19 episodes

This is a show where I dive into the FIRE movement to see what financial independence is all about. I’ll share the steps I’ve taken to start my journey towards becoming financially independent. And along the way I’ll bring in others who are on a path of their own. You’ll hear stories and advice from people who have reached their version of FI, and from those like me, who are still finding their way. This is a show for anyone who wants to learn, grow and connect with others. This is FI after 40. Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/fiafter40/support

FI after 40 Podcast Ben Reeder

    • Investing
    • 5.0, 1 Rating

This is a show where I dive into the FIRE movement to see what financial independence is all about. I’ll share the steps I’ve taken to start my journey towards becoming financially independent. And along the way I’ll bring in others who are on a path of their own. You’ll hear stories and advice from people who have reached their version of FI, and from those like me, who are still finding their way. This is a show for anyone who wants to learn, grow and connect with others. This is FI after 40. Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/fiafter40/support

    The Downside of Trying to be Like Everyone Else

    The Downside of Trying to be Like Everyone Else

    People tend to want to fit in. To be accepted. To be normal. I've spent much of my life in pursuit of this. But I've finally realized the downside of trying to be like everyone else. Following the path others have laid out can have negative consequences, both personally and financially.

    From accumulating debt, to adopting unhealthy lifestyle habits, it's easy to fall into the same patterns as everyone else. It feels normal, so it seems acceptable. But you have the ability to determine what's valuable in your life and to make your own decisions.

    I outline several areas where I've tried to adjust my habits in order to improve my financial situation as well as my personal life.

    See full show notes

    My story

    Most of my life I’ve wanted nothing more than to be normal.
    I’ve realized as I’ve gotten older that being normal isn’t always a good thing.

    What is normal?


    “Conforming to a standard; usual, typical, or expected.”

    Why do people want to be normal?


    Acceptance, fitting in

    Downside


    Avoid taking risks
    Without risks you can’t grow
    It hides your uniqueness

    Areas where being normal can have negative consequences:
    Debt


    Student loans
    Mortgage
    Credit cards

    Buying and leasing new cars


    Don't get into the habit of getting a new car every 5 years
    Used cars are more affordable

    Updating your house


    HGTV generation
    Lowes and Home Depot commercials
    There’s always another upgrade
    Some things are necessary, you don’t want to neglect your home
    But many are purely aesthetic – bathrooms, kitchens, new TVs
    Would you rather spend $15-20k on a new kitchen or keep that as an emergency fund or take a family trip and invest the rest
    If you have the money, go for it
    But don’t sink further into debt

    Eating low quality food


    Fast and easy
    Often cheap
    We see it in commercials and it normalizes the behavior

    Watching too much television


    I am by no means anti-television
    But Netflix has really changed things
    It’s now normal to binge watch
    YouTube is another example

    Getting married and having kids


    Marriage can be a wonderful thing
    Having kids is an amazing experience
    But do it when you are ready – not because you're approaching a deadline
    Or don’t do it at all

    Being on your phone constantly


    It’s a terrible habit and we all know it
    You see it everywhere so it feels normal
    “What grade were you in…” from 12-yr old

    Takeaways


    Be intentional with your choices
    Identify what is valuable – time, experiences – not stuff
    Remember the value of patience and discipline – something we teach kids


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    • 23 min
    The Relentless Pursuit of Debt Freedom with Derek from Life and My Finances

    The Relentless Pursuit of Debt Freedom with Derek from Life and My Finances

    Facing a mountain of debt may seem overwhelming, but with the right plan of attack, that debt can be cleared more quickly than you think. Derek Sall from Life and My Finances was able to become debt-free (multiple times) through tremendous focus and hard work. His journey is one of highs and lows, but he has stayed determined over the years and is now well on his way to being financially independent.

