Financial Independence Optional Retirement | Lisa from Mad Money Monster

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In today’s episode, you’ll hear from Lisa who writes over at Mad Money Monster.

She started off life poor, had a bad first relationship, then discovered Financial Independence.

Lisa was in her 30s and went in full force cutting out all her expenses.

It turned out to be too harsh and she shifted her mindset to FI/OR.

This is Financial Independence / Optional Retirement and she breaks that down for us.

Listen, learn, and let us know what you think.

Episode Summary

  • She grew up poor so she was always fascinated with money
  • Once she had her kid she really knew finances were important
  • Then she meets her current husband and they start to close on their big dream home
  • Lisa talks about how the home was way out of their price range
  • Luckily the inspector found black mold in the house
  • This meant the deal fell through and they avoided huge debt
  • Lisa was in her mid-30s in 2015 when all this happened

Growing up Poor

  • Then Lisa talks about her upbringing in a 400 sq ft trailer
  • She does note that it was in a great school district
  • Most of her classmates lived in big nice houses
  • Neither of her parents graduated high school
  • Justin and Lisa talk about how to fit in when you don’t have money
  • One of the big things was spending a little to get name brand clothes
  • Since they lived in such a small house their family was doing ok
  • They weren’t living on super thin margins but they weren’t saving anything

FI Journey

  • Lisa already had her undergrad, masters, and career started before finding financial independence
  • She had been saving for retirement since day one but no extreme focus
  • Lisa steps back in her story to cover a relationship that fell apart earlier in life
  • She ended up leaving their house with nothing
  • Lisa actually owned a home that she rented to her parents but didn’t want to stay there
  • So she ended up renting another apartment
  • Then we step back to what life looked like when she really discovered Financial Independence
  • The day she discovers it, she goes into work and maxes out her 401k contribution
  • Then they started cutting everything
  • No weekly pizza or coffee dates, nothing was off-limits

FI/OR – Financial Independence Optional Retirement

  • Lisa goes over the 5 big points of this idea of FI/OR
  • Pressure is off – you don’t have to be extreme and retire super early for no reason
  • Makes work more fun – FIRE made work seem daunting, focusing less on it made work fun
  • Scale back / Stop Side Hustles – these are just second jobs and it can grind you down
  • Gives You Options – now you can focus a little more on the things you love vs rapid spending
  • Lisa’s original goal was to stop working in 2021 and just do nothing
  • Then she started thinking about kid’s college/wedding, vacations, mom’s care
  • Now Lisa is rethinking her timeline and moved it to 2025-2030
  • She and her husband currently have blogs and rental properties
  • She also admits she could never just retire and do nothing

Key Takeaways

  1. No money? Spend it anyway: Lisa talks about how important having nice clothes was for her self esteem growing up poor
  2. It’s ok to slow down: Obviously Lisa has pivoted and changed her plans and she sounds so much happier with optional retirement.
  3. Pick a Partner: We discuss how being cheap is destructive to relationships and the environment

Call to Action

Slow down a little, spend some time and money on something you love and avoid deprivation.

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Learn more about Lisa

Via her website Mad Money Monster.

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