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FI Weekly – October 19, 2021

Do You Have Unclaimed Money?

Here’s an incredibly easy action step for the week: I came across an article in Forbes that details how there’s $49 billion in unclaimed property sitting with the treasury departments of the 50 states that actually belongs to the citizens but hasn’t yet been claimed. 

“Unclaimed money can come from a range of sources, including abandoned checking and savings accounts, company refunds, annuities, customer overpayments, payroll checks, investment accounts, trust distributions, life insurance payments and utility security deposits. It can also include physical items that were abandoned in safe deposit boxes such as precious metals.”

Click through to the Forbes article and they have a state-by-state listing map of “Unclaimed Property Websites By State.”  Couldn’t hurt to take 3 minutes and see if you have any money that’s rightfully yours!

Die With Zero

JL Collins recommended the book “Die With Zero” by Bill Perkins as a way to expand my mental framework on spending money, and I’m really enjoying it. 

While the title might lead you believe Perkins’ thesis is counter to the FI Mindset of saving for the future (dying with $0??), I think it adds nuance and context to what a ‘life well lived’ actually looks like and precisely when spending your money will add the most value to your life. 

Perkins argues that you should think more about the finite nature of your true “golden years” being a function of wealth AND health.  So, focus spending on your most vibrant wealthy years of 45-65 (plus or minus) when you are physically capable and wealthy enough to afford splurging a little bit more than you otherwise would.

It already has us thinking about taking a few extra vacations these next handful of years before my older daughter goes off to college. The years go quickly and you can never make up that time. 

Food for thought if nothing else…

Tips to Save on Groceries and Clothing

Here’s an incredibly easy action step for the week: I came across an article in Forbes that details how there’s $49 billion in unclaimed property sitting My wife, Laura, appeared on two episodes of the ‘Investor Mama’ podcast this past week and if you’re looking for more in-depth info on how she saves money on groceries and clothes for our kids, these are must-listens.

The podcast is hosted by Jen Narciso, a FI Community member I originally met at the NYC premier of the ‘Playing with FIRE’ doc.  Jen joined Jonathan’s Talent Stacker Podcasting course and created a top-notch podcast.

Always easiest to subscribe to a podcast, so just search for “Investor Mama” on your podcast app of choice, or you can listen to Episode 37 and Episode 38 by clicking those links.

ChooseFI Community Taking Action This Week

  • Ava said, “My 1% better was realizing that I’ve definitely hit CoastFI. In fact, the numbers look so good for me that I could actually coast into early retirement before I turn 40 in ten years! This realization has made me look into my mini-retirement dreams much more seriously!”
  • Christine said, “My 1% better this week is actually 30% better! After hearing about Salesforce on ChooseFI, I signed up for the Talent Stacker program, and just got my first Salesforce job! I’m now making $80k, which is about a 30% increase from my RN base salary… and NO MORE NIGHT SHIFTS! I’m so thankful for your podcast for changing my life in so many ways! Keep doing what you’re doing!”
  • Bill said, “My 1% better this week is that as a family we have decided that when work is done at 4pm the phones/technology go away. We go outside and go for walks, hikes bike rides and before bed we read or watch a Halloween movie as a family. Technology has its place but it is not before friends and family.”
  • Eric said, “My 1% better this week was volunteering to accompany my daughter’s first grade class to a nearby forest, where the teacher had them go on a scavenger hunt to identify different trees, leaves and seed pods. I got to know the teacher a little bit, meet some of my daughter’s friends, and spend a morning outside in the woods. I have the flexibility because I’m on sabbatical from teaching this year. Being on the path to FI made this time off possible.”
  • Fernanda said, “My 1% better is that I used my emergency fund to pay off the last loan I had (except the house): the car. But wait, don’t panic! I have plenty stocked away in brokerage accounts (non-retirement). After much reading, I realized I have enough money I can tap into in case of an emergency and there was no point in all of that emergency cash sitting there earning nothing, while I’m still paying down debt. Between what is now left on my EF and brokerage, my cc limits, and just the cash flow I produce, I feel confident and secure. Such a weight lifted from my shoulders!”
  • Anna said, “I recently quit my job of 5 years to FIRE. But before I did, I asked my IT guy if I could purchase my work laptop since it was likely end of life. He was happy I asked, then gave it to me and said it was one less computer he had to find a place to donate it to (they get rid of laptops older than 4 years). He also let me keep my old Bluetooth keyboard and mouse. This saved me $1000 from having to buy a new computer and new accessories! It definitely didn’t hurt to ask.”
  • Caitlin said, “We are currently building a home. When we started building a few months ago, we looked over our lumber package, signed off and got started. We were told lumber was already starting to decrease by 5% and prices were on a decline. Our salesman failed to mention that once we lock in a price, that’s our pricing through the whole project. (Doors, trim, shingles, etc get ordered much later than the framing lumber so this does last about 6 months) This information was not stated anywhere in writing either. Our builder called and I talked to 2 different people and it went nowhere. I finally asked for a manager and was not going to back down. I said we wanted money back. He ended up giving us $7500 back!”

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