057 - Grumpus Maximus

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5 - 50 You're listening to Choose FI radio . The blueprint for financial independence lives here. If you're looking to unlock the secrets to financial independence and early retirement you're in the right place stay tuned and join a community of like minded. people who are Getting. Off. the hamster wheel And taking control of their lives in the pursuit of financial independence ChooseFI. Your home. For. financial. Independence online.
50 - 116 Hey guys welcome to the choose FI radio broadcast My name is Jonathan and my cohost's name is Brad. We host a twice a week show on Monday and Friday. On Monday we introduced a new topic or idea and on Friday we usually deep dive into that topic. We provide our takeaways we add in any additional feedback from our audience and we really try to open it up and crowdsource the show. So today we're actually going to be taking some time to talk about the pension. Now the pension poses a very interesting financial dilemma as it pertains to financial independence. Most of the financial independence calculators that are out there do not traditionally incorporate the pension into the planning. How do you do that. The pension can be wonderful but it can also hang around your neck like a golden albatross. So we went out and we found the guy Grumpus Maximus has actually centered himself in the financial independence community talking about this exact dilemma. Grumpus is coming on the show today. He's going to share his back story. We're going to talk a little bit about marital harmony and bliss with regard to budgeting and then spend a significant amount of time talking about how to incorporate a pension into your FI plan. It's gonna be a really fun episode. Super excited to share it with you today and to help me with this. I have my cohost Brad here with me today.
116 - 146 I am doing quite well. JONATHAN Yeah that should be a good conversation obviously Grumpus has been a significant member of our Facebook group for months now and I've always seen him post then have talked back and forth but it's nice to actually speak in person and as you kind of alluded to there it's pensions and the military also we've had tons of people ask us for a guest to talk about both of those topics and it's interesting that we got one person to speak about both. So with that Grumpus welcome to the podcast.
military, pensions
146 - 149 Thank you. I'm excited to be here.
149 - 188 So my first question is where does Grumpus Maximus come from Grumpus Maximus the nom de guerre comes from my brother and my wife coined that phrase between them while I was deployed one time my brother and I are both in the military. One of my brothers and I are both in the military. He and my wife were roommates at the time and I came home from deployment and they had coined this term possibly because of my demeanor. Once I returned or during my deployment unknown exactly the true origin between the two of them. But I came back and I was grumpiest Maximus from that time on.
188 - 192 Yeah don't get offended. Just embrace it and then turn it into a moniker.
192 - 199 Yeah. And then the wife goes out and starts buying coffee cups with the nom de guerre on it and everything. It's great.
199 - 212 It's cool. It's a whole persona. Now it's not just not just the blog name it is so by the time I started blogging it wasn't even a choice as to what my nom was going to be. It was just hey the logical choice was Grampus Maximus.
212 - 239 Well let me just say for the record that Brad he messaged us way back earlier this year challenging us on maybe I think it was all whether or not a Roth IRA or 401k would be a better fit for a very specific financial situation. And as soon as I saw Grampus Maximus at the bottom of that email I messaged him back. I don't think I had an answer to that question. I said you need to go lock that moniker down on every single social media space you can you need to do it now.
401k, ira, roth
239 - 258 Yeah. It's funny because I did exactly that. I got it on Facebook and everywhere else but Twitter somebody grabbed it so I had to reverse my moniker and say Maximus Grumpus on Twitter. But everywhere else so I'm definitely locked in. I think it's Grumpus Maximus from that time forward. So I thank you for that.
258 - 261 Yes. Good little good little tip there.
261 - 264 So branding branding is big right.
264 - 287 For us water space it's the it's the lifeblood of our of our presence. So Grumpus I have always felt and I feel like maybe it was my English professor that told me this. Back in high school the best place to start is at the beginning. So I would love for you to introduce to us maybe your backstory a little bit about your military service and how you stumbled onto this problem of the pension and the golden albatross. Can you give us a little bit of your backstory.
backstory, military
287 - 773 I sure can. So I think for the readers or my readers and your listeners there's probably three main points that I would point out to my backstory. One is that I grew up in a fairly well-to-do Upper middle class family in the Midwest. I could see from early on in my life. Somehow I don't know why it was fairly recognizable to me that I was born on first base and so I felt this calling to give back somehow. I don't know why exactly but the military seemed like what I was meant to do in order to give back. So from the youngest age that I can remember I always wanted to join the military you know that type of service or the service branch of the military kind of wavered between you know where I was at the time of my life but the military was always the number one goal for me. And part of it was that service aspect and that idea of giving back to me you know not only to this country that I have been lucky enough to be born in but some other things as well. Number two would be that at age 13. Weirdly enough and this is I tell you this for purposes of the fact that this is a personal finance podcast is that at the age of 13 I was involved in a horrible accident freak accident. My body was mangled and only through the miracle being 13 years old and being able to recover and have a growing body and be otherwise healthy. I was pretty much able to recover from that without any outward effects. But one of the side results or the byproducts of that accident was I was involved in a personal injury lawsuit. My parents were on my behalf then which I ultimately only received around 100000 dollars. By the age of 15 16 years old maybe think by the time the lawsuit was done and I received that money I didn't receive it. My parents took custody of it. I ultimately received it at the age of 18. I received it with very little financial training and background and I kind of convey that in some of the stories on my blog. But you know my parents were very conscientious about what this money should do for me and what it wasn't going to be allowed to do for me. And that carried through with me. So I never went out and blew it on a Ferrari or anything like that. But you know I hit certain points in my life where I just I had some money without any kind of training and background that I really needed. Upon reflection now you know 20 30 40 years down the line. So that's number two part of my story right there is like I have always had some money invested but I haven't necessarily until the most recent years in my life known when I was actually doing. And then part three of my story obviously is the military I did ultimately join the military. I've been in for 18 years 16 of those years have been spent since 9/11 in a military that's been constantly at war. I have deployed multiple times to multiple different theaters including Afghanistan and small parts of Iraq. You know I don't think anybody who's in my peer group in the military could have gotten away from those experiences considering what our nation's been through up to that point. You know ultimately for me that was everything I joined to do was being fulfilled through the fact that you know our nation has been at war and deployments and getting the chance to lead people in combat situations and things like that was it was ultimately some of that calling that I felt due and then I want to say however and I think there is going to be a however for a lot of people who identify with this who are in the military and in your audiences that you know at some point especially with the nation who's been at war for so long. You hit this point and maybe it's because you know you had some experience in combat or maybe it's just because you're tired of all the deployments or maybe it's just because you're tired of the bureaucracy that obviously comes along with the large government organization. You hit this point where you feel like you're not sure if you can do it anymore. I came to that point about two years ago. I was about 16 years into the military. Ultimately I just I had a mental breakdown. I was under a huge amount of stress and I had experienced some things in my military career that it started to catch up with me and I was diagnosed with a small amount of PTSD which was diagnosed as a mixed depressive anxiety disorder. And I've been dealing with that ever since. And those feelings of not being sure if I wanted to continue in the military were ultimately somewhat alleviated by the fact that I discover financial independence financial independence movement. I was strangely enough at that time