On board today are The Fioneers – Jess and Corey. Jess and Corey both spent the majority of their careers working in mission driven non-profit organizations. Jess ended up experiencing burnout, but then realised they had reached coast FI! Jess launched her own business, Design A Life You’d Love and they now live the camper van life in the USA!
The Fioneers – Jess and Corey
On board today are Jess and Corey, better known online as The Fioneers.
Jess and Corey both spent the majority of their careers working in mission driven non-profit organizations.
But in 2018, Jess experienced really bad burnout, which led to some anxiety and really needing to take a step back. So Jess had a six month career break to really focus on her mental health, returning the following year to part-time work. This gave her time to rest, reset, focus, and plan.
When researching and planning out her future career and finances, she discovered that they’d actually already reached coast FI, so decided to only continue working part-time and enjoy creative and relaxing hobbies on her time off, such as blogging.
In 2020, Jess launched her own business, Design A Life You’d Love, which went really well, and only a year later, she was able to leave her job to work full time on the business. Now, after purchasing and building out a camper van last year, Jess and Corey now travel the USA, living a location independent lifestyle.
It was a really interesting, 3 way chat today, learning about their attitudes towards FIRE and about designing a life you don’t need to retire from.
“Since 2018, we’ve helped thousands of people design lives they truly love along the way to financial independence! Most importantly, we walk the talk. Between the two of us, we’ve worked in nonprofits, taken career breaks, worked part-time, started passion-based businesses, taken leaps to self-employment, and built out a campervan! And… We’re less than 50% of the way to FI. We’re living proof that you don’t need to be FI to design a life you don’t want to retire from.”Jess and Corey – The Fioneers
Episode 60 – The Fioneers – Jess and Corey
- You can visit TheFioneers.com HERE
- You can find out more about the Design A Life You Love program HERE
- You can find The Fioneers on Instagram HERE, on Twitter HERE, on YouTube HERE and in their Facebook group HERE.
- Jess and Corey’s recommended reading:
SaleDesigning Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life
- Hardcover Book
- Burnett, Bill (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 272 Pages - 09/20/2016 (Publication Date) - Knopf (Publisher)
The Simple Path to Wealth: Your road map to financial independence and a rich, free life
- Hardcover Book
- Collins, Jl (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 286 Pages - 08/16/2021 (Publication Date) - Jl Collins LLC (Publisher)
SaleEssentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less
- Hardcover Book
- McKeown, Greg (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 272 Pages - 04/15/2014 (Publication Date) - Crown Currency (Publisher)
Episode 60 – The Fioneers
Captain Fi: [00:00:00] Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking.
G’day, and welcome to another episode of Captain Fire, the financial independence podcast, where I open the cockpit to some of the best and brightest in personal finance, as well as those who have reached or are on their way to financial independence. Before we get started, remember, nothing said here is financial advice, and you should always do your own independent research before making any financial choices.
With that being said, I hope you enjoy the episode and learn something new.[00:01:00]
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g’day Welcome on board the Captain fi financial independence podcast on board today Jess and Corey better known online as the Fioneers. Now, Jess and Corey both spent the majority of their careers working in mission driven non profit organizations.
But in 2018, Jess experienced a case of really bad burnout, which led to some anxiety and really needing to take a step back. So Jess had a six month career break to really focus on her mental health, returning the following year to part time work. This gave her time to rest. Reset, focus, and plan. When researching and planning out her future career and finances, she discovered that they’d actually already reached coast fi, so decided to only continue working part time and enjoy creative and [00:03:00] relaxing hobbies on her time off, such blogging.
And in 2020, Jess launched her own business, Design A Life You’d Love, which went really well, and only a year later, she was able to leave her job to work full time on the business. It’s really exciting, and now, after purchasing and building out a camper van last year, they now travel the USA. Living a location independent lifestyle.
I’m really interested to chat to them today to learn about their attitudes towards fire and really about designing a life you don’t need to retire from. So Jess and Corey, thanks so much for coming on the pod today. This is awesome. I’ve never done a three way podcast before.
Jessica: Thanks so much for having us.
Captain Fi: to be here. Oh, my pleasure. Now, look, before we crack on, I’ve got a big list of questions I’d love to ask you. Before we get started, though, can you tell us a little bit about yourself? So, maybe Jess, do you want to go first and tell us a bit about where you’re [00:04:00] from? And then we can hear from Corey.
Jessica: Sure. So, we are in our mid 30s. We’re currently based in Boston in the United States. And we’re a dual income, no kids couple. Though Corey did quit his job earlier this year and he’s on a sabbatical, so technically we’re single income for a short bit. And we absolutely love to travel and spend time outside which was the motivation for us to buy and build out our camper van last year.
And we actually just got back home to Boston after a three and a half month road trip. And we’re excited about more upcoming adventures.
Captain Fi: And now, I don’t know if you can truly say you’re a dink because you travel with your fur baby in the van,
Corey: don’t you? We sure do. We have a golden doodle named Madison. She’s about nine years old and she goes everywhere with
Captain Fi: us.
That’s awesome. I’ve just got my little Cocker Spaniel pup. She’s just curled up next to me and [00:05:00] she loves To go anywhere with us. My girlfriend’s Filipino and one of the Filipino sayings is summer. It kind of means are you coming with? And she is always summer, so she always wants to jump in the car whenever we go anywhere.
So I think if, yeah. So if we ever ended up with a camper van, which is very high on the list of wants I think she’ll enjoy traveling around just like you guys.
Corey: Yeah, we highly recommend Van Life, so you should definitely give it a try.
Captain Fi: Yeah! So, Corey, are you from Boston as well?
Corey: So originally from the Northwest, so Washington State is where I grew up but we’re both transplants moved to Boston about…
Gosh, nine, ten years ago? Ten now. Wow, time has really flown by.
Captain Fi: Gosh, well, I’d say there’s something I really like that’s come from that part of the world, and that’s the New England IPA. That’s got to be my favorite drink of all time.
Corey: Yeah, we’re not big beer people. I actually prefer cider over beer, [00:06:00] but it is very popular here.
Captain Fi: Yeah, and from following your blog, I’ve seen like one of the things you guys love is traveling around and finding… new cideries to try the new different types of cider and the different variations.
Corey: Totally. Yeah. I’ve always been a big cider person and I’ve really, with more mental space over the past year, I’ve really leaned into learning more about cider and the different varieties and different cideries across the U. S. and I’ve really enjoyed the experience.
Captain Fi: How exciting. Well, look, I’ve recently brewed a batch of well, it’s kind of a Rekordiling clone, so it’s a base apple cider, but I flavor it with quite a lot of mixed berries. I just used the frozen mixed berry packs from the supermarket and it’s turned out wonderful.
Just finished cold crashing it in the fridge. And I tell you what, it’s a lot of fun. Although I must admit. I did cheat because I used packet yeast and I think as cider experts, you’d probably pull me up there, wouldn’t you? I mean,
Corey: that’s, it’s [00:07:00] a lot closer to making cider than I’ve ever been. So that’s, it is to you.
I’ll have to give that a try sometime.
Captain Fi: Well, look, I guess, speaking of, you guys are free, you’re traveling in the van, you’re living a life of recreation. It can mean different things to different people.
And whilst everyone needs to reach financial independence at one stage, not everyone’s super keen on the retire early aspect. So that’s something I’d love to ask you guys, because I mean, you have. As we mentioned earlier, Reach Coast Fire, and now working I guess part time running your business.
