Retiring Early Made This Possible

What essential lessons did Jason learn from the most impactful travel he’s done to date? In this episode, Eric and Jason catch up on a number of recent changes in their lives. Topics discussed include Eric and Laura’s recent big announcement, Jason’s Camino experience, the benefits and challenges of pre- and post-FI travel, and much more.

Be sure to check out the show notes below the video!


Show Notes

Essential Background:

Interested in learning more about Jason’s Camino de Santiago experience? You’ll want to see all of Jason’s blog posts leading up to and written during his recent walk on the Camino Portugués. There you’ll find information on his preparation as well as day by day accounts of his route, photos he took of the journey, as well as all his thoughts on the important lessons he took home from the Camino.

  • We talk a lot about travel given how important a part it plays in our retirement planning and we have two episodes wholly focused on the topic. “How We Travel: Pre + Post Financial Independence” is the first of these, and concerns just how different pre- and post-FI travel can be. More recently, we dug into the financial side of travel in “Did We Budget Enough for Travel in Early Retirement?“. Here we talked about the myriad financial elements of travel, disagreeing with your spouse, the value of planning by age range, and much more.
  • Did you see our episode where Laura talked with Eric about her plans to give notice to retire from her career in science? If you didn’t, “One Step Closer to FI/RE – Preparing to Give Notice” is a must-watch. A natural pairing to this is the earlier episode, Financially Independent, Recreationally Employed (FIRE). Here, Eric shares his thoughts on how he’s thinking about his business these days and what that might mean for the RE part of his FIRE plans.
  • Did you know we’ve had both our spouses on the show before? We’ve got a two part series from our conversation with Lorri and Laura, covering a wide range of topics. In part 1, we 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, we discuss how each couple shares financial responsibilities, the importance of finding friend networks, talking to our children about FIRE, and our hopes for their post-FI lives.
  • In this show we ended with some discussion of our kids’ college plans. We have two episodes wholly dedicated to our children, covering a broad range of subject areas – financial and otherwise. Be sure to check out both episodes – Teaching Our Teens About FI and Money (Part 1) and Financial Lessons We’re Passing On (Part 2).

Have you checked out the Two Sides of FI Discord server? If you’re not familiar, this is an instant messaging social network. Ours is meant to be a community for viewers of our show, as well as a space to discuss all things relation to FIRE. It’s totally open, free of charge, and is anonymous as you’d like. This makes it a safe space to talk about financial topics you might otherwise be sensitive about sharing. Come check it out and see if it fits your interests! There are both desktop and mobile apps available.

Did you know Jason resumed blogging? To be notified of his future posts, please consider subscribing here. He’s also archived his old blog, which documents the first two years after he retired from his career, and started even before Two Sides of FI began. Get more information on those archived posts here.


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

FI-nancial Checkup: New Year Routines + Goals for 2024

What financial lessons did we learn last year and what will we do differently in 2024? In today’s episode, Eric and Jason discuss their end of year review processes. Topics include investing goals, their net worth reviews, lessons learned, and much more. Be sure to check out the show notes below the video!


Show Notes

Essential Background:

  • We’ve talked about our review processes before, and for the full details check out Our Net Worth Is Up! Sharing Our Financial Review Process. If you don’t have a process for regular financial reviews, you aren’t alone. Many people are unsure about how to calculate their net worth and keep their personal finances on track. In this episode, Eric and Jason share their simple pre- and post-FI review processes for net worth tracking, portfolio review, setting savings and budget goals, and more.
  • Jason mentioned staying below his safe withdrawal rate ceiling in this episode. For all the details (and more), you’ll want to see our page dedicated to the Safe Withdrawal Rate Toolbox. If you’re familiar with Karsten Jeske, you’ll definitely want to check this out. It has all the information you need including all three videos in our series, including walkthroughs of the tool and the CAPE-based strategy that Jason referenced here.
  • If you’re not familiar with Eric’s 30×40 Design Workshop business and his FI journey, you’ll want to see our two-part series: Passive Income = A Path to Financial Independence (Part 1) and Lessons Learned in 7 Years Earning Passive Income – A Path to FI (Part 2). Those links are to the show notes pages, which link both the episodes themselves and a host of related content that you’ll want to check out – particularly Part 2. In that post he shares lots of information on his various passive income streams
  • We talk about travel often on the show – it’s a clear priority for us both. Did We Budget Enough for Travel in Early Retirement? is our most recent episode on the topic. What happens if all the travel you want to do after retiring would break the budget? In this episode, Eric and Jason talk about the importance of travel to their early retirement plans. Topics discussed include financial concerns, disagreeing with your spouse, the value of planning by age range, and much more.
  • Want to learn more about that budget-busting 50th birthday celebration? Will This Get Us Kicked Out of the FIRE Movement? has all the details. Would you spend $1000 on dinner for a special occasion – or more? Eric and Jason recently enjoyed a milestone birthday celebration with their spouses + friends at a world famous restaurant. The total cost may shock you. In this episode, they talk about the experience, spending decisions pre- vs, post-financial independence, and whether it was actually worth it.

