The Year Ahead (and Some Exciting Announcements)

The Year Ahead

Happy new year!

It feels like ages since I last wrote an article and that’s because it has been a long time.

It’s great to be pounding on my keyboard again though, especially while enjoying a hot coffee on a frosty winter’s day.

We just finished our 3-month trip around the world (much more on that in an upcoming post) but now we’re back in Scotland and I’m excited to get started on all the Mad Fientist stuff I have planned for this year!

Here’s what’s coming in 2017…


Travel Hacking

I mentioned that we just finished three months traveling all around the world. What I didn’t tell you though is that nearly all the flights were paid for by frequent flyer miles that I accumulated for free.

Not only that, we used miles to fly on some of the nicest business-class planes in the world, we stayed in luxurious hotels for free, and had a lot of other fun experiences, all thanks to miles and points.

Since our trip highlighted the incredible benefit of travel hacking, I plan to write and release more software tools (like the credit-card search tool I created) to help make travel hacking easier and more rewarding for you.


The FI Laboratory is an application that I put together over a couple of weekends back in 2014.

I didn’t put a lot of time into making it fancy because I wanted to see if people liked the idea first.

Well, tens of thousands of people are now using the app and I still haven’t updated it since I initally developed it!

This year, I plan to make significant improvements and hope to add even more features to help you on the journey to financial independence.

If you aren’t yet tracking your progress to FI in the FI Laboratory, click here to sign up for free!


In addition to developing more custom software, I’m also redesigning this site.

I’ve been working with my graphic designer buddy and his firm and they’ve mocked up some incredible ideas so I’m excited to get everything updated soon.

Here’s a sneak peek of the top of my new About page:

Redesign Preview

So ridiculous but ridiculously awesome!

As part of the redesign, I want to make it easier for you to find all the content I’ve written over the years.

There are a lot of old articles that I’m really proud of but since they’re buried in my archives, few people end up finding them so I plan to reorganize everything and package it in a way that you can quickly get up to speed with everything that’s gone on around here in the last five years.

New Focus

As far as new content here is concerned, my focus will be shifting slightly.

Don’t worry, I’ll still write about innovative strategies to help you reach financial independence as soon as possible. In fact, I have an incredible guest post to publish next week that dives into all the tax-avoidance strategies you can utilize when investing in real estate. It’s fantastic so I can’t wait to share it with you!

I also plan to explore topics relating to the transition into early retirement. I haven’t even mentioned what life has been like since I quit my job in August but I’ve been recording what I’ve been thinking and going through since then so I plan to share my thoughts and advice soon.

As you can see, the core focus here will always be about financial independence but at the end of the day, the real point of this FI stuff is to be happy and happiness is a lot more complicated than simply saving a bunch of money.

Happiness comes from accomplishing goals, challenging yourself, building relationships, fully appreciating experiences, etc.

These are the things that I’m focusing on now in my own life so I plan to write much more about these topics as the year progresses.

Also, I’ve realized that financial independence gives you the opportunity to make your wildest dreams come true so while attempting to accomplish some of my own lifelong goals this year, I’m going to research ways to help you do the same.

Since I don’t post on a regular, consistent schedule, the best way to stay up to date with new articles is to sign up to the email list. That way, you are notified when something new comes out and you don’t have to keep checking back here.

Join over 45,000 other people on the email list (holy shit!) by entering your details on the form below:

In-Person Meetups

As I mentioned in my last podcast episode, I plan to do a lot more in-person meetups in 2017.

Computers are fun and all but meeting people in person, hearing their stories, and having a laugh over a few beers is what I really love about being the Mad Fientist.

I’ve met a lot of incredible people over the years so this year I want to try to meet even more of you.

UK Chautauqua

The first major event I’ll be attending is a new event that I’m really excited to announce – the UK Chautauqua!

You may remember Alan from this recent podcast episode.

Well, Alan and his wife Katie were attendees at the Ecuador Chautauqua last year and they had such an incredible time (as we all do) that they decided to organize a Chautauqua of their own in their home country of England.

I was pumped when they asked me to speak because England is right down the road from Scotland and the itinerary they organized looks incredible!

