054 _ Fully Funded Lifestyle Change

054 | Fully Funded Lifestyle Change

Jonathan makes a HUGE announcement about quitting his job. We discuss this big transition, how Jonathan will be planning for the future and the power dynamics behind FI.

In today’s episode we cover:

  • Huge announcement: Jonathan quitting his job
  • The reasons for doing this change
  • His thought process before taking action
  • Why Jonathan is able to take this decision
  • How his situation is optimal to take this leap
  • What has changed in his life over the past year
  • What triggered Jonathan to quit
  • How FI allows you to take decision in your best interest
  • The power dynamics involved
  • Jonathan’s path to FI
  • The importance of keeping relationships: quitting the job on good terms
  • How FU money should be operated from a place of power
  • The financial steps Jonathan is taking as he transitions out of his job
  • The importance of shopping around for life insurance when young
  • The dilemma with health insurance
  • How FI is about planning for eventualities
  • Teaser on a future episode about managing taxes as an entrepreneur

Listen to Brad and Jonathan's thoughts about this episode here.

Links from the show:


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24 thoughts on “054 | Fully Funded Lifestyle Change”

  1. Congratulations! Quitting was a forceful move given that you aren’t at full FI but have trimmed everything to a modest living standard. I applaud that you left on your terms but in a positive way. It speaks well to your work ethic and professionalism that your previous employer would welcome you back. There is certainly plenty of future financial upside with your passion, knowledge and website(s).

    Your advice regarding term life insurance is important. I am just over 50 years old and my wife and I have several different life policies. I acquired a 20 year level term life many years ago and recently had an accident and herniated a disc. Getting a new policy at a reasonable price is difficult at this time. By all means lock in a low rate now. Consider 20 or 30 year level term.

  2. Congrats Jonathan! Your podcast has been an inspiration to me for months. Now your story itself is the inspiration. I hope your career change brings you more and more winning. Thanks for showing us all how it’s done.

  3. Big BIG congrats Jonathan!! Very awesome! And here’s to great things ahead for you and your family as you begin this new phase.

    Love the show and it’s been great to follow along and get to know you and Brad a bit more along the way.

    Here’s to continued success at ChooseFI and in all the other endeavors that lie ahead!

  4. This episode really hits home. I’ve been listening to you guys for the last few months but this episode is clearly highlighting what I’m going through right now. My job is super stressful (physician), and I’ve been at it for the last 10 years.. but am clearly burning out. I’ve been doing the math, and although my strategy is slightly different from the 25x expenses (I have several rental properties in addition to retirement and non-retirement accounts), the decision to finally hang it up or to work 1-2 nights per month is on my mind constantly.

    I have to agree, once the consumer debt is gone, you realize that you don’t need that much to live on. I have one debt left (besides my mortgages on my rentals), and as you can guess.. it’s the big bad student loans. I did the math including the student loan payments in my monthly expenses calculations, and I can work 3-4 nights per month and have this covered. I don’t have that much of a buffer, but the strategy is that once this student loan is eventually done away with forever, I can attack and fund a year’s worth of living expenses. Everything in the episode was like an anthem of what I was going through. I never thought that the student loan debt would ever go away, but here I am now, since cutting my expenses to the bone in a position to knock this out in less than a year’s time. I can see the finish line! How cool is that??

    The biggest wild card is health insurance. I have chronic health issues now, (one of the reasons I want to cut down on dramatically on work). and being self-employed, I pay for these premiums monthly. It’s calculated into my monthly expenses, but I can only see this expense going up in the future. This very fact is one of the reasons I’m a little hesitant to pull the trigger once the student loans are paid off. I wanted to build a huge buffer of several years worth of living expenses. I guess that’s the only viable strategy at this time for now.

    But I just want to thank you guys on a timely, and very thought provoking podcast.


    • Wow 🙂 Congratulations on the light bulb moment. I could literally feel the stress melting away when I realized without debt, my life cost next to nothing. Thanks for the feedback!

  5. Congratulations! It’s “Game Changer” Action Time!

    I agree with Nick that you should look into what is called “level term” life insurance. Forecast out how long you will likely need it — usually its a “kids are grown and I’m over 50” and buy some that will go that distance. But I have split ours so a I have a chunk of level term that will last until “x date” and then some that is still purchased year-to-year and we are pulling back on as we go. Having two policies provides a little more flexibility if you are not quite sure about what your needs will be 10+ years down the road.

    Get your will done too. You don’t want a court deciding who is going to raise your kid if disaster strikes both of you at the same time.

    And you KNOW you want at least one baseball bat to the fax machine/printer scene. Because secretly we all do ;-): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N9wsjroVlu8

  6. My husband and I are almost 40. We have 2 kids, ages 3 and 5. We decided on a $1,000,000 policy for each of us, but split into one $500,000 20 year term policy and another $500,000 30 year policy on each of us. Cheaper than a single $1,000,000 policy for each. Plus once we get to FI maybe we’ll just cancel one of them. This gives me peace of mind that we’ll be more than well taken care of in the eventuality that one or both of us dies while our kids are still so young. By the time the 20 year one runs out, we’ll hopefully have significant assets under our belt, but still have some coverage if we want it.

