Alan Donegan: Rebel Business School Co-Founder, Rebel Entrepreneur podcast host, Rebel Finance School co-founder and Queen's award winner. Marvel movie fan fanatic, breakfast lover and financial independent traveller
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I wanted to warn you! This post is all about me (Alan). Which is not my most comfortable thing to write or talk about. I much prefer to talk about business, learning or finance! But I think there will be some value here for you from how I approach and think about things that you can apply to your world!
Selling all our property
As we have been travelling more and more this year we have found that we have only spent 2 out of 11 months in the UK and at home in Basingstoke. We have been paying £1000 in mortgage, ground rent, tax, maintenance charge and more to leave our place empty and not live in it! This seems CRAZY to both of us so we are going to sell it and use that money to go nomadic for 2020.
The second part of the equation is out investment properties and as we are not in Basingstoke it makes it harder for us to look after them and the tenants. Katie and I don't have a management agent, we do all the paperwork, repairs and more ourselves! Why do we do that? Management agents cost you around 10% of your rent and then you have to use expensive contractors if it goes wrong! For the last 5 years of our life we have been in a wealth accumulation and that has meant maximising returns.
This year whilst travelling it has become more difficult to manage remotely. Getting a call from the tenants about the electricity failing and being afraid that the whole place is going to burn down is fine when you live down the hall in the UK but not ok when you are 8 hours time difference away in Santa Monica Script writing. Then you get ripped of buy an electrician for the repairs; costing you over a months rent to change a breaker!
At this point in our FI journey we are optimising for time. So we are going to shift our money (by selling the flats) and put it into Vanguard Index funds which take a whole lot less management, time and can be organised wherever in the world Katie and I end up in 2020!
The choice of investment you go for is going to depend on what you are optimising for; returns, freedom, time, fun or other things?
If you are interested then here are our properties on the market:
We are selling our all property not because they don't get good returns (they do!) but because we want something different in 2020! We want freedom from Basingstoke, freedom to travel and not to have any calls about toilet blockages!
We are going to live in Amazing Airbnb's like we did in Santa Monica whilst doing the movie writing experiment. We are going to live in Thailand, get massages and eat Thai Green Curry every day! We are going to explore the world and now that we can work on our projects where ever we want to we are free to do it!
One reason for doing this is to use Geo-Arbitrage to decrease our living expenses. What is Geo-Arbitrage? It is the ability to spend your £GBP or $USD in different countries where they go a lot further.
In Thailand our pounds are worth so much more than they are in the UK. A 1 hour massage is £6 and a Pad Thai on the street that is better than anything in the UK is £1! The 1 bedroom flat we lived in their for a few weeks in 2018 was £17 a night! By spending two months in Thailand we will save a fortune compared to living else where! It is a tough life!
This will then offset the months we spent living in LA or other expensive areas. This is going to be an experiment on how much it costs to live around the world and if we can make it work!
Katie and I are preparing an annual report on our spending in 2019 so you can look forward to some pie charts and graphics! In 2018 and 2017 we spent around £40,000 a year together. This should decrease massively when we are travelling!
This is a huge huge huge change! I am actually nervous and worried about a few things! In no particular order they are:
This is going to be a massive change for Katie and I and I am going to write more about in 2020! The one thing that gives me confidence going into this experiment is that we have only been at home for 2 months this year anyway and we have had an EPIC time travelling, creating, writing and more.
Watch this space and I will keep you updated!
Movie writing update
The movie sciprt has fallen down the list of priorities! Does this mean you aren't going to finish it Alan? NO!
I just need to create the space to get back to it and I need a good clear week or so to do this. My plan is to put aside a week in early 2020 to work on it non-stop and finish it and get it out into the world.
Thank you to all of you that have helped me get this far with my experiment of script writing. Jane, Jamie, Cathy, Ron, Ashley and everyone. I am committing to you that I am going to finish the script and get to the next step of selling it or releasing it in early 2020. I will keep you up to date on my progress!
