On board today is a frequent FI-er and a bit of a celebrity in the Australian Financial Independence community, Dave from Strong Money Australia!
Dave and his partner are a regular Aussie couple from Perth, who maintained a healthy savings rate and regime of property investing over a ten year period.
One day they discovered that if they moved some equity from their investment properties into dividend producing index funds and LICs, that they could completely cover their cost of living.
A few years ago in 2017 this pivot let them reach Financial Independence and Retire Early at the insane age of only 28!
Dave writes about his experience with Early Retirement on his blog Strong Money Australia, as well as co-hosting the popular ‘Fire and Chill’ podcast with Pat Seyrak.
Dave has been a major influence on my own Financial Independence journey, and I am thrilled to invite him onto the show.
“Early Retirement has been great mate. Every day has been like a weekend!”Dave from Strong Money Australia
Podcast Episode 10 – Dave from Strong Money Australia
Strong Money Australia Show Notes
We talked about these a lot in the episode, so check out the links to Dave’s Blog and Podcast below;
Dave from Strong Money Australia top tips for Financial Independence
- Run your own race – Don’t compare your financial Journey to someone else’s
- Plan what you will do in retirement – Start thinking ahead about how you want to spend your time in early retirement
- Consider semi-retirement (Barista FIRE) – Rather than flogging your guts out to reach a conventional early retirement, why not cut your goal in half and consider working part time to give yourself more flexibility?
Dave from Strong Money Australia top three Books
Dave recommended a couple of books and blogs to read.
The Millionaire next door
Check out my detailed review of The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets Of America’s Wealthy by Thomas J. Stanley
The Subtle Art of how not to give a F*** by Mark Manson
I just finished reading Mark Manson’s first book the Subtle art, and it is a great read. Mark basically explains that we are terrible at understanding what makes us happy, so there is no point giving a… f about most things anyway! Just go with the flow, and try to enjoy your self. Mark rips shreds off the current ‘Self Help’ Culture and ‘positivity’ movement and says that ‘sometimes you just need to accept that the world is f’ed up!’ and stop sugar coating things.
Instead of trying to turn your lemons into lemonade, he says you just need to learn to like eating lemons. Mark encourages us to stop obsessing over status, wealth, power and possessions and simply focus on what it actually means to be happy – Re-calibrating what we actually care about, and allocating out ‘Fs’ more wisely gives us the best shot at true happiness.
A wealth of common sense – Blog by Ben Carlson
Ben Carlson is a certified Financial Advisor and blogs on his site a wealth of common sense.
About A Wealth of Common Sense: I’ve been managing institutional portfolios for my entire career. I started out with an institutional investment consulting firm developing portfolio strategies and creating investment plans for various foundations, endowments, pensions, hospitals, insurance companies and high net worth individuals. More recently, I was part of the portfolio management team for an investment office that managed a large endowment fund for a charitable organization. Albert Einstein once said, “If you can’t explain it to six-year-old, you don’t understand it yourself.”Ben Carlson
The main reason I started this website is to try to explain the complexities of the various aspects of finance in a way that everyone could understand them. Both the economy and the financial markets are complex adaptive systems, but I’ve never found complex problems require complex solutions. Common sense and self-awareness are extremely underrated attributes in the world of finance. Less is more is one of my guiding principles. Perspective and understanding can get you much further than tactics or textbook knowledge. I’ve always found that the most intelligent people I’ve learned from over the years are able to simplify to make any topic more understandable and put difficult concepts into common sense language. That’s always been my goal here as well. One of the biggest unanticipated benefits of starting this blog is the fact that I’ve learned so much through the writing process, not only from my own research but also through feedback from readers.“
Dave from Strong Money Australia on Semi-Retirement – Lacey Filipich TED talk
Dave spoke a lot about the concept of semi-retirement or Barista FIRE as it is sometimes called. Lacey Filipich gave this awesome talk on financial independence in terms of mini-retirements which is very inspiring and you should have a listen to her talk to understand why Dave is a fan of this concept.
Captain FI 0:07
Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. Welcome aboard Captain FI the Financial Independence Podcast.
Good day, welcome to an episode of Captain FI, the Financial Independence Podcast where I open the copy 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 today, remember anything on the show is provided for general information only, and should not be taken as constituting a professional advice. You should always do your own research when making any financial decision.
On board today, his frequent fire and a bit of a celebrity in the Australian Financial Independence community, Dave from strong money Australia, Dave and his partner our regular Ozzie capital from Perth, who just maintained a healthy savings rate and a disciplined regime of property investing over their first 10 years in the workforce. One day, they discovered that if they move some of the equity from their investment properties into dividend producing index funds, and Li sees that they could completely cover the entire cost of living.
