We are a community of contrarians that embrace the art of "Financial Sustainability". FS is an alternative to Financial Independence Retire Early (FIRE) and focuses on a whole life approach to becoming and maintaining your financial and personal independence in a debt enslaved western world. If you are sick of always working, never getting ahead and knowing that there has to be a better way for you and your family, this is where you will get the answers and motiviation to change it all. Read our Philosophy and our Articles to get started.

The sadness of hypnotized hope

We just returned from a family weekend to Las Vegas and although the shows are incredible and we all enjoyed them, walking down the Strip and being shunted in and out of casinos forces you to see the dichotomy that is Las Vegas and the life of the constrained.

What this contrarian investor is buying in Q3 2019

I don’t give personal financial advice. But what I will do is to open the kimono, so to speak, and tell you what I’m doing. Maybe history will prove me to be foolish or wrong, or some super genius or something, but I have no crystal ball. What I do have, however, is a sensitivity and observation of what is going on in the world and I use that directly to influence my own decision making process.  I'll tell you what I'm doing here.

Celebrate being a control freak

I’m not a fan of the Tim Ferris book, “The 4 Hour Work Week”. It is a flawed method for achieving what people aspire to - a life of abundance with little effort. It celebrates the concept of little work and big rewards, and is no magic formula for life. The fact is the more you give up and outsource the more constrained you are. Let’s discuss.

My own personal disaster with retirement

When I was 32, I retired. It didn’t end well. This is my retirement story. Take from it what you can. Life isn't experienced in some cubicle somewhere, but the majority of people I talk to who are embracing FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early) don't really understand what life looks like on the other side of the retirement line and why they might want to rethink their goals.

Interesting observations of a returning traveler

When you travel and return home, there is a clarity that comes with that. If only for a short period of time, you see things for what they are. I'm going to share my clarity from about 5 months of travel, with periodic returns back to the USA, before those memories are obliterated by day to day events.

Mexico Medical Tourism - The raw truth of having major surgery in Guadalajara (Part 2 of 2)

I have had my surgery in Mexico. For anyone that wants an honest accounting of the process and costs, I have laid it all out in detail here. I cover the emotional doubts, fear of surgery in a foreign land, financial truth and the outcome. You be the judge of whether this is right for you. For me, it was. Spoiler Alert: It cost me less than 1/10th of the US Price.

Mexico Medical Tourism - Putting yourself first for a change (Part 1 of 2)

It can be a frightening thing - choosing to go to a foreign country to get major surgery. The vast majority of us find that a bridge too far to cross. I took the leap of faith, and I have begun the journey. This article (and hopefully the one that will follow it after my surgery is completed) will give a totally fact based account of the experience so you can see if something like this makes sense for you.

Where did my city go?

I am returning from a 3 week trip to my home in Australia. I was born there, spent the first 25 years of my life there, then the next 30 years in USA. Each year I go back to South Australia to see family. As much as I love my home city of Adelaide, I’m saddened by what I see going on there and the liquidation of so much of the culture by selling it out to the highest bidder. This is the story of how a city can go from utopia to constrained in a relatively short time frame.

I LOVE RECESSIONS!

It is Q3 2019 as I write this, and all I am seeing on the news media is the word “Recession” thrown around in abandon on all the financial news channels. This is the new “clickbait” to try and scare people into watching their shows. But here’s a completely contrarian view of the topic that might give you a positive view and why I LOVE recessions

How to save up to 30% or more on Amazon purchases

First, I’m not a fan of buying anything you don’t need. I’m also not a fan of supporting Big Tech and their ambitions to take over the world. There are, however, some battles we can’t win, so why not find a way to live with this dystopia, but financially benefit? Well here is one way you can do that.

Mastering the challenge of retirement

There are many theoretical approaches to retirement funding. If you ask a 50-60 year old their strategy, you will get a very different answer than to ask a 30 year old FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early) person about their strategy. Much has to do with willingness to take on risk. I investigate these different approaches and why both are fundamentally flawed and present a simple answer that I have used successfully.

On the outside, looking in - a week with expats in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

I have just returned from 3 weeks in Mexico, and spent a week in the town of San Miguel de Allende, meeting with expats who have chosen a life outside of the USA & Canada. When you see your daily life from the outside, looking in, you get a perspective that is quite frightening. Let’s talk about the expat phenomenon and what drives someone to leave the country of their birth, in search of greener pastures.

How Mexico’s history could be the USA future

History has a nasty habit of repeating itself. And the current red flags in the USA have an eerie similarity to the build up to revolution in Mexico of the pre-1910 era. If you knew next week’s lottery numbers, you could be an instant multi-millionaire, so let’s use that trick to try and speculate on how things might go, and how you could play this to your advantage.