near my mental breakdown. I was already involved in taking management of my own money again and educating myself. I was on this I call it on my blog a two year journey to educate myself on personal finance everything I could from listening in podcasts or reading books to reading blogs. I actually called up the three legged stool of knowledge on my blog as well. But the point is I was kind of already along this financial journey when I hit this this golden albatross moment as I have now turned it on on the blogosphere of hit this point. When you're in this pensionable job my peer group in the military it's an all or nothing pension. You get it when you hit 20 years of service. And I was at 16 at the point of my mental breakdown where I wasn't sure if I could go on. And so this you know you're sitting there trying to judge should I walk away from you know this guaranteed amount of income for the rest of my life because I'm so dissatisfied or upset or I got so many issues going on or do I continue on struggle and just grind it out until you hit that point. And you know you're good. And and then and then move on from there once you're vested into your pension. That's something a lot of people struggle with as I find out on my blog and it's not just in the military you know a lot of these pensionable jobs that are left these days in the U.S. economy at least are government jobs. Some of them are not the nicest jobs in the world. Other ones like police and fire. You see a lot of bad things in a lot of that stuff catches up and even some of the pensionable jobs out there in the private industry like working on a car line assembling cars or something like that. You know that's that isn't something that everybody wants to do for the rest of their life right. You know there are other things in this world that people want to do but that pension that you know that golden albatross as I call it keeps them there. And when I coined that term a friend of mine and I had gone forth about well that's just the golden handcuffs. I think that's you know a lot of people are familiar with the idea of golden handcuffs but when I started researching golden handcuffs. Turns out golden handcuffs is a term a business term specifically built for high level executives right. So you often hear attached with golden parachute as well for when they leave those jobs they get a huge golden parachute but the golden handcuffs idea was really meant to keep executives with large sums of money doing jobs they may not necessarily want to do. Maybe at companies they didn't want to be with anymore anything like that. So the idea of sticking around for the pension specifically for kind of the worker managerial class that I was looking at was undefined. And so me and this friend kind of came up with this term golden albatross as a result.
backstory, career, families, health, military
773 - 786 I would say you're sanitizing the term because you are now the number one entry on Google for the golden albatross. But you scroll down to number five unfortunately urban dictionary does have an alternate definitions.
786 - 790 So it is a family friendly show. I think we have to stay away from that.
790 - 813 But I like. I like your definition much better and think it's incredibly appropriate. I agree so many. It changes the math when you have this pension you essentially you're sitting at a job you've been working for 10 to 15 years and you get to this point we don't know if you want to keep doing this particular job but depending on whether or not you ride it out it's so drastically changes the math that you're almost going down to parallel paths.
814 - 912 Yeah. So it's an unbelievable tool for financial independence right back back in the day back you know up through the late 70s early 80s. You know the pension was the you know the retirement planning. There were a lot of people who didn't need to do anything else. The pension was going to be there and would provide everything for them. Obviously that has changed over the last three decades and the pension is just yet another tool in the toolbox of trying to achieve financial independence if you so choose to do it right. If you so choose to use it in that format or fashion. And that's a powerful draw to keep somebody in a job situation or in a work environment that they may not necessarily want to stay in or want to be in. And you know as you guys point out all the time on this podcast there are other things that we're meant to be doing in life other than just working one job but that pension and obviously in these days of health insurance fluctuations and stuff like that. Those benefits connected to those pensions oftentimes are a draw to keep people in those positions doing jobs that you know they may or may not want to be doing long term. I guess I would provide one caveat I don't want people to interpret my issues as me saying Oh I hate the military or I somehow have grown so dissatisfied with it. It's not that at all it's just Hey I know I hit this point where I feel like I had done enough I had achieved all my goals. It just happened to be four years earlier than what my pension was going to pay out.
healthinsurance, military, pensions
912 - 966 Yeah and that's an important point certainly and that is that you get to this inflection point where OK in theory you'd like to be done by. You had this golden albatross hanging out there only 48 months off in the distance. I mean that's that's a really short time when you're talking potentially if we were trying to turn that stream of income and maybe you can give the audience some sense of of what this means in dollars and cents. But if this is a forty thousand dollar a year pension I mean that would be like having a million dollars. Let's say right if we're talking just the bare back of the envelope you know 4 percent. Right you have a million bucks. You take out 4 percent of forty thousand dollars a year. Now I'm not sure and I'd love to hear your analysis of how you consider the value of this pension. But you know just to kind of paint the picture that this is this is big dollars. This is not something you can just say oh the heck with it I'm going to just forego this right.
966 - 1168 Correct. So I actually spent a lot of time on my blog. I've written this series called the Pension series and a lot of that series is dedicated to how to quantify your pension. So how to value it how to value the. So just momentarily like how to value it with the idea of does it have a cola. Does it have a cost of living adjustment. Does it adjust with inflation over the years or does inflation slowly eat away at it. And then how devalue some of those other benefits that go along with it. Obviously the medical one is huge these days and it's just I struggle and I work with other people in the blogosphere like Big Ern and MacCracken and some other folks at trying to qualify and quantify exactly what a pension would do for you in your retirement. So for your financial independence plan and then what you are potentially walking away from and I think that's where I really came from with the pension series to begin with is I had these struggles about what was I potentially walking away from when I hit my mental breakdown a couple of years ago. And seriously thought about leaving the service at 16 years. You know in only four years away what. What am I walking away from. And it turns out you know for me at a guy of my rank and service length you know that was around fifty five thousand dollars a year at the time. And of course you get all the medical that goes along with it. You get a whole bunch of other privileges that go along with it to go on base and you know buy gas on base and buy your groceries on base and just all sorts of things. And you know you value that over time you use compounding insurance much like you know people do with the 4 percent safe withdrawal rate or three and a half percent safe withdrawal rate has Erin McCrackin likes to say . When you look at it you were walking away as a military member who would be retiring in their mid 40s like I would be well over a million dollars worth of payment over a lifetime and that is security that you are ultimately walking away from especially when you're talking about a federal government pension. You know you know part of the other thing I talk about in the pension series is that you know not every pension is the same. There is a safety issue with pensions in the certain parts of the public sector but definitely in the private sector that you don't have to deal with. The further you go up kind of and the government scale you know certainly federal government pensions are if I had to qualify which ones are the most most safe federal government pensions are the safest. You know as you start working down the state and local level they get less safe let's say and then obviously on the private side or in the private sector there are a lot of examples out there right now of you know companies that have gone bankrupt and the pension insurance agency that the government has established has to step in and people don't get the you know the amount that they were planning on. So you know a lot of my time I guess coming back to what you were originally asking in the pension series and a lot of the reason for that I began blogging to begin with was to help people trying qualifying quantify exactly what this pension could do for them in the future specifically when it comes to planning financial independence.
