Amy Minkley is a woman on a mission. Sometimes, she admits, the mission is WAY over her head. She’s an overachiever by nature, coming by her work ethic out of a need for independence when her dad left the family when she was young. From that beginning (which she says she’s grateful for), Amy has gone on to big things, including creating the FI Freedom Retreat in Bali. Amy joins us for a wide-ranging episode on being okay with imperfection, finding like-minded people, and on intentional living and more. If you’re feeling stuck, this is the perfect episode for you. If you’re an overachiever and perfectionist, this is also the episode for you.
Amy isn’t the only awesome guest on today’s show, though! Comedian and show writer Lisa Curry @olympianlisacurry joins Joe, OG and Doug to dive into the rest of the show. In our headline segment we tackle long term care (and again the need for community when it comes to caring for our elders). Lisa offers a solution we may or may not dismiss while also being slightly fearful about it. In our new Better Call Saul (Sehy) segment, we take a question from a Stacker wondering about the Coverdell ESA. We dive into how to best plan for education, which usually doesn’t include using a Coverdell.
In this episode we discuss:
- Camp FI
- FI Freedom Retreat
- Long Term Care insurance
- Elder care in general
- Coverdell ESA accounts
- 529 plans
Deeper dives with curated links, topics, and discussions are in our newsletter, The 201, available at https://www.stackingbenjamins.com/201
Big thanks to Amy Minkley for joining us today. To learn more about Amy, visit FI Freedom Retreats.
- The first year Corvettes hit the market, they were only available in one color. What was it?
Better call Saul…Sehy & OG
- Scott from Oregon wants to know why the Coverdell ESA contribution limit of $2,000 annually is so low, and why isn’t the contribution limit ever increased, similar to the contribution limit increases in IRAs and 401(k)s?
Have a question for the show?
Want more than just the show notes? How about our newsletter with STACKS of related, deeper links?
- Check out The 201, our email that comes with every Monday and Wednesday episode, PLUS a list of more than 19 of the top money lessons Joe’s learned over his own life about money. From credit to cash reserves, and insurance to investing, we’ll tackle all of these. Head to StackingBenjamins.com/the201 to sign up (it’s free and we will never give away your email to others).
Join Us Friday!
Tune in on Friday when you’ll learn how improving your mindset improves your financial wellbeing with former marketing executive, early retiree, and host of Inside Out Money, Maggie Tucker. She joins OG and Len Penzo for this very special roundtable episode.
Written by: Kevin Bailey
Miss our last show? Listen here: Tricks to Rethink Your Budget w YNAB’s Jesse Mecham (SB1464)
At some point far in the future, historians will probably ask, what was daily life
like in the early 21st century? Well, one thing we know for sure. Nobody will ever point to these two clowns
and say, this was
should have been. Stacking Benjamins
Live from Joe’s mom’s basement. It’s the Stacking Benjamin Show.
I am Joe’s mom’s neighbor, Doug. Today Joe talks about his trip to Bali. Again, somebody has gotta stop this guy already. Then another member of our team who’s been to Bali. Oh, come on Lisa. It’s Stacking Benjamins, writer comedian. Lisa Curry. Once they’re done with that, you’ll learn about the importance of community with the founder of the Five Freedom Retreat.
Amy Minkley in today’s headline segment, how’s your relationship with your kids? Because you might end up living with them when you’re old. One company warns they may raise the cost of long-term care insurance premiums, 600%. How do you pay for long-term care? We’ll weigh your options. Plus we’d better call sa, see hi and OG for a lucky stacker who’s in need of money help.
And then I’ll share some muscly trivia. And now two guys will wrestle each other to bring you the best personal finance advice and the woman who puts words in their mouth, it’s Joe OG and Lisa Kaka
Oh, that’s fabulous. Welcome
everybody. You’ve made it. You found us. Sit back and relax because we have an hour of financial fun coming to your doorstep. I am Joe Saul-Sehy, average Joe Money on X. And across the card table from me, Mr. OG is here. How are you, man?
always. You’ve got the dad jokes going
No, I don’t. I, that’s just my normal jokes. Oh, that’s,
that’s it. Yes. You are a dad and you have jokes. Yes. Uh, arguing the with OG Doug is the same as writing with a broken pencil. You know what those have in common? Nope. It’s pointless.
I mean, that’s good. We’re making all the jokes today ’cause we have a real comedian with us.
The woman who, man. We’re hoping she can save the show. Lisa Curry’s here with us. How are you? Hey, I’m good.
having me. I’m super happy you’re here with us. Fine. It’s about time we got you on the show. So where are you peering live next? What’s going on? Oh,
the 18th. I’m in Flagstaff, the 19th and 20th.
I’m in Phoenix. And then I’m all over the world through, through May. Wow. I got some good dates on the
calendar. Well, thank goodness we were able to get you here today, Lisa. We’re super happy because we’re gonna talk about what about a ton of stuff. Do you have any idea what we talk
about on the show? Uh, do I have any idea what you talk about?
Subject. Subject-wise? Yes. Uh, do I understand it? Not at all. Not a little bit, not a crumb. Well, let’s start here. You ready? Yeah. Where does money come from? Is that where we’re starting? Because that’s my first
question. When a Washington and a Benjamin really like each other,
that’s exactly what I was about to say.
And then Lisa, if the Washington Benjamin don’t work out, maybe we get a grant involved or a Jackson. Hmm.
Maybe get a Euro in there.
getting really exciting. Okay. That’s the weirdest money open we’ve ever done. Lisa Curry’s here. OGs here. We’ve got Amy Minkley waiting in the wing. So, uh, let’s get to our headline.
And now it’s time for your favorite part of the show. Our Stacking
Benjamins headlines. And Doug’s here too. You like that? And Doug, you’re welcome. Our headline today comes to us from The New York Times Difficult Choices for some Long-Term Care Policy Holders. Listen to this guys. Uh, this is written by Amy Carnes.
Thousands of long-term care insurance customers are being offered a tough choice. Pay no more policy premiums in exchange for greatly reduced benefits or keep paying, but risk triple digit premium increases in the future. Here’s what happened. Genworth Financial, who’s the biggest player in uh, long-term care insurance, said that as many as 350,000 policy holders are eligible.
In a class action lawsuit. Basically what happened was Genworth, Genworth forgot to tell people that, uh, when the company began raising their premiums back in 2013, it failed to inform people. It also planned to raise rates substantially in the future. And now Genworth is telling people, oh yeah, by the way, your premiums could go up 600% if you decide to just stay with, uh, stay with those, I mean, prices going up 600%, Lisa.
It’s not like we’ve had inflation at all lately. That’s good news. Yeah,
no, that I understand that. I understand 600% inflation,
like the price of eggs going through the roof or
whatever. I’m not a fan. I don’t know who’s in charge of that, but they
gotta stop. Yes. So let’s talk to Genworth og. What’s going on here?
Why is the price of. Grandma in the home going up so much?
Well, I think it involves a number of things. Firstly, when long-term care insurance kind of first came on the scene, I mean, it’s been around a long time, but when it became popular was when a lot of baby boomers were in their, let’s call it early fifties, about 20 years ago that tidal wave started happening, and there was some competition and everybody wanted a little piece of the action.
So there was a price war basically, between all of these insurance companies. The other thing that was going on behind the scenes, of course, is that healthcare costs don’t go up the same rate as regular inflation. So yeah, we’ve had wild inflation in certain areas in the last year or two, but generally speaking, we figure, eh, about three ish percent.
But healthcare costs, as we all know, if you have had any healthcare issues, expenses or insurance go way more than that. So basically it was priced incorrectly from the get go. Compounded with the fact that insurance is regulated at the state level. Companies can’t just see that problem and fix it immediately.
They have to apply to have a premium change, and then the insurance agencies in each state approve it or don’t, or make changes or whatever. It’s a long bureaucratic process. Meanwhile, the consolidation happened in the industry where there’s only really two or three players left anyway, so you had all these things happening with higher than projected costs, lower than needed revenue with the premium dollars and a slow reaction to fix the problem.
All of those things have happened and in the last 10 years or so, these companies that have said, buy this insurance, and you never have to think about it again, have gone back to their consumers and said, yeah, we were just kidding about the never thinking about it again. Not bad. Yeah. We gotta do the math now, to be fair, what’s the alternative?
Right? If you have the coverage and the insurance company goes, listen, if we don’t get more money from our uh, consumers, then we’re just gonna go under. So would you rather have a choice? Which is generally what happens when you get these insurance premium, increased letters. They say, listen, you can pay us more or you can pay us the same, but we have to reduce the benefit to offset basically the new premium rates.
The challenging thing is, is that nobody knows where this ends, right? So you get one and, and you say, okay, I get it. It’s an adjustment. I was paying a hundred dollars a month, now they want 140. That sucks. But what choice do I have? I’ll deal with it. And then one 40, you know, two years later goes, I go, yeah, we thought one 40 was a number.
