Podcast | Playing with FIRE with Scott Rieckens

On board the podcast today is Scott Rieckens, Author of Playing with FIRE and producer and feature of the Playing with FIRE documentary.

Happily married in California with a young daughter, Rieckens had his dream life: A luxury car, yacht club membership and a big house. Underneath this façade, he was struggling with depression, overworked and overwhelmed, with no exit strategy…..

“What If a Happier Life Was Only a Few Simple Choices Away?

Scott Rieckens
scott riekens
Scott Rieckens

Introduction to Scott Rieckens and Playing with FIRE

After discovering the financial Independence Retire Early movement, Scott began learning as much as he could, finally explaining to his family and his wife Taylor that it was time to change. After a lot of research, talking and hesitation, they finally agreed. He finally quit his job, the family hit the road to move interstate, begun working remotely, and finally settled in a lower cost of living area, downsized their home and cut their expenses by 50%. Playing with Fire is Rieckens’ story as told from their ‘works in progress’ perspective on their journey to financial independence through deliberate minimalism, reduced spending and maximised investing over a one year period.

A man after my own heart (and hairline!), Scott has championed Financial Independence, and his documentaries, short films, interviews and published works have provided information and inspiration to millions globally. I am absolutely stoked to have been able to chat with him and pick his brain for us all to benefit.

Playing with FIRE with Scott Rieckens

Show Notes

Scott Rieckens’ Top Financial Tips

  1. Housing, Transportation and Food are your big ticket items on your budget. If you can cut anything from these areas you can free up loads of cash-flow for investing. If youve already optimised these, then you need to think about increasing your income!

2. Everyone says you can’t time the market – LISTEN TO THEM. You CANNOT time the market. You CANNOT and WILL NOT win. End of story. Move on. Luckily it doesn’t matter because of the power of highly diversified index tracking ETFs.

3. Prepare yourself for the FI journey by starting today; Go through your Joy list, or your Happiness list. Think about what makes you happy, and then you can start to design a lifestyle that makes you happy. Also, don’t forget to go through your Anti-joy list for things to avoid!

4. Try to build systems and put automation in place so you can think about money as least amount as possible

5. Google the theory behind FIRE! (Earn more, spend less, Invest in index funds!)

6. Don’t be afraid to look up a therapist and get a little help along your journey. You might find your anxiety melting away

Scott Rieckens’ top influences

There is no real answer. I have been inspired by so many within this community it is extremely difficult to answer that question. I think you should try to involve yourself in a social FI meet up and find yourself a lot of positive influences, people in this community are so generous and giving. If you want to know my top influences, watch the full documentary and see them first hand!

Check out Playing with FIRE co on Youtube, because I have over 130 interviews which didn’t make the movie which are ready to post. Please subscribe and hit like!

Scott Rieckens’ Anti-Joy list.

This might sound like a piss take, but seriously consider your anti-joy list. Then you can help design a life that avoids them. Things that Sot

1. Standing in Lines

2. Big crowds of people

3. Bad Manners

4. Setting alarms


[00:00:00]Captain FI: So this morning I’m having a chat with none other than Scott Rieckens’, who’s the star of the playing with fire documentary, which everyone of course has seen.

[00:00:09] If not, you have to check it out. It’s great. I’ve been showing it to my family recently and getting as many people on board. The fire movement, Scott Reickens’ is now living over in bend Oregon. It’s a couple of years since he has released the documentary. And we’re checking in today to just see how the fire journey is going and learn a little bit more about his process.

[00:00:30] Scott, good morning. How are you going? Or I should say good afternoon. Isn’t it for you? Very in the United States.

[00:00:36]Scott Rieckens: Yeah, sure. It is. I’m doing well. Thank you so much for having me and for that nice introduction. I dare say not everyone has seen it, but, but it would be awesome if they did.

[00:00:44] It’s

[00:00:44]Captain FI: pretty popular, the Aussie financial independence or fire movement , is gaining quite a lot of momentum. And there’s a lot of people online, a lot of, chat rooms going. And I recently posted about, watching the documentary with my mom and a lot of people were sharing their [00:01:00] experience.

[00:01:00] I think you’ve got a lot of fans down under mate.

[00:01:02]Scott Rieckens: Oh, that’s awesome. I have a huge place in my heart for your country. I hope to visit down there sometime. We actually did a premiere in Sydney. But unfortunately I wasn’t able to make it. and one of the biggest regrets I had was not being able to go travel down there for it, but, hopefully soon

[00:01:17]Captain FI: now I was a bit disappointed because I didn’t actually get to go to that premiere due to work. But I’ve actually done my own little, Scott Raycon’s geo arbitrage. I’ve recently left Sydney and I’m now in Adelaide. So for us in Australia, that’s maybe like leaving New York and moving to bend Oregon as well.

[00:01:36] Almost Allah, Mr. Money, mustache in Colorado. Nice. How’s that been for you? Oh, it’s wonderful mate. I’m house hunting. I’m looking for an apartment just to rent for the short term. But I’ve been able to stay with family and, I’ve had some family health issues, so it’s been really good to be able to reconnect and help look after my family, in a time of need.

[00:01:55] But yeah, really looking forward to getting amongst a bunch more recreational activities and, getting [00:02:00] into the hiking and going a bit more home brewing and all that kind of good.

[00:02:03]Scott Rieckens: Yeah, definitely. I’m so happy to hear that you’re able to make that shift. And is that where you grew up?

[00:02:08]Captain FI: Yeah, I’m originally from the country. I’m actually from about five hours from Adelaide, but I did come up and do some of my schooling in Adelaide. I’m somewhat familiar with the city and do have a few friends here, which is awesome.

[00:02:22]Scott Rieckens: Nice. Community’s important. And I’m glad you’re able to, help support your family and their time of need.

[00:02:26] That’s great.

[00:02:28]Captain FI: So for those who haven’t seen the documentary, if you could summarize it, what is playing with fire and it’s an interesting title, isn’t it?

[00:02:36]Scott Rieckens: Sure. Yeah. I found, the fire movement back in 2017 when, I was listening to Tim Ferriss’ podcast and, he had Mr.

[00:02:44] Money mustache come on I heard him, describing his day to day his life and his perspective on how to live. So much of it resonated with me because at that time I had been, so stressed out trying to keep up with, the demands of living in a high cost of living area and trying to increase [00:03:00] my income.

[00:03:00] And to be honest, I was already working full time with a perfectly respectable income. So that stress was actually one of the reasons I was listening to Tim Ferriss, as I was trying to figure out what my next idea was or which direction I should be heading. and so to hear Pete talking about his no schedule, no alarm clock. Focus on, local vibes. It just really struck me. And that took me down the rabbit hole of mustache aneurysm and eventually to the fire movement. The thing that really caught hold for me so quickly and viscerally was, I felt like I completely understood how to tackle our finances and investing for our future.

[00:03:34] For the first time in my life, I had no money mentors. I didn’t really have financial literacy other than, very, very basics of you should budget. You should save, that was about it. and none of that had stuck. So being someone who’s not a big fan or that’s the wrong way to say it, I am a fan of math.

[00:03:50] I’m just bad at it. To be able to understand all that in a really quick way. It was really exciting. To have that also aligned with, the sort of philosophical, questions I’d been [00:04:00] asking about my life and all this, what does it all for kind of stuff.

[00:04:03] And really, not feeling comfortable with the way my life had progressed to that point. Starting to learn more about stoic philosophy. all of a sudden I realized that may take me back to my roots and it all felt right. Being a video producer, I wanted to contribute to this whole vibe.

[00:04:19] When I found it, it felt like it was this growing thriving, movement, where people are really grabbing control of their finances and their futures. I believe in that I still do. And I wanted to contribute any way I could. And since I had the video production experience, there were no documentaries about the fire movement.

[00:04:37] , weren’t any documentaries about personal finance. I felt like that could be, , the most valuable contribution I could make and wow. What a crazy ride has been since

[00:04:46]Captain FI: I think you’ve produced a really valuable resource, not just for the fire community, but for a lot of people.

[00:04:51] Because it is hidden. And then when it’s brought to your attention, just as Pete puts it, it’s shockingly simple, isn’t it? Once somebody [00:05:00] explains that to you and you’re introduced to the movement, I personally couldn’t see any other way.

[00:05:04] I was talking to my mom is 60 years old and she said to me, oh it’s really just common sense. Isn’t it. I think there are so many people out there who would benefit from watching this and getting into the movement.

[00:05:17] It, must’ve been absolutely amazing for you to talk and interview with a lot of leaders and highly influential figures in the fire movement the documentary covers your family’s life, over a year as you go through in your speaking to these various influential figures.

[00:05:33] That must have been pretty amazing, right? What does it feel like to sit there and Schatz, Mr. Money, mustache and Vicki, Robbins and Jay, or Colin’s like that must’ve been pretty cool feeling.

[00:05:44]Scott Rieckens: would be lying to you if I didn’t say that. A big part of my plan was if I produce a documentary, there’s a really good chance I can get my foot in the door and actually meet these people that are inspiring me so profoundly.

[00:05:54] It lived up to the hype for sure. Some of the most amazing moments of my life and Taylor’s life up to this point [00:06:00] definitely in the top 20, are from this documentary and producing it and being able to man sit out and, on a picnic table with Vicky Robinson on Whidbey island, which is just an unbelievably beautiful island in the Puget sound and sitting there just hearing her philosophize about what it’s all about and how money relates to our life, but how money is just one step towards self-actualization just hearing these things.

[00:06:23] I had never had the chance to consider from the best and from people who have been. Studying this, learning about this practicing in it for decades, was an incredible experience. you were spot on in your instincts. , I didn’t really make this documentary for the fire movement.

[00:06:38] I always had them in mind. And we always tried to make sure that any decision we made, was Reverend to the movement best we could. But at the same time, we’re making a documentary, so do want to show the good, the bad and the ugly as much as possible. But at the end of the day, what we really wanted to do was just create an accurate portrayal of one family’s journey for the masses as best we could.

[00:06:59] I [00:07:00] wanted this to become a much more inclusive, idea because back when I started this, the media that you found about This fringe movement was really predicated around the frugality, the sensationalism of frugality. And I think, back then, personal finance needed, , a bit of a jolt to have some sort of relevance.