blogger, medical, military, pensions
1168 - 1219 And one of the phrases that really stood out to me and I think the header for this line was worth versus worth it was was the more than one million dollars that would earn from a military pension worth the potential long term damage I might do to my mental health by serve four more years and I think that's the other half of this inflection point that maybe isn't being highlighted by the value of this pension is that if you are just miserable and you're in a state of misery what damage does that do to your long term health to grind it out especially if you're talking about for more than a year two years four years I mean four years is a significant amount of time even though in the scheme of life it could be considered relatively short. And I imagine that part of this comes down to your support structure at home and so I guess what I'm curious about Mrs. Grampus and you what is what is your relationship with money like and how has that relationship affected or had an impact on this inflection point.
health, military, relationships
1219 - 1436 That is an insightful question and I will say that our relationship with money has changed over the years that we've been married when we first got married. There was no real discussion on money prior to marriage. We met overseas. I was stationed overseas. She's from a European country. We got together moved back to the states on a fiance visa and quickly got married and then we started living our lives together. Then the topic of money starts coming up and I by nature somehow through my upbringing my parents raised me to be somewhat frugal even though we came from what I would consider a well-to-do family for for the Midwest. My parents weren't out there trying to keep up with the Joneses. For the most part so you know I inherited this frugality from my parents that had that I had transferred on somehow and Mrs. Grampus although she wasn't completely irresponsible she had gone through some irresponsible years money wise and was carrying some debt with her. I didn't know that before we got married so we we quickly butted heads on that in our early marriage about the formation of a budget for the family and home and at the time it was just us and we quickly knocked it out of the park. As far as getting rid of that debt as soon as she got her green card and started working it wasn't wasn't an issue. But you know that set a tone within the family for how the finances would be handled long term. So as great as Mrs. Grampus has been supporting me emotionally and family wise you know from being the leader of what I jokingly referred to as the camp followers on my blog. You know us and our two children now at the time when we were just two dinkies earning a living with a lot of money coming in. It wasn't always the same as now. I mean there wasn't a clear idea of what we need to be saving all this money for. And to be honest I didn't have a clear idea of what we need to be saving all this money for either other than that's just what I have been kind of taught to do by my parents. As far as hey you know once you start making money in this world you've got to save part of it because you're not always going to be you're working or you never know what will happen in life. And so we struggled early on. Mrs. Grumpus and I don't lie I think I wrote an article about how we headbutted and I didn't handle it the best. You know I just kind of laid down. OK here's the budget. You know drop the mike and walk away. And that didn't set a great pace or tone within our relationship for how money issues would come up and be discussed. But over the years we have gotten far better with it. I think you know we have learned to live with well within our means. You know saving anywhere from 30 to 40 percent a year. And this was you know well before we discovered financial independence or I came to this epiphany about what what our savings coupled with my pension might be able to do for us long term and you know she is great with it now shopping at Costco you know planning out meals the whole the whole deal. I didn't have to do a lot of that. But you know a lot of that stems from the beginning of the relationship where we did butt heads quite often early on about how we were spending money and you know she's still we still from time to time we talk about things I just think naturally I was just born to hate spending money.
debt, families, frugality, relationships, savings
1436 - 1481 Well I love that. I love it that's engrained into your moniker bread like this slowdown and that if we can because there's many couples out there were me maybe either the wife or the husband is just ingrained in the fi community and they are just soaking up the podcast and the blogs and they're taking this back to their spouse and because they're Mike dropping there's some serious resistance because they're saying this is what we need to do. There's no buy in. And so I'm just curious you know if you could dig out some actionable tips from where you started to where you are now where you're clearly not both you're not both soaking up everything that you can read about pensions you're not going on there and finding and reading all the blogs and all the articles but you're more or less on the same page at this point you're pursuing a common goal. Is there any actionable advice that you can give to someone who's maybe a few years behind you on this path.
