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Explore the archives

FI Weekly – January 19, 2021

FI Wisdom – Berkshire Hathaway Edition I came across quotes from two of my heroes, Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger from Berkshire Hathaway, that I think do an incredible job of encapsulating the two aspects of the journey to FI:  Warren Buffett: “Do not save what is left after spending; instead spend what is left after saving.”  Charlie Munger: “There were a lot of questions today — people trying to figure out what the secret to life is, to a long and happy life…The secret is easy, because it’s so simple:  You don’t have a lot of envy.  You don’t have a

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FI Weekly – January 12, 2021

Favorite Books List I was blown away by the response to last week’s newsletter asking you to send me the best book you’ve read in the past year. I can’t thank you all enough for the overwhelming response!  I’m still digging out from the deluge of emails and hope to publish a much longer list of recommended books in the future, but in the meantime, here are the books mentioned most frequently:  Atomic Habits by James Clear (guest on Episode 157 of ChooseFI)  The Psychology of Money by Morgan Housel  The Wealthy Gardener by John Soforic  Can’t Hurt Me by David Goggins  Die with Zero by

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FI Weekly – January 5, 2021

2021 is Here: Start Contributing Happy New Year!  Now’s the time to take action on filling up your 2021 contributions to your accounts including HSA, IRA, 401k, 403b, 457, etc.  Thanks to my trusty ToDoIst reminder to max out my HSA, we already contributed the family maximum of $7,200 for 2021.  (as an aside, I was recently asked for HSA company recommendations and the two we see recommended most frequently are Fidelity and Lively for low or no-fee options.)  Here’s an article from The Motley Fool discussing the 2021 limits, but in general terms, for workers under 50, they are as follows:  401k: $19,500 employee contribution 

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FI Weekly – December 29, 2020

​ 1% Better: It’s Always a Choice Brian Eufinger, 2-time podcast guest (episodes 114 and 154 on college scholarships and student aid) and co-founder of SAT & ACT prep company Edison Prep, emailed me an amazing YouTube video called “The Choice” and I’d highly recommend you take 4 minutes and watch it.  This animated video is the perfect representation of the compounding benefits of making better choices in your life, from listening to an audiobook instead of the cortisol-inducing news, to going to the gym instead of just sitting on the couch and watching Netflix.  “Small choices become actions, actions become

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FI Weekly – December 22, 2020

​ End of Year Review and Planning for 2021 We are finally nearing the end of 2020 (insert your favorite exclamation/expletive here)! This has been such an unusual year in so many ways and it’s critical to get everything in order financially and mentally before the end of the year and have a plan to move forward into 2021 with some momentum to get after your goals. Here are some resources I think will help: For the first time in my life, I’m truly conducting an annual review and setting goals for the upcoming year. Stephen from our Foundation’s free FI

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FI Weekly – December 15, 2020

​ Mental Models for Clearer Thinking Financial Independence is about so much more than the nuts and bolts of money. It’s about building an empowering mindset that helps you thrive no matter what the world throws at you.  And 2020 has sure thrown a lot at us.  One of the best ways to be prepared mentally is to upgrade your mental toolbox, so you can work through problems clearly and rationally, even when faced with something new and unexpected.  I was first introduced to the concept of ‘mental models’ in Charlie Munger’s “Poor Charlie’s Almanack,” and it has formed the

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FI Weekly – December 08, 2020

Live ‘Year End Wins’ Event Tonight Jonathan and I are hosting a Facebook Live event tonight (12/8) at 7:30 pm EST and we’d love for you to join us! We’ll be chatting with 20+ community members sharing their 2020 wins with the ChooseFI community. This will be inspirational and a great way to encourage us all as we move into 2021. Join the Live Event ChooseFI: Friends of the Library In response to my “free events in your town” section last week, Jami wrote in: “Hi Brad – regarding the low-cost and free family entertainment options, also inquire at your local library.

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FI Weekly – December 01, 2020

Free Events in Your Town/City On one of our earliest episodes, Liz from Frugalwoods.com taught us something that might be counterintuitive: Entertainment in a city can be incredibly inexpensive. Free in many cases. There are many cultural events, museum exhibits, and university offerings (among many others) that are completely free – if you just take the time to look for them. My family loves outdoor activities and we learned that The Valentine museum offers free “self-guided Richmond history tours” complete with pdf walking guides and maps. 2 of the past 3 weekends we’ve set out, maps in hand, and explored

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FI Weekly – November 24, 2020

The Subtle Art of Saying No A friend introduced me to the Harvard Business Review’s IdeaCast podcast this week and said their episode entitled, “The Fundamental Human Relationship with Work” was the anthropological case for Financial Independence, which was fascinating.  This quote from “The Subtle Art of Saying No” episode really impacted me:  “Every bad ‘Yes’ crowds out a much better ‘Yes,’ just as every well-reasoned, well-timed ‘No’ makes room for a better ‘Yes.’  You say yes because in the moment you want to please…that’s a bad yes.”  It’s so easy to say “Yes” or even “Maybe” when you know the

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FI Weekly – November 17, 2020

Designing Your Year for 2021 We published an important podcast episode yesterday:  Episode 270 of ChooseFI with Dominick Quartuccio of ‘The Great Man Within’ Podcast; I highly recommend each of you not only listen, but take the time to go through the exercise of reviewing 2020 and designing 2021.  Natalie wrote in and said, “Hi Brad. I wanted to say thank you for the episode on Designing Your Year for 2021. As I was listening, I made a mental list of my stand-out moments–1) I lost 20 lbs 2) because of COVID, now have the opportunity to remote work forever 3) joined

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FI Weekly – November 10, 2020

1% Better: Building Life Skills Our family’s latest obsession is the cooking show ‘MasterChef Junior’ with Gordon Ramsay. Early in Season 6, Gordon demonstrated how to make an incredible pan-seared chicken breast. My daughter Molly is learning to cook and wanted to test this out. The next night she gave it a try (with some help from mom and dad) and to say it turned out well is an understatement! This was the best chicken I’ve eaten in my life and it was so easy to make! It was just about having the knowledge and the interest to give it

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FI Weekly – November 3, 2020

It felt odd to not acknowledge that it’s Election Day here in the US. While I found a bunch of inspiring quotes about voting, I’ll leave it to this simple one from Jenna Bush that, if nothing else, “We can all agree on the importance of voting.” ‘Last Call’ on Highest Ever Bonus on Our Favorite Card NOW EXPIRED: Chase put out a ‘last call’ date of November 8th 2020 for the incredible 80,000 Ultimate Rewards bonus point offer on the Chase Sapphire Preferred. Simply put, this is the best offer we’ve ever seen on what was already our top recommended

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