Turns out it’s 2 0 5. And you’re like, oh God, this is ridiculous, but I get it. It’s 2 0 5, I want the coverage, yada yada. And now they’re talking about, well, maybe two hundred’s, not the right number. We were off by a factor of six. It actually might be 1200. You know, I mean, these are gigantic increased
projections I can’t believe in, in that, uh, these companies were just off by that much.
Like, that’s hard for me to. I mean, they’ve got actuaries working on this. There’s so many, there’s so many professionals involved. And to just go, yeah, we were just grossly wrong. Like,
hmm, oops. Well, I mean, we’ve seen a radical increase in healthcare costs in the last decade when everybody thought it would become less expensive when there was Sure.
An increased marketplace and, and some government involvement. Whether or not you like it or don’t like it, that’s kind of what was sold. And what’s happened has been completely different. So, I mean, we can all speculate as to why or how, but the facts are that it’s costing more for health related events.
And this isn’t like health insurance. Like, Hey, I broke my, broke a leg. This is, this is care that you could need at the end of your life. And the other part of this that makes it very challenging is you don’t get to like try it out. You know what I mean? Like you’re insuring for this really gigantic high cost event that has a 50 50 shot of happening or.
Maybe you just have a heart attack, you know? Or look at prices
like this. You kind of hope so. You’re like, God, I hope I die quickly. Just throw me in front of a bus. Just go in my sleep. Yeah. You know, Lisa, you had talk about the price of healthcare going up like Mm-Hmm. I know you were sharing with us that you got some like dental work done and it was like the price of a Subaru.
It’s insane. It was like three grand to get, ’cause I don’t have dental insurance ’cause it covers almost nothing. Yeah. Yep. Through LA Care. So I’m like, why bother paying that for like 3% coverage or whatever? Yeah. And I got a filling and then it turned out that I needed an emergency root canal and all in it was almost three grand.
And for that amount of money I could have flown to the uk, put myself up at the Four Seasons and gotten it done and still had money left
over. But then you would’ve had UK teeth. No, with no offense to UK
people. Yeah. Is that where you want to go for dental care? Come on
UK People have a, well, a long reputation of having summer teeth, don’t they?
Yeah, well listen, I’m from rural Indiana, so what’s the
difference? Indiana, you get
West Michigan, it’s all the
same. Indiana. That was one of your own. Who said that this time? Not us. Yeah.
I’m just telling you guys the truth.
But this is a big issue. I mean, Lisa, how old are your parents?
They’re 70. And as soon as they start to go, I’m gonna roll them off the end of their dock.
I can’t, I can’t deal with this. It’s just hope Mom and dad aren’t, if they can’t pay for it, I’m not gonna pay for it.
Well, that is og. That’s a difficult situation. I mean, you’ve got families thinking, how do we handle this? And you obviously don’t wanna start thinking about it when you’re 70, but if you’re in your forties or fifties, like a bunch of our stackers, heck, even in their thirties, what do you do to plan ahead for long-term care?
Fidelity’s got a
great study about the cost associated with retirement. One of the numbers that they throw around is about 250 or 300 K. And as you’re looking at your retirement plan. Thinking about that, there’s probably gonna be a two or $300,000 all in cost while you are retired in terms of all of your, you know, medical related expenses, I think is a great place to start.
If you’re not from a planning standpoint, segregating that line item out, um, I think you’re doing yourself a little bit of a disservice. That being said, if you’re starting to plan when you’re 30 or 40 or even 50 and you’re thinking about financial independence, there’s a good chance that you’ll make it.
You might not need to have this insurance, and really what you’re doing with the insurance is, or trying to transfer some of that risk so you don’t have to pay for all of it. With the insurance, you can say, I’ve got this bucket of money that’s set aside for my healthcare costs or mine and my partner’s healthcare costs.
But then I can also supplement that with the catastrophic stuff that only covers, I mean, we’re seeing this in all areas of insurance. I look at the stuff with fire insurance and, and earthquake insurance in California and, and homeowner’s insurance and automobile insurance in Texas and. In Florida, it’s very difficult when there’s big losses at the insurance level because it’s gotta trickle down somewhere.
Somebody’s gotta pay for the, for the, for the, uh, for the construction costs on new houses. And, and if companies can’t do it through their premiums, they’re just out of it. Which is an interesting, I think, reflection on how investing works in public markets. People talk about, you know, risks in, in, in investing and that sort of thing.
This is from a strategic standpoint at the boardroom level, the most I. Intelligent decision to protect and to invest for those shareholders. So if you’re looking at this from a consumer standpoint, it’s pretty frustrating. If you’re looking at it from an investor standpoint, you’re, and you own shares in this company or you own shares in these organizations and you’re an investor, you’re going, yeah, I want you to make really good decisions.
I want you to make profit, and if you can’t raise it to what it should be, then I don’t want you to insure people and lose money and, and that sort of thing. So, you know, it’s not like it’s the greedy insurance companies that are out there arbitrarily raising rates because they’ve got the backstop of the local governments in there to help as well.
hard thing. I mean, it’s hard not to blame the insurance company, but when you realize, to your point that these are state regulated, like, you know, getting something passed a regulator wants, okay, getting ’em passed ’em year after year after year that we’re a sneaky insurance company is, is difficult.
Don’t get me wrong. The insurance company wants to make some money, but
Yeah. Well, and they should because they’re, you know, if they’re, if they’re an organization for
profit, sure. A lot of the times back when I was an advisor, I’d have people say, Hey. You know, I’m just gonna rely on my kids. I mean, clearly, if Lisa were my kid, holy crap.
I wouldn’t do that. I, I’m gonna have Lisa
roll me off the dock. She’s already tying bricks to your chair,
already, and we’re not even relating, practicing how to make
concrete. I’m done. She’s like, I’m taking over this show right now. Mom, do you think you’d
in this 55 gallon drum? Oh, my mom
I’m terrified. Just tried this out. Yeah, I draw the numbers. She’s already got a plan. But how often do you hear that still people going, I’m gonna, you know, I’m just gonna rely on my kids. Mm. I,
I don’t know that we hear that a ton. Maybe kind of a little tongue in cheek, but there’s always some truth into when there’s that kind of joke.
Right. Well, I’ll just, I’ll just walk off the bridge. Yeah. I’ll just throw myself off a mountain if that happens to me. It’s like, okay, you’re not really gonna do that, but I can understand there’s a lot of stress around that if you’re thinking about it from. If you’re 70 or something, trying to think about how to plan for that.
I think this is a tough issue. There’s no easy answer like planning for this catastrophic illness, but certainly you want to do it while you’re young. I kinda like what Singapore did, and this gets to government policy way above our pay grade, but Singapore has,
has a mass euthanasia, oh,
some s do have that.
Turns out over there helping Lisa roll grandma, grandpa off
the dock. That’s a good thing. We’re not getting political. That’s
right. Uh, no. Singapore has a, uh, tax break that if your parents, your aging parents over a certain age live with, I think it’s half a mile of you, you get a tax break. ’cause studies just show that you’ll help them.
Yeah. They’ll probably be healthier because they have family around the, the, like, Lisa, you could not give me
enough of a tax break.
Well, I mean, technically you get that. You can claim somebody as a dependent if they’re, if you’re providing more than 50% of their support. Kind of hard to do that for your 60-year-old mother.
But you know, if, if. Yeah, it gets up there and you certainly have somebody staying with you if that were the case. I, I can, I can see the logic in that to some degree.
We’ve been trying to get Lisa to claim US’ dependents ever since she started with us. Are you kidding?
We are dependent on her. We totally are.
should be claiming us just because she keeps calling us, quote, full grown adults. Yes. Doesn’t mean we can’t be dependents. They’re quite dependent. Yeah. Unbelievable. Hey, before we get to our feature guest, Amy Minkley, time for a big segment here, which is our joke off. It’s about time for the Stacky Benjamins.
Joke off. We’ve been waiting for
this. It’s the worst name ever,
which is why we ran with it, everybody. It’s exactly why we did not laugh. 16 jokes from stackers. We’re gonna take them down to the top joke, guys. We’re gonna be like the judges on Dancing With the Stars, where we’re gonna talk about the joke and the quality of the joke.
And since we have the professional comedian here, like whether this would resonate with an audience, I think the answer for all 16 of these jokes would be, oh God, no, those won’t resonate. But we will then leave it to our Facebook group, go in our Facebook group, and you will, um, get to vote, uh, this week and we’ll tell you which of these two matchups is going to, uh, make it to the next round.
By the way, for people that took me seriously, and I hope you did, you’re not only getting a signed copy of Stack, but our book club, which starts next Wednesday, uh, stacky Benjamins dot com slash book club. You are also allowed in without paying any of the cost, which is amazing. Um, if you go look at the, that’s a $700 value.
So we’re doing that for all those people that went, yeah. I don’t know. I’ll just go ahead and post it somewhere else. You’re lost anyway. Does that sound passive aggressive enough? Doug.
It was one of your better ones too. Actually. I felt guilty on their behalf.
I was like, why? Why?
It took us so long to get some of these jokes, but some of these are awesome.
