How To Get Your Kids On The FI Bandwagon

How To Get Your Kids On The FI Bandwagon

The benefits of a FI lifestyle don’t click for most people until a certain age. Some get the message early on, but it’s usually not until we reach our 30’s, 40’s, or even 50’s that we start questioning the cycle of consumerism and debt that comprises most people’s financial habits. That’s why it can be so hard to get your kids on board. They just don’t have the life experience … Read more

Investing Inside Your HSA: Healthcare’s Best Kept Secret

Investing Inside Your HSA Healthcare's Best Kept Secret

Most people have some experience investing through an IRA or 401k. They may even trade stocks in their spare time. It’s easy to assume that for the most part, managing one investment is much the same as any other. But a Health Savings Account (HSA) is a different animal. While it has a host of unique benefits that make it a top-tier investment vehicle, it also has its own restrictions … Read more

Getting Health Insurance When You’re Self-Employed Or Retired Early

Getting Health Insurance When You’re Self-Employed Or Retired Early

Whether you’re self-employed or early retired, one of the biggest challenges you face is getting health insurance. Many employees have the benefit of an employer subsidized health insurance plan. That’s almost always the best deal possible. As an employee, you may pay $400 per month on the plan the cost $1,000, with the balance being covered by your employer. Since the rollout of the Affordable Care Act, the only health … Read more

How To Buy Real Estate In A Roth IRA

How To Buy Real Estate In A Roth IRA

Did you know you can actually buy real estate in a Roth IRA? And it’s completely legal too, not the least of which since you can hold just about any asset in an IRA account. Some real estate promoters seriously pitch this option. And while it is certainly possible, you need to be fully aware that it’s also a very complicated process. We’re going to do a high-altitude report on … Read more

Fulfilling The Dream Of Becoming An Underwater Filmmaker

Fulfilling The Dream Of Becoming An Underwater Filmmaker

Essentially, the reason we are all on the path to FI is because we want the freedom to have options. Freedom means something different to everyone, but having options is the essence of what all us FIers have in common. We want to get off our own hamster wheels and finally stop trading our time for money. Interestingly, there are some people who don’t ever get ON the hamster wheel. … Read more

How An HSA Fits With Your FIRE Plans

How An HSA Fits With Your FIRE Plans

When your primary financial goal is to retire early and become financially independent, sometimes it feels like you can only do so much. If you’re already maxing out your IRA and 401(k) every year you might assume that you are left with only taxable accounts to invest your cash in. Thankfully, the HSA is a perfect third option for investing in your future. It may sound like a basic savings … Read more

10 Money Quotes That Will Inspire You To Optimize Your Finances

10 Money Quotes That Will Inspire You To Optimize Your Finances

Time is more valuable than money. You can get more money, but you cannot get more time. ~ Jim Rohn The FI community lives frugally and saves a large percentage of their income in order to retire early. They buy time instead of things. Check out “The Why Of FI” to learn more. There is a gigantic difference between earning a great deal of money and being rich. ~Marlene Dietrich … Read more

Health And Finances–Why They Overlap More Than You Think

Health And Finances Why They Overlap More Than You Think

When soulmates from vastly different backgrounds find one another and decide to become a permanent team, a whole lotta adjustments happen along the way. Jake and Laura are living the dream! They both are Certified Anesthetists making darn good money. They are “livin’ the dream”–well, redefining “the dream” after much realization and compromise. The Early Years: Laura Big city China was all Laura knew as a child. Her parents divorced … Read more

Travel Rewards Vs Cash Back: How To Choose!

Travel Rewards Vs Cash Back: How To Choose!

