to be here in Virginia and he's completely sold that one out. There's also one plan for the Midwest. I think there's going to be one on the West Coast as well I mean it really we're seeing it spread all over the U.S. but it also strikes me that Chatauqua happens every year as well and that's almost an international presence. And the one thing that both of those have in common is that they cater to relatively small groups of people even somewhere between 30 to 60 people who are all that are able to attend that. And the amazing thing about that is the intimacy the chance you get to spend so much time one on one with those individual people. But the downside of that is that then you're obviously excluding masses of people that would like to be able to participate. And honestly this is me personally giving a shout out to Petey for just the amazing work that he's done. at finCon I went to my first fincon this year and I can tell you that I don't think I will ever miss a fincon from here on out if you are a blogger. If you are a podcaster or if you are doing anything in personal finance it to me. I think it's probably crazy to not go to fincon it's just it's just an absolutely amazing event. But I think there is room for something like this a larger scale event that brings all of these separate communities within the FI niche together. And I was thinking Brad how do you feel about the idea of having a Fi festival something that was large scale maybe catered to 200 to 1000 people depending on the level of interest and it would probably grow based on word of mouth. Year after year but something that brought in all these different influencers in their respective communities together in one place for maybe four or five days just to share ideas.
blogger, campfi, chautauqua, fincon, podcaster
1953 - 2007 Brad Barrett Yeah I love that. As you're describing that to me I'm picturing not just personal finance but like we're always talking about life hacks life optimization like that can be a pretty wide ranging festival like this the first time you're telling me about this frankly so like I'm hearing a brand new with the audience so I haven't had much time to consider this but I mean it sounds fantastic. I know the energy that I get from fincon is not about it actually being a financial bloggers conference. It has to do with seeing other people from the fi community together in one spot. That's why I love fi and camp mustache that I went to before that. And that's what these events are all about. So yeah I mean if we could get an event there we had hundreds of people from the Fi community like. Yeah I mean I would be absolutely awesome. I'm not sure how to get from here to there but maybe we can get Steven from from campfire on board in and make this a reality. I would be really really cool.
blogger, campfi, fincon
2007 - 2046 Jonathan Mendonsa I think he would go for it so yeah I'm going to reach out to him and see if he'd be into it. I'm sure he has his hands full currently with the camp FI but I think that he has started to build a reputation as someone that just cares deeply about community is willing to put the time in almost a selfless level and he's someone that would be a natural fit to organize this. I would not do a good job at organizing this. I would support this in every single way possible. I would go out of my way to market it and make sure that people were aware of how to get involved. I would participate in it every single year but I think that Stephen would do a just a much better job at bringing something like this together. And Brad if we were actually able to get some traction on this I have an idea to even upgrade it even further. You want to hear it?
campfi
2046 - 2047 Brad Barrett Of course I want to hear it go for it.
2047 - 2109 Jonathan Mendonsa All right. Do you remember a while back on the show when we were talking about the Mt. Rushmore of FI. Yeah of course we never really settled on that somehow we decided that there had to be five heads on the Mount Rushmore of Fi which is weird in and of itself because apparently you know historically when you actually look at it there's only four spots. But we decided on five. But even those we were having trouble filling those up and we get we crowdsource the feedback and we couldn't land on who the specific five people should be and then the most amazing lightbulb moment happened it was from someone in our community we said we should do a Hall of FI. You know instead of a Hall of Fame a hall of fame with an induction ceremony the whole nine yards just really go all out and we just do an awards ceremony that highlights just the people that have been able to bring this community together year after year have put the time and just do something to highlight that and to honor the time and effort that they've put into that and the impact that it's had on our respective lives. And so the hall of fi could be a featured component of the FI festival and we could have a massive induction ceremony that first inaugural year.
2109 - 2123 Brad Barrett Wow that's cool. I like that a lot. So you can get the Mr. Money Mustache Jim Collins J.D. Roths of the world to to show up to about that very first year and make it a huge success. Yeah that's that's a neat idea Jonathan.