Location and Itinerary

It’s taking place in a beautiful English country house (that dates back to 1060AD) in Stratford-upon-Avon.

Ettington Park

Ettington Park – Venue of the UK Chautauqua

The house is set on 40 acres of deer-filled English countryside so we’re going to have some epic games of hide-and-seek, followed by obligatory tea and crumpets, followed by a dip in the hot tub, all before retiring to the study to enjoy a fine Scottish single-malt whisky (or two).

We’ll be visiting the queen’s home (Windsor castle), Shakespeare’s birthplace (Stratford-upon-Avon), and home of one of the world’s oldest and most prestigious universities (Oxford).

We’ll also get to enjoy quintessential English things like afternoon cream tea and (most importantly) a British curry!

Thanks, Brexit

Thanks to Brexit, this is the perfect time for a UK Chautauqua because the British pound (£) has been decimated over the last year so the UK is cheaper than it has been in decades!


I haven’t even mentioned the other lucky gits (you might as well start learning British slang now) who got asked to present at the UK Chautauqua…

JL Collins from JLCollinsNH

JL Collins

JL Collins

First up is the man who came up with the Chautauqua idea in the first place, JL Collins.

Jim has been on my podcast twice so check out his episodes (here and here) if you want to learn more about him, or you can buy his excellent book, The Simple Path to Wealth, by clicking here.

This is what he had to say about the upcoming UK Chautauqua: Chautauqua – United Kingdom: August 2017

FIRECracker from Millennial Revolution



The second presenter is FIRECracker (aka Kristy) from Millennial Revolution.

She recently brought down the house on a recent episode of my podcast and I can’t wait to meet her for the first time in England!

Seems like Kristy is also ridiculously excited about this new event: Chautauqua UK: A Cackling Good Time for All

Alan from PopUp Business School

Alan Donegan

Alan from PopUp Business School

Finally, Alan will not only be hosting (with his wife Katie) but he will also be using his incredible presentation skills to share even more of the business knowledge that he gave us a glimpse of when he chatted with me on the Financial Independence Podcast!


Registration is now open so if you’re interested in joining us, check out all the details here and register before it sells out!*

Travel Assistance

If you want to travel hack your flight to the UK but need a little help, past podcast guest Brad from Richmond Savers and Travel Miles 101 has offered to personally help all Chautauqua attendees get to the UK as cheaply as possible using frequent flyer miles.

Brad is a personal friend of mine and knows what he’s talking about so definitely take him up on his offer (and be sure to sign up for his free Travel Miles 101 email course to learn the ins-and-outs of travel hacking so that you can travel hack your next trip on your own).


If you do decide to attend the UK Chautauqua and want to pop up to Scotland while you’re in the UK, we’d love to show you around Edinburgh so get in touch after you book your ticket and we’ll arrange to meet up!

Ecuador Chautauqua

In addition to the UK Chautauqua in August, I’ll also be heading back down to Ecuador for my third Ecuador Chautauqua in October!

I’m sure you’ve heard me say how fantastic the past Ecuador events have been so I’m excited to be going back again this year.

The 2017 Chautauqua is actually going to be the biggest yet, with five presenters and more attendees, so it should be even more fun!

Hacienda Chorlavi

Hacienda Chorlavi – Venue of Ecuador Chautauqua

If you want to join me, Mr. Money Mustache, JL Collins, Paula Pant, and Cheryl Reed at a gorgeous 17th-century hacienda in Ecuador, head to this page for more information!

Registration doesn’t open until January 15th but you can get on an early-notification list to be notified when it opens up (which is recommended because this event tends to sell out very quickly).*


In addition to the Chautauquas, I’m also planning on attending FinCon in Dallas in October and possibly some FI meetups in Europe as well so I’ll keep you posted on those (keep an eye on my Twitter or Facebook pages for any future meetup announcements).

And if you happen to find yourself in Edinburgh, Scotland, I’d love to grab a coffee or a beer so shoot me an email!

What do you think?

It looks like this year is shaping up to be a really exciting one so hope yours is too.

I obviously want to make the Mad Fientist as useful as possible so is there anything you want me to cover or focus on that I didn’t mention? Any other software you’d like me to create? Please let me know in the comments below.