[00:07:20] And the fire movement was starting to come up, but they were getting their media hits because of the sensationalism. Unfortunately that can take hold really quickly. I’ve watched that happen where, I would accept an interview with A major news outlet, name it we’ve been on a lot of them.

[00:07:35] Of course, you’re going to say, yes for me, I was a journalism major. It was a dream to be in the New York times. I couldn’t believe that happened. And of course I was going to say yes, but then when the questions start rolling in, you realize there’s a direction already being played out here and you don’t have as much control as you’d like.

[00:07:50] And the next thing, you’re being painted as this frugal list. And that those are hard and fast rules and they write stuff about the fire movement. That’s not even true. And then it looks like you’re endorsing that [00:08:00] because you’re a part of that article and it gets out of hand quickly.

[00:08:02] I had a crash course where I suddenly realized why I had actually had a lot of trouble in the very beginning, getting my foot in the door, especially with a lot of the veteran, fire influencers who have been through all of this, they didn’t know me, they didn’t know what my real intentions were.

[00:08:16] Whereas I’m over here with the best of intentions, thinking that this is all going to be grand and it’s going to happen, it was a fight to get in some of those doors, for sure. And at the time I was shocked by that and probably even took it a little personal.

[00:08:28] But looking back, I completely and fully understand it because you have to be so careful, , all that to say that was a big reason why we were, , really focused on trying to make a film for everyone else, because it felt like the fire movement wasn’t necessarily being portrayed accurately and these days, I think it’s gotten a lot better.

[00:08:46] But yeah, that was our intention and I’m proud of the work. I think it was a good step in the right direction. , I’m just so happy that it’s positively affected.

[00:08:53]Captain FI: Yeah, I think

[00:08:54] you should be really bloody proud of what you’ve done, mate.

[00:08:56] I’ve seen that happen in Australia with some of my mates, , in [00:09:00] personal finance space they’ve gone for an interview and it’s been twisted and it’s unfortunate that people will take advantage of that negativity. But the thing that I love about your journey, Scott is you’re an average AmeRieckens family, you were 35. Was it when you started

[00:09:14]Scott Rieckens: this? Yeah. Something like that. 30, 33, 34 35 somewhere there. Yeah.

[00:09:19]Captain FI: The fire community gets painted as, oh, look, it’s easy for you. If you’re a white, young, 20 year old male working in tech, with a huge salary.

[00:09:27] But the reality is, for a lot of people that are gonna benefit from this fine movement, they don’t necessarily fit in that pigeonhole that sometimes the media. Portray the sort of fire crowd. You had a good 10 years in the industry. You had a wife and a young daughter.

[00:09:42] It’s very different to, even say someone in my position without kids, to go, geez, I’m going to pack up my life and I’m going to completely change my lifestyle in pursuit of financial independence. So I think that’s really great. And why the documentaries a lot more relatable because it’s not, an 18 [00:10:00] or 20 year old, tech grad, you do have kids, you have risks and it’s a lot more relatable to your average viewer.

[00:10:07]Scott Rieckens: I appreciate that. At the end of the day, we’re by no means heroic. we have so much going for us. And we recognize that and we’re grateful for it without question. And I am so happy we have so many more voices and I’ve done everything I can to try to support those voices as they , come across my desk anyway.

[00:10:24] I do think it’s so critical, but at the end of the day, I could share what I had to share. I could share my story and to do it honestly. And that’s what I did. It’s not fun and it’s not easy, to put yourself out there on those levels, all the time, it’s an interesting thing to make something like a book or a film where you pour your heart and soul to it, and then immediately people reviewing it.

[00:10:43] And these are people that may or may not be. Qualified to do and you have to live with that. And sometimes they say things that hurt. That was an interesting part of the journey was, again, my intentions were in the right place with that. That doesn’t necessarily mean it’s great, or that it deserves a bunch of accolades, but then when personal attacks happen or when things are [00:11:00] said that feel like personal attacks, it’s a very interesting process to go through.

[00:11:03] At the end of the day, luckily I had a lot of online mentors to help with that. People, I don’t know who, are going through this and talking about it on YouTube and whatnot, and, to understand how to process those types of things and move forward with them. That was definitely a journey.

[00:11:16] It took me down some dark roads for a little while, but ultimately as the dust has settled, and looking back on it and seeing how it’s been received, I think like I said, I’m very happy with how it turned out and I’m proud of it, but yeah, , it’s hard for me to go and watch it too, because there’s so many things I would do differently now.

[00:11:30] There’s so many things I’d love to change. At this point I’m supporting the film and the book and I hope it continues to inspire and help people take the plunge or at least, maybe even just find the fire movement and understand the principles and see if they can apply whatever seems to fit in their life, to their life, to improve their life.

[00:11:46] And that’s ultimately all they really care about. I’m just really happy , that you have me on here and that people have liked it’s worked out,

[00:11:53]Captain FI: It definitely has made. It takes a lot of moral courage to put yourself out there and be so vulnerable.

[00:11:59] I love [00:12:00] through the film as you progress. And as you learn more about, , your, personal finances and what Taylor is happy, to compromise with and what you’re happy to compromise with, you able to increase that savings rate? I think one of the most powerful scenes for me was just watching you and Taylor.

[00:12:15] You were sitting in a park just by some Palm trees and you were chatting to each other and you were saying. What do I value? Would it, Taylor say, she said she valued time with you wanting to have coffee with you. You both. Didn’t say, oh, I want a flashy BMW.

[00:12:29] I want a luxury house you were talking about. I want to spend quality time with each other. I want to enjoy nice chocolate, nice coffee, nice wine. For me that was just like, yes, that’s what it’s all about. Isn’t it? It’s about finding what you value, designing your life around that, being able to spend time with your daughter, that’s what really got me onsite

[00:12:50]Scott Rieckens: I can get super busy.

[00:12:51] all of a sudden you turn around and maybe perhaps you. Thought about the design of that life. That was absolutely where we were. So to sit down and we [00:13:00] called that the happiness list exercise, and we sat down and we wrote down the top 10 things that make us happy on a weekly basis. Lo and behold, most of the things on the list didn’t cost money and the things that did cost money didn’t cost a lot of money.

[00:13:13] that was the beginning of having that discussion with Taylor, to let her know that, Hey, we’re going to be talking about some difficult things, but just know that we’re always going to predicate it against the best things in our life. So we’re aligning our values with our spending.

[00:13:26] That was such a mental shift for us because previous to that, if you wanted to talk about budgeting, it was all about deprivation. Yeah. And I can this to a diet, you look at habit forming and , when you have to go on a diet they, first of all, they never work.

[00:13:43] Second of all, it’s breaking down in this idea of you’re going to remove things, from your habits and it’s typically things you really enjoy. To just have the mental framework to shift it to, we’re only going to focus on the things that we love. And we’re going to cut hard on the things that we don’t care about as much that was such an easier [00:14:00] framework to, say, okay, we have to stop the expensive sushi dinners and we really need to redesign this whole thing.

[00:14:06] The beauty of it, is by going so extreme, getting ourselves up to a 78% savings rate. really just living as lean as we could. We really took it all the way to see how far we wanted to pull it back. We landed around the 50% range. We look at that predicated against how long it’s going to take to reach fi, which I’m not sure I even care about that much anymore.

[00:14:26] You know, the actual date. Cause I enjoy work, especially if it’s something that, is as exciting as this type of work. at the end of the day, it’s not so much about reaching financial independence as it is, feeling comfortable on a daily basis about our financial situation.

[00:14:40] That freedom is what we ultimately found. So intoxicating that it was worth going that far, but then also bringing it back and boy, did it take time. It took time to really find our footing again on, what do we care about the most? What is really causing. pain, suffering, happiness, whatever, that initial exercise of, doing it predicated on a weekly basis was a great start, [00:15:00] but that doesn’t take into account, what makes you happy on an annual basis?

[00:15:03] You can start to become more honest with yourself so we have, it’s so great to know that the way we make those decisions is through a very similar filter, a math filter first, which you can’t argue with. Then afterwards it’s the emotional filter.

[00:15:17] And when you use the math filter first and then start arguing with the emotional filter, it’s a much easier conversation because really comes down to, do you want to do this? Because these are the consequences of this, or do you not want to do this? Then we would be eliminating those consequences and it’s like, okay, that’s a much easier discussion then.

[00:15:37] I just want to do that. You can’t tell me what to do and all this other craziness that maybe we used to do in the past.

[00:15:44]Captain FI: Yeah. It’s amazing is that I did want to ask you a little bit more about how you, communicated and worked this plan through with your wife Taylor.

[00:15:51] Before we get into that, I got to know, Scott, what was your trigger? What started you on this journey? What was that initial [00:16:00] inspiration? How did you know enough was enough and you needed to change?

[00:16:03]Scott Rieckens: it was a confluence of events. the biggest event by far was, , having our daughter all of a sudden I’m responsible for a human other than myself. , that’s a pretty common theme I see in the fire movement. Know it’s usually some kind of major event either like a mountain of student debt or going out on your own after moving out from your parents’ place or, getting married or having a baby or a loss in the family, something major.

[00:16:26] Oftentimes we’ll suddenly spark the incentive. For me it was probably having our daughter. Then from that point on, it was like a confluence of all these other things that have been swirling for a while. Like, having a dream of home ownership, but watching that dream fly away at rapid pace in a high cost of living area, working our tails off, but not really no.

[00:16:47] To what end , all of a sudden you wake up and you’re a decade into your career phase of life., for me, I was in video production and, that hard work. It’s hard physical labor, a typical day is a 12 [00:17:00] hour day. There’s a ton of travel.

[00:17:02] So that was starting to wear on me. also again, just financially in general, we were always floating on the edge and that was weighing on me. Yet our lifestyle continued to inflate and we didn’t have the wherewithal to have the mature conversations as a married couple about how we were going to combat that.

[00:17:22] So I think it was all those things combined that were floating around. But I just didn’t know where to begin. All of that felt so daunting I have so much empathy for the people out there that haven’t found this, that are finding this now and why this is such rewarding work is because I know that feeling and it was crushing.