A few years ago, this pivot, let them reach financial independence and retire early at the insane age of only 28 years old. Dave now writes about his experience with early retirement on his blog, strong money Australia, as well as co hosting the very popular fire and chill podcast with Pat say rock. Dave has been a major influence on my own financial independence journey. And I’m thrilled to invite him onto the show.
Hey, go Dave. Gang. Good man. How are you? Not too bad. I will apologize for my voice. I’m a little bit nasally because I’ve got a leggies thought it’s funny. We’re both sitting here with old laptops. I think mine is about 13 years old, talking to you on a pair of earphones that have been chewed by the dog. So what a what a better way to frame our discussion about frugality and investing. I want my laptop’s fancier than yours, man. I think it’s probably about seven or eight years old. Oh, geez, a few generations ahead of me.
Dave Strong Money Australia 3:09
So people probably know me from the blog, Becky said strong money Australia. And
at the moment, I’m living in Perth with my partner and our dog. But I’m originally from country Victoria. So I came over here when I was when I was 18 and drove over here with a mate. And
then did forklift work and factory work and warehouse work for about 10 years or so. And managed to reach financial independence a couple of years ago. And now just live a pretty crazy lifestyle, I’d say and just enjoy our free time and also do some productive stuff on the side like the blog and the podcast and things like that. So you just sound like you’re just a normal Ozzie guy who got on the path to fire and made it happen. How did you get on the path to financial independence?
Yes, so there was actually it was what Luckily this happened kind of at an early age. But when I was about
eight, when I was about 19 probably
I started getting kind of fed up with with work because we had a we had like a change of boss and the new boss was just like he was just terrible to work for. And I started becoming quite frustrated and didn’t want to go to work each day. And that kind of prompted me to start looking around and look at other people that work and everyone just kind of seemed to just accept it like oh, well, this is what you have to put up with. But I kind of struggled with that. And then it made me think a bit deeper in terms of how people, you know, work and leave and they’re kind of forced to just do the same thing every weekend.
Captain FI 2:52
I remember when I got this laptop, it had, I had the option to upgrade to a whole gigabyte of RAM. And that was that was groundbreaking at the time. All right. So Dave, first up may tell us a little bit about yourself and your background.
Dave Strong Money Australia 5:00
put up with whatever happens at work. And they’re in this kind of treadmill lifestyle until they’re in their 50s and 60s, and eventually they get the pension. And it all just seems to be this little mouse wheel that they’re on, that’s just working to pay bills and didn’t seem like the kind of life that I want to have. So I decided, I really, I guess, I realized that I had to do something different, or I’d end up just like, the older guys I saw at work. So that kind of prompted me to start looking into. So how do you? I didn’t know there was a term financial independence? But how do you kind of build wealth so that you don’t have to work forever? You get some choice over how you spend your life? Where did you Where did that take you?
Captain FI 5:48
What did you do next?
Dave Strong Money Australia 5:50
Basically just started Googling things like how to actually build wealth. And that kind of spits out a few answers, the common ones being start a business or invest in property or invest in shares. And so I didn’t fancy starting a business and shares seemed to be like, I didn’t really understand it, that seemed to be risky. So I just started reading about property, because it seemed like the kind of easiest option, I guess. So I just started reading a bunch of books on like, wealth creation and property and stuff like that, and what’s started saving at the same time, and it kind of just went from there.
Captain FI 6:28
So you mentioned property, and I’ll pick up on this, because I’ve read a lot on your blog about how, you know, you really use property to your advantage. How did you go getting the first property? And then how were you able to, I guess, piggyback into number, you know, two, three, and four on so forth.
Dave Strong Money Australia 6:51
Um, so the first property Well, the first couple of properties, really, it was just me saving up a deposit and buying a buying what seemed I seem seemed like an affordable place, you know, like a reasonable location that was kind of close to the city in a already built up area. And it was just through cash savings that I built up over a couple of years, I was able to buy, I think it was like two properties in the first three years or something like that, and then teamed up with my partner. And she was saving too. And so then we used some equity that she had in her house to buy another, I think it was one or two properties. And then we kept saving and saving, and some of them grew in value, some of them didn’t. And we use the equity from the ones that had grown in value to buy a couple more. And that was pretty much how it built over time. Most of the fuel was from our savings each month. And yeah, that’s that’s kind of how it went. But it actually didn’t really meet my expectations. I guess what I mean by that is like the whole experience wasn’t all that good. And it actually didn’t, actually didn’t make that much of a difference to us being able to retire early than you might expect. So after, after we kind of left work, I kind of did the numbers, and I realized that it was our savings, right was where most of the money had come from, because some of our properties had done like pretty poorly. And then once you account for all the costs involved, and the purchasing costs at the start and some negative cash flow and stuff like that. There was Yeah, the gains actually went went very good.
