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May 7, 2024: 2 Minute Walks, Impact of Fees plus Community Wins

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.

2 Minute Walk After a Meal

The Path to FI allows us to focus on what’s really important in life and health is at or near the top of that list!

I’m always looking out for highly beneficial tips that are easy to implement and here’s one I wanted to pass along:

The New York Times published an article entitled, “Just 2 Minutes of Walking After a Meal is Surprisingly Good for You.”

The article said:

“Walking after a meal, conventional wisdom says, helps clear your mind and aids in digestion. Scientists have also found that going for a 15-minute walk after a meal can reduce blood sugar levels, which can help ward off complications such as Type 2 diabetes. But, as it turns out, even just a few minutes of walking can activate these benefits.”

“In a meta-analysis, recently published in the journal Sports Medicine, researchers looked at the results of seven studies that compared the effects of sitting versus standing or walking on measures of heart health, including insulin and blood sugar levels. They found that light walking after a meal, in increments of as little as two to five minutes, had a significant impact in moderating blood sugar levels.”

It’s interesting when information like this comes together: I listen to the podcast ‘A Whole New Level’ put out by Levels, a continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) company, and they’ve mentioned repeatedly how their stats point to walking after meals as one of the easiest ways to control blood sugar spikes.

Tim Ferriss also alluded to a similar process way back in his book ‘The 4-Hour Body’ – in it he recommended doing a quick bit of exercise, such as air squats, before and after meals.

While I don’t currently have a CGM, I’ve taken this research as compelling enough that I’m now taking short walks after as many meals as I can. Even as a placebo, it feels wonderful to get up and walk after a meal, so this is a positive change in my life for sure!

Impact of Fees on Your Investments

The reason why I strongly advise not hiring a financial advisor who charges an AUM fee is precisely because of this article I created on my original personal finance website Richmond Savers and saw the math in black and white:

The Impact of Fees on Your Investments

The ‘slightly more realistic example’ is the one I quote often on the podcast, but can’t reiterate enough:

Hiring a financial advisor who charges AUM fees will likely cost you 40%+ of your net worth.

Let that sink in: 40%+ of your future net worth gone.

ChooseFI Community Taking Action This Week

I’ve had the same insurance broker for 30 years on the house and my & kids cars. Every year the premiums went up without claims; I’d increase deductibles to compensate. This year it jumped significantly.

My 1% is: I called my retired neighbor who worked insurance for an education session. Then I called different insurance companies and decided on a new one.

I saved 25% on premiums, lowered my deductibles, and have more coverage. This is for my home, three cars, and one motorcycle. My savings was significant.

– Andrea

Today one year ago, I sent in my 1% better during our family holiday in Portugal. Back then, my 1% better was taking a much needed break as I was completely burned out from my stressful job. I decided to start a side business that could generate some income in case I would have to quit my job sooner than I intend to.

This year, we’re back in Portugal. And this year I’m celebrating a lot more than just 1% better. I just finished my first book and it will be published before summer! Secondly, a few days ago we went for a lovely beach side dinner to celebrate we are half-FI!

I am less than 4 yrs away from retiring exactly on my 40th birthday.

– Evy

My 1% better has been setting up a “rewards” system for good habits at the start of this year.

My wife and I realized that we were spending a lot of time binging TV (and our kids too!) but I didn’t actually enjoy the empty entertainment. Ironically, I was also reading Design Your Future during that same period, and realized we were “drifting” through life.

We talked through some options and agreed on this rule: “If both of us each spend at least 1 hour outside – without being on our phones – we will add $5 into our ‘fancy restaurant’ bucket.” So far we’ve “earned” $460 and have had 5 date nights!

So technically this might be a 2% better!

– Andrew

Every seven years our town reappraises property for taxation purposes. This year we went through two rounds of challenges.

The first was relatively informal: we made a phone appointment with the town’s outside appraiser. During that call we could ask questions and raise concerns. We followed up by sending photos to the assessor which we felt showed that our property was less valuable. The appraisal went down about $20,000.

Then we did a second formal written appeal, citing the recent sale of a similar house across the street, as well as some things with our own property we didn’t consider previously (30-year-old windows and roof, and cracks in the garage and breezeway slab, and a poorly insulated section of the house). We included photos when that was useful.

Our appraisal was lowered another $23,500. So for about five hours worth of my time we took almost $45,000 off the value of our property, which will lower our taxes about $500 or so per year for the next seven or more years! And we got a check in the mail for $375, a rebate from how the higher appraisal affected our 2023 taxes.

That’s a pretty amazing ROI.

– Suzanne

I have a few different 1% betters:

The first one is I’m going to be moving back/geo arbitrage to my home state of Wisconsin. Having entered active-duty military from Wisconsin and now that I am returning, I am eligible for several different veterans’ benefits that I’m currently not eligible for in my current state of residence. One is the Wisconsin GI bill where one of my dependents or I can get 128 credit hours for free at any Wisconsin public university. Another is a property tax credit based on my level of Veterans Administration disability. All will make the retirement transition financially easier.

Another 1% better is helping my dental assistant on her road to FI. She is a young single parent and just started investing 12% into her Roth 401k. She told me today that she was so happy that she was able to save over $1000 “and they are giving me that free money match”. It nice to see her excited about becoming FI

– Dale

My 1% better this week:

I’m recently married and among the things on my “to-do” list is to audit my husband and my cell-phone carriers, as the carriers we each used have more limited coverage where we now live. My husband was paying around $100/mo and I was paying $33/mo.

We switched to AT&T’s 12 month prepaid plan for $300 each (breaking down to $25/mo each), allowing us to save around $1000 combined annually. We have better service coverage AND are paying an overall 75% less!

– Monica

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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