Deep Dive on Social Security Benefits
I received a helpful email from Matt, who researched a really important topic we honestly haven’t done a wonderful job covering at ChooseFI: Social Security benefits.
Here’s what Matt sent in:
“I went down a rabbit hole and learned how to more accurately estimate my social security benefit by accounting for future pay raises and using bend points forecasted for the year you are eligible for Social Security. I want to share with the community the following articles I found most helpful.
- How to Calculate Your Social Security Benefits from Social Security Intelligence
- Early Retirement and Social Security from our friend Sean Mullaney the FI Tax Guy (who just published a really helpful book on the Solo 401(k) for Solopreneurs)
- Should You Trust Your Social Security Benefits Estimate from Social Security Intelligence”
Households of FI Series Returns
If you’ve listened to ChooseFI the last month, you may have noticed a few changes including, by popular demand, the return of the Hot Seat!
What I’m super excited about now is the return of the Households of FI series. This was a series where we followed a group of FI Households as they began their FI journeys, and checked in with them every few months to see where they were, celebrate wins, answer questions and provide accountability.
I actually released a Friday episode this past week featuring the first of those Households, Troy & Lindsay on Episode 398. Take a listen and follow along with their story and the rest of the Households of FI.
You should see these episodes release the next handful of Fridays, so be sure to subscribe to the show so they download automatically in your podcast app!
(One quick ask from me: I’m putting in an enormous amount of time and effort on the podcast since going solo and I’ve never been more energized to produce the show! If you’ve benefited from listening, it would mean the world to me if you could leave a review on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen to the show. This gives us momentum so more people can find ChooseFI and join this life-changing community.)
Questions to Make You Feel More Fulfilled
I found a great thread on Twitter from Greg Isenberg with 16 questions to ask yourself “to make you feel more fulfilled in life, love & career.”
The entire list is well worth reading, but here are some of my favorites:
- If I had $50 million in the bank, how would my day-to-day change?
- Am I really trying my best or am I just telling myself I am?
- How do I want my life be different in one year?
- Would my 15 year old self think I’m the coolest?
ChooseFI Community Taking Action This Week
- Heather said, “My 1% win this week was learning the power of Google Lens when shopping for an item. We’re in the process of trying to buy a new rug for our living room. I found one that I loved but it was $350 which was higher than I wanted to spend (when you have 4 little kids you don’t buy expensive rugs!). I took a screenshot of the rug and decided to use Google Lens to search the image and see if I could find it cheaper anywhere else. I was happy to see that it found the exact same rug at a different store for only $150!! Thankful for technology today!”
- Jason said, “I’m proud to say my 1% for this week was inspired by Episode 394 | From Blood Cancer to Boston Marathon | Boyd Dunleavy. After listening to that episode, I immediately went to BeTheMatch(dot)org and joined the marrow registry. Boyd’s story truly resonated with me. And as a fellow Veteran myself, I feel obligated to hopefully help provide the same miracle Boyd experienced with his donor, Nathan. Nathan’s initiative and esprit de corps goes well beyond the call of duty expected of anyone that volunteers their service to their country. Thanks to Boyd and Nathan, my next email I send will be to the president of my Unicef Congressional Advocate Team in the hopes that more will follow Nathan’s example and volunteer to help another remarkable inidividual in need like Boyd Dunleavy. Semper fidelis (“always faithful”)!”
- Dagmar said, “I used your advice to get a travel rewards credit card for all of my wedding expenses. I just bought a plane ticket to visit my parents just using points and I hope to do it at least twice more with those points!”
- Niki said, “My 1% better was joining my local ChooseFI group and reducing grocery costs to add more to my vacation fund!”
- Gianna said, “This week I raised my 401k contribution to 5%. My company only matches up to 3% so I was only contributing 3% since I started a 2 years ago. I am still trying to pay off debt right now so I’m nowhere near maxing out but this is my only investment account right now so I am giving it as much as I can spare for now!”
- Tyler said, “The timing of your latest episode with Tom (Episode 397 on Securing Your Financial Life) was amazing, I’ve also been listening to Chris at All the Hacks since ChooseFI featured him for the 2nd time, his podcast recently regarding Cybersecurity prompted me down the rabbit hole to adopting a Password Manager and some other security features. This small investment has made logins so much easier and more secure – definitely a Valuist purchase. On the ChooseFI FB page on Toms AMA post another user posted a Yubikey for $10 hack that I am definitely going to be following through with. Continuing to get 1% better all the time!”
- Randy said, “1% better this week. Yesterday my dryer stopped working. It’s about 12 years old so I was thinking this might be it. I really didn’t want to call a repairman only to have to buy a new one. So before calling I went to YouTube. Sure enough, someone was explaining my exact problem. I was able to move the dryer but could not get behind it (it’s on a platform in a small space) but my son was able to get back there. It turned out to be some great father/son time plus we fixed it! It ended up costing $16! Great hack and great father/son time!”