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Updates & Inspiration for Your Financial Independence Journey

Curated and written by ChooseFI Podcast host & co-founder Brad Barrett, the FI Weekly Newsletter is the weekly check-in you need if you’re pursuing FI.

Every Tuesday morning you’ll receive an email with:

  • Three key sections summarized to maximize your ability to take action
    • Recent examples include: Redeeming rewards points for NYC, finding Unclaimed Property, Gift Tax Exclusion rules, daily routines of high performers…and more.
  • Six ‘1% Wins’ from FI Weekly readers – what they did this week to make their lives better. The secret sauce of the newsletter is the motivation and inspiration you get reading these wins.

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Interested in past newsletters? View the full set of previous emails here!

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Explore the Archives

June 8, 2021

One Year of the FI Weekly Tomorrow marks the one-year anniversary of the FI Weekly Newsletter! I can’t tell you how much I’ve enjoyed writing this and reading your replies full of wins, questions, actions taken, etc. fills me with more joy than you can imagine. I’m hopelessly behind on responding to all your emails, but please know that I do read each and every one of them! A trip down memory lane from newsletter #1: Book: The Infinite Game by Simon Sinek. Even for long-term FI thinkers this book is a game changer. I now think in terms an ‘infinite’ (200+ year) timeline. Simply put, a must-read. Life Hack: Camel Camel Camel is the horribly named site that’s an invaluable tool for any Amazon.com shopper. Prices fluctuate up to 50% on every item (seriously), so set a price alert and get an email when it drops below your purchase threshold. Investing Philosophy When I polled the community on your Favorite Books of 2020, the most frequently mentioned was The Psychology of Money by Morgan Housel. I listen to a lot of podcasts, and the recent episode of ‘We Study Billionaires’ with Morgan (Episode TIP351) was one of the best I’ve ever heard.

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June 1, 2021

A Full Review of Your Finances Cody Garrett, one of the most helpful and active members of our community and a CFP, recently posted the following in our FB group: “When is the last time you completed a FULL review of your finances? If you don’t know where to start, here’s a data gathering checklist that includes the most common documents to review.” ​Click here to see the entire list and be sure to bookmark this for an annual review. The Simple StartUp Summer Challenge Registration is closing on June 7th for this Summer’s The Simple StartUp’s group course and I wanted to pass along the info: The Simple StartUp is hosting a 6-week Summer Challenge group to help aspiring 10-18 year old entrepreneurs figure out a business idea, and then turn it into a profitable venture. Rob Phelan is the host and he will guide your child through all the steps to getting started through video lessons, live webinars twice a week, and a thriving exclusive online community of current and past Simple StartUp participants (if you want to hear success stories, check out Episodes 271 and 308 of ChooseFI). The time commitment each week is flexible and all the

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May 25, 2021

Negotiate Your Salary I got an amazing email from Tim that I needed to share: “I just wanted to drop a note and say THANKS for episode 147 with Tori Dunlap about negotiating your salary. I followed her simple gratitude sandwich and it worked!!! I got a $12,000 bump in salary just by using this method. I’m using the bump to fund my kids’ 529 plans so this is awesome. THANKS!” If you’re like me, negotiating your salary has never crossed your mind. That is a HUGE missed opportunity, so take some time and go back and listen to these 3 episodes and take some action: My Favorite Shirts I’ve had at least 20 people email me after we mentioned on Episode 317 that I get quality t-shirts for just a few dollars each, and they are basically my entire wardrobe. But…I didn’t give you any details on where to find them! Let’s fix that: ​Next Level shirts from ClothingShopOnline.com are my favorites, especially the 6210 and 6200. I’m also going to check out the 6010 ‘triblend’ shirt. FI Weekly Reader on the Podcast I hope you all realize how much I love reading the responses I get each week

