14 Reasons We Decided to Semi-Retire in China

14 Reasons We Decided to Semi-Retire in China

If you’ve seen our recent blog posts, you’ll know that my wife and I quit our 9-5 day jobs after hitting Coast FIRE. I’m excited to share more with you about our story with the top 13 reasons we decided to move abroad and semi-retire in China.

As many of you know, traveling with kids can be quite a challenge! We have two kids, a two-year-old and a nine-month-old.

It was super easy and everything went perfectly. If you detect sarcasm, you are correct haha.

But actually, it wasn’t too bad since we had an in-flight bassinet and took a red-eye flight.

We took a 15-hour flight and then quarantined for eight days in a hotel because of the China Covid-19 restrictions at the time. You can see here how the hotel was actually really nice, and the time went by pretty fast.

My wife is originally from China and this was the first time her parents got to see their grandkids; it was such a happy reunion. 🙂

Amidst the trials of travel and quarantine with kids, it definitely paid off and was worth it since we are now the dream life!

Related Content:

Coast FIRE: The Easiest Way to Join the FIRE Movement

Cost to Semi-Retire in China (Our First Month Expenses)

1. More Help With Kids

Chinese father-in-law feeding our baby girl
Father-in-law feeding our daughter

To be honest, the top reason we decided to semi-retire in China is that we have more help with taking care of our children.

We haven’t talked about this with anyone, including our own family members, but my wife wanted me to share it in this blog post.

My wife suffered from depression since the late stage of her first pregnancy, and it became more serious as time passed.

The original plan was to have my mother-in-law come from China to help when our first baby was born, but due to the covid outbreak, she could not come.

We also ended up having our second baby, but my wife’s depression became more serious. It was very hard to see her struggle on a daily basis.

I want to add that my wife is very strong and insisted on working full-time while taking care of two kids since she wanted to become financially independent to provide us with a better future.

I won’t go into much further on her depression, but moving to China and allowing her to be with the family has been a huge help, and she is doing much better now.

If we had stayed in the US and continued working and investing, our financial situation would be better, but sometimes money isn’t the most important thing in life. Mental health is.

Her situation got to a point where I knew we needed to make a change. So we decided to move abroad to semi-retire in China and fortunately had enough saved in investments to have reached Coast FIRE.

Now we are living in the Chinese culture where grandparents help with grandkids frequently, so we are grateful for this huge help.

2. Hit Coast FIRE

Beach with words saying "Coast FIRE, relaxing lifestyle, flexibility with work, investments still grow, persue passions"

So yes, we HIT Coast FIRE, woohoo!!

Coast FIRE is a popular retirement strategy involving saving enough money so your nest egg can grow without additional contributions.

Once you reach Coast FIRE, you no longer need to work to save for retirement; instead, you only work to pay for current living expenses.

This allows you to enjoy a more relaxed lifestyle and focus on activities you enjoy rather than working simply to earn a paycheck.

That’s why we decided to quit our 9-5 jobs and semi-retire in China!

Yes, if we had stayed in the United States longer, we could have made more money and created a larger nest egg.

But I want my wife to live a happy and healthy life. These things are more important than money.

My YouTube Video Sharing About Coast FIRE

3. Lower Cost of Living

My wife and I really like the concept of FIRE, and we have seen others stories of people who achieved FIRE and chose to live in places with cheaper living expenses.

We don’t necessarily want to fully retire anytime soon because we enjoy working and pursuing entrepreneurial things. We love the concept though of working hard to reach financial independence sooner than later.

So we saw many people on Youtube that hit FIRE and then chose to move abroad to Thailand, Portugal, Bali, etc…

Since moving to China to semi-retire, we have shared many cost of living short videos. If interested, you can follow us on our social media accounts… just search for “Biesinger FIRE Journey”!

For example, in my wife’s city, you can rent a whole house anywhere from $200-$500 depending on how big and how nice the house and community you want.

This rental price is much cheaper than in Utah, where we lived before moving to China.

We currently have two rental properties in Utah, one is currently renting for $1,330, and the other one is $2,200 a month.

This is a perfect example to illustrate how much you can save just on rent in China!

4. Saftey

According to global time, China is “recognized as one of the safest countries in the world” with low harmful crime rates and people’s sense of safety reaching 98.6%!”

I can definitely attest to this since I’ve been to China in the past and have always felt very, very safe.

Even late at night, you will see many people walking around by themselves because they don’t feel in danger.

This is big reason we decided to semi-retie in China because we want our family to grow up in a safe environment.

5. Experience New Cultures

One of the biggest benefits of moving abroad is to experience other countries’ cultures and get to meet new people.

It still blows my mind to think that China has over 5,000 years of rich history! This country has both modern and traditional architecture, making it unique and appealing.

Person drawing beautiful chinese characters outside

I have always loved Chinese culture, which is why I chose to study Chinese in high school.

Now I can have the opportunity to live in China and really feel the Chinese culture and charm. It’s an exciting time, and meeting the super nice people here is also so fun!

I cannot wait to keep exploring and meeting new friends!

6. Improve Chinese skills

Studying the Chinese language and culture has been a passion of mine for many years. In addition to studying Mandarin in High School, I also served a 2-year Church mission in Asia and came back to the US to graduate with a minor in Mandarin Chinese.

