Tuesday, July 16, 2024

A Step-by-Step Guide to Get On Track to FI

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Got a late start on your retirement planning? Do you feel like you missed the boat and won’t be able to retire on your timeline? We’ve got good news for you in today’s episode—it’s never too late for retirement (and even EARLY retirement!). No matter what age you’re at, how much you have in the bank, and how much you make, you CAN retire on your terms, and our guests will prove it. The question is, will you follow through on their time-tested system for reaching retirement?

Bill Yount and Jackie Cummings Koski from the Catching Up to FI podcast are here to show you that whatever your situation is, you can get on track for retirement. Bill and Jackie both were late starters, only taking retirement seriously decades after starting their working careers. Even with their “late start,” Bill and Jackie were able to massively multiply their net worths and retirement savings, allowing them to reach financial freedom on their terms.

In today’s show, Bill and Jackie walk through the four steps that anyone can take to begin saving for retirement. You don’t need ANY money to take these initial steps, but doing so will change your entire financial future. Stick around for our next show as we get into the nitty gritty of retirement planning and put you directly on the path to retirement or early retirement!

Mindy:
The Financial Independence community is filled with stories of young people who have reached financial independence and retired early. But what about boomers or Gen X? Today we are going to arm you with the four steps you need to know when you’re getting a later start. Hello, hello, hello, and welcome to the BiggerPockets Money podcast. My name is Mindy Jensen, and with me as always is my young at heart co-host Scott Trench. BiggerPockets has a goal of creating 1 million millionaires. You are in the right place if you want to get your financial house in order because we truly believe financial freedom is attainable for everyone, no matter when or where you starting, even if you’re getting a later start on your financial independence journey. Today we’re joined by later start experts, Jackie Cummings Kowski and Bill y hosts of the podcast Catching up to phi. We’ll be talking about everything from backwards budgeting to social security. This episode is the 1 – 1 level talking about the foundations you need to support your later start when your runway is a little bit shorter. Jackie and Bill have so much to share that we are bringing them back on episode 538 to share 2 – 1 level the tactics to help you reach your financial goals.

Scott:
Today’s show is sponsored by BAM Capital, your path to generational wealth with premier real estate investment opportunities. See why over a thousand investors have invested with BAM capital at biggerpockets.com/bam. That’s biggerpockets.com/ba.

Mindy:
Jackie Cummings kowski and bill y from the podcast catching up to fi. Welcome to the BiggerPockets Money podcast. I am so excited to talk to you guys today.

Bill:
Oh, It’s great, Mindy. Thanks for having us on the show.

Jackie:
Yeah, we’re glad to be here. Catching up to FI is like Ben Build developed it. We’re making it even better because there’s so many late starters. So we are thrilled to come and chat with you guys today.

Scott:
Gen X is behind on retirement. The average Gen Xer has something like $40,000 saved for retirement. So it seems like most people in that generation are getting a very late start. There’s a lot of reasons for this, but Jackie, can you give us your thoughts on that stat? What is going on here? Why are so many people getting started late?

Jackie:
Yeah, I think that that stat is right on, and it’s not just the Gen Xers that is the biggest chunk, but things like if someone immigrated to this country that could get ’em a late start. Sometimes divorce, even kids sometimes can cause people to get a late start, but we tend to end up in this late thirties, forties and fifties when we’re just waking up. For me, I just woke up at 38 and some people might not consider that late, but I knew I was way behind. So when you’re finally waking up because you didn’t get the stuff early on, that gives us a late start. And then for me especially, I was running really, really hard to try to catch up and I ended up having a late start but finishing a little bit early. So there’s a whole lot of people in this bucket of late starters.

Scott:
Jackie, one of the things that we see in BiggerPockets when we are talking to people about their money story to early financial freedom is this concept of the aha moment. Oh, I discovered that I could retire earlier and build wealth and then a very dramatic behavioral change that incorporates saving, investing, building one’s financial position. Is that what you mean by wake up in the context of moving towards retirement?