Here’s to a great year and I hope our paths cross somewhere in the world in 2017!

*Although the UK and Ecuador Chautauquas are incredible events in beautiful locations with fantastic people and activities, they aren’t exactly cheap so make sure you’re in a good financial position before you choose to attend.

We’re not sharing any “secret investment tips” or anything so just think of these trips as fancy vacations with like-minded people.

If you have the extra money to take a fancy vacation, great! It will likely be the vacation of a lifetime.

If you decide Chautauquas are too expensive for you right now but you still want to meet other people who are pursuing FI, I recommend you find a local FI or Mustachian meetup group (or start your own) so that you can start meeting others with similar goals and ambitions (it’s really fun and motivating). Then, after you hit FI and have more money than you know what to do with, you can come hang out in the UK, or Ecuador, or wherever future Chautauquas are held :)

Want to achieve FI sooner?

  1. Sign up for a free Personal Capital account to start tracking your net worth, monthly spending, etc.
  2. Enter those numbers into the FI Laboratory and begin charting your progress to financial independence
  3. Download the spreadsheet I used on my own journey to financial independence to determine which expenses are delaying your progress the most
  4. Reduce or eliminate those expenses and achieve FI even sooner!

60 comments for “The Year Ahead (and Some Exciting Announcements)

  1. Ann
    January 7, 2017 at 8:35 am

    Good stuff! I look forward to your upcoming posts! I’ve reached FI so one of my favorite tools is your safe withdrawal rate calculator and (since you asked!) would love to see it trended over time. Maybe even be able to add a record to track a user’s actual withdrawal rate and net worth so trends could be studied (and hopefully improved/adjusted) over time. Just a thought. Thank you for all your helpful content, I really enjoy your articles and perspective. Happy New Year!

  2. January 7, 2017 at 8:40 am

    Sounds like some remarkable stuff to look forward to. Work is better when you don’t NEED to work right! Best of luck in 2017 and hoping our paths cross at some point along the way.

  3. Jonathan B.
    January 7, 2017 at 8:49 am

    Awesome stuff! Looking forward to seeing your updates to FI Lab. I’ve been using your spreadsheet to track my own FI progress for the past year. It has worked great. I update it once a month.

    One thing I’d really like to see (perhaps as a course) is how to transition to being FI/RE. So not only could the course cover strategies to save and invest in order to get to FI, but I’d like to see really detailed information on HOW to make the transition. Lots of people will say stuff like “do a backdoor roth”, but they don’t go into detail how — like the actual steps one would take to do that. Step 1, call Vanguard and ask for this/that. Step 2, fill out these tax forms with this information. Step 3, do these calculations. Etc. I’ve felt a bit lost on the details sometimes.

    • Ross
      January 7, 2017 at 11:38 am

      This! I read a lot of FI blogs and message boards, and I don’t feel like I have ever seen an ELI5 (explain it like I’m 5) step by step walk through of exactly how one goes about doing this part of the process. It would be great to see you take a crack at it. Thanks for all of the great content!

      • Jay
        January 9, 2017 at 2:06 pm

        I agree with this as well!

  4. January 7, 2017 at 8:51 am

    Some awesome stuff to look forward to in 2017. I’m really looking forward to the tax-avoidance topics in real-estate and am interested in your transition towards Financial Independence.

    I hope 2017 will be a great year for you, us, and the whole community!

  5. January 7, 2017 at 9:00 am

    Can’t wait to share a few beers with you at both FinCon and the Chautauqua! They’re going to be rockin good times! (There’s In N Out in Dallas as well, FYI)

  6. Ruth
    January 7, 2017 at 9:01 am

    Just wanted to shout out a huge THANK YOU for all you do!! :)

  7. January 7, 2017 at 9:01 am

    Sounds pretty cool & I look to be reading about in the coming months. I also feel the travel bug itching for some reason!

  8. January 7, 2017 at 9:07 am

    I was starting to wonder if you’d converted entirely to podcast, great to hear about the upcoming posts, I look forward to reading. It sounds like you have a busy year ahead.

  9. January 7, 2017 at 9:08 am

    Mad Fientist, I really like where this is going. It is so true that FIRE is much more about experiences and personal satisfaction than wealth accumulation. I am also really look forward to seeing your site reorganization. One of the inspirations (and ongoing goals) of my site , was/is to make finding the best FIRE content out there easier for folks – and your content is absolutely some of the best.