Now that I’m living in China, I have lots of opportunities to speak Chinese with others. The people are so nice here and get really excited when they see I can speak their language.

The city I’m located in now also has its own dialect of Chinese, so I’m working on learning some of that too, wish me luck. 🙂

My next goal is to get a Chinese driver’s license but to do so, and I have to take a test that only has Chinese characters. The rules for driving are similar to the US, but there are quite a few Chinese characters I need to learn before being able to take the test.

Overall I can already tell my language abilities are increasing, and I look forward to learning more!

7. Helping our Business

My wife and I love personal finance so we started this blog to share our stories and insights on pursuing financial independence.

We love sharing videos and tips on our social media accounts too!

Moving to China was the right decision because it has given us more ideas as content creators and made us different.

8. More Fun

We feel the decision to semi-retire in China has been such a fun adventure.

For example, there are many malls, shopping streets, food streets, night markets, and so much more!

Most everywhere also has places to take kids and have children play. So we are grateful to have so many fun activities to choose from!

My wife with our daughter in a mall in China

9. Yummy Food

My wife missed eating authentic Chinese food, especially when she was pregnant with our two children.

There were some Chinese restaurants in Utah, but most of them were Americanized.

We were only able to find real authentic Chinese food when we traveled to other cities such as New York or Los Angeles, but the price there wasn’t cheap either.

I also love Chinese food, such as boiled beef, fried dumplings, Peking duck, boba milk tea, and so on.

Delicious bejing duck and wuhan noodles

It costs about seven dollars to buy a boba drink in the United States, but now it only costs one dollar in China.

Pretty amazing right?

Tips are also not required or common in China. So if you ever have the chance to visit China, make sure to take time to eat the local cuisine!

10. Rent FREE

My wife is the only child in the family, and Chinese culture is very collectivist. In American society, many children must be independent when they are 18.

For example, most American kids need to pay their college tuition and care for their expenses.

When you live in your parents’ house, sometimes you must also pay rent. This is because the United States’ culture is very individualistic.

There is more freedom but also typically less help financially from others.

In China, it is very common for three generations to live in the same house — grandparents, parents, and grandkids.

Now we are also three generations living in the same house because we live with my parents-in-law, who also help care for the kids a lot.

They didn’t charge our rent either. We offered to pay, but they refused.

My wife also said that this is normal. In China, usually, parents won’t charge rent to kids.
Because of that, our expenses are even lower because of rent savings.

11. Cheap and Convenient Transportation

In China my in-laws have one car, two motorcycles, and two electric bikes. So we basically have free transportation which is super nice.

As of now I do not have a Chinese car or motorcycle license so I just drive around the fun electric bikes.

Not only are the electric bikes not expensive, but they also are electric and are thus environmentally friendly.

The transportation systems in China are pretty advanced with high-speed trains. Since my wife’s city here is a bit smaller we don’t have trains but there are a lot of bus stations.

12. Affordable Health Insurance

Fortunately, my family qualified for government health insurance so it ended up costing us only $54 per person for the entire year!

A family of four costs $216 annually.

My family’s insurance for one month is higher than one full year in China – pretty awesome!

Let us know how much Health insurance costs where you live in the comments section below!

13. Many Work Opportunities

Hitting coast FIRE means that you only need to work to cover daily expenses, but your investments are large enough so that they will continue to grow without contributions until retirement age.

So it really is just coasting until you hit retirement.

Since we hit Coast FIRE, we have more flexibility to work on what we want to work on, allowing us to semi-retire in China. 🙂 We still want to work hard and build a wealthy future.

It’s important to invest in assets though. I currently have two rental properties giving us healthy cash flows and actually covering all our living expenses.

Besides this rental income, we are working hard to provide valuable personal finance content on our blog and social media accounts. There are also many opportunities to work in China so no worries.

14. Overall Quality of Life

We feel our overall quality of life has improved because we stress a lot less about money and have more flexibility in our schedules.

A big reason for this is due to the lower cost of living mentioned above.

Back in the United States, we would cut our own hair at home to save money. Now in China, a haircut only costs $4 with no tips required.

It feels nice to have a professional cut our hair but not feel like we’re overspending. Here is a picture of my most recent haircut in China. 🙂

New haircut while semi-retired in china

We are also able to go out and enjoy more outdoor food, massages, and other fun activities.

Although the cost for these items and activities is much lower in China, we still have a monthly budget and don’t allow ourselves to spend indiscriminately.

More on our budget to come!

In Conclusion

If you’re looking to semi-retire in China or move abroad, I hope these reasons could be of some help for you!

Although everyone comes from different walks of life, there are clear advantages and adventures awaiting you in another country.

Make sure to check out more articles on this blog for tips and inspiration on achieving financial freedom!


Disclaimer:

We hope the information in this article provides valuable insights to every reader but we, the Biesingers, are not financial advisors. When making your personal finance decisions, research multiple sources and/or receive advice from a licensed professional. As always, we wish you the best in your pursuit of financial independence!

Coast FIRE: The Easiest Way to Join the FIRE Movement

Coast FIRE: The Easiest Way to Join the FIRE Movement

Are you looking for a less intense way to achieve F.I.R.E. (Financial Independence/Retire Early)? Look no further than Coast FIRE!