Jackie:
Yeah, I do because for a big chunk you are just sort of floating through and doing what you’ve heard other people say or maybe having the wrong role models around you. But when finally you get curious, you start digging, you start educating yourself and things start clicking, you are off to the races. And I know for me, once I found one nugget that was helpful to me, I wanted to keep digging and digging and digging and finding so many other things that helped me. And I’ll tell you what, there’s a unique type of motivation that you have once you get going. And so I tell people all the time, you will surprise yourself at how fast you move once you wake up and you start seeing that some of the things that you’re doing different after you wake up looking at the movement, that is so much motivation for you to keep going to go faster. And before you know it, you’re way further along than you thought you ever could be, even if you got a late start.

Mindy:
Absolutely. I could not agree more with you Jackie. And what I think a lot of late starters maybe don’t know or don’t really focus on is there are some advantages to being a late starter. There are some opportunities that they have that their younger counterparts, and we’re going to get into that a little bit later, but Bill, I’ve heard you say the average American is a late starter, and I love that because it’s so inclusive. You see these articles that are written about the 25-year-old that got to financial independence in two minutes, yay for him. But that’s not the average person. That is absolutely the outlier. But when you see so many of these comments over and over again, you start thinking, oh, maybe something’s wrong with me because I’m 50 and I’m not retired. So I love that phrase the average American is a late starter.

Bill:
Well, I don’t know how I came up with that, but it seems to ring true in our audience, in our show, in our podcast, they all wonder what happened. You get caught up in life, you get caught up in the funnel of life, you come out of school, you come out of residency, you have big debt, you start a family, you buy a house, you buy a car, and then you get into this paycheck to paycheck lifestyle and all of a sudden you’re 50 and you’ve lived life, but you wake up and you go, wait a minute, nobody’s taking care of me. I have to take care of myself and I better get started. And getting started is really the hardest part. And as Jackie says, once you dive in, it’s amazing how fast you can turn your mindset around and turn your money around. So

Scott:
We haven’t even gotten to the steps here to actually address going towards catching up to retirement and beginning to move our financial position forward. But I think these are two critical precursors here. We can call ’em one A and one B on this journey. One is wake up and acknowledge, hey, this is an important part of life and nothing’s going to come and save me. I got to go and go after this and get this done. And two, rationalize or understand or empathize that you’re not going through this alone. This is most people are kind of in the same boat as you when you’re maybe getting a late start and trying to catch up to retirement. How am I doing there? Would you agree with that as step one A and one B here before we even get into the actual work of moving our financial position forward?

Jackie:
Yeah, for sure. I think you hit the nail on the head. It’s just kind of waking up, acknowledging you didn’t know these things and just moving on. The acknowledgement part is really important because if the mind isn’t there, it’s hard for you to get your feet moving

Bill:
And then when you wake up, you feel like you’re alone. I mean, you think you’re the only person in the world that has done this. And that’s why I call it the silent majority because we live in a consumption society. We live in a society that does not promote savings, it promotes consumption and spending. It’s almost an afterthought in our society.

Mindy:
Yeah, you are not alone. We are here with you.

Jackie:
We need to tell Mindy not to give up her day job. Is that right, Mindy? You’re such a great podcaster.

Scott:
That’s the new intro music for BiggerPockets Money. We’re putting that right in there.

Mindy:
BiggerPockets music. Yeah, not high school, musical BiggerPockets musical, but you aren’t alone. And these headlines that you see, these sensational headlines absolutely make you feel like you’re alone. Which is why I love the catching up to five podcasts so much because you’re sharing stories of people who are doing it, who have done it with a later start. What would you say, Jackie, to somebody who reached out to you and said, Jackie, I’ve heard about this concept of financial independence. I would like to do it, but I’m older. What is my first step?

