070 | Your Money or Your Life | Vicki Robin

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Author and FI pioneer Vicki Robin discusses the cultural development of overconsumption, how much is enough, and what else, besides good investments, contributes to successful financial independence?

What you'll hear in this exclusive with Vicki Robin:

  • Vicki’s story began when she invested in long-term bonds at a young age, achieving modest financial independence very quickly
  • Vicki and her partner, Joe Dominguez, hosted seminars about financial independence beginning in the 1980s, donating the proceeds.
  • What is the difference between making a living, and making a “dime”?
  • How did the culture of over-consumption develop during the past century?
  • Once the average person spends 20 years preparing for adulthood, and another third of your life sleeping, how much time do we really have for living?
  • What is the idea of the Real Hourly Wage, and how could it impact the way we spend money?
  • Why might we need to be “deprogrammed” from consumption?
  • What is the Fulfillment Curve and what is the difference between a “cheap thrill” and real satisfaction?
  • How does consumerism develop throughout life, and does it stem from dissatisfaction?
  • How much is enough?
  • Once people have “enough”, happiness actually comes from giving, not getting.
  • How is Real Hourly Wage calculated?
  • What needs and identities are neglected when we overspend our hours and consciousness on our jobs?
  • How do people confuse work, jobs, and income?
  • Finding passive income helps to separate jobs from income.
  • What does Vicki enjoy about finding community with the world of FI?
  • Community is currency – money isn’t the only element of becoming independent.
  • How do meaningful relationships developing into situations of Mutual Aid, and how does that impact a person’s living costs?
  • As a leader in the FI community for about 30 years, what does Vicki think it will take to create lasting, cultural changes?
  • In order to change the way the world consumes, personal change is necessary, but not sufficient.
  • How does universal health care impact FI in the US?
  • Will FI become mainstream?
  • Talking about our relationship with money in a first step toward creating lasting change
  • Sharing: Half the cost and twice the fun.

Links to things mentioned in the show:

Book on Amazon: Your Money or Your Life

Book on Amazon: Dying for a Paycheck

Website: Millennial Money

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16 thoughts on “070 | Your Money or Your Life | Vicki Robin

  1. Overall, it was a very good episode. However, I didn’t care for the guest’s advocacy of socialist policies. If you think healthcare is expensive now, wait until it is “free”. People in more socialist countries do not live FI because they are living in poverty.

    • Do the Irish, Norwegians, Swiss, and Australians strike you as living impoverished lives?

      A common theme shared by these countries are that they have GDP/capita similar or higher than the US and savings rates (defined as the difference between household disposable income and consumption) that is higher than the US. They also all have universal healthcare and life expectancies that are longer than Americans. Seems like it’s easier to achieve FI in “socialist” Australia.

      Data from:
      https://howmuch.net/articles/saving-rates-around-the-world

      • The countries you mention all have a history of common law and private property rights. They have become more socialist over the decades, just like the U.S. The socialist healthcare systems are just as disastrous as the U.S. healthcare system (which is a combination of socialist and fascist, with a tiny bit of free market thrown in). If you want to compare the current U.S. healthcare system to something, compare it to 1950s America, when the system was much more market oriented. That was a time when an overnight stay in the hospital might cost you a few days of pay instead of a couple of months or more.

        As to Switzerland, the people there overwhelmingly voted down a referendum for a universal basic income, which is something that the guest advocated. This idea of a universal basic income is quite scary, as it would further violate our property rights and the fruits of our labor. The government, at all levels, already spends over $50,000 per family in this country. When is it enough? Federal, state, and local governments combined, spend about the same as the median family income. Imagine if government at all levels spent half of what it does now. What would your family do with an extra $25,000 to $30,000 per year? It would sure help a lot of people in their journey towards FI.

    • I live in Canada where healthcare is free (paid via taxes). Regardless, at 42, I have over $1,000,000 saved and invested in index funds. I’m FI. When you live in a socialist country and understand how things really work, I think you’ll understand the limitations of your American capitalist system. It is not the supreme system and I’m not shocked how financially poor the majority of your population actually is.

  2. She mentioned those Money Talk cards in the podcast. Does anyone know if those are available to download or purchase? She said she wanted to make them available.

  3. Great episode.
    I disagree with Vicki about the “need” for universal healthcare and “free” college being issues that cross conservative and liberal agendas. These are very liberal/progressive ideas.
    I am not saying that the system we have isn’t broken. I am saying that those solutions are divisive and not something that the entire FI community can get around.
    Because this is not a political forum, I am not going to discuss my solutions to the problems, except to say that I do believe that all of us can agree that tying healthcare to employment forces many working class people to work longer than they would like.

  4. While I enjoy the macro advice on excess consumerism she dispenses to those who need it, she loses me completely with her socialist leanings. But I can see why she appeals to Millennials since they seem to want everyone else to pay their way on things like healthcare, college, and guaranteed income. She has found her niche audience decades after she originally came out with the book, ensuring she can continue making money off some who I might label gullible.

  5. Thank you for this episode. I completely agree with her opinion on universal healthcare and higher education. I’ve been an RN for 24 years. Health crises can affect anyone at anytime and retirement planning must factor in the possibility that your health may not hold out until Medicare eligibility age.

  6. As Vicki says awareness is so key. Keeping acount of your spending and asking the 3 questions, going through what you have and asking if you need it. Simple ideas but so powerful.

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