The FI community isn’t anti-credit cards, they’re anti-credit card debt. If you use credit cards responsibly, the rewards you can gain can earn you free vacations, access to exclusive clubs, or just extra cash. Today, I’ll break down the difference between the two major reward categories: travel rewards and cash back. Travel Rewards Vs. Cash Back What are travel rewards? Travel rewards are rewards you earn from your travel credit … Read more

How This Couple Paid Off Their Mortgage In 506 Days

How This Couple Paid Off Their Mortgage In 506 Days

According to Jim Rohn, “We are an average of five people that we spend the most time with.” The older I get, the more that quote resonates with me. I’ve learned how to identify people that I want to learn from and be around and be influenced by; and those I do not. Nowadays, when I see FI characteristics in people, the gravitational pull does what it does naturally. Introductions … Read more

I’m Qutting My Job To Write Comics

I'm Quitting My Job To Write Comics

As a kid, comic books were a popular form of escape, and they still are today. In fact, the industry is thriving, as can be evidenced with a new superhero movie making its box office debut every time we turn around. Whether we get them as hand-drawn images or video form in the palm of our hands, they hook us. The adventures of Batman, Superman, The Hulk, Thor, and so … Read more

How To Get The Most Mileage Out Of Your Car

How To Get The Most Mileage Out Of Your Car

Buying the right car is an important financial decision. Buy a lemon and you’ll spend hundreds on repairs and maintenance fees. Buy a trusty vehicle and you’ll have few issues. But it’s not just about finding the right car, it’s about taking care of it as well. Anyone can buy a durable Honda and run it into the ground with poor maintenance. So how do you make your car last … Read more

ICE Binder–The Done For You Legacy Binder You’ve Been Looking For

ICE Binder--The Done For You Legacy Binder You've Been Looking For

No one wants to think about what happens when we die. But, we have to. It’s better to be prepared now than make your family try to guess what you would have wanted after you are gone. That’s exactly why you need a legacy binder! A Legacy Binder is exactly what it sounds like–a binder (or folder, or bin–you get it) full of your personal information that you leave your … Read more

The Triple Tax Benefits Of The HSA

The Triple Tax Benefits Of The HSA feat

In the land of opportunity, one major question remains for those who seek to retire early: How will I pay for healthcare? The fate of the US healthcare system is always up in the air and it’s not clear what the future holds for those who retire before they’re eligible for Medicare. Some FIRE devotees have decades to wait before they qualify, which means decades to decide how to fund … Read more

How This Reluctant Spouse Got On Board With FI

How This Reluctant Spouse Got On Board With FI

Granted, if you’re reading this, you are already a FI geek. However, your other half may not be cut from the same cloth. I, (Vicki) was the last one on board with making some changes to what we we were doing, so I wanted to share a bit of our journey. Though I wasn’t a “Reluctant Spouse”, I was a “Clueless Spouse”. Yet, in the past few years I’ve mastered … Read more

088R | What Have You Built?

Which cities are the best for pursuing financial independence, how to hack your career, ideas for building a side hustle and how to assess the return on your college investment. Jonathan is considering decluttering his gym. How can you motivate yourself to get fitter? What is the return on your college investment? Are there specific courses of study that are more valuable than others? Programming is a growing field that … Read more

How Substantially Equal Periodic Payments (SEPP) Can Help Your Early Retirement

Maybe you’ve heard of substantially equal periodic payments, sometimes referred to as SEPP, or maybe more commonly “72(t)” or “72(t) distributions”. Most people probably haven’t, or if they have they have only a vague idea what they are about. It’s something of a complicated topic, but rest assured it can help your early retirement plans in different circumstances. There are two fundamental dilemmas facing just about anyone who wants to … Read more

Financial Independence And The Future Of Work

Financial Independence And The Future Of Work

Getting ready for changes on how you produce income I recently listened to a thought-provoking podcast interview from McKinsey Consulting about the future of work. It was based on a recent report on the projected impact of automation on the nature of work by the year 2030. Further digging revealed a very interesting global discussion that is now underway on what work may look like in the coming decades. I … Read more

