Have you ever stumbled across your favorite early retirement blogger and your mind blown? One blog post and and you’re off to the races.
Chasing the dream.
You start off just wanting to cut back and make some adjustments.
Before you know it, nothing matters except reaching the Holy Grail…
You’ve set Financial Independence on the altar, willing to sacrifice nearly everything to get there.
Expensive coffee? No thanks.
Eating out? Only idiots do that.
The thought of buying Christmas gifts causes you to go on an internal rant about the consumerism in American culture. You mock the crowds waiting in line for the newest iPhone.
There’s only one way to become financially independent…
Live like a monk. Avoid all social outings. Turn every purchase into a cost-benefit analysis and throw every single penny into VTSAX.
Save at least 50% of your income, pray the markets continue their bull-run, and spend every Friday night tinkering your spreadsheets, reviewing your strategy, and reading Early Retirement Now so that you can have the most optimal withdrawal rate strategy when you retire 10 years from now.
Sound familiar? I’ve heard it all. Heck, in many ways I’m talking about myself.
Turning the Corner
I love the hardcore nature of the FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early) community. I appreciate the intensity. I think it takes a certain personality to be willing to work hard, sacrifice luxuries, all for much delayed satisfaction.
I’m part of nearly a dozen Facebook groups that are geared towards budgeting, saving, and financial independence. I love the community and have become immersed over this past year.
One thing I’ve noticed over the past six months is this…
The hardcore nature of FIRE makes it hard to draw others in. For many, the intensity is a turn-off, and often these are the people who need our advice the most.
My wife is one of those people.
Those of us in the community want to help people manage their finances, learn how to budget, get out of debt, avoid making financial mistakes, and generally live a more fulfilling, more free life.
But too often it comes across like this: “YOU’RE AN IDIOT! Why would you ever get a car loan?! Pay cash only!”
This week she said, “Hey, I think I might leave the _________ Facebook group. They’re too intense for me. I mean, is it such a bad thing that I like luxuries and don’t want to give up everything I enjoy?”
I completely understood where she was coming from.
Fortunately for people like her and thousands of others, there is a community of people ready to help.
A community of people committed to helping each other along the journey to Financial Independence.
Meet ChooseFI: The Best Podcast Duo Spreading the FIRE
ChooseFI is a podcast and blog founded by Brad Barrett and Jonathan Mendonsa that is changing the lives of thousands of people, one episode at a time.
After launching in the beginning of 2017 the podcast has rapidly grown into one of the most-listened to and the best podcast on personal finance in the country!
In 2017 the were voted by RockstarFinance bloggers as the best podcast covering Financial Independence AND they were runner-ups for new podcast of the year at FinCon. These are both huge wins for them!
I stumbled across ChooseFI about 6 months ago when the podcast had around 20 episodes and the Facebook group was just launched. Since then, Jonathan and Brad have continued to deliver amazing episodes and the community has grown right along.
Each of the four bloggers quoted below are actively involved in the ChooseFI Facebook group and have great things to say about the podcast and community!
Anissa Watkins, Blogger at Moetips
“The FI community has changed my way of thinking about how I manage my finances. I’ve reduced unnecessary costs in certain spending categories to allocate those funds towards retirement. When I post questions in the group for discussion, I get immediate responses and actionable steps! I love the community engagement and the comradery. The hosts provide valuable information every Monday and Friday and they interview knowledgeable guests. I’m honored to be an admin for the Baltimore local group!”
What Makes Up the ChooseFI Community
There are three major components that make up the community of ChooseFI.
The podcast airs every Monday and Friday. Monday introduces a new topic or idea and Friday brings in the community’s feedback and ideas. With over 100 episodes, there is plenty of binge-worthy material!
They’ve interviewed some seriously amazing guests and some of the most well-known people in the Financial Independence community.
- 009 | Travel Rewards
- 21 | The Pillars of FI
- 019 | JL Collins Index Fund Investing
- 019R | Index Investing
- 022 | The True Cost of Car Ownership
- 007 | Crushing the Grocery Bill
More Advanced Listening
- 017R | The Roth Conversion Ladder
- 034R | How to Determine your Risk Tolerance
- 035 | Sequence of Returns
- 035R | The 4% Rule Explained
With all of these awesome episodes and guests, there’s no wonder why they’re considered by many to be the best podcast in personal finance!