We talked about New Retirement in this episode. Jason really likes this platform and plenty of people on Reddit are discussing this comprehensive retirement planning tool as well. They have a full-featured free offering  as well as a reasonably priced paid “PlannerPlus” version with a host of really nice features, as well as consulting services. Huge benefits of PlannerPlus include a solid Roth conversion modeler and Monte Carlo analysis. Be sure to check out their 14-day free trial and see if you’re as convinced as Jason was! There’s a very active Facebook community around the tool as well.

Jason referenced a very popular Wait But Why post in this episode. The Tail End is the material in question. We wholeheartedly recommend it as a must-read for anyone – but be prepared for some thought provoking stuff!


Have you checked out the Two Sides of FI Discord server? If you’re not familiar, this is an instant messaging social network. Ours is meant to be a community for viewers of our show, as well as a space to discuss all things relation to FIRE. It’s totally open, free of charge, and is anonymous as you’d like. This makes it a safe space to talk about financial topics you might otherwise be sensitive about sharing. Come check it out and see if it fits your interests! There are both desktop and mobile apps available.

Did you know Jason resumed blogging? To be notified of his future posts, please consider subscribing here. He’s also archived his old blog, which documents the first two years after he retired from his career, and started even before Two Sides of FI began. Get more information on those archived posts here.


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

Did We Budget Enough for Travel in Early Retirement?

What happens if all the travel you want to do after retiring would break the budget? In this episode, Eric and Jason talk about the importance of travel to their early retirement plans. Topics discussed include financial concerns, disagreeing with your spouse, the value of planning by age range, and much more. Be sure to check out the show notes below.


Show Notes

Essential Background:

Die with Zero: Getting All You Can from Your Money and Your Life by Bill Perkins – was mentioned by Eric here, and is a much-discussed book in the FIRE community. It’s intended as a “practical guide on how to get the most out of your money—and out of your life”. If you like the aim of prioritizing memorable experiences far ahead of simply accumulating money for later in life, you’ll definitely want to check it out.

Are you familiar with the Camino de Santiago? Jason talked a little about this including his plans to walk the most famous of the Camino routes, the Camino Francés (the French Way), in 2025. There is a wealth of information available online, including on YouTube. If you’re US-based, consider checking out the American Pilgrims site.

Wondering what that word was we were trying to pronounce when talking about traveling to Croatia? Hvar is a Croatian island in the Adriatic Sea, located off the Dalmatian coast, lying among several other islands. It’s consistently ranked in the top of many lists concerned with the best of island travel, and Hvar promotes itself as “the sunniest spot in Europe”.


Have you checked out the Two Sides of FI Discord server? If you’re not familiar, this is an instant messaging social network. Ours is meant to be a community for viewers of our show, as well as a space to discuss all things relation to FIRE. It’s totally open, free of charge, and is anonymous as you’d like. This makes it a safe space to talk about financial topics you might otherwise be sensitive about sharing. Come check it out and see if it fits your interests! There are both desktop and mobile apps available.

Did you know Jason resumed blogging? To be notified of his future posts, please consider subscribing here. He’s also archived his old blog, which documents the first two years after he retired from his career, and started even before Two Sides of FI began. Get more information on those archived posts here.


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

One More Year: My Decision to Postpone Early Retirement

Imagine changing your mind about retiring early just as the finish line comes into view? What factors might cause you to consider working one more year? In this episode, Eric talks with Jason about the idea to delay his retirement. They discuss why he’s considering it, finding alignment with his spouse, how others reacted to the idea, and much more.


