Hear Mr. and Mrs. Groovy Speak


A few months ago, I reached out to podcaster Joshua Sheats about my Junior IRA idea. For those of you who aren’t familiar with him, Joshua has been in the podcast business since 2013. The name of his podcast is Radical Personal Finance (RPF).

RPF is all about financial freedom. In Joshua’s own words, he is “dedicated to giving you both the information and the actionable inspiration you need to significantly improve your life and lifestyle.”

Mrs. Groovy and I are big fans of Joshua and RPF. And one of the reasons why is because Joshua isn’t afraid to get a little “radical.” He loves exploring unconventional routes to financial freedom. In March, for instance, he interviewed a husband and wife who live in a bus with their seven children! Joshua is also not above giving a platform to a small, largely unknown blogger, providing that blogger has an interesting story or idea.

Well, to make a long story short, Joshua thought my journey toward financial independence and my Junior IRA idea were worthy of an interview. The show with me and Mrs. Groovy came out yesterday. Here’s the link.

All in all, I think it went pretty well. My New York accent is rough. It didn’t sound as bad as I thought it was going to sound, but it’s definitely not for the faint of heart. And Mrs. Groovy, who comes on at the end, handled herself very well. She’s much better at this interview thingy than I am.

The one thing I screwed up badly during the interview was our monthly expenses in New York. Joshua was exploring how Mrs. Groovy and I used geoarbitrage to dramatically reduce our cost-of-living, and I told him that our monthly expenses in New York in 2006 were between $6,500 and $6,800. This was wrong. Those numbers represented our monthly take-home pay. Our monthly expenses were actually between $4,500 and $4,800. But even though the New York expense numbers I gave Joshua were wrong, the point I was making about geoarbitrage is still valid. When we moved to North Carolina, our monthly expenses dropped to around $2,200. So geoarbitrage cut our cost-of-living in half, not the two-thirds I mistakenly told Joshua.

Okay, groovy freedomists, that’s all I got. If you want to hear what Mrs. Groovy and I sound like, you now have your chance. I think you’ll get a kick out of my noo yawk accent, and I think you’ll enjoy the interview. Joshua is a fabulous host/interviewer (thank you, Joshua!).

P.S. If you do happen to listen to the podcast, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Cheers.

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  1. John

    Mr. & Mrs. Groovy. I’m a big fan of the RPF podcast and I listened today to your archived interview. Great job! It’s inspiring that you seem a very typical American couple and you were able to achieve FI at a relatively young age on a middle-income.

    I like your idea of a Junior IRA. This past Christmas I opened an Roth IRA for my son who is a full time college student and I deposited $1,000 in an S&P500 index fund to get him a head start on his retirement. The card said “If you leave this untouched for 45 years it will be worth roughly $100,000 at retirement.”

    I’ve wanted to do this for him for that past several years but this was the first year I was able to max out my own 403B and Roth IRA. Once I did that I felt secure in starting to help him towards retirement. When he was born I didn’t have even $1,000 in a savings account so I think that Junior IRA system would help those families who already are financially secure at a disproportional rate. Now if the government put that $1,000 in the account at birth with the stipulation that it couldn’t be touched until 59.5 (with the only exception being disability), it would be a great way to solve the insolvency of SS. The family could add to it as able and even only adding $20 per month would make a huge difference over 18 years. If we started this today I think you’d only be one generation away from solving the SS dilemma. The gov could start to taper SS away as current minors start to reach retirement age.
    Great work on your retirement and best of success as you enter this next chapter.


    • Mr. Groovy

      Thank you, MB55. I really appreciate your kind words. And you are so right about the government contribution. One of the most frustrating things about the government is that when it spends $1,000 it rarely produces a product or service that comes close to being $1,000 in value. But if it put $1,000 in every newborns Junior IRA, it would produce many times that value. Way back in 2007, Hillary Clinton proposed giving every newborn $5,000 so every newborn would have money for college or a down payment on a home. Imagine if we revised this idea and used the $5K to initially fund a Junior IRA for every newborn? As you correctly pointed out, this move would solve the insolvency of SS. Thanks for stopping by, my friend. I really appreciate what you added to this conversation.

