Graeme Hughes from TheMoneyGeek.info [Financial Independence Forum, EP.003]

Graeme Hughes is an accredited Financial Planner with 23 years of experience in the financial services industry. He runs themoneygeek.info is a blog about helping people find financial independence through better financial literacy. During the course of his career he completed hundreds of financial plans and recommended and sold hundreds of millions of dollars of investment products. He believes that financial independence is a goal anyone can aspire to and is passionate about helping others to live life on their own terms.

Eugene / Host: (00:05)
Hello and welcome everyone. I’m Eugene Ting and this is the Financial Independence Forum. This show is an open ended exploration of stories, methods and mindsets, how to better invest your time best in yourself and invest your money. You can learn more and please contribute your voice and story to financialindependenceforum.com. I have here today, Graham Hughes.

Eugene / Host: (00:35)
He is an accredited financial planner with 23 years experience in the financial services industry. He runs themoneygeek.info and it’s a blog that helps people find financial independence through better financial literacy. During the course of his career, he completed hundreds of financial plans and recommended and sold a hundreds of millions of dollars of investment products. He believes that financial independence is a goal that anyone can inspire to and is passionate about helping others live their life in their own terms. Welcome Graeme to the program. Thanks Eugene. I’m really glad to be here. I know we were chatting a little bit before about you know, just to preamble about different things. You started themoneygeek.info you mentioned about six months ago and you have, so I feel like there’s a lot of depth of the articles and it’s already very filled out, so it’s incredible. Some of the things that you’ve, you’ve talked about, about financial independence and you mentioned something in our preamble about how you arrived at the domain name that you have. Maybe you could share with our audience a little bit about that story too. It sounded like there was something there, so I thought I’d start with that.

Graeme Hughes: (01:40)
Well, it’s not, it’s actually interesting just in the fact it’s kind of pathetic. The sign of something that I’ve had on my mind for years and years and years. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, but the challenge I had, when you’re, when you’re licensed, you’ve got so many restrictions. So I worked for the charter banks was a financial planner for them, licensed to sell mutual funds, license to sell securities at one point. And all those organizations are very tight rules about what you can and can’t do online. So website just wasn’t ever going to happen. But then when I left the industry, you know, I’d had this thing percolating around in the back of my mind. And so for months, literally months, I fought with what I was going to call myself on and I’ll be the first to admit I’m not the most imaginative guy.

Graeme Hughes: (02:23)
And I really struggled with that. I started with a couple of names. I didn’t like them. And one day I was fooling around on go daddy and, and go to that, he has this thing where we’ll actually recommend a web address for ya. Just fooling around with names and nothing was working out. And then they just popped up. I’ll humble themoneygeek.info. And in a moment of frustration, I thought, you know what? That’s actually not bad. I’m just going to run with it. And so I did a, it’s a similar name to a couple other sites and services, but also something a little bit different than what I’m offering. So I just thought, you know what, we’ll, we’ll have some good branding and I’m just going to run with it because I can’t keep putting this off. So that’s how I came up with it. I’ve also got themoneygeek.info moneygeek.org and a couple of others just to kind of sort of build a firewall around it. That’s basically how the name came up months and months and months and months of fooling around and research and trying to figure something out. Then it, it came to me thanks to a recommendation by GoDaddy of all things.

Eugene / Host: (03:20)
That’s a great story. Maybe, maybe there is some AI in the background that that understands what we’re trying to do and it’s recommending all these things. It could be. Yeah. Yeah. So you mentioned, you know, certainly in the preamble we mentioned that you were, you, you’ve worked at a charter bank and financial planner as well. You’re off doing something else. Was there a reason why you left that world and you know, how was your experience doing during the 23 years that you were from that perspective? For, for those of us who, for the most of our listeners and most of the people on a forum who are typically ones that haven’t had professional review of their plans and portfolios are doing this themselves, who sort of coming at it from the bottom up rather than top down. But maybe you could share with our audience that perspective or start from that perspective too.

Graeme Hughes: (04:05)
Yeah, it’s, it’s like a lot of things. There’s good and bad. You know, start off with why I left cause it’s probably the most pertinent thing at this point. I just left on a pure frustration. You know, when I started back, you know, I started with an independent investment company back in the late nineties, and then I moved to the bank. So when I started with the bank, so you’re talking in, you know, 2000, one, 2000, one, 2002, it was actually a really good job. The, the financial planning team was, was treated like the professionals that they are. There were, you know trips, there was reasonable education. You had some independence in, in what you recommended to clients. One of the companies, I worked for three companies over those 20 odd years, and one of the companies I worked for, you could basically sell any funds that it was basically available in Canada almost.

Graeme Hughes: (04:52)
But over the years things really changed. You know, banks are always kind of viewed as being a little bit greedy and a little bit overly focused on this quarter’s performance. And over the years, boy that that really hit home, the rules got tighter and tighter, the product shelf got smaller and smaller until eventually all the banks are doing the same thing. It’s you sell the bank funds and not only do you only sell the bank funds, but you only sell a few of the bank funds that you’re basically mandated to sell. And if you don’t you’re not going to hold your job very long and you’re certainly not going to make a living because most are, if not all financial planners at the banks are either partly or fully commissioned. So over the years it just got worse and worse than, to be honest. It’s very hard to be a planner in a bank and feel like you’re doing a good job because the shackles are on by the time I left two years ago.

Graeme Hughes: (05:40)
Basically everything you did from the moment the client walked in until you had their funds invested, had been dictated to you. There’s a very defined process, a very defined methodology. What you ended up putting them in is very tightly defined. So just it stopped being a job. I wanted to participate and to be honest, you know, the last few years I hopped around from bank to bank and I realized at the end of it I was just, I was burned out on the whole thing and I didn’t want to do it anymore. I couldn’t stand the conversations. I didn’t like the environment. I loved the customers and I loved the planning end of it. But the sales stick just wasn’t for me anymore. So I left. I went off and did something totally different. I do I work for a company that does business consulting regarding a workers’ compensation board issues.

Graeme Hughes: (06:26)
So it’s totally different. But I still love the planning part. That’s the part I really, really, you know, sink my teeth into a, and that’s the one thing that I will give the banks, you know, for a number of reasons. I never got to engage in significant postsecondary education. So all along my career I started out as a bank teller and the banks did, you know, give me the proper training to become a planner to get a designation. And it was always ongoing training and everything I learned at the banks, you know, is very, very useful and has really helped me, not just in my banking career, but now moving on to other things. I mean, the things I learned about sales, the things I’ve learned about customer management, the things I learned about, you know, having a good conversation for discovery and recommendations.

