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    The 6 Stages of Financial Independence With Joel and Matt From How to Money

    en-usSeptember 25, 2023

    Podcast Summary

    • Spring Cleaning for Finances: Secure Life Insurance and Invest with FundriseSpring clean your finances by securing affordable life insurance with same-day approval and no medical exams. Consider real estate investing through Fundrise, which offers accessibility and plans to expand. Always evaluate risks and objectives before investing.

      Spring is an excellent time for both home cleaning and financial planning. One important aspect of financial planning is securing life insurance, which can provide peace of mind and cover expenses like mortgages, loans, and college costs. Policygenius simplifies the process, offering affordable policies with same-day approval and no medical exams. Another way to invest is through Fundrise, which makes real estate investing accessible to all with their flagship fund. Prices are dropping, and the fund plans to expand its portfolio. Always consider the risks and objectives before investing. Joel and Matt from How To Money discussed their 6 stages of financial independence, emphasizing the importance of building wealth through various means, including frugality, emergency funds, and investing. They also shared their personal experiences and approaches to money.

    • Backgrounds shape money mindsetPeople's unique backgrounds influence their money habits, making diverse perspectives valuable in financial education and inspiration

      Everyone's relationship with money is unique, shaped by their upbringing, experiences, and perspectives. Joel started out being very frugal with money, while Andrew grew up with a strong foundation of financial independence instilled in him. Their different backgrounds have led them to approach personal finance from unique angles, making their partnership in creating a podcast about money all the more valuable. They met through their shared neighborhood and church, and their common interest in personal finance eventually led Joel to start a blog on the topic. The conversations they had about money throughout their friendship eventually evolved into the creation of their podcast, where they continue to share their insights and experiences to help educate and inspire others.

    • Making Personal Finance Approachable and RelatableThe Real Estate Guys Radio Show focuses on making personal finance accessible and encouraging for those starting their financial journey, using relatable language and discussions on various stages of financial independence

      Matt and Adrian started their podcast, "The Real Estate Guys Radio Show," with a focus on making personal finance approachable and relatable, like a conversation between friends over a craft beer. They identified with the millennial and Gen Z audience and aimed to translate financial information in a slightly different way. The podcast's discussions cover various stages of financial independence, starting with No Fine, which is the initial stage for those just starting their financial journey. This stage is about acknowledging that financial independence exists on a spectrum and not being discouraged by the perceived distance to full financial independence. The conversation aims to provide encouragement and practical steps for those at the beginning of their financial journey.

    • Understanding Financial Independence as a JourneyStart by tracking expenses, creating a budget, and building an emergency fund to gradually move towards financial independence

      Financial independence isn't an all-or-nothing concept. It's more of a journey with various stages, starting from having no financial independence (NoFi) to credit card dependence (CreditCardFi), and eventually reaching financial independence. To get started, it's crucial to understand where your money is going by tracking expenses and creating a budget. This will help you identify areas to cut back and create a financial margin. The first step is to build an emergency fund, which serves as a safety net for unexpected expenses. By taking small steps and focusing on creating financial margin, you can gradually move towards financial independence.

    • Budgeting and Building Financial SecurityBudgeting helps understand spending habits, prevent debt, and build an emergency fund for unexpected expenses.

      Establishing financial independence from credit cards and building an emergency fund are crucial steps towards financial security. The ability to pay off credit card balances in full each month and having an emergency fund in place can help prevent the accumulation of high-interest debt and provide a safety net for unexpected expenses. The budgeting process, whether using tools like YNAB or maintaining a simple spreadsheet, is essential to understanding spending habits and preparing for future financial needs. Over time, refining budgeting and tracking expenses can lead to better financial management and planning for specific expenses.

    • Focus on savings, debt, and investments for financial independenceSave for emergencies, pay off debt, contribute to 401(k)s, and aim for 'layoff high' savings to achieve financial independence and reduce financial stress

      Achieving financial independence is a long-term process, not an overnight success. It's essential to focus on saving, paying off high-interest debt, and investing, but it's crucial to have a financial safety net in place before making significant investments. This safety net includes having enough money saved for emergencies and contributing to a work-sponsored 401(k) with an employer match. Another important concept is having enough savings, known as "layoff high," to weather longer financial storms, such as job loss. By following these steps and staying disciplined, individuals can make progress towards financial independence and reduce the stress that comes with financial uncertainty.