    Keep up the great work, and Happy New Year.

    Mr. FIDough

  10. January 7, 2017 at 9:11 am

    Love the Chautauqua UK idea!! Looks like you have some big plans for the year and I’m looking forward to hearing more about your travels and the hacking associated with it. As a flight attendant I get my flights for dirt cheap but hotels are so frickin expensive these days!! Can’t wait to hear more. :)

    See you in Dallas if not sooner!

  11. January 7, 2017 at 9:24 am

    I’m looking forward to your new posts, sounds like the same sort of things I’ve been focusing on. Early retirement life has suited me well, I’ll be curious to see what your take is :)

    Looks like a nice lineup for the UK Chautauqua. We just listened to your podcast with Alan – he is my kind of dude! I dig his approach to hacking all your business needs for free. Since I don’t have any income, I’ve spent some more time hacking free stuff to do the things I want. You got me started on collecting travel rewards, and we just booked an all inclusive vacation to Jamaica using only travel rewards :)

  12. January 7, 2017 at 9:26 am

    The redesign looks slick! Looking forward to more travel hacking info. I’m due for a new card, having exhausted my options with Chase for the time being.

    The Chautauqua UK site looks incredible… I don’t see that happening for me this year, but retirement is looming in the coming years. I should have time for all sorts of Chatuauquas and other experiences that are hard to spell and say.


  13. January 7, 2017 at 9:31 am

    Chautauqua UK sounds great to me! short way from Switzerland. I’ll check out and maybe we’ll meet you there. I’ll pay for the first round of Carling beers! :)

  14. January 7, 2017 at 9:32 am

    Your signup bonus calculator has already been immensely helpful in comparing cards, I haven’t seen user-friendly support for tracking points, miles, conversion rates, and partners in one place yet. If you made it, I’d be more confident in adding more cards.

    I’d love to hear more about how you’ve dealt with schedule adjustments post-retirement. Are you still keeping a regular daily routine? How has FI affected your general health/mood? How do you stay occupied while most other people are at work? How do you prioritize your time with money playing a smaller role in the equation?

  15. a-train
    January 7, 2017 at 9:37 am

    I look forward to your travel hacking and laboratory updates!

  16. January 7, 2017 at 9:44 am

    Your trip around the world sounds lovely and I’m looking forward to read more about it. I’m also looking forward to reading more about your journey to achieve goals and find happiness, because that’s ultimately what we’re about at wealth well done. Ive been writing about life purpose for years, but purpose is an unquantifiable subject which made it difficult to create consistently awesome content. When my bank account started growing as I searched for purpose, I realized what I’m really great at is writing about the path to wealth because I believe ultimate wealth is found when one has a surplus of money and purpose in their lives. Check us out sometime. We look forward to being friends.

  17. Frank
    January 7, 2017 at 10:13 am

    I can’t say thanks enough for all of the excellent information. I’m really looking forward to the updates to the FI Lab. I would love to attend one of the events, however, my job as a college prof makes it difficult for non-work travel outside of June and July. Hopefully I’ll be able to attend in the future.


  18. January 7, 2017 at 10:29 am

    I love the idea of a redesign. It’s always hard to dig through folk’s archives to find the golden posts. I love seeing a little highlight reel. =)

  19. January 7, 2017 at 10:30 am

    Great plans!

    I’ve been reading your blog for a long time, and I love your unique take on FI. I’m (slowly) pursuing FI thanks to the great advice from your blog, JL Collins, MMM and some others. I’d love to go to the UK meeting if I can.

    A Barcelona meeting would also be great, wouldn’t it? :) I’d help with that.

  20. lf
    January 7, 2017 at 10:43 am

    As a owner-occupied triplex in vt, looking forward to tax-saving real estate ideas.

  21. Sonny
    January 7, 2017 at 10:59 am

    Was unable to do SF meetup due to illness, but I am incredibly grateful for all of the thoughts, tools, and wisdom you collect and communicate in all of the various forms.

    Just happy to be along (vicariously) for the ride.