[00:17:39] And when I read the shockingly simple math behind early retirement, the money is the gateway really, right? The promise of early retirement is the gateway. Even the promise of financial independence is the gateway. Because once you can internalize, what that means for yourself and then actually run some numbers and [00:18:00] see what that plan could look like for yourself.

[00:18:02] And you start to see hope that’s like phase one. And once you start implementing these things and you start seeing it work, that’s like this huge phase two that’s where like the freedom feeling. Washing over you. By the time you’re done with that, you finally have time in my opinion, anyway, to really start asking yourself the bigger questions and really start walking up Maslow’s hierarchy, and start thinking more about yourself, your place in this world, the future, and what you’re doing with that time and why you’re spending your time that way.

[00:18:32] Those are daunting questions. They’re not necessarily always easy or fun,, but I think they’re worthwhile and I don’t think it’s as easy to be asking yourself those things or to be caring about those things. When you’re worried about your next paycheck, when you’re worried about the bills that you have to pay.

[00:18:47] It’s an unbelievable privilege to be on this path, but what’s so incredibly intoxicating about the fire movement as it stands right now in the U S at least. And it sounds, in Australia as well, is that it is [00:19:00] available to so many who aren’t taking advantage of it. Is it available to everyone?

[00:19:05] No, but is it available to way more people than are utilizing it and should be utilizing it? Absolutely. That’s what has felt like my mission is to just do my best, to make sure that, there aren’t any stones left unturned, at least get the word out there for people.

[00:19:22] And so thank you captain fi for working on that yourself and getting this podcast going and the blog and all the things I love.

[00:19:30]Captain FI: I’ve loved it as well. , I also, came across Mr. Money mustache and read the short shockingly simple math behind early retirement.

[00:19:37] It was a game changer, and I looked at the table and the savings rate in the years to reach financial independence. And initially I didn’t believe it, but as I read more and more and more, yeah, it is intoxicating., I probably went super overboard in the journey, cranking the savings rate right up into the high eighties and the nineties.

[00:19:58] One of the biggest things that [00:20:00] I’m working on. And look, I see a therapist for this,, is being a little bit more looser with the purse strings and being a little less anxious about money and saving. So really, it’s an emotionally intense journey, I’d love to hear more about.

[00:20:16] Once you had discovered that this was a thing and you believed it, how did you get, Taylor on board with the movement and how do you deal with those emotional highs and lows as a couple?

[00:20:30]Scott Rieckens:Yeah, so it wasn’t really just, , on me to get her on board it was more about us working together to see if this was something we wanted to do jointly.

[00:20:39] I just happened to be a little bit further ahead than she was in the reading of, , what this is all about. that’s why it was predicated upon me to well, Hey, look, I have an opportunity to present this in more curated way than say I found it. For me, like by starting with that happiness list, that could have gone two ways.

[00:20:57] She may have had things on that list that were incredibly [00:21:00] expensive. And then that would have been a failure that would have been plan one failure. Oh, man, I’m going to have to go to the back to the drawing board here. I remember being a little nervous about that, but, , it worked out in my favor because, , I really did believe that I knew who Taylor was deep down and who I fell in love with and who I married was someone who didn’t care about material things.

[00:21:19] It’s not to say she doesn’t like nice things, but at the end of the day, are those the drivers for her? No, they’re not. So for her own journey, , she is incredibly blessed to, have the job that she does and work where she does and she enjoys it. But especially at the time that we found this stuff, she was grappling , very heavily with the idea of going back to work.

[00:21:37] Cause she was on maternity. She’s a first time mom and she didn’t know how she was going to react or feel about this. And when the prospect of having to go back to work and leaving her baby for extended periods of time, wasn’t sitting well with her. So she had her own reasons to be open to this journey.

[00:21:54]It’s really more about, constantly being in tune with what’s working and what [00:22:00] isn’t, for us, I knew again, that making a documentary would help incentivize us to stick with it, especially in the early days when it might be the hardest, because that’s when you’re ripping the bandaid off, that’s when it’s the most painful.

[00:22:13] Getting out of that BMW lease we had and watching that thing drive away. Was a good example of this is like I was standing on that curb watching it drive away. Elated, I had butterflies, I couldn’t believe I had pulled that off. Taylor sitting over there with the exact opposite reaction.

[00:22:31] there goes her other baby and she loved that car and what it represented for her. , but what was interesting is I remember we actually got to go to Ecuador to enjoy, the Chautauqua event, which is basically a fire movement meetup, in south America.

[00:22:44] And it was the most incredible experience. ,I was pinching myself that we were even there. I remember being in those sessions Taylor started to unpack, what it really was about that car. And it was just a symbol of what she thought she needed to get to from her [00:23:00] earlier days.

[00:23:00] It was that if she’s going to be successful, then she’s going to have these things. watching her release herself of that was really fascinating. I’m glad you mentioned, therapy. I think it’s really important to normalize that and we’ve also, started going to therapy something we never did individually or as a couple prior to finding fire movement.

[00:23:19] It wasn’t because oh, we joined the fire movement and now we need therapy. Cause this horrible. Although it does bring up a lot. It does, it does. But I think more so it was a realization that we shouldn’t do this alone and we’ll be better off if we do this with a professional where we’re working through these things to understand them.

[00:23:39] So we understand ourselves so that we can be better versions of ourselves. , I couldn’t argue with that. The other side of it is, as we went along this journey, we found that spending on our health mentally and physically was a non-starter. That was that gets through the budget every time.

[00:23:56] It’s, open-ended because , if we’re not paying [00:24:00] attention to that, then what the hell are we doing here? I just think, at the end of the day, the journey is an individual one, but if you’re doing it with someone else, , you need to pay attention to each other and check in constantly.

[00:24:10] You don’t necessarily have to do that alone.

[00:24:13]Captain FI: That’s beautiful. I think a lot of people do get wrapped around the axles with the maths and the nuts and bolts of fire thinking. I need to get index funds. I need a savings rate, but really it’s the behavior on the emotional side that I think is the most powerful aspect.

[00:24:30] I really liked that. The whole idea with Taylor with the happiness list. I think that’s such a beautiful and powerful thing that people can do. You don’t necessarily have to be a couple, you could do this, you can do that by yourself. Absolutely. It’s a wonderful step to designing a more deliberate and wonderful life because, and

[00:24:49]Scott Rieckens: I would also just add in sorry to interrupt.

[00:24:51] But I would add in with the happiness list is I’ve since edited that to also include, an unhappy list, what makes you unhappy? what’s grinding [00:25:00] your gears right now. We don’t necessarily always keep a focus on that. And it gets into that 80 20 rule, try to cut the 80% of the fat and keep the 20% that’s keeping you happy.

[00:25:09] It’s a completely different list and it’s an interesting one and it’s a way to also work towards getting out of the things that aren’t bringing you. It’s called the list.

[00:25:18]Captain FI: That’s a really good idea. I think as humans, we’re probably not great predictors of what makes us happy, but sure as hell we know what irks us, I mean, geez, I can tell you right now sitting in alarm in the morning, and that is the most thing I hate the most. So you can imagine waking up at 1:00 AM or 2:00 AM to go and do a red eye flight. Oh no, thank you.

[00:25:40]Scott Rieckens: That does sound awful. Yeah. Yeah. We could run a rant right now about 10 different things that just grind our gears.

[00:25:46] That’d be

[00:25:47]Captain FI: give me a top three. What are the three things you hate the most? Scott?

[00:25:51]Scott Rieckens: I hate standing in lines. , I hate big crowds of people. Gosh, what else? You know what really grinds my gears? What grinds?

[00:25:58] Geez, what else? [00:26:00] Oh my goodness. Oh, bad manners people. , if you hold a door open for someone and they walk right through it without making. what are you doing? What is that about? That’s great. I’m with you on alarms. Yeah. Keep going. But the point do we just become best

[00:26:13]Captain FI: friends?

[00:26:15]Scott Rieckens: Do you want to do karate in the garage? At the end of the day you got those two lists. What’s so powerful about that. Exercise is it’s so simple. It doesn’t make it easy, but it’s so simple. Anyone can do it right now. Like you can literally hit pause on this podcast, go sit down and start writing out.

[00:26:30] Just make it five, the top five things that make you happy on a weekly basis. And then that’s going to take the longest, or you can start with what’s your anti-joy list go with the top five. And then see if there are things that you can eliminate and then see if there are things that you need to be paying more attention to.

[00:26:46] that’s just life design right there. That’s all that is. It’s really simple stuff. And it’s just the beginning, but if you start there, after doing that exercise and thinking about it for awhile I’ve worked on this with people, and sometimes it takes a week or two to really think through that [00:27:00] happiness list, especially if you do 10 and I think it’s worthwhile, some people get it real quick.

[00:27:04] It doesn’t make any difference. There’s no time limit, but when you’re done, you’ve started to think about, much more micro adjustments of your life. And I think that’s a good Headspace to head into budgeting and starting to, really redesign. Then, for people that are already pretty comfortable, it’s still a great exercise because if you haven’t done it, you wouldn’t believe some of the stuff you discover.

[00:27:24]Captain FI: One of the things that I’ve just taken out from that, and I think it was the reflections on your leased BMW. You said you were really happy that it was being taken away. You felt like it was a weight off your shoulders. Whereas Taylor was feeling quite sad. It was really interesting insight to hear.

[00:27:41] That car was on her happiness list as a result of her expectations of success. I think that’s also a really powerful lesson that maybe if people are looking at, their big four expenses, whether that’s housing food combination, car, if you unpack, why do you have that [00:28:00] expense?

[00:28:00] And what is the emotional trigger? maybe that will help you greatly in reducing your expenses, which is really just going to help you with that whole lifestyle design. that’s something that I found really interesting and I didn’t take that away from the documentary, so I’m really glad I actually got to hear that from you here.

[00:28:17]Scott Rieckens: Yeah. The big three are our housing, transportation and food, right? if you have any way to slash on those three, you can make huge gains really quickly. So the first three things to look at, and there’s plenty of people that have already, cut those things and live lean.

[00:28:32] For those people, then you need to start looking at increasing your income, right? Because it ultimately all just comes back to the math problem. That’s ultimately what the fire movement is to me, it’s how to work backwards in layman’s terms.