All right, you guys ready? Oh yeah. All right. Uh, Doug. Am I reading these or are you reading these? Do you want ’em to sound
funny or not? I mean, that’s kind of the
criteria. So you’re saying I should read them? Yeah. Okay. All right. Why don’t you do, why don’t you do the first ones? So this first joke comes from stacker John.
This is the 12 seed against the number five seed. So here is the number 12 underdog joke. I’m trying to buy a house
and with interest rates as high as they are, I’m thankful they only need an arm and not a leg. There’s more to it. Then John says, I’ll show myself out because he was obviously embarrassed to post that joke.
Yes, an arm. I’m trying to buy a house and with interest rates as high as they are, I’m thankful they only need an arm and not a
leg. And adjustable rate mortgage. Lisa, you don’t like adjustable rate mortgage jokes? Oh yeah.
No. I didn’t even know. I didn’t get that. I was like, there’s no word play. What’s
Oh yeah, yeah. No, I didn’t done polar polarity with the mortgage. I can see why it’s the 12 seat. Yeah. Yeah. That’s the 12 seat. Oh. Oh. Just the funny thing is it’s not 16 seed. That’s where this is headed. I
mean, I feel like it would work if you’re looking at it and you see that it’s an acronym. Oh, it doesn’t
work on it, but we’ll see.
Uh, og what’d you think of that one? It was arm written, capital a RM. It was,
yeah, it was, sorry, capital. Should I have yelled it? No, um, because
it’s also a little bit of a, I mean. People used to have that for the memes when gas prices were really high, like, you know, regular gas was arm leg. Right. You know, was was the next.
So it could, it could actually mean like, could have been that it’s an arm and a leg, but they just want the arm part. So it’s a little double entendre I guess. I don’t know. It’s still terrible.
That’s the number 12 seed. Here’s the number five seed joke. What did one math book say to the other? Don’t bother me.
I got my own problems. Okay.
I mean, listen,
you gonna tell that one
on stage, Lisa? Is it okay if I steal it? We gotta get
permission. That’s such true. We gotta ask Julie. Which dad joke book She got that from. That’s a good Popsicle stick joke. Well, here’s the deal then you got that number five one math book.
Say to the other, don’t bother me. I got my own problems versus I’m trying to buy a house with and with interest rates as high as they’re, I’m thankful they only need an arm adjustable rate mortgage and not a leg. I’ll show myself out. Uh, Lisa, which one you going with? Uh, I’m
going with the, the math joke.
’cause the other one only works in print.
Yeah, I like, uh, I, I, I, I have, yes, they’re both awful, but, um, somebody’s gotta win. So, number five wins
Doug. Uh, is there a third option? Is there another joke? I can hear that.
Let’s go vote in the basement, uh, on that one. Stack you Benjamins dot com slash basement gets you to our Facebook group.
Let’s do the other one. This is the number two seed versus the number 15 you want at Lisa. You wanna hear the underdog first or hear the, the big hitter? Number two. Let’s hear the underdog first. Oh, Doug the number 15.
I don’t get the jokes all the time. How come I 15
and you always get the high seeds. I’m like Florida Atlantic in the March Madness Tournament in your
Kansas. It’s kind of what we call you when you’re not around
Florida Atlantic. Okay. No, I like 15. I’m going 15. I’m gonna make the 15 seed. Funny damnit. All right. I put my root beer in a square glass. Now
it’s just beer.
My root beer in a square glass. Oh boy. Lemme take the square root
of something. That’s another that was submitted to us by a person who’s just naturally funny.
Lisa, these are all math jokes, by the way, Lisa, this is a math joke competition. By
the way. The bar is underground. That’s how low the
bar is. My root beer in a square glass.
Now it’s just beer. Nice job, Nikki. Uh, Tina gave us this one. Why should the number 288 never be mentioned? ’cause it’s too gross. A gross. A gross is 144. Wait,
wait a second. The me the root beer joke is wrong because if you square something, it increases. It’s not, it doesn’t
make it singular. Well, it’s the square root.
I put my root.
Oh, I see. I’m in square glass. I’m hearing my beer was squared. Okay, that makes sense. Uh, apologies to the writer, root Beer. And for that, I’ll
vote for that one.
OG too gross versus, uh, root beer and a square Glass.
I’m with Doug C none of the above.
I like the two gross one. I think that’s pretty clever. It’s like a Google,
right? It’s, it’s an old term that you don’t really know. So I’ll go with that one too, I guess.
Look, the 15 seed is practically biblical. I mean, it’s like turning water into wine.
You’re turning root beer into beer. It wins automatically if you get booze outta the deal. That’s your winner.
We’re about to find out, uh, both winners getting a, uh, copy of Stacked and Entrance into our book club and to go vote on which one of these wonderful four jokes makes it to the next round, which do stack your Benjamins dot com slash basement.
Amy Minkley getting ready to join us in the basement. Amy, of course, is the host behind the Five Freedom Retreat, but her story goes a lot deeper than that, is somebody who’s, uh, worked abroad for a long time and had to come to terms with her own insecurities about money. Amy not only decided to join a community, she decided at a very, very quickly to create her own little niche as well in Bali of all places.
So we’re gonna hear from Amy in just a second, but to get there, Doug, I think we’ve got some, uh, we got a little trivia. We got some
trivia. Hey there, stackers. I’m Joe’s mom’s neighbor Doug on today’s date. In 1953, the Chevrolet Corvette made its debut at the GM Motorama Auto Show in New York. The car was an instant hit, although many auto enthusiasts didn’t consider it a legitimate sports car.
People have tried to say the same thing about El Camino’s, but I will not have it. Between how it handles and how the ladies react to it. It is definitely a sports car. I mean, look, if it weren’t a sports car, would the dealer have sold me matching driving gloves and windbreaker travel mug and that sweet hat, he told me they only make that kind of stuff for sports cars.
I actually considered getting a Corvette though for a while. Ultimately, I went with the El Camino for the bed in the back. I mean, I originally thought it’d be good for taking the lady stargazing, and believe me, it was, I mean, uh, it still is now. I mostly use it now just to help Joe’s mom with errands, you know?
I bet I’m the most helpful neighbor she’s ever had. Oh God, Lisa, that sounded so wrong. How many times do you have to tell you it matters where you put the italics? Geez, today’s trivia question is the first year Corvettes hit the market, they were only available in one color. What was that color? I’ll be back right after.
I see if Joe’s mom wants to catch a drive-in movie this weekend. Come on, Lisa as
Hey there, stackers. I’m car historian and Texarkana most helpful neighbor, Joe’s mom’s neighbor, Doug inspired by the Jaguars and Mgs he saw in Europe during World War ii. I swear to God, that’s how the Britts say that word. Designer Harley Earl convinced his higher ups at GM that it was time for America to manufacture its own affordable sports car.
You know, as a kid, I designed my Pinewood Derby car to be a sports car. That was when I first realized how much the ladies, like a guy who’s creative. You should have seen Billy Smith’s mom going on and on, practically drooling over my car and fawning over me and how my car was the only one she’d ever seen that could make it down the track with three wheels.
I’ve been like catting it for women ever since. And you know, before that too, today’s trivia question was the first year Corvettes hit the market, they were only available in one color. What was it? Well, if you waited until the second year, the Corvette was available in four colors. You could choose from Polo White pendant blue Sportsman red and OG Soul Black.
But our question, wait for the laughs. Wow. But the question was about the first year, and if you guessed that the only color a Corvette came in was white. You were so wrong because Corvettes were only available in Polo White. They’re probably not even next to each other on the color wheel. And now here to teach you how to build a community of friends who share your financial goals.
It’s today’s mentor, Amy Minkley,
and I’m super happy she’s back with US Mom’s basement. Amy Minkley ISS here. How are
you? Fantastic. So good to be here. Thank you for having me Joe.
I’m so happy to see you again. For people that don’t know, you and I were both in East Texas together and we got to have, uh, dinner together, like at this Mexican, what was that place?
and margaritas. That’s what I was, I, you know, when I live in Bali, one thing I miss, especially even more than Mexican food, is margaritas. So we had a few margaritas. We had a great time. It was great to see you and Cheryl and my partner Matthew was there.
So has Matthew had much, uh, Mexican food.
We have Mexican food in Bali, but it’s not the same as Tex-Mex. So yeah, when he comes to the US he also wants to get his Tex-Mex fix.
Good for him. Hey, when did you realize that you were probably financially independent? Well
really it wasn’t until I found the fire movement in, you know, 2020 during the midst of the pandemic.
You know, I’d been a good saver from childhood, from a money wound of my dad leaving and just an obsessive need to feel safe. It wasn’t coming from a healthy place at all, but I didn’t really have a purpose that I was saving for. I just always thought, you know, and that’s money. ’cause my mom, after my dad left, had realized she didn’t have enough money saved and she had depended on my father.
You know, I put money in investments, I read some investment books. I knew that I should do index funds, um, and I was always tracking my spending and my, my spreadsheets and every month and all of that. But it wasn’t until I found the fire movement and I learned about the 4% rule and I figured out how much money do I actually need to retire that I realized I was a lot better off than I thought I was.