So, what does fire mean to you? And can you talk a little bit about maybe building a life that you don’t need to strictly, quote unquote, retire early from?
Corey: Yeah, absolutely. So I’ll jump in first. And then Jess, if you want to add anything financial independence to me is more about having enough.
And there’s a few layers to this, and it, and certainly my [00:08:00] understanding and what it means to me has evolved over time. But on the surface, there’s the more literal having enough assets or passive income to provide you the financial freedom and having the freedom to the extent where You can leave your job and not have to work to sustain your everyday expenses.
But beyond that more literal understanding of having enough, there’s also the idea of enough possessions. With this idea of, with financial independence, there is this anti consumerism theme. That has really resonated with me. It’s not only enough money, but it’s also just having enough possessions where you don’t need to go out and buy the latest and greatest and really coming to appreciate life for more than just possessions and owning stuff.
And then another layer that I think about when I think about financial independence as enough is. As it relates to [00:09:00] time and maybe even not having enough time and choosing to intentionally value time more than money or possessions. And so I think this has really influenced our approach to financial independence and not waiting until we reach FI to design the life that we love because time is so precious and limited.
And so this is what really motivated my recent transition from my traditional day job because time just felt so precious.
Captain Fi: Yeah, absolutely, man. That resonates so much with me. The last 12 months have been very difficult just personally for me experienced a lot of loss in my life and it’s definitely reinforced that time is scarce.
It’s the ultimate commodity. And it reminds me of a. That awesome book Vicky Robbins wrote your money or your life. It’s so true, isn’t it? And the intersection of many of [00:10:00] these sort of different, I guess you call them philosophies, about, minimalism financial independence stoicism and living a deliberate life.
I think we can get so weighed down in the dogma of, Oh yes, you must do this, you must optimize expenses, you must save 25 times annual expenses, and then you can quit. Really, I think, it’s not so black and white. Yeah, like life is many different shades of gray.
Jessica: Yeah. And I think as we think about that for ourselves, right, it’s not just about financial independence and getting to that place where you have enough that you can retire early and never work again.
But the idea for us is more around financial freedom. And so it’s figuring out how we can use that financial freedom that we build along the paths of financial independence to design the life that we want to have. So how can we use our FU money to get out of bad situations or take advantage of opportunities?
How can we use the fact that we’re coast fi and [00:11:00] only need to cover our actual expenses to be able to do something like scale back on work and travel around in our camper van and work 15 hours a week. Right? And so we’re taking this idea of enough and saying well, what’s actually enough for me to live the life that I want to right now, knowing that I also want to have enough in the future.
So it’s taking into account, how do we live our life today in the best way possible without jeopardizing having a comfortable traditional retirement?
Captain Fi: Yeah, that’s the 64, 000 question, isn’t it? And I think it’s something that a lot of people get wrong. Like we do stack up so much money and we keep putting things off for the future when, actually.
We could probably live a pretty awesome life now by making a few choices. And I’d love to talk about a couple of your choices. And I guess these next questions, they’re kind of intertwined. I was going to [00:12:00] ask a little bit about your journey to financial independence, but something that I was just watching last night I had a visitor over and we were watching Scott Reikins , he’s got this YouTube channel playing with fire and it’s awesome.
So all these short interviews from, I guess, like thought leaders and bloggers and authors in the fire community. And there’s an awesome video with Vicky Robbins, and she’s talking about fire being just the beginning or FI being just the beginning and the different quadrants. And, the first quadrant being to, as you mentioned earlier, the traditional building up enough assets to cashflow your lifestyle and, a traditional retirement.
But the, the further quadrants are really about helping others, self actualization through helping others. And that Seems to be a bit of a core tenant of yourself, Jess and Corey’s lives being that, deliberately opting to work for nonprofit organizations, I guess, providing more meaning and purpose with the [00:13:00] trade off of being lower pay than in a private sector.
So I’d love to know a little bit about why you made that choice and why it was important to you. On your journey to financial independence.
Corey: Yeah, the irony with working for a non profit while also pursuing FI is that for five years, give or take, I was aware of financial independence, but I didn’t really consider myself part of the financial independence community. And I think the reason… The reason that was the case is based on the narratives and the stories that I was reading at the time, I thought working for a non profit somehow disqualified me from pursuing financial independence.
It was almost like the thing that people did after financial independence as opposed to something while on the path. Now, I look back on that time now and think that line of thinking is absolutely absurd and it took me a few [00:14:00] years of kind of deepening my understanding of financial independence to really change this belief But beyond this transition, choosing to work for a mission driven organization was really motivated by both wanting to contribute to society in a more meaningful way and selfishly to have a 9-5 that was about more than just profit margins.
Jessica: Yeah. And to add to that, I think for me, I never really thought about finances or financial independence. I knew we needed to save. But for me, my focus has always been how can I help people and how can I make a difference in the world? And it just happened to be at a certain point that luckily Corey had been managing our finance as well for a long time and I had not wanted to be involved early on.
But to realize that These two things were actually [00:15:00] compatible that we could do work that did good in the world, while also making sure that we were supporting ourselves to live the lives that we wanted. And So I transitioned out of working for a nonprofit when, after I started my business. So I worked in nonprofit through the beginning of 2021.
And I actually still see that I feel like I still have a mission driven and purpose driven career. I feel like the work that I do is focused a lot on helping people figure out how to design lives they love and inspire them to feel that they deserve it and to figure out how to make it happen for themselves.
And so it’s interesting because I feel actually like This is almost a more compelling purpose for myself now than I ever felt working in a non profit for [00:16:00] a cause that I thought, Oh, that’s cool. Let me apply for that job. So it is definitely interesting to see how that’s evolved.
Because I think I originally thought to have a sort of mission driven, career of meaning and purpose, it has to be working for a non profit, which I now know is not true.
Captain Fi: Yeah,, that purpose, it’s really important. I think… Maybe a lot of people do this when they hit, the fire and they fall off the R. E. cliff, a lot of people, they end up with this existential sort of crisis. And they’re like, well, what’s the point? What am I doing with my life? And I think a lot of people they come to the realization that oh, it’s not just about me anymore. I should be helping others and that’s how society works.
So, I’d love to. Unpack and learn a little bit more about your business. And so as you mentioned a couple of years ago, you launched your very first cohort of the design, a life you love program, which is really cool. And you have been working on it [00:17:00] and building it. Since then, I’d love to know what does a coach do?
How are they different from traditional financial advisors? And I’d love to hear a little bit about your personal experience as a coach and making the shift from employee to business owner.
Jessica: Yeah, those are great questions.
So in terms of what a coach does, I would say a coach in so many ways is more of a facilitator.
So a coach often is providing. The resources, a process, and a set of questions to help someone work through what it is that they want in their life. So I think that’s quite different than a financial advisor. Oftentimes, if I, to a financial advisor, you’ll come and say, here’s the thing that I want to do.
When can I do it, right? Or what do I need to have in place financially to do it, right? I’m actually often working with people who are coming to me because they [00:18:00] already have the financial freedom. They may have reached Coast Fi. They probably have FU money. Some even have gotten to a point where they’re about to retire and are saying, I have this financial freedom and I don’t know what I want to do with it.
I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up basically. And I don’t know what I want my lifestyle to look like. And so that’s what I help. People do through the group coaching process that I run that’s called design a life you love. And so my career history before transitioning into running my own business was working in human resources and organizational development.