[00:28:43] The amazing part of that is you discover this thing called compound interest, and you understand how to use it even in layman’s terms. And you suddenly realize, oh my gosh, This is something that can benefit

[00:28:55]Captain FI: me. Yeah. You’re going to be on the positive side of compound interest as an [00:29:00] investor, as opposed to being on the negative side of compound interest, with consensus.

[00:29:05] Yeah. So just on that, , so you and Taylor obviously worked really hard on those big three. , you traveled for the better part of the whole year.

[00:29:16]Scott Rieckens: Yes. Yeah. I think it was just

[00:29:18]Captain FI: under a year in order to save you build up a house deposit, you’d build up a sizeable emergency fund.

[00:29:24] You switched to the $5,000 cars, you really boosted that savings rate. One of the things I love throughout the documentary was watching how your savings rate ticket increased and your time to fire decreased. But I’d love to hear, in the last couple of years since the documentary, how has, your income and savings rates changed as a family?

[00:29:47] And how have you dealt with that emotionally, especially with having a young daughter.

[00:29:52]Scott Rieckens: Yeah. , so, income wise, we’ve seen some gains, nothing crazy, but it’s just steadily growing , as we grow in our careers. And so that [00:30:00] obviously helps because when we were running our numbers back when the film was being cut, we’re predicating and planning, off of, a set income.

[00:30:07] I don’t think we had any calculators at the time that we could input like a growth curve on the salary. And also why not go a bit conservative, cause it was really more of a way to just get a mental model for us anyway, then to track it on a daily basis in a spreadsheet.

[00:30:21] So that’s obviously helps the journey, but more importantly, our savings rate, has fluctuated and it’s been a really interesting couple of years. When we first moved to bend, we landed at about a 50 to 60% savings rate. And we would fluctuate depending on the month, but man, I mean our systems were set and we had flex the muscle and develop the habits where we said, okay, To a lot of things in the past, we would’ve said yes to, and that’s even moving to a new place, which can be expensive, not just because moving is expensive, but when you get to a new place, it’s very hard to say no, , to try out your new digs, check out the new restaurants, check out the new grocery stores, see what’s going on. And, even in some cases going on [00:31:00] hikes and things, you need to buy the parking pass and this and that. So you have to take stock of that. I was really proud of us on how we dealt with that when we got here, there are still so many things we haven’t explored, but we’ve explored a hell of a lot of things that don’t cost any money, which was the reason we moved here because there’s so much to do for free.

[00:31:17] That was something that, we could easily. Prescribed to the fire movement journey and say, okay, this is working. Not only do we understand how to reach financial independence, but we’re implementing those strategies and it’s working and we’re happy. This is awesome.

[00:31:31] This is proving out to work. And I will tell you, then COVID hit I’m sure this is pretty worldwide, but man, did that hit us like a ton of bricks? Just emotionally I personally was completely exhausted. It was right off of the back of finishing up the movie tour that summer.

[00:31:52] And then in the fall we launched the film on. And there was so much support to give this project. I was [00:32:00] completely inundated and wasn’t with my family and, constantly stressed and worried and doing the next thing. It was just , as much as I could to support the project. Then I finally got a breath of fresh air in the spring.

[00:32:11] Literally February, March, I was starting to come up for air and started to take stock of what had happened. And I had some plans to keep it going and all these things. And then, boom, and I remember the week that the lockdown started, I was supposed to fly to New York to, do an interview on the floor of the stock exchange.

[00:32:28] I was so excited and I remember calling, the producers and being like, Hey, I feel weird saying this, but I think I’m going to have to cancel my flight. I’m pretty sure I shouldn’t be flying to New York right now. Boy was I right? Cause that was like right before New York became the world’s epicenter.

[00:32:45] And they were like, yeah, you know what? It’s really weird this week. We’ve been getting all these calls and they’re like, we totally understand. It’s no big deal. We’ll just reschedule. Then, a couple of weeks later, it’s like, well, that’s not getting rescheduled. Who knows what’s gonna happen the world.

[00:32:57] So anyway, just to paint that picture of mentally, I was kinda on [00:33:00] edge already. , and then this all hit and it was a lot to swallow. The reason I bring all that up is not to have a pity party. Cause like I said, everybody else went through the same thing, but, it’s to say that we absolutely started using retail therapy to some extent, as time went on and things got monotonous and weird and dark and it was awful.

[00:33:20] You started to get to the point where, you found little things that could bring you happiness, say a restaurant that you could still go pick up food. From or something. And it’s just like, let’s just do that. I’m so tired. Let’s just do that. And back in the day it had been like, no, no, no, no, no, no.

[00:33:33] That’s the old trap. That’s what we did. And at one point I remember looking at Taylor and I just said Hey, I just want to let you know, I know you feel it too. We’re spending way more than we’re comfortable with. But I want you to know, I forgive you. I forgive me. I forgive us.

[00:33:46] We shouldn’t be hard on ourselves about yet another thing. Let’s consider this year a wash all the while I’m reading these amazing stories about how, the AmeRieckenss have never saved more money ever. And I’m like, yes, it’s working. [00:34:00] Maybe the fire movement has nothing to do with that.

[00:34:01] I’m not doing that, but I’m glad other people are, it’s

[00:34:06]Captain FI: really tricky. Isn’t it? it’s not boring middle part of fire because it’s so exciting. Setting up your accounts, making these changes. There’s a lot of adrenaline, there’s probably a lot of stress, a lot of anxiety at the start of the journey, but then once everything’s set up, once everything’s automated and you’ve got your automated investments happening, you’ve paid back your cost of living.

[00:34:27] You can’t get into that sort of slump. , I think that’s a bit of a risk. how did you and Taylor work through that? Especially such a tricky time. Did you find the savings rate going down significantly or did you need to work on it to pull it back up?

[00:34:40]Scott Rieckens: Yeah. Honestly, when you’re working from a 50, 60% savings rate, when it’s getting hit 20, 30%, it’s not the end of the world, we’re still saving money. So that’s how we looked at it. It was like, okay, we know that we’re slipping on our goals, but we feel like at this moment, slipping on those goals is the right move.

[00:34:58] And that’s what I was getting at [00:35:00] was by acknowledging it, by knowing where we were without even having to look at, mentor or personal capital, wherever you check your information. I didn’t even have to look at it. I knew we were slipping and, I honestly probably could get within 5% of where we were slipping,

[00:35:15] what I’m saying is that we had the wherewithal to address that together instead of sweeping it under the rug or not talking about it or whatever, and making sure we’re on the same page. Because that stuff comes up. It wasn’t all roses, by any means, but there were some interesting conversations that were had between T and I were, she felt like maybe I was judging her or blaming her for some purchase when I was by no means thinking that, but it came out that way, because I felt stressed about it.

[00:35:40] And so we had to work through that stuff. that ultimately is how we got to meet, Mika coming to her and saying Hey, just so you know, I don’t feel like an ounce of trepidation about this between you and I, I’m glad we were in the position to be able to spend a little more.

[00:35:55] Can you imagine if we had gone through this back when we were on the edge, living [00:36:00] paycheck to paycheck, That would be horrifically scary. And then, of course the government sweeps in and starts sending checks and things got better for the people that were in that situation. And unemployment benefits got really pretty legit for a while there.

[00:36:13] And so thank goodness for that, but there were so many ebbs and flows to that, whether that was going to happen, how quickly it was going to happen, how much was this going to be? All that stuff. At the end of the day, looking back. I’m not complaining a bit. There’s nothing to complain about taking this fire journey was by far and away, the best thing we could have done for our family and for our future.

[00:36:30] We are able to utilize that power to actually slip, make mistakes and be okay with that. I think that’s an important and powerful thing to put in your arsenal if you are on this journey without question. Then as far as, strategies to get back on track, the beautiful thing about these systems is that, we have these systems in place and it’s all of the extraneous, extracurricular that gets us in trouble.

[00:36:54] So that’s very simple to cut. We look at each other and we say, stop, that’s it. [00:37:00] It’s easy. We’re very fortunate to have set ourselves up that way. And we have a lot of incentive to do so because now you’re right, the boring middle is boring, but at the same time, heck I was looking at your, updates on your site.

[00:37:11] Look at the growth, look at that chart. It’s getting hockey stick that boring middle, , you’ve gone past that. And I think over the last four or five years, anyone who’s been on this journey and has been aggressively saving and investing that money is probably in a similar situation.

[00:37:26] Because everything’s just going up so ridiculously and so much further than any of our expectations probably as well. I’m curious about your thoughts on this. Do you sit there and worry about inflation and interest rates and how, , the stock market just seems overpriced and all, do you get into those trappings or do you shut that stuff off?

[00:37:46]Captain FI: Yeah, look, I must say , I do sometimes and it does stress me out. One of the things that I have done, and it was so good for my mental health was I automated my investing into basically , broad market [00:38:00] index funds, stock market funds. And I basically had a core satellite strategy.

[00:38:05] So the majority of that is, in the index funds, I do have a investment property which causes a great deal of stress. And I have some other satellite investments, but my strategy is to try and ignore it for the most part. , I love spending my time, gardening, permaculture, I’m really enjoying, blogging and learning about SEO and websites and how to make websites perform.

[00:38:28] And that’s been really, really fun. I think, for me, I am really benefiting from that compounding. And when things start to get boring or, I’m trying to keep myself on track. My motivation is I want to be an awesome dad and I want to buy an acreage up in the Adelaide Hills. And, I would love to set up, like an Adelaide Australia version of the Chautauqua, have my own campfire, camp, what is it, camp, mustache, fire, and just invite that’s it.

[00:38:57] And it love to invite people to the [00:39:00] property my goal is to basically go as hard as I can to build up enough equity that I can go and purchase the property and start building. I think for me, I live a lot in the future and it’s really exciting for me, but I also am trying to work on just being a little bit more present and that sort of manifested , now I’m here in Adelaide.

[00:39:22] I’ll be say, doing some blogging work on my laptop and my nine-year-old nephew, he just will come and sit quietly next to me. And he’s just at me, longingly, waiting for me to shut the laptop so we can, go for a hike up the Bush or jump on the trampoline or, go feed the chokes or something.

