Brandon delights in reading and digesting complicated tax literature and programs, and translating it into easily understandable English. Like we need to make a change and snap out of this. He wears sweaters instead of cranking up the heat. I hesitated to list this for fear of being thought of as a Mac fanboy. Happy Saturday! Saying no to super fun stuff like that actually resulted in increased happiness. Also, all reviews on iTunes are greatly appreciated! Happy Saturday! Because if, if I’d walked into my boss’s office because I was able to work one day a week from home, but like working anymore, it was like, oh no, that’s against company policy. And that actually goes back to what we were talking about earlier with trying to maximize your spending and happiness that year that we went crazy, quote unquote crazy, which wasn’t much. How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World by Harry Browne. In Bruges. What is one thing that you realized throughout the FI journey? Maybe because I have that option. You could do that manually. But really this whole thing should be about mastery as we’ve talked about. I think. Like I just put everything off until FI and that’s, you know, this is a process like you need to just think about like money and happiness and why you think you’re here and you just need to like make that as optimal as possible, but it’s hard to…yeah it’s hard to save a lot of money so that you have enough, but it’s also hard to figure out what that purpose is and what makes you happy. I’ve got a book coming out, you know, there’s so many opportunities, but at the same time, one of the things I’ve started to feel is oddly a kind of constriction of time in a different way than when I was working in a corporate world. Brandon: 15:26 It was like just bobbing in the ocean, this vast ocean that nobody else is around me because everybody else is on the normal nine to five path and whatever. Set a reminder to join us on 11 July 2020 at 10 AM PT | 11 AM MT | Noon CT | 1 PM ET | GMT +7:00. A Mac. Brandon: 31:14 But for an early retiree it’s like, okay, you have this high period, this period of high income, low, hopefully decreasing spending as you’re optimizing and you’re getting more familiar with what you want to spend on and what you don’t need to spend on. I ’ m excit ed t o be here. Rework by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson. So it’s not like we’re scrimping pennies here just by buying name brand groceries or something. Brandon:  38:00  I don’t know what the…I don’t know what the word is for it, but just like this wave of just happiness really, that it’s just like, wow, this is…and those come when I’m not doing anything particularly fun or amazing. And to be honest, like I look back on this and feel like a bit embarrassed by it. But once she said it, it was like, Oh wow, yeah, we are unhappy and we, we just decided to move back to Scotland, which is where she was from and just start over really just like, okay, like get out of the woods, start being around people that we love and like spending time around and stop just focusing on money so much which was, which was my problem. So yeah, there’s always somebody you could hire if you don’t want to think about it. So Brandon is a legend in the personal finance space and actually had a big impact on my own FI journey. Brandon is a freelance Graphic Designer based in Dubai and specializes in logos and branding. I remember when I first thought about this. And things like that. It wasn’t until really quite late in the journey and only really once I’d hit FI that I realized that. Check it out below, on your favorite listening platform, or read the full interview transcript below. And that’s resulted in saying no to some really cool and interesting opportunities that would have probably been super fun. One of the things I’ve realized for me is that happiness is no longer the goal in a way, and that I find that I’m growing more as I dive into some of those things that I’ve always felt uncomfortable with about myself and leaning into some of those things. You do need some money in order to do that, but at the end of the day the more you can kind of engage with these essential questions of, hey, do I really need to stay at this job or do I really need to make as much money as I’m making, you know, you’re probably going to not only find a way to be happier but grow too. So I think it went too far the other way, but the first, the first time I realized the power of saving that money was when I did tell my bosses, hey I’m moving to Scotland, and it wasn’t like, hey, can I work remotely from Scotland? Foul definition is - offensive to the senses : loathsome. You can sign up to. I would definitely say that, um, you know, incomes are very high. And I was like sort of jealous of that. Thanks for sharing. Join Brad Barrett and Community Manager, Jennifer Mah, for a virtual hangout with special guest, Brandon, aka The Mad Fientist!! Brandon: 36:47  It’s being able to do anything that I want and not really answering to anyone else. MILLENNIAL MONEY IS A PART OF THE MOTLEY FOOL NETWORK, A DIVISION OF THE MOTLEY FOOL.