1481 - 1794 Yes absolutely the first one would be especially if you're trying to initially get a handle on your finances in a young marriage or as a couple is that it's got to be done together. That was obviously my biggest mistake was I discovered after we got married. Mrs. Grumpus had some debt. Ten thousand dollars worth. of credit card debt. I'm like right. There is a problem. You know I'm the kind of guy who's just solved are born to solve problems so I went away and solved the problem on like height comeback. Here's what we're going to do. Going to go boom boom boom boom. I thought I was solving a problem. What I was doing was creating a different problem because I did involve Mrs. Grumpus in any of those plans or decisions. We didn't sit down and you know knock out a budget together figure out hey this is how we're going to transfer it. So that was one thing I would say right off the bat is it's got to be a plan that you are determined to solve together if you don't have buy in from your other half. You are setting up yourself for a much longer amount of complications. The second thing I would say is you have to track your money. I am huge on this budget. Yeah. Yes or no. I'm kind of up in the air on that. But the idea of tracking your money and knowing where all your money is going just comes back to pay dividends over and over again throughout your financial life regardless of whether or not you're attempting to achieve financial independence. Just knowing where your money is going and what it's doing is absolutely important. So if you done step one right you've involved your spouse or your significant other and then step two is your tracking money so you have this buy in you have this increment together that you should be tracking your money and knowing where it's going and what it's doing. And then I think it makes some of the other steps easier as you go along. Now the headbutting that went on early in our relationship came back to bite me when I went to present this idea of financial independence to Mrs. Grumpus's. She wasn't on board the first time I came. Oh my god have solved all our problems are all my problems. I figured it out. I'm going to continue in the military and just I'll never work again after after the military is so it's brilliant. And she's sitting there looking at me with a skeptical eye I think and I know in her head this is what she was thinking. You're just going to sit around the house and you're going to bug me all day and I am not on board with that whatsoever. You know she's she's developed this life. You know being a homemaker that's raising two boys it's a lot of work. So know she's sitting there in her eye like You're going to just be this disrupter and this this thing I've built for myself. And so. Yeah the first conversation about financial independence since didin't go so well obviously it takes multiple times for me to learn these things in life is that maybe trying to achieve by in instead of just going off to solve a problem is a lot better. So the second time I presented it to her was a much better well thought out discussion and we have annual discussions about our finances in the family right around tax season. Time is the natural time when you've you know reviewed your your taxes and all the stuff you need to submit. We use a CPA because ours is somewhat complicated with her having come from Europe and still having accounts over there so we use this natural point within the year to sit down and actually do a review talk about finance. And so you know the second time was kind of like hey what is your biggest fear. You know money wise going forward what are your biggest concerns. You know it turned out for her that her biggest concern is that she has come to appreciate a certain standard of living that we've been able to achieve throughout my military career. And she doesn't want that to change. And that was kind of a big aha point for me as like well if I can show you a way that I can retire and possibly never work again. You could never work again if you didn't want to. You know you could or you couldn't. It's completely up to you if I could show you a way that we could do that without our standard of living dropping in any significant way shape or form. Would that make you feel more secure about this. This plan I put together and the answer was ultimately yes you know if if I could demonstrate a way you know mathematically or whatever that our standard of living wouldn't drop then she was on board. So that's the Third takeaway right there. You have to find out what your significant others resisted points are to this idea of financial independence and in my case fire you know of retiring early and the potential of never working again. Find out what they are and then try and address those and if you don't thing I don't see how anybody would ever get their significant other on board with an idea like that unless you just are such in the same mindset about everything that they don't need convincing.
career, debt, families, military, mindset, relationships, tax
1794 - 1866 Yeah I absolutely love that. I mean first not to play a marriage counselor but communication is just so important. You just don't know what the other person is thinking until you really ask or you have that conversation and you approach it in a good natured way. Right. Not how you initially tried 10 plus years ago and basically said Here's our budget. We're knocking off his credit card debt. That's it right like that to her. Probably felt like an attack. And oh my life is changing dramatically and X Y and Z like that's a big thing and it seems like a one way communication as opposed to hey this is a plan that I think we can do going forward to achieve financial independence. What bothers you about this. What concerns you. I mean I think that's a brilliant strategy. I think that's something I try to focus on here in the podcast is like try to meet people where they are trying to figure out what lights people up what would be resistant for them what would make I'm excited about financial independence it's not about just this is what the math says and that's that because frankly the math that appeals to maybe 10 percent of people out there but it's the why that appeals to the other 90 and it's finding that strategy I think you did a brilliant job.
1866 - 1926 And what I love. I had this vision of like back in the early days you know you have this budget and maybe it's even a relatively easy budget to follow but just the conflict it caused and you had this one this one paragraph in this article that you wrote and you said sticking to the budget was not at all that hard. Although she could have a different opinion about that. The real issue was the resentment the budget created. As someone who had worked her entire adult life only to give up her career to immigrate to the USA on a fiance visa. Maria servicemen and await a green card. She had already experienced a significant shock to her identity and her psyche. At best she viewed the budget as my attempt to metaphorically shackle her to the house and kitchen. At worst she viewed it as a punishment for a mistake in which we were both culpable. In fact considering her resistance to the budget it was probably both and I have this vision of you sitting on mint or whatever like software that you're using at the time to track your finances and you're. Asking her about each individual receipt same. All right what category is this. OK what category is this. And her just totally shutting down on you.
1926 - 1961 Yep that is correct. That is exactly what I did and it was the wrong way of going about it. That's one of the reasons why I wrote that article was because I could see in your forum on Facebook you know all these people. This question comes up constantly right. And so I wrote this article to convey you know hey don't do it the way I did and a lot of my articles on my blog are like that because I've learned so many money mistakes over the years. But you know that one in particular is like. Sure it works out okay in the end but there is a much easier way of going about this and it's not the way I did it.
1961 - 1993 But this expands not just to your spouse but to your immediate social circle to the people that you care about deeply that you want to see achieve just a better level of financial success in every aspect and this is one of the things that I always give so much credit to Brad about. He's so much better at that strategy and instead of telling someone what they need to do you know talk to them about their aspirations their goals. That sort of thing. Get that buy in first and see what's that gentle nudge that you can give. What's that one like small light bulb moment. You can encourage somebody with it. The strategy is so valuable with this whole conversation.
1993 - 2032 It is and it's not something especially a person like me in the military an officer who's been told from the very beginning of their military training Hey you're an officer you give orders. Other people follow. You know that doesn't transfer very well to the home life. So just as a overall general rule not a good way of trying to carry your home life and certainly it doesn't help in the conversations about money financial independence security those types of things. As you said it's got to be a two way conversation it's going to be about finding what it is that motivates that person or what fears they have and try to solve those fears or allay those fears somehow.
2032 - 2056 And now that you've overcome those fears with your wife and had this conversation I'm curious what does financial independence look like to you. So you're only a couple of years away from getting this pension. You've been saving as you said a number of minutes ago 30 to 40 percent plus that's probably before you've found the FI community. So you're sitting in a very enviable financial position. What does that fine look like when you retire.
2056 - 2106 What it looks like for us is we will go back to Southern California hopefully if not we have a few other geographic alternatives in the US near military locations so that we can benefit from you know all the things that military retirement has to offer as far as those extra perks and things like that and we'll own a house outright and we will have an ability to pay for our boys's college. We will have an ability to essentially do whatever we want. We could work again. We could start a business. She could go back to work doesn't matter because we don't need to do it if we don't have to. And that's what financial independence looks like for us. As you know the world is our oyster after that point essentially.
college, military
2106 - 2138 Nice. Yeah I absolutely like that and I just wanted to kind of ask a random question that came up in my mind when you were telling your story. So you're 16 years in. Obviously you have this situation in PTSD and you're trying to decide can I make it to the end here. Did the decision ever almost go the other way. Did you ever actually almost retire from the military and just say to heck with the retirement it sounds great but I just can't make it. And I've been saving this money. I think we can do it nonetheless was it ever that close I guess is my ultimate question.