Coast FIRE is arguably the simplest and most effective way to join the FIRE movement. It provides a clear and concise path to FIRE without all the overwhelming financial jargon.

My Wife and I hit Coast FIRE this year, allowing us to quit our 9-5 jobs, move abroad to China, and more fully pursue our passions in life! 🙂

Here is my YouTube video going over this content (if you prefer to watch it instead).

This post may contain affiliate links; please see our disclaimer for details.

What is Coast FIRE?

Ocean and beach with words "COAST FIRE, relaxing lifestlye, flexibility, investments still grow, puruse passions"
Coast FIRE Benefits

Coast FIRE is a popular retirement strategy involving saving enough money so your nest egg can grow without additional contributions. Once you reach Coast FIRE, you no longer need to work to save for retirement; instead, you only work to pay for current living expenses. This allows you to enjoy a more relaxed lifestyle and focus on activities you enjoy rather than working simply to earn a paycheck.

To achieve Coast FIRE, it is essential to start saving early and invest in a diversified mix of assets. Coast FIRE provides individuals with financial security in retirement and is an excellent option for those looking to retire at the typical retirement age.

How Much Should You Save to Reach Coast FIRE?

Coast FIRE calculation considers variables like age, income, and expenses to determine how much you need to save each month to reach your goal.

While no fixed sum will satisfy everyone’s retirement needs, a rough estimate is often considered 25 times your annual expenses, which is your FI or FIRE number.

Let’s say your monthly expenses at retirement will be $1,300 a month; you will need $15,600 (1,300 x 12) a year and $390,000 (15,600 x 25) to cover expenses for 25 years.

This is based on the 4% principle, which states that you can withdraw 4% of your savings each year without running out of money.

You will want to ensure you have enough in your investment accounts to grow passively without contributions so that it can grow and reach your FIRE number by the time you retire.

Once you hit that number, you will have reached Coast FIRE!

Coast FIRE can be a helpful tool for anyone who wants to retire early or achieve financial independence.

The Coast FIRE approach is simple: you save a certain percentage of your income and invest it in a way that will generate a passive income stream. However, there are a few key components that you need to be aware of before beginning.

  • First: you must calculate how much you need to save to reach your retirement goals.
  • Second: you need to choose the right investment vehicle for your needs.
  • Third, estimate how long you’ll need to keep your money invested.

Coast FIRE example

The formula for determining a Coast FIRE number begins with a regular FIRE number, estimated to be 25 times annual spending.

So, for example, if someone spends $50,000 annually, their regular FIRE number would be $1,250,000.

The Coast FIRE number is then determined by dividing the regular FIRE number by (1+annual growth rate) to the power of “years to grow.”

In the example above, if it is assumed that it will take 30 years to reach the regular FIRE number, and the average annual growth rate over those 30 years is 7%, the calculation would be $1,250,000 / (1 + 0.07)^30 years = $164,209.

Therefore, the Coast FIRE number in this example would be $164,209. It should be noted that this number is only an estimate and may vary depending on individual circumstances.

Nevertheless, it provides a helpful starting point for anyone looking to save for a comfortable retirement.

To sum things up, here are two ways to calculate your Coast FIRE number

  1. Use the formula from the example above. You can adjust your annual return rate and use this exponent calculator. Then divide that number by your FIRE number.
  2. Use a reliable investment calculator to see how much your investments will grow without added contributions.

What Are the Benefits of Coast FIRE?

Person relaxing while enjoying flexible work on the couch with computer since they have reached Coast FIRE.

1. You can achieve financial independence and retire early.

The real reason you want to achieve FIRE is to retire early and live life on your terms. And Coast FIRE makes this possible!

Once you reach your Coast FIRE number, you can quit your job and enjoy a life of leisure. All you need is to work or have passive income streams to cover daily expenses.

2. You don’t have to worry about outliving your savings.

How many people do you know who are worried about running out of money in retirement? With Coast FIRE, you don’t have to worry about this.

As long as you have your Coast FIRE number saved up, you can live off of your passive income for the rest of your life, no matter how long you live.

3. You can still retire even if your investment portfolio takes a hit.

We all know that the stock market is volatile, and it’s impossible to predict what will happen in the future.

However, with Coast FIRE, you don’t have to worry about this. Even if your investments take a hit, you can still retire if you have your Coast FIRE number saved up and have other fail-safes in place (diversified investments, emergency savings, passive income streams).

What Are the Risks of Coast FIRE?

Magnifying glass looking at blocks that spell RISK

1. Not saving enough consistently

The biggest risk of Coast FIRE is that you might not reach your Coast FIRE number if you don’t save enough.

This is why it’s so important to ensure you’re saving as much as you can each month. I wrote another article with 12 saving money tips and How We Save 56% of Our Income as a family.

If you don’t think you can save enough, think of ways you can decrease spending and increase income.

One way you can increase your savings and investments is by mico-investing.

ACORNS is a popular platform that can round up money from purchases and automatically allocate those funds to diversified investments.

You can check them out today and receive a $20 bonus investment!

2. Losing patience and quitting

Another risk of Coast FIRE is that you might not be able to retire as early as you want. This is because it can take a long time to reach your Coast FIRE number.

If you’re not patient, you might get frustrated and give up on the whole idea, but the truth is that anyone can reach financial freedom through hard work and perseverance.