Jackie:
Yeah, to me, the first step we talk about the psychological part. I like to say give yourself a little grace is probably a lot of the reason why you’re getting late start probably is not your fault. We’re not taught about these things. It’s a taboo topic and even schools don’t teach it. A lot of us didn’t have good role models at home, so just give yourself a little grace. Okay? Once you do that, you have to know where you’re starting. How can you even decide, okay, should I start kicking up my investing first? Should I pay off my debt first? You don’t know which piece is really more critical until you start laying out your finances and determining what your numbers are. Things like your net worth, maybe your fine number, which is 25 times your expenses, what’s your true income? What taxes are you paying?
So all those things are important to see where you’re starting. I know there’s that inclination to let’s just do it all at once at the same time and just get going so quickly. But just figure out where you’re at and lay things out so that you have a very clear picture of where you’re starting. Because as you see progress, it’s going to be really, really valuable to you to see where you’re started. Even if your first net worth is in the red, if you start to see it moving in the right direction, it’s motivating and you can see that you’re making progress. So that’s how I would get it started.

Mindy:
Even if your net worth is in the red, you need to acknowledge that that is what I call a fact. It is not judgmental. It is. I have brown hair, Jackie has black hair. Those are facts. I have X number of dollars, I have negative X number of dollars. Those are facts. So once you have an idea of where you’re starting, I love that because then you can move forward. I don’t know how much my net worth is. Well then how much are you spending? How much are you budgeting? I mean, you don’t even know how much you’re budgeting until you start tracking your expenses and see where it’s going. But yeah, so Jackie, this is awesome. I’ve given myself some grace. I want to diagnose my starting point. How do I do that?

Jackie:
Yeah, so as some of the numbers that I mentioned, you can’t even get to until you do a budget. Now that scares a lot of people and a lot of people hate budgeting. I personally, I have to admit, I’m not one of those that love budgeting, but you have to know how much your expenses are. So what did I do? I did the backwards budget, which I kind of think is better. Bill may disagree with me. I think he does a much better job of the budgeting piece. I do it backwards because I think that leaves less chance of something being left out. So here’s how the backward budget will work. Basically, you take everything that you’re saving and investing, and then you take everything that you’re paying in taxes and whatever’s left, that’s your expenses. Now, if you do it the other way, we’re going to forget stuff like, did you include the dog grooming? Did you include fees for this? And fees for that. And I think it’s so much more room to forget things in a budget when you’re doing it the front way, sort of doing line item by line item, inevitably you’re going to forget something by doing it backwards. You probably included the most. Your budget can be once you subtract out the taxes and your investment in savings. So I don’t know, bill, what do you think? You’re pretty good with budgeting? Way better than me.

Bill:
Well, I actually do it the exact same way. I saved till it hurts, maximize my savings rate or the gap and then everything else is spending. But I got to spend on a value-based method. You do have to track your expenses because there’s a lot of little things and big things that you can get wrong, and you can have a lot of holes in the bucket that you’ve got to plug as well.

Scott:
I just want to observe here that I’ve been tracking my finances and my net worth for 10 years here pretty regularly. And this is not a fun task for me. I don’t enjoy it. It is a large amount of work to tabulate my expenses on a regular basis. Plan for consumption, investments, taxes, those types of things. It doesn’t take me 10 hours a month, but it takes me two and it took me a couple to get it set up and it was confusing and painful and those types of things. Is that what you guys found getting this started and how you find it going forward, or is it much easier than that? I guess I’m wondering, I think for someone listening, this sounds like a lot of work. It sounds very painful to acknowledge reality and it sounds like something I have to keep up with for the next 10 years. Is it really worth it in your view?

Bill:
No, it’s absolutely worth it. And I made it easy for myself by using a couple of apps. And if I may plug them a little bit, I use Monarch money and I use Empower. I use Empower to track my net worth and money to track my expenses. It makes it easier. You got to want to plug your accounts in and you have to be comfortable with that. But you get reports and you can find the holes in the bucket and find a way to maximize your savings. And the reports are very helpful. And I look at ’em on a monthly basis and I go, oh my God, there’s an unexpected expense that I may have been hacked. And then there are ones that I’m like, I don’t use ’em anymore. And then the net worth piece, empower is really powerful and it’s fun to look at. I look at it more than I probably should. People talk about monthly, quarterly, or even annually. Oftentimes you’re better off once you get your plan together, sticking your head in the ground and not looking at it, and then 20 years later you have a massive amount of money. But that’s what my sister did.