military, savings
2138 - 2336 I think for me. No that would be the answer there. As soon as I have the mental breakdown I got myself checked into therapy start seeing a therapist. And it started solve my mental issues or at least try to solve those issues as well as I continued on the financial educational journey I was on at the time anyways. And it kind of all came together in many ways about gosh I guess a little over a year ago. I was listening to Torabi what's her first name. TARABAY Farnoosh Torabi's podcasts and she interviewed Jim Collins. And I'm like wow this is what let's see talking about this you know idea of f you money and he's making some references in this interview about this idea that you might be able to accumulate enough money to never work again. And so I immediately went and checked out his blog got his book because his book had just come out downloaded it on my Kindle. And I read it and it blew my mind. And I'm like it not from like the aspect of Hey low cost index funds and stuff like that because I was I was already there at that point I had done all the research you kind of knew all that math. But this idea that especially with Mr. Money Mustache giving giving the intro this idea of you know accumulating enough money to never work again. And so I went away from that trying to examine can I do that now. And the obvious answer was No. The obvious answer was yeah we had accumulated a lot of money but we hadn't accumulated enough to where we were. I would never work again. And a lot of my anxiety and stress I placed on myself up to that point was this unnatural belief that I had to go and find another job after the military so in the years leading up to my mental breakdown you know my PTSD and things like that catching up with me was this idea I would always go on from the military to do something else you know will be that government contracting or another government job or something completely different altogether. Was this idea that you know you just don't retire from the military and never work again that's unless you retire as you know very high in the officer ranks. You just you just don't do that right. You know that's just you don't have enough money to live on. But the discovery of the fact that with the 55 60 thousand dollars that my pension would bring in every year depending on exactly when I retired you know coupled with what we had already saved was a completely. It was a game changer. It was a completely different ball game. So I guess to answer that was a long way of answering your question Brad is that I was never really that close to smashing the button. The eject button and getting out I never submitted my papers my resignation papers or any of that drama because of all this stuff kind of came to the head weirdly. You know maybe serendipitously all at one time my mental health issues this financial journey I'd been on listening to that podcast and find this idea that Jim Collins had presented and then you know going on from there and just reading all the blogs I could about this idea of financial independence so sorry.
indexfunds, military
2336 - 2366 No no no. That's when I was actually going it. I was actually going to say to you I'm actually glad you took the long winded approach because you set us up for this perfect transition to talk about how to calculate your gap number because that's essentially what we're talking about. You had this epiphany that while you did not have enough money saved up to technically call yourself at fi you had this golden albatross waiting for you just a few years down the road. And when you added those two together you came up with this space and I believe you called that the gap number right.
2366 - 2475 I do. Yes so I wrote an article about how to calculate your Gap number and this is exactly about that. It's about looking at again evaluating quantifying what your pension is going to bring in at whatever retirement point you choose and then figuring out what's your what the difference is in what you project your expenses to be. And I've heard you guys talk about this issue on the podcast before. It's one I think it's great. It's a brilliant thing in that when you're talking about retirement planning or you're talking about fi you need to understand what your expenses are. You don't need to concentrate on trying to replicate how much money you're making in your working years. You need to understand what your expenses are going to be in your post retirement or post FI years or whatever you're trying to shoot for and understanding what kind of fixed income streams are going to solve. Part of that equation and then what's the safe withdrawal rate coming out of your investments is going to do to solve the rest of that equation. And that's that's really this essence of trying to solve for your gap number is that as a pension or as a future pensioner I have a certain amount of fixed income that's going to come in. So that takes my safe withdrawal rate. number or you know that magic number that a lot of people are saving for down a huge percentage right. And so the gap number is just that smaller amount in between what your pension. Maybe you know eventually Social Security if we're lucky enough to still have that around it's going to bring in versus what you need to rely on in your investments and in your savings or in maybe your side hustle or whatever else to get to your number.
hustle, savings, socialsecurity
2475 - 2498 And we won't try to replicate the wheel and go through all of your article series. I think it's enough to say right now that that is not as difficult of a problem as it sounds at face value. It is quantifiable but you are going to have to do some research and it will depend on your specific scenario. I know that when you are doing the research for yourself there were a few financial calculators that you found very useful. Could you maybe talk a little bit about the resources that you leaned on.
2498 - 2700 Yeah I can and I'd have to give a huge shout out to Dero Kirkpatrick and his Web site or blog. Can I retire yet. After I found Jim Collins and really started to get into this idea of maybe never working and I have to go out and figure out how to make those calculations and somehow I found Derek Kirkpatrick's book title The same same title as blog. Can I retire yet in that book he talks about the need to use good financial calculators and I think Darrow's probably done the exhaustive analysis on what are good financial retirement calculators versus what are probably not so good. And he's he's got these levels and tiers. Like more high powered versus less high powered you know I ended up using it of course fire calque is one of the popular ones that a lot of people use. But I also ended up using flexible retirement planner which is completely free. I think there is a paid version but a completely free high powered retirement calculator that allows you to put as many inputs as you want in and you know all the different variables that you'd have going on in your specific scenario to include fixed income like a pension coming in you know future expenses like college or whatever and then you know crunch those numbers. I think that one specifically uses a Monte Carlo scenario I won't necessarily go down that rabbit hole of how these things calculate. You can go to Darrow's Web site and read as much as you want about it instead. But that is what I use like so that was the next logical step for me was you know I found this mind blowing idea of financial independence and fire the retirement early aspect of that and then came down hey I got to figure out how to make these numbers work. Like you said it's not as daunting as you think it is to begin with. I'm not naturally inclined towards math. I never did well in math in school but with the tools that are out there on the internet it is a lot easier. And I would also say you know I referenced this before. I've been tracking my money for you know as long as I have been employed as an adult. So you know one of the first computers I came loaded with Microsoft money on it. You know I've been using that for decades. And then you know I transition to quicken and mentor personal capital now so you know you have all these tools out there that makes that process so much easier than when I was doing it back in the Microsoft Money days. But the bottom line is I was always tracking our money and so I was quickly able to transition all that knowledge I had. Once I found this mind blowing concept of fi into making the calculations right and being able to actually see on a spreadsheet exactly what it would take for us to achieve our goal or at least my goal at the time and then that allowed me going back to a previous part of our conversation that allow me to go to Mrs. Grumpus and be like you know I've done these calculations. I think we can do it think we can hit your goal of not having our standard of life drop because of all these different things and I'm looking at here on this spreadsheet. No just kidding.
2700 - 2716 Well I think what's so interesting about that is you latched onto the value of tracking your income and to some degree your expenses at an earlier age. But it sounded to me like you didn't have the lightbulb on. Oh wow I should really understand how this pension works until much later in your career.
