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FI Weekly – January 25, 2022: Markets Dropping, Lower Cost Medical Care, FI Number Calc

Markets Dropping

As I’m writing this newsletter Monday morning, the S&P 500 is down 2.3% from the prior close, which brings the year to date drop to over 12% in just a few short weeks.

It’s remarkably easy to get caught up in the doom and gloom of seeing 10%+ of your net worth evaporate (on paper at least) in one month.

It obviously never feels good, but we know from listening to JL Collins, that stock market corrections (10% drops from recent peaks), bear markets and even crashes are perfectly normal and expected over an investing lifetime.
It is a normal part of investing.

And while it’s impossible to know where the markets go from here, my belief in the FI Fundamentals of having a significant savings rate and continuing to purchase new shares of the Total Stock Market Index Fund at a “discount” in bad times will play out as my best bet over the long-term.

Now is a good time though to take 10 minutes to listen to JL’s Guided Meditation for When the Stock Market is Dropping, which never fails to make me feel calmer and more at ease.

Lower Cost Medical Care Options

I saw an interesting article in Fortune this week with details on Mark Cuban starting an online pharmacy called Cost Plus Drug Company. I obviously haven’t personally used it yet, but I’m adding it to a list I’m curating for lower cost medical care where you bypass your insurance company to pay cash for extremely discounted tests, procedures and prescriptions.

My list as of today:

  • Cost Plus Drug Company for prescriptions
  • for hundreds of different procedures, scans and tests at a fraction of what you’d pay your local hospital or imaging center through insurance
  • Ulta Lab Tests for a la carte blood testing at extremely reasonable rates and easy scheduling

Community Q&A: FI Number and Withdrawal Rate

As I mentioned last week, we’re starting a new feature on the ChooseFI website where you can send in questions to [email protected] and our team will answer as many of them as possible. 

The latest question is about calculating your FI number and how to think about your withdrawal rate percentage in terms of your total assets needed.  This one trips a lot of people up, so it’s worth a refresher!

ChooseFI Community Taking Action This Week

  • Jena said, “My 1% better this week is using PolicyGenius to shop for new home and auto insurance. Just by changing my carriers for these insurances for almost the exact policies/coverage, we will save $1693 this year. I had NO idea how significant this change would be for our bottom line and I wish I had shopped around sooner. That extra money is going straight into my IRA. Thanks for putting PolicyGenius on my radar!”
  • Juan said, “Our 1% wins are in the mental, physical and spiritual health categories. My wife and I are investing on all 3 of them very intentionally. In early 2021 my wife started therapy and later in the year I started too. It has been a life changer and probably my biggest win of the year. Investing in mental health (provided you find someone that you connect with) has been worth every penny and we both plan to continue to do so in 2022. Physical health includes restarting our gym membership and also Pilates. These two work for us and are worth every penny. We have reconnected with our faith and have discovered ways to attend mass via YouTube instead of taking risks with COVID. This one is priceless. Everything in life is not about cutting here and there. I get it. For us is now more about spending more intentionally (music to your ears, right?) and investing in our number one asset …. Our bodies, minds and souls.”
  • Kasima said, “My 1% better was calling around for new homeowners and landlord’s insurance policy. Saved $600 off of homeowners and $400 off of my car policy while reducing the deductible amounts and adjusting replacement costs to reflect it more accurately. With the savings I was able to purchase an umbrella policy. I had been postponing this for months!”
  • Lily said, “My 1% better is to start making my own bread! I found a great bread maker a thrift store that had a gluten free setting. Just this switch alone will save me over $5 a loaf and has way less added preservatives. I’m also able to make loafs for my SO that are way better quality than what we were getting in the store previously!”
  • Ian said, “To make my life 1% better, last week I took 1 of the 8 weeks for paternity leave provided by my employer. With the MLK holiday this week it made for a nice extended break from work that I got to spend with my newborn.”
  • Katie said, “This week I opened a treasury direct fund and purchased $10,000 of Series I Bonds. They currently have a high interest rate (over 7%). I hope to get my husband to do the same soon.”

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Lessons From a Young Entrepreneur | Ep 422

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