’cause I thought I needed five or $6 million and I had it tracked out how long it was gonna take me to get there. Retiring in a traditional retirement age, right? But I had no idea until the fire movement. So thank goodness, because I was in a pattern of overworking and I wasn’t really happy with my life.
And so finding the fire movement and learning about how much money I needed to retire really helped to take a lot of pressure off of me and see a new possibility
for my life when we had the opportunity to come. Well, when you created the opportunity, we’ll get to that. For us to visit you in Bali, which was so wonderful.
Uh, Cheryl and I went to, as you know, a few of the different islands. A lot of our stackers might not know that Bali compared to other islands near Indonesia is very wealthy. But compared to the United States, as you know, Amy, it is much easier standard of living than here is. Does living in Bali really help you with financial independence?
Definitely it does. I mean, I think if I was, you know, US fired would be different than Bali fired. And, and at the time, you know, I discovered the fire movement when I was living in Bangkok in 2020, but I had taken two sabbatical years before that and I lived in Bali. And so I knew exactly because I track my expenses every month.
I was neurotic that way. So, um, I knew exactly how much it cost me to live in Bali. And so by knowing that, then I could really work backwards and say, okay, how much do I need for retirement? So, definitely helps me. I mean, I don’t live the most frugal life in Bali. We, you know, we eat out a lot. I spend on things that I deeply value.
I travel a lot as well, so I’m not leaving the cheapest volley existence, but I have such a good quality of life compared to if I was trying to have that same quality of life in the us.
Yeah. When you talk about tracking your expenses, do you use an app or just a spreadsheet?
I use a spreadsheet and I do it like a super simple, easy way where I just, you know, I look at, I pay off all my credit cards at the end of every month, and I look at what my bank balance is, and I do it just kind of that way.
How much money did I pull out of the ATM? How much money did I spend on credit cards? Add that all together and then I know how much I spent in the month. You know, based on what changes I’ve seen in my bank balance. So that’s, that’s the easy way I do, I don’t write down every single thing I bought. And I think that’s a great strategy, you know, in the beginning, but it’s not sustainable for me
Like write it as you’re buying it. Like literally take a thing out and write. I bought gum. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Some people, you’re
right. So people do, and I think it’s, I think it’s a great way to get started and it’s a good experiment to do for a little bit of time to kind of realize if money is leaking out of your budget that you don’t realize.
But because I’m naturally pretty frugal and I’ve tracked it long enough, I kind of have an idea. And so I don’t write down each item anymore. I just kind of do the end of the month thing and see how much I spend each
month. Yeah, it’s still that, that time when you get really intentional though, and you write down everything and people that are hanging out with Amy and I right now, haven’t done that.
And you’re here because you’re worried about where every dollar’s going. And you’re not sure do exactly what Amy’s talking about because if you do that for a little while, Amy, to your point, that’s great. I have a point about that budget stuff, but I wanna couple it with something else that really surprised me when you and I spoke, uh, at the end of your retreat in Bali.
So I presented this stuff about the efficient frontier and about maybe, you know, a little bit more complex investing. And I was shocked that somebody that was financially independent, you had never heard of the efficient frontier. You didn’t know anything about any of that. Well, I
heard about it first from you, from your book when I read your book, but I didn’t know about it until I read your book.
So, you know, and then having, you know, I’ve heard you explain on podcasts and then also, you know, at the retreat explaining it and seeing it, seeing it more visually. Whereas mostly I’d heard about it and read about it, you know, was, was very helpful. But yeah, admittedly, I still, you know, I have probably too many, um, target date funds in my, in my portfolio, just ’cause I did that a long time ago when I didn’t know any better when I was just starting out.
I still need to do some work on that to make sure, you know, I’m thinking about
in a, yeah, but Amy, I wanna talk about the opposite. Mm-Hmm. You know, we talk about some geeky stuff like that. I get into the geekiness and I think that, yeah, okay, there’s things we can do better, but you’re financially independent.
You’re living this fantastic life and you didn’t have to do brain surgery. I mean, what you did was brought in more money than you spent and saved, and you saved into wide indexes. And I think that’s a great message for people to hear.
Yeah, and I mean, it was just purely luck of different traumas from my childhood that caused me to do that.
It wasn’t like I was a smart, you know, 20-year-old or anything like that. I mean, I, I, you’re the only
person I know. By the way, Amy is literally one of the only people I know that says I was lucky to have some trauma. But any,
I mean it, you know, when you can really, and getting back to, I mean, one of the things I really try to practice is gratitude.
But when I look back at things that were hard. In my life, and maybe some listeners can relate to this, and, you know, it doesn’t apply to everything. ’cause I know there’s, there’s really hard things that people go through. But, but at least in my own experience in my life, when I look at some of the hardest things I went through and how that made me who I am today, I’m grateful.
You know, I’m grateful. My, my dad left and didn’t pay child support for a lot of years, and my mom and I struggled financially, you know, because I really had to learn to budget, I had to pay for college and all of that. And those taught me some amazing lessons. And so, really, I don’t know that I would change it if I, if I could go back, you know?
And the point is that I, you know, I, I guess I want listeners to, I know people are at all different places on their financial journey, so my heart always goes out to people who feel like, you know, I wish I would’ve started earlier. And so I don’t want people to look at me and think, oh yeah, she started so young.
You know? And, and really it wasn’t because I was smart, it was just because of the unique mix of things that happened to me in childhood that made me focused on savings. I
just think it’s exciting that you don’t have to get everything right. You don’t have to do the perfect thing. You don’t have to track every expense and Mm-Hmm.
And you can be okay. By the way, did you ever reconcile with your dad?
Yes. Yeah. Fully. I mean, I, and this makes me a little emotional, but you know, my dad for a lot of years, you know, he ran off with a younger woman and kind of did the midlife crisis thing and I was angry because we struggled a lot financially.
He also, I have to really hand it to him in his mid sixties, 20 years after he left, he really did some personal growth work and really realized what he had done and apologized to my mom and I and paid my mom $80,000 a back child support. Like, just wrote her a check overnight. Wow. Yeah. And, um, you know, I, I’m so grateful for who he is today, and I just know he had, he lives with that guilt of feeling like he hurt his family.
And, you know, I, I also understand, you know, he was going through a lot of the time, like he had a open heart surgery and he didn’t have a lot of counseling and he had unresolved relationship with his father. And so there’s, I can look back at his own childhood and see what factors contributed to his desire for, you know, he thought he was gonna die soon and he wanted to have a more adventurous life.
I don’t know, I just, I have a lot of compassion for him and I know he has to live with that guilt still. So we have a great relationship now, and yeah, I am really grateful for, he taught me a lot of valuable lessons, you know, not only mistakes he made, but also he did a lot of wonderful things. You know, like anybody, he’s a very nuanced person that I, I’ve learned a lot of positive things from him as well.
Wow. His apology though, at first must have been hard to accept.
I don’t think it was because I think he came from a really genuine place. Like he, for the first time, he really got it. He didn’t try to make excuses, he didn’t put the blame on anybody else. He really came from a place of, you know, I’m sorry for all of these things.
And really getting the impact and then taking time to ask us, you know, was there any, any other impacts that I missed. And then really thanking us for, you know, all the things that he, he, he apologized to everyone, you know, each of my sisters individually, my mom, my grandmother, and my aunt. So, you know, everybody in the family.
So I just, I really have to hand it to him for, for being the bigger person and creating a healing in my family.
When you and I first met, it was at this event called, uh, campfire and in fact, you were on our microphone telling a little bit of your story on Campfire, which, uh, speaking of gratitude, I’m grateful that you, you did that then, but you told your story then, but I didn’t know until later that even at that time you hadn’t been really in a great place.
Like you were just starting, I think, to get into a really good place. What had been going on and how did Camp Phi kind of help you change that?
Yeah, I think just to back up a little bit, you know, I think that I lived these two sabbatical years in Bali and I had the time of my life and I met my, I’ve been single 16 years, and I met my partner there and I was joyful.
I mean, riding, you know, riding my scooter through the rice patties, just living my dream life. And I took a job and I went back to my previous profession, international school teaching, uh, only for money. And I went back into an old pattern of overworking. And really the job wasn’t that bad. It was all my neurosis and my relationship to the job, you know, where I, I was overworking.
I had anxiety, I had depression. So I was waking up at three in
the morning. It wasn’t outside Amy. It was just all inside you. Yes,
exactly. I mean, really, honestly. You know, it wasn’t like I had a toxic boss or toxic coworkers or I don’t know, it was, it was an imposter syndrome. Like I felt like this international school, so many people wanna work there.
It’s hard to get a job there. Somehow I hadn’t taught for two years. I felt like I needed to go into my old pattern of how am I successful in life? I overwork to prove that I’m worthy. And so I was doing that thing where I was waking up at three in the morning and just Matthew was like, who are you?
You’re not Bali Amy anymore. You’re this neurotic, overworker anxious person. So yeah, it was nothing really to do with the job, but just really my relationship to the job and, and knowing that I’d kind of turned my, my back on my best life out of fear just to go and make money.
