One Step Closer to FI/RE – Preparing to Give Notice

Eric here checking in with a quick update and preface to our new video. Sorry for the gap in our publishing schedule, Jason has been off walking the Camino de Santiago from Portugal to Spain (you can follow along on his blog here) and I’ve been traveling to warm places to escape winter in Maine.

In this episode I asked my wife, Laura, to join me to discuss next steps as we near our FI number. Our discussion was recorded in the fall of 2023, as a behind-the-scenes episode. Just this past week (mid-March 2024) she gave her notice to her employer of 23 years and now we can finally share it publicly. We discuss our hesitations, how Laura’s thoughts have changed since first learning about the FI/RE movement, and ready ourselves for what’s ahead.

The reactions to her departure from her long-time job have been interesting. Most express surprise and offer enthusiastic support. Some respond with envy, “Must be nice…” and even concern, “Is everything okay?” And still others immediately reframe the conversation around their own plans for retirement either near or far in the future. There’s much to unpack here and I think it’ll make for a great episode when Jason and I reconvene.

Nevertheless, sharing this experience with the Two Sides of FI community feels incredibly rewarding. We’re thrilled to openly discuss our ‘secret’ here on our Maine island and your support has been invaluable to us!

Thank you for being a part of our journey.

Links + Resources

He Retired Early, She Didn’t: A Coast FI Case Study

How would your spouse feel if you retired early while they kept working? In this episode, Eric + Jason talk with our friend Erik, who recently left the workplace while his wife continues to work. How does this arrangement work for them, and why is a coastFIRE path their choice? Topics discussed include being thrown into retirement, finding purpose, talking about FIRE, and much more.

Show notes may be found below the video


Show Notes

Essential Background:

The FI journey is far from a solo one for most people, particularly those with long term partners or spouses. Particularly for the kinds of weighty decisions that we discussed in this episode, it’s essential to be on the same page regarding one’s FI path. Many seem to agree that our two-part series where we discuss our FIRE paths with our spouses, Lorri and Laura, is essential Two Sides of FI content. Check it out here: Part 1 and Part 2!

Want even more candid conversation among spouses? As a bonus, check out the conversation with Eric + his wife Laura, “FI-nancial Decisions – Transitioning to FI with Laura + Eric”, for a behind the scenes look at how they decided to revise their revised asset allocation.

Erik and Deb have termed their path as one following CoastFIRE principles. 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 hear our earlier conversation on this topic in an podcast-only episode two years ago? If you missed it then, you’ll definitely want to check out A CoastFI Path to Financial Security: An Interview with Catherine.


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.

Can You Reach FI Faster? Advice From Someone Who Did.

Can you shorten the time to achieve financial independence (FI)? In this episode, Eric talks with Jason about his journey to FI and the steps he took to reach FI faster and retire before 50. Topics discussed include risks taken + sacrifices made, how Eric’s path differed, why early retirement is so attractive, and much more.

Show notes may be found below the video


Show Notes

Essential Background:

The FI journey is far from a solo one for most people, particularly those with long term partners or spouses. As we discussed in this video, it’s essential to be on the same page regarding FI path decisions. Many seem to agree that our two-part series where we discuss our FIRE paths with our spouses, Lorri and Laura, is essential Two Sides of FI content. Check it out here: Part 1 and Part 2!

Want even more candid conversation among spouses? As a bonus, check out the conversation with Eric + his wife Laura, “FI-nancial Decisions – Transitioning to FI with Laura + Eric”, for a behind the scenes look at how they decided on their revised asset allocation last year.

We mentioned BaristaFIRE in today’s episode. In the linked post from Financial Samurai, he describes it as “being able to retire before the conventional age of 60+, but taking on a part-time job (e.g. like at a coffee shop) for supplemental income and potentially subsidized health insurance.” This article provides a good look at this path, and is an effective primer for those seeking more information. In addition to the financial calculations provided in the article, there are numerous supporting tools available online including this BaristaFIRE calculator from Walletburst.