3. Lack of discipline and focus

When life gets comfortable, we tend to get lazy with finances. Once you hit Coast FIRE, life may seem easier, but it’s important to monitor all money decisions and transactions constantly. You cannot all of suddenly increase spending and get into debt.

This is especially true if you hit Coast FIRE and have passive income streams covering all expenses.

Just make sure not to miss anything with your finances and ensure all expenses are accounted for. If you own your own business, make sure you have the proper legal protection.

Flamingo FIRE And Coast FIRE Differences

For those who don’t know, Flamingo FIRE is where you work until you have saved up half or 50% of your FIRE number. Then you can semi-retire and let investments grow passively to retire within 10-15 years fully. Depending on your age, this could be less time coasting and more quickly hitting FIRE.

Flamingo FIRE is a great option for those who are okay with sacrificing longer to build up investments that reach 50% of their nest egg number.

Barista FIRE And Coast FIRE Differences

Barista FIRE is where you work part-time to collect health insurance benefits. It’s called Barista FIRE because Starbucks gives health insurance to those working part-time.

Many people in the FIRE movement work at Starbucks as baristas simply for health insurance benefits.

Healthcare costs can get out of hand, especially as you age. And if a good health insurance plan does not cover you, you could end up bankrupt.

So, Barista FIRE is an excellent option for those who want to ensure they’re covered by health insurance.

The difference between Barista FIRE and Coast FIRE is that you have a job. You’re still working, but the sole purpose behind your employment is health insurance and not much more.

In Conclusion

As with any FIRE strategy, there are risks and rewards. It’s essential to understand both before you decide if Coast FIRE is right for you. But if you’re looking for a FIRE strategy that doesn’t require much work and that you can do from anywhere in the world, Coast FIRE might be the perfect option.

As you look at the different forms of FIRE, you’ll find that each has its unique set of pros and cons. It’s important to understand these before you decide which form of FIRE is right for you.

Coast FIRE is a great way to semi-retire early and enjoy life without worrying about money. That’s what FIRE is all about. So, if you’re looking for an easy and stress-free way to join the FIRE movement, Coast FIRE might be right for you.


Disclaimer:

We hope the information in this article provides valuable insights to every reader but we, the Biesingers, are not financial advisors. When making your personal finance decisions, research multiple sources and/or receive advice from a licensed professional. As always, we wish you the best in your pursuit of financial independence!

11 Tips to Learn Mandarin Chinese (Tips from a Native)

11 Tips to Learn Mandarin Chinese (Tips from a Native)

This post may contain affiliate links; please see our disclaimer for details.

There are many reasons why you may want to learn Mandarin Chinese. Maybe you have always been interested in the language or need to learn it for business or personal reasons.

Whatever your reasons, you can do a few things to make learning Mandarin Chinese easier and more fun. My wife is from China and shared with me these tips for learning Chinese!

chalkboard with words saying "chinese language"

Related Content: Chinese vs American Views on Money | Explained From Natives

1. Develop your learning style

As a student, you will be bombarded with new information daily. To learn effectively, it is essential to be aware of your own learning style and tailor your study methods accordingly.

Some students retain information best when they visualize it, while others prefer to write down key points to create a permanent record.

Still, others find that combining both methods works best for them.

The vital thing is to experiment with different techniques and find the ones that work best for you.

By developing effective learning strategies, you will be setting yourself up for success in the classroom and beyond.

2. Focus on phrases and not words

Writing hello in Chinese which is Ni Hao

It’s common for people just learning a language to focus mainly on vocabulary.

While it’s true that vocabulary is essential, it’s also necessary to learn about the context in which words are used.

If you don’t have context, you’ll be just as confused as when you started.

One way to offer context for the words you’re learning is to use them in various expressions and sentences.

This will help you become familiar with how they’re used in conversation. Once you’re familiar with the words, you’ll be able to use them more easily in relevant conversations.

3. Immerse yourself in the language

While many language acquisition methods exist, immersion is widely considered the most effective.

Immersion involves surrounding yourself with the language you are trying to learn and letting it become a part of your everyday life.

This can be a challenge if you don’t live in a country where the language is spoken, but there are still many ways to immerse yourself in Chinese.

For example, you can watch Chinese movies and TV shows, listen to Chinese music and podcasts, and read Chinese news and literature.

Immersing yourself in the language, you will quickly understand how it is used in real-world situations.

Additionally, you will have the opportunity to learn about the culture and customs of Chinese-speaking people.

If you’re looking to acquire Chinese quickly and effectively, immersion is the way to go.

4. Find a language partner

One of the best ways to practice your Chinese skills is to find a native speaker who is also interested in learning your language. This way, you can help each other out, and both of you will make progress.

While finding someone who meets these criteria can be challenging, many online resources can connect you with potential language partners.

Once you find a partner, you can practice speaking and writing Chinese together and exchange tips on the best resources for learning the language.

The internet is an excellent resource for finding materials and people to help you learn Mandarin Chinese.

With a little effort, you can find the resources you need to progress in your studies. Look for social media sites that Westerners and Chinese people use and websites that focus on teaching Mandarin Chinese.

You can also try looking for online forums where people discuss language learning.