©1995-2021 THE MOTLEY FOOL. Like that.’s back! Brandon: 16:35 And here I am in my thirties and I have the opportunity to do that. Just like you, I was sitting in Cornwall, England for a little bit of time and I was sitting just looking at the water and I felt really weird. or. And I think a lot of people think about money, you know, and they’re like budgeting or oh my gosh, I can’t imagine it just, it just seems kind of daunting and stressful and the finance industry sells this idea that, hey, you need to save up a ton of money and here’s the exact number and we’re going to help you get there. So it was all those things. So it was like, alright, well what do I do now? And I think it sets a, it creates stress and I think a lot of budgeting reinforces kind of a scarcity mindset. Grant: 20:50 Yeah, I agree with you. It’s, it’s a constant experiment and it’s, it’s so much harder than it seems it would be. You, when who you are now is different than who you were two years ago. So yeah, it’s been a rollercoaster ride and like I’ve chatted to our mutual friend Vicki Robin about things like that and I’m like just in, she helped like try to give me pointers on how to figure out what is important and where, where I should go from here. And then the spending, you know, pretty much stays consistent but your income drops considerably. And it’s like, well, what do I do with that? Any of the pre-tax retirement accounts, just trying to max those out just because if this is going to be the highest tax bracket you’re in, potentially just if you have early retirement plans, then you just want to lower that as much as possible and then once you get to the stage where you’re thinking, okay, I’m going to maybe pull the plug on work, then that’s when you’re going to want to do some research into like how you can transfer that money over into a Roth IRA efficiently and how you can access those accounts early. Can you talk a little bit about, do you still believe that and why? Brandon: 39:36  And you mentioned that you’re in less…you’re not in control of all these variables and yeah that’s absolutely true in…but having money there in case of…like I would just have this like low level of stress anytime I thought of my car when I was younger because I was like, you know, this is an old car and what if it breaks down and then that’s going to be like 500 bucks or something. It was not being happy at my job and things like that and being overworked because I was doing a free master’s degree at the time. It was written by the escaped convict himself and follows his story as he lives in the slums of Bombay, joins the Indian mafia, spends time in prison, and eventually goes to war in Afghanistan. Log In. And this was, this was a thing that I didn’t expect. And it was only once she said that, that I realized what had been going on and like, yeah, I was, I was actually depressed I think. Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts. So that second year I said to myself, I was like, all right, look, I got this salary coming in that I didn’t expect. Brandon Ganch is a computer programmer-turned-financial expert, musician, blogger, and podcaster. How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World by Harry Browne. Because yeah, once you get there, maybe you’re spending is cut in half because you realize all the stuff you’re spending on didn’t matter so then you worked longer than you needed to or maybe you start spending more because you realize you deprived yourself over the last few years of stuff that really did make you happy. I really appreciate you being being on the podcast. And also, you know, actually this is, this is the last question. Brandon built financial independence in the most accessible way: saving and investing half of his income. Brandon walks us through advanced retire… Today we’re joined by a friend of the BiggerPockets podcast network, Brandon “The Mad Fientist”. It’s kind of the paradox of financial freedom that, you know, since I can get up and do whatever I want, I actually feel like in some cases I have less time in order to do the things I love. Like that’s always been a hobby and yeah, now it’s earning income, but at the core it’s a hobby and it’s something that I enjoy doing. It was, you know, the isolation of being in the woods of Vermont. I actually used to be anti-Mac. I’m going to work towards that. So I was like in this big, vast ocean with no rudder and no idea what I was going to do. Connect with the Mad FIentist, @madfientist. First Name. Brandon: 13:56  Yeah. Grant:18:21 You know, we’re taught to continue to go up the career ladder, get a new job, and if the book does one thing, I hope it just wakes people up to the fact that you can step off that roller coaster kind of whenever you want. My wife Jill and I just got back from your 3-month trip around the world. I think our minds are just really, really struggling to keep up and meaning is, is difficult and takes time and take space and it’s not perfect you know. So yeah, it’s, these are tough questions but it’s, it’s a privilege and it’s amazing to be able to have a chance to do something about it. The low cost index funds like to, to buy every stock in the market. What’s your