How To Start Commuting By Bicycle

How To Start Commuting By Bicycle

“Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of riding a bike.” –John F. Kennedy There aren’t many things that I get as much enjoyment out of as riding my bicycle to work. Ignoring the cost benefit for the moment, just imagine the efficiency of completing one task and simultaneously knocking three things off your “to-do” list at the same time: Spend some time outdoors in the fresh air. Exercise. Get to-and-from work. … Read more

Life After Dave Ramsey–Baby Steps 8-10

Life after Dave Ramsey

Nearly everyone on this site has heard of Dave Ramsey and his Financial Peace University. He’s changed a lot of lives! And helped people get out from under piles of debt. Of course that’s all well and good, but what happens after you’ve completed all of Ramsey’s seven Baby Steps? What happens when you’re debt-free? How do you maintain financial freedom? I’ll answer these questions and more today! This piece … Read more

SiteGround Review–Web Hosting Made Easy

SiteGround Review--Web Hosting Made Easy

So you want to create a website so you can get your side hustle going. Here at ChooseFI, we highly recommend a self-hosted WordPress site. To do this, you will need a domain and a host. While there are many hosting services available, we recommend SiteGround as they can meet your needs with just about everything related to your website. At first glance When I started researching SiteGround, I was … Read more

The Side Effects Of Listening To ChooseFI

Nurses are always concerned about the side effects of the medications we administer. We want the medication to have the positive effect that was intended, therefore we are attuned to the possible negative effects. This analogy can be compared to many aspects of life. Striving towards positive side effects is what we desire.  For example, if we stop watching TV, the effect may be more outdoor activity or more time … Read more

Passion To Profit: A Journey In Self-Publishing

Passion to Profit

Decisions to be made There are many people who have been able to successfully ‘game’ the self-publishing world to reach a #1 best seller in a given category in a matter of days. I was never in this for the quick wins. My dream is to be the next Margaret Atwood, or the next Stephen King, or, perhaps more appropriately, the first MK Williams. I wanted to take the stories … Read more

Our Expensive Dog

Our Expensive Dog

One topic that comes up from time to time in the FI community is the high cost of pet ownership and its impact on our individual journeys to FI. Mr. Money Mustache had a take a few years ago about how great it was that dog ownership is optional because you can do without and reach FI faster. To his credit, he also balanced this opinion out with a rebuttal from … Read more

Making Your Own Milestones To FI

Making Your Own Milestones to FI

“What gets measured gets done” I’m sure you’ve heard this quote a million times before. Whether it’s when you have to set targets at work or New Year’s resolutions, the more measureable a goal is, the more likely it will be achieved. This could be putting a quantity or timeline around the goal such as, “eat five servings of fruit or veggies a day” or “learning to dance the waltz … Read more

The Journey Begins–Why I’m On FIRE

The Journey Begins--Why I'm On FIRE

“Are you almost done daddy?” My oldest son eagerly asked, dressed in his policeman Halloween costume. Behind him stood his younger brother, dressed as batman, his younger sister as batgirl, and his baby brother as Spider-Man. They had been looking forward all day to a trunk-or-treat at the church and had been doing their best to be patient. I was sitting next to our only vehicle with dirtied hands and … Read more

Top Five Lessons From Women On FIRE

Top Five Lessons From Women On FIRE

When people hear about financial independence and early retirement, or the FIRE community, they often picture a 30-something high income male software engineer with no kids, riding his bike everywhere, and possibly traveling the country–or the world–as a digital nomad. Unfortunately, when this is the image people picture, most people don’t see themselves in that person. This can cause them to dismiss the idea of financial independence all together, thinking … Read more

The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card–A Travel Rewards Card Like No Other

The Chase Sapphire Preferred Rewards Card--A Travel Rewards Card Like No Other

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could go on vacation for free? Of course it would! Well, that’s the whole point of travel rewards. If you’re looking to get the best travel rewards card out there, look no further than the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. Not only do they have one of best rewards programs out there, but there’s a host of other bonuses as well! Here’s a quick snapshot … Read more