Hypnosis in the western world

According to Nielsen ratings in 2017, the average American family spent 7 hours and 50 minutes per day watching TV. And what did that average American family get for selling nearly 8 hours a day of their time to the square screen? A mass state of hypnosis that has carved out social norms that are far from normal, far from healthy, far from financially beneficial and far from unconstrained.

Forget education - LEARN TO SURF!

Given the choice of going to school or surfing, if you live near the ocean it is a pretty easy one to make. But has anyone ever told you that surfing is really the best education you can have?

Living on one dollar a day

There is a growing movement towards financial independence and a minimalist approach to life. Although I applaud anyone who takes responsibility over their expenses, how quickly we forget that in western economics access to capital is the reason we are not third world country. This is so well demonstrated in the documentary “One Dollar A Day” and the pain & suffering that a lack of available capital can bring to a society. It teaches us a lesson about good vs. bad debt.

Medical tourism in Mexico | How to save up to 75% on your dental costs

We should all take the best care of our teeth. But in the USA, costs are outrageous. Insurance doesn't cover most dental procedures and patients are often presented with $10K+ bills for basic dental work. If they realized there was a better option right on their doorstep, this could all be avoided. Welcome to medical tourism, and the border town of Los Algodones, Mexico.

Bear market FIRE strategies - Can you handle the truth?

The bull market we’ve had will be ending soon. This is just natural. Markets go up and markets go down. The bull market has been active since about 2010, fueled by low interest rate money but with the natural market cycle spurred on by the China Trade Wars, it won’t last much longer. What should those pursuing FI or FIRE do to adjust? Do they have what it takes to handle this?

Bitcoin and Ethereum in 2019

The markets are on the move again. Bitcoin & Ethereum are seeing substantial price increases as they re-emerge as an attractive alternative asset class yet again. Here’s my take on it, since I was an early Bitcoin advocate back in 2011, and I’ve done pretty damn well out of them to date. You might be curious as to where I am at with this, so read on.

The art of decentralized economics for the unconstrained

What we are doing in the United States and the western world is not working. The average person is living from pay check to pay check, is carrying too much debt load, has barriers to wealth, is brainwashed and is losing their individual freedoms. This article suggests a peaceful way to break that model that you can adopt today and be free of the restrictions of the economic systems that we are expected to live in.

Why having a job & career may be the worst financial mistake of your life

It is time to get real. You've been told to pay attention in school, get a degree. Then get a good corporate job so you can enter the middle class. Well I'm here to tell you that it often doesn't work, and what you need to do to rethink that approach in the 21st century.

When the outlook is grey, look for greener pastures

The surveillance state. Like the tale of the frog in a pot of boiling water, we have been exposed to a gradual increase of this as a blatant misuse of technology. There is a role for safety & security, but when it gets out of control, it is time to rethink where you live. If you feel the upcoming election cycle will drive your stress level up and your sanity challenged, this article might help you get some awareness of what is going on and your options.

You are 50 yrs old and nothing saved for retirement.  Don’t worry - I’ve got an idea…

First, don't panic. Don't get depressed and don't think all is lost. It isn't. We will break down the fallacy of retirement and turn some lemons into lemonade. There are ways to sustain yourself financially and it doesn't require millions of dollars in an index fund.

Financial safety - it’s a jungle out there

Maybe it is a generational thing, but the current FIRE entrants didn't seem to get the memo on financial safety, trust and just how dangerous it is out there. I guess until you have been a target of theft, you don't really feel the issue. We talk openly about safety & trust in this article.

Risks, rewards & bankruptcies

Wealth is rarely generated without someone taking some form of risk. It might be the purchase of real estate, a business venture, etc. If you have a positive result from this, you could become wealthy. If you fail, you could become bankrupt. Let's talk about the balance of life risks and risk mitigation.

Financial faucets and you

Those following financial sustainability know about faucets. We all have experienced the “drip-drip-drip” of a leaky faucet. It’s not only annoying, but if left unattended, it could add up to thousands of gallons of wasted water and a very large water bill. Losing money through not being mindful of small leaks is bad. Additionally faucets are a great way to collect money, and with enough of them you can be 100% financially sustainable.

Corporate layoffs are coming and why this is a good thing

Our world is changing. Robotics, AI and automation will do more to increase layoffs of workers than anything we have seen in the past 30 years. Think you have a safe job? Think again. You don't. The corporate mindset wants to destroy your job, but if you are on the path towards financial sustainability, this shouldn't be a big deal.