And so I did a lot of training, coaching, facilitation of retreats and meetings. And so a lot of that work and those skills are very transferable. And I enjoyed the sort of content of the type of work that I did, but I didn’t always identify with the reasons[00:19:00] for doing it. So I remember vividly having a colleague come to me and she worked in marketing and she said, I would absolutely love.
To just quit my job, go freelance and travel around in a camper van for a year. And I remember being like, Oh my gosh, you could absolutely do this, like tomorrow, if you wanted to. But in my job as an HR professional, it was my job to help her stay with the company and retain her and, all of
Captain Fi: that, it was like the opposite.
You were like, no don’t RE, don’t reach FI exactly.
Jessica: Exactly. Yeah. And so for me, that in some ways that was like a real tension because it was like the thing that I really want to do is help people have the best lives. possible that they can have. And I think, in, in some ways I think human resources can [00:20:00] contribute to that, but I wasn’t getting to do that in the way that I wanted to.
And so that led to me deciding to start my business which I did in the summer of 2020. And so I ran that very first. Cohort, the beta cohort in the summer of 2020, right after the pandemic hit. And since then I’ve run 14 more cohorts of the program and, have expanded to run accountability masterminds for alumni of the program.
And then we’ll also actually be running our first in person retreat this year in September, which has been, a big dream since. Right before I articulated it right before the pandemic. And so now we’re able to make that a reality. That
Captain Fi: is super exciting. Just listening to you speak, I think I need to sign up for this because I’ve certainly found myself floating a little bit.
And yeah, I reckon it’s something I could get a lot of value out of, I think people just, we’re not really that good at figuring out what we want.
Jessica: I [00:21:00] agree with that. I think that’s a huge challenge. And I think part of it is human beings are just notoriously terrible.
at knowing what we want and knowing what will make us happy, right? Until we have some sort of process to work through and a lens through which to look at our options. And to take a process where you do a lot of experimentation, right? There’s so many stories of people who were like, Ooh, I would love to do X.
I want to start a restaurant or something like that. And then they’re like, Great. And they spend all this money buying a restaurant and realize that they absolutely hated it, but they never worked in a restaurant before. They never talked to people who owned a restaurant, right? They never actually learned about what would it actually be like to do this thing.
And then when they got there, they actually really didn’t like it. Right? And so that’s, I would say, the lifestyle design process that we walk through [00:22:00] is first figuring out what is our compass, right? What are the things that we truly love to do? Why? What is our core motivation? What gets us up in the morning?
Or sometimes what really frustrates us can be an indication of that as well. And then also understanding what is the context in which I thrive? Right. And I think that’s unique to different people. And so knowing those things, we can have that as a compass to be able to analyze and assess different options that come our way.
And then we can also use that as a launching off point to start to dream big about what’s possible. What are all of the different ways that I could combine what I love to do for the reasons that I love to do it. And In the context of a situation in which I can thrive and then come up with a ton of ideas and start experimenting with that.[00:23:00]
And that’s really the essence of what we do in, that’s a lifestyle design process generally and the process that I bring my clients through.
Captain Fi: I’m just grinning ear to ear listening to this because Yeah, I think this conversation has come at a very very good time for me because I’m getting back on the bandwagon, so to speak.
After, taking a few big knocks from life. And yeah, as soon as we get off this call, I’m gonna get my A4 piece of paper out and I’m gonna start writing, I’m gonna go through this process. I guess in the past, my strategy has been to.
eliminate or subtract things that I don’t like for example, shift work. I wasn’t a big fan of shift work. So, I guess transitioning away from my full time shift work and night flying that was a big help for me in terms of My mental health and, being able to be close to family because I was previously, I was very far away from family and, having to travel significant distance just to see,, my family was yeah, that was also something [00:24:00] that I wanted to subtract.
And so that’s kind of been my strategy so far, but I’ve never actually sat down. And done what you’ve described and actually plan out. What do I want? My partner and I’ve as my business mentor says, we’ve been sampling from the smorgasbord of life. And so that’s his funny earworm about basically going out and doing the experimentation that you mentioned.
And that’s been really helpful. We’ve tried a lot. Different hobbies, different skills trying out different foods, different cooking classes. And that’s been a lot of fun and provided a bit of a variety. But I think my biggest goal Jess is getting this hobby farm. And it’s really interesting hearing you say about experimentation and getting some experience.
So I’m just thinking I should probably go and maybe do some kind of farm stay and actually figure it out. if that’s something I actually want to do
Jessica: or not. Yeah, definitely. Well, one thing that I would say about your approach, I think that’s actually you’re in a [00:25:00] really good spot to start a lifestyle design process because I do feel like the First thing that people need to do is subtract the stuff that they don’t like to make room for the things that they really want.
So I actually feel like you’re in a fantastic spot for that. And you’ve started to do a lot of the experimentation to figure out what you really want, right? And so now you can start experimenting with the bigger things like this hobby farm. And yeah, I would absolutely recommend experimenting with that if there’s a way to volunteer if there’s a local organic farm, or for example, I’ve had a client who spends like a month here or there doing something called woofing.
It’s like , worldwide something on organic farms where you actually go and you stay on a farm for a certain period of time to support them in the work that they’re doing. And so she recently did a stay with a family in Montreal.
Captain Fi: I’m so glad you just brought that up because I’m actually getting involved in that.
Jessica: [00:26:00] Oh, awesome.
Captain Fi: Yeah. There’s something in Adelaide called the Connected Gardens. And it’s funny cause I normally am quite private, but I guess I’ll talk and put it out here. Joe’s Connected Gardens in Adelaide. For any listeners in Adelaide, come and check it out. And they have woofers as well.
And it’s this really awesome urban garden that’s all in, in people’s backyards. And they have, dozens and dozens of houses that are all linked up and they produce masses of lovely food, which they then give away via the grow free carts to the community.
Jessica: That’s awesome. And are you getting involved in that?
Captain Fi: Yeah. So, I’ve previously sporadically gone, but I’m getting involved in a more regular, so I’m basically going to try and go for , one day a week, or, essentially a half day. To go and help out in the gardens and it’s a lot of fun. I’ve been learning a lot of really cool skills and yeah, recently I’ve been trying to set up a system for them to be able to record.
So I donated my camera tripods all [00:27:00] my videography equipment. So they can actually record the workshops that they’re doing and hopefully be able to get that up, up on YouTube or up on their
Jessica: website. Awesome. Well, that sounds like a great way to learn more and also use your skills to contribute.
Captain Fi: Yeah. You guys laughed if you ever saw my balcony in my apartment, the balcony was larger than my interior and it was just packed full of plants. I had all sorts of plants. Pots and everything. I think when Aussie Firebug came to Adelaide for a visit, he came over and he was just him and Mrs.
Firebug were just totally blown away it was a lot of fun. So yeah, I’m really excited to eventually get a patch of land and start doing it myself, but I think, you know what, I think after this conversation, I’m definitely concreted that, I need to regularly go once a week , and really just get amongst it, get your hands dirty and start networking in that field.
So, look, Jess, the other thing I want to talk about was I guess we’ve actually had a very similar lived experience of burnout and mental health [00:28:00] issues. And first of all, thank you so much for being so open. on your blog and talking about this because it’s something that I think does received a bit of stigma still.
And it certainly did in the aviation industry. In fact, you can’t really talk about mental health in the aviation industry without getting, stamped as a leper, so to speak. Because everyone, especially in the Aftermath of, say, like the German Wings tragedy that was just absolutely heartbreaking and that was where, a pilot deliberately chose to, to murder suicide and fly his plane into the side of a mountain just absolutely heartbreaking.