      P.S. Sorry for the late reply. Things have been crazy in Groovyville lately. Also, I love the guidance and help you’re providing your son. We need more dads like you.

  2. Brian sorry we missed your comment. Entrenched is a great word for describing the NY mentality. What’s weird too is that when we go back we find it so dirty! We didn’t think about that as much when we lived there.

    Thanks for the kind thoughts – and for your service.

  3. You sound just like Mike Francesa from WFAN…and like a lot of people I remember growing up with. You nailed the New Yorker thinking…they think NY is the center of the universe…period.

    I left NY at 18 to join the military and my eyes were opened, in a good way. When I went back to NY over the years, I realized how entrenched New Yorkers are with living there. They don’t see any other option. It’s a warped badge of honor to survive in that environment. I’m proud to be from NY and all my sports affiliations are NY teams, but I don’t want to live there again. Funny thing is that when you travel around America, most places are the same…full of hard working people who want the same things, like safety, security, and a place to raise a family. The benefit is that almost every place is cheaper on expenses than NY, as you know very well.

    Your interview was great. Well thought out ideas, especially on the Junior IRA.

  4. Very cool! I did my first podcast a couple months ago to promote my book. I thought it went pretty well, but I’m noticing that with each interview/podcast I’m getting a little more comfortable with it.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Holy crap! Yesterday I was saying that Young Adult Money sounds very familiar. And sure enough, while I was purging some podcasts from my phone today, I saw you were recently on Stacking Benjamins! You’ve been in the basement!! You’ve shared the other side of the card table with OG!!! I’m truly humbled, David. Thanks for listening to my first foray into podcasting. And thanks for your very encouraging words.

      P.S. I listened to your interview with Joe again. Awesome. You presented yourself and your ideas very well.

  5. You did great. I didn’t know you were a libertarian. I like the JIRA idea. You guys sound really nice! I was kinda surprised you guys are currently living on $2200, I currently live on $2000 in Omaha, NE.

    I don’t know if government will truly be different in a half century like Josh talked about. I’d love to live in a society where we taught kids more personal responsibility and financial responsibility.

    • Mr. Groovy

      You’re too kind, Jaime. And, yes, libertarian isn’t a bad description of my views. I prefer freedomist (see my response to ZJ), but libertarian works. And don’t forget, the $2,200 number was for 2006. Today, our monthly expenses are in the $2,500 to $2,700 range. It’s amazing how manageable expenses are when you live in a low-cost area and don’t have a mortgage or a car loan. And I totally agree with your last point. It would be great to live in a society where young people are taught the merits of taking responsibility for one’s life and one’s finances. Always a pleasure, Jaime. Thanks for stopping by. And thanks for going easy on my noo yawk accident. I cringe when I hear it.

  6. Right of Attila the Hun is quite a statement. I’m glad we can learn from each other even with different views. 😉

    Government work can absolutely change your idea of the efficacy of government, but I know a few people putting in hard work there. Their stories about dead-weight give me great pause, too. Just as yours do.

    • Mr. Groovy

      You’d be surprised, ZJ. I bet we agree on 90% of things. I’ve just been using that Attila the Hun line in jest for years. Because what I am doesn’t easily fit into our current nomenclature. I prefer to call myself a freedomist. I want the government out of my bedroom and out of my wallet. So when it comes to the government, I’m definitely biased. I just don’t have any faith that it can do anything consistently well–whether that’s protecting our liberty or fixing a bridge. And this doesn’t mean, of course, that there aren’t any good people in government doing excellent work. Heck, I’ve even seen excellence at my former government job during snow storms. Guys who could barely muster two hours of moderate effort during a typical workday would plow streets during a blizzard for twenty hours straight. The problem with government is that excellence isn’t the norm. Excellence is too fleeting, too localized. So that’s where I’m coming from, ZJ. I hope we’re still friends.