Captain FI 8:43
You kind of blew my mind. So I just want to wipe back a bit. So how many properties did you buy? Or did you and your partner buy?
Dave Strong Money Australia 8:53
entitle, including our house, it was like eight?
Captain FI 8:58
Well, okay, so most people are probably wondering how the hell they’re even going to get one, let alone two properties. Nevermind, eight. So that’s a pretty amazing achievement. So you said your first property, you were looking to not take any massive risks. You just went for, you know, a residential house near the city close to built up areas. I mean, that seems like a pretty sensible option. When you move forward. What was your strategy? Like? Were you were they were these positively geared for cash flow? Were they negatively geared? Were you buying for, you know, growth or rental income? How did you structure that?
Dave Strong Money Australia 9:45
I so the idea from the start was basically to vie for capital growth. And I mean, back then, I think that my first mortgage rate was like seven has like seven points. Something percent man. So there’s like zero chance of getting positive cash flow property back then especially after expenses. So that wasn’t really even an option. So it was really a bit on capital growth. And being in Perth, you can probably imagine that some of those properties have done pretty poorly. I still, I think that a few of them are still like roughly what we paid for them. And so that was the plan. But luckily, we also bought a couple in the eastern states, which did quite well. But on average, it was just like, okay, returns, I guess you would you would call it
Captain FI 10:37
again. So as you said, the majority of your gains were actually living quite like well within your means and contributing towards paying down the mortgage on those loans.
Dave Strong Money Australia 10:49
And know that I mean, yes, in terms of most of the most of our progress came from saving but the the those those savings weren’t used to pay down debt. Those savings we just used to put towards like either the next property or later on when we started buying shares are so leapfrogging
Captain FI 11:11
Unknown Speaker 11:12
Captain FI 11:14
Might I actually yeah, I understand. It’ll be it’ll be about Perth. I live there a couple of years ago, is to rent a place in Scarborough, Scarborough beach.
Dave Strong Money Australia 11:25
We used to, we used to live in Scarborough, we still got a house that we rent out now in Scott.
Captain FI 11:32
Oh, yeah. I love tonight, nothing. Nothing better than didn’t mosey on down to scarves, you know, on a Saturday, or Sunday morning with a coffee. Never know, might might have seen you a party in
Unknown Speaker 11:45
the Grotto or?
Captain FI 11:49
So um, look, that’s a pretty interesting segue. You just mentioned, you used your savings to then diversify into shares? What? What was the reason for this? You sort of mentioned that at the very start you a bit hesitant to get into shares or start a business? What made you diversify into shares? And specifically, why did you choose listed investment companies?
Dave Strong Money Australia 12:20
Okay, so I guess I started to realize a bit later on in the journey, that property wasn’t quite as good as I thought it was. And so, essentially, if, I guess I thought that even if properties were paid off completely, because of the amount of expenses associated with them, the income would be so poor, after all those costs that they wouldn’t be very much income. And so I was kind of forced to reconsider my strategy, I guess, and look, I guess, look elsewhere and, and take a second peek at shares. And so I did that, and I started learning more about shares. And I noticed that Ozzie shares in particular pay very good income. And there’s obviously no costs associated with that compared to property. And you also get, you know, franking credits, which makes the income even higher. And so it became, became pretty clear at that point that it would be much easier to live off our wealth, if that wealth was actually in shares rather than property. So that’s kind of how that started. And then in terms of why I chose, Li says, I was really because I was attracted to the idea of living off dividends. And so the Li C’s were kind of a more natural fit for that approach, as some of their strategies themselves are focused on investing for growing income streams that kind of matched what I was after. So that’s kind of how that came about.
Captain FI 14:00
Yeah, I am. I almost went the other way around. I started with licks and shares, and now I’m looking to diversify into property. But I’m 100% with you on that on the day of like the investing for growing income stream, as well as quite a tax effective stream with franking credits. I haven’t fired yet. So my holdings are not as large as I would like them to be. But I am starting to get a good flow of dividends. And when I see them come into the account, it’s like it’s almost like programming me like yes, this is good. I need to I need I need to invest more.
