If You Want Financial Freedom You Can’t Ignore This (Parts 1 and 2)

We avoided estate planning for a long time; here’s why you shouldn’t. Without an estate plan, you’re giving over the control of what happens to all your assets to others. In part one of this two-part series, Eric + Jason talk about what they did to – finally – get their respective plans in place. Topics discussed in this episode include the elements of estate planning, why people delay + how to get started, living trusts, and taking care of your heirs. Don’t be like those who put this off “until they’re older”: join us now for the first episode of this two-part series.

Note: This content does not constitute investment advice and is being presented for informational and educational purposes only.

Part 1

Part 2


Show Notes

Essential Background: If you’re not familiar with our family situations, check out our earlier videos where we’re joined by our spouses (part 1 and part 2), and the recent episodes about our kids (part 1 and part 2). Note that each is a two-part series, and separate links are provided for all videos.

Estate planning FAQs: After viewing these videos, you’ll be better equipped to ask deeper questions about your own estate planning needs. We found this resource from the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC) to be really helpful. All of the high level topics discussed in our series are covered here.

What is a trust? This Investopedia article is a good starting point for clarification on the different types of trusts and other pertinent details. This is a subject where it’s easy to fall down a very deep rabbit hole, and having a good foundation first is always helpful. Be sure to research the particulars of your state or country as well, as things differ substantially.

Advanced care planning is an essential element of estate planning, and one we touched on in part 1 and expand upon in part 2 of this series. Thinking through your own preferences can be difficulty, but planning for them is vitally important.

Umbrella Insurance is among the most important (and least expensive) tools available to protect your assets. These policies sit on top of your existing liability coverage (auto, home, etc) and extend it. To learn more about umbrella policies, check out this Investopedia post.


You can find information on the tools we mention in each episode along with additional information in the Resources section of this site.

Our FIRE Portfolios Are Down 20%, What Now?

How has the recent market downturn changed our plans? Jason + Eric candidly discuss their pre- and post-FI moods in this volatile time. Learn what they’re doing and thinking about right now as Jason nears the two-year post-FI mark and Eric contemplates pushing his 2024 FI date back.

Note: This content does not constitute investment advice and is being presented for informational and educational purposes only.


Show Notes

Essential Background: Let’s start out with some definitions. Terms like correction, market crash, and bear market are thrown around casually at times and knowing their meaning is important. This Fortune article is a brief and effective summary.

Buying Stock in a Down Market is a part of show guest, Fritz Gilbert’s, post-FIRE strategy, which he discussed in a recent conversation with us. In this episode highlight, we discuss how he felt during the 2020 market decline and learn about his approach to continue buying in order to take advantage of low equity prices.

The Psychology of Money (Morgan Housel), is the book Eric discussed in this episode. Subtitled “Timeless lessons on wealth, greed, and happiness”, it recounts 19 short stories “exploring the strange ways people think about money and teaches you how to make better sense of one of life’s most important topics”.

Fixed Income has an essential role to play in any portfolio, particularly as you approach your retirement date. Did you miss our two-part series on Eric’s recent efforts to change their asset allocation from 100% stock? As he referenced in the current episode, that was an important part of increasing his confidence in this down market. Be sure to check out part one and part 2 of our conversation, as well as the behind the scenes conversation Eric and his wife Laura shared on this essential topic.

Tax Loss Harvesting is a concept we’ve discussed on the show before, but haven’t dug into deeply. This Investopedia article is a good summary. In brief, TLH is an approach by which investors can sell an asset at a loss, reducing the total amount of capital gains taxes due from the sale of profitable investments. You can then use the sale proceeds to purchase a similar asset or security, maintaining your asset allocation.


You can find information on the tools we mention in each episode along with additional information in the Resources section of this site.

Teaching Our Teens About FI and Money (Parts 1 and 2)

Having children comes along with many necessary expenses, but also provides a key opportunity to provide them with a solid financial education. In part one of a two part series, we tackle a topic that’s been requested many times by viewers: all things relating to kids. Topics discussed in this episode include our own financial upbringing, early attempts to teach our kids about saving + investing, the value of teens having jobs, and talking with them about FIRE. Join us for the first episode of this two-part series.

Note: This content does not constitute investment advice and is being presented for informational and educational purposes only.

Part 1


Part 2

Show Notes

Essential Background: If you haven’t watched our very first episode of Two Sides of FI which contains much of our own financial backstory, this is definitely material relevant to our discussion here.

UTMA custodial accounts may be useful investment vehicles for you to consider for your children, particularly when they don’t yet have earned income and are not eligible for a Roth IRA. These accounts are very flexible by design, and unlike with a 529 plan, the funds in a custodial account do not have to be used solely for higher-education expenses. 