But people have often these aha moments when they’re there, like something shakes them.
Was it Matthew saying, who the hell are you? Like what kind of shook you outta that Amy?
It was a combination of things. It was finding the fire movement and really understanding my numbers and realizing I’m better off than I think I am. It was my father’s stroke. Mm-Hmm. And, you know, I’d been abroad for, since 2001.
I would go home regularly, like three weeks every Christmas and three weeks, every summer, six weeks a year. But still, you know, now that my parents are in their eighties and having, seeing his stroke and knowing that six weeks a year isn’t enough for me wanting to be home more and wanting to have more flexibility about when I could go home.
And I think seeing that best life and knowing what that looked like also really helped and gave me motivation. And then the support of the fire community was really instrumental. So these relationships that I built as well, like I’m, one of my first relationships was with, um, Brad Barrett’s brother Scott Barrett, who I met in person.
And he was talking to me when I was living in Bangkok about my numbers. And, you know, just such a nice guy to sit there and counsel me through, you know, my job and should I, should I work an additional year? Those kind of questions that I was grappling with at the time. People
who, dunno who Brad Barrett is.
He’s the host of the Choose Fi podcast. And maybe the nicest human being, uh, besides you and me, that’s, uh, unearth.
Of course. Yeah. And Doc g you know, I mean, we, we can’t even start with all the, all those amazing nice people in, in the PI community, but yes. Yeah, he is. And his brother is super nice too. So that was, you know, I appreciate the support.
I went home after the campfire where you and I went. You kept going to events, like you became an event junkie. Amy, why was it, it was just feeding you that much?
It was, and I mean, like you said, Joe, I was still in coming out of that period where it was, you know, I had been in some depression and anxiety.
Yeah, anxiety. Um, leaving my job was really scary for me. So when, when we met, I had just left my job, just moved, you know, came back to the US for a brief period of time. You know, someone sat down with me on that Sunday night, um, Alma, who runs Camp Mustache, and really, I. Looked at my numbers with me, looked through my spreadsheet, talked with me about my money, fears, and just getting that kind of one-on-one personal support that you get in an in-person event like Camp Phi, um, was huge.
You were building
confidence. Yes. ’cause it’s scary. I mean, it was, it was super scary for me to walk away from my job and I still felt, you know, a little wobbly on those, those new, new legs of mine. How did you do it? I mean, I guess, you know, just really doing the fear setting work. Really looking at, okay, what’s the worst case scenario?
I can always go back to my job, you know, and I’ve taken sabbatical years before, you know, I took a year after Japan and I took two years after living in India, when I lived in Bali. Um, so I’d taken three sabbatical years previously. So I knew like, okay, even if I take sabbatical years, I’m always able to get a job afterwards.
So I think I had that in the back of my head, like, I’m gonna quit and I think this is gonna be the last time, but I can always go back. So I think that helped me a
lot. Did you then like make a phone call to your boss? Did you write to them like, oh, that is
another story. That is another story. This was personally embarrassing to me at the time.
I had major one more year syndrome. I had a wall of fear, first of all, just to give you a little bit of background, you know, you take these international school jobs and the benefits are. Incredible. I mean, they, I, I was very fortunate. They pay for your living expenses. They pay for, you know, it’s fully furnished housing.
And so really I could save my entire salary. Wow. So that was, it’s very tempting. You know, it was kinda like the golden handcuffs. But, um, as soon as I got there in August for the beginning of the school year, I have to make a decision. November 1st, do I wanna say a second year? And even though I was miserable, I was in midst of depression and anxiety, I decided to renew just for the money for the second year.
And so I was looking at a year and a half in advance that I was gonna continue to be there in this miserable situation. And then I went away to Australia for Christmas break with my partner. And, uh, I really got some space away from the job. And I realized like, the way I’m operating in this job, I can’t do this anymore.
made a big mistake. Mm-Hmm.
And so I broke contract, which was. Really scary. Like I had signed this contract on November 1st for the following year and I went in after Christmas break and I said, I don’t wanna work this second job this second, sorry the second year. And um, I was worried I was gonna be blacklisted from the international school teaching community, you know, no other international school in my future will ever wanna hire me.
’cause it’s kind of a small community Right. She doesn’t keep her commitments. Right, exactly. It was very scary. But at that time I really needed to face the fear of, you know, looking bad. What everybody would think about me. You know, I’m flip-flopping, I’m changing my mind and I broke contract and somehow when I did that, things got better that second semester.
Like I learned how to balance my, I think it’s always. When I start a new job for, at least for me, it’s, it’s hard in the beginning ’cause it’s all new curriculum, you know, you’re trying to build your reputation a new place. But the second semester felt much better and then later they, they hired me back for that second year.
So I ended up doing the second year. Wow. Yeah. So I went through this, I mean, I made it so much harder on myself to, you know, sign the contract, break the contract, ended up taking it again and then doing that full second year. But I was much happier, you know, the later part of my job, it got
That’s fabulous. Why then the transition? So these different events help you build confidence. Why the transition then to create your own event?
I felt like there’s so many opportunities for Americans to attend these events in the US but I didn’t see anything on my side of the world. So I wanted to create, you know, there’s, there’s Meetup groups of people who get together, choose a five meetup groups, mustache groups in Australia, the community isn’t as big in Australia or Asia.
So I wanted to create an opportunity for people to really see what is the power of a multi-day event. When you can go deeper with people, when you can really get vulnerable in a way that you can’t do online in a forum, or often people don’t do, or at least I don’t do that. So I really saw the benefit when I was at Campfire and like you said, I signed up for, you know, I went to nine events in 18 months.
So like I love the community, so I wanted to create that opportunity for community, for people on that side of the world. And I also felt that. You know, having spent many years abroad, something new happens when you go to a new country. And for me at least, I’ve changed incredibly my, I’ve got a new perspective on the world.
I look at my life differently. And so I also thought it could be a great opportunity for Americans to reflect on their life differently by being in a new culture as well.
You not only then do that. Well, let me speak to that first, Amy, because you know, for me, going last year I get coaching from the scoop called strategic coaches.
Amy and I are recording this. I just got back yesterday. It’s just a short 48 hours away from mom’s basement. And it is wonderful because I’m away. I am in a separate spot with a group of like-minded individuals. And because I’m not in that normal grind that I have, I’m able to really focus on what’s important to me.
And it amplifies so much when you’re halfway around the world being that far where it truly is a commitment to get there. It was a like a 32 hour commitment to get there. I in economy class too, which I also don’t recommend, just your ability to focus on what’s my life about is so much bigger. So for me, like I’m ready to do that because I’m in this.
Place because I’m in Bali with you, but you also organized the event differently to really focus more on purpose and on life direction. We began this discussion with me talking about the efficient frontier. I think I was the only person that got into money nerdery. Like there was mentions of money, but I think my kickoff presentation was the only one that really went there.
Why so little about money and why so much about life and direction.
Yeah, great question. I mean, I poll all the people who bought tickets. So people bought tickets before they knew who the speakers were, and I poll them about what topics they wanted to hear about. And it was interesting that this, and I still made the cut.
Of course you made the cut. Everybody loves you, you’re so community oriented. But, uh, but yeah, I mean that’s, I feel like this year, and it may, it won’t necessarily always be that way, but this year the participants who were coming were really interested in post fi topics, contribution, you know, living your best fi life was the, the number one topic that they voted on was living their best post fi life.
They weren’t as interested in talking about the nuts and bolts of money because a lot of them had already figured that out. Uh, so they really wanted to talk about living life, well, how they spend their time, what, you know, building their legacy, those kind of topics. So I think it will really vary each year based on the participants who come and what they vote on in the survey.
But I’m very interested in, in designing something that. Really speaks to the needs that they have.
But it also, your speaker lineup was different as well though. I mean, it was, you had a woman speak, a wonderful woman who leads like outdoor, like outward bound kind of stuff as as one of our speakers. She was amazing.
Yeah, and I mean, I thought she’s run. Dozens of, you know, 60 plus person events for years. And so I just, I also wanted her experience, this is my first event running an event for 45 people. So I also thought she’s great, she’s motivational, she speaks a lot about purpose, that’s her jam. And people are interested to talk about purpose.
And then she had a lot of experience running big events. So that was part of the reason I chose her. But Marley was incredible. Yeah, I agree. And I, you know, I wanted to have an Australian speaker there, and Lacey Philippic came, you know, she’s the author of Money School. She was great. Super funny.
Hilarious. Yes, very funny. So I was really pleased. I, I got really good feedback on all of you guys. I was really pleased with, with the speakers.
It was great. And with the spiritual theme, Lisa Peterson joining us as well. And by the way, Marley Williams has a, if you’re interested in her brand of leadership, she has a new podcast out too, which we’ll link to in the show notes, which is was really cool to see.
Yeah, I think it’s called the Let’s Lead Together. I
think everything though, Amy felt congruent, like the place, can you describe. The place where you have this retreat, I think that the place also lended so much to the overall experience.