[00:39:36] He just wants to spend time with me. So a big thing that I’m working on. His presence and embracing the journey, embracing that middle part. And I’m trying to change my attitude away from thinking of it as the boring middle and just thinking of like, Hey, this is the prime of my life, and for you and Taylor, you’ve got this beautiful daughter and you get to raise her and spend time with her.

[00:39:58] , I just think that’s a wonderful, , for [00:40:00] me that would be all the motivation in the world.

[00:40:03]Scott Rieckens: Yeah. It really is. We still work. It’s not like we, just get to spend all waking hours with Jovi and, she’s going to go to school and all these other things, but at the end of the day, we’ve prioritized our time with her over, so many other things that we do feel like we gained a lot of that time back.

[00:40:18] It’s really interesting. Cause we haven’t really adjusted our work schedules per se. I think we’ve just been more intentional with how we spend our time and I think that’s critical. I’m reminded, , you’re talking about trying to be more present. And I reminded of a time when I was talking with Vicky, when I first met her and she used this analogy where she’s like heading, fire as a cliff.

[00:40:38] You’re heading towards this cliff and a lot of people will get caught up in the aggressive pursuit of reaching financial independence and hitting their date. She was saying, that’s the cliff. And the problem is, if you’re not working on preparing yourself, once you get to that cliff, then you’ll never jump.

[00:40:55] Like you won’t be able to fly. , I always thought of that analogy of you’ve got to start [00:41:00] working on prepping yourself for when you no longer need to work for money. And I’ve seen that happen many times, I’ve attended a few Chautauquas now. And a lot of people that show up to those are people who.

[00:41:12] Are very recently or are just about to pull the trigger on their financial independence journey, like where they’ve reached their numbers. They’ve all oftentimes gone past their numbers. And they just want reassurance from someone who they trust. And typically it’s a blogger like JL Collins or someone who they’ve been following along through their entire journey.

[00:41:30] It’s one of those things where like, if JL says it’s okay, then it must be okay. Or I’ve seen Brandon, the mad scientist or Pete, Mr. Money, mustache, or Paula pant, I’ve literally seen them do their one-on-ones at the Chautauquas. And that’s like, everybody comes with their spreadsheets and their numbers.

[00:41:45] And they’re trying to ask them specific, detailed money questions to make sure it’s okay that they quit their job or that they move on or whatever. And it’s so funny cause I’ve seen it enough now where all those guys, they sit patiently and quietly and they will review the numbers and make sure that they’re sure [00:42:00] and all that.

[00:42:00] But at the end of the day in their head, they’re just. Yeah, you’re good. What’s the worst case scenario. You go back to work, it’s kind of silly almost. If you’re at that stage and you’re in your life where you’ve saved that much, and it’s all invested that way, and you’re so worried about walking away from your job, but that’s that power of that identity and that unsureness.

[00:42:17] So if you’re not working on that, leading up to that date, it might be very difficult to jump off that cliff. For me, I think I’m probably avoiding it sometimes too by saying, oh, I don’t mind working. So I’ll probably just continue to work. I’m not so concerned or consumed with the idea of reaching fi and then quitting.

[00:42:33] If I’m being completely honest with myself, that’s probably just a defense mechanism to not deal with it.

[00:42:40]Captain FI: One day more, one more year, just another paycheck, just another thousand, a hundred

[00:42:44]Scott Rieckens: thousand dollars. But you’re building websites and stuff.

[00:42:46] So you understand, there is an unbelievable power in some of these systems that you can set up where it really is passive ish, where, yeah, of course you’re going to have some maintenance and some custodial stuff going on, but at the end of the day, some of the stuff you can build and really [00:43:00] create, an ongoing, passive, stream of income. That’s why we really like real estate as an additional, piece of investment, because yeah, I think those are our hedges against the idea of literally walking away from work only sipping off of, stock market dividends.

[00:43:15]Captain FI: I love the idea of. The off-ramp rather than the cliff.

[00:43:18] One of your recent YouTube interviews with Vicky, why fi is just the beginning. That was really powerful. I’ve watched that on my phone. I was in bed and I was just like, wow. I watched it again. I put it on the TV. It’s wonderful. I think

[00:43:32]Scott Rieckens: one of my favorite clips, I gotta tell you, it’s one of the best clips we had from the entire process.

[00:43:37] Yeah. Yeah.

[00:43:39]Captain FI: Very powerful. And I excited

[00:43:40]Scott Rieckens: to put it out. In fact, Vicki reached out to me after I put it up and I haven’t talked to her in a while. It was so nice to hear from her. And she was like, oh, I remember developing that idea. And I remember you guys asking about it and the stream of consciousness that came out and she’s like, I’m so glad you posted that.

[00:43:53] I’ve shared it. And I was like, oh my gosh, me too. It’s one of my favorites. I remember sitting there listening to that interview and freaking out about how incredible it was, [00:44:00]

[00:44:00]Captain FI: hands down. One of my favorite tonight, and. That conscious consciousness, trying to learn some lessons , from Tim Ferris as well.

[00:44:09] That’s why I’ve gone the way I have with the websites, for that sort of semi-passive four hour ish work week. Yeah, I know it sounds wonderful. There is a lot of work to get it to that position. And there is obviously that ongoing work, but for me, that’s the solution that I found to try and take these lessons from these amazing thinkers and apply them to my journey as well.

[00:44:33] Yeah, that’s great. Scott, it’s been a hell of a journey, for your family. If you could go back in speak to yourself back when you first stumbled across the shockingly simple math behind early retirement, what would you say .

[00:44:46] Is there anything you wish you knew before you began your fire journey?

[00:44:51]Scott Rieckens: A man, that’s such a loaded question when it came to putting [00:45:00] ourselves out there, the way we did with the film, which by the way, the beginning idea of the film was not to do it that way. It wasn’t until I connected with our director, Travis and offered him, , the ability to direct the film that we shifted gears.

[00:45:13] I was going to do more of a, David Attenborough kind of approach where I’m sort of narrating what I’m learning and finding, but not necessarily sharing all of my own personal. Journey. It was when Travis came in that we shifted gears and went into that. Honestly that’s where my brain goes, because there were so many things that, , I had so much consternation about doing that as well as I could, that I was really hard on myself.

[00:45:37] I didn’t really enjoy the process as much as I should have. There were so many, I mean, there was literally millions of decisions that had to be made through the process to launch that film and launch that book. And, thinking back on the millions of decisions, if I had a different lens on while making those decisions, it would have been a different project.

[00:45:57] I’m not saying that what turned out didn’t end up [00:46:00] perfectly fine too, but, that’s where my brain goes for. Like what I would tell myself that it’d be a lot of intimate details about the depth of going on, some of developing those pieces of content. But from a fire journey perspective, I’m failing to think of many.

[00:46:13] It maybe just like the number one thing would be, everyone says you can’t time. The market listen to them. Do not try to time the market. That is the end of that discussion. There is no more discussion. Do not time the market. You cannot and will not win. I’ll give you a good anecdote for that.

[00:46:30] I remember it was 2018 and I remember I had already talked to Brandon mad scientist and I had, talked to him about, oh man, it just feels like the stock market’s really high. And I was in passing, I don’t even know we were just hanging out or something. And he told me this little story about how he remembers in 2012, which was really arguably like a year out of the depths of the recession.

[00:46:54] And he remembers, readers, writing into the blog and saying this cannot sustain. This is already [00:47:00] so high. This will definitely come crashing down. And that was in 2012 and I was having this discussion with them in 2017 and I thought, okay, okay. Yeah, yeah, yeah. And I’ve read it all before.

[00:47:09] Like you can’t time. The market don’t even worry about that. You’re playing the long game, 30 years. And then a year later I was talking to JL Collins and we were just catching up on the phone and he’s saying something, like oh man, stock market just hit an all-time high.

[00:47:21] I think at that time it was, October of 18 or something. I would go back and fact check me on that. I’m not sure, but it was something like the stock market hit an all time high and , the news reports were basically like, it’s really scary. Cause.

[00:47:33] It’s hit over this, and I was just talking to jail about that. Cause I had just read it that morning and he just laid into me about market timing and to never pay attention to that. And none of that matters and that was in 2018. And I remember thinking oh, I don’t even know if I should really put any cash in the stock market right now.

[00:47:49] It just feels so bloated and high and oh, maybe I’ll put it somewhere else. And he was just laying into me. And I remember getting off that call. Yeah. I already know all that stuff and he’s right. But at the same time, I don’t know. It still feel [00:48:00] like blah, blah, blah. You know?

[00:48:01]Captain FI: Yeah. That’s so funny, Nicholas.

[00:48:03] I don’t know if he likes me saying this at all, but I view him as like the OJI of fire, like the original granddaddy I jail. Yeah.

[00:48:10]Scott Rieckens: He like, he love that. Oh, he’s just like this

[00:48:13]Captain FI: gruff any like this wise, man, I just love listening to his voice. It’s just so bad. It’s always a therapy therapeutic to listen to that.

[00:48:22]Scott Rieckens: It has been told that so many times he did the meditator. Have you heard that? No, I haven’t. That’s really exciting. You got to check that out. He did a meditation on stock market investing and it’s so funny. It’s so funny. He’s basically just like doing his awesome voice and going through mantras of don’t time the market everything’s going to work out.

[00:48:41] It always goes up and there’s Zen music in the background. It’s so good. I think it’s like 30 minutes long to,

[00:48:48]Captain FI: okay. As soon as we get off this call, I’m going to be Google searching that, I don’t care how much it costs. I need to listen to that.

[00:48:54]Scott Rieckens: Oh, it’s free.

[00:48:55] It’s totally free. It’s called a guided meditation for when the stock market is [00:49:00] dropping. Okay.

[00:49:02]Captain FI: I get a file. It recommend it. I’m going to find that link that in the show notes for anyone that wants to do a meditation with me. Well, that’s a perfect segue Scott, because we’ve talked a lot today about, behavior and emotions.

[00:49:15] And really, I think those are 80% of fire. And of course the little 20% or less is, how do we actually invest? So I’d love to hear, how, Tate and yourself do investing. You mentioned earlier, property, but what is your family’s personal investing strategy?