Scott:
And just for the record, Monarch is about a hundred dollars a year as a subscription, so that would be an expense that one would incur. But I also heavily recommend Monarch. Hopefully they’re listening to this and will one day sponsor the BiggerPockets Money podcast, but we don’t have an affiliation currently with Monarch. And then Empower is another great tool. I don’t use that one personally, but that one I believe is free for users. Is that correct, bill?

Bill:
That’s correct. And you’re correct on the Monarch expense as well. You get it back in spades if you spend that on an app like that and they do sponsor our show, so maybe I can help you out. Oh

Scott:
Yeah, please give us an intro because I love Monarch. Yeah, that’s free for Monarch.

Jackie:
Yeah. And another thing you guys, as far as keeping up with your expenses, we’ve got the app, so technology’s there in our favor, but remember, it doesn’t have to be anything complex. So you may use a yellow pad and paper. I use a spreadsheet for a lot of tracking, a lot of my, not just my expenses, but my other financial life and I’ve been doing that for 15 or 20 years and I’ve customized it like crazy, so I would be totally spoiled. And anything else that I use, I don’t know if it would be satisfactory enough because I’ve customized it so much. So no matter how you do the expenses and the budget, but in particular if you’re just starting and you feel like you’re going to have to make some adjustments, having that those expenses and the budget in place is going to be helpful for you to identify areas that, and I say adjustments and not cutting because you can save plenty just by making some tweaks here and there, like Bill was saying, the value spending where you’re like, why am I spending this much on my Netflix?
I am busy with my business. I haven’t watched it in six months. So little things like that, up to the big things like maybe not right now, but back in the day, refinancing your house made a big deal, or maybe you’re in a position to pay your car off when it has a high interest rate. So there’s so many changing insurance companies. So just don’t forget about the ability that you have to make adjustments versus just cutting out things. Don’t do things that are not going to make you happy. Don’t do things that are going to make you miserable. That is huge because if it makes you miserable, you’re not going to stick with it.

Scott:
So Netflix just canceled their sponsorship with
Based on this one. But I think the bottom line is there’s all these tools, spreadsheets, great pen and paper is great, monarch’s great and power is great. There’s always a new one popping up that’s got a new experiment. Just do the work, which is not fun work at first and will be very painful for someone who’s starting out late to see bad numbers maybe on the page. But you got to stare ’em down, do the work, get this thing, get it over with, and then continue to do it and come back to it every month, every quarter, whatever the cadence is that’s helpful for you because it’s so critical to understand where your numbers are and where you’re at, where you’re going at the highest level in order to get started here. Alright, step one A, wake up, step one B, give yourself some grace. Step two is diagnose. We’ll, we come back, we’re going to talk about how to analyze those numbers and make decisions based on them.

Mindy:
Welcome back to the show. Let’s talk buckets and goals and how you can incorporate them into your journey.

Scott:
Jackie, bill, now that we’ve got this analysis done, this slog of at least several hours and probably a month or two that’s gone by for us to collect some data and understand our financial position, what do we do with this information?

Bill:
First we pause and as I say, then we plan. And this is the planning phase. And after the plan, only after the planning phase do we pivot and take action. And as far as the planning phase, you’ve got to look at your cashflow is one of the first things I think you’ve got to know what’s coming in, what’s going out, all the categories, and you’ve got to start creating your cashflow waterfall. But to take a step back first, I think everybody should make an investor policy statement they have to go through because your financial life isn’t just the numbers upfront, your budget and whatnot. You’ve got a plan for insurance, you’ve got a plan for an estate plan, you’ve got to plan for several things in your financial life. And there are formats out there where you can go through this. You’ve got to think and you don’t know where you’re going unless you have a map and you won’t reach your goal without a map. So I think the investor policy statement is important and then I would in to cash flow.

Scott:
Okay, so step three here is make a plan, map out a plan and it makes sense why this is coming after the previous step because we need to know where you’re at. You are here before you can make a plan to get somewhere else. And so I love this. You said an investor policy statement, you said a will. What are some other components of this plan that you think are critical? Bill and Jackie?