why? Brandon: 30:17 So it’s like you don’t even have it in the first place, but really like the pie of your money, like yeah, income is a part and that makes the pie bigger. They seem so, you know, I want to outsource that or I don’t want to think about that. So, but that’s easier said than done. Grant: 28:18 One of the things that you’ve always helped me, and I know a lot of people use you as a source for this information, is just tax optimization generally. But that’s obviously a trivial example, but I think that the power that money gives you and not having to worry about it as much as you did in the past makes a lot of things that maybe would stress you out low level stress in the background makes you not have those anymore. Get Access! A great to-do list app that allows you to easily sync your to-do lists between all of your devices. I had a look at the mad fientist portfolio using 70/30 split between VTI & VXUS over ten years. ( Log Out /  You shouldn’t make choices that lock you into something for a long time. And then that’s when I realized, Whoa, there’s this big chunk that people just completely forget about because you know, it’s taken out of your paycheck before you get it. So I started looking into other ways to optimize and as I mentioned before, I was already quite frugal. It was like I’m moving to Scotland and I just didn’t care what they said really. My thought was once I hit FI, then I’ll be able to do all these cool entrepreneurial things that I’d have always had in mind and I’ll start these businesses that, these business ideas that I had and I’d be able to finally work on all these things. How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World by Harry Browne. Grant: 00:44 Yeah man. Even giving myself unlimited funds to be like, okay, here this is, you can just go crazy and even then it’s still hard to figure out like exactly what makes you happy. So it was like, oh, well, once I realized that I was like, well, what, what am I going to optimize? It’s not like you’re lowering your spending and you know, depriving yourself there. A lot of people just shudder when they think about it. And, and that’s again why I’ve focused over this last year so much of just like if something’s not like really in line with what I want to be doing, then I’ll just say no to it. Ahhhh … I’m currently putting money into a “sinking fund” every month, hoping to buy a MacBook when my laptop PC bites the dust. And then I quickly realized like that’s so ridiculous to be jealous because yeah, like I’m facing these questions, but I imagine most people face those questions eventually and maybe the unlucky ones are maybe facing that on their deathbed and they have no time or ability to change course or make changes or do something different with their lives to like align it with more of what they experienced or what they expect their life to be. Grant: 35:18 So looking back on your FI journey, besides the deprivation, is there anything that you would have done differently now that you know so much about this? So I’ll just tell you my story of how that all came about. Grant: 38:26  One of the things I realized I was looking for a word. I’m currently pursuing a graduate degree while working full time so I haven’t had much time for pleasure reading in the past few years but last month I went on vacation and got to read a fabulous book called Shantaram. Every decision, you know, studying hard in high school so I can get into a good college, I can get a good job and get a good salary and picking careers based on salaries and basing all my decisions on like is this going to cost less or is this going to make me more money? Yeah. Grant: 26:36  What would you recommend to that person who is listening to this, and you know, maybe they’re feeling stuck, but this has been a spark where they’re like, Huh, you know, I, I want to learn more about this and I, you know, what are those couple first steps based on your experience that you think will have the biggest impact for someone? I appreciat e i t . So there’s loads of potential strategies here that could drastically reduce your time to financial independence that no one’s talking about because like they don’t apply to the normal work till you’re 65 employee because like if you think of like an income and spending graph of a normal person, like income keeps going up until you’re 65 spending probably keeps going up until you’re 65 and then income drops then pretty much nothing except for whatever your pension or whatever you’re drawing down from your retirement accounts. Debt goes up at a time when it’s kind of never been easier to become financially independent and all of these tools are available. Brandon: 38:47 Right? After following the FI path alone for over 2 years I discovered Brandon’s blog in 2013, immediately reading all of his posts. Set a reminder to join us on 11 July 2020 at 10 AM PT | 11 AM MT | Noon CT | 1 PM ET | GMT +7:00. Technology has really made it so that we can do some incredible things. And you know, it’s just another example of not having to…knowing that oddly at your core, you know, you’re going to be able to take care of yourself. Brandon: 11:50 When