2716 - 2788 Oh yeah I did not. And I think many military people I can't speak to other pensionable communities but up until recently until the new retirement system came in you know the retirement the older retirement system that I'm under three high you know hasn't changed very much over the years so everybody just kind of had this general understanding of how it worked. But I had never specifically looked at the details. I never specifically looked at all the benefits and all. Like exactly how does retired military medical work and how does dental work and all that. I've never done that. So I had to go away and do all that research I had to go and kind of bring that back into my projections for our postretirement life. And you know what those meant from an expense point of view. And then what that meant as an income point of view as far as the pension paycheck and stuff like that come in and so you know I'm guilty I'm sure plenty of other people are too. But you know I'll be the first to stick my hand up in the air that I served over 16 years in the military before I ever bothered to do research on exactly the benefits my pension potentially would pay and bring to me.
employeebenefits, military, pensions
2788 - 2823 So I just want to highlight almost an actionable tip because we have a large a significant percentage of our audience that is in the military in one form of service or another. I'm just I wanted to take a second to highlight. Could you maybe express to them the value of understanding how your pension works not just when you're about to get out but from the beginning. I mean do you feel that if you had understood how the pension works from the beginning and you tie that to your understanding of what your expenses were and what your income if you put all those together do you think your plan crystallizes much sooner and it gives you a more clear direction for where your future is headed.
2823 - 2902 Absolutely. There's no doubt in my mind that had I done that earlier on I would have had a much clearer goal or an idea at least maybe not as crystalize as a goal but at least a much clearer idea of what exactly we were saving for and what our money could be doing for us as opposed to just you know once I retire at 20 or 25 or whatever I've got this pension and you know probably going to have to go to work again because that's what everybody does. That was that was not a clear goal. That was not a clear understanding actually as I've done the research into this pension series that I've written. It actually turns out there are institutions out there that have studied this and you know they find that very early on in people's career there's just this natural tendency for them not to focus on what the retirement benefits are just full stop not even pension but just full stop. And you know as they get more longevity into their career obviously that comes more to the forefront. If you could somehow shift that mindset from later in the career like where I was and shift that up a decade I think you are in a much better place than you would be otherwise. I don't see how you could not be.
career, mindset, savings
2902 - 2916 Do you think a lot of people entering the military intend to be there for 20 years. Do you think that's part of it. And if this education was brought up a decade like you said would that factor into how long people do serve.
2916 - 2987 So Brad. The statistics don't bear out. I'm sure a lot of people come into the military thinking they are going to do a full 20 and earn that retirement and a lot of people of my generation probably did that as well. But the statistics just do not bear that out. There is an overwhelming amount. I think it's up in the 80 percent range that get out before they earn their pension for whatever reason maybe they are only ever going to serve for four years and get out to begin with. Or maybe they got somewhere along the way and decided this wasn't for them for whatever reason there is only a small percentage of people who have actually been able to carry on through that that 20 year mark and earn that pension which is one of the reasons why the DOD has now gone to this new system where you can walk away with something like a 401k through the Thrift Savings Program that you know previously there was no match so it was an all or none thing for me and it still is. But the younger generation now is I think getting a somewhat better deal in that they don't have to worry about that. All or none as much they won't get the huge pension unless they stay in but they will at least walk away with something.
401k, military, savings
2987 - 2996 I'm curious also have you been able to present financial independence for any of these topics to any of your colleagues in the military like have you actually had conversations with anyone.
2996 - 3113 It's funny you should ask that because my blogging actually had a previous career as some e-mails I was sending around my command of Hey I'm new at the command. I'm really into personal finance and stuff like that. Yes you have all your your regular methods of contacting you know the family career center and things like that. Or you know you could read this e-mail that that I've put together a lot of my blog post started that way as previous to me even having this idea that I would become a blogger of just being these e-mails that I would send around the command. Yay. You ever thought about this. Or hey here's some blog sites you might want to check out. Or you know just various things. So I have tried to spread the fire as you guys are often saying within the command. I'm Currently at my previous command it wasn't set up necessarily that way and I wasn't naturally at a point anyway. So really start talking about it. But certainly since I've been here in Hawaii for about the past year I have been trying to do that and I've had you know a little bit of success. One of the noncommissioned officers one of the senior non-commissioned officers who I work with recently approached me and said hey you know I'm in this math class and we were talking about compounding interests and then all that stuff that you've been talking about for the last few months started to make sense. And so I'm transferring over my accounts I've paid off my credit card debt blah blah blah. I'm like wow that's great. That's awesome. Let's sit down let's talk and then help you get there even sooner. I take the approach. I'm kind of like the guy on the beach throwing one starfish back into the sea at a time. You throw some some general comments out there or an e-mail or something like that to try and stimulate some conversation see who's interested. After that you just got to engage on a person by person basis.
blogger, career, debt
3113 - 3185 I agree and certainly don't discount the value of that one two five people that you've spoken with because I've found in my own life that this does really increase exponentially like I'll tell someone about FI or about my podcast and then finally they go and talk to other people in their lives like I randomly met someone yesterday at my Crossfit gym and he's like oh hey you're Brad. I listened to your podcast because this other guy was telling me about it. It's like you know it's crazy right. Like how cool is that. And I'm not the most outgoing like oh I have this podcast type of person like that that's just not my style. But like so I never would have had this conversation with this guy. But now you know he's a salesman. He's in his car all the time listening to the podcasts and who knows who he tells. Right and it just goes on and on from there. So we make the impact that we can in our lives. And so definitely don't discount that and for the audience out there that's the strategy that I always talk about is find those people who may be interested in this and just talk to them in passing about it. Don't stuff it down people's throats. That's just not going to work. But you know you find that one or two people and then you've got a group and then some other people may join you and it just goes on and on from there. So I think that's the best strategy personally.
3186 - 3247 Yeah I know you guys are probably seeing this as you build both your your podcast up and as well as your facebook group. You know you hit this tipping point right. And not to say that I am anywhere within the realm of the followership nor would I be talking about pensions so much but it has been interesting for me to see especially since I took a cue from you guys and developed a Facebook group to go along with my blog for the longest time is probably about 20 readers and me just sitting around talking about pension stuff and lately. For whatever reason that that membership has started to grow because maybe your word is spreading and then you know through the Facebook group and stuff like that whenever pensions come up there's yeah there's this blogger Grumpus Maximus he's he's you know always talking about pensions. And so you know for whatever reason you see these things start to grow slowly over time initially and then exponentially grow from there. Right.
blogger, pensions
3247 - 3255 It really is. So I'm curious Grampus since you've been tracking this you have your pension in place. How much longer till you reach financial independence.