Jackie:
Oh gosh, there are so, and I don’t want to say there’s too much. And the whole key is that you don’t have to do it all at once. You don’t have to do it all in one day. I like to be able to take a moment to dream, to think about what you want your life to look like. Sometimes we are in a terrible job where we just want to get out of it or whatever, and maybe that’s our reason for wanting to do something different. But you could think about things like, Hey, I just want peace of mind. I don’t want to punch someone’s clock every day. I’ve always had a dream that I wanted to educate people on their finances or whatever that is. Because in your head, if you have some idea of what you want to move towards and the stuff that you’re like no more, that could be a lot of fuel for you wanting to make these changes. And sometimes it does help to write down these goals, not just to tangible goals, but the intangible goals and that makes a difference as well. So I would definitely keep something like that. Some people call it a vision board or something like that, but kind of have your little dreams and the things that you want to move towards.

Mindy:
So Scott said something that I thought was really important for people to hear. If you’re on this later start journey, this is not a five minute exercise, Scott said, this might be a couple of weeks or a couple of months that you have taken to start off looking at your starting point, diagnosing your starting point. This dream and plan and goal section is also not a five minute exercise. You want to take the time to really think about it. And this is all of this is a fluid document. This is not, well, I said I was going to do this, so I guess that’s all I get to do. If your goals change, if your dreams change, change your document too. But I love that you’re writing this down. I love that investor policy statement that’s so important and your dream statement, all of these need to be written down so you can come back and revisit them. I don’t know about you, but I’m over 50 and things fall out of my head.

Bill:
I actually just brought up my written financial plan for Karen and the components of it are fairly straightforward. We outline our present nest egg and our present net worth. And then as far as the gold go, just like Jackie, you have to have your personal goals first. And then as far as things like your financial goals, I mean we said our investments will provide an income of $160,000 while still growing at the rate of inflation, providing us with financial independence by July 4th, 2028. I mean, you’ve got to be very specific and we will reach a net worth of X. And then we talk about our savings goals and then all the insurances that need to be in place to protect you. You got to play defense before you play offense. Most people want to play offense.

Scott:
I love this. And just to share how aligned I am with this. Every quarter starting on our honeymoon, my wife and I have a little vision document it, it’s just a piece of paper. There’s nothing fancy to, this isn’t part of my $500 goal setting retreat summit program or whatever. This is just like a Word document and we write down 10 things we’re grateful for after a cup of coffee and a workout within, we write out what our life looks like at the end of 2025 and this one and 2028, just two and five years. And we say, we live here. This is what our day looks like on the weekdays. This is what our day looks like on the weekends. This is what our physical health looks like. This is what our family life looks like. This is what we do for fun here.
This is what our career outcomes have been, those types of things. And we just write that down and we’ve edited it every quarter for the last eight years, many years basically on this thing. And it moves a little bit. That’s okay, but we know where we’re going and it stopped moving quite as much in the last couple of years as we really Glock in like, yeah, that’s what we want. That’s what we’re going to work towards. And that dreaming exercise for us works really well. There’s so many different variations of that that you can do, but it’s just a piece of paper. I would encourage you if you’re going to do this exercise, to do it when you’re feeling good, this is not an activity to do after a really hard week on Friday after four glasses of wine when you’re really beating yourself up. This is an activity to do on Saturday morning after you’ve had a nice workout and a cup of coffee and the weather is nice and the sun is shining and you’re feeling good and your spirits are high. But I dunno. I dunno if you guys have any reactions to that or

Jackie:
Anything. Yeah, no, I love all of that, Scott. I mean all of that is so amazing and you and Bill are making me realize I need to do more writing things down, but the whole key is it’s not written in pen, right? It’s in pencil where you can make changes, you can make adjustments, you can tweak it. We weren’t taught how to put this stuff together. So give yourself a little bit of grace, a little bit of a buffer to be able to work and massage these to make sure that it makes sense. And I feel like the trial and error is really valuable as well because you’re going to learn something about yourself every time you make a change.