    • Saving for an emergency fund reduces financial stressSave 3-6 months' living expenses for unexpected events, consider factors like risk tolerance and job security, prioritize saving, pay off debt, and balance multiple financial goals.

      Having an emergency fund is crucial for reducing stress and anxiety around money, especially when it comes to work and job security. Aiming for a fully funded emergency fund can be challenging, but a common recommendation is saving between 3 to 6 months' worth of living expenses. The amount you should save depends on factors like personal and partner's risk tolerance, number of dependents, industry stability, and job security. For instance, entrepreneurs might need a larger emergency fund due to irregular income. The goal is to have enough savings to weather unexpected life events or financial storms. Building an emergency fund can be challenging, especially for those with multiple financial goals and debt. Prioritizing saving for an emergency fund, paying off high-interest debt, and contributing to retirement plans can help achieve financial independence. It's a balancing act of focusing on various financial goals simultaneously.

    • Finding Fulfillment and Control in Your Financial JourneyFinancial independence involves saving for future and present, personal journey, peace out fi means finding fulfillment in current job or transitioning with a safety net

      Achieving financial independence involves a combination of saving for the future and building up liquidity for the present. It's a personal journey that varies greatly depending on individual circumstances such as debt obligations and career progression. The concept of "peace out fi" refers to finding fulfillment and taking control in your current job, or if necessary, transitioning to a new one with a financial safety net. This can mean engineering your own layoff or having enough savings to quit or reduce hours due to unforeseen circumstances. Ultimately, it's important to remember that financial independence is a process, not a destination, and everyone's journey is unique.

    • Engineering a layoff with financial securityHaving multiple income streams and savings allows individuals to make bold decisions and have more control over their career paths, including the option to engineer a layoff to pursue other opportunities.

      Having financial security through additional income streams or savings can provide individuals with the power to proactively shape their future. This includes the potential to engineer a layoff, offering oneself up during job cuts to save a position for someone else and have more time to pursue other opportunities. This concept was discussed in relation to the podcast "Passive Real Estate Investing with the Real Estate Guys," where the hosts shared their experiences and advice on this topic. By having financial security, individuals can make bold decisions and have more control over their career paths. The example of engineering a layoff was shared as a realistic and effective way to use financial security to one's advantage. This concept highlights the importance of having multiple income streams and building up savings to gain more control and flexibility in one's career and life.

    • A significant break from work or routine for personal growthSabbaticals offer a chance to reduce stress, improve mental health, and discover new passions through extended time off for personal growth

      Sabbatical 5 refers to a significant break from work or routine, typically lasting months to even years, to reflect on one's life and career goals. It's an opportunity to explore new interests, travel, or focus on personal growth, allowing individuals to avoid looking back on their lives with regrets. Sabbaticals can range from a few weeks to several months or even years, and they provide a valuable tool for reducing stress, improving mental health, and discovering new passions. Examples include traveling the world, starting a new podcast about sabbaticals, or taking a year to live and work overseas. Sabbaticals are not just vacations but a chance to reassess one's values and make changes that lead to greater life satisfaction. Employers may offer sabbatical benefits, but they are often not as extensive as what individuals can create for themselves with careful planning and saving.

    • Financial independence: beyond just living off savingsHaving financial freedom allows for continued work and pursuit of passions, with consistent cash flow and improved productivity through a solid work setup

      Financial independence, or FullFi, goes beyond just saving money to live off of in retirement. It's about having the freedom to continue working if you choose to, while also having the financial security to support your lifestyle and pursue your passions. Chad's real estate investments serve as an excellent example, providing him with a consistent cash flow and the flexibility to work when he wants, while also enjoying his time in exotic locations. It's important to remember that work is not something to be vilified, but rather, a means to provide value and contribute to society. The goal is not necessarily to quit working completely, but to have the financial freedom to choose what you do and how you spend your time. As Andrew emphasizes, a solid work setup, like an Uplift Desk, can help improve productivity and overall well-being, allowing us to continue working in a healthy and effective manner.

    • Maintaining balance between present and futureAchieving financial independence involves doing the right things consistently while enjoying the journey. Long hours aren't necessary, and building a financial buffer allows for time off to travel or pursue passions.