Another common FI path is called CoastFIRE. 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 two years ago? If you missed it then, you’ll definitely want to check out A CoastFI Path to Financial Security: An Interview with Catherine.


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.

Ask an Early Retiree Anything! Live Q&A with Jason from Two Sides of FI

Are you on the FIRE path or interested in learning more about early retirement? Three years ago I retired from my career at age 47 after reaching financial independence the prior year. This video is from a livestream where community members had the opportunity to ask me questions about what my experience has been like. Thanks to all who joined!

Don’t miss the extensive show notes below, which list all the episodes and resources discussed in the episode.

Show notes may be found below the video


Show Notes

Essential Background:

Here are links to the episodes Jason talked about in the show. In many cases these point to show notes, which contain not only the episode video itself, but also a variety of associated content meant to help support the content. Check them out!


Resources Mentioned:

Still haven’t subscribed to our YouTube channel or want to share an easy link with people you know? Here it is! Click it, say yes, and you’re in! Easy, peasy.

In this episode we talked about the new Two Sides of FI Discord server. If you’re not familiar, this is an instant messaging social network. 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!

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.

In this episode, Jason mentioned Empower (formerly Personal Capital) for summarizing his portfolio performance as a part of rebalancing. Both him and Eric 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 )

Do you have a copy of our free Rebalancing Calculator? This simple tool can help you make your own decisions about buying and selling in order to rebalance your portfolio. If you’d like something more DIY, this is a calculator you should consider.

In case you missed the link above, our popular three-part tutorial series on the Safe Withdrawal Rate (SWR) Toolbox can be found here.

The Retirement Income Style Awareness (RISA) is a tool by Wade Pfau (mentioned today) and the team at Retirement Researcher. It came from research performed on individual styles, risk tolerance, and other factors, and is aimed at deriving a personal retirement income strategy. Fritz Gilbert at Retirement Manifesto posted a nice write up on this last year, which we’d recommend. If you’re interested in learning more about this assessment, check out Wade’s book: “Retirement Planning Guidebook: Navigating the Important Decisions for Retirement Success”.

Die with Zero: Getting All You Can from Your Money and Your Life by Bill Perkins, is discussed often in the FIRE community – so no surprise it came up in this episode. 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.


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

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.

Buying Bonds. Still Not Convinced I’m Doing the Right Thing! (Part 2)

I reallocated my investment portfolio, sold out of my 100% equity position and I’m not happy about it. Part two of a two-part series, you’ll learn why and how I’m making peace with it. Ensuring that your investment portfolio can fund your lifestyle for the duration of your lifespan is essential to success in FIRE. One of the most impactful elements of that is how your portfolio is constructed, or your asset allocation. In this episode, Eric discusses his desire to reduce the risk of his portfolio with Jason, and ensure he + Laura are set up for success. Topics discussed include the role of bonds + fixed income, the types of investment risk, seeking feedback from internet forums, and tax considerations. Join us for the second episode of this two-part series on Eric’s reallocation experience.

If you missed Part 1, which includes a link to a behind the scenes conversation with Eric + Laura, be sure to check it out first!

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


Show Notes

Essential Background: If you haven’t watched our previous episodes on asset allocation (part 1 and part 2), this is highly relevant material to our discussion here.

Series I Savings Bonds (I Bonds): These assets are rightfully getting a lot of interest in the moment given their unusually high returns (for now). Get all the details via Treasury Direct. For more details, check out this recent Money Guy Show episode as well.

Investment Policy Statements (IPS) are key guiding documents for your investment portfolio. Don’t have one? Have a look at this Bogleheads wiki article for all the details that you’ll need to help put one in place.

How To Build A Retirement Paycheck:  This is the first of three great Retirement Manifesto posts on author Fritz Gilbert’s implementation of the Bucket Strategy, which we have touched on in several episodes to date. Here you’ll find guidance on how to determine the asset allocation you’ll want to have in place by the time you retire early. The other two articles in the series are linked here as well.