    Derek's story:


    Started his debt journey with student loans
    Realized he and his wife were sinking further into debt and decided to tackle the debt of face bankruptcy
    Looked for side-hustles to make extra money and became very focused on paying down debt
    Was able to pay off $18,000 in debt in 14 months and became debt-free

    Relationship challenges:


    Moved from Florida to Michigan and marriage problems escalated
    Bought a house for $75k and paid it down and had some equity
    They had very different spending habits (she was a spender, he was a saver)
    Divorce pushed him back into debt and he was emotionally focused on clearing that and cutting ties with his ex
    Found a way to pay her $21k in six months to clear his commitment to her
    One unusual way he made money was flipping cars

    Getting back out of debt:


    Shifted his debt reduction focus to the house that was now in his name
    Paid off the remaining $55k of his house debt in under a year
    Along the way had trimmed many of his expenses (phone, food, etc.)
    Article: Living on Only $460 a Month? Really? https://lifeandmyfinances.com/2014/09/less-500-expenses-month/
    Felt that paying off house was worthwhile, rather than putting more into investing and saving
    The main reason was the emotional lift that comes with becoming debt free

    On the path to FI:


    Has since remarried and is on the same page with her when it comes to finances
    Pooled their money to buy a rental property for $90k
    Property has appreciated in value and has monthly cash-flow from rental income
    Bought another property and flipped it for a $27k profit
    Sold his original home and used the profits from that along with the flipped house to buy a new primary residence 
    Relationship with current wife has been very open and healthy when it comes to money
    Currently working towards saving for kids to go to private school
    Would like to cover half the cost of college for kids
    Want to reach financial independence to allow options, may or may not retire early
    Would like to purchase additional rental properties in the future

    Benefits of hosting a blog:


    Has maintained his blog over the last 10 years
    It has been a way for him to write about his life and get his thoughts on paper
    Has been a source of income as well, anywhere from $7k-$30k per year
    Has connected with other finance bloggers and has benefited through that network

    Advice for late starters:


    Keep it simple and don’t overwhelm yourself with finding the perfect method
    He’s a fan of Dave Ramsey’s approach
    Prefers the debt snowball method to provide emotional motivation
    Start with $1,000 in savings for emergencies

    Where to follow Derek:

    Website: https://lifeandmyfinances.com/

    Twitter: https://twitter.com/lamfinances

    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LifeAndMyFinances/


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    • 45 min
    Uncovering the Principles of FIRE with Ted and Claire from the Later 2 FIRE Podcast

    Uncovering the Principles of FIRE with Ted and Claire from the Later 2 FIRE Podcast

    Achieving a lofty financial goal requires a good understanding of why you’re working towards it. For Ted and Claire, retiring early was an important achievement that allowed them to spend more time together, enjoy travel experiences and opened the door to them helping others. As early retirees who have embraced the FIRE movement, their passion is guiding people towards reaching retirement goals through financial independence. Their podcast, Later 2 FIRE, has a focus on guiding those who are starting their journey to FI later in life. They have an amazing story to tell that is full of advice and inspiration. In this episode, we discuss the core principles of pursuing FIRE.

    Expanded show notes

    Back story


    Claire worked for 30 years in corporate finance, retired in her early 50s
    Their interest in FIRE is partially driven by an interest in increasing financial literacy in America
    Ted came from a blue collar family and always had an interest in savings and the stock market
    After college moved into the tech industry and eventually met Claire
    Learned they had similar money habits, both owned real estate, had good spending habits and saved
    The retired early together 10 years ago, mostly because Claire wanted to retire early
    Goal was to retire so they could spend more time together

    Advice for couples navigating their finances


    Compromise is important, come to an understanding and identify financial goals
    Transparency and communication, identify each person’s strengths in order to identify roles
    They chose to keep accounts separate, but were open with each other about their balances
    They consider their investments to be combined even though they are managed individually
    Even if one person in the relationship primarily manages the money, the other person should learn and participate as well

    Philosophy on FIRE and the benefits of retiring


    Retirement is less of the focus, it’s more about having options
    They look at it as retiring earlier, rather than as early as possible
    Being able to retire early has removed a lot of stress from their lives
    They have more time to spend together and time is priceless
    Not having to work has allowed them to focus on other experiences and projects