Graeme Hughes: (07:11)
All those things are, are things that you can use in so many careers. And I do appreciate that. And it came out of it a well rounded individual with, with a solid skillset. Certainly as as far as if you’ve looked at my site, you’ll know this as far as individuals go and particularly here in Canada, I can’t recommend walking into a bank branch and talking about your financial planning or investments. I just can’t because everything the banks do now, and like I say, of the six big banks I’ve worked for three of them in, they’re all exactly the same. The whole focus from the second you walk in the door is making a sale. And to, to give you an example, one bank I worked for, I had the regional vice president visit me and my office one day and what had happened was it had a client come in earlier that morning and had done a discovery interviewer.

Graeme Hughes: (08:01)
I find out about their pensions and their employment and their assets or liabilities and what they want to do with their money. Now I was sitting in my office, had the door closed and I was working on our financial plan, which you know, a good financial plan is going to take you a few hours. So the regional vice president knocks on the door. She steps in. She says, hello, shakes my hand, sit down and says, what are you doing? And so I’m working on this financial plan for this client that I had in this morning as she looks at me in shock. And she says, well, he didn’t sell them anything. And I said, no. I said, I took all their information. I’m doing the plan. It’s just, well what’s that going to do for your revenue per appointment number? And look back at her. And I said, Oh platter, what do I care about? Revenue per appointment? I said, that’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. And needless to say, there was a a pretty, yeah, this is a pretty active conversation that followed that and that, that was one of those moments where it was like, yeah, you know what, I’m, I’m totally in the wrong job cause

Eugene / Host: (08:56)
This is a business that just doesn’t get what they’re doing. Thanks for sharing that. I’m an also in Canada as well. And so that’s, that’s one common thing that we share in some of the other people that have. It’s interesting some of the people that have wanted to come on the show, I find that a lot of them are Canadian but you know, Australian and ah, American as well. But I, I wonder if, you know, you could talk a little bit about that too, is that, you know, you and your experience with working with charter banks and you know, you’re, you know, you just talked a little bit about your opinion about them and do you think that the fire movement in your observation is sort of coming out of that as a counter movement? You think too maybe that there isn’t a good alternative from the big banks having good financial advice that caters to people that don’t feel like they’re being sold to or, or things like that? I think there’s a couple of things. First of all, I don’t consider myself a fire person. Really. I’m the

Graeme Hughes: (09:52)
By definitely the Ari, not so much. The way I look at it, financial independence isn’t a binary option. Either you’re there or you’re not. I think that there’s a whole spectrum. And as an example, let’s say you’re a young guy and you’ve just got your first job or young young girl and you’ve got your first job, you’ve been working for a few months. Well let’s say you’re living at home with your parents and every paycheck that you make, you put in a savings account and you look at a second young person who’s got their first job and they work for a few months and the first thing they do is they go out and buy themselves a new car for $40,000 and get a loan for it. Which one of those two has a greater degree of financial independence? Well obviously it’s the first one, right? Cause he put all his paychecks in the bank and now he’s got some savings if something happens to his job, he’s got a bit of a backup.

Graeme Hughes: (10:37)
He’s living at home, he’s got a low cost of living. And I think, you know, the problem was fire that I have a little bit is I think there’s too much focus on the idea that it’s defined as you’re going to work your rear end off for 10 or 15 or 20 years and you’re going to sacrifice everything possibly to a job you hate so that you can spend the next 50 years doing nothing. And I don’t think that really fits what most people are gonna end up wanting to do with their lives. I think for a lot of folks, what they really want and probably what they need for their own sanity and mental health is to feel like they have options. You know, I didn’t, I’m the first one to admit and again, on a few, if you look at my site, you’ll know this.

Graeme Hughes: (11:14)
I did not handle my own finances as well. I mean, I worked in the industry for all these decades and I didn’t do well with my own money. I got too far in down. I got too far behind, ended up in my mid forties and a place I didn’t want to be, which meant I often had to do things that I didn’t want to do for work and otherwise. And I think really for the average person and what I want to try to do, it’s not so much to find things in terms of fire, but to find things and how would you have a happy life where you’ve got the most amount of flexibility in really possibly you can live where you want to live. You can do what you want to do. And I don’t think that necessarily means slaving away to save up a million or 2 million or 3 million by the time you’re five.

Graeme Hughes: (11:54)
I think that can be a lot of different things for a lot of people. I think if you’re somebody who’s got a low to medium wage and you’re deeply in debt, I think just getting to the point where you have no debt can be hugely liberating. I think people that have a reasonable emergency fund for the first time, that can be hugely liberating. And that’s really my focus is not so much on the fire end of it. It’s just how do you get to the point where you have confidence? Because I think that’s what most people want. Is that confidence. And that kind of speaks to where I really see a gap in the industry. Going back to the main part of your question, one thing that the banks have done very, very well with, they sort of democratized advice as a financial planner.

Graeme Hughes: (12:39)
I mean, you know, I had a financial planning designation. I had tons of training from the bank. Quite good at what I do if I do say so. And at a bank, you know, if you walk into a bank and you’ve got 30, 40, $50,000 to invest, I’d sit down and talk to you, no problem. If you want a financial plan, I’ll do the financial plan for you. You walk into a brokerage and you ask for the same service. If you don’t have 500 600 $700,000 to invest, you’re going to be shown the door. And that’s just all there is to it. So it’s kind of unfortunate because if you are the sort of person that you really want to make sure you get your finances right and you’re not going to be a huge profit center for somebody here in now I worry that finding competent advice is very, very difficult.

Graeme Hughes: (13:26)
If you walk into your bank, you’re going to get sold to and the advice, you know, you will get good advice. And the one thing that, that bothers me a little bit when you see people kind of bashing the banks as they focus a lot on the advisors, all the advisors are all crux. The advisors are only out for themselves. They’re out to make money. They have, I just don’t care. In my opinion, it’s not an issue of the advisor. It’s the institution. The advisors that I’m in at the banks to a man were, while not all of them, let’s say the biggest portion of them, we’re trying to do what’s right for the client. And they were upgrading their skills and they were interested in getting better at what they did. And there was lots of contracting. The conversations we had when we got together as groups were fantastic about, you know, how to find ways to make people better off.

