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  1. That’s a bummer you two won’t be able to make it to FinCon. I’m pretty solid on my financial shit so hopefully I don’t completely fall apart when I run into the rockstars.

    I’ll try to bring the groovy factor up in your absence πŸ™‚

    • Mr. Groovy

      Thanks, Chris. I’m sure you’ll have a blast and make a fine accounting of yourself. Just remember to take some pictures and add them to a FinCon review post. I’d love to see some pictures of the gang relaxing with some libations.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Thank you, Nevada. Saving isn’t easy. I wasn’t able to save until rather late in life (mid-40s). But I was able to save as soon as saving became a priority (mid-40s). The good news is that you’re making saving a priority way earlier than I did. I can’t help but see good things for you going forward, my friend.

  2. The 5th point is pretty cool, I never considered doing this. Sometimes my motivation decreases to work as hard as I can to reach FI, but I think that having in mind like a map on how long do I have to keep doing this, it will be me.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Agreed, Alex. Knowing how long you’ve got to go to reach a milestone definitely bolsters your ability to endure. I remember when we were three years away from FI. Mrs. G and I kept reminding ourselves, “Just three more years. All we got to do is stay the course for 36 months.” And then it was only 24 months. And then 12 months. It was amazing how quickly the months flew by. Best of luck going forward, my friend. FI is worth all the temporary hardship you’ll encounter.

  3. Thanks for the anxiety, Mr G πŸ˜‰ I’m so bummed that you won’t be at FinCon (though I still haven’t pulled the trigger on airfare yet, so we might not be either!). I’m so bad at calculating years until FI. I suppose the more I really get serious about FIRE, the more the numbers will firm up.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Sorry, Penny. But I completely understand. What normal person wouldn’t get anxious when confronted with these numbers? The only saving grace on your front is that you’re young. You and Mr. P are so much more financially savvy than Mrs. G and I were at your age, it’s scary. So, yes, things seem daunting now. But I have no doubt that you and Mr. P will be financially independent before you’re 50. Thanks for stopping by, Penny. Hope Half-Penny is treating you guys well.

  4. I know most of my financial shi..i mean stuff.😁 I haven’t sat down to figure out how many years until i have FI yet. By FinCon 2018 I should have that number. I’m not going to this year’s conference either but making an effort to go next year. Hopefully it will be here in SF so the PF community can our great city. I’m hoping to meet you both as well wherever it is.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Hey, Kris. We hope to make it to FinCon next year as well. And San Francisco would be great. We were there briefly a couple of years ago and love it. The Tenderloin area can get a little rough, though. We had to step over a couple of drunks on our way to a Triple-D hamburger joint. Thanks for stopping by, my friend.

      • The Tenderloin is a sketchy area, not exactly the friendliest neighborhood in SF. And you experienced it first hand.
        Let me guess, the hamburger place you guys went was Grubstake Diner?

        • No, it wasn’t Grubsteak. I’m pretty sure it was Pearl’s Deluxe Burgers. I remember sitting in front of a plate-glass window watching a homeless person passed out on the street. What a great way to enjoy a burger!

  5. It is important to be aware of where you stand on the journey toward financial independence. I thought you would have your own booth at Fincon πŸ˜€. I am not attending this year, but definitely will next year.

  6. Mr. and Mrs. Grumby’s iconic photos:
    1. The student at Tiananmen Square
    2. Johnny Cash flipping the bird
    3. The Beatles crossing Abbey Rd.
    4. The Afghan woman with the stunning green eyes from National Geographic
    5. Muhammad Ali standing over Sonny Liston yelling at him to get up.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Whoa! Excellent list, Mr. G. I can still visualize that Afghan woman’s green eyes. Amazing. And how could I forget about Tiananmen square. It’s not often when a tank backs down from a lone man holding a briefcase. Abby Road was a classic too. I had friends in college who would get a picture of themselves mimicking a classic album cover. They had Abby Road in their collection. Their best rendition, however, was the Who’s Next album cover. We had these monuments at Buffalo University that were the perfect backdrop.

