Ask the Readers: What Do YOU Want to Read (May 20, 2014)?

by FI Fighter on May 20, 2014

in Ask the Readers

photo (7)

The journey to early financial independence involves unifying a lot of different pieces. For most people, it isn’t enough to just make a lot of money. To get to early FI, you also need to work on saving your money… At some point, you’ll also need to figure out how to invest it wisely so that your passive income stream can one day supplant your earned income source.

This all takes time, effort, dedication, and will power. The journey to early FI definitely isn’t an easy (or short) one, otherwise everyone would be doing it, right? It’s understandable, then, why many will fizzle out and quit along the way. Further, without having a deep fundamental reason for doing this, you might be prone to veer off course, and lose focus. I know that whenever I get lost in the hustle and bustle of daily life, I remind myself what my endgame is; this helps me re-motivate, and it gets me back on track.

Since the journey to early FI involves a lot of different topics, I’ve done my best to mix up the articles every so often. There are times when I will focus more on the “why” side of things, and other times when I will concentrate more on the “how” to do it aspect. Most importantly, I try to document my own progress so that readers can get insight into how everything is working out (also see Cash Flow Statements and Net Worth Updates). Theory is great and all, but the proof is in the pudding!

This is Year 3, and I’m just so thankful to be in position to share my progress with everyone! I haven’t quite reached the finish line yet, but I’m optimistic that I’m getting pretty close. At the conclusion of 2014, I should be at least 75% complete with the journey. Yes, I am still targeting to declare early FI in early/mid 2015. At that time, I will quit my job as a corporate engineer, and start the next chapter in my life.

I don’t for a second claim to have all the answers… I do not. There are also many topics that I am unfamiliar with and have no knowledge of (e.g. p2p lending). But I am getting closer to reaching the top of the early FI summit, so if there’s anything that I can do to help someone else out who’s also on the journey (or wants to start), then I would be happy to. I’m a firm believer that achieving financial freedom early in life is one of the BEST things you can ever do for yourself and your family.

At this time, I would like to ask readers, “What topics would you like to see covered on this blog? What hasn’t been addressed, and/or what should be addressed in more details?

In other words, as a reader, “What do YOU want to read on this blog?

That’s an open-ended question, so here are some topic ideas:

  • Getting started on the journey to early FI
  • Ways to save money/budgeting/expenses
  • Consumer debt (and how to get out of it)
  • Career (making money in the rat race)
  • Motivation for early FI
  • Travel journals (with pictures)
  • Travel hacking tips
  • Real Estate Investing
  • Dividend Investing
  • Traditional Retirement Investing (401k, Roth IRA, etc.)
  • Own personal early FI stories
  • Guest posts/interviews
  • Post-FI plans
  • Post-FI careers

The topics I provided above are just some broad/general ideas, but feel free to ask for more specifics.

I have a tentative schedule for articles that I would like to release for the remainder of May. Any tips, suggestions that I get, I can work on implementing these new ideas for posts in June.

Feel free to leave a comment below, or send me a PM. Love to hear from you! 🙂

{ 34 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jason @ Islands of Investing May 20, 2014 at 4:12 am

Hi FI Fighter,

Firstly, the mix and breadth of topics you’ve covered has been fantastic so far. For me personally, I love hearing the motivations for FI, post FI plans, and personal FI stories. Basically, all the things that relate to the ‘why’. As you mentioned, many people fizzle out along the way, and having a strong why and keeping inspired is really important to me.

Great that you’re looking to give readers exactly what they want. But really, I think if you keep doing what you’ve been doing you can’t go too wrong!

Cheers,

Jason

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2 FI Fighter May 20, 2014 at 11:21 pm

Jason,

Thanks for the feedback! I too enjoy reading “why” articles from other bloggers. It’s neat learning about other people’s motivation towards doing this.

I will keep this in mind!

Cheers!

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3 Lisa May 20, 2014 at 5:19 am

I’d really like you to get into your rental properties more. How do you find these properties? How do you know what the rental market is like in other states? Is it just by working with turnkey property management companies? I didn’t even know they existed prior to reading your blog. We have one duplex locally, and I’d like to invest in another. Prior to reading your blog, I didn’t consider that I could buy a rental in another state. I don’t know where to begin, or if an out of state market would be better than the local one.

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4 FI Fighter May 20, 2014 at 11:23 pm

Lisa,

Thanks for the idea! I will keep this in mind, and I will look to do a recap post for each property that I’ve purchased and go over more the mentality and thought process I had at the time.

I will be sure to do more REI posts to go over more the local vs. out of state dilemma many investors face and one I had to address myself last year.

Take care!

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5 Stefanie @ The Broke and Beautiful Life May 20, 2014 at 5:48 am

I love a good mix between the why and the how. Also, anything on investing that doesn’t make my eyes glaze over is useful 🙂

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6 FI Fighter May 20, 2014 at 11:23 pm

Stefanie,

Thanks for the feedback! I’m going to do my best to strike a good balance between the two.