Yeah. Well I had it in my home, which is Ubud and which is the cultural heart of Bali.
You know, it’s an artistic place, it’s a spiritual home. A lot of people come there for detox yoga. So it’s a lovely place. And we had it in a gorgeous hotel with rice patties in the middle. Uh, there’s little geese walking around and lots of, you know, animals. They’ve got a little small farm there. It’s really a beautiful hotel.
I just loved the, you know, the old Banyan tree and the temple on the grounds. And so the, the place had a great energy. You know, I looked at 64 venues, like I’m very thorough before I chose that place, and I was. Super happy with the, with the hotel, with the food, with the service. I mean, Bai services outstanding.
And then there were so many opportunities just right outside the hotel to go and do things. So we were able to walk to the monkey forest, go see the, the fire dance at night. I mean, we could get buses and do bigger excursions, which we did during the retreat, but we also got to do a lot of things just walking out and getting a massage during our break time.
So that made it really nice too. It was
so, there were so many good places to eat, such a wide range of absolutely great food. You know, the culture very much had a, has a, and. I don’t know if, if a lot of, uh, our stackers know this, the place just, it, it exudes spirituality. Like you just feel it. And there’s this guy, Ken Dewald, when I was at American Express, he worked with us on, uh, longevity and aging and talking about issues that people have in longevity and aging.
And one big thing, Amy, that he pointed out, which I think is true of a lot of people, is that when somebody reaches this quote, finish line of retirement or financial independence, they have about 18 months of exoneration of things are great. And then this. Is this, it feeling like it is almost universal, like all of these people.
So it was amazing that we’re having this talk about what is it all about and how do I live my best life in this place That is so about the Hindu religious stuff all around, all around you. Like the place just exudes. You really need to give more thought to this. I went there and this isn’t even a question.
I’m supposed to be asking questions and I’m, and I’m not. You’re fine. But, but it just, it just exudes that, that feeling in the discussions we have. This has gotta be, I mean, there’s always gonna be a part of this at the Five Freedom Retreat, I would think.
Yeah, I mean, I think that that’s an interest of mine is mindfulness and like living intentionally and, and really thinking about purpose and contribution.
And, and the bies have influenced me so much. You know, the, the way they are focused on family and community and the way that they show up. I mean, they are so present. I feel like I learn from them every day. Just the way they make eye contact, the way they’re really there. You know, you go places where you see people and they got the fake smile for the tourists, but I feel like the balanis come from so much heart and really that’s what why I fell in love with, you know, Bali in particular.
I’ve lived in Asia and I love the whole region. I’ve traveled a lot and other continents as well. But there is something special about the Bolonese people and what they’ve created on that island. You know, even though there’s a lot of tourists there, they’ve really maintained their culture. I think that that’s what makes it special and, and I think coming to Bali, that’s, yeah, there’s no way I could not have an element that really honored the bolonese and the culture and, and what they’ve built
It’s one thing to be a participant, it’s another to decide to make your own impact. And I think impact is a good word. ’cause I think each of us, especially after financial independence, is kind of what we’re trying to do is, is figure out where, where we can have an impact. How is having having this retreat changed the game for you?
You don’t need the money from a retreat. You’re not trying to get wealthy off of hosting retreats for people. How does this impact affect your life?
It brings a lot of excitement to my life because I love Bali and I love showing off Bali and I love the PHI community and I wanna connect with the PHI community and create an amazing experience for them and create something that is transformational, not just a fun event where we explore Bali and they see the culture, but actually, you know, create the space where they can deeply reflect on their life outside of their life, as you say, where, where they’ve got the space to, to look at different ways of living and different, you know, we, we had people who came and thought, wow, maybe, you know, maybe I wanna move to Alia, I wanna move to Asia.
This is, they saw a potential retirement idea for them, their own post-fight life. You know, I feel like it creates a lot of excitement, you know, and Bali, I, I am busy ’cause there’s a lot of amazing things I can do there every day. Like there’s a lot of expats who live there and the IESs are great and there’s lots of classes I can do every day.
But if I was only going to yoga and I was only doing all these me focused kind of. Fun things that I enjoy but not doing anything outside of that. I think there’s a monotony there with that would set in. Like I do want to have an impact beyond just creating a great life for myself.
I think, I dunno, I get this feeling, this event creates a great life for you.
Do you ever feel old Amy coming back When you talk about Amy who stresses over being the best and being super and being too much, you know, there was a guy, our wonderful friend, Kevin Esia, who is at the retreat, he talks about too much. Kevin, is there ever too much Amy? I.
I don’t know. You have to answer that, Joe.
Did you? Well, what I, I guess what I’m asking is, you were in your head, right? I mean, you really got into your head. Do you find that old loop beginning to replay?
Oh, definitely. Yes. Like, I mean, as far as overworking my old pattern of overworking, I, you know, I did that in my job, you know, going to the, into detail of everything that I did and spending way more time on sometimes things that didn’t matter because I’m a perfectionist, recovering perfectionist.
I’m trying to work on it, but it’s still a work in progress. Um, and I found the same with the retreat, you know, that I kept thinking, you know, I wanna make this retreat amazing. So I’m gonna, you know, I’m gonna add biking adventures and rafting adventures and climbing a volcano. And then we’re gonna, you know, have a cooking class and jewelry making class, and we’re gonna have all these things.
We’re gonna go to Sustainable Tourism Village in a waterproof fridge. Purification ceremony and then we’re gonna go to the beach and then we’re gonna go to the island. And I mean, it, it was way more than the five day event that I was with participants until two extra weeks after the event ended. I did, I, you know, I worked really hard, especially during the retreat.
I felt like I was running around a bit. And next year I hope I can be more like a little bit more present and slow down a little
bit. That’s what I was gonna ask. How do you start putting guardrails on that? ’cause you don’t want that, right?
You know, honestly, Joe, I think it comes from a place of fear.
Like, I think I’ve struggled with confidence so much in my life and this, the way that I overcome that is I overwork, you know, to make sure everything’s perfect so that therefore I feel worthy. And I think there’s still a part of me that. Still does that same old pattern from childhood. But I think, you know, having that first retreat and having, getting such incredible feedback and feeling really positive about it, I, I realize I don’t have to go to that length of, you know, of detail with everything.
’cause otherwise it won’t be sustainable for me to continue
to do this. Yeah. It’s so funny how we always, you know, these check-ins that we have, like I’ve mentioned my coaching once a quarter, like I find myself falling back into the same thing. It’s so, it’s so important to have people around you that can show you the mirror.
You know, is this what you really want? And man, I don’t know, Amy, I just hear you even talk about it. I hear your excitement and I just get excited every time I think about being there. And think about all the great times we had at the retreat and all the life changing I saw around me and me. You saw me at the end.
I was a fricking mess. I couldn’t stop. I’m not like, I’m not crying, you’re crying. Like I, I could not stop. I don’t know if, if, if ending on crying is a great place to. To end. Those are tears of joy. Everybody I was having, agra I was, and I’m not even kidding. It was beautiful. If people want to dive into maybe this year’s retreat, where do they
So they can go to phi freedom retreats.com. So it’s Phi Fi, uh, financial Independence, freedom Retreats. plural.com tickets went on sale last week, January 13th. So listeners can go and sign up, read all about the tickets and what adventures we’re gonna have pre and post retreat and sign up for the mailing list to know about retreats in future years.
If November 1st through fifth, which is the retreat this year, if that those dates don’t work for them, then they can get on the mailing list at the footer of the page and know about
future events. And if you’ve got questions about it too, feel free to email me, Joe at stacky Benjamins dot com. ’cause I’d be happy to answer any questions that people have.
Uh, and obviously Amy, they can, they can ask you as well. I’m sure. I’m sure. Don’t ask
Amy. Yeah, they can go to my contact page. Contact page because Jeff’s not busy at all, right?
I, oh my goodness. It’s, and make sure you sign up soon because you don’t wanna regret the fact that, uh, that Amy closed it ’cause it’s too many people.
Got in before you. Yeah,
last year tickets went really fast. And I mean, I think that’s because so many people know me in the community because I’ve been to so many fire events, so I don’t really, I’m not great about, you know, promoting and, you know, putting on social media, but just, just because I’ve got good friends in this community, they’re super supportive.
that’s ’cause you’re super supportive and you know, you can hear the impact you’re making from other people and I can always hear the gratitude in your voice for the, for all the great stuff. Amy, you surround yourself with Amy. Thanks a ton for being our mentor today, helping us think about mindfulness and the fact that you don’t have to be, even though you still struggle with this yourself.
I mean, just getting to financial independence and not having to be perfect asset allocation, tracking every dollar, even though you frugal tendencies is just so great. Thank you so much.
Thank you Joe. And thank you for the content that you’re putting out in the world. And thank you for your support. I’m so blessed.
I was loved having it. The retreat, you’re there every night playing games with us.
It was a blast. I was entertaining me. Come on. Hey, this is John in Seattle, and when I’m not telling terrible dad jokes to anyone who will listen,
I’m Stacking Benjamins.