Beginner’s Guide To Reaching Financial Independence

Beginner's Guide To Reaching Financial Independence

Hello! New to Financial Independence, A.K.A. FI? Welcome, we’re happy you’re here. This guide will walk you through the basics of financial independence but if something doesn’t fit for your life that’s ok. This is your journey and your life. Use the tips you find helpful and toss the rest. We know as a group we can get a little extreme (ok, a lot extreme), but our community is full … Read more

How And Why To Set Up A Roth IRA Conversion Ladder

How And Why To Set Up A Roth IRA Conversion Ladder

A lot of people would love nothing better than to be able to retire early. But saving for it, and actually doing it, are two entirely different endeavors. The basic problem is the way most people save, and that’s through tax-sheltered retirement plans. But that creates an early retirement dilemma: if most of your money is sitting in retirement plans, you won’t be able to access them early without incurring … Read more

How Stopping Drinking Will Make Me $500,000 Richer

How Stopping Drinking Will Make Me $500,000 Richer

At the beginning of my FI journey, I basically reviewed each element of my life. I sorted these elements into two distinct buckets–things that added value to my life and things that didn’t. The things that added value to my life were things such as family, friends, health, exercise and financial security. The things that didn’t add value to my life were things such as excess spending, trying to keep … Read more

Get The BEST Price On Life Insurance With Policygenius

Get The Best Price On Life Insurance with Policygenius

One of the things that you’ll hear us talk about is the simplification and optimization of each line item in your budget. I have very optimistic outlook on life, but I still plan for different possibilities and I want to assure my family is safe even if something goes wrong. A critical piece of that planning–especially if you have people who depend on your income–is term life insurance. And if … Read more

Why You Should Never Buy A New Car

Why You Should Never Buy A New Car

This article was written by Jon, a member of the ChooseFI community, in response to the podcast episode 29R. Episode 29R: The Reluctant Frugalist vs. the Aspiring Minimalist deals with a host of issues. But, the one I’ll discuss today is the age old question: Which will save me the most money, buying a new or used car? I can understand the fear and frustration of having a car that … Read more

Guest Post: What I’ve Learned From ChooseFI

What I've Learned From ChooseFI

This is a guest post from a listener of the podcast. He’d like to remain anonymous for now, so he’s going by the name MrSeabiscuitman. To further protect his identity some of the details in his story have been changed. We’ve used an asterisk (*) to point out when we have changed a detail. My background I’m currently 29yrs old, and up until the age of 23 had grown up … Read more

Refinance Your Student Loans With Credible

Get The Best Rates On Student Loans With Credible

If you wondering whether this is worth your time, studies done by Credible show that users of this amazing platform save, on average, $18,000 in interest. This is not a rounding error, this is an important conversation and an important part of your overall FI strategy if you are starting out with student loan debt! Money we don’t pay in interest is an money that we can get working for us. … Read more

M1 Finance Review-Completely Free Automated Investing!

M1 Finance Review--Completely Free Automated Investing!

It’s no secret that investing is complicated. So anytime it can be made easier, folks get pretty excited. That’s why there’s been a lot of hype about M1 Finance, a completely free automated investing robo-advisor brokerage hybrid. Today, I’ll take a closer look at all that M1 has to offer. What is M1 Finance? M1 Finance was founded out of pure frustration by Brian Barnes. He (and many others) believe … Read more

Retirement Plans For The Self Employed: SEP IRA Vs. Solo 401(k)

Retirement Plans For The Self Employed: SEP IRA Vs. Solo 401(k)

The SEP IRA vs. Solo 401(k)–which is the best retirement plan if you’re self-employed? In truth, you can’t go wrong with either. They’re the very best plans available for the self-employed, especially if you’re a sole practitioner But, let’s take a close look at each and see where they’re similar, where they’re different–and most important–which is most likely to work for you. Simplified Employee Pension (SEP IRA) The SEP is … Read more