And so people are very quick in the aviation industry to ground you and cancel your license. And so in addition to that working really long hours and overtime, as well as me personally, side hustling, trying to do property development pursuing romantic relationship with a lot of my time and [00:29:00] focus.
And then when I had both my parents. Dying of terminal cancer, it was really hard. And I did experience that burnout and, I can relate to a lot of the things that you talk about that you’ve experienced. And I kind of feel like I also have had a big chunk of time since my mom’s passing.
Um, It’s like a big sleep, kind of a rest and regaining control of my life. I’d love to hear a little bit about your lived experience and why you think that mental health is so important on the path to financial independence.
Jessica: Yeah, I wasn’t aware of your story, so thank you so much for sharing it.
And I’m sorry to hear about your parents so for me the mental health issue was. really more of a result of working in a really toxic work environment and having a mindset that I felt like I needed to [00:30:00] prove myself and so was constantly pushing myself to continue to grow and make it to the next level and increase my income and all of that, which I think partially was a reaction to feeling like I was treated differently as a woman and felt like I needed to go above and beyond so that I could prove that I was you know, just as qualified as my male colleagues.
And so, I got to a point where, I actually was up for a promotion. And then I was told that I was not getting that promotion right now because I needed to manage my workload more independently. And that was tough to hear at the time, and my reaction though to it was to put my head down and I’ll go back to say a little bit more context.
The reason why they said [00:31:00] that was because I tended to set boundaries, and I tended to say this is more than one person can do in a like 40 to 50 hours per week, or I would really love to be able to do that, but I can’t do that and this, right? So it wasn’t about me not being able to do the work. It was about me trying to set limits and them being unhappy with that.
And so I said, okay, I’m gonna put my head down and I’m going to not set a boundary. I’m going to say yes to all of the things for six months and see if I get promoted in the six months, which was a terrible idea. But Spoiler alert, I did get promoted at that six month point, and then two weeks later, I had a mental health crisis and started experiencing really severe anxiety and panic attacks, and I was so burned out to [00:32:00] the point where I could not work.
I couldn’t even look at my work computer. without having a panic attack. And part of the reason why I’m so open about this journey is because I don’t think people need to get to the point where they literally can’t take another step forward before deciding to make a change. At the time I for whatever reason, needed something external to push me to make a change, rather than just deciding to make a change because my life would be better.
And so I want to spread that message to say people don’t need to get to that same point. Like you don’t need something external to push you to the point where you have to make a change, you can say, Huh, I’m not liking this very much, or I’m in a situation that’s toxic, or unfair, or, I’m being treated in [00:33:00] a way that I don’t want to be treated, and you can just decide.
To make your situation better because you deserve it. And I definitely encourage people to do that before you get to the point where I did, right. Sort of the point of, it wasn’t no return, but it was the point of, it’s going to take me a lot. longer to recover because I let it get past that critical point.
And so I encourage people not to wait until that point, because the recovery will be a lot smoother and easier. Though. I will say I did learn a lot from that experience and know that I’m in a much better situation now. And I hope that I can share what I’ve learned with others so they don’t need to go through the same things.
Captain Fi: Well, look, thank you so much. For sharing, because I know it’s not an easy thing to talk about, but I think the more we talk about it, the better it will be for [00:34:00] everyone. So, I just think I’m incredibly proud and I feel privileged to be able to have this conversation with you. I definitely had a similar lived experience.
I just took on more and more. In addition to I guess, trying to run my websites as I mentioned, all these other things I was piling onto my plate. And then I took on a lot of extra duties and responsibilities at work, including some admin type non flying issues.
And it led me to, I ended up failing a checkride, like a simulated a quarterly sim. And, that should really never happen. And I think for me, it was like an indicator of burnout and this overlying stress. And, similar to how you said you couldn’t even look at your computer.
Well I experienced a similar thing, but with my phone and anytime my phone rang or, Buzzed or an alarm went off. I just had this shock reaction, like this Oh, what’s the word I’m looking for here? Like I just, yeah, just like a reaction, I guess, this sense of [00:35:00] fear. My heart rate would go up and I’d be like, Oh no.
What’s happening now? What fire do I need to put out? And I even went so far as to get another phone, like I’ve got another phone, I got a different ringtone and I, separated like a work phone from a personal phone. And yeah, it’s funny, it’s something that I’m still working a lot on.
And I think, Prioritizing our mental health is so important. I’m reading a really awesome book at the moment called Essentialism by Greg McCown. Have you heard of Essentialism, Jess?
Jessica: Yeah. I love that book. It’s actually one of my favorites.
Captain Fi: It’s awesome. I’m only a couple of chapters in but , for listeners, it basically, just how Jess mentioned earlier, how, you can try everything.
But you can’t do everything at once. Well, that’s kind of the core message of the book. It’s talking about how it’s maybe similar to what Jess experienced in her job in that, she was good at her job, so she was assigned more [00:36:00] tasks. And she just put her head down and said yep. And then what kind of happens, and this happens with pretty much everyone, is someone gets quote unquote performance punished in that if you do really well, they reward you by giving you other people’s work.
You end up spread so thin that you can’t do anything. And so McCown talks about moving a millimetre of progress in every direction, and you’re not really getting anywhere. Whereas he’s saying, actually, if we learn to say no, And we just focus on what’s important. We can concentrate all that effort and energy into actually moving the needle in areas that actually matter.
And I’m reading this book and I’m like straight away. I’m thinking, okay, I can apply this to my life. I can apply this to my business. I got to cut out this red tape. I got to stop stuffing around on things that are distractions that not moving the needle. And yeah, so it’s just, I’m really enjoying the book.
Yeah. I mean, what did you take out of it?
Jessica: So there’s so much that I took out of [00:37:00] it and I actually feel like a huge part of the life design that I have is doing only the things that are truly going to move the needle so that I have time to focus on. So for only do the things that move the needle in my business so that I have plenty of time to focus on my mental health, my physical health, my friendships, travelling, adventure. .
Right. And so for me, it’s about using that sort of essentialism mindset to make work just a smaller piece of the pie of my life and to be able to focus on the other things. And then I guess there’s certain things that I’ve applied to many areas of my life. I think there’s like a hell yes. Policy that if something’s not a hell yes, then it should probably be a no.
And then , there’s a few specific things that I apply to many decisions. And so one of them is [00:38:00] that we have this cognitive bias toward, to feel more positively toward things that we already have. So say like you’re offered a job or , somebody invites you to come and speak at this thing or be part of a group or something like that.
All of a sudden you start to think Oh, maybe I do want to do that, even though that’s going to take a ton of my time. Right? And one of the things from that book that I think about a lot is. If I didn’t already have this opportunity, how willing would I be to fight for it? And if I wouldn’t be willing to fight for it, then I probably should say no to it.
And so , those are just some of the things that I use as I think about sort of new opportunities and things that are coming up is if I say yes to this, it probably means I’m going to have to say no to something later. And if it’s not a hell yes, then I want to wait for a hell yes.
Captain Fi: I love that. The hell yes [00:39:00] philosophy. That’s epic. If it’s not a hell yes it’s probably a no. That’s probably a good way to to sort the wheat from the chaff. Look, Jess I am so guilty of that sunk cost fallacy kind of endowment effect thing where I always do that. Like I think things that I have are like.
