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August 9, 2022: Local FI Communities, Essential Listening Guide, Early Benefits of 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.

Local FI Communities

I got this email last week from Christian:

“The one change I’d like to make is fixing the lack of like-minded FI people I have in my life. Love my non-FI people but would love to not always be the outlier in the conversation when I suggest a coffee in the park instead of dinner at an expensive restaurant as a way of catching up.

Do you or Jonathan know of any good ways to find FI meetup groups?”

Yes, we definitely do!

There are 300+ ChooseFI Local Groups in cities all across the world to help you connect with people in your local area.

Plus, there are online ‘cohort groups’ such as ChooseFI travel, meal planning, FI Families, and many more.

Find all the info here at the ChooseFI Community page on our site.

I’m also a huge fan of what our good friend Stephen Baughier has put together with Camp FI, the immersive FI weekend experience that brings together dozens of like-minded FI folks for a weekend of learning, fun and camaraderie at different sites across the US.

You can find all the info on upcoming events at the Camp FI website plus Stephen just told me he’s able to offer readers of the FI Weekly a $50 per person discount on the Camp FI: Texas event being held next month from 9/9 – 9/12 if you sign up by August 15th. 

Enter the promo code ‘ChooseFI’ on the ticket option page to see the discount applied.

Essential Listening Guide

We put together an ‘essential listening guide’ to ChooseFI with 15 handpicked episodes that are a great starting point for anyone looking to get started on the path to Financial Independence.

If you’re new here, haven’t listened in a while, or have friends who may be interested, I think this is the perfect place to start.

I’d also love some feedback on the list! It was hard to cut 500+ episodes down to only 15 and we invariably missed some important ones.

What are your favorites that we may have missed?

Early Benefits of FI

We always say the benefits of FI start accruing from Day 1.

That first time you have $1,000 saved up and aren’t living paycheck-to-paycheck is an immense benefit to your life in every possible way, even if you are many years away from the actual point of Financial Independence.

And it keeps adding up, month after month, year after year.

Chris wrote in with a great example of this:

“Hi Brad, I wanted to reach out and give a little bit of a different perspective from the hardcore chasing FI to show even a brief time on the path can set you up for success.

My wife and I have just bought a beautiful home on the same street as my wife’s parents; it’s been our dream for our children to live closer to their wider family. It’s not the best financial choice when attempting to retire early – especially in this market! – but FI has put us in a position to be able to comfortably afford this and know it’s well worth that sacrifice for our family.

It’s often overlooked how even 3-4 years of hardcore saving (we’ve been ‘Choosing FI’ since I heard your podcast in 2019!) can set you up for success, even if you don’t stay on the retire early path 100% of the way.

For example, my math has us reaching ~40% *over* our FIRE number by the time I’m 55 without putting a single cent more into our investments (which I absolutely will continue doing!). Thank you, Rule of 72! And thanks to you, Brad and Jonathan, for the knowledge to take action and work towards financial independence.


ChooseFI Community Taking Action This Week

  • Elly said, “Our 1% this week was to contest the township’s re-valuation of our fixer-upper property for tax purposes. They seem to base these valuations on square footage and number of rooms, and pay little attention to the condition of the property. We found local comparable fixer-uppers that had been sold in the area on realtor. com, filled out the form, welcomed the Assessor in to view our home, proudly displaying the water marks, ill-fitting windows, broken HVAC system, damaged floors, missing tiles, cracked plaster, and 1970s turquoise formica, and showed up to the court hearing. It was worth the time investment as the township consequently removed the 38% increase (~$100,000) they’d added to their valuation of the house. This will save us money throughout the year and hopefully next couple of years, until the next time. We are gradually doing much of the work ourselves with the help of materials and tools donated on Freecycle and Nextdoor so we will probably have to concede that one!”
  • Andrea said, “First time writing in and have been enjoying the FI newsletter for a few weeks now and have been a listener for the past year. This week my fiancé and I made our first Barrett family cookbook recipe, Chicken Paparikash! It was delicious and inspired us in our grocery shopping rut. We have not ordered takeout once this week and having leftovers allowed me to go to my first yoga class since pre-pandemic.”
  • Danielle said, “This week, I got a job offer and negotiated my salary for the first time ever in my career of 13 years. It resulted in a 15% pay increase. Plus, it’s a government job, for which I would have assumed there was no room for negotiation. I was so proud of myself! All of this thanks to the FI community. I especially appreciated the tips from your podcast episode with Financial Mechanic.”
  • Laura said, “My husband and I have been long time listeners on our path to FI. This year we decided to take your lead and Red X’d the month of August. We’ve packed up both cars (and the child) and rented a house in France for the month. We’ve always had summers off as teachers, but never considered taking time away from side hustles and other commitments. So far, we’re 5 days in and loving our time together. Just wanted to say thank you, as I don’t think we’d have taken the plunge without ChooseFI.”
  • Kayleigh said, “I finally took my first big step in travel rewards and booked 3 flights from Los Angeles to NYC as part of my 30th birthday plans for only $17 in fees. Before the beginning of this year when I started listening to the ChooseFI podcast I never could have dreamed of this. Thank you for all that you’ve done!!”
  • Lori said, “I wanted to thank you for providing such great information though your podcast and website. At 41 years old, I had the basics of finance down ok – debt paid off, emergency fund present, maxing out my 403b at work. But I was sitting on a lot of money in my savings account because I was so intimidated by the idea of investing on my own. Stock markets seemed like a foreign land that I had no desire to try to figure out. I am pleased to say because of what I have learned from you and others you have led me to, I gained the confidence to open an account with Vanguard and have invested in low-cost index funds.”

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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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