Hiking Through Student Loans And A Career To Financial Freedom

Hiking Through Student Loans And A Career To Financial Freedom

This is a guest post by Millionaire Mob, a blog focused on investing in dividend growth stocks and travel hacking. We have helped thousands of people with bettering their financial future through passive income and dividend investing. Hiking Through a Student Loans and a Career to Financial Freedom It was gloomy, rainy day at a midwestern college. Looking out the window there was no one around and not much to … Read more

Why You Need A Legacy Binder

Why You Need A Legacy Binder

What is a Legacy Binder? It’s a central location where you keep all necessary information concerning your life. It can be a folder, a portfolio, a pouch, a suitcase, or a literal binder. You can even create a digital Legacy Binder at Fidsafe. But regardless of what you use, it serves to store the information that would become necessary to your loved ones upon your death. It’s not a subject … Read more

Personal Capital Review–The Ultimate Net Worth Tracker

Personal Capital Review--The Ultimate Networth Tracker

Personal Capital is by far my favorite networth tracker. It has an incredibly intuitive interface. It allows you to aggregate all the different accounts that you have–and it’s free! If you take some time to think about it you may realize how spread out your investments really are. Maybe you have a 401(k) with your employer and a taxable account with Vanguard. You might also have a traditional or Roth … Read more

403(b) Vs 401(k)–Which One Is Best For You?

If you’re like a lot of people, you’ve contributed to a 401(k) at some point in your life. It’s usually intentional and not automatic, though that is changing. A good thing about that change is that new employees are automatically enrolled as opposed to having to sign up. The bad part is that the percentage is usually only 3% of their salary. Either way, contributing has many benefits. Forced savings, … Read more

The Why Of FI

Why of FI

Why Choose FI ? What’s wrong with following the traditional path and retiring at 60? Nothing’s wrong with that! In fact, you can still reach FI and continue to work. FI is simply a life of financial independence–a life without debt, monetary concerns, and over consumption. Everyone has a different reason for wanting to reach FI–maybe you want to spend more time with your family, or you want to pursue … Read more

Hack Into The Middle Class–How To Become A RN For Less

Solid middle class jobs can be found in many different fields of study. ChooseFI has featured opportunities for entry into the middle class from being a golf caddy, an air traffic controller, or a Registered Nurse. Or, you could forego college and find excellent opportunities in trade professions. Workers can start as an apprentice, receive on the job training, and work their way up to journeymen. Community and tech colleges also … Read more

When More Money Won’t Make You Happier

When is enough, enough? At some point, you’re going to want to know when you have enough money to stop ‘needing’ to work. Often referred to as F-You money, is it merely a matter of math that determines your FI number? Let’s examine that. Upon reaching their FI numbers, people will do one of two things: they will either worry or embrace it. The worriers will be concerned about how … Read more

Little FI-ers: Is Education Everything? Planning And Saving For Our Kids

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” – Nelson Mandela The Education Dilemma Mr. MoneyPenny and I have two young boys and our oldest is starting Senior Kindergarten this year. Mini MoneyPenny is probably typical in many ways–super energetic and full of joy, but he’s also a bit of an anxious kid–very hard on himself and turning thoughts over and over in his head. … Read more

Fat Is Not The Enemy–You Can Eat Bacon And Still Lose Weight

Picture an unhealthy food in your mind. If you are like most people, you probably pictured a hamburger and fries or some other fatty meal. We have been programmed to fear fat. In many cases this is true–fast food IS bad for you. Unfortunately, those great tasting fries are terrible for your body–but do we really understand why? Some fat is bad, and some fat is actually very good for … Read more

Life Lessons, IRAs, And Nursing–My Start To FI

There I was on a slow (nurses never say this s-word out loud but it may be okay to type it) night shift scrolling aimlessly through my Facebook feed. Fortunately, the majority of my posts are from ChooseFI, but occasionally I happened to see a few other non-FI posts permeate my feed. Abruptly, a post caught my attention. This individual’s post was bragging about their job. Naturally, I perk up … Read more