Dave Strong Money Australia 14:45
It’s like a self reinforcing thing. So cuz it’s kind of like some positive encouragement along the way, like here, you’re doing the right thing you’ve got you’re getting some you’re getting this income stream coming in. So it’s kind of motivating at the same time. Absolutely, he’s very motivating. And for my own, like psychological benefit,
Captain FI 15:05
I don’t participate in like the drps, like the dividend reinvestment plans or the bonus share plans. I just love seeing the money appear. And then it’s like, yeah, just like you say it’s that positive reinforcement. Just on that. I also hold ETFs I often hear this debate over, like, what’s more tax effective? You know, if you, if you hold a parcel of shares and sell them, and you’ve held them for more than 12 months, you’re going to get a 50% cgt discount. And then a lot of people that prefer licks will bring up the 100%, Frank’s dividends and the growing income stream. Where do you sit on this issue? And which strategy do you prefer?
Dave Strong Money Australia 15:58
I prefer to use dividends for income just because it’s a lot simpler. You don’t have to do anything. There’s no like rebalancing involved. And so it’s psychologically easier to do as well. Because, you know, a lot of people, especially beginners, when they start investing in the markets, the price movements can be pretty unnerving. So I think, yeah, the dividends can help from that kind of perspective, too. But in terms of like, what’s more tax efficient, there’s different ways you can look at it. And it kind of depends whether you’re looking at international shares, or Ozzie shares or whatever, because different countries have different tax regimes. And so it really, really depends, man, you can look at it in lots of different ways. But there, I think the bottom line is instead of like an either or they’re both very tax effective. And especially in retirement, your I mean, I’m going to do a post on this soon, because it comes up all the time, like, Oh, I’m trying to, you know, reduce tax in retirement, and how do I go about it, but it turns out that you can earn a very, very healthy amount of income from your share portfolio, whether that’s through dividends, or whether that’s through harvesting kind of capital gains and withdrawing your money, that way, you can earn a very good amount of income with without paying very much tax at all. So it’s, it’s kind of an over, over mentioned topic, I’ll say, and it’s a worry that doesn’t really, and that isn’t really warranted.
Captain FI 17:29
No, I can definitely, I can definitely relate to that. I probably over analyze and overthink this kind of stuff. But like you said, the most important thing is to just start doing it start investing. So I’m happily I’m happy to sit in both camps. Camp ETF and camp LIC actually use the LIC discount estimator that pat put up on his blog, the lifelong shuffle quite a bit. And that’s really handy for me. Of course, my favorite thing about the licks is that sometimes you can buy them below their net net asset value. So I kind of feel like I’m getting a bargain. So that that that’s like a positive psychological motivator for me. Alright, so moving on, what got you started blogging? What Why did you start writing about your experiences?
Dave Strong Money Australia 18:26
Why did I start Oh, really, it kind of started before I left work, not in terms of starting a blog. But I had a friend at work who was kind of telling all this stuff, too. And he’s like, Man, you got to write this stuff down. I was just kind of passing on what I learned. I was like, oh, Nana, and then he kept kind of saying it’s ending as I can. He goes, yo, you never know when you might use them. Like, maybe I’ll use it someday. So I just started writing down notes in this kind of big notebook, different stuff that I’ve learned over time. And then after I had left work, few months later, I was looking at this notebook, and I was flicking through URLs that maybe I can turn this into a blog. And so I thought, well, I’ll just try it and see if I like it. Like, see if I like the process of writing because I’ve never, you know, written anything before, so I wasn’t sure if I’d even like it or be able to figure out how to start a blog. So yeah, I ended up starting it and, and writing stuff down and people seem to enjoy it or they found it helpful. So I kind of grew from there. Because I really, really enjoyed the process of writing. So I kept kept going.
Captain FI 19:40
That’s, that’s awesome as well. Yep. I’m definitely one of those. One of those readers and I appreciate all the time that goes into your blog posts. I’m in I’m in a similar boat, I would, you know, be sitting in the cruise, chatting to the other crew members. And of course, always get to the topic of finances. Investments, all of the pilots seem to think it’s a great idea to get yourself a big portfolio of negatively geared properties. But it was I never really understood. And so a big part of me starting writing was to keep keep myself accountable on my journey to fire. So it’s really good to see people like yourself, mister money mustache, mad scientist who have been through it, and basically writing their experiences. So most of us can win kind of full follow along on our journey. So lots of really, really useful information on the blog. So good on you for starting it. I’d be interested interested to see where do you still have your own notebook? Dave?
Dave Strong Money Australia 20:49
I think I do mine. I’m not sure where it is now, but I could probably find it if I tried.
Captain FI 20:55
The the fire hall of fame
Dave Strong Money Australia 21:00
might go in the fire had a fire hall of fame.
Captain FI 21:07
Alright, so Dave, getting into some of the nitty gritty? How do you manage your day to day finances? So,
Dave Strong Money Australia 21:14
you know, I
Captain FI 21:15
see a lot of people use things like cashback credit cards, and you know, mortgage offsets and that kind of stuff. How do you and your partner manage your money together?