Graeme Hughes: (14:11)
The problem is those advisors are simply shackled because the institutions have locked them down into this sales model that at the end of the day when it comes to making a recommendation for investments is usually you know, of middling performance. It’s too high of fees and it’s simply not in the client’s best interest. And what I really would like to see is a model where people can get independent financial advice that’s removed from the sales channel and the commission structure. There’s also really affordable, and I know most fee for service financial planners, if you want a financial plan, they’re gonna look at charging you 1500, 2,500, 3000, depending who the planner is and where they’re located, which was a lot of money for a younger person starting out. Right. So I think more services where people can go and, and some of the robo advisors are starting to fill the gap a little bit, but more services where people of modest means can go and get help, whether that’s, you know, counseling with their debt, counseling with their investments, counseling with their cashflow.

Graeme Hughes: (15:13)
I would like to see a lot more of that and if that can be removed from sort of the sales motive, all the better. Yeah. You mentioned about robo-advisors, like do you think that that’s also something that general people can, can take advantage of? Relatively easily? Yeah. Don’t have a whole lot of experience with them myself. And it’s one of the things I have to look into more. I know some of them are combining the robo advice and let’s face it, the robo advice as largely, you know, around asset allocation and investment selection. But they are sort of combining that also is some human advice. To be honest, my view has always been, you know, the investing is really simple. Investing isn’t hard when you look at you know, like the Vanguard portfolio ETFs, you know, the, the one ticket solutions really, if you go to the Vanguard website and you do their asset allocation questionnaire and you put a little bit of thought into it, of course, and you pick one of those all in one single ticket portfolio ETFs, okay.

Graeme Hughes: (16:15)
You can invest in that until you’ve had a very large portfolio and you’ll do well actually deciding how to invest your money is dead simple. I think the complicated part has become in the peripheral issues, the financial planning issues that service around investments. You know, are you putting your money in an RSP at TSA or a non-registered account? You know, if you are contributing to an RSP, are you considering not only the tax consequences of your contribution but the tax and benefit Contra or consequences when you take that money out in retirement? Because in RSP contribution is, is a two edge sword, right? There is impacts when you put the money in, but there’s also impacts when you make a withdrawal and when you get some of these things wrong and, and a couple of guest posts I’ve written for cutting the crap investing, when you get these things wrong, it has a real impact on things like your eligibility for GIS.

Graeme Hughes: (17:05)
You may end up with old age security clawbacks there’s all kinds of tax consequences that can be you like to be pretty severe when you look at how much money they take out of your retirement plan. And we had some great conversations that came out of those articles around, you know, should wealthy seniors be getting the GIS, the guaranteed income supplement, you know, is that something they should even be doing? Is it moral? And you know, my comment on these things, as always, your planning should be about making your retirement. It’s the best retirement. It can be. The most income, the most security. The greatest advantage you can find in the fact of it is if the government has a program and they’ve set the criteria, if you can fit that criteria and get that, do it. It’s not a moral issue. The government sets the rules around the taxes you pay and the benefits you get for those taxes. Your job is to work yourself into those rules to get the most advantage possible. The idea that you’d voluntarily declined to take a government benefit because you think, you know, you’re, you’re not entitled to it even though the government says you are. I find a little surprising. But that’s kind of where, where I really see the challenges is it’s more in the financial planning end of it than the investing part of it. Cause investing can be dead simple really

Eugene / Host: (18:22)
In the investment conversation too. Like, especially here in Canada, we’ve even, certainly even during the great financial crisis back in, you know, Oh seven Oh eight Canada probably you were working one of the financial institutions that you mentioned, but Canada came out relatively unscathed even though we had some, you know, minor blips and heres and yeah, things here and there. But certainly looking back the last 11 years since around that time we’ve enjoyed in most of our cities and even smaller, smaller cities as well. We enjoyed great economic inflation, certainly where I am here in Toronto as well. What do you have to say about, or people that are coming, you know, this far movement is sort of coming into its own organically in the last few years I would say. And I think it’s been coming off of the backs of a very rosy picture where the economics have been pretty good both in stocks and other areas and including real estate as well. You know, what do you have to say? Especially if I’m a financial planning kind of putting your financial planning hat on to Canadians, Americans and others who are, who have seen their assets grow, but not necessarily seen a state where there’s been a recession that we had to live through.

Graeme Hughes: (19:30)
Yeah. I guess the number one thing I’d say is don’t get complacent. A lot of the fire community, you know, you’re looking at individuals in their twenties and thirties who didn’t go through the last recession in a place where there are, what I would call participants. In other words, they didn’t have assets in the market. They didn’t have homes and jobs at stake. You know, they, they had a low level of risk when it came to their exposure to this thing. And you’re writing in Canada, we got a little bit, I’m going to call it lucky. Others would attribute it to other things perhaps. But the fact that it was, we didn’t have the impacts that we did, but when we look to our neighbors in the cells, I mean, there were people living in their cars because they were rejected from their homes. There was widespread layoffs.

Graeme Hughes: (20:13)
People lost their life savings. I mean on a human level, ah, it was an absolute catastrophe. And I think sometimes we get this feeling where, well, you know, that can’t happen here. It didn’t happen last time. It won’t happen next time. It can happen. And it’s not likely. I’m not a doom and gloom. The world is coming to an end kind of guy. I don’t think it’s likely that we’ll have a severe recession anytime soon. But it can happen and you have to be prepared for it. And I think where fire kind of has a little bit of an issue because you’ve got these people who are leaving their jobs, their thirties and forties with some assets. You know, there’s a, there’s one person I know in particular that her, all, her planning is done with a 10% steady rate of return. That’s just not very realistic.

Graeme Hughes: (21:00)
Especially when we look around the world and North America here, you know, we’ve, we’ve been fortunate when you look at the TSX and you except dividends, so you take the dividends. So you just look at market returns. The market returns since the 2008 peak to today are only about 3%. That same story applies for Japan. It applies for a Europe as a whole. We’re kind of an Island in the world where we’ve been a little bit fortunate with how things have worked out in Japan in particular is a great example of how you can have 20 years where your market’s really go nowhere. So the question that I keep in the back of my mind, and again, I don’t know that it’s likely, but certainly possible, we’re seeing this, this world we live in where we are absolutely a Washington debt to an extent we’ve never seen before.