3255 - 3269 So my goal right now is three years four at the outside depending on I'm sensitive to conditions of the market and things like that. So I want to leave myself a little bit of a window but three to four years that's the target.
3269 - 3270 Awesome.
3270 - 3342 And yeah I just have one. One last question and this is kind of like back of the envelope math because people ask me this all the time how the interplay works with the pension your expenses and any net worth you have saved up in the market etc.. So let's just say for argument's sake I think you said your pensions give me about 60000 thousand dollars approximately and your yearly expenses just hypothetically were 80000 and we're not going to talk about inflation or anything like that. This is just simple back of the envelope the gap then would be 20000. Right. The 80000 expenses is less than 60 you have been pension. Is it as simple as saying OK you have this 20000 gap you need to make. You multiply that by 25 or whatever your safe withdraw but we'll just use the 4 percent rule of thumb. Multiply that 20000 by 25 to get a five hundred thousand dollar pot of money. And I can then withdraw 4 percent from that five hundred thousand. There's my 20000 I ride off into the sunset and I'm financially independent. Is it as simple as that. And of course I know you have this long series you know eight plus parts. So obviously simple I'm using kind of tongue in cheek here but like if someone was looking for back of the envelope could they use that. Or is there much more to it.
networth, pensions
3342 - 3352 Yeah you're spot on Brad. You hit it in general terms you just described everything that I've been trying to describe over the last hour is a great job.
3352 - 3353 Wonderful.
3353 - 3360 That's all. Oh it is a little like skip the time stamp at the beginning of the episode. Alright just go into this part and then you're done.
3360 - 3367 You don't have to listen to me waffle on. You don't have to. And obviously Brad you're trainable. Right.
3367 - 3390 Well you know but I mean that's great. I'm thrilled about this because I don't know anything about pensions and you know people ask me that question and if I can summarize it just from learning what I've learned from you over the last hour that's wonderful. Right like that that's a big win because I was coming in with no information and that's that's how I would come out conceptually from this. So hopefully the audience took that away and then when I was able to summarize it then that's the bow on this.
3390 - 3403 Yeah. You know depending on when your pension kicks in for a military pension that kicks in right away and some other government pensions at various levels of government that kick in right away. It is as simple as that.
military, pensions
3403 - 3429 What I love about this and tying it back to the Tod Tresor episode from several weeks ago is that's the level 1 understanding right there the level two understanding is where you go and you dig through Grumpus Maximus's. content grumpus what is the best way for people that do have a pension and need to figure out how do I add into this the fact that it's not indexed for inflation the fact that health care isn't baked into this the fact that I have very unique circumstances about when this is going to land. What's the best way for people to reach you.
3429 - 3455 So I'm on Grumpus Maximus dot com that is. Many thanks to you guys for encouraging me to go out and secure that domain. I'm also on Facebook under my nom de guerre as well. Grumpus Maximus I run a Facebook group. It's called the golden albatross slash golden handcuffs where we talk about all these pension issues in depth as well or you can e-mail me at Grumpus Maximus at Grumpus Maximus dot com awesome.
3455 - 3461 Well normally that would be the end of the episode but on our show we'd like to give you the chance to tackle the hot seat. Are you ready for this.
3461 - 3466 I am so excited for this.
3466 - 3493 In a world drowning in debt and rampant consumption. Trapped by the chains of lifestyle inflation. These questions highlight the secrets of those who have broken free. Welcome to the choose FI hot seat.
3493 - 3505 Do. You guys just walk around with that playing in your head everywhere you go. I think like that would be like my theme music with voiceover In the background. Yeah this is awesome.
3505 - 3515 So I listen to the podcast Yeah I listen to the podcast episodes after they get published usually with my wife and I never skip through that.
3515 - 3519 I don't blame you a bit. It is one of the best parts of the podcast jsut hearing that .
3519 - 3523 Alright question number one your favorite blog of all time.
3523 - 3569 Yeah so my favorite blog of all time. Since you know a lot of people have said Jim Collins in the past. I'm going to go with Dero Kirkpatrick's Can I retire yet because that was the one that really allowed me to start getting into the details and calculating all these things that we've been talking about in order for me to figure out that you know financial independence and early retirement for me is possible. It is not this mythical thing. You know in an Darrow's a great example because he is an early retiree didn't rely on a pension to do that but you know has just a huge number of resources on that page he's been blogging for years and so that's my answer. Can I retire yet dotcom one of the best in my opinion.
3569 - 3572 It is definitely a goal for 2018 to have him on the show.
3572 - 3612 Yeah he doesn't do too many podcast interviews. From my understanding so he's he's one of my two main mentors. I have to give a shout out to Doug Norman. You know Nords who is the original military financial independence blogger and he's just happened to be here on Hawaii I'm station in Hawaii at the moment so we got together in the very early days of my blog. And he's been mentoring me along. But he did an introduction an introduction for me to Dero and both of those guys are great but I think Dero spends a lot of his time outdoors and enjoying enjoying the retired life much like you know we all talk about.
blogger, military
3612 - 3615 All right. Question number two your favorite article of all time.
3615 - 3684 You know obviously I listened to the podcasts avidly so I knew this one was coming and I'm going to take a cop out and say I have yet to be able to find the exact article in Jim Collins is a blog that corresponds to the idea of the you know the 4 percent safe withdrawal where and when he talks about in this book a lot. So it's it's somewhere on his blog I haven't quite translated it but you know the theme from the book that I pulled away and you know just the mind blowing aspect not so much of you know what he talks about in his stock series about index funds and things like that and how to cut your costs and just you know the simplicity aspect of it. But the other side of hey this is what your money can do for you in retirement and you know getting into that. He discusses it in his book a little bit you know getting into the Trinity study and stuff like that. I know you know some people have some issues with it but just as a general intro point into this whole idea of a safe withdrawal rate I'm sure it's on his blog somewhere but it's definitely the way he draws it out in this book was what I remember most.
indexfunds, stocks
3684 - 3690 I think that's part 13 the 4 percent role withdrawal rates and how much can I spend anyway.
3690 - 3692 That is impressive knowledge.
3692 - 3698 Agreed. I just bookmark his entire stock series in my mind for quick reference. All right.
