I’ve said it before, and I’ll write it again—hanging out with people who make you better is one of the best things you can do for yourself and those around you.
I’ve been to five CampFI gatherings around the country and each one is very interesting and valuable to me. There is an abundance of intelligence, wisdom, and sharing. I am often presented with perspectives that differ from considerations I’ve had in the past. I find value in listening, processing, and re-evaluating positions I’ve held on many topics. This is not something that I normally do in real life with other people, even If they are friends. I think I do this at camp because I feel that the people who (pay to) attend CampFI tend to be of higher intellectual caliber in so many ways and I recognize that distinction.
The average age of CampFI SW San Diego was a little older than many camps— probably mid-40s. The ages ranged from 24 to 69. There were a handful of people in their mid-20s, and a chunk of people 45/50+. The remaining (most) attendees were in the 35-45ish age range. This allowed for a lot of discussions from those who may be nearing the 10-year stage of planning for FI, never mind the leaving-their-career stage.
Looking back, in the spring of 2020 I was closing in on turning 50 and I was really thinking that I’d aged out of CampFI and ChooseFI. Many of the discussions (“saving $9 on Netflix every other month” or “side hustling for $100/wk”) didn’t interest me. To be honest, even opening a treasury direct.gov account didn’t seem worth my time in an attempt to earn more interest on a $10k transaction.
As luck would have it, CampFI SW moved from the Palm Spring area to a camp near our home in Encinitas. I also lucked out in that the group of attendees was the best of ANY CampFI I’ve been to. “Awesome” (see I’m old).
One big takeaway is that I am glad I’m smart enough to realize that people who are not like me can make me better.
I also realize that people who challenge you to go outside your comfort zone (jumping off a zip line platform, or climbing a wall, or talking about a worldly topic) can help you grow.
In my mind, I find that talking with people who are on a similar journey ahead of you will help you navigate your path a little smarter. Similarly, people who are on a similar journey but behind you can help you frame how you got to where you are. Both groups of people can help you traverse your journey better than you would without them.
*** Nothing in this article is to be construed as financial advice. I am not a financial planner, nor do I pretend to be. You should always consult your own professional when seeking advice. This post is not a piece of literary mastery, just a random thought I had.