Way more valuable. And as I was reading essentialism and I’d previously read the Marie Kondo and I was like, all right. And so I recently just went and cleared out like a whole bunch of my cupboards and drawers and stuff. And I’m like, I guess I was kind of doing that. I’m like, do I really like this top?
Like it’s not a hell yes. Like I’ve been carrying it around for 10 years with me and doesn’t really fit. And would I go out and buy this? today if I didn’t have it. And it’s Oh no. Well, why am I keeping it then? So I ended up giving away a bunch of stuff to friends and donating stuff.
And I feel better. I feel way better because I feel like it’s opening up room in my life for other things.
Jessica: Yeah. And so actually [00:40:00] I think that Ties together because I think all of these different areas of our life are connected. We’re getting the clutter out of our schedule and our mind, right?
With essentialism. But then I think it also relates to minimalism. And that’s actually something that Corey’s been exploring a little bit recently. And we actually are doing this month a minimalist challenge.
Captain Fi: Awesome. What are you doing for the challenge, Corey?
Corey: Yeah, so inspired by our recent travels in the van, where , the number of items that we can bring with us is very limited.
When we got back, we decided to do a month long minimalist challenge, which I’m not sure what inspired it. Jess actually introduced it to me a few years ago, but the idea is that on day one of the month, And you can do this on any month, but on day one, you get rid of one item, on day two, you get rid of two items, on day three, you get rid of three items, and you go throughout the month until day 30 or 31, where you’re getting rid of 30 or 31 [00:41:00] items.
And so we’re doing it in the month of July, fortunately, unfortunately, July has 31 days, and so we are going to be getting rid of 496 items in one month and it’s kind of a nice, fun way to gamify minimalism where you can make it a game and make it a challenge and push yourself and also build the skill of getting rid of items or decluttering throughout the month.
So while day one and day two is pretty easy to get rid of one, two items, it gets progressively more difficult. And so we’re on day 13 and we’ve kind of hit the low hanging fruit of the things we knew we wanted to get rid of. And now we’re hitting the stretch of, okay, we’re not sure exactly what we’re getting rid of tomorrow, but we got to figure it out and we got to figure it out quick.
And so it . kind of forcing us to reflect on, do we need these things in our life? If so, why? [00:42:00] And if not, like, why do I still feel attached to this backpack that I’ve had since I’m 18 years old and I haven’t used in 10 years? Like, why do I have to keep it?
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Then it can be viewed potentially millions of times and [00:43:00] easily updated by my editors over the years to remain relevant. If you want to learn more about this lucrative side hustle and retraining for the Digital Workforce revolution, then check out my article about making money online and read my review of the E-Business Institute and their online self-paced courses.
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So what are some [00:44:00] examples of the things that you and Jess have been letting go?
Corey: So we started the month off with focusing on clothes, because that was probably the low hanging fruit. I also, with transitioning out of my job, I felt like I didn’t need as many work clothes. Especially those work clothes that were kind of on the fringe of whether I’d wear them or not anyway, because they didn’t fit right, or maybe the collar was just like, Too old and it wouldn’t stay flat.
And so we definitely started with clothes. We actually went through our dressers and closet and we got through probably 50 items of clothes that we are donating. So that’s where we started next on the list, I think is probably books because many years ago, I love to buy books. It was kind of my way of continuing to digest information and also
it was kind of a trophy of knowledge, of hey, I bought this book, I read it, look at me I’m gaining all this knowledge, where now I [00:45:00] digest information in a much different way, and I’m not really buying books anymore so books are the next item and then decluttering our basement, somehow basements are garages, Somehow collect all the stuff that you kind of want to get rid of, but you’re not ready to get rid of it.
And so we have, tens, if not hundreds of items in our basement that we can get rid of.
Jessica: And I think the whole like kind of purpose of doing this minimalist challenge, like part of it is bringing it back to that conversation of financial independence being about enough and having enough possessions.
And I think. We now, after, so I did a minimalist challenge a few years ago, and Corey is joining me in this one this time and was the catalyst behind it this time. But I think the purpose around it is similar to this question that we’re asking is what do I actually want to bring into my life?
And is this thing worth it? Is it giving me the [00:46:00] value? And so it helps us to look at. anything new and do we really want to bring that into our life? And so I think, right, and when we have fewer things, it helps with that mindset shift. And I think it coming back to this essentialism concept, I think it’s all connected, right?
And so if we’re thinking more intentionally about what items do I want to bring into my life, we’re going to be thinking also more intentionally about what. Activities and responsibilities and, things that take up our time. What of those do we want to bring into our life?
Captain Fi: Yeah, it’s important, isn’t it?
And I think for me at least it links directly to my well being and my mental health because I feel like I’m not weighed down. I feel like I can go out and do something. I feel even it might sound a bit silly, but even just like having a clear desk when I’m working or when I’m like right now, there’s a nice, smooth, clear, [00:47:00] clean desk.
And I feel like it puts me in a really good headspace. And similarly, when I’m, in the kitchen, like having a nice flow in the kitchen and having everything laid out and space , to work and prep makes it a super easy I’ve, I found it very difficult. If there’s a big mess or there’s a lot of clutter, I find it actually clutters my mind.
Corey: Yeah, , I agree with that completely. We actually just cleared off our desk partially as the minimalist challenge and partially to set up a YouTube studio. And it was night and day from sitting down at a really clean desk with a handful of items versus 50 items, we had all these books and picture books and other things that we hadn’t looked at in years.
And it’s like, why do we have them here? Why are they weighing us down? And it just, yeah, it frees you up.
Captain Fi: Now look, I’d love to shift gears a little bit and ask a little bit more about your personal finances, if you guys are open to that. Yeah, of course. Awesome. So [00:48:00] look, wouldn’t be the financial independence podcast if I didn’t ask you about your investments.
So I’d love to know what Jess and Corey, you guys invest in and why you chose that.
Corey: Yeah, we invest in a total market index fund. And it really is that simple. So all of our investments are in equities. And the reason for doing this is that it’s one of the best ways to ensure our assets grow at a really high rate over long term.
And to be honest, there are a lot of people who are a lot more educated and smarter on this topic than me who have really shown how stock market index funds outperform. Picking individual stocks or actively manage funds with high fees. And so many years ago, I read up on this and I bought into the investment philosophy of buying index funds and the benefit of doing so is not only a good return where our rate of return over the past decade has matched [00:49:00] the overall market, which has been generally really good.
But it also requires so little time and mental energy to maintain our investments. And so it really is passive. It allows me and Jess to focus on other interests in the day to day, but that’s our investment
Awesome. So you guys are obviously over in the United States is that when you say a total market, is that like a US market or do you have international diversification as well?
No, we have international as well.
Captain Fi: Ah, awesome. Global. And what’s your take on, bonds or cash? You mentioned all equities. Does that mean you’re a hundred percent? Shares or do you also have, bonds or money market, that kind of thing?
Corey: Yeah. So we don’t have bonds. Our approach is I think someone else, I think Paula Pant has described this as like a barbell approach.
Effectively we also have a really large cash that’s sitting in [00:50:00] high yield savings accounts. And so that is what we use for the short term, and then all of our investments are focused on long term. So we’re not really trying to have a equity bond certain allocation between the two. It’s solely equities because they outperform the long term.
Captain Fi: Yeah, I actually do something similar myself. Sorry Jess, you were about to say something.