5. Don’t worry about grammar in the beginning

Chinese words in a dictionary

Many Chinese students eventually become intimidated by the language’s grammar rules and complexities.

However, it is essential to remember that Chinese grammar comes with practice. Instead of getting bogged down by the details of grammar, focus on learning the tones, pinyin, and essential vocabulary first.

Once you have a solid foundation, you can gradually start incorporating grammar into your studies. With time and practice, you will be able to master the intricacies of Chinese grammar.

6. Use technology to your advantage

Language learning has come a long way in recent years thanks to technological advances. There are now many language-learning apps and websites that can be used to supplement your studies.

These tools can be extremely helpful in helping you to review and practice the material you’ve learned.

In addition, many of these apps and websites offer games and other activities that make learning Mandarin Chinese fun and engaging.

There are many different apps and websites that you can use to learn Mandarin Chinese.

Put them on your smartphone and use them when you have a few minutes to kill, such as when you’re waiting in line or taking a break at work.

Every minute you can devote to studying will help you to make progress.

7. Have realistic expectations

It is necessary to have realistic expectations when learning Mandarin Chinese. While it is possible to make significant progress quickly, it is crucial to remember that Chinese is a complex language with many different characters.

It will take time and practice to master all of the material. Don’t get frustrated if you don’t see results immediately, and be sure to celebrate your successes, no matter how small they may be.

You may want to learn Mandarin Chinese in days or weeks, but it is essential to have realistic expectations. It will take time and practice to master the language.

8. Practicing daily is a must

consistency is the key

It’s no secret that practice makes perfect, and this is especially true when it comes to learning a new language.

When you first start learning Chinese, it can seem impossible.

However, if you are willing to put in the effort and practice daily, you will be surprised at how quickly you begin progressing.

Repetition is vital when it comes to memorizing new vocabulary and grammar rules.

By listening to audio clips or reading texts daily, you will slowly but surely start to internalize the structure of the language.

In addition, regular practice will also help you to develop a feel for the rhythm and intonation of Chinese speech.

9. Set goals and celebrate your achievements

One of the best ways to stay motivated when learning Mandarin Chinese is to set goals for yourself and celebrate your achievements.

Every time you reach a new milestone, no matter how small, take a moment to celebrate your success. This will help to keep you motivated and on track.

Some goals you may want to set for yourself include:

  • Learn 1,000 new vocabulary words
  • Read a Chinese newspaper for 10 minutes every day
  • Have a conversation in Mandarin for 15 minutes

10. Combine skills to challenge yourself further

To become fluent in a language, you must master the four abilities of reading, writing, speaking, and listening.

One way to become proficient in all four at once is to find exercises that use several different skills.

For example, to improve your reading and speaking skills, try reading aloud. If you want to blend your listening and writing skills, make notes about the podcast or movie you’re watching.

You can also practice reading and writing by reading a sentence and then rewriting it on a different piece of paper.

And if you want to improve your speaking and listening skills, have a conversation with someone.

Of course, there are many other ways to mix these four skills—so experiment until you find a study method that works best for you!

11. Master the basics of pinyin

teacher writing chinese pinyin on blackboard

Pinyin is often seen as a stepping stone to reading Chinese characters, and for a good reason.

The romanization of Mandarin Chinese can make learning the language much easier, especially for beginners.

In addition, with pinyin, you will be able to familiarize yourself with common sounds and tones, two essential aspects of the language.

Once you have mastered pinyin, you will find it much simpler to type in Chinese. This is because most computer keyboards are designed for Latin languages.

As a result, learning pinyin can save you a great deal of time and effort in the long run.

A strong understanding of pinyin will give you a solid foundation to build your Chinese language skills.

By starting with pinyin, you will be able to learn other facets of the language more quickly and effectively.

Conclusion

Learning Mandarin Chinese at first might seem impossible if you’re new to the language.

It will take you some time and practice to get used to the sounds and tones of the language. However, it’s not impossible to achieve if you’re willing to put in the effort.

By following the tips above, you can make strides in your journey to mastering Mandarin Chinese.

Remember to be patient, set goals for yourself, and, most importantly, have fun! With enough time and practice, you’ll be speaking Mandarin fluently before you know it.


Important Business & Life Lessons From Extreme Ownership

Important Business & Life Lessons From Extreme Ownership

This post may contain affiliate links; please see our disclaimer for details.

Jocko Willink and Leif Babin, former United States Navy SEALs, wrote the book Extreme Ownership: How U.S.

Navy SEALs Lead and Win to share their leadership secrets with a broader audience.

In addition, they explain how the lessons they learned during their time in the military can be applied to other walks of life, including the business world.

One of the main ideas they emphasize is the importance of taking ownership of one’s actions and decisions. They argue that successful leaders must be willing to take responsibility for their team’s successes and failures rather than placing blame on others.

This message is delivered clearly and concisely, making it easy for readers to understand and apply it to their lives.

As a result, Extreme Ownership is an essential read for anyone looking to improve their leadership skills.

Here are some of the lessons that can be learned from Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win:

There Are Only Bad Leaders, Not Bad Teams

Team helping each other onto the top of a mountain overlooking a city

The book “Extreme Ownership” argues that to be a successful leader, one must take complete responsibility for their team.

The book describes an incident during SEAL basic training, in which two teams – one performing well and one not – became equals by simply exchanging commanders.