Graeme Hughes: (21:51)
We’ve got trillions and well, tens of trillions of dollars in assets now around the world with negative yields, which is a reflection of where we are with our debt. When we do have our next recession, I do wonder about what the markets are going to look like coming out of that. Is it going to be another recovery like we’ve had since 2009 where is it going to look? A lot more like Japan since, you know, the late eighties, early nineties where we struggle to find growth. And I do worry that it’s going to be more of the latter because the fact of it is when you look at interest rates since about the eighties although we’ve had our cycles up and down, the overall trend has been down and down and down for lower and lower rates. Each peak is lower than the previous peak. Each trough is lower than the previous trough.

Graeme Hughes: (22:38)
And what that’s been is a desperate attempt to keep growth going. So how long can we keep doing that? I dunno, but I think if you’re, if you’re one of these people that’s just assuming that for your, you know, you’re in your twenties, you’re in your thirties and for your whole life, you can plan on eight, nine, 10% growth in the markets constantly. I’m not saying that that’s not true and I’m not saying that it’s completely an error, but I think in the back of your mind you have to be saying, okay, what’s my plan? If it’s not what’s my plan of things? Do look a little more like you’re pro. They do look a little more like Japan over the next five, 10, 15, 20 years. Cause I think, yeah, we have to accept that, that the world, you know, and now I’m a little older, I’m pushing 50 the world today doesn’t look anything like it has during my lifetime.

Graeme Hughes: (23:22)
We are in unique circumstances and most economists, you know, even very serious ones will say, we’re, we’re kind of figuring this out as we go. Cause we haven’t been here before. Whenever you’re in new circumstances where, you know, a blueprint for dealing with it hasn’t really been drawn yet the risks are elevated. And I think that’s something that everyone who’s an investor in particularly people who are pursuing fire and have this idea that they’re going to stop working and live off their investments. You don’t have to be afraid of it, but I certainly think you need to be mentally and financially preparing yourself for the fact that it’s a possibility.

Eugene / Host: (23:59)
You know? Maybe switching, switching topics a little bit and thinking about more of the holistic part of part of thinking about someone’s plan for people to reach fire, but in particular financial independence or financial freedom. You mentioned a little bit about the different felt like tax planning as an important part of it. You know, how much of the other aspects, cause I know a lot of focus has been, especially on the fire forms in my observation, has been the investing side, being frugal side, but there’s other dimensions to financial planning’s early as from your experience that are important part of creating that financial plan that I think doesn’t get as much of awareness from people in the fire community. What do you think about that? What do you think about those other areas and the importance of how it fits into therefore people’s financial plan?

Graeme Hughes: (24:48)
Yeah, I, I totally agree with your observation. I think there’s far too much on the minutia of investing that probably doesn’t have an impact at the end of the day and far too little on some of these bigger issues. You know, when you look at what a lot of what’s being written, and to give you an example, last week I saw a whole lot of articles floating around about, you know on one side you had people saying look, dividends of the thing that matters. It’s all about dividends. You should be producing a investments that have a high dividend yield and then another hand you had a bunch of people writing articles that were, were the points saying no, no dividends don’t matter. It’s all about growth or it’s all about value dividends or nothing. There’s a whole lot of time being spent on this. You know, to be honest, if you buy yourself a dividend focused ETF and I buy myself a whole market ETF, I’ll bet you if we go out, 20 years of returns is going to be pretty close to the same. I mean we’re arguing about things that the, the difference in performance, you know, I’d be surprised if they equal more than a couple of tenths of percent. I mean, what, why waste your time worrying about that in the meantime? You know, I’ve seen all kinds of weird stuff from people. You know, I had a client not too long ago, he borrowed money to max out as TFS and then for years he was deducting the interest on the loan from his tax return.

Eugene / Host: (26:05)
Okay.

Graeme Hughes: (26:05)
We can’t do that. See, the CRA says if your, if your investment doesn’t have any hope of ever making taxable income, you can’t deduct the interest on the loan you used to buy it. I mean, that’s a very clear instruction from CRA and yet here, this gentleman had put himself in a position of, you know, potentially going back taxes, penalties, interest, et cetera, et cetera for pursuing something that made no sense.

Eugene / Host: (26:29)
And just for, just to, no, not to interject there. Just for our listeners, the CRA being the Canada revenue agency, of course, our tax,

Graeme Hughes: (26:38)
Yeah. Our friendly tax people. So you know, when, when your financial plan or like a professional, if you really talk to two people that have been in, in the industry for a while, 15 to at most 30% of our work is on investments. The, the 70 to 85% of it is on all the peripheral things. The estate plan, insurance taxation retirement income planning, pensions are huge on how does pensions fit into your, your overall retirement viewpoint? If you’re leaving your employer or you get laid off, you’re retiring, you quit. What do you do with that pension? I mean, the benefits of, of a defined benefit pension can be so hard to calculate versus what you’d have to have in an investment to equal the same benefit. I can’t imagine an individual investor doing it on their own and coming to a good conclusion on whether to commute that pension or not without having professional help.

Graeme Hughes: (27:35)
I really can’t. I spent hours looking at pension documents for a single client trying to figure out, look, is this something that’s worthwhile to transfer or should you leave at where it is? And I look at them all the time. I’ve done hundreds of pension transfers, so I can’t imagine an individual sitting down figuring this out on them on their own. And the fact that as some of these things, they can have a huge cost if you get it wrong. Looking at commuting pensions, I had a client years ago, he was with the military and he’d been with the military for years and years and years and he was overseas and he actually got hurt. I can’t remember. It was a train. I think it’s a training accident. He got hurt and, but when you get hurt in the military and you know your pension off, you actually get treated pretty well.

Graeme Hughes: (28:15)
At least you did back then. I don’t know what the story is today, but this guy, because he was an officer, he’d been there for so long. Yeah, fantastic pension. It was fully indexed. It was tons of money. He basically, it was going to be B pension off in his mid forties. Maybe it was just a heck of a deal. So we walked into a a not my bank, walked into somebody else’s bank and they did a, a calculation from, he said, Oh, you need to commute this pension. You take all the money out, bring it to us to invest. Well, I took a look at his pension w when you looked, first of all, it was a huge pension, so there was an enormous excess amount over what Canada revenue agency says is transferable while maintaining the tax shelter. So there would have been this enormous tax hit up front.

Graeme Hughes: (28:58)
It was several hundred thousand dollars. Would it come out as taxable income in that year? Plus he had all these other benefits attached to it, medical benefits, et cetera, that he would have lost. And I took a look at him and I said, if you transfer this pension, you’re crazy. I said, if I, if I earned you 20% a year, I couldn’t match the benefits in this thing. But he was absolutely determined because this person at the other bank, you know, had called them all. No, no, you gotta, you gotta commute this pension man, because this is the way to go. You got to manage it yourself. You don’t want to leave it with the military. And the fact of it is, he who would have been so far behind the tax, it alone would have been crippling. And the, the total pension value was, it was over a million dollars.