Dave Strong Money Australia 21:28
Yeah, so we don’t actually use any credit cards. And it’s not because I think they’re evil or anything like that, I just really can’t be bothered like the, the, I guess the rewards compared to what people get in the US don’t really seem all that great. So it’s kind of seems like a fair bit of effort for like, not much reward, and I really just can’t be bothered. So I’ve never never tried that kind of strategy. And we do use offset account, because that’s obviously super useful to save mortgage interest. And it obviously earns a lot more than high interest savings account word these days. And so any, any cash that we’re not investing yet, we’ll we’ll see in that offset account. But how we manage our money really is just in terms of spending, like we just buy, we buy what we need, which turns out to be not all that much, I suppose. And that kind of helps, because we’ve accumulated, you know, a bunch of good habits, I’ll say, so it’s, it’s not really something that we spend a ton of time thinking about, or, or, or working on, you know, just kind of just kind of happens the way it is after living a certain way and developing certain habits over so many years.
Captain FI 22:50
Yeah, okay, that’s great. So it’s just more about living a, you know, a basic lifestyle where, you know, you don’t need to be wasteful or inefficient. And I shouldn’t even say basic, because, you know, I like to think that I live a pretty amazing lifestyle. And I sort of claim to be quite frugal as well. So I think it just goes to show that, you know, you don’t need to spend or waste a ridiculous amount of money to be happy.
Dave Strong Money Australia 23:17
Yeah, not and not at all. And it’s definitely not about living on a tight budget or anything like that. We don’t have a budget at all, we never, we never really have. So start really a conscious effort to like, Oh, we better shave some pennies off of this, this area in this area. It doesn’t really, it’s never really been like that for us.
Captain FI 23:34
Yeah, that’s great, man. Cuz I guess like, in the fire community, we can probably get a little bit too sick start on frugality and budgeting. Whereas actually, perhaps if people want to look at their behaviors more holistically, there are a few big changes to your lifestyle that you can tweak. I mean, what a combination, transport and groceries, they’re three huge factors. If you just are a little more sensible, you might find your savings rates more healthy than you think.
Dave Strong Money Australia 24:07
Yeah, like, exactly. It’s just about looking at what you’re doing and kind of questioning why is this the best? Is this the kind of the most optimal choice? Am I getting like the most benefits at like a reasonable cost? It’s not about the lowest cost? It’s about balancing the benefits with the cost and and looking at it that way.
Captain FI 24:27
Yeah, look, balancing the benefits and the cost to make sure you’re getting the most happiness out of your spending. Yeah, that’s a that’s a great I think that’s a great encapsulation of the fire movement. So I’m just with the the properties. So I’ve recently was chatting to someone on social media about debt recycling. And she brought up Peter Thornhill who mentions Yeah, who is also a big fan of dividend growth, investing. big advocate of lscs have you and your partner ever considered something like debt recycling, from a margin loan against your property to purchase lscs?
Dave Strong Money Australia 25:18
Like, at the moment, it wouldn’t be even an option because we’re in the, I guess we’re in the category of like, having a lot of debt still, because of the properties we still have with kind of a low taxable income. So our borrowing capacity wouldn’t be kind of wouldn’t allow that to happen anyway. But whether I would do it? Yeah, I wouldn’t do it. Depending on, you know, the situation and how much how much the interest rate was, and things like that, because, I mean, at the moment, interest rates are so so low that it’s, it’s not hard to imagine that you’re going to earn a decent return above that interest rate for, for investing that borrowed money, it can definitely work just depends on kind of the person and their situation and how good they are at managing their finances. And if they have a backup plan, you know, if something was to go wrong with their job, and they’ve got a bigger loan than they otherwise might have, or as a few things to consider, but it’s,
Captain FI 26:18
it’s worth a look, digging a little bit deeper into the the index fund, Li sees, which particular lrcs Are you a fan of and why did you pick them.
Dave Strong Money Australia 26:30
So I invest in both index ones, and Li C’s, and there’s no special reason that I’ve chose the couple of lsps that I did. I mean, there’s a group of maybe, I don’t even know, maybe like five of them that are pretty similar. And been around quite a while with it, you know, decent track record of paying a reasonable income to shareholders. So I just like funds that are low cost, diversified that I can hold for a long time that I don’t have to think about too much. And so index funds and LSE both both kind of fit that bill. I have owned individual stocks in the past. But I try and keep it pretty simple these days. So I don’t have to spend that much time, kind of on my investments. It’s not really that I’m against stock picking or anything. It’s just that I think most people’s portfolios should be nicely. Simple and diversified funds that they don’t really have to think about.