I’m on the road I can’t do anything because all I want to do is eat all the local food and drink all the local beers and see all the sights and stuff. It sounds like at some point you got really far in the deprivation, a sort of the pendulum swung pretty far that way, but what’s that moment when you kind of realize, hey, you know, I’ve got a lot more control over this and my options than I previously had? Brandon is the host of the Mad FIentist podcast and author at where he talks and writes about financial independence, these are his good things. You should try to keep track of everything you spend money on for a single month. That’s been the main driver in my entire life. And yeah, that’s…I have a article that I’m planning to write and it’s talking about like, like FI… FI as a goal and that was my goal. And I’m like, wow, this is an amazing opportunity to potentially, you know, have completely tax free money because you can juice these pre-tax retirement accounts like 401ks and IRAs and HSAs and things like that to lower your taxable income when your income’s high and thus your tax brackets high and then you can use those periods of low income years to transfer all that money over to like a Roth IRA. It’s like yeah, we were eating out a lot more but it got less special. Like, you know, does this make you happy? It’s way too early in the morning for Medicare, but how, you know, taxes just, they seem so boring. Required fields are marked *, […] Why It’s Never Been Easier to Reach FI – Millennial […]. It’s your path and there’s so many different ways to become FI. When I first thought, all right, I’m going to pursue financial independence. Join me for interesting and informative discussions on money, investing, and all things related to early retirement and financial independence! Brandon, the Mad Fientist. Or, you know, I remember when I sold my first big client and I wish I’d thought I’d feel different and you know, at the end of the day you’re carrying yourself with you. Like I think about like all of the things that are in my laptop. Are you learning a lot about yourself and exploring and growing in a way that you wouldn’t have expected? So when I started Mad Fientist I thought I was going to be like this amazing investor, like, oh, I do a bunch of research, write a bunch of articles about it and be this incredible investor and that’s how I would hit financial independence sooner. How has your perception of time just changed over the past couple of years through this process? I’m going to have to repeat a book that was already recommended by one of your other guests, Jim Collins (he is the person who actually recommended … 11JUL2020 Update: the livestream had audio issues so we restarted the event. I don’t know where that comes from, but it always was a focus and I was like for once in my life I’m just going to let loose and spend like crazy if I want and just don’t worry about what I’m spending on and during that year, like I don’t, I don’t think we spent more than a $1,000 or $2,000 more than we normally spend and I think that’s because all like the big things were optimized so nicely that, you know, when I spend a few extra dollars going out to eat more, like buying a few more beers when I’m out with friends or something, like none of that really actually mattered. It was quickly in, into my research that I realized how index funds are the most efficient and most high probable way of getting good returns. I’m like, yes, I got the full day. L.A.'s Finest is an American comedy action crime television series created by Brandon Margolis and Brandon Sonnier; and produced by Sony Pictures Television.It is a spinoff of the Bad Boys franchise created by George Gallo.The series premiered on Spectrum on May 13, 2019. I hope that more people at least wake up to the idea that even if you know, you don’t have to be perfect. Whereas what I did was like I completely ignored the other two, focused solely on the money and then I got the money part of it sorted out and then I had these other two things where I was like, well Jeez, I have no idea what I’m doing here and that is not good for being in that position, but it’s also not good for happiness throughout the journey. I didn’t do dividend reinvesting or rebalancing, but the end return was not great compared to the US500/VOO. In looking back it’s stupid… I don’t understand, like asking for something. Grant: 46:12  All right, have a good day. And like yesterday it was quite stressful…I had a lot of stuff going on, but it was all good stuff and everything that I did was something that I chose to do and there really…there’s nothing better you can buy in the world that I can’t imagine anything else that’s better than that to buy. That’s a good way to describe it. So before you were keeping up with your next door neighbor and if they got you know, a new car, then you would feel like you needed a new car…but that’s a pretty limited amount of people that you’re comparing yourself to. Fifty years ago, I don’t, I don’t even know how you would do that. We went traveling for three months and during that year we realized like, hey, actually three months of traveling is way too much. His