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May 18, 2021

The Power of FI Cam wrote in with a powerful message I wanted to pass along: “The most recent episode (320) regarding stress at work made me reflect a little bit on the power of FU money and my own recent win. I’m not FI, but I’m about halfway there (though with compounding interest, probably *a lot* closer :)) I was moved to a new team this time last year, and my skillset and preferred work was not being prioritized, in an attempt to try and inject life into this other team. I was stuck doing work that I was okay at and hated, instead of the work that I was passionate about and that truly lit me up. In January, I decided I had enough, and figured if I couldn’t find a new job in the next few months, I’d still be able to live off my savings for 20+ years anyway, so explained my situation, and said if I couldn’t move into a more favorable position, I would have to leave and pursue something else. I ended up being moved to the team I wanted and have a much better work life now, all because I realized I

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May 11, 2021

1% Better: Stop Junk Mail ChooseFI is a crowdsourced community and I love getting contributions that are so good I can just cut and paste. Courtesy of Debra: “In the podcast episode 100 ways to get 1% better, stopping junk mail was mentioned. This is the bane of my existence. I live in Tennessee and this is how I was able to stop all junk mail: ​Credit offers and insurance ​Junk mail: Data and Marketing Association ​Blue envelopes of coupons (Valpak) ​Catalogs and opt out by company​ ​Weekly coupon mailer​ ​Phone Book ​Clipper or Market magazine You can sign up for Informed Delivery with the USPS and they will send you an email with what mail you are getting that day. No email equals no mail (equals winning). Once I got all my eligible bills set to paperless, I barely get any mail. The longest I can remember was at least 2 weeks. Hope that helps!” Book Announcement I’m incredibly excited to announce that Brian Feroldi, one of our absolute favorite podcast guests (Episodes 72, 200, 293 and 314), is writing a book with ChooseFI Publishing called “Why Does the Stock Market Go Up?” The premise is really cool: Brian is fielding

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May 4, 2021

On Decision-Making Decisions are made with imperfect information and by definition are made without the benefit of hindsight. You know what you know at the time, and you try to make the best decision possible. But you can’t know everything, and your worldview is constantly being updated when you learn new things! Annie Duke’s concept of “resulting” is the best way to look at this: It’s so easy to look at the result, after the fact, and try to determine if it was a good or bad decision merely from the nature of the outcome. That is a fundamentally incorrect way of approaching life. You need to look at the quality of your decision and seek out sources of information that will help with that process for all future decisions. Poker is a great illustration of this: You can have the best hand, play it perfectly and still lose. Does that mean you made a bad decision(s)? Or was it just a bad outcome due to chance, but the decision-making process was one you’d repeat? The worst-case scenario of all is making up your mind and refusing to change regardless of what new information comes in. “Flip flopper” is one of those

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April 27, 2021

A Deep Dive Into a New World I always try to be intellectually open and honest, plus let you know when I’m experimenting with new things, so here’s an update: I recently jumped into the world of blockchain technology, DeFI (decentralized finance), smart contracts, NFTs and even a bit of cryptocurrencies to a degree that surprises even me. Simply put, I am 100% certain this technology is going to change the world in a manner similar to how the internet changed everything. So, I’m just trying to learn, learn, learn at this point. If you aren’t paying attention to this space, you need to start at least becoming aware of it. I’m still unclear how cryptocurrencies are invented out of thin air, most do nothing productive and just seem to be speculative. That will never add up and I suspect most will vanish. And I could spout Warren Buffett quotes at you like, Bitcoin is “probably rat poison squared.” But then I listened to smart people I respect like Mark Cuban and the potential of the underlying technology became clear. This CNBC article on Cuban said, “If Cuban were to start a company today, he would also utilize new technology —

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April 20, 2021

All the Hacks My friend Chris Hutchins, who appeared on Episode 71 of ChooseFI and again on Episode 121R with one of the most important segments we’ve ever published, entitled “How to Get Any Job”, just started up his own podcast called “All The Hacks” that I highly recommend subscribing to.  I’m going to be a guest on an early episode and I’m brainstorming some of my favorite life hacks; off the top of my head, here are a few:  I’d love for you to hit reply to this email and send me one or two of your favorite hacks!  Don’t Judge a Book by its Cover I’m reading Matthew McConaughey’s memoir “Greenlights” and I’m blown away by how good it is. The most deeply introspective memoir on living a good life I’ve ever come across kind of good. Makes you look differently at how you’re living kind of good.  And I’m embarrassed to admit I would have written it off entirely until I heard him on the Armchair Expert podcastand I realized he has knowledge about living life that I could deeply benefit from (I must have some previously undiscovered bias against actors, because I would have assumed Dax Shepard’s Armchair Expert podcast would be a