  7. Congrats, Jonathan! So cool that you’re able to use the FI lessons from this community in real life!

    When you mention trying to juggle the fulltime job and ChooseFI, I can relate (it was like that for us when we were working and writing our children’s book). It’s such a relief to not have to juggle anymore and be able to do what we love all the time. Such is the power of FU money.

    Congrats on 2 million downloads! Looking forward to all the wonderful ChooseFI episodes in 2018!

  8. Congratulations Jonathan. I was not really surprised by your announcement except that it came a little earlier than I thought it would.

    I commented after the interview with Todd Tresidder that Brad was able to quit his job because of his side hustle of travel rewards. I figured the same would happen for Jonathan with ChooseFI being so successful. Brad sells himself short when he talks about tinkering around with different things for 7 years, but it was that tinkering that eventually led to his successful travel rewards site and this podcast.

    It is important to note that it is ChooseFI that is enabling this decision for Jonathan. The living frugal part is probably only 20% of the puzzle at most because you need some kind of income. I only point this out because people should realize that a key to FI and happiness in general isn’t just saving money. It would be beneficial for most people to try a side hustle and to just take action on something.

    Brad and Jonathan made a decision to start this podcast. I’m sure they didn’t have their ducks in a row when they started, and they had no idea where it was going. But they started. They took action.

    Maybe 9 out of 10 businesses end up failing in the first five years. The odds are against everyone in this respect. But I do know that you will never have a successful business or side hustle if you never take the action to start one.

    • Thanks Geoff 🙂 all true !! it will be fun to sift through it over the next year and see what actionable content we can pull out of it – but the Side Hustle is clearly a pillar of FI that needs to be explored much more

  9. Congratulations on opening the next chapter in your life. It takes a lot of tenacity to make something like that happen. The ChooseFI podcast is a must listen. I get something out of every episode. Just listening to the both of you today go through the checklist of things to get in order was a great reminder to take action. Compiling that master list of accounts with other important information and getting it to a safe digital and hard copy place is something I need to get done. I came across this list that is a good starting point.
    I look forward to all the great content that the ChooeFI team will be producing.

  10. Congrats!

    It’s so awesome that after only a year (not even a year?), you already feel comfortable not working full time in the pharmacy.

    • Haha – you caught me,

      I have people coming to ask me about bitcoin left and right and it’s overwhelming – you try to fight off the fomo ( new lingo for me testing it out) but it’s intense – I am definitely happy watching from the sidelines

  11. Jonathan, congrats. You’ve EARNED the ability to choose this. Life is too short to have a profession that doesn’t really make you happy. If you can find something you’re a)good at, and b)love to do, you should do it. And you (and that Brad fellow over there) are very good at what you do. You’ve made massive changes that 99% of the population simply won’t choose to do. Good for you!

    ps – Run away from bitcoin as fast as you can! It’s like being paid to hold a live hand grenade with an unknown fuse length.

  12. Wow Congrats Jonathan! I still can’t believe I’ve been listening to your podcast for a year and just realized a couple weeks ago who you really were! Blows my mind how small the world is. Tell your brother I said hey as well!

  13. Great podcast many thanks! Johnathan as a fellow rph thought I would share my “life hack” with you. Not sure if it will be beneficial in your state but something I think is worth investigating. I currently work for the state of CA. As a state rph I make a lower per hr wage but the benefits offset that. I can work 20hrs/wk and receive full medical benefits for my family of four. I receive pension credit and contribution from the state and after 10 yrs of state service will receive 20% of my annual pay and 50% health benefits for life since I work 1/2 time I accrue this benefit at 1/2 the rate of a full time employee so 20 yrs for me. If I put in 5 yrs state service (10 yrs for me at my 1/2 time work rate) I get 10% of my full pay but no medical for life. This is my route as I will not need more thanks to FI. Anyways long story short I can work 20 hrs/ wk by doing two 10hr shifts and I’m done. meaning 5 days a wk to spend with family etc. great vacation benefits so easy to take those two days off periodically which makes for a nice long stretch. Have a couple other sources for passive income with house paid etc and I’m good to go.
    Not sure if state of VA is good to their employees but a part time state hospital or prison gig can be a good way to pocket a decent chunk without putting in a lot of work time while at the same time accruing great benefits

  14. Congratulations Jonathan. I’m new to your podcast. I just found you about two weeks ago, and have listened to the first 54 episodes in two weeks. I love the topics.
    I was in a similar situation with my workplace two years ago, in Massachusetts. I told my employer that it was my dream to move to Florida, and that I was making the move. Because he saw value in me, he is allowing me to work remotely from Florida. He flies me back up to Mass. about every two months.
    I’m not FI, but I’m pretty close, but it feels good to be in that position when you approach your boss with this topic. Keep up the good work.

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