How We House Hacked Our Way To FI

It’s fine to celebrate success but it’s more important to heed the lessons of failure. – Bill Gates Long before we discovered this idea called Financial Independence, we knew that we had to do something above and beyond what we saw most people doing if we were going to get ahead. But up until our early 30’s the only recipe for success that we knew about was: Go to school and … Read more

Why Walking Is A Great Way To Get Fit

We all want to get fit. So much so that we make New Year’s resolutions, try crazy diets, and overpay for gym memberships we never use. Good news, there’s an easy way to get fit and it’s super simple–just walk more. One of the easiest and most enjoyable types of exercise is walking. Here’s why: Most of us can do it: Once you have checked with your physician, most people can … Read more

Lousy 403(b) Options Led Me To FI Via Real Estate

EarlierFI Lousy 403B

https://www.choosefi.com/091r-real-estate-inside-an-ira/When something is bad, you have two choices: Try to make it better or go somewhere else. That was the case with my 403(b). I got wind of how bad it was here. When the moment came to make a change, I decided to opt for a completely different investment vehicle. The sale While selling their tax-deferred 403(b)’s, all financial advisors will tell you the premise is simple: Pay fewer taxes today … Read more

Confessions Of A Diet Coke Addict

I am a recovering Diet Coke addict. You may think Diet Coke addiction is not a real thing, but I can assure you my addiction met all of the medical definitions of an addiction. I started drinking Diet Coke in high school, around the time it was reaching peak popularity. In college and all through medical school, Diet Coke served as my main form of caffeine. By the time I … Read more

How FIRE is Different Today–Lessons From My FI Journey

My earliest memory of investing occurred when I was about 6 or 7 years old. I was looking at a statement from a mutual fund (this was circa 1967 mind you). My dad talked to me about what the numbers meant and how there was an account for me and that there were separate accounts for my sisters. What stuck out for me were the four digits to the right … Read more

How I Lost 77 lbs, And How You Can Too

I’m like you, I work hard to provide for my family and, like most people, I let myself go at the same time. I work long hours and struggle to find the time for myself or for exercise. I’ve often relied on fast food, quick meals, and leftovers which quickly add up to tight pants. And my pants were very tight indeed. But I’ve changed all that, and you can … Read more

How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Index

How I learned to stop worrying and love the index

It’s been reported that only one in three Millennials own any stock. For many, this is due to low income and high debt. This makes it tough to even have the money to invest. However, I also think that many of us have just grown up with a lack of understanding in how investing even works. Combine that with a mistrust of the market, based on the dot-com bust and … Read more

What My Parents Taught Me About FI

My parents never taught me about investing. They taught me how to save money and curb expenses, but they never had a huge savings pile or invested money. I feel that my FIRE path has been hindered from a lack of investing knowledge until later in life. Imagine if I started a Roth IRA when I was working part time at age 17 with almost no expenses! Instead my money … Read more

How Will The Trump Tax Plan Affect Investors?

The ink is barely dry on the Trump Tax Plan, more formally known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), and taxpayers are beginning to fret about its impact. Most people are at least vaguely aware that the plan lowers most marginal tax rates, increases some deductions, but lowers or eliminates others. But how will the Trump tax plan affect investors? At this point, many of the details of … Read more

The Failing 403(b) Was My Wake-Up Call

Have you ever been so eager to get, do, or have something that you couldn’t see its failings? We’ve all been there, at some point in our lives, wearing those rose-colored glasses. Many times we’re not fully to blame, and sometimes we are. Massive marketing makes it easy to see only the roses, while the reality is vastly different. Join me as I shed light on my failing 403(b). The … Read more