A Bond Tent strategy is one of the common approaches used by the FIRE community to mitigate both Retirement Date + Sequence of Returns Risks (RD and SRR in the images below). As is often the case, Michael Kitces has a great article on the topic. We couldn’t cover sufficient depth on this important topic in our episode, but this post has all the details you need. See the graphics below:


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

I Rebalanced My FI/RE Portfolio and I Hate It! (Part 1)

Eric reallocated his investment portfolio, sold out of his 100% equity position and he’s not happy about it. In this two-part episode, you’ll learn why and how he’s making peace with it. Ensuring that your investment portfolio can fund your lifestyle for the duration of your lifespan is essential to success in FIRE. One of the most impactful elements of that is how your portfolio is constructed, or your asset allocation. In part one, Eric discusses his desire to reduce the risk of his portfolio with Jason, and ensure he + Laura are set up for success. Topics discussed include the role of bonds + fixed income, the types of investment risk, seeking feedback from internet forums, and tax considerations.

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

Pick up where part 1 leaves off with a bonus, behind-the-scenes look at Eric and Laura’s decision-making process (video below).


Eric + Laura Discuss Their Reallocation

Show Notes

Essential Background: If you haven’t watched our previous episodes on asset allocation (part 1 and part 2), this is highly relevant material to our discussion here.

Vanguard’s Principles of Investing Success is a really great read. It’s chock-full of information, including the chart showing average returns by asset mix (pp. 10) that Eric referenced in this episode. Whether you’re just getting started with investing or are very experienced, we suspect you’ll find something of value in this easy read.

How To Build A Retirement Paycheck:  This is the first of three great Retirement Manifesto posts on author Fritz Gilbert’s implementation of the Bucket Strategy, which we have touched on several episodes to date. Here you’ll find guidance on how to determine the asset allocation you’ll want to have in place by the time you retire early. The other two articles in the series are linked here as well.

Financial Independence: How Long Will It Take? We showed visuals from this Go Curry Cracker post, which highlights the dramatic impact that your overall savings rate has on determining your FI timeline. This concept is also covered in the “Principles of Investing Success” article linked above.


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

Retirement Is Nothing Like I Thought It Would Be

We all daydream about what retirement will be like, but will reality live up to expectations? In this episode, Eric and Jason are joined by Fritz Gilbert, who blogs at The Retirement Manifesto. Now nearly four years after retiring early, Fritz brings valuable experience + perspectives to this question. Our discussion goes well beyond the numbers, covering topics including finding your purpose, working “one more year”, determining your FIRE timing, and the keys to success in retirement.

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


Show Notes

Retirement Is Nothing Like I Thought It Would Be – This is Fritz’ post that inspired us to make an episode of Two Sides of FI together. As you may have gathered from our earlier episodes, Jason completely agrees with Fritz that it’s impossible to really know what retirement is going to be like until you experience it. Now in his fourth year of early retirement, Fritz has a lot of experience to reflect upon and we’re grateful that he’s chosen to share it with us.

Keys to a Successful Retirement – As we discussed in this episode, Fritz recently wrote a book capturing lessons he learned on his retirement journey so far. His own description of the book is a really apt summary: “Covering topics like finances, embracing your passions, and dealing with feelings of aimlessness, grief, and depression that may crop up, this in-depth guide to retired living answers all the burning questions you want to ask—as well as those you’re afraid to. Take a complete look at your newfound freedom and explore what it really means to have a successful retirement.” We highly recommend it!

In this episode, we referenced a number of different blog posts Fritz wrote that we found useful, inspiring, and impactful. Please be sure to check them out:

Freedom for Fido is the charity that the Gilberts started, whose stated purpose is to:
“Free the dogs who live on chains in the North Georgia Mountains. We are a charity which provides free fencing and dog houses for low-income residents of the Blue Ridge area.” This project is clearly an important part of their lives and we’d recommend you check out the great and impactful work they’re doing together with their volunteer community.


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