My Levels Of FI - Sis

Financial independence is a weird concept for most people to wrap their head around, including me. The Think Save Retire Blog defines it as “financial independence is simple: it means that you are not beholden to a job to provide for your livelihood. Instead, your wealth supports your lifestyle.” This to me means you are not dependent on a job for income that pays the cost of daily living. The author at ESI blog defines it simply as “having wealth to cover expenses indefinitely” This is simple and to the point. It means you have enough money indefinitely to live on without having to work. The amount of that money depends of what kind of lifestyle you want.
Bro breaks down his three levels of FI in his previous post. His three levels were Basic FI, Full FI and Baller FI.
Basic FI is being able to cover necessities of daily life. Enough to put food on the table and a roof over your head. This level would be hard to maintain lifelong in my opinion. This does not budget money for family …

My Three Levels of FI - Bro

Financial independence is not an all or nothing thing. If you are willing to live under a bridge it is quite possible to be financially independent for only a few thousand dollars. The problem is that is not the type of retirement most people want to live. I sure don't want to live like that. On the other hand it is also possible to spend your whole life saving and saving to try to hit a FI level where you can live in Monte Carlo. You may hit that level of FI but by then you might be 99 years old.

For me there are three reasonable levels of FI to aim for. The first level is Basic FI. This level would produce enough money that we could pay our bills. There would really not be much money left over for anything else but we would be able to live. The second level is Full FI. This level would supply enough money that we could pay our bills and live a little beyond that. That might translate to some higher quality groceries, a road trip, or even a very rare flight to somewhere fun. The l…

I Am Privileged: A Response To A Fellow Blogger - Sis

My brother recently sent me a link to a blog post. I would like to respond to this post at this time. I respect all authors and think blogs are an amazing outlet for authors

The blog post is:  My Problem With the Success Narrative by Table for One
The blog starts off by the author stating she has an issue with the FIRE community “universally ignore(ing) the role of privilege”.
This author states that privilege can be something like race, gender to growing up in a stable community. I feel that these are characteristics that describes a person. Yes, some of these traits lead to advantages in life but they are just that, traits. It is up to the individual self to determine the effects of these traits. For example, I am a female. In the financial world females aren't traditionally as educated as their male counterparts. I made the conscious choice to educate myself. It was up to me solely to put in the time and effort, this was not determined by gender. I grew up in a privileged house …

IRA vs Roth IRA - Bro

I recently had a reader question if a Roth IRA or a Traditional IRA is better. Of course the answer is (not) simple! All info contained in this blog post is to the best of my knowledge (and research). Please do your own homework before you make any money moves.

Step 0: What is a Roth or Traditional IRA? Roth IRA: The money that you put in there is already taxed and is taken out without paying any more taxes*.
EX: If you make 50,000 as a couple it would cost you $6,470 ($970 in taxes) to make the $5,500 contribution. When you get to retirement you will owe no taxes on what you take out. 
Traditional IRA: The money that you put in there is before taxes and when it is taken out it is taxed.
EX: You make your $5,500 before you pay any tax on it. When you withdraw the money you pay taxes on it as if it were normal income. In this case if you were to withdraw $5,500 after the age of 60 and your income was 50,000 as a couple you would pay 15% tax or $825.
There is no difference in the amount of mo…

The beauty of adversity - Bro

Adversity and difficulty are things that most people try to avoid. It is painful to be "behind the eight ball". Nobody likes to miss a meal (due to travel, being too busy to eat, or having a tight budget). The thing is the major growth in my life has been because of adversity.

When my wife and I got married we bought a house and had a plan. We cut things a bit close financially between our 20% down payment (part of which was supplied via a short term family loan), furnishings for our new home, parts of the honey moon, and the few wedding expenses not covered by my in-laws. Then adversity snuck up. Due to my mother-in-law losing her job we were suddenly on the hook for more of the wedding expense. At this point two things could happen. First, my wife and I could freak the hell out and fight each other due to the stress. Second, my wife and I could grow closer together (very fast) and take on the world as an “us”. Lucky for me we went the second route and made it work. To this…

The Year of the HSA - Sis

This is going to be another big year for my family! We are welcoming another baby into our home this July. This is going to dramatically change our family's budget for the year.

Our first challenge is our health insurance plan changed. We now have a high deductible health plan which includes a HSA. It cost more per paycheck then last year. Also, it requires more money upfront but once you reach your deductible coverage is 100%. One advantage is my husband’s employer contributes $1000 per year to our HSA.

Let's take a step back for a minute and talk about what a HSA, or Health Savings Account is. You have to be enrolled in a high deductible health plan to qualify. The money you put into the account is not taxed and it is also not taxed when paying medical bills. This is a huge advantage. The funds rollover year to year. The annual contribution is limited to $4,450 for singles and $7,900 per family in 2018.

We are going to have planety of medical bills. Between doctor visi…

The Five Year Plan - Bro

I recently read a blog post by Zach over at “Four Pillar Freedom” titled “How to be in a Better Place Five Years from Now: Stop Looking Around and Start Looking Ahead” and it got me thinking about long term planning. Five years is a short enough time that the “end” does not seem out of reach but it is far enough away that you have to room to make many small efforts to make a large impact. This is not a New Year's resolution. I see it as more of a direction instead of a destination. Without further ado here is my (first attempt at a) five year Plan.


This area of my life is one of the more contentious areas. I am the sole breadwinner in my family. My primary focus is typically providing for my family (I find this to be a large motivator in wanting to be FI). To achieve the goal of providing for my family aspects of my relationship gets sacrificed. This includes things like missed anniversaries, school events, and holidays. To make up for this I plan to work on improving my rel…