Huge thanks to Amy for joining us. And you know what?
Just another sign that it makes sense to get involved in your community, Lisa, I would have to imagine that in, in the comedy, in the comedy world, it’s gotta be way smaller than it appears in the outside. Do you see kind of the same group of people all the time? Kind of.
I mean, I try to remember as many people as I can and there’s seemingly thousands of us, but I It’s a spectrum.
Yeah. There’s some people that are doing comedy and there’s some people that are doing comedy.
I feel, I feel like her eyes are burning into our soul.
Into our faces.
This whole joke off thing you did. I would cut that. Yeah. But I do think community’s important. And by the way, this, uh, trivia of Dougs, I know, uh, you know a little bit about, uh, late model cars. Yeah. My
dad is a big Corvette guy. He has a, or he had a 61 and he gave it to my brother.
I, I don’t understand that. I’m the only girl that doesn’t make any sense to me. I don’t understand why he’s getting it. Um, and so I just randomly know some things about Corvettes
out of sheer bitterness. Well, that, that goes back to, uh, rolling him off. That goes back to rolling him off the end of the dock.
Oh, yeah. He’s not even gonna get to the end of his life. He is, he’s got till next Christmas. I’m rolling him.
He’s, Hey dad, let’s go for a walk down by the lake. Uh, yes. If you only would’ve done the Corvette the right way, Hey, time for us to answer a stacker question. Time that you better call Saul. See, hi and og.
Uh, today’s show. We are taking a call of a stacker. Head to stacky Benjamins dot com slash voicemail for your question. Who’s calling? Saul, see? Hi and OG today. It is Scott. Hey Scott.
Hey, Doug, Joe and OG Scott from Oregon here. And I’ve got a question for Joe’s mom, since she’s apparently the only one that does anything productive instead of wasting her time in a basement, fooling around on the internet.
Whoa. Hey. But she’s probably doing adult things and too busy to answer my question, so if you guys have to take this one, I guess that’ll do. I’m a big fan of using the Coverdale ESA to save for future educational expenses. So my question is, why is the annual contribution limit for ESA has been stuck at 2K for so long?
And why doesn’t the contribution limit of this education savings vehicle get revised or increased periodically? Similar to what’s done for retirement savings vehicles like the Roth IRA or 401k. We’ve seen education costs skyrocketed over the last decade plus, and with recent inflation spikes, it seems like ESA contribution limits should be increased as well.
Any thoughts as to why the contribution limit is still stuck at 2K? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Oh, and I’d love a size small shirt for my future college kid. Sure. Beats signing up for a lame credit card to get a free T-shirt.
Thanks guys. Nice. I like your thinking, Scott. Thanks for that. And actually, Scott, you know what?
Because you were talking about how OG Doug and I never get anything done, it’s actually why we have Lisa Curry here today. Lisa, why’s the why’s the covered LESA been stuck at $2,000? Can you explain that for us? I
slipped into a coma, like 10 words in
no idea. Lisa, isn’t that what keeps you up at night?
I, yeah. Yeah. I dropped outta college. So that’s my advice to anyone that’s frustrated about how expensive college is.
And then you don’t worry about the cover Dell, you
don’t worry about it. You go to the public library, that’s free. You just, uh, you know, choose your own adventure with your, the information you’re putting
into your head.
There it is. Thank you for the question. Scott, if you’ve got a question for
oh gee, why has it, I think this one’s above our pay grade, but uh, do you have any, heard any information about why the hell everything else goes up? Roth RA goes up 401k contribution, like all of your retire. Why the hell is this thing stuck in neutral? Well, I think that some
of it has to do with, I’m just spit balling.
This is my complete guess. Number one, write your congressperson. So like if you wanted to change, uh, you know, talk to the people who can make a change. But my guess is, is that it falls under the umbrella of the rich get richer and it doesn’t really benefit anybody because there’s income limits for covered de accounts.
You can see how the differences between 5 29 plans and covered des, where there’s no income limits and what has happened with what’s happened with those 5 29 plans match the gifting allotment, which. Go up every year and with a 5 29, you can pull it forward five years. So you can do like five years worth of contributions in a 5 29 all at one time.
And then you can go, but I have a spouse and she would like to do five years of contributions all at one time. You know what I mean? Like you can layer this many ways. Yeah. And the same thing is true with retirement accounts. You know, most people look at the five or their 401k and say, well, the 401k max is 23,000, and last year was 22 5, so it only went at 500 bucks.
Yeah. But on the top end of that, you can do 70 k, right? And then you can do a defined pension plan. So like all of that weird, esoteric stuff is limited to basically your imagination and how much money you have where, and there’s no, you know, there’s some upward limits, but not a ton. The cover Dell account and Roth IRAs and traditional IRAs and simple IRAs, the easy stuff for normal people to get access to is limited by income.
I guess maybe people think, the government thinks like, why would anybody wanna save more than two grand? Because if you’re qualifying for this, you, I think the limit is 190 k of income. So maybe they just assume that you don’t have enough money to save more. I don’t know. It is kind of weird, but I would say, why not use a 5 29 instead of a cover Dell?
And you’ve got an opportunity there to put more in there. There’s some, you know, a few differences, but it’s the only true
opportunity around the cover Dell if you wanna pay for like, um, K through 12 costs. Yeah.
That’s really the biggest advantage of a cover Dell account is that you can use it for K through 12 private costs.
it sounds to me like if David Coverdale had spent a little less time being the lead singer, a white snake, and a little more time focused on building a good product. Yeah. People would use this more.
Yeah. ’cause every time somebody asks Scott’s question, everybody goes, here we go again. Is this love.
That I’m feeling
exactly right. No. Yes.
Back to Lisa’s point, some people are doing comedy
and some people are doing it. Yeah.
Listen, it’s tough. You gotta work on it for a long time.
The whole COVERDALE thing is difficult. It’s a different type
of account too. I mean, it’s not a state security, it’s a regular brokerage account instead.
And you know, so there’s some differences in terms of inve investing options and there’s some nuances there. But yeah, I might, I might just try to do a little bit
of both. Explore 5 29 plans if possible. Scott, if it meets your goal, a great place to look at the, at, uh, 5 29 plans and compare them is called Saving for college.com.
We’re not affiliated with that site. They just have a, a very good rating service to help you look if there’s anything in your state that will like a tax break for using the one in your state, what the fees look like versus other states. Because even if you live in, let’s say Indiana, you can use any state in the unions 5 29 plan as long as they accept
and you can use some of your 5 29 for higher education costs in high school too.
Like a limited amount. It’s 10 K, but you know it’s not zero. So, you know, you can kinda ladder both.
Ken. Awesome. Uh, thanks for the question, Scott. And we do have the swag code coming your way from moms Frank Gertrude. If you’ve got a question for us, we’ll send you swag two, uh, stuckey Benjamins dot com slash voicemail.
If you by the way, have questions that are not just, why is the contribution so low on a coverdale ESA, the thing that keeps Lisa Curry up all night long? If your question is, how do I do better financially over time, OG and his team are taking clients. So head to stacky Benjamins dot com slash og that’s linked to OG and his team’s calendar so that you can work on making Better Money Moves in 2024 and beyond.
Stacky Benjamins dot com slash og. All right, time for the last segment of the show, Lisa, we call this the back porch where we talk about what else is going on. One thing I watched a couple weeks ago, Lisa wa was, was this disaster. They call the, uh, golden Globes and, uh oh yeah, and our host. Might have had a, a little bit of a difficulty there when Taylor Swift gave him the evil eye, but looking behind that, you know, he said that he only had, what, 10 days to prepare.
Mm-Hmm. For that, like how hard would it be to get up on that st. Like would most comedians bomb in that setting?
I think most comedians can’t handle that. I think where he went wrong was, there’s a lot of times people come in at the last minute, 10 days before, a week before, that’s not new. The writers had been writing for quite a while.
They present him with different jokes to choose from. He was doing a press tour leading up to it, which is understandable. And I don’t know how much he was getting up, but I know like if Chris Rock is hosting something, he comes into town and runs all of his jokes ahead of time at clubs to see what hits and what doesn’t.
So it seems like he didn’t do that and it felt watching it, it felt like. Especially when he threw his writers under the bus. Oh, that
was horrible. Yeah, that was really bad. The comedian here is Joe Coy that we’re talking about, by the way. Yeah.
Which, listen, if you’re listening, Joe, I would love to open for you.
seems like what he did was, he’s so used to his own, he’s built up a humongous audience over his career, and that’s. Who he plays to all the time is this audience that loves him no matter what. And I think he just absolutely was completely unprepared to go into a room where people are not happy with what he said.
Of course, Taylor Swift isn’t gonna like that. You’re taking a dig at her. Keep it moving. Who caress? Ricky Gervais hosted three years in a row. Like the reason he kept coming back was ’cause he just didn’t care and just kept the jokes coming and kept the show
moving along. Well, I love how Ricky made that part of his thing.