[00:49:34]Scott Rieckens: our strategy is to max out our retirement accounts a hundred percent,

[00:49:37] and by the way, that’s all invested mostly in VTS X. We do have a little bit of exposure and international stocks. I don’t believe we have any exposure with bonds. I think we’re a hundred percent stocks right now.

[00:49:49]Captain FI: That’s pretty much the safest way. It’s reassuring whenever somebody, you awesome on that.

[00:49:53]And I didn’t, they tell you very much the same thing that you’ve done. It’s like, oh great.

[00:49:58]Scott Rieckens: Yeah. And I haven’t [00:50:00] reallocated in a while, so I’ll have to go back and check this, but I know that the target was 85, 15, us to international exposure. And I believe we just did the international exposure with the Vanguard, international, index fund.

[00:50:13] I can’t remember the ticker name of that VTS. X something don’t

[00:50:18]Captain FI: no, it’s perfect. I actually love the fact that off the top of your head, you don’t know that because that is perfect because automating your investing and having it work for you in the background, that’s the most powerful way to do it. if you’re memorizing all of these ticket codes and you’re constantly looking at it and checking it and trading and switching between them, that’s not healthy.

[00:50:36]Scott Rieckens: That’s actually our goal. We want to think about money, the least amount possible, because it’s not something I really care about that much. I have to care about it because of the society that we live in. That’s the way I view the situation. As much as I can be playing, , Foos ball and bace with my friends and fly fishing and run around on my electric bike and maybe even golfing a bit [00:51:00] and hanging out with my family and having, pizza dinners and things like that’s what I want to do and care about and spend my time doing. it’s not, trying to research a bunch of companies and cryptocurrency and try to, continue to just get gains. Man, you’re seeing a lot of that’s stuff being idolized again on the internet and I think, unfortunately it’s going to be a lot of people that are going to have some pretty hard lessons and perhaps it already happened a bit with crypto.

[00:51:24] It’s tough to say with that, because man, that thing had such a meteoric rise from such a low price point, but then you got to think most of those people didn’t ride that all the way up to 60,000 on Bitcoin or whatever, you must’ve been selling when you were already hitting millions. I’m sure that was the case with a lot of people.

[00:51:39] Otherwise there’d be a bunch of billionaires walking around. I’m pretty sure, but ultimately, I will admit I have been going down the crypto rabbit hole. I’ve had multiple friends who I trust quite a bit, who have opened my eyes to some of the merits of the whole thing.

[00:51:55] I’ve been doing some research in that we did stick a little bit into Bitcoin and [00:52:00] Ethereum, especially with a theory of 2.0, coming out pretty soon. And it was absolutely gambling. I just want to be very clear. It was us looking at it and going, you know what, we have a little bit. Right now let’s gamble with it. If it all goes away tomorrow, no big deal. But if a cryptocurrency really truly does become a meaningful currency, it kind of already is. But, if it gets to the Heights that’s possible here, that I’m down and we did a 65 35 split 65% of the that’s an Ethereum and 35% of that in Bitcoin, because the theory is more platform based, and becomes more currency based.

[00:52:35] And the currency thing seems much more volatile because, that feels like something that, a country could make its own and then say, okay, you want to do crypto? Here’s the us version of that or whatever. And backed by X, Y, and Z. And suddenly Bitcoin’s not as attractive, could see something like that happening, lot of the experts say that can’t or won’t or whatever, but all money is a belief system anyway.

[00:52:55] It’s a store of value. It’s a way to create accounting and it’s a way to transfer. [00:53:00] I will see, but boy, at the very front of that, I will tell you what a scary, weird world we live in already. And then when that starts getting big and you’re like, geez, I’ve been so convicted in my decisions and my assumptions of my investing strategy.

[00:53:14] And now, like the world’s talking about this cryptocurrency that might overtake all fees and what would that do to our strategy? And it’s like, thank goodness. The investments that we have are predicated on the businesses that we’re investing in, and ultimately there’d be a shift in the way currency is being used.

[00:53:32] I think those businesses still exist and you still own stock in those businesses. So I think we’ll be okay, but. Anyway, I don’t know. What have you been looking into that at all?

[00:53:42]Captain FI: Yeah, actually, I’d spent quite a bit of time, as a crypto skeptic and I spoke out on the blog a little bit, how I didn’t really know enough to comment.

[00:53:52] And then I was actually on a friend’s pod and I made a bit of a, sensationalist remark that, the only coins are we buying a [00:54:00] chocolate coins. , I didn’t get quite attacked, but it was the first time that I’d really been confronted with a lot of constructive criticism, on captain fire because previously a lot of people go and captain fire I’m really happy with what you’re talking about.

[00:54:11] Makes a lot of sense and I would get a lot of praise, which, felt nice. So it was quite strange to be getting, confronting. Bluntly about, about cryptocurrency. If somebody is going to go to that much effort that they’re going to, , try and get in contact with me.

[00:54:26] I better look into this. And I, had, invited Stefan , who’s, quite a popular, , comments on Bitcoin. And he’s also affectionately known as, a Bitcoin Maxi in that , he doesn’t really like the other coins, but he’s quite bullish on Bitcoin , and , that was an eyeopening experience for me.

[00:54:44] And from that I actually managed. Have a few discussions, with a few other journalists in the cryptocurrency space and a little bit of learning, look, I’m still really, really inexperienced. And I really don’t know much about crypto, but I actually did exactly the same thing as you, Scott, [00:55:00] actually, I went and got myself some Bitcoin and some Ethereum.

[00:55:03] Interestingly I did the opposite split. I went about two thirds, Bitcoin, one third, ether and all I could liken it to is Bitcoin is gold and Ethereum is silver. And so I wanted to put them in those ratios, which is probably a very, boomer mindset. , and then of course it went down by half.

[00:55:19] And so I was like, oh crap. But having said that I’m still going to dollar cost average, whereas Stefan puts it stack Satoshis or keep stacking sets. I’ve got a very small allocation where I regularly buy. , if you’re in a Bitcoin, it is a tiny satellite investment.

[00:55:34] We’re talking less than 1% of my portfolio. And again, same as you made totally speculative gamble. Just for the asset metric risk profile, , if they do blast up, to some of the predicted Heights, then I’ll be happy. It’ll drag the portfolio up a bit, but if they go to zero, it’s not really going to matter much at all.

[00:55:51] I’m looking to hear Scott, how, in terms of a percentage, have you and Tay worked out, a percentage of your portfolio that you want to target to [00:56:00] crypto, or is it more of a once-off thing?

[00:56:03]Scott Rieckens: Yeah, it was a once off thing and I would say it’s probably maybe 1%, I want to say maybe 1% of our total net worth.

[00:56:11] So yeah, not a big, investment at all, but enough to beat. Potentially, I actually bought this recent dip. , it hasn’t really done much yet. But based on what I was reading and hearing, with its potential, it’s like, okay, well, that’s why it was worth the gamble.Because the potential is potentially phenomenal. And I was like, oh, well. And if I start to see it rise, and here, I am going again with market timing, but I haven’t started the DCA strategy yet, but if I’m being honest with myself, it’s not because of market timing is because we are saving up for another real estate purchase.

[00:56:40] So that’s where that cash needs to be allocated. Ah,

[00:56:43]Captain FI: that’s exciting. So can you talk a little bit more to the real estate side you did say earlier, you valued the real estate for the sort of semi-passive income and the diversification away from, the index funds, can you talk a little bit more about what your aim is and your goals are with the.

[00:56:59]Scott Rieckens:[00:57:00] Absolutely. So we believe in bend Oregon as a destination and,, we’ve got like, I want to say, geez, when we moved here, there was a hundred thousand people. God knows how many there are now. It’s become one of these zoom boom towns, where people that can work remote have chosen this place as a place they’d love to live, which I completely understand.

[00:57:16] Let’s say population is now one 30, one 50, creeping up into one fifties. Our annual, average tourists number is something like 3 million. And in the meantime, we certainly do not have the hotel space to accommodate that. And they luckily put a,, permitting system on short-term rentals, back in 2002.

[00:57:39] They were definitely future thinking in that way, to ensure that our communities stayed communities. And that’s wonderful because I think it adds to the charm so much. but that said, it also creates this little legalized monopoly for those who do have an STR permit. And we recognized that and spent two years, diligently waiting for the right property to come up with a short-term rental [00:58:00] permit that was grandfathered in, to the title.

[00:58:02] We got one And so we’ve been testing the waters with that short-term, rental, which is our current home, fairly recently. And we’re very, very pleased with its potential.  The problem is housing prices are rising at exponential rates and the amount of competition because of the low supply is also insane.

[00:58:22] So it’s just driving up prices even higher, and it’s harder to get with a traditional loan. Everybody’s winning out on cash offers. It’s bananas right now, but if we were able to settle on a house, here in bend, then we can continue to live here, keep this as our community, and then get out of this short-term rental, so that we can actually have a cashflow that’s the goal.

[00:58:42] And we just have to make sure that whatever we have to spend to go find, proper residents, keeps this place, in a cashflow state and, luckily I think it’s possible that this short-term rental could pay for itself and our, next house. If we do it right, so we’ll see if we can pull that off

[00:58:59] a

[00:58:59]Captain FI: house [00:59:00] hacking extraordinary house

[00:59:01]Scott Rieckens: hacking 1 0 1.

[00:59:02] Yeah. Shout out to Chad Carson. We read, retire early with real estate as the title of his book. Yeah. So if anybody’s interested in real estate investing, that’s a great place to start it. It opened our eyes to some of the advantages of real estate investing that we hadn’t previously.

[00:59:17]Captain FI: I did start a short-term rental business with a close friend. Before I got into websites, unfortunately it didn’t go down too well. I’m actually writing up a post about it soon for the blog, and I’ll probably talk about it on the pod, we both chucked in 10 grand each to, essentially sublease and work as a middleman for people who wanted to lease their apartments or properties on Airbnb.

[00:59:42] But unfortunately we didn’t really. Think it through properly. And, we ended up losing a bit of money on that, but I think if you do it right, there is a huge potential. I’ve seen a lot of people in Australia speak quite successful in that. We just didn’t have a proper business structure set up in a proper plan.

[00:59:58] But Hey, we’ve [01:00:00] seen just in general, the property market in Australia is going crazy. Now , my sister, they had to stretch by, I think it was 80, almost a hundred thousand dollars, property here in Adelaide. for reference, that’s like over. Twenty-five to 30% of the actual properties value.