  22. January 7, 2017 at 11:23 am

    Welcome back from your travels! I’ve read a lot about travel hacking, but it does always look like a lot of obsessive work or odd money-intensive strategies. I’ll be interested to see how you did your travel hacks. :)

    OMG that redesign is going to look kickass! That’ll be super neat. :) Good luck with the Chautauqua! I’d attend if it didn’t involve a pricey flight across the pond. ;)

    I do like the idea of focusing on happiness here as well. I don’t think it’s off-topic at all, especially when you consider that people tend to spend more money when they’re directionless and unhappy.

    • The Mad Fientist
      January 8, 2017 at 4:23 am

      My buddy Brad (who I mentioned in the post) can help you find a free (or almost free) flight across the pond so definitely get in touch with him if you decide to go!

  23. January 7, 2017 at 11:32 am

    Can’t wait for the upcoming post “all the tax-avoidance strategies you can utilize when investing in real estate”…I need that one for sure! I am SO nervous about taking deductions on all of our properties. Looking forward to your post-FIRE thoughts too. And new Chautauqua’s sound awesome! Maybe we should plan a Chautauqua in or near the “mother city” of Chautauqua’s near us (in the summer of course!) – Chautauqua Lake, NY ;)

  24. Amanda
    January 7, 2017 at 11:39 am

    Any suggestions on how to find a local FI group? Is there a website? Thanks!

    • January 7, 2017 at 11:50 am

      Hi Amanda, the easiest way I know of finding a local FI group or meetup is through the Mustachian Forums.

      Over there in the Meetups and Social Events section (, you can find threads with city locations. Try and find your city over there and organize a meetup to meet other FI-minded people.

      Hope that helps!

  25. Brian
    January 7, 2017 at 11:44 am

    Hi Mad Fientist(and everyone else in this great community!) Couple of ideas for future posts:

    1. Tax efficiency of certain investments and what kind of accounts(401k, Roth, Traditional, or after-tax) are best suited to them.

    2. Does a diverse asset allocation in your 401k make sense when some of the funds offered have high fees(>1.0%) but others are relatively low fee(<0.35%)? Would it be better to simply put all your 401k contributions into the single lowest fee fund?

    I know a lot has been written about the former, but your perspective would be great. I have not been able to find much info on the latter.

    Keep up the great work!

  26. Amanda
    January 7, 2017 at 11:53 am

    Thanks for all the great tools and content! I’m excited to hear about what you are up to now that you quit your job.

    Suggestion for your new website look: Overall, I’m digging the redesign. Here’s what I would change. Leave off the lab rat. I get why it’s there, but at first glance it was confusing. I like the volumetric flasks, but do you need more flasks? You already have them in the photo. I’d let the photo stand out–surrounded by a pile of coins (maybe some bills too) and add a Frankenstein lightning bolt piercing it all from an angle.

  27. Michael Crosby
    January 7, 2017 at 12:29 pm

    A big thank you. You are doing a great job.

    I enjoy the podcasts, but I enjoy your articles much more.

  28. January 7, 2017 at 12:52 pm

    The new About page is ridiculously awesome, and I look forward to seeing the new design. Mrs. G and I are talking about whether Chautauqua is feasible this year. If not, we will make it another time.

    Looking at the FI Calculator, when I enter a smaller withdrawal rate, the time to FI increases. I could be doing something wrong.

    Thanks for all the great podcasts and posts!

    • The Mad Fientist
      January 8, 2017 at 4:25 am

      Hope you can make it to the Chautauqua!

      As far as the FI calculator is concerned, lowering your withdrawal rate means you’ll have to build up a bigger balance to pay your bills so that will increase your time to FI.

      For example, if you have $30,000 worth of annual expenses and you plan to withdraw 4% from you portfolio to fund those expenses, you’d need to save up $750,000 ($750,000 * 4% = $30,000). If you instead decided to only withdraw 3% from your portfolio each year to fund those $30,000 worth of annual expenses, you’d have to wait until you had $1,000,000 before you could retire ($1,000,000 * 3% = $30,000).

      Your portfolio will have a greater likelihood of lasting longer with a lower withdrawal rate but it will take you longer to build up enough to retire.