Graeme Hughes: (29:36)
It was just huge. It’s the biggest pension I’ve ever seen. So, you know, you can imagine if, I don’t know if he ever went ahead with it, you know, he took my advice, thanked me very much, went off as his wife. He was determined to do it. The wife was determined that he shouldn’t. But if he didn’t do it, it cost them a fortune. I have no, there’s no doubt in my mind. So a lot of these things that have nothing to do with the actual investment portfolio, you know, you can be looking and then the articles I’ve done on the guaranteed income supplement, et cetera. Or you can be looking at tens and even hundreds of thousands of dollars in difference to where you end up. Okay. And it’s not what people talk about. Again, people are arguing over dividends versus no dividends. And I think there needs to be more attention paid. Some of these things that are peripheral to investments and look a lot more at the financial consequences of, of issues that come up. Like I say, that are peripheral to the actual investment discussion and estates is another one. There’s so much money lost in, in the States. It’s not funny.

Eugene / Host: (30:34)
I recognize a lot of these from both the things that I observe in just the personal finance community, but also in people that I talk to in my own personal life and myself as well. That some of these things, especially about the number side when it comes to numbers, either people feel like they have the wherewithal to understand the complexity of some of these contracts. Like you said, in the case of time benefit pensions or in terms of investments that it’s, you know, measuring the yardstick by months and weeks perhaps even in terms of performance rather than in years. What, what is your perspective on the non number side? That’s what, that’s sort of how I would call it. The, the emotional side. Cause it sounds like that that part is the, the, and certainly in, in the other advisors I’ve spoken to hundreds of other advisors I’ve spoken to. It sounds like that’s the core of what there practices as well as the emotional side, the goals side as well. Maybe you could speak to speak to that, especially about the emotional side. How do you, how do you, how do you tell someone that, you know, for example, that lady that you mentioned that if they’re, if they’re factoring just a 10% rate of return for a and, and thinking that they could do fire early, how do you make sure people hear that

Graeme Hughes: (31:53)
Aspect as well? You know, there’s two things with that and I agree the [inaudible] we get hung up on information and knowing and knowing is helpful. Like you have to know how to do, you have to know how to invest, you have to know how to manage your cashflow [inaudible] but knowing doesn’t actually help a whole lot unless you, you look at the behaviors, and I’ll use myself as an example. I know probably as much as anybody about personal finance. I do. I lived it for decades. I’ve had tons of training, very screwed up my own for years. Because even though I knew the behaviors just weren’t there and I tend to be a short term focused kinda guy. You know, even my wife will tell you if I have a chore to do around the house, if it’s something I can get done in a day or two, I’m great.

Graeme Hughes: (32:38)
If a longer project that’s going to take me a week or two, it’s probably never going to get done. I just don’t have that long term focus in me. I’m not that sort of person. I have to work very, very hard to overcome that. So knowledge helps because without knowledge, you know, you can’t accomplish much. But knowledge is 10% of it. Behaviors are, are the biggest. And behaviors don’t come from giving people or from getting more knowledge. They just don’t. Behaviors really speak to motivation and getting people motivated, even getting yourself motivated is very, very difficult. You know, and and there is, there’s a whole field of behavioral psychology that, that deals with this and it, it’s a complicated topic and it’s probably the toughest thing. There’s so many people that I’ve seen in the course of my planning career. So many families that weren’t doing well, weren’t happy with where they were at, knew what they had to do to get better and just could never seem to get themselves to do it.

Graeme Hughes: (33:36)
And it is, it’s the toughest, toughest thing to, to really overcome. And I think [inaudible] he also, there’s one piece of advice that I, I think kind of impacts more than anything is you have to have a good vision of where you want to be. Ah, so many people go through life and they don’t look beyond their next paycheck, their next vacation, their next new car. They don’t really look and say, Hey, you know, I’m 25 now, or I’m 30 now, or whatever the case is in order to be comfortable and to feel secure and to have joy in my life. Where do I need to be? You know, if I’m 25 where do I need to be when I’m 30? Where do I want to be when I’m 40 and when I’m 50? And you’re really have to start thinking about the consequences of not reaching those goals.

Graeme Hughes: (34:24)
And you mentioned the lady I talked about whose projections are all done with a 10% rate of return. I think the most important thing you can do is look at the inverse as well. So I know for her, you know, she’s looking at, she’s going to be retired at a certain age, it’s going to have this great life, the 10% rate of returns or what’s going to drive that. I think you have to sit down and think, okay so what if my returns end up being 3% what am I going to do to mitigate that risk? Because so much of life is about risk mitigation. You know, things just don’t go the way you think they’re going to go so often and that’s just not financial. That’s just life in general. You know, if you’re pursuing fire and you’re planning that in 10 years, you’re going to have the money that you need to stop working.

Graeme Hughes: (35:12)
What if you get sick and five, what are you going to do that? And I’ll give you a story. I had a client, he was actually a Marine biologist. I love that. Cause, I don’t know if you’re a Seinfeld flan fan, but there was a great episode of Seinfeld that featured a Marine biologist and I’d never met one until I met this client. But this was the guy, he just loved his job. And his whole plan, all of his life was that man until I dropped dead, I’m going to work as a Marine because this job is fantastic. And when I first met him, he wasn’t really interested in investing. He was already in his late fifties, early sixties, I think. He had no investments. He was a Washington debt, huge mortgage, new cars. Every couple of years he and his wife lived. Well. Then in his early sixties he had a stroke and his stroke unfortunately impaired his ability to rationalize and to think clearly and to focus.

Graeme Hughes: (36:01)
And so his career as a Marine biologists came to an end. So here was this man that basically live day to day because he thought, you know, I’m going to work into my seventies or even eighties if I can. And it was cut short due to something that he couldn’t foresee and he couldn’t avoid. And I think all of us sometimes need to spend a little more time thinking about, okay, you know, first of all I want to focus on what my life is gonna look like cause that will help drive behavior. But I also have to focus on the risks in that plan and the things that can happen and how do I mitigate that to the extent that I can. And for this gentleman, I mean if you’d focus less on spending focus more on saving, focus more on protecting himself with some adequate insurance, you probably could have mitigated, you know, some of the very hard financial times that came after he had a stroke.

