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FI Weekly – October 27, 2020

Back to Basics: Everything is Negotiable

I’m always on the lookout for patterns in life, and one I’ve noticed from your replies to this weekly email is how emboldened you are by the concept of “everything is negotiable.”

Nick wrote in saying, “I only called them because it’s a technique I heard you mention on the podcast and of course they refunded the fee.”

Don’t be afraid to negotiate! Ask for a discount, ask for some fee to be waived. Just ask.

I know it can be difficult, but what’s the worst that can happen? They say ‘no.’ Then you’re in the same place you were to begin with, and that’s okay. I suspect you’ll be pleasantly surprised how many times you get to ‘yes’ with a simple ask.

The Income Side of the Equation

We clearly spend a lot of time talking about cutting expenses, but the income side of the equation is critically important and can’t be overlooked. I want to point you to three essential episodes from the ChooseFI podcast that provide important life skills that should be reviewed each year:

Quote I’m Pondering

Last week I told you about the free pdf download of ‘The Almanack of Naval Ravikant’ that I think is essential reading for anyone looking to live a better life. I’m slowly taking it in, and was pleasantly surprised to see a section on Financial Independence. Naval’s take on retirement is worth repeating:

“Retirement is when you stop sacrificing today for an imaginary tomorrow. When today is complete, in and of itself, you’re retired.

How do you get there?

Well, one way is to have so much money saved that your passive income (without you lifting a finger) covers your burn rate.

A second is you just dive your burn rate down to zero – you become a monk.

A third is you’re doing something you love. You enjoy it so much, it’s not about the money. So there are multiple ways to retirement.”

ChooseFI Community Taking Action This Week

  • Mark said, “I setup my wife a Vanguard pension account here in the UK and made a lump sum contribution into a world equity tracker overcoming the temptations of timing the market. Vanguard makes it so easy if you already have a UK ISA tax free account, practically one-click to sign up, one click to accept the terms and 15 seconds later, boom! Tax deferred account for investing in my wife’s future-self done!”
  • Jessica said, “I am thrilled to tell you that I used PolicyGenius to apply for and get new term life insurance and professional disability insurance plans that are now saving me $2,100 annually!! It’s a long process to apply for and then change insurance policies, so it has taken me a while to do this but I am so glad that I did. Thank you for encouraging all of us to take action and get 1% better!”
  • Kingsley said, “I quit my job yesterday. It made my miserable and stressed. I was able to quit without feeling any regrets due to have an emergency savings. Now I am going to pursue my passion full time. I feel free and I feel like I have control of my life again.”
  • Kristi said, “I’ve just submitted the paperwork to up my 457 contribution by $500 a paycheck, (not quite maxing out, yet). Feeling nervous, but in a good way!”
  • Cody said, “I am a physical therapist about 1 year out of school so I am repaying hefty student loans. This week I refinanced to a 1% lower interest rate, literally making my financial situation 1% better!”
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At least once in most of our FI journeys, we have pondered what our life would look like if we started earlier. Maybe you have even wondered what value could’ve been gained if you had started in your teenage years. Well, for some context into the possibilities decision that could provide, we decided to have 17 year old listener Devin on the podcast to discuss what life can look like when you go against the cultural norm of going to college, and instead opting for an entrepreneurial and FI friendly lifestyle. Oftentimes we mention that there are rewards that come with stepping out of your comfort zone, and the same can be said for going against the societal norm and carving out your own path! For our younger audience who may be interested in getting started with their FI journey, let this episode be a useful resource and reassurance that this journey can begin no matter your age!

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