Jessica: Yeah, I think I was going to say, so with the barbell approach, my understanding of that is that when you’re younger, when you’re further away from an age where you’re going to be using the funds for, retirement or sort of any sort of use.
Having those in stocks and in equities makes sense because you’re going to leave them there to grow. Whereas, when you’re getting to a point in time where you’re more likely to be needing to use some of those assets, at that point in time is when you would want to have more bonds in your portfolio.
To be able to hedge against there being the sequence of return risk and [00:51:00] all of that, as you’re getting closer to actually using the money and then as you get further into retirement, you can actually scale up your. Equities or stock allocation again, because you don’t need to be quite as concerned about that sequence of return risk at that point.
But we’re far from wanting to, to utilize our portfolio. In any way, we’re still covering our costs of living with active income. And so we’re comfortable having our funds fully in stocks as well as having that cash
Captain Fi: cushion. Yeah, the Coast Fire is an awesome strategy and I think running a business and you don’t have to have these crazy, 100 million billion dollar businesses that, a lot of the entrepreneur porn online spruiks but you can just have a small business and it can be a very valuable asset , for reaching fire.
I think it’s really underrated. So I guess just on that. Do you guys have a, like a FI or a FIRE number or a passive [00:52:00] income figure that you’re aiming for a quote unquote retirement?
Jessica: Yeah, that’s a great question. So we do have a FIRE number. We actually, I would say we mainly have it because we like to track our progress toward financial independence, allows us to gamify the process and so we On our blog, we don’t actually share our specific numbers, and so it also allows us to help our audience understand what percentage toward our full FI number are we, so that they can hopefully identify with our story as well.
And as of right now, we’re About 40% maybe, but you know, the last I looked at least we were about 40 percent of the way to our full financial independence target. And we have reached this milestone called Coast Financial Independence, which I think was our bigger goal which is to get to the point where you don’t need to add another dime.
to your investments. They’ll grow [00:53:00] over time to provide you with a comfortable traditional retirement later. And we have reached that point. So right now, all we need to do between now and the age of 53 or something is to cover our actual expenses. And during that time, our money will continue to grow.
And so we would be able to retire and live off our sort of nest egg at that point in time.
Captain Fi: Yeah. And in the meanwhile, you’re actually living a life that you love working part time on a business that you love running and helping people. So it’s kind of like a, it’s like a win, right? Yes. So I guess that leads me to the next question is I usually try to ask people about a savings rate because that is another.
big metric that people use when they’re gamifying or tracking their progress is, okay, well, what’s the savings rate. And, for people that are maybe new to the podcast the savings rate is basically your proportion of take home income that you put towards investing, [00:54:00] and there are many, some people like to calculate it slightly different way, especially when it comes to property and paying off a mortgage.
But I just like to think I should keep simple and it’s the proportion of your income that goes to investments. So it’s almost like 100 minus your set, your spending rate, if that makes sense. And I guess it’s interesting question for you guys, because being coast fire means that you’ve built your investment portfolio.
And you are now not really focusing on adding to it as such as letting it grow in the background. So. By, I guess, by definition, a coast fire savings rate would technically be zero. So maybe when we think back to when you were both working in the non profits, did you have a target savings rate or was it just you saved and invested what you had left over or how did you manage your savings and investings??
Corey: Yeah, our approach to savings rate has really evolved over time early on when we were in more of a wealth accumulation phase at [00:55:00] its peak, we were probably saving around 60 percent of our income, and we got to that high of a savings rate by incrementally increasing it year after year, and it was actually in kind of Everyday conversations where I’d come to Jess and I would say, Hey, for next year, I was thinking we could save 5 percent more, next year.
And she was like, wait what are we doing? That was my first attempt at introducing financial independence to her. That did not go over so well because I was leading with the mechanics and not the why. But it was when it comes to savings rate, it was a game of increasing our savings rate each year by a few percentage points.
And so we definitely didn’t start out saving 60%, but that was about the peak when we were in our kind of. Highest or peak earning years and it took us many years to get to that level, but as you said, after[00:56:00] reaching Coast FI and recently quitting my job, I now focus less on savings rate, although.
Even after we reached Coast Fi, it wasn’t like a flip of a switch and we stopped saving altogether. We reached Coast Fi and then we were still earning as much as we were and saving as much as we were, but we then started to take… New approaches to lifestyles and we are a little bit more risk averse and so it didn’t happen on day one, but over the past 3, 4 years is how we’ve really started to change how we approach lifestyle questions and really use the financial freedom that we have achieved by front loading all of our investments to be able to take a little bit more risk and.
value our time more than money.
Jessica: And I think about people generally, right? So people in the financial independence community who are saving 60 percent of their income or 50, or even 40 percent of their [00:57:00] income, that’s a significant amount. And if you get to a point where. You don’t need 60 percent of your income anymore or 40 percent of your income or, however much you have a ton of freedom to be able to start scaling back and to say, wow, what could I do if I only needed to make X right.
And so that was part of how, how this happened for us was right. We did get to a point where we were saying, okay, wow, we’ve reached coast.
Jessica: How can we start to make some changes? And so around that time, that’s when I took some time off from work. I started working part time, I actually learned about Coast FI as I was working part time, assuming, right, that I would eventually go back to full time work and then realize wow, we’re Coast FI, I don’t ever have to work full time ever again, if I don’t want to.
And . So focusing on your savings rate for a period of time can [00:58:00] get you to a point where you never have to focus on your savings rate ever again.
Captain Fi: Yeah. It’s awesome, isn’t it? I think I probably took it a bit far, like I, I was able to live, I guess, quite frugally being, single no kids, I lived in a small apartment and received, housing subsidy through work, I was often away a lot.
So my utility bills were really low. I’d get meals allowance. So, I was very fortunate in having low expenses and also really high income that I was able to save the majority of of my income. And I I think I kind of, yeah, say gamify. I probably took it a bit too far, but I think, it was in the 70, 80 percent mark and I must admit, whilst I didn’t feel like I missed out on anything, I think in hindsight, maybe working less would have been a smarter move, even if it took a little bit longer to reach FI.
Jessica: I think for a lot of people, I think when we first learn about FI, we assume that like work is the enemy. of [00:59:00] freedom and independence. And then I think over time I’ve realized that’s not the case. That working in a job that I hate, that requires too many hours of me, is the enemy of freedom.
But if I can work part time, doing work that I enjoy, that I’m passionate about working for myself, Potentially working for someone else if they let you set really good boundaries and are really respectful of your time right? That could even work too, but those things aren’t necessarily the enemy of freedom.
And so, yeah, I think that’s a, that’s something that I’ve come to learn over time is that I don’t need to get to a point where I never need to work again.
Captain Fi: Yeah, I love it. Anyway, we all want to have some purpose. And yeah, I think Part time work. That’s definitely the key. And I’m certainly enjoying now, quote unquote, semi retirement.
I love working on my websites and, [01:00:00] podcasting is so much fun and I get to speak to really interesting, clever people like yourself and Corey and see how everyone is building these lives. It’s a lot of fun. I don’t think everyone else has sit around and do nothing all day.
I guess perfect leads me into my next question . You’ve talked about building a life that you love and then, there is this future goal with the coast fire at age 53 where your investments will now cash flow your cost of living. I mean, what would that life look like for you guys?
Would you really want to change anything or what would early retirement look like for you??