This principle eliminates any justifications for a leader not taking complete responsibility for their team.

In other words, the leader must be willing to accept blame when things go wrong and give credit to their team when things go right.

This philosophy can be applied to any organization, from businesses to the military. By adopting an extreme ownership mentality, leaders can create a culture of accountability and success.

Keep Your Ego in Check

To practice Extreme Ownership, you must first put your ego in check.

This means being confident in your abilities but not letting your ego get in the way of making decisions or taking action.

It also means being modest and humble, recognizing that you are not always the best or most qualified person for the task.

It is important to never become complacent in your role or position. Even when things are going well, it is important to remember that there are always people willing and able to take advantage of any flaws or weaknesses you may have.

By keeping these things in mind, you can ensure that you are always practicing Extreme Ownership.

Make Your Mission Simple

Plans and goals are the foundation of any successful team, but they can also be the source of conflict and frustration.

When team members don’t understand the mission or goals, it can lead to disagreements and resentment.

The key is to keep your plans and goals as simple as possible so everyone on the team can comprehend them.

If your team doesn’t understand, you failed because the situation was not maintained straightforwardly.

Keeping things simple opens the door for communication and collaboration, which are essential for a successful team.

Believe in the Mission

A strong leader always starts with clearly understanding their group or organization’s mission, vision, or objective.

Without this foundation, it would be impossible to gain the trust and respect of the team.

The frontline troops are the ones who carry out the day-to-day work of advancing the mission, so they must believe in what they are doing.

Leaders must communicate this belief convincingly, or the team will quickly lose confidence. If a leader’s conviction ever wavers, the team will notice and may lose faith in their ability to achieve the goal.

To be successful, leaders must always maintain a clear and unshakeable understanding of why their work matters.

Own Your Successes and Failures

Being a leader is not easy. You are responsible for the success or failure of your team, and excellent leaders recognize their own errors and faults.

They put the mission and the team ahead of any one person. As a leader, you should always start by concentrating on what you will do differently rather than what others need to do.

You should also take responsibility for mistakes made by your team but give credit where credit is due.

Following these principles can set you up for success as a leader.

Cooperation is a Must

The theory is that in a SEAL unit, half of the members advance in a mission while the other half pushes forward. This is said to be essential teamwork because, without it, the effectiveness of the entire organization is jeopardized.

The key is to cooperate, communicate, and provide one another with mutual assistance. By working together, they can accomplish more than they could work alone.

Each member has a role to play; when everyone does their part, they can achieve great things.

This theory can be applied to any organization where teamwork is essential for success.

Cooperation and communication are key to accomplishing goals, whether it’s a sports team, a business, or even a family.

Stay Calm and Execute Your Plan

A leader’s job is to maintain composure and make the best choices possible, even under extreme pressure. This can be a difficult task, but it is essential for success.

The SEALs have a saying that encapsulates this idea: “Relax, look around, and make a call.” In other words, leaders must take a step back, assess the situation, and make the best decision possible. This may seem simple, but it is often easier said than done.

Trying to do everything at once can be tempting when faced with multiple priorities and deadlines. However, this is usually not possible, and it can lead to mistakes being made.

So instead, leaders must focus on the highest priority task and complete it. Only by remaining calm and focused can leaders hope to make the best decisions for their team.

Simplify Your Command Structure

In general, humans are unable to manage more than 6 to 10 individuals effectively. This is why teams must be divided into manageable units of four to five operators under the direction of a recognized leader.

The organizational structure must be clear so that each team knows who is in charge and who they can contact with any queries about the mission or goals.

All levels of leadership must be familiar with the mission to enable swift judgments when seeking approval from those above is impossible.

This way, every team knows what they need to do and can act quickly and efficiently when necessary.

Dividing into manageable units also allows for better communication and coordination between team members.

Everyone knows their role and responsibility, and working together towards a common goal makes it easier.

Conclusion

Leadership is not easy, but it is essential for entrepreneurs who want to build a successful business.

By following the principles of extreme ownership, leaders can set themselves up for success.

These principles include taking responsibility for your actions, cooperating with others, remaining calm under pressure, and simplifying your command structure.

By following these guidelines, entrepreneurs can build a strong foundation for their businesses and achieve their goals.

Related Content:

14 Simple Ways to be More Productive Each Day

How to Find Your Purpose (And Unlock Your Best Life)


Disclaimer:

We hope the information in this article provides valuable insights to every reader but we, the Biesingers, are not financial advisors. When making your personal finance decisions, research multiple sources and/or receive advice from a licensed professional. As always, we wish you the best in your pursuit of financial independence!

Why You Need a 2-Year Emergency Fund Before Retiring

Why You Need a 2-Year Emergency Fund Before Retiring

When most people think about retirement, they imagine a time when they can finally relax and enjoy life without worrying about work.

However, one of the most important things you can do for a smooth retirement is to have an emergency fund in place.

In this article, I share why it’s a good idea to have at least two years’ worth of living expenses saved up before you retire.

This post may contain affiliate links; please see our disclaimer for details.

Person putting cash into an Emergency Fund jar

What is an emergency fund, and what is its purpose?

An emergency fund is a savings account that covers unexpected expenses, such as a job loss, medical bills, or major repairs.

