Hi from Bellingham, Washington! We’re about to head to Bend, Oregon where we’ll have a week to enjoy life before our next job. Are we scavenging? Of course we are.
In lieu of posting our usual weekly update on our scavenging and selling, we’re sharing an interview we did we Jim Collins of jlcollinsnh.com. He’s one of the strong voices in the Early Retirement or FI (financial independence) community. This is where people save enough money where they no longer need to work to pay their bills because they can live on their investments. This is called the 4% rule. The point is to stop working, but have the ability to do your best work.
Jim interviewed us several months ago. When I originally tried to interview him several months ago, I felt I did a poor job. His experience and knowledge is so rich that I initially had trouble finding a clear path through his story. But Jim was kind enough to let me interview him a second time which turned out much better.
Jim’s readers will probably be familiar with his story and philosophy. He started saving and living frugal as a young man, which gave him freedom of choice is his work life. As his career progressed, he consistently saved and invested his money, which has given him the ability to comfortably retire. Unlike today, he didn’t have the benefit of online communities that are discussing and sharing different strategies to gain financial independence. This is the story of how Jim found his own way.
For Scavengers here, we wanted to share what we are striving for by finding junk and selling it online. The first goal is to simply work hard for ourselves, instead of working hard for someone else. No more going into the office and dealing with the unhealthy dynamics of the workplace. Instead we own our time and have reached a level of daily satisfaction in our life we never thought we could have.
But our ultimate goal isn’t to just sell things online for the rest of our lives. By being super thrifty and saving our eBay earnings, we hope to continue to pay off our debts, aggressively build our rental business, and then follow the 4% rule to be able to more fully focus on the projects we enjoy doing.
This is what Financial Independence is all about. We’re a long way from early retirement, but as Jim makes clear in his story, it’s about committing to the vision and doing it a day at a time.
Here are some of the links Jim mentions in our conversation:
—His famous stock series
—What are index funds? and How do they work?
—What is a safe withdrawal rate on retirement funds?
—The 4% rule
—Why Debt is a burden
—A case study when everything goes wrong in your financial planning.
—Jim’s awesome video channeling John Goodman
—How Jim lost money in real estate
—How Jim’s “short attention span” pushed him to keep finding new jobs/challenges