Corey: Yeah, this is a great question. And I think Jess and I will answer this slightly differently for reasons that will become obvious in a second. But I think for us or for me, I should say I have really started to think about my journey to financial independence as one that doesn’t include early retirement and wanting to find quote unquote work that is [01:01:00] satisfying and enjoyable.
And for the past. Decade I have been working a traditional W 2 income job, a day job that I just left earlier this year, about four months ago. And so I’m currently in the process of figuring out what I enjoy doing and how I want to spend my time. And so the short answer is I don’t know. And I think me from six months ago would have been really afraid.
Of admitting that out loud, but it is true. And I think as we were talking about earlier, so many of us are still trying to figure out what we want to do with more time and how we’d want to spend our time and what it is we actually enjoy but I, what I can say is that I’m actively working on figuring it out.
And it’s a big time commitment of kind of experimenting and trying new things. And right now I’m enjoying creating videos and [01:02:00] video editing, and I’m finding myself spending. Five hours, six hours, even though I want to be on a break from traditional work, finding myself spending that much time just creating videos and having fun with it.
So I think that would probably be part of it for me of what that future life looks like, but it is still to be determined, I think, for me. But I think it’s slightly different for Jess.
Jessica: I don’t know if it’s that much different, except for the fact that I feel like I know, right? I know in terms of I know what I enjoy doing, and I know that for me, I think if I were to magically reach FI tomorrow.
I don’t actually think that anything would need to change about our lifestyle, right? I think that we’re already doing exactly what we would be doing if we reached FI tomorrow, right? I would be continuing to do [01:03:00] the coaching and retreats in, part time 25 to 30 hours a week. And when we’re traveling less, right, we would continue to travel for months at a time in our camper van and spend time investing in our friendships and in our health.
And I think Corey would be. Doing exactly what he’s doing right now is, taking time to figure out what he wants. And so I, I think it, and it’s interesting because I used to say I want to make so many small changes in my life so that when I reach FI, it’s just another day. It feels okay, well, we reached that milestone, but it doesn’t matter because we’re already living the post fi life that we want anyways.
And I feel like for me, that’s true. And I think for Corey, it’s in process.
Captain Fi: Well, I think that’s also a testament to the work that you’ve put into designing your current life, designing a life you love. Really, that’s just [01:04:00] a vote of confidence to say, well, we don’t really want to change anything.
Well, that kind of means you’ve hit the nail, haven’t you, right on the head.
Jessica: I think so. I, and I wouldn’t say that nothing’s ever going to change if that makes sense. Like I think that what we are going to want and the things that we want to do. I think those things are going to continue to evolve over time.
I would imagine, I’m starting even to think about would I want to write a book? Or do we want to travel for five months next year? Or would we ever want to do a whole year? Who even knows about that, right? So there’s different ideas floating around of things that could look different over time.
But I think for me, it’s more like we’re content with where we are right now. We’re paying attention to what we might want in the future and enjoying the process.
Captain Fi: Yeah. Now that is An interesting [01:05:00] one. You talked about travel there. Now I usually ask guests, whether their team pay off the mortgage team, keep the mortgage or team rent Vesta, but you’re a new category.
You’re almost team home base satellite because you of course spend a lot of your time traveling in a camper van. So how does it work guys? You have a house and. Do you rent that out or what’s your strategy when it comes to, I guess, your base?
Jessica: Yeah. So we have our home base in Boston.
, so we just started traveling significantly in our camper van this year, so we’re still kind of figuring it out. So we had some friends who were doing renovations on their house living here while we were traveling this spring. And we just allowed them to do that because they’re good friends of ours.
But in the future, we are considering renting out our condo while we travel to help us, cover the cost of the mortgage , and I think, honestly, we don’t. know [01:06:00] what’s going to happen over time, right?
I think we really enjoy Boston. We have really good friends here. And so it makes sense for us right now to have this as a home base, but I can tell that there are certain things already that we’re like, Hey, we just don’t really like. this thing about Boston and those things are starting to come up.
And so, right. I think who knows what will happen in the longterm. We could stay in Boston as our home base forever. We could decide to have a home base elsewhere. We could go fully nomadic for a period of time. I think as of right now, we’re still. Planning to stay in Boston, but I think all of those things could change over time.
Captain Fi: Yeah, and I’m not sure what it’s like in Boston, but certainly here in Australia, property seems to be the predominant religion in Australia and property prices are , pretty crazy and a lot of people use property as a retirement investment vehicle and it could be kind of seen as a little bit of a backup and I guess we talked about [01:07:00] investments and you guys mentioned predominantly you use your total market index fund as your primary investment vehicle.
But I mean, would you ever consider your condo as being a form of investment?
Corey: Yeah, I mean, yes and no. So because it has been for so many years, our primary residence in the traditional sense, I wouldn’t really consider an investment vehicle because if we were purchasing a property as a real estate investment I probably wouldn’t have purchased this condo.
There are many things that we Liked about it as a primary residence that probably aren’t good as a investment property and so no on that regard, but yes, in the sense that as Jess was just talking about, we are considering renting it out for the short term. And so it will produce some income if we choose to go down that route.
So yes, and no.
Captain Fi: Okay. [01:08:00] And , what is your plan with the mortgage? Is it something that you are just happy to let run its course? Or is it something you want to actively pay down quicker?
Jessica: Yeah, so we’re actually actively letting it run its course. I think we.
don’t necessarily feel like we need to pay down the mortgage quickly. We don’t feel like that is going to give us a sort of feeling of freedom. I think sometimes that’s one reason why people say, I want to pay down the mortgage really quickly because it helps them feel like they have more options. We actually did the opposite.
thing a couple of years ago, we did a refinance and we actually cashed out of it. And so we actually got a lot of that equity back in cash which, originally we assumed that we were going to use that as a down payment for a rental property. We decided not to do that. And so just ended up putting You know, most of the money in the market, and then some of it went to fund the camper van.
[01:09:00] And so we’re just gonna, pay it off on the schedule. And then I do think that, we did the calculations at one point that if we were to choose to retire at the age of 53, that like it would. Possibly make sense financially to pay it off in a lump sum. And so once we get to that place in the not near future, we’ll do the calculations and see if it makes sense to pay it off or to just keep it going.
Captain Fi: Yeah, that’s awesome. And from the sounds of things as well having a condo, it seems living well below your means unfortunately you see it time and time again here in Australia is, I guess, because of the way. Property tends to accumulate go up. People have this incentive to live way outside their means and buy , way too much house.
Like I’m seriously in Sydney, there’s houses that are like two, 3 million or more. And so there’s almost this incentive to buy it knowing that it’ll go up in the future and you’ll build equity. Which is, I guess, a kind of a [01:10:00] different philosophy to the majority of the fire community, which is to kind of live in.
Enough house to know that’s enough because you’re not really using it as a, as an investment vehicle
Corey: per se. Yeah, absolutely. We decided to buy a starter home and then just kept it because it more than meets our needs.
Captain Fi: I’m having a great time here. We’re getting close towards the end of the interview. And so I like to ask everyone these next two questions. So I guess the first thing is one of the best things we can do on our journey to fire. is educate ourselves and look to people that have gone and achieved what we wanted to before us so we can emulate them.
And that’s especially true when it comes to self education. So, I mean, we’ve talked about a couple of awesome resources essentialism being one of them, but do you guys have any other favorite resources , that you’ve used on your journey? They might be books, websites, blogs, podcasts, documentaries, that kind of [01:11:00] stuff that you really loved and that really helped you.