    Core Principles of FIRE


    There is a difference between a principle and a practice, they focus on principles
    More of a foundation to allow people to open their minds to seeking financial independence
    Important to have a growth mindset rather than a fixed mindset and be open to change
    Need to have a healthy relationship with money, live below their means and focus on saving
    Take your time before making large purchases, think it over and research
    Travel has been an expense that they value, rather than material possessions
    Understanding your “why” will help get you through the difficult part of the journey
    Identify the problems you want to solve and decide if you are willing to do things differently than others
    Later2FIRE episode 12: The Principles of Later to FIRE

    Where to follow Ted and Claire

    Twitter: @retirehoppy

    Website: https://firewalkers.co/

    Podcast: https://firewalkers.co/podcasts/


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    • 43 min
    Ten Core Money Rules to Optimize Your Finances

    Ten Core Money Rules to Optimize Your Finances

    Episode 15: For anyone who has struggled with money, I pulled together a list of core rules that will help get your finances on track. While I don't claim to be a financial expert, I am part of a broader community of people who are all focused on living a financially responsible lifestyle. So these bits of wisdom are pulled from that pool of people.

    A recent Twitter thread started with a simple question: What are your top 3 money rules? I highlight ten of these responses and add my thoughts.

    Email from new listener

    Discovered the podcast and has found inspiration and motivation from the stories
    It’s important for people to hear that others are coming from the same place
    I love that she’s looking to live with intention
    One of the best parts of this is the community and the support

    Ten Money Rules

    @partnersinfire: Pay yourself first (invest & save)
    @HannahHakodesh: Cancel any subscription that you don’t use like kindle app
    @matthewlee7: 3 month liquid, non-invested emergency fund minimum
    @IQbySusieQ: Always pay off my credit card bill.
    @KUWTBulls: Prioritize increasing your income over cutting spending
    @alifeonadime: ALWAYS take the employer match on retirement!
    @fightToFIRE1: Think about price/quality, don't just blindly go for the cheapest
    @joneytalks: Health before wealth
    @MichLovesMoney: Never, ever have debt. None of it is "good"
    @adimesaved: Budget. Budget. Budget

    Blog post: 51 eye-opening money rules to live by

    The FI after 40 Manifesto
    The four key points I make in that piece are commitments I make to myself and to my audience.


    I know where you’re coming from. I might not share your exact story, but I know the feeling of not quite living up to the potential you know is inside yourself. I’m not your guide. I’m your partner on the journey.
    I am determined to move forward and make gradual progress. I will share that progress so you can see that it works.
    I will continue to fail. But I will do so while trying to improve my life and I will learn and grow. I will stop failing through inactivity and toxic avoidance.
    I will share successes and motivation. I want to hear from others who have learned and are making progress in life. That message will be broadcast loud and clear.

    Blog post: The FI After 40 Manifesto


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    • 28 min
    Revealing the Life and Career-Changing Benefits of Financial Freedom with Maggie and Mike from Friends on FIRE

    Revealing the Life and Career-Changing Benefits of Financial Freedom with Maggie and Mike from Friends on FIRE

    There are obvious financial benefits gained through pursuing financial independence. But don't overlook the intangible benefits to your life, both personally and professionally. I speak to Maggie and Mike from the Friends on FIRE Podcast to hear their perspectives on how their work in corporate America has both allowed them to achieve financial independence, and also how their path to FI has improved their confidence and performance in their careers.

    Mike and Maggie’s background stories

    Mike


    Has always been frugal and wanted to retire early
    Wrote a book about personal finance: Your New Relationship with Money
    Approaches spending in a disciplined way, values travel over other expenses

    Maggie


    Grew up fairly frugal, appreciated earning money on her own at a young age
    Parents encouraged her to save money, paid many of her own expenses at a young age
    Learned about the FIRE movement as she got older and connected with the message
    Has avoided lifestyle inflation, enjoys finding ways to save money

    Frugality – is it a learned behavior?