529 Plans are tax-advantaged savings plans designed to encourage saving for future education costs. There are many different places that can host these accounts including but not limited to the same brokerages you may use for your own investments. Be sure to look into whether there are (tax or other) advantages in your state of residence before deciding where to invest.

Roth IRAs are well known by most viewers of our channel, but did you know there are compelling reasons to consider them for your kids? For minors, these will need to be custodial accounts just like a UTMA and most brokerages offer them.


You can find information on the tools we mention in each episode along with additional information in the Resources section of this site.

How We Travel: Pre + Post Financial Independence

A seven day vacation or 5 weeks of travel – which would you prefer? When you’re working towards financial independence, vacations are a time to set aside work and everyday chores. But they’re constrained by things you don’t often control: accrued vacation time, work and school schedules, business obligations, and holidays, to name a few. In this episode, Eric and Jason compare notes from their two respective sides of FI and their recent vacations: 7 days for Pre-FI Eric and 5 weeks for Post-FI Jason. See just how different is travel once you reach FI and the constraints have been removed.

For more information on Jason’s five-week trip, including the valuable lessons he and his family learned on their longest trip ever, check out his blog post: https://thenextphaseisnow.com/longest-vacation-of-my-life/


Show Notes

As we mentioned in the episode, one leg of Jason’s travels brought the Two Sides of FI together in the same place for the first time in several years, as he and Lorri visited Eric and Laura in Maine. Along with all the fun times we’d planned (and carried out!) for our few days together, we’d intended to film episodes with our spouses – which we did. Unfortunately, a few technical issues meant that we decided not to use that footage after all. However, we believe the two episodes we recorded later with our spouses (Part 1 and Part 2) turned out even better in terms of the quality of our conversations. If you haven’t seen these shows yet, please check them out. Two times Two Sides of FI is the only way to get the full picture!

Two times Two Sides of FI: Jason, Lorri, Eric and Laura
Dinner time in Maine: (back) Eric + Laura, (front) Lorri + Jason

For a closer look at some of our trip photos, check out these galleries:

Eric’s photos:


Jason’s photos:


You can find information on the tools we mention in each episode along with additional information in the Resources section of this site.

Answering Your Financial Independence Questions

You asked, we answered. Bringing the Two Sides of FI together to discuss changing withdrawal rates, Jason and Eric’s own FI numbers, redefining identity in early retirement, rental real estate, and more.

Want your question featured on an upcoming show? Drop a comment on the video or reach out on our contact page.


Show Notes

Given the diversity of topics and tools discussed in this episode, it was challenging to go into much depth on any one of them. We’ve shared more information below on several of these items so that you can get the full details on each.

  1. Our FIRE numbers: We only briefly touched on this topic in this episode, but we’ve actually done an in-depth two-part series in the past. “So, What’s Your FI Number? Sharing Ours Here” is the first, and addresses the question of how to determine how much you need to achieve financial independence. We decoded the math used to calculate our own FI targets, talked about the different flavors of FIRE, and shared where our numbers fall on the FIRE spectrum. The second part of this series, “Discussing our FI Numbers : Changing our Minds, Talking to Family”, goes a step further. There we talked about how our early FI goals and calculations underestimated today’s needs. We then went beyond the math of financial independence to discuss the psychological aspects, including important conversations we had along the way with family and friends.
  2. Modeling your FI plan’s success: In this episode we showed some examples of modeling using cFIREsim, one of our favorite tools for examining the likelihood of your assets lasting the duration of your retirement timeline. This is a commonly used and highly regarded tol among the FIRE community. Newretirement.com is another great site (with both free and subscription options) that provides similar functionality, while including more in depth planning options. Both can be found on the Tools section of our Resources page.
  3. Modeling rent vs. buy decisions: While this wasn’t a major topic in this show, it is a question that comes up often both pre-FIRE and when thinking about modeling housing costs post-FIRE. It’s easy to model scenarios using the Rent vs. Buy calculator at SmartAsset.com.

You can find information on the tools we mention in each episode along with additional information in the Resources section of this site.

Talking with our Spouses About FIRE: 2 x Two Sides of FI (Parts 1 and 2)

Part 1:


Part 2:

Talking with a spouse or partner about FIRE isn’t always easy. In this two-part series, Eric + Jason bring their wives Laura + Lorri into the conversation to share their personal experiences. In part 1, they talk about getting onboard with FIRE, financial topics including budgeting and setting the FI number, as well as the emotional aspects of choosing the FIRE path. In part 2, they discuss how they share financial responsibilities, the importance of finding friend networks, talking to their children about FIRE, and their hopes for their post-FI lives.


