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Explore the archives

FI Weekly – December 20, 2022: What if Things Go Right?, EconoMe, Community Posts

But What if Things Go Right? Diania Merriam was on the podcast this week (Episode 416) and it was an extraordinarily powerful episode describing how she quit a toxic work environment on principle and really flexed her FI-muscles. Her email newsletter with 8 Lessons Learned from 1 Year of (F)un-employment is, simply put, a must-read. My favorite was #2 ‘We’re so scared of what could go wrong, but what if things go right?’ EconoMe Conference 2023 I also floated this at the end of the episode with Diania, but wasn’t certain at the time of recording: I can officially confirm that I’ll

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FI Weekly – December 13, 2022: Optimal Order for Investing, Take Action

Optimal Order for Investing Your Money Our good friend Tae Kim from the Financial Tortoise (he’s been on the podcast in Episodes 186 and 302) put out a YouTube video last month that went viral with over 200k+ views called, “Optimal Order for Investing Your Money.” I highly recommend watching the 10-minute video and while I could probably quibble around the margins with a few of the picks (maybe not Roth IRA?), I thought this was an excellent primer for how to conceptualize the prioritization of your savings. Here’s Tae’s list: 1) Emergency Fund2) 401(k) match (essentially a 100% instant

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FI Weekly – December 6, 2022: Travel Rewards Success, Optimize Sleep, Who We Spend Time With

Travel Rewards Success! My family has cancelled numerous trips since March 2020 and haven’t really had a travel rewards “success story” in years. That ended this week with a big win. We were able to use points to book The Atlantis resort in the Bahamas for this coming spring break using Marriott points! We were originally contemplating using cash to book the hotel, but it was over $800 a night, which seemed excessive. Then Laura remembered reading something years ago that you could use rewards points, so I looked into it and mocked up a 4-night stay.  It came to 300k

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FI Weekly – November 29, 2022: Simple Path, Book Club Input, Saving on Medical Care

Simple Path, Index Funds & Long-Term Thinking We have a big week on the podcast this week starting with the episode that dropped yesterday (411) with JL Collins on The Simple Path to Wealth.  This is a great refresher on long-term thinking, investing in low-cost index funds and the simplicity in matching the market over many decades and, in the process, outperforming nearly all active investors. Stay tuned for Friday’s episode (412) with Alan and Katie Donegan that we’re calling “What’s in Your Index Fund?”  Katie dove deep on the fundamentals of some of the biggest index funds and the three of

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FI Weekly – November 22, 2022: Giving Thanks, Munger Quotes on Investing

Giving Thanks With this week of Thanksgiving upon us in America, I wanted to take this opportunity to thank all our public servants and men and women in uniform. That generally sounds trite, but I was reminded of their essential nature just last night when we had a carbon monoxide alarm go off in our home and our local fire department showed up within 5 minutes of our call. Three firefighters and an engine came out and professionally tested and swept through our home in minutes and, after diagnosing the faulty sensor, gave us the all clear. That is why

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FI Weekly – November 15, 2022: Year-End Tax Planning, 2022 FI Wins, Updates and Corrections

Year-End Tax Planning I’m publishing a podcast episode this Friday with Sean Mullaney, the FI Tax Guy, about 401(k)s, the Mega Backdoor Roth and Premium Tax Credits for the ACA and in a case of great timing, Sean just released his “2022 Year-End Tax Planning” article. The article lists out numerous essential tax deadlines and considerations you should be familiar with before the end of 2022, which is rapidly approaching! If you’re looking for more in-depth general strategy on year-end tax planning from Sean, we’ve had him on the podcast the past 3 years to discuss this very topic, so check

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FI Weekly – November 8, 2022: Tax Gain Harvesting, Higher Interest Rates for Savers, Capital Gains Exclusion

Tax Gain Harvesting Ava wrote in: “I feel like a lot of your guests talk about tax gain harvesting as something to do only when they quit their jobs and have no income, but I took advantage of it while I was still working. When I was making about $50,000 in 2020, the taxable income limit for getting the 0% long term capital gains rate was $40,400 for single filers. The key word here is taxable income. I took $50k of gross wages and subtracted the $12,400 standard deduction for a single person and my taxable income went down to

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FI Weekly – November 1, 2022: Check Engine Light, PMI Removal Hack, AMA Episodes

Check Engine Light DIY Fix The FI Designer from wrote in with some important info: “In Episode 402, Vivian said that her car had an engine replacement and an ongoing engine warning light was adding stress to her life. I wanted to share some advice that may help Vivian and the greater FI community. You may feel powerless when your vehicle’s engine warning light comes on, but there are steps you can take to lessen the dread by purchasing/borrowing an On-Board Diagnostic (OBD) reader. An OBD reader will tell you what the error code is and how severe it

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FI Weekly – October 25, 2022: IRS 2023 Limits, Free Extraordinary Life Course, Buy or Rent?

2023 IRS Updated Limits and Deductions The IRS just came out with the tax year 2023 update for a few essential items, which were all favorably adjusted: Free Course on Creating an Extraordinary Life I recently had the pleasure of recording an episode with Alan and Katie Donegan on the topic of index funds, which will go live in about a month (that will be a great week of podcasts starting with a JL Collins episode releasing on Monday and the Donegan episode on Friday!). They told me that to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Rebel Business School they are

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FI Weekly – October 18, 2022: ChooseFI Book Club, Library Hacks, Remove PMI

ChooseFI Book Club Ginger wrote in with a great idea of doing a ChooseFI Book Club and I jumped on it. The first installment is tentatively going to air on Friday December 16th. The book we picked is ‘Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals’ by Oliver Burkeman, which was recommended by numerous members of our community and seemed like the perfect place to start. The plan is for me, Ginger and Josue (another community member whose story you’ll hear on the podcast in a few weeks) to talk through the book, our big takeaways, and actionable items. But it wouldn’t be a

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FI Weekly – October 11, 2022: Social Security Deep Dive, Households of FI, Feel More Fulfilled

Deep Dive on Social Security Benefits I received a helpful email from Matt, who researched a really important topic we honestly haven’t done a wonderful job covering at ChooseFI:  Social Security benefits. 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. Households of FI Series Returns If you’ve listened to ChooseFI the last month,

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FI Weekly – October 4, 2022: Net Worth Tracking, Online Security, Keys to Happier Living

Taking Action: Online Security On Episode 397 that released yesterday, I spoke with Tom, a longtime FI Community member, about common sense steps you can take to secure your online & financial life. Today is the day I challenge you to take action to make it happen! At the very least, if you don’t have secure passwords, a password manager and Two-Factor Authentication on every one of your financial logins (plus your email accounts and social media), you need to do this ASAP. Listen to Episode 397 and take action! Taking Action: Net Worth Tracking The 3rd quarter of 2022 just ended

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