2123 - 2141 Jonathan Mendonsa Awesome. Well I will reach out to Steven and we will see if we can start put laying the groundwork for that but I think that that is a very real possibility. And yeah. Anyways I just spit ball here just living it out in front of you guys. But just very excited about the possibilities when a community gets organized and decides that it wants to see this organic thing grow.
2141 - 2392 Brad Barrett Yeah Jonathan and speaking of a having things grow and be just kind of spit balling here and just telling everyone our thought process. My big aha moment at Fin con was actually about J.D. Roth which is interesting. We spoke with him recently on the podcast and and you and I were trying to figure out like what makes a successful podcast or blog and and we've come to the conclusion it's it's the story that's where people connect with it's not. Here are the 27 things that can save you money next month type you know list article. Those are valuable to some degree I suppose but that's not what gets people coming back to podcasts like ours or a blog like get rich slowly back in the day when when J.D. was at the helm. Right. Like people come for the story they come for that connection and it got me thinking that there are so many people out there in our audience who would love to tell their stories and they don't have the audience. They don't have the ability to do so. They don't have the technical know how to start up a website and and find an audience and put in all that time to make that happen. Well when I came to that conclusion was Jonathan you and I know our strengths and weaknesses. And one of our weaknesses is we don't love to write articles. We both kind of joke about that behind the scenes. We'd love podcast thing I could do this all day everyday but writing articles are just it's difficult. That's not the way that I like to express myself. But there are many people out there who are just brilliant writers and that is their means of self-expression. And what if we could get people from various different aspects of the FI community the FI journey to tell their stories. But do it on the Choose FI website not as just an errant guest post here or there but as an actual contributor to choose FI. So they would have a carved out spot of the Choose the Web site just for them and their audience. So we're bringing our audience in. We're hopefully having five to 10 of these people from our community become what essentially our Choose FI bloggers and it'll be like a rising tide lifts all boats type scenario where everybody's community feeds off of each other. If you have 10 bloggers you have nine other bloggers bringing in people to choose of-I to read content and new people can come across your content like it's just such a wonderful virtuous circle that I just am so passionate about this I think this can be wonderful because each of us want to find that person we resonate with. I've been so struck with that when we get emails from a particular podcast episodes that we've done that's just oh I'd love that guest you had on it just that was exactly like my life. And that episode out of the 70 you've had just really hit home with me. And now they've listened to the other 60 odd episodes but yet it was just that one without one person they had a connection with. And that was just one of those lightbulb moments for me that I like. People really are looking for that connection. So we could get someone who's 55 and just found FI and is taking steps to make it happen someone who someone who's 18 and is looking to be that second generation fire. We can have someone in a high cost of living area someone in a low cost of living or just anything right like you can have these stories. So anyway long story short here we would love to find people who want to tell their stories. So if that sounds like you let us know just reach out to us have feedback at Choose FI dot com and tell us you want to write for choose FI that sounds like something you are passionate about and you could get behind. Again not as just a random guest post but it actually being your site you can write as little or as much as you want but we want you to be passionate about it. And I mean that's just something again that Jonathan and I brainstormed at fincon and I think can be a real game changer for the Choose community because it's not just a podcast it's the podcast it's the Facebook group and now local groups and it can be this incredible set of stories at the Web site.
2ndgenfi, blogger, fincon
2392 - 2413 Jonathan Mendonsa I love it. I love it so can I go ahead and make the big announcement now. Yeah go for it. OK guys. So we went ahead and reached out and we found our first author and many of you know you've listened to him twice on this podcast he's maybe our very first repeat guest and it's Joel from FI 180. And to go along with this announcement I actually have a voicemail that I can go and play.