5 Questions To Ask Yourself When Deciding To Pursue A Master’s Degree

Should you get a Masters Degree?  The short answer is: it depends. This isn’t the sort of question where sweeping generalizations can be made. I can’t say “Everyone must have an advanced degree!” or, the opposite, “Universities are evil and you may as well light your money on fire!” The fact of the matter is there are lots of reasons why it might be a good idea for you, and plenty … Read more

Get Off The Hamster Wheel And Pay Off Your Student Loans Fast

Pay off student loans fast

The Financial Freedom Clock and the Countdown to FI begins once you have paid off your consumer debt. Now for the first time your savings rate is being redirected from debt repayment to buying your “perpetual money making machine” (FI). Sounds so simple, but the sad reality is that paying down that debt has become increasingly difficult. Digging a Hole Our culture has accepted that massive student loans are acceptable … Read more

The 10 Pillars Of FI

10 Pillars of FI

By now, you’ve all likely heard the Pillars of FI episode where Jonathan and Brad discuss the building blocks of financial independence. For those of you who haven’t–Jonathan sums up the idea of FI nicely: …instead of focusing on buying stuff to make up for my unhappiness, what if I just focused on happiness? What if I made a list of things that actually made me happy?…What we find out … Read more

Why I’ll Date Personal Capital and Elope with VTSAX

“And instead of saying all of your goodbyes, let them know you realize that life goes fast, it’s hard to make the good things last. You realize the sun doesn’t go down, it’s just an illusion caused by the world spinning ’round.” — Wayne Coyne, Do You Realize?, The Flaming Lips, 2002 Musical Interlude … Skip if you must. The Flaming Lips are among my all-time favorite bands. I’ve seen their … Read more

Overcoming Negative Money Beliefs To Start On The FI Path

As a child I was constantly exposed to negative money sayings. I still remember that saying “Money doesn’t grow on trees” from my childhood. It was used to argue against buying an item. In the end I had built a framework in my mind, that money is not inherently bad, but scarce. That is a self-fulfilling prophecy. I had created my own world where money was constantly tight. That was just … Read more

Planning For Healthcare In Early Retirement

Planning For Healthcare In Early Retirement_

If there’s a fly in the early retirement ointment–other than accumulating the portfolio needed to make it happen–it’s planning for healthcare. While you’re an employee, you can take advantage of employer-sponsored health insurance. Since it’s a group plan, and usually subsidized by the employer, it’s less expensive than coverage you can buy on your own. But how do you plan for healthcare in early retirement? And that’s the problem. When … Read more

Vitamin FI–Cures All Your Financial Anxiety

Shortness of breath, chest pain, numbness or tingling, nausea and cramping. These aren’t just a list of symptoms on the latest drug infomercial. These are also the symptoms of logging into your online bank account. This is likely how you feel when that credit card statement arrives, or when you check the remaining balance on your student loan debt. So what do you do when financial anxiety hits? Check with … Read more

When You Eat Matters

When You Eat Matters

You’ve probably heard a lot of conflicting advice out there about when you should eat. I’ve heard everything from eating five small meals a day to eating one large meal to fasting for days. The key is understanding how the body works, and using that information to your advantage. The good news is–this is fairly simple. Getting out of storage mode When you eat, your insulin levels rise. Certain foods … Read more

Why I Pursue Financial Independence

This probably makes me weird, but I was thinking about retiring before I ever got my first real full-time job. I went through college during the healthy economic times of the late 90s. Everything was great! Employers flocked to job fairs to hire young talent. Signing bonuses were commonplace. And a bachelor’s degree–oh yes–this was the ticket to landing a good paying job. As I neared graduation, the promise of … Read more

Why Living In A High Cost Of Living Area Isn’t A Bad Thing

I am from a high cost of living (HCOL) area and I see that as neither a roadblock nor a bad thing when chasing FI. In fact, it has several positive elements. A few reasons why I believe this to be true are: the higher earning potential the higher rents (keep reading for my explanation) and the local tax-payer funded services, entertainment, parks, and recreation programs. Now, I’ve never proven that … Read more

How I Was Set On FIRE

My first “technical” introduction to Financial Independence (FI) was in 2012. It came down to one exact moment, and I remember the exact words I said to myself. I was in a Christian thrift shop, thumbing through the books. It was there I picked up a copy of Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover (the cover where he is cutting a credit card with scissors). I looked at the book and … Read more

Why Do We Gain Weight?