Graeme Hughes: (36:50)
And I don’t pretend for a minute that what I’m saying is, is any stroke of genius behaviors are simply, is a hardest thing to deal with. And even for myself, after talking to hundreds and hundreds of families, seeing the issues that come up, seeing the barriers that people have to moving forward, I simply don’t have an answer. D the only thing I can say is, is you know, having that clear picture of what it is you want your life to look like and then thinking about the risks that can get in get in the way is probably both domestic best motivation

Eugene / Host: (37:22)
You can get. You mentioned a few different themes about which is having a coach might be helpful. Because just having a coach, you know, we don’t know all our blind spots and we’re not subject matter experts in all the areas of financial planning for sure. No matter how much of reading that you would do to understand all those aspects, maybe in the context of your own journey you mentioned and you were great at revealing about how you, you weren’t planning your own personal finances, all that great, you know, what was the thing that maybe did it for you that woke you up or maybe it wasn’t just one thing, but what, you know, period of time or a series of things that happened that helped you along the way.

Graeme Hughes: (38:02)
Yeah, it was kind of a slow process for me. A lot of it came out of my career because, you know, I got to the point, I was really unhappy with what I was doing. I didn’t want to do it anymore. I didn’t have any way out. You know, I was making a really good income and it’s, I needed that income because, you know, it was all pretty much spoken for every month. I couldn’t afford to switch gears into something where, you know, I took time off to go back to school or I took a significant hit to my income while I kind of got up to speed and a new career. And I think that was kind of when it hit me that, yeah. And you know what, what I’ve been doing all these years is pretty stupid because I’m in a corner and there’s nothing worse in life than being backed into a corner.

Graeme Hughes: (38:44)
I mean, not just, there’s no other way to put it. It just sucks. I don’t want to see anybody in that position. And I think I had such a visceral reaction to it. It would literally keep me up at night thinking that, you know, what, know I’ve got a great job. Sure. And, and you know, my family’s doing well and everything else, but I really don’t have any options in my life. And it was a slow process over a number of years where that eventually became something that I load so much that it drove different behaviors. You know? And, and for me it was always, you know, when you have a family and you’ve got a wife of, I’ve got a son, we’re always thinking about the things that we really wanted to do. You know, we went on trips at an RV and we had a good life.

Graeme Hughes: (39:29)
There’s no question. But then, you know, you get to the point where, well, what’s the cost of that? You know, it is enjoying those things and having that good life worth the flip side where you don’t have flexibility and the biggest part of your life. Cause at the end of the day [inaudible] you know, your life is really about the people around you, your, your family members, your friends, et cetera. And then what’s the next biggest thing? It’s usually work. I mean, it’s such a big part of our life that if that’s not working, everything else is sort of impaired. It is very hard to have an enjoyable life. So having that, that’s why I focused so much on, on flexibility is because I think, do you know if, if I was to redo my life all over again to get out of high school and get out of college, whatever it is, start working, I’d be saving from day one.

Graeme Hughes: (40:15)
That’s just all there is to it. I’d be saving a big chunk of my income. And it’s not because I want to retire early. It’s not because I wanted to leave the workforce. It’s just because I don’t want to be told what to do. I want to pursue the things I’m really interested in and want to pursue. Things that challenge me. And I don’t want to be under somebody else’s thumb where they know that they basically owned me because I have no choice but to show up to this job 40 hours a week, even though I don’t like it. And I think really that’s where when I, when I talk to people and I’ve talked to people you knew in my career, I talked to people personally. I think that’s the biggest challenge right now is so many people feel trapped. They’re in a financial situation where they’ve lost their individual autonomy.

Graeme Hughes: (41:00)
And I think the extent that you can plan your life to maintain autonomy over yourself pays off huge dividends. It saves you on stress, which is better for your health. It makes you happier. I think you have better family relationships. Cause certainly those years you know, my wife was in a similar situation. She wasn’t happy with her work. There was a lot of tension in the house. And since we’ve made changes over the last, you know, three, four or five years, all those things have kind of melted away. I think my wife would agree with me that both of us were way more content today than we were even three, four years ago. So that’s really what I think people’s focus should be in, in coaching, as you mentioned, is a huge one. Whether it’s formal coaching that you’re paying for, it’s a planner that you trust that you talk to.

Graeme Hughes: (41:45)
Even if you’ve got a close network of friends. Running decisions by somebody that isn’t emotionally attached, doesn’t have any skin in the game, can be huge. Because sometimes, you know, we, we come at things from a very emotional standpoint. Now one of the big ones is how’s as people get so attached to their homes and understand why they do what so often people will go into a house that they can’t afford, that’s eating them alive financially that is basically going to impair them financially for decades to come. And they just, they can’t seem to see beyond how much they love that home. And I think sometimes if, if they had access to somebody who could give them a little bit more of a balanced view of it, maybe there’d be a better outcome there. And I’ve seen that a particularly with folks as they get older.

Graeme Hughes: (42:39)
I’ve had a number of clients over the years where they’ve got this huge hose, huge mortgage, they’ve got no money for retirement and then they just can’t see beyond the home. It’s like the home is everything in. No matter what happens, I have to stay in that home. And I think sometimes if you can have a dispassionate observer that says, yeah, but you know, let’s talk about what your life might look like if you did go on another route. You know, what if you did have a more modest home, you know, how would your life improve? And sometimes it’s all it takes is for people to imagine a different life that is still positive and still happy, but as maybe more financially balanced.

Eugene / Host: (43:16)
Yeah. You touched upon a few themes that are like, and, and some of the other guests that we’ve spoken to as well as is in, you know, they have arrived at fire or fi in different ways. Some through luck some through yeah. Realization and through frugality and in a combination of all those, all those things above. But one of the things that I think I see a thread in is that a lot of people, whether it’s their, their work, which is their main source of income or having a side hustle or or entrepreneurial things that that brings them money is the theme of knowing themselves enough to know both in understanding what their ultimate goal is, but also in understanding what things they don’t like or don’t want to do enough for them to figure out what change that needs to be in order for the money to come in. Because it could be that those things were friction too. Bring the money in or preventing them from getting what they want or maybe revisiting some of the goals in the first place where some of the goals originally wasn’t really what they wanted in the first place. Was, was that the similar case for you and maybe some of the clients you’ve seen is like how much does that play into financial independence? Is is knowing themselves and knowing what they want really? Well,

Graeme Hughes: (44:31)
Yeah, it’s huge because I mean, let’s face it, you know, when you’re raised here in the West, whether it’s, you know, maybe not so much in Europe, but certainly in North America you do live in a narrative and that narrative is, is promoted by your employer. It’s promoted by advertisers. It’s just promoted by the world around you. And the narrative is you go to school, then you go to university, you get a high paying job you buy a big house, you buy a fancy car, you as a status symbols, you have a family you treat your family well. Everybody goes on vacations, you have nice clothes, you have nice things. And then you know, you work till you’re 65 or 67 and then you retire. And I think, you know, that’s pushed so hard and, and I can think of, you know, advertising is a huge one.