  7. SJ

    Looks like we’re *mostly* good on all five… I didn’t know until digging around in some obscure accounts a few days ago that we had become millionaires… I also have NO IDEA what my FI year will be. And not really focused on it to be honest… I am taking this climate change business more serious than most and I don’t know how markets will react as the S hits the F. I do know that most models think I live in a terrific spot to avoid climate change disaster so we’re going to dig deep into real estate instead of mutual funds (we’ll still max out our retirement accounts and do some taxable to be sure). Hard to say when will we have enough passive income from our rentals and our other investments… especially since the said rentals haven’t been bought… mid-50’s is the closest guesstimate I can offer. Hope it’s enough to claim my shit’s together.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Haha! Your shit’s definitely together, SJ. And I hear you about climate change. It’s very unnerving. The only thing that gives me hope is that real estate prices in places like Manhattan and Hong Kong keep going up. If the rich really believed the models showing elevated sea levels, they wouldn’t be buying expensive real estate in cities that will soon be under water. Well, that’s what I hope anyway. It’s all I got. But I love the way your mind works, SJ. Hope for the best but plan for the worst. Thanks for stopping by. And thanks for sharing your concerns.

  8. I would have loved to meet you and Mrs. G at FinCon this fall. Hopefully somewhere soon! I’m nervous but I figured what the hell. I’ll just make Fritz watch out for me. πŸ™‚ I do know my answers to your 5 things and I even know my credit score too so hopefully, I’m good. πŸ˜‰

    • Mr. Groovy

      Aw thanks, Amy. We’ll meet soon enough. Mrs. G is dying to get up to Traverse City and the Upper Peninsula. And I’m sure you’ll have a blast a FinCon. After all, how bad could things get when you have the Fritzer watching over you.

  9. You’re stressing me out with all these numbers I’m supposed to know! I’m probably about halfway there but I don’t have plans for a significantly early retirement so that’s still up in the air. I also haven’t run a networth calculation in awhile. I should do that but at this point, I’m saving what I can and I know it’s going up so I don’t want to concern myself with something I can’t change at this point.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Don’t stress, Sarah! You’re doing great. I wish I had your financial savvy at your age. And once oil prices spike and the Canadian tar sands start belching out their black gold again, things will get even better. The only thing that scares me about Canada right now is home prices. They appear very bubble-like.

  10. I won’t be getting to FinCon this year, but when I did, few of my conversations revolved around my finances. But then again, maybe that’s because I wasn’t part of the FIRE club. Still, these are good things to know about your finances and keep them in the front of your mind.

    As for iconic photographs, my first thought was Alfred Eisenstaedt’s photo of the sailor kissing the woman in Times Square at the end of WWII. But my second thought was Iwo Jima. Thinking about it more, I came up with Neil Armstrong on the moon, the Alfred Wertheimer photos of Elvis, the shot of Muhammed Ali standing over Sonny Liston. There are so many to choose from, and yet I think at some point iconic photo will give way to iconic video.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Hey, Gary. I’ll get to FinCon one of these years. And I’m sure Mrs. G and I will be doing more socializing than networking. And I love your iconic photographs. The Times Square kiss is definitely a classic. If I had a top-10 list, it would definitely be in it. Elvis and Muhammed are classics too.

  11. Groovy folks,

    “There are known shit; there are things we know we know to be shit. We also know there are known things that are not shit; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know are shit. But there are also unknown unknown shit – the ones we don’t know we don’t know to be shit. And if one looks throughout the history of our country and other free countries, it is the vast amount of shit in each administration that leads us to being knee-deep in shit.”

    I re-read that and still have no clue what I just did there. Please forgive my language – it’s been a long week of shit and I need no more of the damned stuff.

    Anyway, onto serious business – I am indeed going to FinCon and I am shit-annoyed that you good folks are not. Please consider digging into that portfolio, splashing some cash and swinging by Dallas. Only kidding – fully understand each of us have priorities.

    I HOPE to be there but I have a nagging feeling work is going to scupper my plans.
    Mrs. PIE has promised to send me on my way to FinCon with some PIES. I am serious. I am going to be like Johnny Appleseed, introducing FinCon to PIEs – well, one PIE at least – my good self.