2413 - 2467 Joel - FI180 Hey Brad and Jonathan it's Joel from 180. I wanted to share some exciting news with everyone. I finally took the plunge and quit my job last week. Thursday was my very last day. Living the cubicle life. The timing wasn't perfect and Alexis and I are actually still a few months away from Fi but I have time now to pursue more exciting opportunities that actually align with my passions. I've set up a post on my blog that has all the details from the story and I hope I can keep you guys up to date on each new checkpoint that we cross along the way from 401K and HSA rollovers we're planning to do to actually setting up our upconversion ladder. I can kind of be the real time case study for everyone preparing their own FI strategies. Well if you can't tell I'm super excited. Thank you both and the entire ChooseFI community for your support. We'll talk again soon.
401k, hsa, rothladder
2467 - 2483 Brad Barrett Joel a huge congratulations. That is really incredible. And yeah we're just so excited to have you as part of the Choose FI family and team here. We're just thrilled to have you as the first chooser five writer so it's incredibly exciting all around. And yeah again a really hearty congratulations.
families
2483 - 2726 Jonathan Mendonsa Now if you don't already know Joel's story we had him in two episodes I believe it was episode 24 in Episode 32. One was his story along with his wife Alexis. They're basically transformation how they radically transform their finances and got themselves on this abbreviated path. to FI we brought him back when we featured fresh content that he'd just written about the milestones of fi. Honestly it was a paradigm building episode that you just can't walk away from and it's very encouraging because FI is in many cases a 10 to 15 year journey and it's important to have a way to measure that and measure your progress along the way because it's not just when you start and when you finish there's a fairly lengthy segment between those two. And this just gave you this perfect way to track your progress. But aside from both of those two you know particular segments Joel has written just beautiful content over FI 180 dot com and he just recently made a huge announcement that he is pulling the trigger on early retirement so he has reached a level of financial independence and he is leaving the workforce. And we said Joel it now that you finally have time to commit to this year your writing is amazing it grabs people and it paints a picture with words that frankly is at a level that Brad and I just can't do. We would love to see you continue to tell the story to show us how you replace fear with flexibility when making the choice of early retirement. Just please join us and continue to tell your story. Here at Choose FI. And he said Yes it's really going to be very cool to see where his story leads and who else is interested in pursuing a path like this and sharing their story as well. One of the things that you said earlier and one of the things that we've seen over and over again is that everybody's story doesn't relate with everybody. There are certain unique characteristics that you're looking for when you're trying to follow. That's why that's why people have different audiences. You know if if one particular message appeals to all of us then the rest of us would be unnecessary right. And so I think there is something so valuable to finding someone that has actually walked a mile in your shoes and then found a slightly smarter way of doing it that you can then learn from. So that's where this is going. And very excited Joel just wanted to publicly give you a shout out a congratulations on exiting the workforce and let you know how excited we are to have you on the team. All right guys. I'd so this was just my first week back I literally got in at 6:30 this morning so we thought the only way to really get this episode done for you was to kind of give you a quick wrap up of all the things that are going on right now and what's going to be coming going into the next several weeks and several months. So hopefully you enjoyed this catch up we do have some really cool stuff coming your way I'll just give you a quick preview. We have freedom is groovy coming on the show to share his story. We have an episode called The fully funded lifestyle change a little bit of an homage to slowly sipping coffee but it's a we've kind of adapted it to tell a very unique story I'm very excited about that episode. Todd Tresidder is coming on the show to really assess the state of fire and that episode has already been recorded. It's been edited now and let me tell you it is. It is a powerful powerful episode so those are just three episodes coming up in the very near future. And I guess at the end of this year we're going to do we're also in the next several weeks we're going to be featuring the episode that we recorded live at Fincon that was only a 25 minute episode. I have a feeling if I dropped the twenty five minute episode on you guys on a Monday you might be a little bit disappointed so we're going to add a little bit to the back end of that one. Just to kind of flesh it out and add a few more details so we're still in the process of producing that one. But that one will be coming at the end of this year and it's just it's just been a wonderful year. I mean just all the way around it has been probably the one of the most fulfilling years of my life and that is entirely to the choose F-I community. You guys are what make the show possible. You're the reason that after a 20 hour flight I did not go to sleep but I went straight down here and recorded this for you guys. I'm so grateful to be here to be able to have the opportunity to talk to you guys. I feel so privileged to have this platform and just grateful for every minute that I have with you guys so thank you to our community and also. Thank you Brad just for everything that you bring to this you've just it's just been an amazing year. All the way around.
fincon
2726 - 2748 Brad Barrett Yeah I couldn't agree more. This is really the project of our lifetimes. And it's just been remarkable to see the growth this first year. And yeah. Onward and upward from here. For now only choose Fi. But most importantly for the fi community and we're going to do everything we possibly can to make that happen. So yeah that is our our pledge to you the audience and to the entire FI community.