Cheers!

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7 A Frugal Family's Journey May 20, 2014 at 9:03 am

I vote for anything and everything that has to do with FI. I personally feel that it is interesting to see and hear about the stories, motivations, successes, failures, tips, etc. that a blogger has about their niche topic. As a complement to that, it is nice to see the documentation of your progress to help validate the things you say in the blog.

Wishing you continued success in your journey!

AFFJ

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8 FI Fighter May 20, 2014 at 11:25 pm

AFFJ,

Thanks for the feedback! You’ve given me some ideas and it’s good to know that there are others who enjoying reading the personal stories, motivations, success/failures, etc.

All the best!

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9 Dave @ The New York Budget May 20, 2014 at 9:03 am

I think the reason that this is one of my absolute favorite PF blogs is the mix of the why and the how. The “why” is so very in line with my thinking, and the how is so very detailed and eye-opening.

Going forward, I am interested in posts on:
– REI
– Travel Hacking
– Any new/different ventures you dive into
– Reaping the benefits (Posts about your travels, post-FI life, the process of quitting your job, etc)

Thanks for all the posts so far!

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10 FI Fighter May 20, 2014 at 11:30 pm

Dave,

Thanks for the feedback! I appreciate the support.

Those are all great suggestions and topics that I myself am very interested in. I can’t wait to get to the “reaping the benefits” section! 🙂

Cheers!

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11 MrsFinancialFreedom May 20, 2014 at 10:21 am

I think you have a really good mix of subjects on here already.

I would like to hear more about what you are planning on doing once you finally get out of that cubicle. Things like:
– where you would like to travel
– if you are planning on volunteering etc.
– how you are going to preserve your wealth once you’re FI. Are you going to carry on with REI or look at different investments.

Also, I think it would be interesting to hear your take on leaving a well paid job when you still have debt. Most people want rid of all debt before they would feel comfortable quitting and it would be good to get your view on it.

Looking forward to reading all these new posts!

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12 FI Fighter May 20, 2014 at 11:32 pm

MrsFinancialFreedom,

Thanks for the feedback! I will most likely address the post-FI articles in a lot more detail as I inch closer to the the final date… But I will keep in mind to try and introduce a few posts here and there covering post-FI thoughts…

That’s a great topic as well.. In a way, I would be leaving a well paying job with debt (mortgages)… Not exactly consumer debt, but I can go over my own thoughts on quitting a stable job with a sizable balance to deal with…

Take care!

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13 Even Steven May 20, 2014 at 10:40 am

I’m a story guy myself, so anything on the FI journey is great for me. Obstacles, Aha Moments, Things You Tried/Failed/Improved. I especially like the ok I tried X(and all the details of course) and that didn’t work at all, so I tried Y and now I’m killing it.

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14 FI Fighter May 20, 2014 at 11:33 pm

Even Steven,

Thanks for the feedback! I also love reading other people’s stories… I’m encouraged by the feedback, and those are topics I love to write about. I will keep them in mind going forward.

All the best!

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15 Dan23 May 20, 2014 at 5:46 pm

Post-FI plans

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16 FI Fighter May 20, 2014 at 11:34 pm

Dan,

Another vote for post-FI articles… Thanks and noted.

Cheers!

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17 No Nonsense Landlord May 20, 2014 at 8:59 pm

I have 22 months left, and am looking forward to it!

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18 FI Fighter May 20, 2014 at 11:34 pm

Eric,

It’ll be here before you know it! 🙂

Take care!

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19 Martin May 20, 2014 at 10:59 pm

I think you are doing great job and at this point I am not sure if there is anything specific besides of what you are already doing.

I would say stick to Real estate investing. It is new to me, I have no knowledge of it, so your insights of how to invest, loans, screening, renting, leasing, managing, and a bunch of pictures of your properties like what it was before and what it is now, and stuff like that is what makes me interested in reading your blog. I enjoy seeing/reading of how this way of building FI goes and challenges you get along. Also motivational articles are good and definitely keep up your monthly reviews as well as focus on how that result adds up to your overall goal, because that’s what pushes me (and I believe others too) forward.

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20 FI Fighter May 20, 2014 at 11:36 pm

Martin,

Thanks for the feedback! REI definitely plays a huge role in my early FI plans, so it will remain in the forefront of future posts… There is still a ton for me to cover, and I’m constantly learning myself in this game.

I’ll do my best to keep up the monthly reports, goals, progress, etc.

All the best!

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21 kb May 21, 2014 at 7:51 am

Man, I really enjoy the blog already as-is for the most part.

I’m always curious about how and why, so more of that is always good.

I’m also personally very interest in REI, so anything there is a good read always.

I like guest posts series on some of the other blogs. Lets me check out more quickly if I’m interested in checking out another blog or not.

I appreciate your how-to articles. I think that’s a nice thing you do as I know it’s time consuming.

More articles on travel hacking would be good. I don’t know jack about this topic, haha.

