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FI Weekly – September 6, 2022: Return of the Hot Seat, Financial Plans, What I’m Reading & Playing


Return of the Hot Seat

I want to take a minute to say a huge thank you to everyone who responded to last week’s FI Weekly! 

With the news of Jonathan stepping back from the podcast, I was blown away by all the heartfelt messages of encouragement and gratitude plus all the amazing suggestions for future guests, topics and segments you’d like to see.

I was shocked that so many of you specifically asked that I bring back ‘The Hot Seat’ questions we previously asked our guests at the end of the episode.

I can guarantee it is 100% coming back starting with the next episode I record (happening today in fact!).

One of the questions we asked was people’s favorite books and in anticipation of that question coming back, I wanted to pass along a remarkable resource that David at Runners FI put together:

He combed through 500+ episodes to find every time a book was ever mentioned on the podcast to create a list called the ‘174 Must Read Books of FI.’

No surprise that The Simple Path to Wealth was the runaway winner for most mentions, followed by Your Money or Your Life and The 4 Hour Workweek.

If you’re looking for a book to read, check out David’s list – it covers about every topic you can imagine and is not just limited to financial books.

Financial Plan Walkthrough

Our friend Cody Garrett from Measure Twice Money put together a resource that I think is worth your time: It’s a 23-minute YouTube video that walks you through an example of a Comprehensive Financial Plan.

While this video theoretically was made for other financial planners, I think you’ll get value out of it if you’ve ever contemplated hiring a financial planner (‘fee-only financial planner’ would be my strong recommendation!) but don’t know what value they’d bring or what you can expect.

More importantly, even if you have no intention of ever hiring a financial planner, Cody gives you an in-depth look at exactly what he prepares for his clients, so you can try to replicate much of this on your own as a DIY project.

What I’m Reading and Playing

I thought it would be fun to give a really quick bullet-point update on some books I’m reading and board games our family is playing:

Books:

  • The Great Mental Models Vol. 1 by Shane Parrish and the team at Farnam Street and The Knowledge Project podcast. A definite must read for upping your ‘mental model’ game.

Board games:

  • The Crew: Mission Deep Sea is a cooperative trick taking card game that’s a ton of fun, fairly easy to understand and quick to play, plus it’s quite inexpensive.
  • Forbidden Island is a cooperative game that’s quick to learn and fun to play together as a family. We’ve played this a handful of times in the past few weeks and it’s a nice sub-30-minute strategy-filled session.

ChooseFI Community Taking Action This Week

  • Mitch said, “My favorite ever 1% win is someone else’s many wins! A family member asked a question and we went down the rabbit hole. I sent them 5-7 ChooseFI episodes and some articles. In less than a week they’ve: Uploaded everything to Personal Capital, got 1Password to consolidate password tracking, bought their first I-Bonds, calculated their savings rate, planned to review spending in arrears to determine any possible additional savings, calculated their current FI number, bought The Simple Path to Wealth to read and determine where to make changes to their investing strategy, and texted me 1,000 times along the way! I’ve never seen someone sprint so fast toward this, and THEIR weight off their shoulders of wondering where they stand and where they are going, is a huge blessing to me. Congrats to them, and maybe they’ll send their own 1% email in some day!”
  • Gianna said, “I visited a friend in NYC who just started a new job and helped him set up his 401k. Most of my friends don’t know too much about finances and saving for retirement and don’t have the motivation care to do anything about it. I told him just take 10 minutes to set this up and you never have to think about it again. He was so thankful after I explained why he needed to at least get the bare minimum company match. I want all my friends to win with me!
  • Rebekah said, “1% take: transferred my pension into my Vanguard IRA. We are a few months away from hitting our $500K net worth milestone!”
  • Jim said, “1% win of the week – getting some enhancements to our landscaping. Contract design came in – happy with it, but wanted a tree added. Told my wife that I would push back on price. She was skeptical. I told her, “Everything is negotiable” (insert episode 199 ref here – ha!) and sure enough. I called. Talked to the guy and he agreed to throw in the tree for no additional cost to win the work. Done! Thanks ChooseFI for the encouragement to “just ask” – far too often our culture just accepts prices as – well, that’s just what it costs… when there is room to get the same for less / just be flexible and willing to ask!”
  • Yasmin said, “With my daughter now going to kindergarten, we are taking the money we would have previously spent on child care for her (a net $1100 / month factoring in aftercare now) and increasing our contributions to our children’s 529 accounts by $100 dollars each, investing an additional $500 a month into our brokerage account, and the remainder in our emergency fund. Although inflation has made the price of everything rise, from our phone bill to auto insurance, we are being more choiceful about our discretionary spending so that none of our savings goals need to take a hit.”
  • Shannon said, “My 1% win for the week: I’m a freelancer, and I haven’t raised my hourly rates in three years. While my family doesn’t depend on my income, it helps us pay for our kids’ extracurricular activities that make their lives happier and richer – and the cost of everything is going up. Raising my online rate is easy, but asking clients with whom I already have a contract is more intimidating. I spent a little time researching and sent a thoughtful message to my main client. They raised my rate without batting an eye! Don’t be afraid to ask!”

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