Captain FI 27:34
Yeah, it’s gone with you on that one as well. Davis is like my, excuse me, my core holdings, I just index funds. ETFs. And then yeah, branching out, trying to pick up a few few more of those licks. Just the, like the older ones, low fees, and, you know, solid history of increasing dividends, they’re kind of the main things that I’m looking for as well. So what about superannuation? Do you guys use super? I mean, obviously, you’re retired already. So you don’t need that simple. But, you know, did you contribute to it at all? And is it part of your overall strategy?
Dave Strong Money Australia 28:18
In the start, when I first when I first started saving, so when I was super young, I put I probably put in about 60 bucks extra and I was like, Oh, yeah, I’ll build up my super as well until I realized that no, wait a minute, I’m gonna need this money when I’m like, in my 30s, probably. So I definitely don’t want it in supine. If I have a choice, so no, that’s that wasn’t really super wasn’t really part of our overall goal. I mean, I like it. And I definitely look forward to accessing it. But it’s not something that we that we utilize at the moment in terms of putting extra money in and trying to take advantage of the low tax rate and things like that. Just because of how young Ah, I was planning to retire. I definitely thought that investing outside super made a lot more sense.
Captain FI 29:08
Yeah. Okay. And yeah, of course, it makes sense because you’re retiring early, so you’re going to need that money now. So do you, you know, do you have a decent super balance? And are you planning to draw down your portfolio and then supplement it with super when you reach preservation age? Or is it just gonna be a nice bonus when you get
Dave Strong Money Australia 29:34
here we’re trading super like a bonus really, like our goal is just to live off our personal portfolio and then when super when we can access super, I will either I don’t know we might leave it invested or we might turn that into another income stream to and start taking money from there. But that’s kind of a while away yet so not really thinking too hard about
Captain FI 29:58
Yeah, absolutely. I can, I can relate to that I certainly, I’m looking at my super and thinking, when I, when I get it, you know, it’ll, it’ll be out of supplement and so on at the moment, thinking about that sort of two phase retirement with a draw down until I reach that age, and then, you know, the C, having the super to provide income later on in life. Yeah, it is, it is so far away. I don’t really blame people for not bothering a dad or thinking about it. So,
Dave Strong Money Australia 30:33
yeah, it really depends on what kind of age you think you’ll be when you do retire. Because, I mean, even if someone’s 25, and they’re, you know, working towards financial independence, but they don’t think they’ll get there till they’re like 45 or 50, then maybe, maybe, soup will be a bigger part of their plan. But um, if you’re going to retire at like, 30, you’re going to need a, you’re gonna need a boatload of money by 30 and supers really gonna be a backup really.
Captain FI 31:05
So speaking of retirement, what’s it like? Health is hell is reaching for changed your life in what do you do with yourself? It’s good, man. It’s really good.
Dave Strong Money Australia 31:21
How does it change your life? I guess, it changed your life by giving you your life back. That’s how that’s how it’s long enough. What do we do? Well, I try to keep, like I try to keep kind of productive and healthy, so that we’re not really like wasting this opportunity to enjoy our enjoy our freedom. So I like to spend time on the blog. And now the podcasts, I usually do, like, maybe a couple of hours writing each day. spend a bit of time exercising and reading and also like taking the dog for lots of walks and time with my partner, we might go out for lunch or go to national park or something like that. And we also do some volunteering, like in the local area, because there’s a environmental group that like plants, trees and stuff like that. So we also help out there and I’ve also been doing some like volunteer stuff, helping local wildlife. So yeah, that’s, that’s it. That kind of
Captain FI 32:28
sounds like every day, he’s a weekend for you at the moment.
Dave Strong Money Australia 32:31
Oh, yeah, that’s exactly how it is. Yeah, every Yeah, that’s a good way to describe every day is like the weekend. Hey,
Captain FI 32:39
that’s wonderful. I’ve mentioned like everyone listening to this right now is probably just like, daydreaming for the moment that they can reach fire as well. So it’s
Dave Strong Money Australia 32:50
like, it’s kind of weird, right? Because some people say, oh, but thank you get bored. And then if you kind of put it in the lens of Well, do you get bored on the weekend? They’re like, Well, no, I love the weekend. What’s that? Well, yeah, exactly. It’s just like,
Captain FI 33:02
every every weekend, that’s how I’m gonna explain this to people from now on. So, Dave, you mentioned you, you know, you like to keep up with the times and doing a bit of reading. Do you have any favorites? Like, if I could say, what would you be your three favorite personal finance investing or sort of self development books? What would they be?