Show Notes

After recording this episode, Jason realized just how right Lorri was regarding his (non-)efforts to make friends in their new town. That got him thinking about some of the events of the past year, leading him to write a blog post on the topic. We think it’s a good accompaniment to the conversation in these episodes and hope you enjoy it. Do you have any thoughts on making friends in a new town? Please share them in the comments!

A fun story for you (not so much fun for us!) – you may have seen the earlier picture of all four of us together, in one place. That, along with this episode’s thumbnail, was a real photo from Jason + Lorri’s visit to Eric + Laura’s house in Maine – not photoshopped! Naturally you’re wondering why this episode was recorded in our usual remote format vs. in person. Well…we did record two hours of content when we were all together in Maine. However, a few technical issues meant that we decided not to use that footage. It still exists and perhaps will take on a new life someday as outtakes or otherwise. We’re really happy with how this two-part series turned out despite it being in our usual remote format, and hope you enjoy it too!

You can find information on the tools we mention in each episode along with additional information in the Resources section of this site. To navigate to this material at any time, just click the menu button at the top of any page on the site.

Passive Income = A Path to Financial Independence (Part 1)

Earning money while you sleep is the dream of passive income that few realize. In part, that’s because it requires a significant upfront investment of active work and time to build the assets necessary. For those seeking financial independence, passive income can be both an accelerator and a plentiful source of cash once you reach FI, and leave your primary career. In this show, we discuss Eric’s experience gained over the past eight years intentionally creating a diverse array of passive income streams. Today, 90% of his small business revenues come from passive sources, bringing him closer to reaching FI each day. Join us as we explore these topics and more in this first episode in a series about passive income.


Show Notes

Eric wrote some extensive show notes in the blog entry for Part 2 of this series on Passive Income. Be sure to check them out!

You can find information on the tools we mention in each episode along with additional information in the Resources section of this site. To navigate to this material at any time, just click the menu button at the top of any page on the site.

Financial Mistakes We Won’t Make Again (Part 2)

We all make mistakes on the path to financial independence. Learn from ours as we chronicle the poor choices, bad habits, and missteps we’ve made on the road to FI. In this episode we talk about big ticket items like cars, student loans, and mortgages. Mistakes made in these areas can certainly have a large impact on your FI journey! Join us as we explore these topics and more in this second episode in a series documenting our financial mistakes and missteps on the path to FIRE.

Part one of this series can be found here.


Show Notes

You can find information on the tools we mention in each episode along with additional information in the Resources section of this site. To navigate to this material at any time, just click the menu button at the top of any page on the site.

Don’t Make These Financial Mistakes on the Path to FIRE! (Part 1)

We all make mistakes on the path to financial independence. Learn from ours as we chronicle the poor choices, bad habits and missteps we’ve made on the road to FI. In this episode, we share our own experiences from our teens through our 30s, reflecting on what we’ve learned in hopes of helping our children avoid repeating them. Join us as we explore these topics and more in this first episode in a series documenting our financial mistakes and missteps on the path to FIRE.


Show Notes

Watching this episode reminded us of a resource we’d seen The Money Guy Show share previously. This table is a really powerful example of the value of saving and investing early. It summarizes the amount you need to have saved by a given age (or made a lump sum investment at that same age) for it to grow to $1M by age 65. And on the topic of helping out your kids, if you invest $1544 in your newborn’s UTMA account and never touch it again, it will grow to $1M by the time they’re 65. Wow!

Jason also decided to blog on this topic, given how common of a financial mistake it is to get a late start on investing – it’s not only him and Eric making this blunder after all! Head on over to the next phase is NOW and be sure to invest early and often to ensure your financial goals are met!

You can find information on the tools we mention in each episode along with additional information in the Resources section of this site. To navigate to this material at any time, just click the menu button at the top of any page on the site.

Two Careers, Two Paths to Financial Independence

Our path through life is heavily influenced by the career choices we make early in adulthood. Learn how we leveraged our chosen professions in science and architecture to chart our respective paths to achieving financial independence. One of us employed a job “leveling up” strategy to accumulate wealth, while the other started their own business and became a successful content creator. There’s a lot to learn from our journeys and we walk you through how we did it!


Show Notes:

Given the length of our episodes, it’s impossible to cover all of the depth we’d like on any topic. As a follow up to this installment, Jason wrote a blog article diving into his “career leveling up” strategy. The piece concerns how he approached advancement in the workplace. Irrespective of your own FIRE status or chosen career, we believe you will find information you can use!

You can find information on the tools we mention in the episode along with additional information in the Resources section of this site! To navigate to this material at any time, just click the menu button at the top of any page on the site.