Alright guys, back to something a little less fun than the brewery passport– but seriously so much more awesome. A few weeks ago, I told you guys about Journey To Launch, the podcast that introduced me to the concept of Financial Independence/Retire Early (FI or FIRE). Once I finished that podcast, I needed to know more. And after hearing about them on Journey To Launch, I made my way over to the ChooseFI podcast.
Now some of you may have seen the recent New York Times article, How to Retire in Your 30s With $1 Million in the Bank and I imagine you were pretty skeptical. Especially because, yes, the featured millionaire had already been making a 6-figure salary, and his wife was still working, and any of the other excuses that appeared in the comments. If that was you, bear with me here.
The guy who was the topic of the article is Carl Jensen, known as Mr. 1500 in the FIRE community. He set out to reach his goal of financial independence in 1500 days– he did it, and then some. You can check out his blog here.
I had one major issue with the article, and that was the fact that they made it seem like such an elitist accomplishment (see above statement about him making 6 figures). The best thing about this movement is that you can really reach FI without the 6-figure income. And that’s where ChooseFI comes in.
I loved Journey To Launch for the stories and the variety of guests on the podcast, including many with average or less than average salaries. But I found it lacking in guidance during the podcast (there are resources on the website/blog, but this girl ain’t got time for that). ChooseFI is all about the actionable tips, and they go super in depth about a lot of them. Have a notebook handy because you will want to take notes.
Brad and Jonathan talk about budgeting, about travel hacking, about grocery hacking, about tax optimization, about draw-down strategy, about the Roth conversion ladder… They hit everything. Any tool you could possibly use on your path to FI is covered in this podcast, and likely by someone who is an expert at that particular tactic. You’re also going to find, amongst those few people who did everything right, a number of people who did everything completely wrong– then turned it around.
So what is Financial Independence? “A state in which an individual or household has sufficient wealth to live on without having to depend on income from some form of employment. Financially independent people have assets that generate income that is at least equal to their expenses.” Thank you, Wikipedia. In a nutshell, it’s basic personal finance and financial literacy on steroids. But it’s more than that, really, and looks different for everyone. No two paths to FI are identical and what qualifies as reaching FI is unique to every individual.
I’d be glad to talk about this some more, but I think ChooseFI might do a better job. Take a listen to their podcast– specifically episodes 38 and 21. If you’re interested, keep listening, and use some of their tips. I really think you’ll be glad you did!