  29. TJ
    January 7, 2017 at 12:55 pm

    Looking forward to see what is added to the FI Lab. It’s definitely a useful tool.

  30. Kelly
    January 7, 2017 at 1:26 pm

    This sounds so exciting. I still remember reading your awesome article about hsa’s. It really opened my eyes. The one big hurdle about retiring early that I can see for myself will be health insurance. Have you already done an article in that? Of course with a new administration intent on dismantling current programs it may be hard to speak to but I am wondering what people are thinking.

  31. Andrew
    January 7, 2017 at 1:33 pm

    I’d love to hear from some FI’ers from the UK, specifically in regards to tax efficiency. I’m hitting a bump in the road now that I’m maxing out my tax free ISA (401k equivalent) and would love to know how to go forward while minimising taxes.

  32. January 7, 2017 at 2:09 pm

    Busy guy! Your passion for these fun projects shows through your writing. I don’t think we’ll be in Edinburgh any time soon but hopefully our paths will cross some day. We’re spending the summer in Europe, with an arc-shaped trip starting in Portugal in June, reaching Slovenia and Austria, then Prague in July, and ending in Amsterdam (via Germany) in August. In case you’re planning any summer trips in that general direction, maybe we can hook up.

  33. Joanne
    January 7, 2017 at 2:29 pm

    Thanks for all you do and the ways it’s shared to bring us all along. Recent podcasts have been wonderful, especially the one with your wife. So much learning here, I find myself reading, listening, learning and making personal adjustments pretty much daily- certainly a new passion. Much appreciated!

  34. Nina
    January 7, 2017 at 3:23 pm

    Love you, your blog, and your podcast. I can’t wait to read about the trip around the world and look forward to all the new stuff you’re planning for 2017. Good luck with everything!

  35. Laurie
    January 7, 2017 at 5:29 pm

    What the heck is a Chautauqua? Other than a mini convention?

    • The Mad Fientist
      January 8, 2017 at 4:32 am

      Check out the UK and Ecuador Chautauqua websites for all the details but I like to think of them as summer camps for adults (specifically, adults who want to achieve financial independence). They are ridiculously fun, you make a bunch of new friends, learn a lot, and when you leave, you’re incredibly motivated to do great things with your life!

  36. January 7, 2017 at 5:50 pm

    Looking forward to the redesign! Can’t wait to hear about the new travel projects too! Good luck in 2017!

  37. Juan Fernandez
    January 7, 2017 at 5:55 pm

    Dude, just wanted to say that I respect your work and the products you share with the FI community. I’ve been a fan of your blog/podcast from day 1 and I can honestly say it has been been super helpful for my family’s path to FI. We look forward to seeing your progress through all the items you plan on tackling in 2017. Best of lucks.

  38. January 7, 2017 at 7:54 pm

    I would like it if the FI Lab could factor in equities and rental property separately, because their returns are different. When I use your lab it tells me 6 years to retirement, but if I work it out on my own with my real profit from rental income, I get half that time.

  39. January 7, 2017 at 7:56 pm

    i’m completely inspired in this FI journey since I discovered about you and MMM in the past year. I been just scoring through your content. New design with sections will definitely be awesome.

    Thanks for all you to do us FIers.

  40. January 7, 2017 at 11:01 pm

    I always enjoy new year posts – they are so full of hope and goals :) So awesome that there will be a Chataqua in the UK this year. Probably won’t make it but Stratford is lovely, delicious fish & chips!

    See you at FinCon in Dallas!

  41. rick
    January 7, 2017 at 11:12 pm

    When you have a pod cast and website, do you get to deduct the trips to Chautauqua and other locations as work related? Thanks for all the podcast and the information.

