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Episode Number: 63

Episode 63: Journeyer Profile – Lynn Amores How a Massive Stroke Almost Derailed Her Journey To Financial Independence

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The journey to Financial Independence can be a tough one that is full of ebbs and flows. I believe that it is so important that we share our stories to inspire others that may be experiencing some of the same challenges that we have. That is why I started the Journeyer Profile Series where I’m talking to my listeners and the people in my community about their path to FI.

In this week’s episode, I’m speaking with Lynn who suffered a massive stroke at age 43, that almost completely derailed her finances and she has an amazing story to share.

If you would like to be considered to be a journeyer for the Journeyer Profile Series go to www.journeytolaunch.com/journeyerprofile

You can also check out the Budget BootCamp here.

Check out Lynn’s Journeyer Profile below:

When did you discover FI?:

-Was led to the FI community while listening to The Minimalist Podcast in 2016-17. I had a long commute and was looking for ways to learn more about work-life balance. First started listening to Listen Money Matters, then Choose FI, and Journey to Launch.

-Became an avid JTL listener and took the Budget Bootcamp course and joined the personal finance Mastermind, where I got a better idea about how to reach for FI, and that it was doable

Why are you pursuing FI? What’s your WHY?:

-Pursuing FI because I want to be able to spend more time with my family and to be there for my kids as much as possible. Also, my mom is a widow in her 70’s, and I want to be able to spend as much time with her as possible. this has always been what I wanted (tried working part-time, changing jobs, etc.), but after trying to fit my family around my work life for 10 years and not quite getting it to work, I realize that FI is the best way. technically we’re probably doing it half-FI (if that is a thing) because my husband wants to and will continue to work full time. his career is in a rapid growth phase. But we have to follow FI concepts if I am not going to work a traditional W2 doctor job

-After having the stroke, I am more open to using more of my talents and pursuing more of my interests outside of medicine. I want to have more time and opportunity to do to those things, without having to fit it around my work schedule. my life from the age of 8yo was all about becoming and being a doctor 90% of the time! Now as a mom, I already have to flex so much for my family’s schedule. my kids are very active with sports, my husband and I are very active w the school/community, and he works full time with lots of travel. So, I want to have the time and energy to be involved and there for everyone, which was nearly impossible when I was in clinic 10 hours a day seeing dozens of patients (I was off the grid a lot!!)

What’s your FI number? and/or overall FI goal?

I’m not sure the exact number, somewhere between 1.5-2 M? I should know this.

How long will it take you to reach FI?

7-12 years? Not really sure, depends on several factors: will I go back to medical work part-time? will I start my own practice? wellness blog? online shop (home goods/stationery)? will my mom and her siblings sell off their company (which would mean a windfall for me *crossing fingers* but not banking on it) etc.

Where are you currently on the journey? Debt payoff mode, aggressively saving mode, increasing investments mode?

Savings mode. We were about to enter an aggressive savings mode when the stroke happened. we were almost done paying down CC debt (that’s all done now since the mastermind), were about to accelerate my med student loan pay off (current balance about 25K), bump up our savings rate (from around 10 to 25%) and/or pay down the mortgage faster.

What are some mistakes, wins, and lessons you’ve learned or gathered along the way to share with other Journeyers?

Spending money is fun, especially on experiences. Saving up to do those things vs. going into debt makes those experiences even better. I’ve done it both ways. In 2013 we went to Hawaii and paid for the flights with credit cards. We didn’t pay those off right away, and that makes me mad to this day! On the other hand, we travel hacked a trip to Cancun 2 years ago. Not in my top choices of destinations, but it was so fun and my kids talk about it to this day.

Also, as a high earner, I could have probably saved more aggressively than I did. living in an expensive city, that is hard to do. but I could probably have saved more. that’s a mistake I would change if I could. however, I didn’t overpay to live in an expensive city, so in the end, it probably balanced out.

Win: when I got out of my medical training, I signed up for private disability insurance. those benefits have allowed me to have more time in the year since my stroke. I don’t have to rush back to work to pay the bills. and we didn’t have to dip into our savings to get by. It didn’t cover 100% of my income, so we learned how to live on less money (especially after taking the JTL budget course and doing the mastermind!).

The policy cost me $250/mo, but it allowed me to sleep at night without worrying about how my family would get by if I couldn’t work (being a high earner). And the return to work time it has given me since the stroke is priceless. So many of my friends have signed up for private disability insurance since my stroke. Many employer-based plans are skimpy, especially if you are a high earner.

What I learned along the way is that

1) Hard work and good work ethic are so important, whether you grow up with privilege or not

2) If you have the intention and mindset to do something, you can accomplish anything

3) If you have help and support, great! don’t be complacent. work as hard as you would if you didn’t have the help. your accomplishments will still be all yours. I’ve seen people grow up with a lot who are not living to their full potential. and that’s really sad.

3) if you need help and support, don’t be afraid to ask. people want to help you. and you’ll know who your friends really are relationships are KEY

4) There is always more to learn, not just about finances, but about yourself and your own journey

List the things you are doing to help move forward on your journey (side hustle, cutting expenses, increasing income, moving to LCOL, building up passive income streams, etc.)

I am now working on some side hustles. After the stroke, I have had a lot of time to think about what I want to do. I have a love of paper crafts and I love being organized. As a working mom, my head was always spinning about who needs to be where when I had to start writing it down in a notebook. I got to the point that I was double booking myself/family or missing appointments. It was starting to affect my friendships and relationships, and my self-esteem! Writing everything down helps me feel empowered. I also like to write and journal. So, I am starting a blog, where I will share my health and finance journey – I truly believe that optimizing one can optimize the other if you are intentional about it. Eventually, I will start a holistic health based private practice – both locally and virtually (kind of like a mastermind). Also, I want to really learn how to teach others about finance, like you! I am looking into taking the CFEI certification course. I want to be able to help everyday people like my kids’ teachers, and the kids and their friends at school when they are a little older.

What are your plans after FI? What do you ultimately want to do when money is no longer an issue?

I want to do the side hustles that I mentioned above. Most of all I want to travel all over the country and the world with my family. Also, I hope to still be blogging and would like to write a book. And I hope to be a landlord, so my kids can be FI too.

What advice do you have for other Journeyers who want to stay motivated on this journey?

Budget, budget, budget. Be honest with yourself about what money you have, where it is going, and what you want to do with what you have. Protect yourself with savings, good insurance, and most of all education. Spend on that first and foremost. people come first, and that includes yourself. Spend money on people, and experiences with people in your life, not on things! And after education and people comes real estate. I cannot stress enough how important that has been to me in my life. I’m not an active real estate investor, but my mother’s family is in real estate and I am third generation wealthy (if not FI) because of that. Also, we bought our house as soon as we could – wanting a roof over our heads, no bells and whistles, it is not a trophy home – and that is one of the best life decisions we have ever made. Not only is it worth twice what we paid for, but our mortgage is half what we would pay to rent this house from a landlord. Stay focused but have a plan that isn’t all about the numbers.

At the end of the podcast, I also talk about the waitlist to the soft launch of my monthly membership program. Get monthly tips, tools, and classes to help you launch to Financial Freedom. Click here to sign up and be the first to be notified when the doors open in Summer/Fall 2018.

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