Deep Dive on Social Security Benefits
I’ve received a lot of emails recently asking for more in-depth info about social security benefits, so I wanted to highlight an email I received from one of our community members:
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
- Should You Trust Your Social Security Benefits Estimate from Social Security Intelligence”
82 Tips for Sleep Optimization
One of the biggest areas where I’ve upgraded my life (and think you can too) is optimizing sleep.
Simply put, life is just better when you’re sleeping well.
I found this post on Twitter by Dr. Sam Soete with 82 sleep tips he came “up with after being an insomniac for 7 years in medical school.”
82 tips is overkill and I don’t agree with all of them, but that said, this is an amazing list. Some of the most important on Sam’s list I also found through my own experimentation:
- “Maintain a consistent sleep schedule, even on weekends (nature doesn’t care about weekends)”
- “Create complete darkness in the bedroom”
- Regulate sleep temperature effectively (Brad note: Sleep in a cold room)
- Avoid large meals within 3 hours of bedtime
Limit excessive fluid intake 2 hours before bedtime and use the bathroom before sleep (Brad note: Alcohol destroys sleep quality, even when consumed in small quantities)
24 Things I Believe About Investing
Ben Carlson is the co-host of the Animal Spirits podcast, which is one of my favorite shows. He recently published a great article called ’24 Things I Believe About Investing’ that I think is well worth your time.
Some of my favorites:
- “I believe simple beats complex.”
- “I believe it’s basically impossible to forecast the economy.”
- “I believe a long time horizon is the ultimate equalizer in the markets.”
- “I believe optimists are better investors than pessimists.”
- “I believe doing nothing is the best investment decision most of the time.”
- “I believe it’s OK to build wealth slowly.”
Episode 459 Recap: Follow the Thread
Cory Muscara, a meditation instructor and former monk, joined me on the show this week for a deeply philosophical conversation about life.
There’s no way I can do justice to this episode here in the recap (this one is a must-listen!), so I’ll leave you with a few of Cory’s most impactful quotes:
“If you’re not able to be present to yourself because you’re scared of what’s underneath, or you’re just used to distracting yourself from yourself, then you’re always living in a state of fear. and not necessarily fear of the outside, but fear of the inside. And that keeps your mind constantly searching outwardly and so you’re kind of like this jittery animal looking for what’s next, chasing the next dopamine hit. and that to me is the experience of anxiety.”
“Curiosity can soften fear.” Be a little introspective. Look for these spots of discomfort.”
“I believe curiosity is the opposite of fear. A lot of times when we think of the opposite of fear we might think of bravery and courage or strength. But if you look at what fear is, it’s this tendency to withdraw and kind of shut down and to get small. Where curiosity is the tendency to move towards and to expand and to explore. So, on an energetic level you can say they are opposites.”
ChooseFI Community Taking Action This Week
- Alisha said, “My 1% win is that I just booked round trip tickets to New Orleans for my family of 5 using Travel reward points. This feels huge to me because I have been discouraged that I wasn’t doing this reward points thing correctly. After I booked these tickets, I remembered the 5 of us flew to San Diego (from Denver) in April for a Legoland trip, bought solely on points (except the $11.20 round trip taxes and fees)! I think this proves that keeping tabs on your FI numbers and your use of points can be so encouraging when you think you haven’t “made it”. I am so grateful that my husband and I and our 3 kids get to have these fun experiences without the cost of 5 tickets (saving about $1800/trip).
- Casimir said, “My 1% better this past week was paying off all our student loans. We’d been in a holding pattern for years, but had kept a bunch of cash on the side in case this is how we had to handle it. Biggest financial stress point is now over.
- Kisha said, “I am a fairly new listener and I am soooooooo happy I found your podcast!! Because of this newsletter, I have created a spreadsheet to track my quarterly net worth!! Thank you so much!
- Amanda said, “Making small increments to progress has been my focus this year. 99% of both my investing and life efforts are in the fundamentals and it is there I find the soul of simplicity, as JL Collins aptly describes. My 1% this week was getting a 20 year term life insurance policy for my husband and I. We shopped around at several companies and the peace of mind knowing we do covered this important step for our family is priceless. Thank you Choose FI for encouraging us in our daily efforts to pursue financial independence.
- Aaron said, “My 1% better this week is helping someone else. My partner was invited to go with a couple of her friends to Hawaii. Unfortunately, she simply doesn’t have the money to afford the trip right now. Luckily though, I had recently gotten her on board with travel rewards, and we were able to book the flights for effectively nothing!
- Seth said, “My 1% better is upping my Roth 401K contribution rate from 47% to the max of 50%. Please understand, I’m not a high earner, but I’ve climatized and acclimated myself to my rate of ascent to achieve financial freedom. If I can do it, anybody can do it; it just takes commitment, perseverance, and time.