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Choose FI: Your Blueprint to Financial Independence

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My last day of work as a physical therapist was Friday, December 1, 2017. The following Monday I sat down to begin work on a book that I’ve felt the need to write for years.

For the past 17 months, I’ve been collaborating with Brad Barrett, Jonathan Mendonsa and their team behind the ChooseFI podcast to create a book, Choose FI: Your Blueprint to Financial Independence. Our goal is to make financial independence (FI) accessible to anyone who wants to pursue it.

We don’t pretend to be experts or gurus with all the answers. Instead, we’re shining the light on others who have achieved FI quickly to share and learn from their stories.

Brad and Jonathan have collected these stories on the ChooseFI podcast. I’ve taken their interviews and extracted common principles and tactics that make FI achievable.

Stories from the FI community provide inspiration to create your own FI story. We dive into common mistakes and challenges to help you navigate your journey. Analyzing the tactics that worked for others allows us to organize them into universal principles that apply to everyone who chooses FI.

Choose FI will help you create your unique blueprint to use your money to build the life you want.

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Staying Strong in Retirement

Retirement planning exposes some cruel ironies of life. Most young people have an abundance of time and health in their school/training years, but little money to take advantage of these non-financial assets. Most of us enter our adult years … [Continue reading]

Reasons to Live: Finding Your Purpose after Retirement or Financial Independence

Telescope Peak

What, exactly, is the point of retirement? With all our focus on the mechanics of saving and investing, it's easy to lose sight of the bigger picture. Is financial independence really your goal, or is your ultimate purpose something that lies beyond … [Continue reading]

March 2019 Best of the Web

It's time for our monthly collection of the best articles from around the internet to help you save more, invest better and retire sooner. We start with a few articles about the advantages of investing for the long term and end with articles … [Continue reading]

Order of Operations for Tax Advantaged Investing

U.S. tax laws are complex. Spending my time and energy thinking about complicated tax schemes ranks right up there with having dental work done. . . without novocaine. However, mistakes I made early in my career made me realize that totally … [Continue reading]

Staying Healthy and Mobile In Retirement

I’m passionate about helping people use their money to live a better life. I’ve written hundreds of blog posts and recently finished a book manuscript to these ends. But I have no formal training in investing or financial planning. I’m also … [Continue reading]

4 Things I Gave Up to Retire Early

Deadhorse canyon

Every significant accomplishment in life requires trade-offs. It's the law of cause and effect. If you want to be an Olympic athlete, you'll be training while others are relaxing. If you want to be a doctor, you'll be grinding through medical school … [Continue reading]

February 2019 Best of the Web

February has come and nearly gone. It's time to share the best articles we've found around the web from the past month. We have a little something for everyone this month. We start with two heavy hitters in the retirement planning space … [Continue reading]

Financial Autopilot

In an era of two income households struggling to make ends meet, my story sounds extreme. I retired from my career as a physical therapist at the age of 41 while my wife cut back to part-time work five years earlier at age 35. Some might think we … [Continue reading]

Building Your Work Optional Life

Tanja Hester and her husband, Mark Bunge, retired in December 2017 at the ripe old ages of 38 and 41. Hester, author of the award winning blog Our Next Life, is releasing a new book, “Work Optional: Retire Early the Non-Penny-Pinching Way,” to help … [Continue reading]

We Finally Get Better Credit Cards

Stack of credit cards

What would you do for an extra $500/year? I've written about how much I value my time and often choose financial simplicity over saving a few bucks here and there. For that reason, we'd been using the same 1% cash rewards USAA credit cards for many … [Continue reading]

January 2019 Best of the Web

The biggest news from the investing world this month was also the saddest. John Bogle passed away. Investors lost their biggest ally. The world lost a great man. We start our round up of the best articles from around the web with a few paying tribute … [Continue reading]

Early Retirement Tax Planning 101

Complaining about taxes is our national pastime. Many people think others aren’t paying their fair share. At the same time, we’re all certain we’re paying too much. Nearly everyone complains about taxes. Few people take the time to actually … [Continue reading]

Using Leverage to Create Retirement Income

Traditional retirement planning focuses on accumulating assets, which eventually are converted into an income stream to last a lifetime. Creating retirement income without exhausting your portfolio presents a fundamental challenge. This is … [Continue reading]

My Investment Portfolio: 2019

Stock certificates - 6

I can't predict the future, but 2018 was bad for the markets, and 2019 could be worse. If you're a seasoned investor, you've seen this before.  The Dow Jones Industrial Average was in positive territory much of the year, but ended with a blowout. … [Continue reading]

December 2018 Best of the Web

2018 is coming to an end and it's time for December's best articles from around the internet to help you save more, invest better and retire sooner. This month's articles share insight on investing in the face of recent market volatility. We … [Continue reading]

Finding the Right Financial Advisor

This blog is written for and by DIY investors and retirement planners. In the process of working on it, I've learned a lot of people need personalized financial advice and guidance. It would be failing a large percentage of our audience to … [Continue reading]

Does FIRE Make Life Harder?

I was an avid reader of financial independence, retire early (FIRE) blogs on the path to my own early retirement. They served as inspiration and education. However, I found them to be an echo chamber. Each tries to outdo the next in an effort to … [Continue reading]

My Favorite Books and Podcasts: 2018

Pen, notebook, earbuds, phone, microphone

When we need advice, most of us consult a friend. There is nothing like a personal referral from someone who has "been there/done that," and has your best interests at heart. So, traditionally, around this time of the year, I've written a … [Continue reading]

November 2018 Best of the Web

It's time for our monthly collection of articles to help you save more, invest smarter and retire sooner. We share several newsworthy events and announcements that occurred in November. The IRS announced increased contribution and income limits … [Continue reading]

Are Health Care Sharing Ministries A Viable Alternative To Health Insurance For Early Retirement?

Like many Americans planning early retirement, our family’s biggest challenge is obtaining affordable health insurance. We’re searching for an affordable, long-term solution to bridge the gap from employer provided coverage to Medicare. My recent … [Continue reading]