They are an incredibly big projects for Katie and I to organise. This year we hosted three weeks of events. One in the UK and 2 in Portugal. Hosting people all around the world in a country you don't live in, booking all the accomodation, food and organising everything is a time consuming project. This has absolutely distracted me from doing the movie script above and it is a higher priority as it is time sensitive. If I don't organise this it will fall to pieces instantly. If I don't write the script this month there are no real consequences!
They are amazing week long events where we get together the biggest bloggers, podcasters and brains in the FIRE (financial independence, retire early) world and spend a week with 29 people at a time helping them think through FI, what they want in their lives and more. They are intense, fun and inspiring events.
Katie and I are now turning our attention to 2020 and the upcoming Chautauqua events that will probably take place in the autumn in Croatia! Don't hold me to this though as nothing is booked yet and anything could change.
If you want to see more of last year's events then you can see the FI Chautauqua site here.
These events are not for people early in their FI journey with no savings. They are for people further down the path who can easily afford the price. I am doing afree FI workshop in London late November, 2019 if you want to come and learn for free.
Katie and I love running the Chautauqua events and this is something we are going to keep doing each year. It helps us meet incredible people, spend time with friends we love and help others!
TV Show Update
This was spotted by a production company in NYC who thought it would make a fabulous TV show helping people start up and make money doing what they love! They flew out to LA to meet me in March and we have been working together ever since to make this a reality!
I am so pumped about this and want to create a TV show to really reach people, smash the belief it takes money to make money and help people startup, create their own income and do it all debt free!
This week coming I fly out to NYC to meet with one of the television networks in the states and have the first meeting with them about the TV show! I will keep you update as I go but this is my big dream for 2020! To make a TV show that really changes hearts, minds and beliefs about what is possible for people.
After being on one of the shows recently that has massively taken off they have asked me if I want to create my own podcast as part of their family of podcasts! The answer was an enthusiastic yes and I am working with them to make it happen.
My next steps are to build a team to help me run it and be on it, to design the graphics and to get it up! It is a lot of work which I am looking forward to getting into!
More on this shortly. I am planning an entire post about the podcast!
You know the decision we made! I love going away and thinking about life. I truly believe that this deep thought, planning and idea generation is what has helped us create such a phenomenal life. I am going to write a post about the questions we ask ourselves, the introspection we do and the idea generation methods in time for the new year.
This is one of the things I am most excited about for 2020!
PopUp seems to be flying at the moment. I have been speaking to Simon, and the team and I have been so impressed with that they have been achieving! In no particular order here is what I have been proud of:
As always all PopUp's courses are free. If you want help starting a business in 2020 then come along to one of our PopUp events around the world!
Financial Independence - Events
Over the last 5 years the Financial Independence Community has had such a big impact on my life and the advice they have given has really changed everything. I want to continue to give back to the community that has supported me so well! In that vain I am going to do my first ever Financial Independence Workshop in London in November. It will be completely free and if you want to learn about FI then just click "going" on Facebook and come along and see me!
I want to share everything I have learned over the last five years with as many people as possible
Blog plans - what's next?
I have loved writing AlanDonegan.com this year! The blog is now 1 year old and I have really enjoyed the comments, interaction, new friends and sharing ideas. Thank you for being part of that. What's next for the blog?
My plan is to keep writing about Financial Independence, entrepreneurship and more over the coming year. I will continue to share ideas and work to inspire you. The main plan is more of the same!
If there is anything you want to see on the blog then please leave me a comment and let me know! I would love to give you more of what you want!
Can you fit it all in?
People vastly over estimate what they can achieve in a year and massively underestimate what they can achieve in a decade!
I am in danger of overloading 2020 and trying to do EVERYTHING all at once! This is BAD!
Here is my current thinking about 2020 and the plans
You can't do everything. But you can do one things at once and start to make progress!
Thanks for reading
Thanks for reading my post. I am going to go back to more of the content posts coming up. I just wanted to share some of the amazing and cool things that have been happening with you.
If you want to hear about my latest posts then put your email address in below and I will send you an email every now and again.
If you are inspired to get involved with any of the things above then email me and let mke know your ideas, thoughts and more!