3698 - 3705 You guys got him on the on the podcast so many times. I'm sure you can just give them a call you probably have them on speed dial don't you.
3705 - 3716 If he had like the bat phone from the 1960s show Yeah yeah I would totally have that red button inside the statue that would be to Jim Collins. No doubt about it.
3716 - 3720 And Jim listens to every episode so you know he's listening to this. Which is great.
3720 - 3722 Well I'd love to meet him someday.
3722 - 3725 All right. Question number three your favorite life hack.
3725 - 3782 I've given this a lot of thought to. And I don't know if this qualifies as a hack or not. And we talked about it extensively already but just tracking your money and having an understanding of where your money's going and what it is doing. I was doing that for years without any real understanding as to why I did that. But when I did have the realization that I needed to be doing that it was all there for me. So you know when I started making the calculations about financial independence all that information how years and years of data. So my confidence in the numbers I was projecting is especially as far as expenses go and retirement. You know I have a much higher confidence because I've been tracking our expenses for decades. I don't think there's going to be some huge fluctuation between what we do know now versus retirement because I have this understanding because I've been tracking our money for so long so I'm not sure it's a hack but definitely you've got to be doing that.
3782 - 3789 I love it. It is perfect. Absolutely. Question number four your biggest financial mistake.
3789 - 3817 Oh that's. That is easy and that is I wrote one of my personal favorites. I don't know if it's anybody else's personal favorite article about this. I sold 300 shares of Amazon and late 2004 in order to accumulate enough money for a down payment on a house in southern California at the height of the housing market and the compounding effect of that of that cost over time.
3817 - 3820 You could have just bought the house now.
3820 - 3854 Oh multiple times over. I think you know it's just god the tears for strong streaming down my face when I was writing this because I had always known that was a mistake. You know after after the housing crash everybody kind of knew you know that was kind of a mistake for buying at that high of the market with that frothiness. But I never actually gone away and calculated the cost. And it wasn't just Amazon Amazon I sold a basket of stocks. But Amazon's like the biggest one in there that if I just hung onto it I wouldn't be sitting here probably talking to you today.
3854 - 3859 All right. Question number five the advice you would give your younger self.
3859 - 3908 I think education in the personal finance realm has got to be the number one piece of advice if I could go back in time to that 18 year old Grumpus Maximus that you know legally took ownership of the money from this lawsuit that I mentioned at the very beginning. And you know explain to to that person hey I know it's hard to imagine but if you can just educated yourself enough if you read a book or two if you know your money or your life or some some book that was popular maybe like the millionaire next door at the time at least touch on this this issue from time to time instead of walking through your life ignorant thinking you know what you're doing with money when you really don't. That would be my biggest piece of advice.
3908 - 3924 Just out of curiosity since you did bring up the 100000 dollars earlier I really wanted to ask but conversation moved on like did you spend any significant portion of that frivolously or did your parents keep an eye on it or was it just yours then you theoretically could have done whatever you wanted.
3924 - 4008 It's more the former my parents up until the point where I legally took custody of it. Definitely there were certain rules I could maybe withdraw a little bit to buy a used car when I needed it. I did that. Education was definitely an allowable expense. I financed my master's through that money and that to be honest I was probably the best money decision I ever made. Didn't know it at the time but just you know from life experience where I when I went overseas to study and get my master's and it was just this great thing. So there were like within limits or certain things I could spend that money on but by the time I had gotten into the military and moved on from there that money was mine to do whatever I want with. So obviously you know I'm sitting there thinking I'm day trading and buying stocks on my own. I'm just lucky I didn't you know I know this is a family friendly program so I'm lucky I didn't blow that money right. I'm lucky it just didn't go away. Somehow I think in the back of my head I was I kind of knew what that money was supposed to be and my mom had always always told me hey this money is for you later in life because these injuries are going to catch up with you and you need to have made this money do something for you in that aspect of being there for you later in your life because who knows like what kind of medical issues are going to come out of this this accident later on down the line.
families, military, stocks
4008 - 4018 Yeah I mean that's brilliant advice by your mom and to think long term. So yeah I mean that's that's a little FI lesson as an 18 year old. So that's really wonderful advice.
4018 - 4039 Brad when he started that story like at the beginning of this episode talking about how he got that windfall from this horrible accident I was convinced that unique that story was going to finish with the money being blown. So kudos to you and your parents for having used it for a good purpose. We do have a bonus question for you. Your favorite purchase made on Amazon.com last year.
4039 - 4091 So I bought an electric bike to make my commute easier because I don't know if you've ever been out here in Hawaii on Oahu specifically. It's hilly and I live at the top of an eight hundred foot climb. So at the end of the day I was coming home exhausted and I bought an electric bike and it was a great purchase. And as much as I realized I I loved the experience of being able to bike to and from work couldn't do it without the electric part of it at the end. Coming back up that hill the purchase itself and actually just published an article on this wasn't the best purchase I've subsequently gotten a newer e-bike that can actually take the amount of punishment I'm putting it through. But overall the initial experience and buying that off of Amazon was probably the best best thing I've spent my money on in a while.
4091 - 4094 Grumpus thanks so much for coming on the show today and sharing your story.
4094 - 4104 First of all you are welcome. And then thank you as well for for young blogger like me. This has been a huge experience a great experience for me. So thank you as well.
4104 - 4169 Thanks Grumpus. Have a great day. Thank you so much for listening to this episode I hope you got value from it. I hope that if you have a pension and you're trying to figure out how to incorporate this pension into my FI plan that this added a little bit of contract and definitely go check out Grumpus's content. If you want more information on that. Thank you so much for listening. Thank you for being a part of this community. If you want to support us here are four easy ways. 1 leave us an Itunes review you want to do that just go to choose FI dot com slash iTunes two use our page and sign up for travel credit cards. If you want to travel the world with miles and points instead of your hard earned dollars then just go to choose F.I. dot com slash cards and get started today. 3 If you're working on the milestones of FI set up a personal capital account to track your progress and use our affiliate link. It's completely free and just go to choose F.I. dot com slash PC P as in Paul C as in Cat and four and most importantly find your friends co-workers and family members who might be open to this message and tell them about the podcast. Have them start with episode 38 the Why of Fi and right behind that have them go Listen to Episode 21 the pillars of FI. It is a fantastic starting place. Alright. My friends the fire spreading. We'll see you next time as we continue to go down the road less traveled.
4169 - 4177 You've been listening to choose FI radio podcast where we help middle class America build wealth. one life hack at a time.

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