FIRE.051 ChooseFI Group: Enjoying Life

FI: Financially Aware, Financially Optimizing; Enjoying Life.  That is the title I wanted to use, but Jonathan and Brad’s ChooseFI podcast deserves the headline.

I’ve now met repeatedly with two local ChooseFI groups and the meetings continue to be some of the most amazing meetings ever.

Gathered around a large table—or in rows of chairs—were over a dozen people who are locked in on the idea of being in Financial Control.  These people have the power over their money and not let money—or worse bills—control them.

The members of the group are so interested—or experienced—in mastering their money, time, and life.  The term “life hacks” is so magically applicable to many repeated examples shared in these meetings.  The brain power and information could be overwhelming in the 3ish hours if we weren’t all totally engrossed in the topics, constantly jumping to new topics or expounding on those in the current discussion.  I NEVER have an attention span over an hour, not with anything, except with the ChooseFI group(s).  To be fair, I understand some significant others have been known to overload and “skip” some of the future meetings, but a huge percentage of the group loves the information, even more so than considering the time just “well-spent-learning-hours.”

The two groups I’m in are full of people so different from the norm.  The entire group is actually quite different from each other.  We differ in age, family size, residence location, careers, experience with finances, wealth, financial sub-interests, etc.  Yet, there is such an open—and actually an excitement—between us.  The FI foundation we all share shows that the structure(s) we build on top can be and look different, but we are all so similar.

How the hell can so many strangers get so excited, raising their voices, and one-upping each other, when the Instant Pot comes up?  Hilariously amazing.

Maybe I’m just communicating the fact that we are ALL working to be better.  Financial freedom takes away a huge burden allowing the best in each of us.  How we choose to give our best back to the world may differ, but it shines through when you’re around the group.

I just wonder, what if the other 9,999 people out of 10,000 could learn 1/3 (1hr per month) of these ideas, skills, hacks?  What would our society, our neighborhoods, our friends and family do with this feeling of control, of power?

On a personal note: I’ve been pushing my FIRE life aggressively for over 12 years (7-10 pre/3+ post FIRE).  I looked 3, 5, 10 years ago to see if there were groups discussing FI for younger, middle-aged people with no luck.  I found the ChooseFI podcast after listening to podcasts for 10+ years and enjoy it along with my other podcasts.  What I do find truly remarkable is the way Brad and Jonathan have grown the FI topic from the typical blogs/podcasts into local meetings.  I’m over the hump and living FIRE on hopefully a LONG, LONG glide path, but I still learn and definitely love to share ideas I learned along the way.  It’s amazing to be with groups of people who are on a similar flight path, just have different takeoff dates and current altitudes.

Try the ChooseFI podcast, try to find a local ChooseFI group (or meetup) even if you’re not a social person like me.  I’ll tell you, it’s easy to be around people like you…actually, it’s awesome.  They’re awesome!

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