    It will be my first FinCon. Although I am a veteran of many (scientific/medical) conferences, methinks this one will challenge me in many ways. Yet, what is the worst that can happen to me? Meet a bunch of folks, learn some new stuff, have a drink or two ( or six..). Rinse, repeat for 4 days.

    Hope to meet you guys some day. I am sure our paths will cross in the near future…

    All the best,

    Mr. PIE

    • Mr. Groovy

      LOL! I swear to God I thought your shit quote was an adaptation of a Donald Rumsfeld quote. Great stuff. Sorry that we’re going to miss you at FinCon. I’m sure we’d have many laughs. But our paths will surely cross one day in the future. I’m hoping to get up to Boston this fall. Thanks for stopping by, Mr. PIE. I always feel better after reading your comments. There is hope for mankind.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Very interesting, Cubert. I think you’re on to something. I just heard Al Zdenek, author of Master Your Cash Flow, on Stacking Benjamins the other day. I’ll have to investigate further.

  12. This will probably shock you . . . but I’m not heading to FinCon either. Mr. Smith is being such a jerk by not agreeing to watch all five children while I go hang out with blogging friends πŸ™‚

    I’ve actually been pondering how to calculate our “savings rate.” A large percentage of our monthly income goes toward paying off debt. The money is going out instead of being “saved” in some type of account. However, it feels a bit unfair to consider all of these payments as “spending,” because we’re not buying tons of random stuff from Amazon or going out to fancy dinners every night. We’re actually pretty darn frugal. And something like the mortgage payment on our rental property is technically going towards an investment (granted, it gets split between interest and principal). Thoughts?

    • Mr. Groovy

      I’m very surpised at Mr. Smith’s selfishness. I mean, c’mon. How hard is it to watch five kids? Only two of them are in diapers. But all kidding aside, you make an excellent point, Harmony. Mrs. Groovy read your comment to me last night and we spent a good fifteen minutes discussing it. We would count principal payments on mortgages and student loans as a form of savings. We think interest payments shouldn’t be counted as a form of savings, but we’d be hard-pressed to articulate our reasons why. Finally, we think payments that reduce credit card debt might also be a form of savings. Say for example you begin the year with $10K in credit card debt and end the year in $5K in credit card debt. As long as you keep chipping away at that balance in year two, we think counting that $5K reduction in debt as savings is reasonable. Thanks for adding this wrinkle to our savings calculation. It really opened our eyes.

  13. I’m not going to FinCon this year either. Maybe next year. You shouldn’t be nervous, though. Everyone is super friendly and you know you stuff. πŸ™‚

    • Mr. Groovy

      Thanks, Joe. I appreciate it. I’m sure I’ll muddle through next year, especially after the benefit of a few shots.

  14. Alright, looks like I am ready for FinCon2017 based on your study guide. Gonna be my first time going so I will take notes and pass them your way so you can be uber prepared for next year.

  15. Trust me, Mr G, you’d CRUSH IT at FinCon. As one of the few bloggers who’s actually met you (woot woot!!), I have a feeling you’d be the life of the FinCon party!

    I’ll add a 6th to your list, and it’s brand new. Everyone should know their FIRE Prowess Score. Keep an eye out next Tues, you’ll see the launch of a new Chain Gang on exactly that topic!

    Sorry we’ll miss you at FinCon. Look forward to talking with you next week!

    • Mr. Groovy

      Oh, god, am I a money nerd or what. I can’t wait to find out what the FIRE Prowess Score is. And I can’t wait to be one of the first bloggers in the Chain. Have a great weekend, my friend. Give my regards to Jackie. Cheers.

  16. Few of my FInCon-versations focused on money. Many were about the business of blogging, but really it’s just about making connections. And since you two are high quality people, you got nuthin to worry about on that front!

    • Mr. Groovy

      Aw, thanks, Ty. Your kind words really mean a lot. And thank you for putting FinCon in a better perspective. If all goes as planned, I’ll be making those connections next year. Hope all is well in Seattle, my friend. Go Hawks!