I mean, what I loved about Ricky hosting was, was Ricky would go, oh yeah, sneer at me. I don’t care. He, I mean, he said that on the microphone, I don’t sneer at me. Please God do and you can’t care you. You just
can’t. I never hear. He said, this is my last year doing it. And then they kept inviting him back.
A lot of people calling for Tina Fey and uh, Amy Poer to come back and do it.
I feel like we could try other people too. I like them. I like them a lot. But it is kind of frustrating to see the same people get opportunities again and again and again. And I think. Joe Coy was them taking a chance. And then I, I don’t think he just shut the bed for himself. I think he, he did it on behalf of a lot of people that now aren’t gonna get, that they won’t take a chance on, well,
this is the first year, by the way, that they had comedy, standup comedy special as a Golden Globe.
Mm-Hmm. Award. Jim Gaffigan was the presenter of that award. Jim Gaffigan, his, his best joke was the Golden Globes have been on for 88 years. This is the first year you invite the talented people. And that’s when, that was actually the joke that Taylor Swift laughed at. Like, Taylor was like, oh, that’s funny stuff.
And yeah, her being another outsider in that room. Right. So yeah, that was good. But then you look at that lineup, Lisa, again, to your point, it was a bunch of people. I remember one person saying, it’s a list of comedians that like your parents would love.
Billy Crystal, that’s another big go-to, or had been a big go-to.
And I, I think that there’s just so many comics that are so good and could handle that room and wouldn’t take it personally. And it’s, it’s a bummer to see that he stumbled so much and also threw his writers under the bus that I’m not, that I would like to see. Now he’s on another press tour to talk about how his feelings are hurt about people not liking the job he did.
Which God, God bless that. Um. I wanna, I want the writers to go on a press tour.
Yeah. It’s really interesting, Lisa, maybe, I mean, I didn’t go in depth and read a lot of articles, but the one or two that I did scan, I don’t remember seeing anywhere where they talked about there were writers providing Joe Coy with options and he chose, I didn’t know that was the process.
Is that pretty typical? Yeah. So he’s taken the hit for this and he probably, you’re saying not much of the material was his original stuff? Uh, well,
they have a whole writing staff, and the thing is like, you can come in and write all of your own jokes if you’d like to, but they also have a staff providing a ton of jokes for you to choose from.
So you could tweak it and make it yours, or you can come in, you could not use any of it or use all of it. We should
about doing that. Joe.
Well, Doug, he Doug, he literally said to Lisa’s point, he said, wow, you laughed at that one. The one I actually wrote. Oh. It was horrible. Lame. It was so bad. I mean, awful.
We’ve got the opposite here. Our writers throws us under the bus, like nonstop. Like it’s the reverse of that. It’s pretty incredible. But I was seriously, I mean, oh gee, we play a bunch of Nate Tze here. He’s not that far out. Incredible. But he’s not that far out in the wilderness. Why his special wasn’t nominated or somebody who, you know, might’ve just come around in the last couple years.
’cause I saw, or yeah, no offense to Chris Rock and Wanda Sykes and some of the people that were, but these people have been around for 25 years. Mm-Hmm. You know, to get somebody like Napper Gatti’s only been around for 10 and maybe,
yeah. It’s like Stacking Benjamins winning yet another FinCon award.
That’s right. Yes. More, more eyeball right there. Yeah. Lisa, before you go out on a stage, how nervous are you?
Almost never. Unless, unless somebody I admire is watching. Like I, I was opening for Jim Jeffries for a long while and I am, I was genuinely a fan of his before I started working for him. And,
um, or working with him.
I thought you were gonna say before you started working with us, she was terrified before todays show.
Yeah, exactly. That’s right.
And uh, when I would open for him, sometimes he would watch my set from the wings and I was like, get, go in the green room. Get outta here. Yeah. Because he would make me so nervous and like he was always kind.
I had a friend of mine is a drummer and years ago Dave Grohl came out to see him play. Oh God. And I was like, oh my God, that must’ve been so incredible. And he goes, it was the worst day of my life. Yeah. I was so nervous.
I believe it. It’s like,
if you know they’re there, I would rather never know that somebody’s, somebody big is in the audience until I’m done.
So Doug, if you come to my show, don’t tell me beforehand.
Speaking of Doug, then what about hecklers speaking like, like speaking Doug? What of Doug, what comedians really think about that drunk person who decides that it’s a,
speaking of Doug,
it’s a comedy special made for two.
Um, look, every once in a while if somebody sit, I, I haven’t had really bad hecklers.
I mostly get drunk women that are shouting out in, uh, support of me or so they think it’s so infrequent for me that I just kind of go with it and I’m like, whatever. The times when I absolutely can’t handle it is if I’m taping something. ’cause if I’m like, I need to send a tape to the Tonight Show or whatever, and I’m filming and the host makes it clear like, Hey, we’re filming tonight.
And then somebody shouts out like, I’m also from Indiana. I’m like, I’m gonna. Strangle you. ’cause I can’t send this in now. I actually, I had a guy when I was in Florida, he wouldn’t stop talking. And, uh, I, I marched right into the audience. I had a long mic cord and I was like, what is your problem? He was like a big biker looking guy and he was like, oh my God, I’m so sorry.
And I was like, please stop talking. I can’t take it anymore.
I could see little Lisa like looking up to him. I’ll kick your butt. Yeah. Joe’s got
a story about bikers in the audience. Yeah. That’s
another day. That was not good. That story ends with, stick to the script, Lisa. That’s where that is.
Well, my family owns a biker bar, so it is, they really don’t scare me off.
No. Well she’ll take ’em outta the end of the dock and roll ’em apparently. Lisa, thanks for joining us. Uh, your Instagram feed, Doug’s gonna mention it again, but you are the Olympian, Lisa Curry.
Yeah. I’m Olympian Lisa Curry and on everything, because there’s an Olympic old medalist named Lisa Curry and she took our name, so I took Olympian.
Nice. Take it back. Yeah, yeah. All right, Doug. You got it from here, man. What’s on our to-Do list today? So
what’s on our to-Do list today? First, take some advice from Amy Minkley. Want more financial independence? Surround yourself with the right people. Attend meetups, zoom calls and groups online like our basement Facebook group, and maybe even go to Bali to hang out with Amy.
Second long-term care. While you want your family to take care of you, if you need help, we don’t recommend planning on that route or roll you off the dock. Lisa’s parents are begging for long-term care. They’re gonna crowdfund it. Begin planning now so that you can enjoy your retirement and not worry about what you do if you have a catastrophic illness or a daughter like Lisa.
So what’s the biggest thing you should do? Speaking of family members never suggested Joe’s mom that you think she’d enjoy going to the drive-in, because it’s from the olden days that doesn’t end well. Trust me.
Thanks to Amy Minkley for joining us today. You can find out more about her PHI firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll also include links in our show notes at Stacking Benjamins dot com. And thanks to comedian Lisa Kaka kaka for joining us and probably saving the show. Lisa, can you just take this over from now on, follow Lisa on Instagram to find links to all of her show appearances and some seriously funny stuff at wait for it at her Instagram page, Olympian Lisa Curry.
We’ll also include that link in our show notes. The show is the Property of SP podcasts LLC, copyright 2024, and is created by Joe Salhi. Our producer is Karen Repine. This show is written by Lisa Curry, who’s also the host of the Long Story Long podcast. With help from me, Joe Kate Yakin, Karen Repine, and Doc G from the Earn and Invest podcast, Kevin Bailey helps us take a deeper dive into all the topics covered on each episode in our newsletter called the 2 0 1.
You’ll find the 4 1 1 on All Things Money at the 2 0 1. Just visit Stacking Benjamins dot com slash 2 0 1. Wonder how beautiful we all are. Of course you do, but you’ll never know if you don’t. Check out our YouTube version of the show Engineered by Tina Eichenberg. Then you’ll see once and for all that I’m the best thing going for this podcast.
Once we bottle up all this goodness, we ship it to our engineer, the amazing Steve Stewart. Steve helps the rest of our team sound nearly as good as I do right now. Wanna chat with friends about the show later? Mom’s friend Gertrude Stacey Doe and Julia Garib are our social media coordinators, and Gertrude is the room mother in our Facebook group called The Basement.
So say hello when you see us posting online to join all the basement fun with other stackers, type Stacking Benjamins dot com slash basement. For more interactive fun, join us on Instagram. Every Tuesday and Thursday for our Instagram lives, Kate Yakin and Joe host those weekly. Not only should you not take advice from these nerds, don’t take advice from people you don’t know.
This show is for entertainment purposes only. Before making any financial decisions, speak with a real financial advisor. I’m Joe’s Mom’s neighbor, Doug, and we’ll see you next time. Back here at the Stacking Benjamin Show.
What do Alexander the Great and Winnie the Pooh have in common?
Uh, just say middle
Come on. That one was a good one. Telling
jokes to the comedian. This is great. This is, this is what we do. Okay. How about, uh, og? What kind of birds are always sticking to each other? I. Hmm.
I don’t know. Velcros. Ah, nice. Oh boy. What do, what do you call a million rabbits Walking backwards.
What a receding hairline.