059: Where Are They Now? | T and Megan

Explore FI Canada’s two! We’re celebrating by checking in on our very first guests: T from T on FIRE and Megan from Victoria (of Smith Manoeuvre and homeschooling fame)!

T shares how she’s doing as she enters ‘the slog’—the doldrums of the FI journey. And Megan surprises us by returning to full-time work, just as she’s reached FIRE! We hope you enjoy this trip down memory lane and hearing what T and Megan have been up to.

In addition to this being our second-anniversary episode, it’s also our final episode for the summer. Money Mechanic, Max, and Chrissy will be enjoying a much-needed break from EFIC duties until Friday, September 10, 2021.

We hope you have a fun and relaxing summer, and look forward to getting back to sharing more Canadian FI stories and info in the fall!

Click to view transcript

Disclaimer: Some of the links on this page are affiliate links. That means we may receive a commission if you make a purchase after clicking through our links.

Money Mechanic
Hello, listeners. Welcome to Explore FI Canada, where we sit at the roundtable with Canadians, and share their thoughts, ideas and personal journeys to financial independence.

Thanks to Matt McKeever for sponsoring Explore FI Canada. Matt is a Canadian investor, CPA, entrepreneur, and real estate expert who achieved FIRE at age 31. Do us a favour and check out his YouTube channel by searching Matt McKeever or using the link in our show notes.

Money Mechanic
It is the Money Mechanic back with you again on Explore FI Canada. Hi, Chrissy.

Chrissy
Hello, my friend. How are you doing?

Money Mechanic
Fantastic. Do you realize that it’s been two years? Two years since we started this?

Chrissy
That’s crazy. How did that happen? But you’re right. It was two years ago on July 1, 2019, Canada Day, that we started this podcast.

Money Mechanic
And Ryan was along for the ride back then too. But you know, who was also along for the ride, our first episode was T on FIRE.

Chrissy
That’s right. She was our first guest ever. That’s such a brave lady to come on.

Money Mechanic
And I listened to that show. And we were rookies and not the best. I hope we’ve improved. Thank you, all you listeners out there. They’ve been here from the beginning for helping us grow and get better along the way and putting up with us.

Chrissy
I don’t know if I want to listen.

Money Mechanic
Though it’s good to revisit it. But that’s just what we’re doing today, though, is we’re going to do a little revisit with two previous guests. T on FIRE, who is our first guest. And she’s on FIRE because she has a blog over at tonfire.com. So you can check that out. And listeners, you can check out that first episode if you need a little bit of T’s backstory before you dive into the recap or the revisit that we’re talking to her today about. And after that, we’re going to have a quick visit with she’s like, she must be our favorite guest.

Chrissy
It seems like it! This will be her fourth time on.

Money Mechanic
I know. Well, it’s not our favorite guest because we love our guests. But she’s got a lot of information packed into her brain about real estate, Smith Manoeuvre, financial independence. She’s a very impressive lady. We’re happy to have Megan back on the show to do another little catch up as well, because she’s got some interesting things going on in her life that I think are pretty cool. So we definitely want to catch up with what she’s doing.

Chrissy
Yeah.

Money Mechanic
So what are your thoughts, Chrissy? Should we, should try and get one of them on the line?

Chrissy
Yeah, I’m excited. Let’s do this.

Money Mechanic
Let’s see if we can get a hold of T on FIRE.

Thanks for being back with us.

T
My pleasure.

Money Mechanic
This is your FI two-year checkup.

T
Okay, I didn’t know there would be one of these. So that’s great.

Money Mechanic
Well, I’ve been following your blog for the last two years since we first met. And you do do monthly financial updates for the most part, and you write some other articles in there. And I think it just be interesting for our listeners that may or may not have heard from you before that. How’s that journey to FI going? Tell us a little bit about what we what we kind of missed out on in your life in the last two years?