  17. Last one I’d say is, if you aren’t FI yet, how you’re allocating your money to get there. Knowing those 5 things are great, and super important, but if you don’t know HOW you are getting there, it’s kind of meaningless. Knowing that your savings rate is let’s say 40% is awesome…but if that’s sitting in a bank account it’s not doing much good.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Oh, shoot! Excellent point, Dave. I think I was assuming too much. Yes, save a lot and don’t fear the stock market. Compound interest isn’t so miraculous at 1%. At 8, 10, or 12%, however, it is. Thanks for pointing this out, Dave. I really appreciate it.

  18. I won’t be there either….work keeps getting away. But don’t worry, they have announced the 2018 days already and they are in September!

    The 5 rules are key. I am glad to see I was already doing them. It would be embarrassing to write about FI and not be doing them!

    Don’t worry, buffoonery runs rampant amongst good friends….or fellow bloggers. I don’t think many of us are here because our egos want to impress others. If that was the case we would be out in the open or trying to climb the corporate ladder of work.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Haha! Excellent point, DDD. The five to-knows are more a must for FI bloggers than FinCon attendees. And I couldn’t agree more with your observation about fellow bloggers. We’re far more comfortable with buffoonery than alpha-person, look-at-me-ism. Hope to see you at FinCon 2018, my friend. Cheers.

  19. I’m not making the FinCon trip either. Just sold my ticket last week, Too much going on at the homefront. Disappointed that I won’t be going, but there’s always next year.

    I do agree you better have your financial shit together because there will be plenty of financial talk during the Con. I felt a bit overwhelmed when I attended in 15. So much to take in, but learned so much!

    Similar to the iwo jima photo, the 9/11 photo of the raising of the flag stands out to me.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Completely understand. For whatever reason, I lot of things are taking place in October for us too. Foregoing FinCon this year just made sense. And I totally agree with you about raising the flag at Ground Zero. I have the New York Post front page picture of that moment hanging in my garage. I look at it every day. That picture was in Mrs. Groovy’s top five as well. I bumped it out because I already had one flag-raising picture. I was going to give the 9/11 flag raising an honorable mention but forgot. Sigh. No one said vlogging was going to be easy.

  20. Aww – thanks for the shout out! You are so much more than a purple cat. You guys are my relationship idols and fun loving cousins!! I find it VERY hard you would be stammering like a damn fool in front of anyone. But don’t worry, I got you covered. When nervous I usually find myself saying something inappropriate therefor completely drawing all foolishness my way! Haha – what a pair we would make…

    I am so bummed you guys won’t be making it. I, however, have plans to come your way at some point. I have to make sure you won’t be out with Ms Montana at the time!

    • Mr. Groovy

      Haha! Where would we be without our wingmen and wingnut-men? Made my week, cuz. And I hope you know I would gladly return the favor. I’ll shoot you an email with the dates will be in Montana. Hopefully, this fall we can catch you in Charlotte or a nearby city (Raleigh, Atlanta, Nashville, etc.). Hope all is well. Talk to you soon.

  21. You’d be surprised at how friendly fincon is and the people who go there as well. I still don’t know if I’m going…it depends if I go with work or not. I agree with most of them but not so much with knowing how many years until fire you have. I think overall it’s a small group who know that for sure and nothing will stop them from achieving that number. However, I think life is messy and has twists and turns, so if you’re locked in, you might miss out on some detours in life along the way.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Agreed. FinCon people are the best. And I love the point you made about not being “locked in” to a certain FI date. Sometimes taking a step back or a detour will do more for your mental and fiscal health than charging forward.

  22. Sad to hear you won’t be at FinCon!

    I know 80% of my Financial Shit, to date I have put off figuring out our FI number – I have a ballpark guess but I need to nail my logic down, having a kid throws in a lot of expenses that won’t be there forever.

    Better figure that out before FinCon, can’t embarrass myself πŸ™‚

    • Mr. Groovy

      Hey, AE. Yeah, it looks we might shoot for FinCon 2018. My understanding is that the dates have been set but the city hasn’t been announced. I hope they pick a fun city like Boston, Denver, or Nashville. Anyway, I’m sure you’ll have a blast in Dallas. I’m also sure you won’t embarrass yourself. Thanks for stopping by, my friend. Cheers.