Dave Strong Money Australia 33:30
Alright, so, um, for for personal finance. I think like, there’s two I like, I like the millionaire. They’re not new, by the way. They’re old ones. The Millionaire Next Door, which you’ve probably read. Yes. Yeah, that’s a good one. I like that one. And I’ll say, I don’t know if you’ve read the richest man in Babylon.
Captain FI 33:52
Yeah, it’s actually it’s like old and quite
Dave Strong Money Australia 33:55
a short book. It’s an old old lock fable kind of story. Yes, yes. I think that’s why I like it. Because it’s so different. Yeah, yeah. It’s very cool, man. I like that one. Um, yeah. So those are kind of personal finance. And then in terms of investing, there’s a blog that I like, by us guy named Ben Carson. It’s called a wealth of common sense. It’s he just writes kind of about markets and investor psychology and stuff like that. It’s really, it’s really quite good.
Captain FI 34:26
Okay, no, I haven’t actually come across that. So that’s on the radar now at all. I’ll link these in the show notes, by the way, so But thanks for bringing that up. Let’s give me another one to two crews
Dave Strong Money Australia 34:37
add to the list. And in terms of personal development, yeah, yeah. Yes, I like there’s a blogger, but he also has two books now by the name of Mark Manson. Do you know who they are? Yes,
Captain FI 34:51
the soul of how not to give a Yeah,
Dave Strong Money Australia 34:54
it’s not loud enough.
Captain FI 35:00
I actually just read his book. And I like it because it’s fluorescent orange. He’s got another one as well.
Dave Strong Money Australia 35:06
I’ve got it on my table here right now it’s called Everything is fine, a book about hope. So it’s like a modern day philosophy book really about life, the way we live, what’s happening in the world and why we feel the way we do. Like why, why we feel like everything’s bad, despite everything getting better over time. That’s really, really interesting.
Captain FI 35:28
Yeah, we live in one of the best periods of time, like it’s one of the most affluent periods in our entire society yet, ever on seems to be
Dave Strong Money Australia 35:39
Captain FI 35:42
Let’s say, Well, if you don’t read that book, and then on Netflix, watch the social dilemma. Because if you do those two things in quick succession like I did, you’ll very quickly have an existential crisis and start wrapping your head in tin foil. Yeah, but no, I really good, really good messages, like big takeaways that I had was, you know, obviously cutting down social media, and just caring less about what people say and think, now. Awesome, awesome recommendations, Dave Arkan, people will get a lot out of those. So when we get towards the end of the end of the interview here, alright, and you know, this is common. I love putting people on the spot here, what would be your top tips for someone starting out on the path to financial independence?
Dave Strong Money Australia 36:35
Yeah, good question. I think I’d probably have to say, run your own race. And what I mean, like is don’t compare, like people spend too much time once they get into this financial independence world, worrying about, oh, how much are other people spending or, okay, that’s how much I have to spend to or what’s their savings, right. And then trying to, I mean, competition can sometimes be healthy, but a lot of times not. And then or what other people investing in, I have to copy this person’s investments. And really just, everyone’s different, and everyone’s situation is quite unique. So you really got to do the best you can with, with the the life that you have now and just kind of do what feels right for you. And, and don’t worry too much about what other people are, how other people are kind of approaching it, or? Yeah, so that’s one. And then another one would be start planning now, what you might do when you retire. Because, like sometimes, I don’t know if you’ve heard, but I’ve heard some stories of people who kind of leave work, and then they feel a bit lost and be bored. And they think like, Oh, this wasn’t a good idea. Oh, really, it’s just because I had absolutely no plan to do anything after leaving work. It was just like, okay, I just get to this end, God and everything’s, everything’s roses. So I thought, yeah, then you have to create, like the best life you can from the opportunity you have. So like, they forget about a bit. So it’s important to kind of plan what you might do later. So you can do that by like, just writing a list of all the things that you might like to do, or might like to look into, or research or try, once you do have the time to do it, and time to devote to those things. And then you’ve got a bunch of like a bunch of options, and a bunch of IDs, kind of set out in front of you when the time comes. So you’re not going to be like at this angle, and then like oh, now what do I do now? Like this was a bad idea.
Captain FI 38:31
So you could um, you know, a great way to start might be just listing what you currently do on your weekend?
Dave Strong Money Australia 38:37
Captain FI 38:39
It’s funny at the moment, I tend to work extra jobs. And, you know, right into this side, hustle coaches, and my weekends are often spin, doing either over time or working on the blog or stuff like that. So she had maybe I need to start thinking a bit more about what I’m going to do in early retirement.