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April 13, 2021

Live Event Tonight We’re testing recording the ChooseFI podcast in a live format, and the Stereo app I mentioned previously wasn’t quite ready for what we needed. So, the experiment moves on:  We’re doing a Facebook Live tonight (Tuesday 4/13) at 7:30 pm ET with Frank Vasquez, host of the ‘Risk Parity Radio’ podcast and a prior guest on one of our most popular episodes (Episode 194 about the role of bonds in your portfolio).  Tonight’s live is about the nuances of investment portfolios, asset allocation, drawdown, and how to build a portfolio with non-correlated investments.  With this event you can actually join us live (video and audio) on the show, so click the link below and have some technical questions ready for Frank!  Join the Live Event 1% Better: Impact of Investment Fees Mary sent in a response to last week’s FI Weekly that I wanted to highlight:  “Just wanted to update you about our LITERAL 1% better this week was detaching our financial advisor from our accounts. One email later our investments don’t need to change and we dropped her 1% in fees! Thanks as always for your content!”  Every few months I want to remind you just

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April 6, 2021

​ On Motivation Sal Khan, founder of the incomparable Khan Academy (if you have children and are looking to improve their math skills for FREE, there’s no better way than Khan Academy), was a guest on People I (Mostly) Admire.’ This quote from Sal on motivation jumped out to me:  “One of the big questions when we started, especially a not for profit, was how are we going to attract top talent, especially in a place like Silicon Valley where people could go work at Google and Facebook and get all the stock options and whatever else.  And I remember reading a study back when I was a hedge fund analyst and it said that beyond a certain level, pay and things like bonuses, actually they’re not that great of an incentive. Or they can even be a disincentive at some point.  And what really people care about: they definitely need enough pay to feel valued, and feel like they can support their family at a reasonable standard of living, but beyond that it’s all about having mission that you feel a real purpose, feeling that you are working around other people who are alongside and are invested in you and having

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March 30, 2021

​ What Was Your Best Decision Ever? Dr. Peter Attia asked Steve Levitt, Ph.D. the co-author of Freakonomics on Episode 154 of ‘The Drive’ podcast, “What’s the best decision you think you’ve ever made?” and Steve’s response was insightful:  “I don’t know if you’d actually call it a decision, but the decision to not care what people think about me…I somehow just made a choice to just not care what other people thought about me. Which was a big choice for me because like most high school kids all I cared about was what other people thought about me, and at some point, I just broke with that and was happy to live with the consequences and it’s just a great way to live. It just frees you up from so much burden. I think all of my best decisions are ones that relieved burden.”  Do You Know a Young Entrepreneur? We released ChooseFI Episode 308 yesterday with Rob Phelan from The Simple StartUp and I love Rob’s starting point of: “Do You Have A Budding Entrepreneur at Home?”  If you do, you’ll want to help them explore the concepts of business building so it becomes part of their everyday

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March 23, 2021

​ PSA: Tax Filing Deadline Extended The IRS just extended the filing date of your federal income tax return from April 15 to May 17, 2021. I was pleasantly surprised to see this from the IRS: “Individual taxpayers can also postpone federal income tax payments for the 2020 tax year due on April 15, 2021, to May 17, 2021, without penalties and interest, regardless of the amount owed.”  This is an extension of time to file AND pay for 2020.  If you’re self-employed or otherwise pay quarterly estimated tax payments, keep in mind your 2021 Q1 payment is still due April 15th.  ​This Nerd Wallet article provides further detail and also indicates your deadline for IRA and HSA contributions is extended to 5/17 as well!  Keep an eye on your state’s filing deadline as many states might move the deadline back in response to the fed’s change.  Tonight’s Live Episode: College Alternatives I received such overwhelming feedback on last week’s section about Google moving forward with their Certificate Program as a college alternative that we realized this was a pain point that needed further exploration.  Because of this, our team completely updated the “Should You Go to College” article on Choosefi.com and Jonathan

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