The science behind weight gain and how to use it to your advantage.

People want to lose weight, but they struggle to do so. That’s why weight loss is the number one New Year’s resolution. Why is weight loss so hard? The first step is to understand why we gain weight. The medical community, media, and health experts have been telling us for years that the way to lose weight is to eat less and exercise more. This method works on the premise … Read more

Build Your 2018 Financial Independence Action Plan

About 40% of Americans make a New Year’s resolution, and about 90% of those break them. Following their suggestion, I decided to have an action plan for 2018 and, hopefully, stick with my resolutions. Track my spending for a year Thanks to RPF Episode 506 for crystallizing this idea for me. We all know that FI is based on developing better spending habits, not just your income or savings. So, … Read more

My Financial Life In A Spreadsheet

I like numbers and quantifying things. That includes quantifying things like my personal progress towards financial independence. To feed this craving, I’ve started to keep monthly spreadsheets of spending in various categories. At end of each week I manually update a spreadsheet that I’ve set up with simple math expressions to track my savings rate. It takes me a few seconds to update this spreadsheet and instantly, I see the … Read more

Reaching Financial Independence Without Index Funds?

Ask any parent and they will likely have blocked out part (or all) of the first few months of their child’s life. Not because it wasn’t awesome, terrible, life changing or amazing, but because they’re so stinkin’ tired all the time. This is the delirious state that I found myself in when I first learned of the term, Financial Independence (FI). While the rest of the world slept blissfully, I … Read more

The Wealth Building Triangle

You’ve probably heard the saying, “Earn More, Spend Less, and Invest the Rest.” The Wealth Building Triangle is a way of visualizing each piece of that equation and how they combine to move you towards FI. Our engineer readers may know that triangles are the strongest shape out there. The reason for that is that weight (or any force) is distributed across all three sides. The sides all work together … Read more

Why We Stink At FI–But Are Doing It Anyways

Hey everyone! Working mom here supporting a family of four. Budgets are tight, but I know my plans are tighter. Our work lies ahead of us and I’ve been excited about it since day one of this journey. However, we probably aren’t the best example of a FI fam and here’s why: We have student loan debt and it’ll be around for quite some time. My husband is still carrying some … Read more

The Moment My (FIRE) Life Started

Well it wasn’t actually a single moment, it was a series of moments which led to another moment. The Trudge “Trudge” verb – walk slowly and with heavy steps, typically because of exhaustion or harsh conditions. Synonyms: plod, tramp, drag oneself, walk heavily, walk slowly, plough, slog, footslog, toil, trek, clump, clomp, lumber. It started one day when I left the train at my station on the way to work. As with most train stations in the middle of a big city, all … Read more

How Getting More Sleep Will Improve Your Finances

How Getting More Sleep Will Improve Your Finances

Burning the candle at both ends is more than a way of life–it’s an American past time. In a country that values productivity, success and the “hustle” mentality above all else, it’s no surprise that most people fail to meet the standard for a healthy sleep habit. But as research is beginning to show, you can’t cheat the Sandman. Productivity and sleep are closely linked, and people who skip out … Read more

Comfortably Numb (And How I Woke Up To Financial Independence)

CHGO FIRE comfortably numb and how I woke up to financial independence

“Hello, is there anybody in there? Just nod if you can hear me. Is there anyone home?” — David Gilmour and Roger Waters, Pink Floyd, 1979 If you’re reading this post you have confirmed that, indeed, someone is in there. And together, in so many ways, we are all home in the financial independence community. Welcome to CHGO FIRE. It’s awesome to meet you. I hope to get to know … Read more