2748 - 2765 Jonathan Mendonsa So when I was at a travel shop in Joburg airport coming back to coming back to Washington Dulles and I almost bought you a souvenir and then I visualized you and Molly going up to your attic throwing stuff away. And I was like no I'm not going to get him some stuff I'm just not going to do it.
travel
2765 - 2775 Brad Barrett That's good. My my mom has learned as well as she used to. She used to bring us home souvenirs and I would like literally jokingly throw them out in front of her.
2775 - 2778 Jonathan Mendonsa I knew it.
2778 - 2782 Brad Barrett But it is the thought that counts. That's when I tell her. And that's what I'll tell you.
2782 - 2836 Jonathan Mendonsa Thank you for that but I still got credit for it. That's amazing. Totally Awesome. All right. All right guys as you know we like to finish every episode by doing a drawing for a copy of a book that we found useful and we do two books we do JLCollins book the simple path to wealth. And Dominic's book design your future. I also have two copies of JL Collins audio book which was just released this year the simple path well so if you're an audible learner like I am then that will be worth checking out as well. So anyways if you want to enter that drawing you want to win a copy of one of those books. It's very simple. All you have to do is just go to choose F-I dot com slash iTunes. Just follow the instructions there and leave us a short written review and then send us an e-mail to [email protected] Choosefi.com just letting us know that you left a review and what screen name you left under. And then every week on the Friday round up we announce our winners and we do one book for every five written reviews that we we get so Brad. How many winners do we have today.
testimonial
2836 - 2881 Brad Barrett Alright Jonathan we have two winners today and the first winner is Jane and Jane said. I become obsessed with Choose FI. I am learning everything I can about fire. It is sharpened my financial focus and giving me a purpose for money that's been missing. I'm realizing that while Yeah we've made some decent choices we could be doing so much more to optimize our lives reduce our expenses and be more intentional about where our money goes. I take notes on every episode and have pages filled but I particularly love the episode with Scott Ricans in which Jonathan said we spend our lives doing laundry and landscaping. Wow that really hit home for me and gave me extra motivation to look at how we spend our time. Thanks for putting together such an interesting informative and enjoyable to listen to podcast.
2881 - 2890 Jonathan Mendonsa That's awesome. Yeah I mean I do feel that way sometimes just totally just stuck on that repetitive cycle so I'm glad that resonated with you right who is your other winner today.
2890 - 2893 Brad Barrett All right our second winner is Jessica.
2893 - 2953 Jonathan Mendonsa And Jessica says officially fired up. I absolutely love Jonathan and Brad's podcast. It's the only podcast I listen to religiously twice a week. The chemistry between the two is amazing and their content empowers you to take actionable steps each week on the path to financial independence. Before discovering this podcast I considered myself a spender. I'm now constantly inspired to change my mindset and strive toward a life of intentionality. Each and every day. Thank you both for the perfect entertainment on my commute and for truly lighting a fire under me. Wow Jessica that is absolutely amazing. And for those of you if you want to do just one solid favor today if you want to do one thing just to help us out you got benefit from this episode or you got benefit from Monday's episode. Just take one second and press the Subscribe button on the platform that you're listening to this on. It absolutely helps us out. It lets the algorithms know that you place value in the show that you want to be there when we produce additional content so thank you so much for being a part of this community for everything you do. The fire spreading my friends will see you next time as we continue to go down the road less traveled.
Jonathan_Catchphrases, mindset, testimonial

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