    • The Mad Fientist
      January 8, 2017 at 4:33 am


  42. The Mad Fientist
    January 8, 2017 at 4:45 am

    Thanks, everyone, for your kind words and excellent suggestions! You guys are the best :)

  43. Josh Kannal
    January 8, 2017 at 4:03 pm

    Just booked spots for my wife Tasha and I to attend the UK Chatauqua! Looking forward to meeting you and everyone else there. Thank you so much for your blog, it has brought so much value to our lives and future plans.
    P.S. We might just have to stop by Edinburgh and take you up on that offer to show us the sites. :)

  44. January 8, 2017 at 6:49 pm

    Would love to see more of your writing this year. I don’t like podcasts, so have been feeling left out ;)

  45. Jef
    January 8, 2017 at 11:04 pm

    Heading to Aus anytime soon? From the sounds of it you’re pretty packed with some awesome stuff for 2017 and won’t be anywhere near me, plus I’ll be off overseas for 6 months

    Looking forward to seeing how 2017 progresses for you scientist! :)
    Would love to be able to subscribe to comments as well if you could activate this part of the comments?

  46. January 9, 2017 at 11:06 am

    I am really looking forward to your figure posts on transitioning into FI because this is certainly on the forefront of my mind as we are nearing our goal in just a few short years.

    I just went over to check out the FI Tracker and Calculators. If you are planning on making changes to these anyways, you might want to add something in the calculator that factors in other income expected in retirement. We have rental properties that cover approx half of our expense but there is no place in your current version to take this into account. Not sure if you can add this in or not but figured I would mention it in case there are others out there like me that do have other income sources planned.

    Also, I love your podcasts!

  47. Tabitha Wolff
    January 10, 2017 at 10:12 am

    I would love to see a post about strategies for covering the gap between early retirement and reaching ‘true’ retirement age and being able to pull from our tax-advantaged accounts. Below are some details about my particular situation.

    My husband and I are currently 31 years old, and we have a combined pre-tax salary of $116,000. We have started following the FI movement, and we are very interested in retiring within the next 10 years. We currently have about $180K invested, roughly half is in retirement accounts and the other half is in a joint Fidelity investment account. For 2017, we changed our 401K allocations to max out our yearly contributions, but we are concerned that that won’t leave much in the way of funds we can funnel into our joint account. What is the best strategy for investment to make sure we have enough for when we reach ‘true’ retirement age as well as covering that 10-20 year gap if we were to retire early?

  48. January 12, 2017 at 7:47 am

    I’m looking forward to your travel hacking post. It seems like it’s getting harder and harder now as credit card companies are catching onto these methods.

    Looks like you have some fun plans for 2017. I’m excited to read more about them!

  49. January 12, 2017 at 10:41 pm

    Good to hear from you after some time Mad FI! Unfortunately the UK Chautauqua is abit too pricey for some of us still in the prison camp answering to the man, so we shall still be slogging away but would be good to hear about the experience from you! We have a FI London Facebook group that has regular meet ups so if you are every down in the southern capital, do let us know for a quick meetup!!

  50. January 22, 2017 at 4:00 am

    Glad you are back posting. I am relatively new to the FI scene and have enjoyed reading your archives and listening to your podcasts. Here’s to a great 2017. Cheers!

    – Zero

  51. January 31, 2017 at 5:30 pm

    I can honestly say that I never post on forums anywhere but I felt compelled to do so today. I started listening to the MadFientist last January (2016) after I was unceremoniously released from my job. I thought I loved my job and I was really good at it. I really thought I would stay there forever. I picked up this blog and podcast after a lot of searching about budgeting due to the loss of income. Of course it led me to other like MMM and JL Collins and so on ( I mean no offense to all the other frugal bloggers, I love everyone equally!) over the next few weeks I read and listened to years worth of information. Cut to the chase, I have spent the last year wandering. I eventually took another corporate job in the same industry and was miserable. On the side, with the inspiration of the MadFientist and others serenading me on my commutes, I started an online business. It is hard and most days I have no idea what I am doing but I am inspired. My family and I have cut all non essential expenses and have saved my whole income and a lot of hers over the last year. As a result, I quit my job this month so that I can focus 100% on growing our business and designing the life we want. I am here to tell you it is never to late and the lessons learned here and the many other resources available gave me the tools and inspiration to take the leap. I just want to say thank you and keep up the great work.

    • The Mad Fientist
      February 1, 2017 at 8:59 am

      Fantastic, congratulations!

      By the way, I still don’t feel like I know what I’m doing either :)

      Best of luck and thanks for the comment!

  52. February 2, 2017 at 1:03 pm

    Looks like you have a very exciting year ahead! I will stay tuned for 2017. Cheers!

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