    What you’re exposed to can influence you growing up
    Developing a “why” with your savings makes it rewarding since there’s a purpose behind the behavior
    Maggie considers herself more of a minimalist
    Frugality is more focused on value over lowest price

    Joining forces to start the Friends on FIRE Podcast


    Work together as finance partners at the same company
    Started to discuss taxes and saving for retirement and realized they had a common interest in finance
    Decided to work together and opted to develop a podcast
    They feel talking openly about money allows a deeper connection between people
    People’s spending habits tell a story about what they value in life
    There’s also value in hearing other perspectives and being challenged on spending choices

    Working in corporate America


    The earnings potential actually allows for a better work-life balance if managed correctly
    Increased financial flexibility also opens up time for passion projects and other meaningful life experiences
    The Fioneers have a good message that has helped guide Maggie recently
    “The journey should be as remarkable as the destination.”
    Developing good financial habits in your personal life can help increase your confidence in your career
    Having that cushion alleviates the stress of going after every promotion and the stress that goes with that
    Maggie feels like having financial freedom means she doesn’t need to operate from a place of fear with her job
    There are many intangible benefits of pursuing financial independence

    Advice for others


    Important to not be too hard on yourself and realize it’s never too late to make changes
    All of the same concepts apply later in life when it comes to good habits
    If you’re starting later it’s important to be aggressive and make big changes
    Don’t ease into changes, you need to make up ground in a shorter period of time
    Make sure you have a vision for what you’re trying to achieve to keep yourself motivated

    Podcast website: https://friendsonfire.org/

    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/friends.onfire/


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    • 53 min
    From Frivolous to Frugal with Blake from FIRE with a Family

    From Frivolous to Frugal with Blake from FIRE with a Family

    Blake and Allanah moved across the globe to pursue their next adventure in life. But when a family emergency forced the family of four to travel from Canada back to Australia, their financial problems became crystal clear. They were in debt, with no savings and needed to borrow money to travel. That's when they decided to educate themselves and get their finances on track. Now, they have a solid net worth, a savings rate approaching 50% and a full emergency fund saved. They have since launched the blog FIRE with a Family and Blake joined me for this week's episode to discuss their story.

    This episode is brought to you by WalletHacks.com.

    Family background


    Their focus on financial independence started in the fall of 2019
    They have been together for 16+ years and have two young kids
    Moved from Australia to Canada for work opportunities

    Childhood


    Growing up didn’t have tons of money, as he started making money wanted to spend it
    Allannah grew up having what she needed, but family used credit cards when they needed
    Got in the habit of using cards based on what they witnessed, thought it was normal

    Turning point


    Needed to travel to Australia for family emergency and needed to borrow money to travel
    Decided to turn things around and started to learn on YouTube: Marko at WhiteBoard Finance

    Their relationship


    They had different approaches with finances but have come together to get on the same page with spending, balance each other out
    She had previously spent a lot on online shopping, several hundred dollars at a time, but her habits have changed slowly over time
    She listens to the Slow Home Podcast, living below your means concept
    They decided that they couldn’t continue to live in debt and worked out a plan over several months
    Started their blog and it helps hold them accountable, post new content each week

    Started to learn about net worth


    Most of his net worth has been based on retirement funds through work
    Back-calculated to $230k in November 2019
    Now in March it’s increased to $300k
    Most of the gain is based on debt reduction
    Use high yield savings accounts for emergency fund

    Savings rate focus


    Started to get close to 50% savings rate
    Would like to get to 60% and beyond in the next few years
    Have an full emergency fund and have saved for travel
    Looking to eventually focus on investing in ETFs

    Budget changes


    Small adjustments have added up
    Focus on planning meals to save on groceries
    Travel has been scaled back, were spending a lot on weekend trips
    Going camping instead of going to hotels
    Try to wait 24 hours+ on purchases

    Frugal vs cheap


    Has become more on the frugal end of the spectrum in recent months
    Frugal is focused on finding the best value
    Cheap is focused on spending as little as possible

    Advice to people starting the path late


    Learn as much as possible, read books, listen to podcasts and audio books
    Investments can still compound and make a difference, you might just need to invest more
    Understanding your “why” is important
    Educating your kids about money is also something to focus on

    Follow Blake and Allanah

    FIRE with a Family blog: https://www.firewithafamily.com/

    Instagram: @firewithafamily


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    • 55 min

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