[01:00:17] So that is a huge amount to be stretching to secure because of this sort of mania really interesting to see how this pans out I don’t know how long the gravy train , of low interest rates are going to hold out. You asked me earlier, do I stress out about interest rates and inflation and that kind of stuff?

[01:00:34] And I have to say, yes, it does bother me in the back of the mind. I think as we talk, the reserve bank of Australia has, set the official cash rate. I think it’s 10 basis points, like 0.1%. It really can’t go much lower without becoming negative. , I’m not an economist, but I don’t see how it can continue that.

[01:00:53] For much more than a couple of years. I think in Australia, we may see a correction , in assets and [01:01:00] equities, properties and , stocks as, the interest rate goes back up and, lenders are more restricted in how much they can borrow. I do have an investment property and I do have my toe in the water.

[01:01:09] It does stress me out a little bit, but I much prefer having automated investments in the stock market.

[01:01:15]Scott Rieckens: Yeah. Yeah. There’s a simplicity to it. That’s so marvelous. I totally understand it. Wouldn’t argue with it a bit. Honestly, I just happened to love like handyman work. I love getting my hands dirty.

[01:01:26] I love working on things and I also just happen to have these skillsets to be a fantastic property, man. Between just all the PR experience that I have with this project and past projects, I’m able to really communicate effectively. And then, from a visual standpoint, just between my wife and I, the interior decorating side and the photography side and even video side, we can really set ourselves apart in the competition.

[01:01:52] So it just feels like exactly it puts us at an unfair advantage. And that’s where we’re always looking for is there a place where we can have an unfair [01:02:00] advantage when we’re spending our time and our money on things? And so it just felt right. And it’s basically proven out.

[01:02:05] So even though I hate the idea of buying in this market to, basically set up this place to become a cash flowing asset. I think it’s critical. And at the end of the day, when you really start looking at it against, let’s say, a one or 2% increase in interest, Those numbers, become menial comparatively, , when you can get a 30 year fixed at 3% or lower than, having to reach an extra a hundred thousand on the value of the property may not matter as much, especially if you’re buying and holding.

[01:02:34] But it’s still a shifty, weird, stressful perspective to, try to convince yourself of, and God knows I’m good at justifying things.

[01:02:41] I think

[01:02:43]Captain FI: you hit the nail on the head there when you’re talking about the longterm, over 20, 30, 40 years, that’s where we really need to be focusing our timeline.

[01:02:52]Scott Rieckens: I think it’s a very powerful thing to do if you do commit to that strategy of investment, instead of, run around with meme stocks and the [01:03:00] latest coin, that stuff is where people don’t consider the opportunity costs of, like, what about all the stress that you’re going to have off of that?

[01:03:07] And what happens, ? Okay. Yeah, great. You’ve invested in this coin or you’ve invested in this thing and now it’s shot up X amount percent and it’s like, well, what are your rules here? At what point do you sell? Are you holding this for longterm?

[01:03:19] And you look at it like the people that, brought Coinbase, to IPO and if they were literally working on this for so long, I was listening to this one podcast, somebody went back and found when they started Coinbase, they looked at the price of Bitcoin at that time.

[01:03:33] I think it was back in 2012 or 2013, something really early in crypto terms. And they said, okay, if the co-founder of Coinbase, put something like none of these numbers are gonna be right, I’m just giving you the idea of what this, anecdote was is basically if that co-founder had invested a hundred thousand dollars into Bitcoin back then, when they were literally building a company predicated around this cryptocurrency, and they held it to today, it’d be worth X amount.

[01:03:59] It was [01:04:00] literally more than he made off of the IPO of Coinbase itself, which was like billions,, then they were doing the numbers and they’re like, well, , if he had made that much with the IPO and he had made that much with Bitcoin, he’d be in the discussions of one of the wealthiest people at his age, it was something along those lines.

[01:04:17]And it was like, but you’re damn sure he didn’t hang on to that entire investment of a hundred thousand back when Bitcoin was when it’s hitting 60 grand a coin, people sell these things off. That’s what they do. Yeah, it’s just to illustrate the point that if you do go buy and hold, you’re going to experience these dips, but all you have to do is go to jail.

[01:04:34] Collins, guided meditation and the stress. Oh

[01:04:39]Captain FI: I’m like visualizing it, imagining what it’s going to be like. Sorry, funny

[01:04:45]Scott Rieckens:before you publish this, you should grab a clip of it and play a little bit, be a bit right here. And then people can see it and go find it for themselves and we’ll get them.

[01:04:52] Oh, that’s so

[01:04:52]Captain FI: good. Yup. I’m a hundred percent doing that. Oh geez. Scott. I’ve had a wonderful time chatting. See this morning. I feel like, it’s [01:05:00] definitely kindred spirits and ever since I first watched that documentary, geez, I think it was, a year or two ago. You always struck me as someone I wanted to talk to and wanted to get to know.

[01:05:10] It’s just been absolutely wonderful be able to chat to you, have a conversation back and forth about what makes you tick. And it’s been absolutely wonderful , before we finish up today, though, I love to ask these questions to anyone who comes on the pod.

[01:05:23] And I know we’ve pretty much gone over these,, but I’d love to just hear, more of a quick fire , for people that are at home. The next two questions are, what are your top tips for someone on the path to financial independence and who has been the biggest influence on your fire journey and why?

[01:05:40]Scott Rieckens: Yeah, I think we have covered them. My top tips for sure , are, do not try to time the market, try to build systems in place. So you can think about money, the least amount, and prepare yourself for the fire journey by starting today, focused on the present, think about the things that make you happy and the things that [01:06:00] steal your joy and try to work on designing your life today so that, you’re happy today.

[01:06:05] You’re not, gunning for that thing that’s out in the future. Cause it’s not a fun place to live. I think those are my top tips, honestly. Other than the obvious, strategies behind fire, which anyone can find out there these days. I highly recommend I’m assuming your audience already knows about those things.

[01:06:20] So I’m going for the more emotional theoretical stuff. Those are my tips. Those are the things that have served me, , a tip that I could say that’s actionable is absolutely do the happiness list and the anti-joy and consider, if you’re dealing with stress, if you’re dealing with big questions and you’re not feeling like you’re having resolution, don’t be afraid to go look up therapist, go get a little help, , go talk to someone.

[01:06:41] It that’s been an incredible experience for Taylor and I, and I had all the normal tropes of trepidation to get into that. It was, oh, I feel this immense anxiety to go share these intimate details with someone and then feel like they’re not working out and I’m not getting the information that I want.

[01:06:59][01:07:00] So I have to kind of fire them and go to someone else. And then that’s a whole process. And I came up with a million excuses in my head of why I didn’t want to do that. I also felt like it might somehow, burst my fragile ego and it’s an indication that I can’t handle it myself and who really needs that anyway.

[01:07:13] Ultimately it’s been one of the best things that we’ve done. Those are my tips. And then as far as influence, it’s very hard for me to answer that question.

[01:07:21]Captain FI: You’ve sort of seen everyone in the space, so it’s almost impossible, to ask you that question, isn’t it, Scott?

[01:07:27]Scott Rieckens: Yeah. There’s no real answer to it. I’ve been inspired by so many in the fire movement. Both people that you have heard of and people that you haven’t, and it’s very hard for me to answer that. It’s an impossible question, but I think, as a fun answer to that, I know what you’re trying to get at and ultimately.

[01:07:44] The most inspiring thing has been being a part of this community. This community is what’s inspiring. , as the world opens up and we’re able to see each other person to person face to face again, if you are a part of this journey at all, I would highly recommend doing what you can to [01:08:00] involve yourself in a meetup of some sort.

[01:08:01] It’s incredible. I think I said earlier, I’m not a big fan of crowds, or lines and, social meetups with people of similar interests probably in the past may have fallen in that category of like, that’s just not something I’m really down for. I’ve got my buds, I’ve got my friends, I’ve got my family.

[01:08:17] I’m good. I don’t need to go do that. And this project is forced me to do those things and it’s always been so invigorating and fun, and I’ve learned so much from people and I’ve met so many amazing people and it’s really opened so many doors. This community is so giving it’s so vibrant, it’s like the most generous community, which is so hilarious because, you would think they’re frugal and they’re, potentially cheap.

[01:08:42] And, I haven’t found that at all. They’re so incredibly generous and I have the proof, I ran a Kickstarter campaign and I remember the people at Kickstarter, literally the staff at Kickstarter told me that they had a running bet in the office to see, if I could raise any money because I was trying to raise money from a bunch of frugal [01:09:00] lists and they thought that was fascinating.

[01:09:02] We proved them wrong. We raised 254% of our goal. That shows you the generosity of this community. It’s not just with money, it’s with their time and their knowledge , and even their homes. , I can’t tell you how many people have offered up their house to come visit.

[01:09:14] If we were ever coming through XYZ area, I love that part of it. I would highly recommend checking that out.

[01:09:20]Captain FI: I think, another answer to that question as well is for people listening to check out your YouTube channel, because you’ve got lots of videos from really, really influential people in the space.

[01:09:31] And we talked a bit earlier about, the interview you did with Vicki Robins and oh, they came in shivers, man. That was huge. So really encouraging. You want to, just to check that out? Yeah.

[01:09:40]Scott Rieckens: Thank you for the plug. I will tell you, it’s been so wonderful to be able to release all this behind the scenes stuff that didn’t make the film.

[01:09:46] It’s been so fun to revisit it for myself and what I did through COVID I spent the time through, COVID basically sifting through. Everything we had and cutting these videos, , with an editor of mine. And, it was so fun to do, and it [01:10:00] was so rewarding just to go through it myself.

[01:10:01] But I ended up with 136 videos. , so they’re coming and they’re coming. I probably have another a hundred to release. , so yeah, if you’re interested, please go hit that subscribe button and all those like buttons and all those things you can hit as that’d be great for us.

[01:10:16]Captain FI:So where else can people find you Scott?

[01:10:18] If people want to watch the film or they want to check out these videos, where can they watch them and how can they get in touch with you?