Show Notes

Essential Background:

  • If you’re not familiar with Eric’s 30×40 Design Workshop business and his FI journey, you’ll want to see our two-part series: Passive Income = A Path to Financial Independence (Part 1) and Lessons Learned in 7 Years Earning Passive Income – A Path to FI (Part 2). Those links are to the show notes pages, which link both the episodes themselves and a host of related content that you’ll want to check out – particularly Part 2. In that post he shares tons of information on his various passive income streams
  • This isn’t the first time we’ve talked about the concept of “One More Year”? Given last year’s market volatility, a viewer asked Jason if he would feel more secure had he worked another year or two before retiring early. We talked about his thoughts on that in an episode called Do I Wish I’d Worked One More Year?
  • Alignment with our spouses is a topic that’s come up multiple times on the show, including in this episode. Particularly for critical financial decisions, it’s essential to be on the same page. Many seem to agree that our two-part series where we discuss our FIRE paths with our spouses, Lorri and Laura, is must-see Two Sides of FI content. Check it out here: Part 1 and Part 2!
  • In this video we mentioned Jason’s recent conversation with Jordan, “Doc G” Grumet. Check out “Fulfillment Beyond FI: Life After Early Retirement with Jason” for the Earn and Invest podcast episode in question. But that actually wasn’t the first time we talked with Doc G. In fact, one of our most popular Two Sides of FI episodes of 2022 was our conversation with him titled “Will You Run Out of Money or Time? FI Advice From a Hospice Doctor“. In those show notes, you’ll also find a link to our earlier joint appearance on E&I as well as to Doc G’s impactful book.

Have you checked out the Two Sides of FI Discord server? If you’re not familiar, this is an instant messaging social network. Ours is meant to be a community for viewers of our show, as well as a space to discuss all things relation to FIRE. It’s totally open, free of charge, and is anonymous as you’d like. This makes it a safe space to talk about financial topics you might otherwise be sensitive about sharing. Come check it out and see if it fits your interests! There are both desktop and mobile apps available.

Did you know Jason resumed blogging? To be notified of his future posts, please consider subscribing here. He’s also archived his old blog, which documents the first two years after he retired from his career, and started even before Two Sides of FI began. Get more information on those archived posts here.


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

Will This Get Us Kicked Out of the FIRE Movement?

Would you spend $1000 on dinner for a special occasion – or more? Eric and Jason recently enjoyed a milestone birthday celebration with their spouses + friends at a world famous restaurant. The total cost may shock you. In this episode, they talk about the experience, spending decisions pre- vs, post-financial independence, and whether it was actually worth it.

Show notes may be found below the video


Show Notes

Essential Background:

Interested in learning more about The French Laundry? Their website is a great source for further details about the restaurant, their current menus, as well as Chef Thomas Keller. At the site you’ll also find links to his other restaurants; helpful if you’re based in places like New York, Las Vegas, or Florida!

The image below is a photo of the menu from our meal at the restaurant.

A photo of the menu from our French Laundry meal

Perhaps like us, you’ve enjoyed episodes of A Chef’s Tour, and may remember Anthony Bourdain once visited The French Laundry on that show for a very special dinner. While the menu served to him and the other chefs was even more expansive than the normal, it provides a ready example of the artistry of Chef Keller and his team at the restaurant.

For more on Chef Keller, we recommend checking out his MasterClass episodes. Far from highly technical haute cuisine guidance, these videos are simple to understand for cooks at any level, and provide excellent foundational instruction on kitchen technique.

Speaking of milestones, free resources like Empower (formerly Personal Capital) can make tracking FI milestones, a lot easier. We both use and really like this free tool for tracking investment accounts, understanding asset allocation + rebalancing opportunities, and monitoring net worth. Empower employs a simple account linking process to make it a more automated experience. Give it a try risk-free! (affiliate link; free program )

A note from Jason – Every episode of Two Sides of FI provides an opportunity for reflection, and this episode provokes a lot of emotions for me. On one hand, it feels really good to recall memories of a truly special and wonderful experience, sharing a key lifetime milestone with Eric, Lorri, Laura, and our friends. However, openly talking about spending a lot of money on something as luxurious as fine dining admittedly feels more than a little weird. I don’t think it’s unusual to feel emotions like guilt or embarrassment in this situation, is it? In any case, I truly enjoyed our conversation about this wonderful occasion we spent together, and I earnestly hope that you will too.