Graeme Hughes: (45:16)
People say all advertising doesn’t have an effect on people. Well, think about it when you were, let’s look at Ford. You know, Ford runs ads on, on the internet. They run them on TV. They spend millions and millions of dollars a year, do you really think that they spend all that money if they think that advertising doesn’t work and it doesn’t have an impact on people? Of course they don’t. They know darn well. And there’s, there’s a ton of research that goes into, you know, how do we make people buy our products? And I think for people that are pursuing financial independence, you mentioned, you know, sometimes people come into it by a lock if you win the lottery, well that just is what it is. But for the vast majority of us that have to do it the hard way, becoming financially independent means you are automatically swimming against the stream full stop.

Graeme Hughes: (46:04)
You will not be doing what your neighbors are doing. You will not be doing what advertisers are telling you to do. You will not be doing what your financial institution tells you to do. A, you probably won’t even be doing what your parents tell you to do. Yeah, because the fact of it is it is not common. I think sometimes, you know, in the, in the financial independence fire community, we get all caught up in the echo chamber of all people talking about this and we forget that it’s a tiny fraction of the population. Man. This is not a lot of people that are doing this. What was the statistic that came out not too long ago? This something like 50% of Canadians can’t come up with $500 to fund an emergency. Something like that. A cause bigger than that actually the percentage I think.

Graeme Hughes: (46:43)
Yeah, I can’t remember. It was a huge percentage. It’s done the heck out of me and it’s reflected in my circumstances in the bank. As a financial planner, you’re generally only talking to people with money, but it’s a tiny percentage of bank clients. The vast majority of bank clients are paycheck to paycheck and talking about getting another loan. So yeah, it’s you are constantly, if you, if you want to be financially independent, if you want to, if you are on the fire track and that’s really what you want to do, you will constantly be fighting against messages that are telling you you’re doing it wrong. It’s going to come from family, it’s gonna come from friends. It’s going to come from the commercial world around you. It’s all there is to it. So that’s why having that very clear image of what you want your life to look like is so important and it’s just, Oh yeah, I want to be retired at 40 it’s not that easy.

Graeme Hughes: (47:32)
It has to be something that you meditate on where it’s like, do you know what? When I retire and then to travel, these are the countries I want to travel to. And you have to spend time visualizing what that looks like because if you’re not constantly reinforcing sort of the positive things of what you want to achieve, sooner or later you’ll be overtaken by all the other messaging that we get that’s telling us to do it differently. When I was in my twenties and I bought my first house, my wife and I were, were, I mean, one thing we did do right, we were very careful about calculating exactly how much money the mortgage we could afford. And when we did that calculation, we sat down and said, okay, well what if one of us loses our job? All right, what are fraud of work for a year?

Graeme Hughes: (48:11)
And what if we get sick? You know, how much mortgage can we pay on our disability insurance? We ran all these different scenarios and, and the mortgage we decided we were comfortable with was way less than what we qualified for under, you know, the standard debt servicing ratio. So I went into the bank and, and you know, I was working for the bank at the time, so I saw one of our managers and said, you know, after thinking about buying a house, we’d like to qualify for a loan. And as part of the qualifying for a loan was a half hour, you know, very intense conversation with this manager about how we were idiots. If we didn’t take every single dollar that the bank would give us and buy the biggest, most expensive house we can possibly afford. And if we had to max out our credit cards to get the down payment together to do that, we should.

Graeme Hughes: (48:55)
And that’s very common advice when when you talk to people, financial institutions tell people that all the time, Oh, you’re an idiot if you don’t buy the most expensive host you possibly can. And it’s just one example of how the messaging we get is so contrary to what people who are focused on financial independence really need what we really need to focus on. You know, frugality. I know people go to the extreme with frugality, but there is a certain amount of having to control your own desires. So easy to want everything it just is. But you have to have that constant process that says, look, I have my future plan. I know what I want for myself. I know what will make me happy and what will make me secure and they’re going to continue to do the things that will get me there and you’re right.

Graeme Hughes: (49:42)
It is a big part of of knowing yourself and that was one of the challenges I had. All the things that I thought would make me happy. Whereas in my twenties and thirties by the time I hit my forties I realized, man, this is not making me happy at all. This isn’t helping in the slightest. And so your, your views will change over time as well. I think part of it is is naturally with aging, but I think sometimes too, when you accomplish things, you know, you realize when, when you reach an accomplishment, man, this, this isn’t really what I wanted at the end of the day. My sister is a wonderful example of that. When she graduated high school, she was sure she wanted to be a teacher, so she went to the university of British Columbia. She went through all their training to be a teacher.

Graeme Hughes: (50:19)
She hit the practicum, she got into a classroom where she was working or practicum and within two weeks she decided I hate teaching. It was unfortunate. She figured it out at that point, but we all go through things like this right now. I’ve known people that have saved up for years to take a big vacation and to travel cause it helped me. I really want to travel and they, they go off to do six months of traveling. They come back after two because it realize you don’t really like it. They kind of rather like the comforts of home. So while you’re coming up with your plans, you also have to be prepared for the fact that they may change over time and you have to be a little bit flipped. Flexible to make sure that you’re always aligning what you want to do with what’s really appealing to you. As things change, as you mature, as you experience things, you realize there’s nothing wrong with realigning your goals. If you set a goal for yourself at 25 something, you know, somewhere you want to be at 40, by the time you hit 30, 35, maybe that change isn’t, that’s okay. You just gotta be flexible but always keep a goal in mind and think about it deeply, not just casually because you’re going to have to, like I say, push back against a lot of this messaging that we receive.