[01:10:25]Scott Rieckens: Yeah. As far as, the videos are on YouTube, the documentary is on iTunes, Amazon, Google play, and Vimeo. And depending on which country you’re in, will depend on, , whether or not it’s available on that platform.

[01:10:37] And there’s a lot about that, that I don’t have any control over. So the one nice thing about Vimeo is we have full control over that platform. And I know for a fact, like every single time someone internationally hits me up and says, Hey, I would love to see the film, but I can’t get it here. What do you recommend?

[01:10:55] I always say, have you tried Vimeo? And I send them the link and every single time they write back, thanks so much that worked [01:11:00] great. And it doesn’t matter which country and I’m talking literally probably 50 different countries I’ve been asked for, , from that. Vimeo is a great, great, resource and, and also, that actually helps us the filmmaking team the most, because that has the highest margin.

[01:11:13] , so I highly recommend Vimeo, , our is playing with fire.co, that’s the hub of everything right now. Oh also, you know what, I really love Twitter. That’s like my favorite social media platform right now. , I don’t really like Facebook very much.

[01:11:25] And, , Instagram is. But I love Twitter. So please find me and follow me on Twitter. It’s at play with fire co , yeah, come say hi. But the thing I’m working on now that I’m astatic about is a financial independence cohort-based course. And so what I mean by that is a cohort-based course courses.

[01:11:46] A course amongst peers run by an instructor and I’ve partnered with a CFP, a certified financial planner. His name is Robert Shay. , and he’s actually, currently an instructor at the coast guard. Okay. And he teaches personal finance there, and he’s a big [01:12:00] fan of fi. And so I’ve partnered up with him and we’re going to combine the idea of, you and I have discussed a lot today about the mechanics of finance, and our investment strategies and whatnot.

[01:12:10] And we’ve also discussed a lot about the emotional side of money, and I’ve always seen a vision for combining those two things into a course. That’s probably going to be about six weeks along, a dedicated investment of your time to spend six weeks with, , like-minded people who want to.

[01:12:28] Get to financial independence, wherever they are in their journey, whether they’ve already begun and they’re questioning their motives or their strategies, wanting to check those, wanting to meet people that are also doing those things. After coming through COVID, we’ve had some technologies that have really advanced to the point where running essentially a mini university online is very, very possible when done.

[01:12:49] We were accepted into, the second class of instructors on a platform called Maven, which is a startup, predicated around creating a platform for these cohort based [01:13:00] courses. And just to give you a sense of a cohort versus other courses, they call the other courses, MOOCs and MOOCs would be.

[01:13:06] Of course, where you sign up for it and then you’re offered to the itinerary and then you sit and listen to pre-recorded videos and then do tasks and homework and worksheets. And that would be like an old school course. I think of like a masterclass where you sign up for that. And then you get to watch experts, teach you things, but you’re not there.

[01:13:23] And you’re not learning that with other people and you don’t get to ask the instructor questions. And so this is like the next phase of online learning. But it’s predicated against, old school tactics, like what a university would do in a smaller class setting. Just doing it online.

[01:13:37] So I’m so excited about it. It’s like the future of the internet. It’s the future of education and it’s the future of community building. And we’re able to do it all in one, I will tell you The one thing that is missing out of all the work that I’ve done so far is a tangible lesson or a tangible way to show people exactly how to do this.

[01:13:53] In the book I get to go into more detail, but in the film, it’s very like high level, just sharing [01:14:00] emotional journey, sharing a visual journey, sharing a tactical journey. To some extent we discussed numbers, but we don’t really get into the nitty gritty. Somebody who doesn’t watch the documentary at the end goes, oh yeah.

[01:14:10] Now I know exactly how to start my financial independence journey. And so this course would be , the, full circle, element of playing with fire. And we’re actually going to call it compound just to be clear. We’re going to be launching, I think on hello, compound.com and that’s coming very soon, we’ve already started taking applications through our newsletter email list on playing with fire.

[01:14:32] So go ahead and sign up for that. If you’re interested. we’ve had over 300 people apply for the course already. So we’re , very excited. Yeah. That

[01:14:39]Captain FI: sounds epic, man. Yeah, so sign me up. I’d be really keen to see exactly what it’s all about and what I could take away from it.

[01:14:46]Scott Rieckens: Yeah. I think, , it’ll be really cool cause we’re going to bring in guest speakers and we’re going to have this vibrant, workshop, twice a week and people get to check in and meet each other.

[01:14:54] And there’s breakout sessions in each of our courses that we’re doing live. I’m actually going through [01:15:00] two of them right now. I signed up for one that I was interested in, called building a second brain with Tiago forte. And I’ve been able to go through that and meet people and see how he taught his course as well as actually learning the things he’s teaching, which is fascinating building a second brain I highly recommended.

[01:15:14] But then I’m also going through a course on Maven about learning how to run a course. And it’s been amazing. Hanging out with other instructors who are also building courses that are completely different from mine and just being so inspired by them and watching how the community is built so quickly.

[01:15:30] Like there’s a guy Lawrence who’s in one of my breakout groups and we keep getting assigned to each other on , I think just algorithmically accidentally if that’s a way to phrase that. And every time we pop up, it’s like, oh, Hey Lawrence, what’s going on, man? And he’s like, oh, Scott, what’s up.

[01:15:44] We’re buds and that just happened. And that’s just one of many examples of, relationships that I’ve built just in this little course. I’m really excited about, and then on the backend, the future goal is to actually create a membership where we have, no affiliate relationships whatsoever.

[01:15:59] It’s [01:16:00] just pure filtered, trusted resources for financial advisors, for CPAs, for all those. High level tactical stuff that can really help you on this journey. , if you’re not all about DIY all the time or you just want some help, maybe you are doing DIY and what would be cool about the membership is like we could do a bulk pricing thing so that it’s worthwhile for everyone.

[01:16:21] So we can find

[01:16:21] a couple of CFPs who can come in and do essentially like office hours, cause sometimes all you need is just a couple hours to vet your plans or ask some questions with a financial advisor, but you don’t want to go spend a bunch of time and money doing that.

[01:16:34] And we think we can offer that. So there’s a lot of opportunities there. And then obviously from a community standpoint, we’re going to have these amazing alumni groups who have all gotten to know each other so well, and. It would be a shame to let that die or just, not create events to keep that going and to also, bring in the other groups that haven’t necessarily worked together and ultimately will end up in Australia at your location and do like our own version of Chautauqua,

[01:16:57] yeah. We’ll just have Dale, do the next one over in [01:17:00] Australia and the Allen. I

[01:17:02]Captain FI: love it. What it sounds like when I was listening to you, it sounds like an online version of the Shattuck or like in an E camp mustache sort of thing. I can’t wait to be a part of it, mate.

[01:17:11] That sounds really exciting. Looking forward to

[01:17:15]Scott Rieckens: It’s an amalgamation of Chautauqua cam mustache cam fi and then say financial independence course and put it all into one and let’s just go have a party and it’d be a lot of fun. I think it’d be.

[01:17:27]Captain FI: Yeah. My plan is to have the property, set up within three to four years. And my goal, I just, I want to build it out. I want to build camp areas. I want to build a little cottages. I want to put it on man orchards with fruit trees and yeah, I just want to open it up, invite it for everyone to come and experience it ?

[01:17:42] How cool would it be to be able to host one of those meetings, mate? If you ever need someone in Adelaide. Yeah, let me know.

[01:17:49]Scott Rieckens: I love it. I love it. Let’s make it happen. I look forward to that happening in three or four years. That’ll be fun. Yeah.

[01:17:54]Captain FI:And a mate, I’ve always been a bit of a goal of mine, , working in aviation, to [01:18:00] visit Seattle and go to Boeing field.

[01:18:02] I was just looking on Google maps and that’s only just down the road from bend, so you never know, maybe one day we might be able to enjoy one of those Portland.

[01:18:10]Scott Rieckens: There you go. We can stick with our local bend IPA if you don’t mind.

[01:18:14]Captain FI: Oh, that’s right. Sorry. You guys are ferociously territorial about your craft beer.

[01:18:18]Scott Rieckens: I do enjoy a good Portland IPA. No, no shade thrown. If you’re going to be visiting, we might as well go.

[01:18:25]Captain FI: Yeah, man, look forward to it. All right. Look, if anyone has any questions, for you, there will be links in the show notes to, your Twitter handle, links to the websites.

[01:18:34] I’ll put a summary of the community feature that’s coming up soon. You can get in touch with, Scott on Twitter primarily. He’s also active on Instagram, so let’s blow his inbox up, honestly I cannot recommend, watching the playing with fire documentary enough. I think it’s really, really cool. It’s a great way to maybe, nudge some of your friends and family who may not be, super into fire or maybe they just don’t get it. , I think it could be really, really [01:19:00] powerful in, reaching out and helping those people. So Scott mate, thanks so much for making the time, to chat with me this morning.

[01:19:06] I know, you have a really busy schedule and I think we had half an hour allocated and here we are two hours later, so really appreciate it, mate. I’ve actually taken away so much from this chat. It was really cool to learn a bit more about T and your journey to fire and a little bit more about behind the scenes to the documentary.

[01:19:23]So yeah, I feel really, really, really privileged to be able to use.

[01:19:28]Scott Rieckens: Well, thank you so much for having me and for all your generosity and all your kind words. I really do appreciate it. I appreciate all the work you’re doing to continue, getting this message out. I think it’s important.

[01:19:38] And so thank you. I feel honored.

[01:19:41] Yeah. It’s

[01:19:41]Captain FI: absolutely my pleasure mate. We’ll I’m sure we’ll check in soon and look forward to hearing how the fire journey continues for you guy

s. [01:19:49]Scott Rieckens: All right, captain. Thank you.

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One thought on “Podcast | Playing with FIRE with Scott Rieckens

  1. What a fantastic interview! Great stuff Captain, really engaging on both sides. The way Scott actually showed a genuine interest in you and your story was quite refreshing. Especially as I heard it right after that Jade the Student Investor one!

    Sadly spent 3 months umming and awwing about spending a measly $15 on the Playing With FIRE doco but after this interview went ahead and got it. Quite a lot more revelatory seeing it all in action as opposed to reading the numerous stories online. Hoping to one day be this enlightened on the road to FIRE.

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