Dave Strong Money Australia 38:58
Yeah, I think then you need to start listening.
Captain FI 39:01
Oh, well, I’m gonna start a list. That’s, yeah, that’s probably one of the biggest things to come out of this interview. So yeah, I
Dave Strong Money Australia 39:08
mean, like, even it might just be like to spend more time on your health or spend more time with you, and your girlfriend or your kids or whatever, or
Captain FI 39:16
Yeah, well, it’s interesting. You say that, because one of my motivations for being on this path to financial independence is actually about starting a family. I actually, I think I read something that the Aussie five had written about his friends who started having kids, they ended up having to sacrifice things in their lives as a result of being a parent. So whether that was okay, we’re no longer going to go to football training anymore, or you know, we can’t go out anymore. One by one you sort of pared back your hobbies. Hmm. And so when he wrote about financial independence, to enable Having a family that really struck a chord with me. So I think, you know, right number one on the top of my list is, is being a dad.
Dave Strong Money Australia 40:10
So like, it’s a big project in itself. So you want to be able to devote, I mean, that’s what it’s all about. It’s all about devoting time to the things that you think are worthwhile in your life.
Captain FI 40:21
That’s that’s the whole point of fire, isn’t it? It’s not counting, counting cents, or, you know, Nescafe, blend, blend 43 instead of coffee. It’s just about doing what makes you happy, and allocating your funds accordingly. Yeah. Awesome, mate. Hey, it’s been great having a chat to you, Dave. Before we wrap up, is there anything we haven’t talked about today that you’d like to bring up?
Dave Strong Money Australia 40:48
I’m kind of just on that last point, like people focusing on waiting till the financial independent to start, I guess, start enjoying life or whatever. But I think more people than they realize, are well suited to kind of semi retirement. And so rather than work for, say, 15 years, and save and invest a lot of people, and then retiring, like a lot of people that I talked to are planning to work part time after they reach fi anyway. So even though I mean that it’s even though if they do that, when they’re fully fit, they’re gonna have a much bigger cushion that could easily retire with maybe half as much in auto, maybe half the amount of time, get their freedom back and get get that ideal lifestyle that they’re eventually going to have anyway, kind of achieved that much sooner. And then if they also like, when that happens, if they also have a small savings right at the time, eventually, they will reach complete financial independence, where even that part time works completely optional. But I just see too many people think it has to be all or nothing. But really, there’s, there’s a happy middle ground, because a lot of people are planning to do some sort of part time work after retiring anyway. So I think they can, there’s an opportunity there for a lot more freedom a lot, a lot quicker than they realize.
Captain FI 42:16
There’s a TED talk, thinking about fire in terms of mini retirements.
Dave Strong Money Australia 42:22
Yeah, like what, like instead of working towards having a 40 grand income stream, why not try a 20 grand income stream, and then just make up that 20 grand elsewhere. And you’re going to have, you’re going to get locked the vast bulk of the benefits of retirement or financial independence without having to put as much time and savings into it.
Captain FI 42:46
Now, this is actually we’re starting to encroach on a really interesting topic that I’ve, that I’m really new to, and that’s the business income and starting a business. And I’ve been experimenting with various other sort of side hustles things like matched betting and surveys and stuff, there has been a great little earner, but I just don’t think the time it’s worth your time in the long run. Yeah. But I have been experimenting with a few different websites. And it’s really interesting that you bring that up. Because that’s something that I’m over the next few months, going to be talking a little bit more and more about is creating digital businesses. There was a really good episode of Ozzy Firebug, where he interviewed a bloke from games like finder, in talked a little bit about how you can create websites and how that would work with semi retirement. But yeah, so I’ll link to that again in the notes as well for people that are interested. But yeah, it’s on the radar and should be coming up pretty soon. So wrap it up. Dave, thanks so much for for having a chat, man. A lot of really good stuff, I think. Yeah, it’s a pretty inspiring example. And you put out so much great information for people to use. If people are looking to find your blog, or the podcast, where can they go to find you?
Dave Strong Money Australia 44:21
Yeah, thanks, man. They can just, they can just go to strong money. australia.com. And for the podcast, they could just search for fire and chill anywhere. They listen to podcasts, but it’s also on the blog if they wanted to listen to it on there, too.
Captain FI 44:36
Speaking of which, I’m actually overdue for the last episode, so I think I know what I’ll be doing this afternoon.
Dave Strong Money Australia 44:43
Captain FI 44:44
Dave Strong Money Australia 44:45
Captain FI 44:47
Thanks for listening to another episode of the Captain FI Financial Independence Podcast. To read the transcripts or check out the show notes, head over to www dot Captain FI dot 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 FI 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 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.