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August 1, 2023: Roundup is Back, Local Group Case Studies, Half FI = 75% FI?

Choose FI has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Choose FI and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. American Express is a ChooseFI advertiser. Disclosures.

Roundup is Back!

Fun news: we brought back the “roundup” podcast episodes with yesterday’s release of “Episode 448: July Roundup!”

Ginger, my cohost on the episode, and longtime community member, loved the roundups that Jonathan and I did in the early years of the show and thought they provided a way to further cement the learnings gleaned from the episodes.

In Ep 448, I referred to an article on ‘Return on Hassle’ that Nick Maggiulli (former guest on Ep 404) wrote about The FI Couple and the hassle vs. return of their real estate portfolio.

I think ‘return on hassle’ is an important concept to keep in mind as we all contemplate our investment strategies, and Nick’s article does a great job illustrating this.

Since this is truly the “Ultimate Crowdsourced Personal Finance Show,” I am doing everything I can to bring you, the community, into the show with more mailbag episodes (see episode 447 with Sean Mullaney) where we can answer questions, highlight wins, and much more.

So keep the questions, suggestions, and wins coming by hitting reply to any of these FI Weekly newsletters!

Local Group Case Studies

Diania Merriam, founder of the EconoMe Conference, recently published this incredible post about the ChooseFI local group in Cincinnati and how the group has grown, especially as they’ve moved away from simple meet and greets to in-depth case studies of fellow members.

If you’re a member of your local ChooseFI group, this is the perfect time to take this back to your community and suggest case studies for next month’s meetup!

This is also the perfect opportunity to remind you of two things:

  • If you’re not a member of a ChooseFI Local group, we have 300+ groups in cities across the world.  Now’s the time to get involved!

Half FI is More Like 75% FI

My friend Katie from ‘Money with Katie’ published an article that I really enjoyed called, “Why Hitting “Half FI” is More Like 75%.”

The article is loaded with info, but in essence, Katie crunches the numbers and says that once you’re halfway to your FI Number, you’re most likely at least 75% of the way there in terms of time to FI.

Here’s an excerpt from a key section from Katie’s article:

“Where did she technically hit “half FI”?

That said, we can define half FI as – ready for this? – the FI number halved. In her case, $500,000.

She didn’t hit $500,000 until sometime between year 8 and year 9!

Yet by Year 11, she was FI.

If she weren’t watching her progress, she’d probably clock in during year 8/9 “halfway there” and be like, Ugh, I’m only halfway there? 8 more years to go?

No, sis!

Those returns are compounding. The snowball has taken on a life of its own.
Just three years later, she’s FI.

Reaching half your FI number means you’re about 75% of the way through your FI investing timeline.”

I genuinely love analysis like this by people who look at the problem a little bit differently and come out with clarity that help us all on our FI journey!  Katie rocked this.

Katie’s podcast ‘Money with Katie’ and especially her newsletter are absolute can’t-miss pieces of content for me and I highly recommend them both.
It’s amazing that Katie found personal finance through ChooseFI way back at the start of our show and is now one of the most important voices in all of personal finance.

ChooseFI Community Taking Action This Week

  • Allen said, “We all say “someday I will…” [insert bucket list item]. And then years go by, and before you know it, dreams become regrets. My 1% better is that I booked a trip to Portugal in September and will hike the Camino de Santiago until mid-October. This is a 160-mile pilgrimage that I’ve dreamed of doing for several years now. When researching the trip, I found so many comments from people in their 70’s who were vicariously following people’s hikes online, but regret that they didn’t do it themselves when they could. I’m in my 50’s, and this was a wake-up call. I realized that I was waiting on “the perfect time” when life’s circumstances will allow me to do this dream hike. But in life, there is *always* something that can get in the way of doing what you dream. So I’m taking the attitude that there is *never* a perfect time and that if I take action, all those obligations and reasons why I can’t do it will just bend around my plans and things will work out fine.”

  • Carrie said, “My 1% better is that I quit my crappy part time job! I’m a divorced mama with 6 kids still at home. A combination of house hacking + frugality means I can now focus on my passion, which (after my kids) is writing. I’m so grateful!”

  • Phil said, “My 1% for the week was getting a $1,300 refund on an already booked Royal Caribbean cruise and a 20,000 point refund on Southwest Airlines. Royal offers a price guarantee from the time you book to when you make a final payment. I watched the prices and called when I saw it went down $700. Then called again when I saw it went down ANOTHER $600. Similar with Southwest. I saw the price of a previously booked flight went down so I called and got points refunded. Both were no-hassle. It paid to be diligent.”

  • Steve said, “My 1% win is actually a series of compounding wins. I’m launching a new business as a mobile notary. I got certified in apostilles last weekend. I’m spending the rest of week doing a deeper dive into it. Apostilles will go with my certification in reverse mortgages, general real estate loan signings, and living trusts. This weekend I have a conference to attend that’s gonna be heavily focused on marketing this sort of business. I already have my Yelp page, Google Business page, and most of my web site done. Next week is my full-fledged launch date.”

  • Annie said, “I have to brag about my amazing FI husband. Our home computer starting having issues turning on. He did a comprehensive disassemble and investigation and decided to see if it was a small battery causing the issue. It did turn out to be the cause at the cost of $3.00! We are back up and running! Grateful he took the time to triage the issue vs. writing off the computer all together, it is worth the time folks (in most cases)!”

  • Matthew said, “My 1% better this week may seem small but I’m super jazzed about it. My family lives in Colorado and we just welcomed our baby girl in April. As an unrepentant finance nerd one of the first things I thought about when everyone was home safely was opening up her 529 account. Colorado’s plan is pretty good and I was pumped that you can choose a Vanguard option for the fund. But the win this week was that a coworker told me that a state funded 529 matching program that I had previously thought my wife and I ineligible for, due to income constraints, had been reformatted to allow us to participate. A 5 minute conversation and 10 minutes total to process the application and our daughter will now receive an additional $2,600.00 over the next five year into her 529, all for contributing the amount we would have contributed anyway. Love the show and thanks for all the great ideas and discussions. Cheers!”

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Choose FI has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Choose FI and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. American Express is a ChooseFI advertiser. Disclosures.
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