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FI Weekly – March 21, 2023: FI Hobbies, Unexpected Fun, Things Important and Unimportant

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FI Hobbies and Activities

I published a fun podcast episode yesterday with my friend Chris Terrell where we talked about some fun, frugal FI hobbies including board games (oh, how we love board games!) and pickleball.

If you’re someone who doesn’t think of themselves as a board game fan, I want to challenge you to listen to that episode with an open mind and let me know what you think.

I also have an episode coming out soon with Greg from Outside 365 where he challenges each of us to get outside at least “one human powered mile” every day.  This one deeply resonated with me and helped me challenge simple concepts we take for granted like “today’s weather is bad.”

Bad is relative, right? And all in our brains.  Greg helped me challenge that notion and I think you’ll enjoy that episode.

Laura and I recently found an outdoor hike on the James River that was so unexpectedly wonderful and challenging, especially when we were expecting a fairly pedestrian path along the river.

Your city or town undoubtedly has many of these surprises waiting for you – so go outside and look for them!  Maybe someone in your ChooseFI Local Group would like to join you for a walk as well.

More Unexpected Fun

Speaking of unexpected delights, I found something recently that was so much fun that I couldn’t help but share it:

I took my daughters to see a string quartet play a concert of Taylor Swift songs and we all had such a blast and cannot stop talking about it.

This was actually fairly inexpensive (about $35 per ticket) and the reason I’m writing about it in the newsletter is that the website that puts on all these concerts operates in a few hundred cities around the world!

Just Google: “Fever Up Candlelight {your city name}” and see what comes up.

The next concert on our list is the Candlelight tribute to Adele and we’re already counting down the days and having fun listening to her music in anticipation.

Things Important and Unimportant

Our great friend JL Collins recently published an article entitled, “Things Important, and Unimportant” that is an absolute must-read.

Here are the first two (of many) for you to get a flavor of the article:


Investing for the long-term. Think decades. My holding period for VTSAX is forever, other than maybe selling a few shares while living on my portfolio. I am investing for generations.


Market Crashes. These are an expected part of the process, like blizzards in New England and hurricanes in Florida. Scary and dangerous if you make the wrong moves, but they always pass and the sunshine returns.

They are best ignored. What the stock market does today, this week, this year — That’s just noise.


Staying the course. This is the only way to enjoy the long-term growth of stocks. If you panic and sell, the market will leave you bleeding by the side of the road.

You have to be an optimist, believing in the future of the United States, the world in general, and that the incredible drive, creativity and problem solving ability humans have displayed so far will continue.

Obsessing about safety. No investment is 100% safe. Stocks are volatile. Cash in the bank is guaranteed to lose value to inflation. Real estate investments can turn sour in more ways than you can count.

As an investor, you don’t get to avoid risks. You only get to choose which ones.””

ChooseFI Community Taking Action This Week

  • Jordan said, “My mates and I made a trip to Italy and I stayed a few extra days to work remote. Utilized Chase Ultimate Rewards points for a free hotel stay in Rome and then used the Capital One Venture card to enjoy free lounge food and coffee before flying back home. Couldn’t have figured this out without the ChooseFI community!”

  • Jo said, “I have 2 1%’s: 1. I bought my first condo that I’m fixing up and will eventually rent out for monthly income. 2. I bought SWPXX to add to my niece’s portfolio (I started last year with Disney for her). She’s 5 now – no presents, just investments for her. Hopefully this helps her start her adult life in a good position in about 15 years.”

  • Henry said, “A bonus 1% was deciding on taking a Mini-retirement/Gap Year/Sabbatical in 2024, in order to dedicate more time to family and other personal priorities. While I enjoy my work and am paid handsomely, my job is quite demanding and takes up quite a lot of energy and time. I’m not fully FI yet, but I cannot be more grateful that ChooseFI has opened my eyes to the different possibilities to enjoy the journey along the way.”

  • Aaron said, “My 1% better this week is actually a shout out to my partner, who just hit her savings goal in her emergency fund! It’s been hard to hit between a low income and student loans, not to mention her car getting stolen two months ago.”

  • Cheri said, “On Saturday, I submitted my retirement application. In a little more than six weeks, I will be retiring from my twenty-six-year public service career with full medical benefits and a pension that is a decent percentage of my salary. I will no longer be working nights, weekends, holidays, twelve-hour shifts, or overtime.”

  • Kira said, “I negotiated a job offer for the first time ever! Prior to listening to ChooseFI, I didn’t know it was something everyone should be doing. After pushing through a couple awkward conversations, I got an offer that’s 30% more than my current total compensation package, plus a starting bonus to buy me out of my payback for an advanced degree my current employer paid for.”

  • Jeff said, “My 1% better is signing up for the 401(k) at my side job so that I can get that 3% employer match in addition to my TSP match.”

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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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