Jessica: Yeah, so my absolute favorite book, it’s not a financial independence book, but it’s focused on lifestyle design. It’s called Designing Your Life and it’s by these two Stanford professors that actually took design thinking principles from the world of architecture and design and applied those same principles to your lifestyle.
And so it’s one that I’ve learned a whole lot about. I send it to all of my clients. I recommend it to everyone I know. And so, yeah, I highly would recommend that.
Corey: I think one thing that comes to mind for me is the book, The Simple Path to Wealth by JL Collins. When I was. Digesting personal finance every day, I was reading all of these traditional investment books and blogs.
And then I read The Simple Path to Wealth by JL Collins, and it [01:12:00] basically summarized our new approach to investing. And so that is kind of the cornerstone of our investment strategy. I highly recommend that.
Captain Fi: Brilliant book. JL Collins he’s an awesome guy. Yeah, I was really fortunate enough to be able to interview him recently and yeah, it just blew my mind that I was even chatting to the guy cause he’s been an idol of mine for such a long time.
Brilliant book. If anyone listening is thinking about it, just go and get a copy of his book. And he’s releasing a new book shortly to Pathfinders. It may be out by the time this interview comes out, I’m not sure. But yeah, he’s doing pre orders for that. And if it’s anything like Simple Path to Wealth it’s
definitely worth getting even maybe it’s like an ebook copy. I’m really looking forward to having a read, but awesome. I’m going to try and find designing your life as well. Jess, that sounds like a really good read The last question is by far my most hated question.
All right. If you could summarize. Your philosophy or your message into a couple of bite sized pieces, what would be your [01:13:00] absolute top three? Bits of advice for someone on the path to financial independence. I’m interested to see whether Jess and Corey, you have different answers.
Jessica: Oh, do you want us each to do them?
Captain Fi: Yeah let’s go both. Okay.
Jessica: So. It’s funny, when you first were saying what is your very first thing, and I was thinking can I do it in three words and my three words would be enjoy the journey and so I, I think that might be my number one piece of advice, is to figure out, what that means to you, right?
Figuring out what that looks like for you. Why do you want to pursue financial independence in the first place? And how can you figure out how to enjoy that path along the journey? I will pass it to Corey so he can share one and we can go back and forth so I don’t steal all of his.
Captain Fi: All right, Corey, what are your tips, mate?
Corey: Well, I think she’s stole one of mine already, [01:14:00] so let’s see my first tip is to, as ironic as this is I wouldn’t focus on the numbers as much as you might be tempted to when you’re pursuing financial independence. I’m definitely guilty of this, and I spent probably a good portion of a decade obsessing over the numbers, but really, when it comes down to it, it’s about the life that we want to live, and seeing money as a tool as opposed to the end all be all.
Jessica: Okay, my number two is, I would say, figuring out how you can use the financial freedom that you’ve built to design your life along the path. So I think that goes a little bit with enjoying the journey. But I would say it’s seeing Freedom and financial freedom as not being black and white as this thing where you’re either financially independent or you’re not.
Right. But saying there’s so many gray areas and ways that I can use financial freedom between now and when I get to that ultimate goal. And how can [01:15:00] I make changes in my life? So that I can enjoy the journey in the sort of upmost possible way.
Corey: My second piece of advice is focusing on building a community of like minded people around you, and this not only makes it easier to have support and encouragement, but it also inspires new ideas of what’s possible.
Jessica: Okay, I have a third one that’s even slightly different, so you get six things probably from us today. If Corey can come up with a third.
So I would say my third piece of advice is to figure out our fears, right? So identify those fears of scarcity that we have. I think all of us, so many of us at least tend to have this feeling that
I could make one wrong choice and everything could fall apart and I could end up destitute and I think that’s just not really a reality for many of [01:16:00] us, right? For those of us who are, have been pursuing financial independence and who have created these safety nets for ourselves. I think a lot of the times the things that are holding us back.
aren’t actually the money, right? It’s actually our fears our fears of scarcity. And I, I think of this, there’s a study that was actually done here in the US of ultra rich people. So people who have 25 million net worths or higher. And on average, each of them said that they needed about 25 percent more to feel financially secure.
Like even ultra rich people with Millions upon millions of dollars of net worth felt like they needed 25 percent more. And I found that comforting in a sense that I’m not alone. Everyone feels this, right. But I think we have an antidote to that in the financial independence community to say what’s truly enough for me, what is enough money for me to be able to [01:17:00] do the things and spend my time in the way that I want to and so working through those fears of scarcity can help us do that.
Captain Fi: I love it. And it basically, it’s coming down to one of the first things you said on this interview, which was what is enough, figuring out what is enough for you.
Corey: Yeah, absolutely. And so we wouldn’t be married if we didn’t have a similar response here. So my third one is being willing to take risks. And so many people, especially those who hear our story, so many people who have heard our story think that we are just risk takers But that couldn’t be further from the truth. We’re actually quite risk averse, and we just learned to, as Jess was just saying, create those safety nets so that we are able to take risks and be comfortable doing so, knowing that we’ve thought through the.
The implications. So that would be my last tip of advice.
Captain Fi: Yeah. Be willing to take risks and I guess, learn how to manage those risks and uncertainties, [01:18:00] which is what you and Jess have actually become quite good at doing. Yeah, absolutely.
Corey: Well said.
Captain Fi: Yeah. Look guys, thank you so much for your time coming on today.
It’s been. Awesome. I’ve taken away so many personal learning points from this. And like I said, I am raring to go. I have my paper and my pen to start my lifestyle design a little bit more deliberately. And so I feel really privileged that we’ve actually had this conversation and you’re really helping to push me, on an awesome pathway.
Before we finish up though is there anything else you’d maybe like to bring up or mention that we may have missed?
Jessica: I don’t think so. I think this was a really good interview.
Captain Fi: Awesome. Well, look, where can listeners find out more about yourself and Corey your journey and where they might be able to contact you?
Jessica: Yeah. So you can find us on our website. It’s the Fioneers.com so like pioneers, but with an F for financial independence. And then we’re on Instagram and Twitter @theFioneers you can find our YouTube channel. at [01:19:00] Fioneers. So no ‘the’ for the YouTube channel. And then we do have a private Facebook group for people who are interested in financial freedom and lifestyle design called SlowFi Enthusiasts.
And people can find that at thefioneers. com slash FB for Facebook.
Captain Fi: Awesome. Anyone who’s listening in As always, go to captainfire. com, have a look at the transcript and the show notes. I’ll have links to all of Jess and Corey’s websites social handles and YouTube and 100 percent recommend checking them out.
They’re really inspiring people. Guys, again, thank you so much for your time today. It’s been an absolute blast. Hope you guys have an awesome evening and look forward to catching up in the not too distant future and chatting again soon.
Corey: That sounds great. Thanks for having
Captain Fi: us. Thanks so
Captain Fi: My pleasure.
See you guys.
Thanks for [01:20:00] listening to another episode of the Captain Fyre Financial Independence Podcast. To read the transcripts or check out the show notes, head over to www. captainfyre. com for all the details. If you have a question for the captain, make sure to get in touch. You might even make it on the airwaves.
You can reach me online through the Captain Fyre contact form. Or get in touch through the socials. I’m active on Facebook and Instagram as well as a number of online finance and investing forums. And finally, remember, the information presented on the show and the links provided are for general information purposes only.
They should not be taken as constituting professional financial advice. You should always do your own research when making any financial decisions and make sure it’s appropriate for your personal circumstance.[01:21:00]