The purpose of an emergency fund is to provide financial security in the event of an unforeseen circumstance.

It’s important to note that an emergency fund is not the same as a retirement fund. A retirement fund covers living costs during retirement, while an emergency fund covers unexpected costs before or during retirement.

It can be used during retirement as a hedge if there is a bear market and you want to take less out of your retirement accounts than the normal 4% or whatever rate you typically withdraw each year.

Why is it necessary to have an emergency fund in retirement?

A few reasons why having an emergency fund in retirement is important.

First, it provides security in unforeseen circumstances, such as a job loss or medical emergency.

Second, an emergency fund can help you avoid prematurely tapping into your retirement savings. If you don’t have an emergency fund and experience an unexpected cost, you may be tempted to withdraw money from your retirement account. This can be detrimental to your long-term financial security, as it can reduce the amount of money you have saved for retirement.

Third, an emergency fund can help keep your retirement lifestyle on track. If you have to tap into your retirement savings to cover an unexpected cost, it can set back your retirement plans and cause you to have to make lifestyle changes, such as downsizing your home or cutting back on your travel plans.

How much should you have in your emergency fund?

When it comes to your emergency fund, the general rule of thumb is to have at least two years’ worth of living expenses saved.

This may seem like a lot, but having a cushion in a major financial emergency, like a job loss or unexpected medical bills, is essential. Having a robust emergency fund will help you weather any unexpected storms that come your way.

Of course, everyone’s financial situation is different, so you may need to adjust your savings goals based on your particular circumstances. But saving two years’ worth of living expenses is a good goal.

How to start building your emergency fund

If you don’t have an emergency fund, it’s never too late to start one. Here are a few tips to help you get started:

1. Set a savings goal

Determine how much you need to save based on your unique circumstances. As a general rule of thumb, aim to have at least two years’ worth of living expenses saved.

2. Make saving a priority

Set aside money each month to contribute to your emergency fund. If possible, automate your savings so that the money is automatically transferred to your account each month.

3. Keep your emergency fund in a separate account

This will help you avoid dipping into your savings for non-emergency expenses.

What should you do if you’re about to retire and don’t have an emergency fund?

If you’re close to retirement and don’t have an emergency fund, building one as soon as possible is essential. You might not be able to reach your two-year savings goal, but every little bit will help.

In addition, if you’re about to retire and don’t have an emergency fund, it’s crucial to have the plan to cover unexpected costs. This might include downsizing your home, cutting your travel plans, or working part-time during retirement.

Tips for maintaining your emergency fund once it’s established

So, you have your emergency fund and are still years away from retirement. Congratulations! Here are a few tips to help you keep your emergency fund in good shape:

1. Review your savings goals regularly

As your circumstances change, so too should your savings goals. Review your emergency fund annually to make sure you’re still on track. Life has a way of throwing curveballs, so it’s essential to be prepared for the unexpected.

2. Make regular contributions to your emergency fund

Even if you have enough saved to cover two years of living expenses, you must continue contributing to your emergency fund regularly. This will help you keep up with inflation and give you a cushion in an unexpected financial emergency.

3. Invest your emergency fund wisely

Once you’ve built up your emergency fund, it’s crucial to invest the money wisely so it can grow over time. A high-yield savings account or short-term certificate of deposit (CD) is a good option for most people.

A great place to get started with your savings account is CIT Bank. They offer very competitive saving rates with no monthly maintenance fees.

With their Saving Connect Account, you can earn 12x the national average! There are no ATM fees, and you have the convenience of online banking.

Rest assured, CIT Bank is also FDIC insured!

If you don’t mind a negligible risk, you could also consider investing your emergency fund in a stock market index fund. This will give you the potential to earn a higher return, but there’s also the possibility of losing money.

The bottom line

There’s no right or wrong answer regarding how much you should have in your emergency fund. It’s always a good idea to have at least a few months’ worths of living expenses saved, but some experts recommend aiming for two years’ worth.

Building up a larger emergency fund is an excellent way to prepare for the unexpected if you still have many years ahead of you before retirement. And if you’re close to retirement and don’t have an emergency fund, building one as soon as possible is essential.

Whatever your situation, it’s always a good idea to have a plan in place for how you’ll cover unexpected costs. This will help you weather financial storms and keep your retirement plans on track.


Disclaimer:

We hope the information in this article provides valuable insights to every reader but we, the Biesingers, are not financial advisors. When making your personal finance decisions, research multiple sources and/or receive advice from a licensed professional. As always, we wish you the best in your pursuit of financial independence!

Financial Freedom: How to Achieve it with Proven Tips

Financial Freedom: How to Achieve it with Proven Tips

This post may contain affiliate links; please see our disclaimer for details.

Paper ripped back and underneath it says FINANCIAL FREEDOM.
As with this image, you will need to tear back certain parts of your life or make changes to find Financial Freedom.

What does financial freedom mean to you? Is it being able to afford whatever you want without having to worry about money? Or is it something else entirely?

In reality, financial freedom is different for everyone. For some, it might mean living a comfortable life without any debt. For others, it might mean being able to retire early and travel the world.

The important thing is that financial freedom means something different to each individual and everyone can achieve it.

So, how do you go about achieving financial freedom? Read on to find out!