Have you checked out the Two Sides of FI Discord server? If you’re not familiar, this is an instant messaging social network. Ours is meant to be a community for viewers of our show, as well as a space to discuss all things relation to FIRE. It’s totally open, free of charge, and is anonymous as you’d like. This makes it a safe space to talk about financial topics you might otherwise be sensitive about sharing. Come check it out and see if it fits your interests! There are both desktop and mobile apps available.

Did you know Jason resumed blogging? To be notified of his future posts, please consider subscribing here. He’s also archived his old blog, which documents the first 1.5 years after he retired from his career, and started even before Two Sides of FI began. Get more information on those archived posts here.


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

You Asked, We Answered. FIRE Q&A

Answering your financial independence, retire early (FIRE) questions, including the one we’re asked most often. This special Ask Us Anything format commemorates the 50th episode of Two Sides of FI. THANK YOU to all who submitted questions and for your continued support of the show!

Show notes may be found below the video


Show Notes

First, THANK YOU so much again for all your support of Two Sides of FI. We’d never have achieved this 50 episode milestone without all the engagement and encouragement we receive from you, our community. We truly appreciate you and are thankful for your constant support.

We are often asked how to support + promote the show. Here are three simple ideas which we humbly suggest: 1) Share a link to our channel with people who you think can benefit – via social media, 1:1, or however works for you. 2) Use the ‘like’ feature on videos and subscribe (click here!) to the channel. The YouTube algorithm sees these signals as indications of merit, and they play a vital role in helping to promote our content. 3) Consider rating + reviewing the podcast – even if you always watch it on YouTube. Apple Podcasts is the most important tool out there to drive visibility on the audio format. We get thousands of podcast downloads each month yet have <80 total reviews at the time this episode went live. Thank you!

Essential Background:

  • Our first episode, “Our Financial Past and our FIRE Present – Two Sides of FI is where it all began for the show. 50 episodes later, there certainly have been plenty of changes – and improvements (particularly on Jason’s side of the screen, as he likes to point out). This episode is the best place to learn about our financial backgrounds a bit better.
  • So, What’s Your Financial Independence (FI) Number? was one of our early popular – and controversial videos. We’ve got a long history with this question, and you won’t want to miss the end of today’s episode to hear our current thoughts on it. But this earlier installment sets the stage for this essential question + many FIRE fundamentals.
  • We’ve actually done another Q&A episode: “Answering Your Financial Independence Questions”. In this video, we tackled topics including changing withdrawal rates, our FI numbers, redefining identity in early retirement, rental real estate, and more.
  • In today’s episode we referenced a fun experiment, captured in “We Each Hired a Flat Fee Financial Advisor. Was it Worth It?”. Prior to this video, we each hired the same fee-only, advice-only advisor to evaluate our portfolios and answer our questions. We then shared how we found this advisor, what the process was like, the specific questions + answers we had, and who we believe could benefit from such a service.
  • Safe Withdrawal Rate has been an ongoing topic for us on 2SFI, and naturally it came up here as well. Did you know we spoke with SWR expert, Karsten Jeske? To see that episode, our follow-up conversation, and get the best collection of all the resources we have on this topic (including the free SWR Toolbox), you’ll want to see this show notes page.

As a complement to Two Sides of FI, Jason’s milestones blog posts are perhaps the easiest way to understand what his journey has been like since retiring early. In these articles, he discusses candidly what he’s felt, experienced, and achieved in the 2+ years since he left his career behind. If there’s a specific topic you’re seeking, don’t miss this list of all his blog posts to date.

Top Five Regrets of the Dying: A Life Transformed by the Dearly Departing is a book by Bronnie Ware that we mentioned in this episode. It originally started as a blog post, outlining the most common regrets that the people she had supported through palliative care had expressed. The post quickly blew up and was viewed by more than three million readers worldwide in its first year. Bronnie subsequently wrote this fascinating and meaningful book capturing all that she learned.

CoastFI came up in a question we addressed in this video. This is a term used to describe someone who isn’t yet FI but has already put in the necessary effort to mathematically achieve that goal without further contributions. Did you know we talked with someone on this topic in an podcast-only episode last year? If you missed it then, you’ll definitely want to check out A CoastFI Path to Financial Security: An Interview with Catherine.

Eric has talked about his “Possible Futures” Notion page in several episodes to date. Here is a screenshot of the kind of information he and Laura track here

In today’s episode, we shared footage of what Eric’s filming setup looks like. For the full details on the equipment he uses, check out this page.

By his own description, Jason’s filming setup is more “bespoke”. They say a picture is worth a thousand words:


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.