Fritz Gilbert, blogger at The Retirement Manifesto
“Jonathan and Brad are absolutely CRUSHING IT with this podcast! They’ve struck the perfect balance between “content” and “Community”, and their numbers speak for themselves. Check out those ratings, have you ever seen so many “5’s”? There’s a reason! Give them a listen, you won’t regret it!”
2. Facebook Group
About 6 months after launching the podcast, Brad and Jonathan felt the need to form a place for their listeners and the greater FI population to come together to grow, share ideas, and ask for personalized advice.
What began less than two years ago has become one of the hottest and fastest growing communities within the early retirement space.
There’s no doubt that it can be tough to bring up finances with friends and family. Fortunately the ChooseFI Facebook group is a place where you can ask questions about becoming debt-free, optimizing your investments, cutting costs, or even sharing tips on how to budget with a spouse or partner.
About two weeks ago, they launched over 70 facebook local groups designed to foster real life relationships with those in the FIRE community and to share tips and hacks for local areas.
Join a Local group today!
Robert Farrington, Founder of The College Investor
“I love the engagement of the community on Facebook. It’s awesome to see a question and then like 10 responses almost immediately. While I don’t always agree with everything, it’s great to see such a strong community.”
3. ChooseFI Vault
What happens when you get 7,000+ FI-seeking people together?
Everyday people begin to share the advice, strategies, and ideas that are helping them reach financial independence. I’ve seen people share everything from their favorite recipes to complex budget templates and net worth trackers.
A few months back, Brad and Jonathan realized that they were sitting on a goldmine of advice and found a way to organize it all.
They launched the ChooseFI Vault. A simple folder in Google drive where people could submit their own DIY resources and guides to help others.
In the Vault you can find:
- Net Worth Templates
- Bank of Budget Friendly Recipes
- Budget Templates
- Private Mortgage Insurance Removal Calculator
- Loan Amortization Table
To get access, go here: https://www.choosefi.com/vault/
What Sets ChooseFI Apart
1. Community Focused
Truly what sets them apart is that this whole podcast and community isn’t even about them.
They are obsessively focused on making everything they do about the community they are trying to foster and build. They aren’t trying to promote their own name, become “larger than life” and they never take on any kind of celebrity-status.
Even as the podcast has grown to be one of the most listened to in the country, they have stayed down-to-earth. Two guys passionate about helping others reach financial independence.
If anything, they’ve become more humble during the exponential growth of the podcast.
How refreshing does that sound?
In an online community of bloggers and podcasters who all seem to be projecting themselves as the experts, the two guys changing the community have found a different approach–“help thousands of people reach their financial goals.”
2. Flexible Approach to Financial Independence
Because of their humility and eagerness to learn, they are much more open to different approaches. They realize that personal finance is exactly that–personal.
“We are not dogmatic here about any single approach to Financial Independence but want to foster conversation that allows all of us to reach our goal of financial independence faster. The path this community chooses to follow to reach FI will be incredibly diverse but the conversation is guaranteed to be fascinating.
Our only dogma is that you Take Action.”
Airmen, Anonymous Blogger at Military Dollar
“The great thing about Brad and Jonathan is they’ve been able to capture the imagination of thousands of people with a message that, to many people, seems “nuts” (even though it’s not!). I’m in my mid-thirties and have been walking this path mostly by myself for over a decade, because even though I found plenty of other FIRE people online, they were either much older than me or too hardcore. It’s great to see the FIRE spreading and the community building!”
The Fire is Spreading: Join the Movement Today
If you’re looking for an awesome group of people to learn from and grow with, join the ChooseFI community today. Don’t just dip your toes in the water. Jump on in.
Here are 3 quick ways to do that:
Lastly, would you do me a huge favor?
Click one of the share buttons to the left so that others like you can find a community where they can learn, ask questions, and be part of a group of like-minded people. OR send it to someone you know who wants help with their finances.
Become part of the movement today.