There are many different paths to financial freedom. Some people achieve it through hard work and disciplined saving, while others come into money through investing or inheritances. No matter how you reach financial freedom, the important thing is that you have a plan and you stick to it.

Can you achieve financial freedom?

The short answer is yes! Financial freedom is possible for almost everyone, no matter your current situation.

So whether you’re struggling to make ends meet or already comfortable, you can always make changes to improve your financial situation. It might not be easy, but it is possible.

The key to achieving financial freedom is to have a plan and to be disciplined. You need to know your goals and what you’re willing to sacrifice to reach them.

For some people, that might mean cutting back on unnecessary expenses and saving as much money as possible. For others, it might mean taking on additional work or investing in high-yield investments.

For us, the Biesingers, Financial Freedom is living on our terms. Having enough money in savings and investments that we can pivot or change what we do for work or stop working entirely. We believe that flexibility allows us more opportunities to feel peace and happiness.

Related Content: Coast FIRE: The Easiest Way to Join the FIRE Movement

Let’s turn our attention to how you can obtain financial independence:

Understand your current financial situation

Purse with a stethoscope on top, symbolizing financial health.

When it comes to financial freedom, the first step is always the hardest. But the journey becomes much easier once you take that first step.

The first step is to take stock of your financial situation. This means listing all of your debts and savings.

Once you have a clear picture of what you owe and have saved up, you can develop a plan to pay off your debts and grow your savings.

One strategy for reducing debt is first to pay the debt with the highest interest rate or try the Debt Snowball Method. Another method for growing your savings is setting up automatic transfers from your checking account to your monthly savings account.

Have clear goals that you can achieve

The second step to achieving financial freedom is to set clear goals. This means knowing what you want to achieve and when you want to achieve it.

For example, do you want to be debt-free in five years? Do you want to retire at age 60?

Perhaps what you what to achieve is financial independence and retire early. Whatever your goals may be, make sure that they are realistic and that you have a plan for achieving them.

To help you understand how much you may need for retirement, you can check out our other blog posts about the 4% rule or the 25x rule.

Be disciplined with your spending

The third step to achieving financial freedom is to be disciplined with your spending. This means knowing what you can and cannot afford and sticking to a budget.

It can be challenging to stick to a budget, but it is possible.

Many helpful resources are available, such as online budget calculators and financial planning apps.

If interested, you can check out our other article – 15 Frugal Living Tips to Save a Ton of Money to help you get started.

Track all money that you spend

You can’t just be disciplined regarding spending; you need to track every cent you spend. This means knowing where your money is going and ensuring you are not spending more than you can afford.

You can’t get a good picture of your financial situation if you don’t know where your money is going.

Spend far less money than you earn

The goal is to spend far less than you earn to save as much money as possible. This can be difficult, but it is possible.

There are many ways to save money, such as couponing, setting a budget, and cooking at home.

You also need to ensure you are not spending money on unnecessary things. For example, don’t buy anything on credit that you don’t have to.

The interest on credit card debt can quickly add up and make it difficult to get out of debt.

Have an emergency fund

Life can always throw you a curveball, no matter how well you plan. That’s why it’s crucial to have an emergency fund to cover unexpected expenses. This fund should be used for medical bills, car repairs, or job loss.

Your emergency fund is there to protect you from financial ruin, so don’t dip into it unless it is necessary.

I created another article sharing on everything you need to know about Emergency Funds.

Invest in yourself to become financially independent

It can’t be stressed enough that you must invest in yourself if you want to become financially independent. You should consider investing in college or learning a trade to earn more money.

You’ll never succeed in becoming financially independent or retiring early if you don’t have a skill that enables you to earn more money than the average person.

An excellent way to increase your PASSIVE income is by renting out extra space! With NEIGHBOR, you can easily rent out extra space, such as your garage, self-storage unit, rooms, etc.

From neighbor.com

Start your own business

One of the best ways to achieve financial freedom is to start your own business. This can be a difficult and risky endeavor, but it can also be very rewarding.

When you own your own business, you control your financial destiny. This means you can earn a lot of money if your business succeeds.

Of course, starting your own business could be something you do on the side. It takes a lot of hard work, dedication, and some risk-taking. But if you are up for the challenge, it can be a great way to achieve financial freedom.

One of the most crucial steps: Paying off debt

Carrying around debt is like having a weight tied around your neck. It can be incredibly stressful and difficult to achieve your financial goals.

That’s why paying off your debt is one of the most important steps to becoming financially free.

There are a few different ways to pay off debt, such as using a debt consolidation loan or making extra payments on your debts.

Whichever method you choose, ensure you are dedicated to getting out of debt as quickly as possible.

Every person reading this can become financially independent

It’s true; every single person reading this can become financially independent. Of course, it will take work, dedication, and discipline, but it isn’t as complicated as you think.

If you are willing to put in the effort, you can achieve financial freedom. It is not an impossible dream; it is within your reach.

The difference between those who achieve financial independence and those who don’t is simply a matter of choice. You’ve got this; we’re rooting for you!


Disclaimer:

We hope the information in this article provides valuable insights to every reader but we, the Biesingers, are not financial advisors. When making your personal finance decisions, research multiple sources and/or receive advice from a licensed professional. As always, we wish you the best in your pursuit of financial independence!