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FI Weekly – June 6, 2023: 4% Rule Too Conservative?, Expectations, National Parks and Bucket List Travel

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Is the 4% Rule too Conservative for FI?

Two former guests on our podcast, Brandon the ‘Mad Fientist’ and Nick Maggiulli, teamed up to produce a wonderful article on Brandon’s site called, “The Problem with the 4% Rule (and Why You Could Retire Even Sooner).”

These are two smart, data driven individuals, and they didn’t disappoint in their analysis in this article, especially with the critical section ‘Incorporating Flexibility Into Your Withdrawal Strategy.’

Normally I’d curate my highlights here, but since I really want you to click through and read it in its entirety, please take my advice and click the above link.

Ambitions, Expectations and Standards

Shane Parrish, the host of The Knowledge Project podcast, posted something profound on Twitter that I wanted to quote in its entirety, as I think there’s essential wisdom here from Shane:

“Big ambitions, low expectations, and high standards are a powerful combination for living your best life.

 pull you forward when it’s hard because they connect you to something larger.  One of my most important ambitions is to be a great father. Another is to grow Syrus and FS (Brad’s note: his 2 companies). You can’t have a meaningful life without a connection to something larger than yourself.

Expectations minus reality = happiness
. You will never be happy until your expectations are exceeded. The world doesn’t owe you anything. If you want something to happen, you have to make it happen. You can’t sit around waiting for the world to come and hand you what you think you deserve. Go positive and go first and the world will reciprocate.

High standards
 – I am not always at my best, but I always give my best. I hold myself to a high bar. I don’t always meet it, but I won’t lower the bar to feel better about myself.”

National Parks and Bucket List Travel

Summer travel season is upon us, and my family is trying to plan some smaller trips. In this season of life with summer swim season ending the same day our older daughter’s marching band 3-week preseason camp starts, gone are the days of our blissful “Red X” month where we could look at our calendar and put a big red X through the month of August and set off on a big adventure.

What that means practically is that we must be a little bit smarter with our travel and reorient around shorter 3-to-5-day trips.

I saw a post Sunday in our Facebook group about “What’s on your bucket list that’s US based?” that had well over 100 responses, many of which were quite interesting (especially since the original post’s question was so vague, it lent itself to interpretation) so take a look to get some fun ideas.

Our friends Lauren and Steven Keys from Trip of a Lifestyle (they appeared on Episode 226) chimed in on that post with their list of the 63 US National Parks that they visited, ranked in order from their favorite to least favorite.

I definitely got a lot of ideas for future trips, including one we hope to take in the next year to the most recently designated National Park:  the New River Gorge NP in West Virginia.

ChooseFI Community Taking Action This Week

  • Erik said, “My 1% better is finally getting my student loans (from graduating in 2000) forgiven with the recent change in the PSLF program. Working through all the paperwork when the temporary waiver was open through October of last year was worth the effort and I had approximately $18K of my remaining student loans forgiven. Now the only debt I have left is my mortgage!” (Brad note: If you have student loans or know anyone who does, please listen to Episode 437 with Travis Hornsby from The Student Loan Planner)
  • Rebekah said, “Here are a couple things that are my 1% better this week! My son got his driver’s license and I added him to my insurance policy. Unfortunately, it doubled my insurance! It forced me to finally reach out to get insurance quotes through other companies for auto and home though. I was previously dragging my feet on it. I wasn’t able to get a better rate for car insurance (teenagers are crazy expensive to insure!), but my home insurance was drastically different! My current policy premium is $3814.20; my new coverage will only cost $1571!!!! It literally chopped my payment by more than half!! I’m so excited!! The second thing I’m super excited about is my son starting up on the Salesforce track. He is a Senior in high school and on Spring Break this week, so I figured it would be the perfect time for him to try it out. I signed him up for the 5 day free course through Talent Stacker and he’s on day 3 now. I can’t wait to see his success in the program!!”
  • Joey said, “My 1% better (quite possibly more than 1%…) is that I put in my notice at my work where I have been for over 11 years. It’s honestly a great job and I work with great people but ultimately, I’m looking for more freedom to spend with my family and to pursue a passion that up until now technically has been a side hustle, being a travel planner. Everything is a trade-off, and sometimes that means trading one good thing for another.”
  • Jamie said, “I’m very excited by my 1%. I’m new to being in charge of my finances, but this week I put $5500 into an 11-month CD with a 5% interest rate, so I’ll be getting $252 in 11 months for free!”
  • Dave said, “My 1% better was cashing in on the recent increased Ultimate Rewards (UR) points offer for the Chase Business Ink card. Along with our existing UR points, we redeemed them and booked a six night stay in Cabo San Lucas for my wife and I to celebrate our 5th anniversary. Combining this with the Southwest Companion Pass we earned last month (and all the Rapid Rewards points that came with earning that) we’ve scored another trip nearly entirely paid for with credit card points. #winning We’re excited to celebrate our 5th anniversary in Cabo this May!”
  • Erin said, “My 1% this week made me really feel like I was part of the FI community. I hit a pothole with my car and the front tire exploded. Normally, this would stress me out, but I was prepared. I use an app, Oportun, to save up for situations like this. I already had the amount I needed for 4 tires saved up in preparation for when I would need them. So the stress was off of me for the cost of the tires, but more importantly I also bought my tires with intention. I did the research and found a deal that was “buy 4 tires for the price of 3, and free installation”! The tires are name brand and the deal was less than what I saved up for anticipating this cost. I felt like this was a big win. This could have really thrown off my savings rate, stress levels, and feeling of control in my life. However, being a part of the FI community prepared me for this “emergency” and it just became another win in my eyes! Thank you to ChooseFI and everything that they taught us on living intentionally!”

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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. Disclosures.
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