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FI Weekly – August 23, 2022: Student Loan Forgiveness, Legacy Binder, Reading Hack


Student Loan Forgiveness

I wrote a note about this in last week’s newsletter and wanted to remind you:

If you or anyone in your family has student loans, or you know anyone with student loans for that matter, Episode 391 of the ChooseFI podcast that came out yesterday with Travis Hornsby from The Student Loan Planner is truly a MUST listen.

Like stop reading this email right now and go listen kind of important.
Tell anyone you know with student loans kind of important.

If you’ve read this email or listened to me on the podcast, you know I’m a sincere person and don’t hype things up.  This is essential info that could lead to 25% of all student loans ultimately getting forgiven.

The Importance of a Legacy Binder

My conversation with Dr. Jordan Grumet (Episode 390) on his reflections from a front-row seat as a hospice doctor to the regrets of his dying patients has made me think deeper about a number of truly essential things.

Throw in an annoying sickness I had this week and it got me thinking about basic fundamentals of if I were suddenly not here any longer, would my wife and family know where all of our assets were or how to even remotely access all of them? Or where I have 2 Factor Authentication setup and how to find those codes, etc.

Simply put, they wouldn’t.

And that’s a complete failure of mine.

A few years back on Episode 125 we had Chelsea Brennan as a guest on the podcast and her Family Emergency Binder is one of the most enduring favorites of the ChooseFI community.

It exists for just the reasons I listed above (and dozens more!) and yet I never finalized it and haven’t updated the first draft I started on a few years ago.

I need to take action on this and you do too.  It’s too important not to.

We have a thorough review of the Binder on our website, but realistically it isn’t necessary because you already know this is one sub-$40 purchase you’ll never regret.

Chelsea was nice enough to our community a 20% off coupon and I just confirmed it still works!  Here’s the link to buy it directly and please be sure to enter the coupon code “CHOOSEFI” for the 20% discount.

Nonfiction Book “Reading” Hack

I truly love reading, but unfortunately, I don’t get through as many books in a year as I’d like. 

I think that’s why the following tweet from Ryan Petersen resonated so much:

“One of the greatest life hacks is that you can search any (recent) nonfiction author’s name on YouTube to find a talk that delivers 90% of the value of their book in around 30 minutes.”

This is brilliant and will add a lot of value to your life.

That said, of course there will be many times you want to dive in deeper and get the added layers of nuance that would be impossible from a short talk. Amazing, go for it!

I can, however, think of a handful of nonfiction books I’ve read in the past few years that probably would have been great medium-sized blog posts (with unbelievable content!) that would have been apparent after listening to a short talk.

That’s a win either way.


ChooseFI Community Taking Action This Week

  • Clay said, “My 1% better is less financially related and more lifestyle design focused. I heard the original podcast Episode 117 with Bradley Rice when it came out, and last March decided to take the Salesforce dive. I left active duty yesterday and I start my first role as a technical consultant on Monday! I’m going from an office environment that requires me to be present regardless of productivity to a remote, flexible schedule, results oriented work environment! Best part? I managed to match my current, good salary and move into a new field with the possibility of long-term income growth. (Brad note: Find more about this career path by listening to Episode 297 with Anita Smith)
  • Kristin said, “I was able to enroll in my 401k at work and immediately set it to 6%. Beginning my FI journey two years ago I felt frustrated that I couldn’t start with saving 50% of my income so I wasn’t doing it. Then I realized that I could start at a smaller saving percentage and work my way up. Sometimes we want to do something all the way, right away. And then the ‘1% better’ saying at the bottom of your weekly emails sunk in and I picked what we can do right now. Knowing this will be growing each year to that 50% savings rate at a pace that sets us up for success and not deprivation is a wonderful feeling.”
  • Patrick said, “I recently completed my Masters of Science in Information Systems. The cool thing is that my employer paid for most of the program. I stretched out taking my courses to fall below our maximum reimbursement amount for most years. A masters program is not for everyone, but if you have a tuition reimbursement benefit through your employer it is something you should consider. The masters program already helped me get to a much better job and career path within the company.”
  • Dalisha said, “My family’s 1% better is trying to fix a leak on our washing machine. After completing the Uber Frugal Month Challenge you posted from Liz at Frugalwoods, our family has been trying to insource as much as possible. My husband is pretty handy and so we decided he’d try to solve the problem before we escalate it to a service professional.”
  • Jake said, “My 1% better is targeting what we can control with our budget this year. Knowing we would have a one year overlap of kids in daycare this year, we began tracking every dollar we spent last year to see what we could change. We quickly realized that there were so many things we had little to no choice in but found that food and things for the home were two areas we could control. I’m not sure we’ll even break even this year but I feel much better knowing that living within the range we specified for these two areas will lead us to a 50% savings rate within a few years. Thanks for the good work you do.”
  • Michael said, “My wife and I are expecting baby number 2 this year and are working on saving as much money as possible. Looking for more areas to save, we found that we’d cut our phone bill in half switching to Mint Mobile (even after cutting our bill in half last year leaving Verizon). My wife is from another country, and recently reached 3 years of driving in the US, so we were finally able to qualify her for a good driver discount and consolidate our home and auto insurance through Mercury – in the past year we’ve cut our $220 per month auto insurance bill down to about $80 monthly. We’ve also been looking into refinancing our home, but with higher interest rates it’s not in our best interest to do so, however we found out that we’ll soon be able to apply for PMI cancellation since the value of our house has increased”

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