Less Debt and getting out of it articles… It’s kind of annoying reading too many articles on this topic now (not directed to you specifically). There is too many sources telling you the same tips. I do like reading some people’s personal struggles to get out of debt and what they are in debt on.

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22 FI Fighter May 22, 2014 at 9:07 am

Kb,

Thanks for the input! I haven’t yet focused much on guest posts/interviews, but that’s a great idea and one I’m excited about implementing in the future.

Appreciate the feedback! Yeah, travel hacking is wonderful, and I really don’t know much about it yet either…

Point noted on the “less debt” articles… For a lot of us on the road to early FI, we are kind of past that point, anyway…

Cheers!

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23 Jason May 21, 2014 at 7:09 pm

Hi there FIF, I think the blog has a really good mix already, but here’s my thoughts.

It’s all well and good to study the mechanics of FI, but sometimes it can be a little bit of a grind to study the numbers. Post-FI careers and plans, in my mind, knock the seriousness down a little bit, allow people to raise their head from the grindstone and “think blue-sky” a little bit. It’s good for the soul and reminds people what they’re doing all this for.

Looks like a lot of people would vote for more details on REI. That’s practically my second job, so maybe I could do an article about that, including a little personal history. (I know, I’ve been promising that for a while… 🙂 )

One thing I’d like to see is info about alternative investments (RE notes, tax liens, p2p lending, debt buying, trading collectables, micro-businesses) Something a little off the normal. Even a section on part-time jobs people can do would be really neat.

Anyway, hope that inspires!

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24 kb May 22, 2014 at 8:43 am

I would read this guy’s article.

I like guest posts (sometimes)… I hate when the guest posts on other blogs are just the same old facts/tips like “cut cable to save money” and what not.

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25 FI Fighter May 22, 2014 at 9:13 am

Kb,

Yes, we’ll try our best to steer away from those type of articles here 🙂

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26 FI Fighter May 22, 2014 at 9:11 am

Jason,

Thanks for the great feedback! I agree that too much focus on numbers can get tedious… and a little boring! Kind of even reminds me of engineering school a little bit, haha.

I will make it a note to try and keep things light, and introduce some “lighter” articles here and there. The journey to early FI can be rough, but it should also be enjoyed as well! Gotta have fun in life, even if the best is still yet to come 🙂

Yes, if you get the chance, I would love to have you featured on here with an article detailing your own experiences/stories. I’m sure readers would appreciate your insights into REI/early FI as well.

Alternative investments are something I’m going to have to learn more about! Once I get to early FI, you can be sure I’ll be introducing some side hustle (part-time) job posts as well.

Take care!

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27 Dividend Gamer May 21, 2014 at 10:41 pm

I would like to see a better way to talk together as a community across all blogs. There are so many out there, and some great content gets missed simply because it is unknown to so many potential readers.

This may be too big of an idea for what you are asking though, but it is one of the major flaws to me with building a more “alive” network of people and readers.

I guess I want to see a financial quorum of sorts develop more over time.

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28 FI Fighter May 22, 2014 at 9:12 am

Dividend Gamer,

That’s a great idea… Probably something too ambitious for myself, but I would love to see someone else tackling this…

Paging J$…http://rockstarfinance.com/about/

Take care!

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29 Zee @ Work To Not Work May 22, 2014 at 11:18 pm

EXPERIMENTS!!!

Have you had any FI Experiments that you did along your journey? Did you try any investments that didn’t work out so well? Did you ever consider alternative money making plans? Things that you tried and failed and why you failed? Things you tried and worked better than expected? Things that you stumbled across on accident? Stuff you wish you tried more of?

I have one of my own experiments coming up in a few months and I can’t wait to try/write about it.

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30 FI Fighter May 23, 2014 at 11:16 pm

Zee,

Thanks for the feedback! I like the idea and will keep this in mind moving forward!

Looking forward to reading up on your own experiments! 🙂

Cheers!

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31 Bryan Starbuck May 24, 2014 at 7:29 am

I’ve only recently discovered your blog, its excellent. I’m curious how you find properties, what resources do you use to evaluate possible rents? How do you decide on the location in a town? The last few days I’ve been looking at property in Phoenix where I live and most property here fails your 1% rule. How difficult is it to find properties that meet this rule?

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32 Mike May 24, 2014 at 10:55 pm

What are your plans for health insurance in FI? Obamacare? It would be interesting to read about your plans for this and any details on the subject. Thanks!

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33 DivHut May 28, 2014 at 11:53 am

I would like Travel hacking tips & Dividend Investing. I love reading about what people have on their dividend radar and watching dividend income increase. Travel hacks are always great too since I love to travel and I’m always looking to explore new countries on the cheap.

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34 Resman May 31, 2014 at 4:49 am

It would of benefit to talk about risk mitigation to macro possibilities. Simple things like 72 hour food and water reserve, some cash and staying fit will increase the resilience of people a lot. I could write something up for you if you like.

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