      The ability to provide value to others in exchange for compensation is a noble pursuit that can lead to financial independence. However, it's important to maintain balance and not sacrifice the present for the future. Financial independence is a long-term goal that can be achieved by doing the right things consistently, and it's important to enjoy the journey along the way. It's not necessary to work excessively long hours to achieve financial independence quickly, as this could negatively impact your current quality of life. Instead, aim for a balance between present enjoyment and future financial security. Exploit the financial buffer you build up by taking time off to travel or pursue other passions. The ultimate goal is to have the freedom to live the life you want, both in the present and the future.

    • Living Frugally for Financial IndependenceFrugality and financial independence go hand in hand. Making sacrifices and prioritizing expenses can help save money and lead to financial freedom.

      Financial independence and frugality are interconnected steps towards living a fulfilling life. Having financial independence provides the freedom to make choices and live life on your own terms. Frugality is a practical way to save money and reduce expenses, making it easier to reach financial independence. The speakers shared their experiences of being self-employed parents and the importance of being frugal to save money, especially on seemingly small expenses like haircuts or parking. They emphasized the importance of being willing to make sacrifices and prioritize what matters most. For instance, cutting your own hair or walking instead of paying for parking can save significant amounts of money over time. Overall, the conversation highlighted the importance of finding a balance between living frugally and enjoying life, while working towards financial independence.

    • Living Frugally with IntentionIdentify and prioritize expenses based on personal values to save money and make saving exciting.

      Being frugal with intention involves identifying and prioritizing expenses based on personal values. The speaker shares their example of refusing to pay for parking and being a one-car family as ways they save money. They also discuss the importance of understanding what you value in spending money on, using the craft beer equivalent as an analogy. This means setting aside money for things that bring joy or meaning to your life, while cutting back on other expenses. By focusing on what truly matters, you can make saving money an exciting and fulfilling experience, rather than a chore.

    • Saving and investing wisely for a fulfilling lifeSaving and investing wisely allows for financial freedom to prioritize values and pursue passions

      Saving money and investing wisely can help you prioritize and focus on the things that truly matter to you. This requires some self-reflection to determine what moves the needle in your life. A quote to keep in mind is "you can afford anything, you just can't afford everything." By allocating your resources towards your values, you can build wealth and create a more fulfilling life. When it comes to investing, there's no one-size-fits-all approach. Some people might prefer a diversified portfolio with a mix of stocks and real estate, while others might choose to put all their eggs in one basket, like Bitcoin. For instance, one guest on the show shared that about two-thirds of their wealth is invested in the S&P 500, while the other third is in real estate. Ultimately, wealth means having the freedom to make choices and live life on your own terms. When you're not financially strapped, you have the power to pursue your passions and live a more fulfilling life.

    • Enjoying other forms of wealth beyond financial independenceFinancial stability enables focus on relational and health wealth for a more fulfilling life

      Wealth goes beyond just financial means. While striving for financial independence is important, it's equally crucial to prioritize and enjoy other forms of wealth, such as relational and health. When one's financial situation is stable, it allows for more time and resources to focus on these aspects of life, ultimately leading to a more fulfilling existence. As Joel and Matt from the How to Money podcast emphasized, the less stress one has about money, the more they can enjoy other forms of wealth. To learn more about their insights and perspectives, visit howtomoney.com for their podcast, newsletter, and other resources.

    • New podcast 'All the Hacks' offers life upgrades, money saving tips, and travel hacksListen to 'All the Hacks' podcast for valuable tactics, tricks, and tips to increase net fulfillment, save money, and travel more affordably. Host Chris Hutchins shares insights on optimizing for net fulfillment and striving to die with 0.

      There's a new podcast called All the Hacks, hosted by financial optimizer and entrepreneur Chris Hutchins, which provides valuable tactics, tricks, and tips to help you upgrade your life, save money, and even travel more affordably. Chris, who has racked up millions of points and sold companies, shares insights on optimizing for net fulfillment rather than net worth and striving to die with 0. This podcast offers something for everyone, whether you're looking for a money hack to increase your net worth or a routine change to boost productivity. Give it a listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts – your wallet will thank you later. A key episode to start with is number 91 featuring Bill Perkins.

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