Scott:
Absolutely. And a quick tip here. If you have a significant other, it is always a good idea and you come to them with this, it’s a good idea to label it draft for the first time on there. That will help a lot of things in my first conversation.

Jackie:
And just to be clear, so everybody here is partnered up and married. I’m the only single person here. Okay, I got divorced and most of my fire journey has been since I got divorced. I have one daughter. So situations a little bit different, but there’s plenty of single people that are late starters and part of the reason is they might be divorced or they went through some relationship issues or there’s so many different reasons, but whether you are married, partnered up or single a parent or someone with no kids, these same things apply.

Bill:
Yeah, I mean in our community, and we have a large Facebook community, 75% of them are women and a lot of them seem to be divorced, financial catastrophe, and they’re very engaged, very motivated. There is a large female component to this. Maybe men are more ashamed and maybe the women are more able to embrace their mistakes or challenges and move forward positively. I don’t know. What do you think, Mindy?

Mindy:
You know what? I see a lot of women now taking control of their finances and this has been a man’s game. Oh, men take care of the finances. My husband does all the work, my husband, I hear that a lot and I see a lot of women either through divorce or just simply wanting to do it, being empowered to do it and say, I want to learn about this. I am going to fix my finances so that I’m not going to fall under that other headline that we see so much. Oh, you’ll never be able to retire ever. And I think that ties back into step one B, which we kind of glossed over and I’d like to focus on that for a minute. Give yourself some grace. I’m looking for tips for people to help themselves come to terms with the fact that they weren’t perfect before. That is also a fact. We’ll just put it over here. You weren’t perfect before. Now we’re going to fix that. How do you give yourself some grace?

Scott:
Awesome. So we’ve got wake up, we’ve got give yourself some grace. We’ve got diagnose your starting point and we’ve got a dream. So we know our endpoint, we know where we’re starting now, what comes next? Jackie and Bill.

Jackie:
Yeah, I think two powerful things are curiosity and willing to shift and make some changes. So I say curiosity because it really, when I think about a lot of the mistakes that I made, some of them was either because of curiosity or I solve those mistakes because of how curious I was about things. So just use that to your advantage. For instance, if you are so confused about how Roth IRAs work, what part is contribution? Do I have to wait five years? What are the nuances? Be curious about things and then start digging. It’s a powerful thing. And then fear is another really powerful thing for me. I had a big fear. I grew up in poverty. I had this big fear about being thrust back into poverty. So a big part of my wake up call was when I got divorced and I realized there was a huge disparity between what I had in my retirement account and what my husband had in his retirement account.
And that was a huge mistake that I didn’t even know that I was making. We didn’t talk about the money, we didn’t talk about investments. But finally when the divorce was said and done, I said, you know what? I don’t want to ever feel this financially ignorant again. And the main thought was in my head was that I didn’t ever want to be back in poverty again, and I never wanted my daughter to know poverty the way that I did. So I became so curious. I was curious about the stock market. I was curious about how did that big disparity exist? And I started figuring some of those things out and in the process, I’m getting my finances together. I ended up joining an investment club to learn more about the stock market and investing. I started understanding how my 401k work, understanding compound growth, all these things because I was really, really curious and I was very afraid of being in poverty again.
So I was doing something about it. One of the big mistakes I made was, you guys are real estate guys, so you made this come into my head again, but it was like around 2010 or whatever. I ended up buying a rental property. It was a condo near Charleston, a gray area. Everybody had short sales and foreclosures and stuff like that. Well, I wanted to get this property, try my handed, and it was a crazy time where they didn’t even want to give me financing. So you know what I ended up doing? I ended up taking a loan from my 401k, the maximum $40,000. Again, I wasn’t using it as a piggy bank or anything. I was just sort of in my mind shifting the investment, came up with $30,000. I ended up buying this condo for $80,000 and I was a landlord for two years.
Learned something about myself, wasn’t too crazy about landlording, and I sold it about two years later. I made money off of it. It was totally fine, but I found out that I wasn’t too crazy about being a landlord. But the funny thing was a few years later, I’m like, I wish I would’ve held onto it. Well, that $80,000 condo, I think I sold it for maybe 1 40, 1 50, something like that. Well, right before I got at this podcast, I looked up that property to see what it’s worth today. I got it back at 2010 and it’s worth $345,000. And I’m like, oh my gosh, that’s a big mistake. But I learned from it, but it was just kind of crazy. I went and looked at it because honestly, if we ever had any kind of opportunity like we had in 2009, 2010, 2011, I would be willing to do it again.
So just making those mistakes. I don’t even really call ’em mistakes anymore. I like to call them lessons so I’m not beating up on myself by looking at how much this condo’s worth. Now it’s a lesson to remind me that if the same opportunity came along, I now will approach it different because my head, it’s in a different place. I think that’s a really great point to acknowledge that you have made some mistakes and then instead of calling them mistakes, call them lessons because that’s what they are, especially if you actually learn something from them. If you didn’t learn anything from them, then it is just a great big mistake. But giving yourself grace is letting go of these things. I’ve made mistakes