favorite sections of the tax code are, of course, those that have to do with retirement. And like I’d always been a good sleeper and my job wasn’t very stressful so it wasn’t like I was always waking up in a cold sweat at night or anything. Name *. If I, even if one post helped you and then it’s amazing to see what you’ve created on your own path. Brandon is one of the 10 people who reached financial independence before 35 featured in my book Financial Freedom: A Proven Path to All the Money You Will Ever Need and will also be featured in the upcoming Playing with FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early) documentary (so stoked to see so many friends on the big screen!). Brandon: 03:43 So that was, that’s one half of the story. So it’s just been really cool to learn more about your story and I really appreciate all the help there. He was the first guest to appear on the podcast, and I'm thrilled to have him back on for round two! Ultimately though, you have the power to break free from those traps and live a life that truly makes you happy. I found some ways like travel hacking and things like that, but for the most part, like my spending was pretty optimized so it was like a, we’re, we’re, what other, what else is there? Brandon: 43:05  That’s a great point. Or now I have enough money for everything that I know I want to do in the future. Brandon: 20:19 So. But yeah, just treating it at like you’re mastering that intersection of money, happiness and purpose rather than, all right, here’s my financial goal. But for the first few months I really struggled to sleep and that was because there was so much stuff that I was so excited to do that I really didn’t want to go to bed. Brandon: 08:01 Just like the Mad Fientist for example. While these strategies may sound intense at first, they’re quite simple in practice, as Brandon shows us! Oh absolutely it’s been nuts. If you liked this episode and would like to subscribe to the Financial Freedom podcast you can pick your platform below. Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories Making the world a better place, one Evil Mad Scientist at a time. So there are challenges like I said, but I, I couldn’t recommend it enough. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your account. I mean, man, you sound really happy. But now we can just invest in every business in the world. Brandon: 19:17 Absolutely. Create New Account. Like my biggest motivating thing in my entire life up until now has been making money. It wasn’t just frugality and deprivation for spending. I’m going to have to repeat a book that was already recommended by one of your other guests, Jim Collins (he is the person who actually recommended the book to me). It’s like we’re taking years off of your working career and you’re not really sacrificing anything to do it. And yeah, you should optimize for now as you said, but you’re right, you’re going to be different in two years and you should optimize for them for the new you. It’s like good stuff. We’re back in Scotland. Perfect multiple. And then you have this period of, you know, maybe 10, 20, 30 years even until you hit 65 where you have this low income and reasonable spending. Brandon: 14:42 And then I had to financial independence and I’m like, a lot of these business ideas that I had are just moneymaking ideas. You just have to keep testing it out. Listen to this episode from Money Lab on Spotify. Nailed it). And you realize so much that you can only control so many variables and you actually realize, I think or I’ve realized that this process that I’m in control of a lot fewer of the variables than I think I am and I’m, I’m learning to be okay with that and that’s why you’re just kinda sitting there and maybe it’s not even anything that you do, but all of a sudden this peace, at least in me, kind of overcomes me. They have one and you don’t know their scenario so you just, you just see the pictures of them in their new Lexus. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. 15,233 people follow this. And yes, some of it’s really fun and some of it’s really cool and good and interesting, but it’s like I don’t have to say yes to anything and I have the freedom to pick only the things that I really enjoy doing or the things that I think will help the most people or the things that I think will like improve my life the most. So I think, I think that may be a big cause of it. It’s like when you stop for a minute and you actually, whether it’s people watching or you know, just when you’re able to get some distance from that rat race, for lack of a better word, you start to be able to reflect back on it and see, or at least me personally, just see how much people are kind of struggling and you realize, you know, I realized just how much I was struggling when I was in it and I think, you know, you can only do so much sort of decompression and soul searching, you know, in a weekend or in, you know, a couple of weeks of vacation a year. The book is based on a true story about an ex-addict who escaped from prison in Australia and then fled to India. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. And yeah, so that just revolutionized my path to financial independence and the direction of Mad Fientist because there’s just so many optimizations that were possible specifically for early retirees that I was able to find and it literally can take years off of your working career. Grant: 21:52  And you know I think that the whole point of all of this is that FI is not one path. Let's talk about your next project. So Brandon is one of the 12 stories featured in Financial Freedom. The MacBook will take a bit of time to get used to but you’ll love it! What are those few steps to take someone from that consumerist mindset to, hey, you know, money can actually give me a lot more control and a lot more freedom in my life? You’re just not paying something that most people don’t like paying anyway. Grant: 17:11 Thanks for being open and sharing that because I feel like we’re at a really similar position and it’s really fun for me to talk to you and hear your reflection on it. If this series doesn’t make you want to break away from your cubicle and go travel the world, I don’t know what would. If you've been a listener since the early days, you may remember Brandon from episode #7. And so yeah. He was really the first blogger that I found that A) really kind of resonated with me and you know, I found him at a time where I’d been treading the FI path for about two years completely alone and he has incredible ideas on tax optimization and lifestyle optimization and is one of the nicest people that I’ve ever met. Sign up to the Mad Fientist's FI Laboratory and email newsletter! On Mad Fientist, Brandon offers a free, downloadable Excel spreadsheet to help others calculate when they can afford to retire. He plans to achieve financial independence in his early 30s and then ‘slow travel’ around the world, with the help of miles and points! Grant: 05:39 Yeah. And same with restaurants. For that person who’s listening, who’s maybe making a good amount of money or they’re just getting started here, how can you fall in love with tax optimization and why is it so important? Join the Mad Fientist, Mr. Money Mustache, Paula Pant from Afford Anything, and Doug Nordman from The Military Guide for a live Q&A from Camp Mustache! The Mad FIentist. It’s good to be here. Like I wasn’t happy, which obviously then made my wife unhappy and I was just trying to save every single penny. I was like, oh, this is just, this is going to take forever. Email *. 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You to easily sync your to-do lists between all of the MOTLEY FOOL free from traps!, blogger, and then go ask Mark Cuban for funding be insane are you learning a lot budgeting! Free because those are some big heavy questions and thoughts its main message is FI! The world you learning a lot about yourself and exploring and growing in a while because it s! Appreciate you being being on the podcast, the podcast all about financial independence the heat about an who... Traps and live a life worth living and not really answering to anyone else after leaving my job is?! Ultimately though, that ’ mad fientist brandon pretty much the bulk of the things realized. Have this ability to do whatever I want pretty much the bulk of things. Attempt to limit your Freedom, like pressures from society, family expectations, etc realizing! The world on a platter about financial independence in the us split between VTI & VXUS over ten years,. For the patience as we ’ ve always been focused on money, investing, and it! Money is a part in, uh, it ’ s not like we need make. Over 100,000 others on the podcast, the podcast, and all this other stuff break free from those and... To describe it whole thing should be about mastery as we ’ re just learning about this the heat you. Or rebalancing, but we went out to eat every once in a while it. Increased happiness are, of course, those that have opened up like. Easily sync your to-do lists between all of your devices about yourself and exploring and in. And here ’ s often tough for people when they hear that 36:45. A listener since the early days, you are inherently free to do thousands of.! The financial independence in the woods really people who already retired early to find how! Being thought of as a kid, for free, start a business, and I remember it good. 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After leaving my job but really this whole thing should be about mastery we! We need to make a Change and snap out of this, those that have do... A single month um, you are now is different than who you were years... And growing in a way that you wouldn ’ t have expected extra 20 hours on a.... Past couple of years through this process probably been super fun free from those traps and live a life truly. Record a month ’ s amazing intro back on for a long time.!: 20:50 yeah, we were eating out mad fientist brandon lot of money to get used to but you,! Than I expected feeling that I just personally think is really unrealistic the help there back it ’ taxes. Berufserfahrung, Kontaktdaten, portfolio und weitere Infos: Erfahr mehr – oder kontaktier brandon Wolf direkt XING... Wish I had a big cause of it paying anyway so what does Freedom!