What Americans probably don’t understand about Julian Assange

Today I watched the UK police forcibly extract Julian Assange from the Ecuadorian embassy after he held out there for 7 years. Seeing a man screaming to resist seemed ironic since he predicted this very series of events would occur 7 years prior, as he feared US extradition. But what few US residents understand is what it was like growing up in the 1980s in Australia, where I and Assange are from. And the distrust of the US around the world.

Emergency Savings Funds and passive income

I absolutely believe that the first thing anyone should have as part of their financial strategy is liquid cash available for times of emergency. This has become more popular due to the Dave Ramsey preaching of the value of an emergency savings fund. But just how much is right, and what factors may influence the amount you need to have? We discuss this in light of a passive income strategy in this article.

Are Americans rich?

A recent podcast discussion that I was a co-host on came up, in which the host asked the question, "Are Americans Rich?". The context was to do with whether we all shouldered the burden of charitable giving to other nations and whether that is something that should be done by the individual. The discussion brings up some very interesting dynamics, which I will attempt to give my opinion on in this article.

Wanna live longer?  Try this methdology

Statistics don't lie. We are living longer, but just not as long as you would expect. The US Male average life expectancy climbed from 74 years in 1980 to 76.1 years in 2018. Pretty pathetic considering over that time period we spent 10x as much on healthcare. Clearly relying on your doctor and the medical system isn't enough to increase longevity. Here's a methodology that you might be interested to know...

The path to a 100% financially sustainable life

In previous articles, I have stated that the concept of FI (Financial Independence) is flawed. Although the pursuit of it is admirable, the fact is that few FI followers have been able to do this through bear markets. Consequently putting yourself on that path has some dangers. I prefer to concept of "financial sustainability" and this article gives you tangible steps to take to achieve that.

The modern day Marco Polo

If you paid attention in History class, you probably remember the story of Marco Polo, the Venetian who traveled east in search of trade and opened up the Silk Road, often at grave peril to his own well being. Well today there are Marco Polo's everywhere, and I wanted to highlight a couple in Mexico doing that (and so much more).

Why economics matter

The real state of affairs for the USA is dire. The TV news or your politicians won't tell you that, because it is business & political suicide. But the real economic data matters for your daily life and it is the reason you are and will continue to be constrained.

The elephant in the operating theater

US Medical costs are out of control. But rather than dealing with that, voters will be faced with political policy decisions based on whether the govt should pay for it.

Can FI followers survive a bear market?

There is a lot of interest in the FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early) movement, but I am skeptical of whether those that achieve FI during a bull market have what it takes to make it through a bear market...

The debate over passive vs active income

Although many would attest to a debate over active vs passive income, we believe there is no debate - Passive always wins. Let's explain why.

Training your contrarian brain for success

Rich and successful people typically do the opposite of the herd. It is a choice. It comes with fear, doubt and uncertainty. Training your mindset to embrace these things is the key element of how you will get extraordinary results from an ordinary world.

The truth in numbers

The numbers don't lie. They tell a tale of a society living well beyond its means. This is why 80% of Americans are broke and living pay check to pay check.

Travel Rewards - A free ticket or a deal with the devil?

US banks have been offering incentives to get you to sign up for credit cards for years. The incentives are really valuable if you know how to play the game, but could they be a deal with the devil if you don't?

The uphill battle to stop throwing good things away

About 2 weeks ago, my daughter called me from Tucson, Arizona. She is a senior at the University of Arizona there. She had been stopped at the traffic lights in her car, when another car rear ended her. It wasn't a big accident. Thankfully no one was hurt, and there actually was little visible damage to the back of her car.

The US media is frying your brain

Today it all came to a head for me when I saw this... I think we have officially become a failed state. And I blame the hypnosis of the US Media for much of it.

Cord cutting success and digital sustainability

In July 2018, 32% of cable TV subscribers in the USA had cut the cord and left cable. This was due to the excessive pricing model and the free market's supply & demand model by opening up options to Internet subscribers.

Are you awake to see opportunities?

Why is it that some people have the knack to see an opportunity and seize it, and others just watch them pass by?

Detaching from the Matrix…Small steps to big rewards

We are in a mess. We got this way because people forgot that the power brokers of the world treat life like a chess game, and we think of life like a daily or hourly experience.

Walls.  What are they good for?

Anything that impedes the free trade between neighbors is a bad thing for both parties. Even the open demonstration of a lack of trust with a neighbor breeds an often inhospitable relationship and let's face it... You can't just move a country because you have an issue with a neighbor.

What will bring on the next imminet US economic collapse?

Remember 2008? Banksters created an illusion that housing prices could keep going up and up because they artificially fueled demand by creating a new customer base of people who got mortgages that previously would never have qualified.

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