Scott:
Too. I also think just a couple of things for folks that are looking to learn from what you said, Jackie, I saw some tools in there that are really powerful that folks can use to repeat that, right? Acknowledging and thinking through these mistakes, labeling emotions that you felt along that journey as well is really powerful. That’s just a general psychological tip. If you ever feel like an emotion, label it. It helps you control it and react to it, write it down, and then using that emotion to inform the plan, right? Part of moving towards a brighter financial future isn’t just moving towards your vision. It’s totally okay to be like, I don’t want to feel that pit of fear in the corner of my stomach all the time whenever I think about money and the next decade or whatever as well. Those are all absolute critical ingredients and being able to form a plan. Hint, hint, one of the next steps coming up that we’re going to talk about here. So just some tools there that I think are really powerful that I observed that you used.

Bill:
Yeah, I’d like to caution people a little bit because I made what I would call the of mistakes, right? Around 2007, 2008, we had renovated a house to the nines, basically rebuilt a house soon after 2007. We were upside down in our house. We had a very low savings rate, and our financial advisors that were not advisors at all allowed us to sell out at the bottom of the market and go to a low risk. And with our low savings rate being house poor and having sold out at the bottom, we didn’t get in until much later and we missed out on two thirds of the longest bull market ever. So you’ve got to manage the big rocks and you’ve got to be intentional about these things. The first thing we did after, one of the first things we’d after waking up was downsize, which is a very painful thing for late starters, especially with regards to housing, but it made all the difference. If you take care of these big rocks and get back to what’s realistic, then you can increase your savings rate exponentially. We went from single digit to 10% savings rate to about 30, 35% savings rate within the first year of waking up. This is absolutely possible.

Scott:
Awesome. Well, this has been a really fun discussion here. I think this is a great stopping point, Jackie, bill and Mindy, thank you so much for the good discussion. We have our first four steps here. Wake up one A, wake up, one B, give yourself some grace, diagnose a step two, dream and reflect, and this is all the soft stuff that absolutely has to be done before you can actually make a hard financial plan and start determining how you’re going to allocate your capital that you have if you have an investment portfolio or resources today, and how you’re going to allocate the income streams that are going to come into your life, which is what we’re going to really get into. Very prescriptively on the next show here. BiggerPockets Money Podcast 5 38. So thank you so much. So we’ll see you in a few days.

Mindy:
Alright, this was part one. Make sure to listen to episode 538 where we’ll be back with Jackie and Bill to talk strategy for later starters and some of those PHI levers you can pull, especially if you are getting a later start. My name is Mindy Jensen. He is Scott Trench saying, later start, don’t worry, Pop-Tart.

Outro:
BiggerPockets money was created by Mindy Jensen and Scott Trench. This episode was produced by Eric Knutson, copywriting by Calico Content, post-production by Exodus Media and Chris McKen. Thanks for listening.

 

 

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Note By BiggerPockets: These are opinions written by the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions of BiggerPockets.



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