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I love sharing FIRE case studies to inspire you.
They prove the dream really is achievable for normal people with no extraordinary financial skills.
They also unmask the dream to show how the reality of financial independence and early retirement differ from your idealized vision.
The truth is everyone hits potholes, makes mistakes, and questions if it's worth all the hard work.
Our guest, Chris Mamula, is no different.
He candidly shares his FIRE story in this interview – warts, blemishes, and victories as well.
Despite several costly errors he managed to achieve financial freedom in just 5 years.
- Chris paid excessive fees to a financial advisor
- He bought a variable annuity within a 401(k)
- He felt “less than” when comparing himself to other FIRE success stories
- But he got several critical factors right like keeping expenses low and saving a high percentage of his income, and that proved to be good enough.
Financial freedom isn't about luck, brains, or a single great investment. It's about having a valid plan based on proven principles and taking sufficient action with enough persistence to reach the goal (exactly as taught in my Expectancy Wealth Planning course here).
Anyone can do it, and these case studies prove it.
I hope you enjoy the example Chris has shared.
And if you got great value from Chris's story then please check out the other FIRE success case studies on this podcast.
In this episode you'll discover:
- What inspired Chris and his wife to become financially independent
- Why Chris is so debt-adverse, and how it worked to his advantage
- How Chris adopted the term “dirt bag millionaire”
- The important role values play for achieving financial independence (they matter way more than you think)
- Chris's personal definition of financial independence
- How the 25x Rule, Rule of 300 and 400, and 4% Rule can give you a rough benchmark of how much money to aim for in retirement
- The mistake that occurs when you get overly focused on retiring early
- How to balance spending now versus saving for the future
- What Chris did once he realized how unhappy he had become on this journey
- How to avoid the insidious trap of “I'll be happy when I'm retired”
- The benefits of continued work after financial independence
- How to redefine what early retirement and financial independence mean, and why it matters
- Abundance versus scarcity in early retirement
- How Chris's plan reflects the “new retirement“
- The surprising reason why most people pursuing financial independence will continue to work
- Risk management for early retirement
- The key to understanding mathematical expectancy
- Why it's paramount to become your own financial expert, lest you get taken for a ride by your financial advisor
- The danger of financial advisor fees. Chris was paying over $8,000 every year!
- The tax consequences Chris and his wife faced for not doing their due diligence quickly enough
- Why it might make sense to select a fee-only financial advisor instead of one paid via commissions
- How the pursuit of financial independence changes your thinking at a fundamental level
- Why learning to be happy and present is the key
- The resources that were most helpful to Chris for investing without any prior knowledge
- Other sources of income that Chris and his wife are looking into
- Why Chris doesn't feel like he really paid a price to become financially free
- How living in alignment with your values creates happiness
- and much more….
Resources and Links Mentioned in this Session Include:
- Step 3 – Wealth Planning Course
- Can I Retire Yet? – Chris's blog
- @caniretire_yet – Follow Chris on Twitter
- Early Retirement Extreme
- Into the Wild, by Jon Krakauer
- Mr. Money Mustache // Early Retirement Police Article
- The 4% Rule, by Todd Tresidder
- Mad FIentist
- Variable Annuity Pros & Cons, by Todd Tresidder
- How Wall Street Can Legally Rip You Off – Article
- The White Coat Investor // Investment Advisors Are Not Doctors Article
- The Secret to Happiness and Why It Has Nothing to Do With Money – article
- Stock Series from JL Collins
- The Simple Path to Wealth, by Jim Collins
- Intelligent Asset Allocator, by William Bernstein
- All About Asset Allocation, by Rick Ferri
- Recommended Reading – Beginner Investing
- Coach Carson
- (Please note: some of the links above are affiliate links so if you buy a course or book using these links I will receive a little compensation. Thank you for supporting this site!)
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Anybody can learn to build a secure retirement -- and you don't need a financial advisor.
My course, Expectancy Wealth Planning, has been called "the best financial education on the internet" and provides all the knowledge you'll ever need to build the life -- and retirement -- of your dreams.