Eugene / Host: (51:28)
I think those are the, a couple of things from that what you were talking about is I think the theme of what you’re talking about is having flexibility and, and also visualizing what, what it is deeper level, what is that you want and that those things can change. Right. and to revisit that as you grow. Cause I certainly can speak from my personal experience that those things have changed for me. Certainly my goals. Yeah. As we’re nearing the end of the, of the conversation, this isn’t great. Graham. And you know, I’d love to have you back to talk about more of the different topics, but just to finish off this podcast, I typically end with three questions that I ask. I’ll, I’ll, I’ll guest and one of them, I unapologetically rip from another podcast. I really like, there’s this podcast by Patrick O’Shaughnessy called invest like the best that I listened to a lot more about investing and a lot about professional investment managers typically go on that program. But it’s a fascinating, it’s fascinating to me, but one of the questions I stole from him but I think is a, is a great question to ask anyone or for any program. But let’s start with the first question is, you know, what is the one item or service that you’ve purchased [inaudible] you feel like has the highest return on investment for you?

Graeme Hughes: (52:44)
Oh man, this is going to be really sad. This is my cat. Okay. There’s a lot to being written right now about the cost of pets. And they do cost, I mean, there’s food, there’s vet bills and everything, but my wife and I, our, our son is grown. He’s out of the home now. He’s 23 our cat has become the center of our life. We love that thing. It’s amazing. It’s not a huge expense, but the fact of it is if, if of all of my possessions, if I was going to give up anything probably everything I have around me I would give up before I gave up my gap.

Eugene / Host: (53:23)
That’s incredible. We, we adopted a dog a few years ago and three years ago he was a, he was a stray, but he lived with the family before. And so I, yeah, I would, I would probably second that, that response for myself. People that don’t have pets think you’re crazy when you talk like that, but once you get one, it’s amazing at how much

Graeme Hughes: (53:43)
The personality they have and how much you get attached to them. Absolutely.

Eugene / Host: (53:48)
Yeah. If, if you’re a non pet person, you just can’t understand. The second question is, you know, what’s one of the kindest things that someone’s done for you?

Graeme Hughes: (53:58)
Oh man, there, there been a ton. You know, I, I had the opportunity to spend a number of years in Powell river, and if you don’t know Powell river, it’s on the main land, but it’s kind of North of Vancouver. You have to take two ferries to get there, wanted to go from Vancouver to see shelter. And then again from you know, the North end, you have to go across Jervis inlet to get it is very remote. Basically. You can only get in rope by ferry. And one of the things I liked about Powell river was we had a group of friends there that they really did. It was like the old fashion. Everybody’s in it for each other kind of feeling. And this not any specific thing that I can really point to. But when we lived in Powell river, if there was anything I needed, there was somebody that, that could provide it for me.

Graeme Hughes: (54:43)
And actually there were, there was one time I had been helping out on a local building cause I had some experience and I was youngest a tile setters. So as volunteering, doing some tile work. And I’ve been doing it for a couple of days. And on day three I woke up and my, my house had a septic pump because it was a little bit below street-level, just the way the geography was. And my septic pump had failed and filled my garage with sewage and was like, Oh man, what am I going to do? At the time, he didn’t have any money. I didn’t know how to fix the darn thing. I got sewage all over my, my garage floor. And you know, two, two gentlemen, one of them that I didn’t even know very well. I phoned up my buddy and I said, look, I can’t show up today to help out with this tile job because of my septic pump overflow.

Graeme Hughes: (55:26)
Now what are you going to do? The things dead. So this, this guy showed up an hour later with a stranger that I hardly knew was a septic pump and they went in, they cleaned out my garage, they installed the septic pump, which it’s a subject Palm. It’s a gross job. They cleaned it all up, they got it running, everything was fixed. Thanks very much. Didn’t ask for anything except the cost of the pump. And I was just floored. I mean that, that type of pitching in the spirit is fantastic and I think it’s pretty rare. You know, and here, here I had volunteered a bit of my time to help out and then they thought nothing of reciprocating when I had a need. And you know, I think that’s a very, so the little bit of an old fashioned viewpoint that you sometimes get in smaller towns, but you know, what sure is appreciate it and to know you’ve got people that you can rely on like that that’s worth its weight in gold.

Eugene / Host: (56:16)
That’s a wonderful story. That’s, that’s incredible. Thanks for sharing that. And then lastly, to tie it all off, you know, what, what’s for you, you

Graeme Hughes: (56:24)
You mentioned you started the money geek.info. Oh, for six months now. What’s next for you? And also where can people find you and follow you on, on your mission? Yup. Contact me, this is the website for a certainty is the, the easiest way to go. I’m also on Twitter. Yeah, they can find me there. But through the website, I mean, everything’s kind of linked to the website. My plans going forward, you know, my wife and I, there’s always a big change when your children move out of home. And my son’s been gone for a couple of years now and he’s, he’s up on his own. So we’re sort of thinking, okay, you know, what comes next for us? Where do we see the rest of our life? Because once, you know, when you have children so much as is focused around your family, and then when that’s gone, everything changes.

Graeme Hughes: (57:07)
And we have to think about our retirement because, you know, due to the fact that we kind of got started late, we’re not going to be wealthy retirees by any means. So we’re kind of looking at what country do we want to retire. And then we recently went to Europe. I went to Berlin, Prague and Warsaw and just, we fell in love with Poland in Poland is a place where you can live very inexpensively. So my plan right now, I’m going to be working for the foreseeable future. At my full time job. But eventually I would like to see myself become location independent through the website. If I can get it to the point over the next several years where there is even a modest income, I could see us, you know, send me retiring to a place like Poland and doing that for a number of years. I don’t know if I’d stay there forever, but certainly it’s something we’re thinking about for a while.

Graeme Hughes: (57:55)
You know, when you start to push 50, you get into your fifties, finding some freedom from work and some flexibility around work becomes a much bigger thing. So that’s kinda my focus right now. You know, we’ve made with our own finances, you know. Yeah. We messed it up for a number of years now for most of the time we’d been married, but we made a ton of progress the last few. And now we’re getting to that point. We’re on the next, you know, three, four years. We’ll have a lot of flexibility and it won’t take a lot of income to support us forever. We want to be, so that’s our focus right now. We’ve got this vision of being location independent, you know, having flexibility around the type of work we do. The website hopefully is going to be a significant part of that. And my wife was working on another site called the job cave because she has experience with resumes and helping people find work and work related employment related issues. So that’s kind of where we see ourselves going down the road.

Eugene / Host: (58:48)
Awesome. Well, Graham Hughes, thank you so much for being on the program. Thanks for having me. Please, please, please share this podcast. And if you haven’t done so already, please hit subscribe. Thank you.

Categories Financial Freedom Financial Independence Financial Planning FIRE Personal Finance Podcast Retire Early

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