T
Well, there’s been there’s been struggles, and there’s been, you know, great successes. It’s, it’s been, it’s been good. I mean, I can’t help but be a little disappointed in the progress that we’ve made in terms of like, like I said, They’re big wins. But there’s also could I have done better? Absolutely. But I did look at my net worth report just before this episode. And I wanted to tell you that it went up by 52% since I started working towards FI so that’s, that’s decent, right?

Chrissy
Yeah!

Money Mechanic
Round of applause

T
I feel happy about that. But like, you know, there’s always more that you can do, and especially reading some of the FI interviews that you’ve been posting, I’m just like, wow, these people are amazing. Like, how do I do this?

Chrissy
Well, it helps if you’re single, that definitely does help.

T
I know the family, man, they spend so much money and they cost a lot of money. You know, yeah, there’s, there’s only so much you can do you have to work with the people you live with, in order to, you know, try to find that happy medium between everybody. So that’s something that is a challenge. But overall, I feel like, you know, we’ve paid off all of our debt. We are we’re purchasing things only with cash now, which is huge. You know, my whole life I’ve been putting things on credit. So this is this is a big change. So from that perspective, it’s it’s going very well.

Chrissy
And I think a lot of people would say that your turnaround was relatively quick. You know, that was two years ago. And I believe you were still paying off your debt at that time.

T
Yes.

Chrissy
That’s an accomplishment in two years to have done away with that. And then now you have squared everything up, and you’re just plowing things into investments now.

T
Definitely, it’s like, it’s a whole new way of thinking. And pretty much everybody is on board with the idea in the family. So that’s also a huge change or shift in the mindset of everyone. So I mean, my seven-year-old isn’t quite there. But the husband is at least now.

Money Mechanic
I was thinking about how we all start the journey to FIRE we’re super excited. It’s something new and we’re passionate about and you make lots of big changes upfront. And Chrissy and I have spoken about it before as well as the kind of doldrums once you’ve got everything optimized? It takes some time, right? None of us are going to get to FI in five years, no, it might be 10 or 10+, and as we’ve always said, it’s individual. Have you found that? Did you find that you’re into that kind of everything’s optimized? And now it’s just kind of the waiting and sticking with the path?

T
Well, I think, yes, in terms of cash flow, and budgeting and getting my financial house in order, I would say now, we’re at a point where we need to start either leveraged investing, or kind of ramping it up to the next level, like, we’re not going to cut expenses, really any more than we have, by any significant amount, unless we move or start working from home. So we don’t have transportation costs or something like that. So without a huge change, we need to change how we use the equity in our home. So for example, do we leverage invest that equity through the Smith Manoeuvre? Or do we maybe use some of the equity to purchase a rental property to try to get a little bit more cash flow and more regular income outside of our nine to five job? So I think that’s the next step is how do I use my my equity in my current home to try to help propel things a little bit faster?

Money Mechanic
So I think that’s excellent, because that’s kind of getting to the next level along the way, right? And your two-year journey, how much more comfortable would you say you are now with the investment side of your assets?

T
That’s a really good question. Definitely way, like 100% more comfortable. But I still have so much more to learn. Like just listening to various podcasts. Every day, I’m learning something new and reading articles and just kind of hanging out on Facebook, there’s a lot left for me to learn. And I’m not, I’m not comfortable yet with investing everything myself, I still have a financial advisor, which I think I’ve said that before. Just because he’s like my checking balance to make sure that what I’m doing makes sense.

Chrissy
Yeah, and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with sticking with an advisor for your whole life, not everyone wants to, or has the time to learn how to invest in-depth to a level that they’re comfortable doing it all on their own. And there’s nothing wrong with that. We all have different priorities in life. And there’s nothing wrong with offloading that to an expert to help you.

T
And I think if you know, what the questions to ask and what type of advisor you need to get, and you know, enough to be able to make sure that you get someone you can trust, and that has your best interests in mind, it is not a bad thing. In fact, I was super happy because my advisor, I kind of went to him and said, like, here’s what I’m looking for, I don’t want to pay, you know, ridiculous mutual fund fees, I want to I want to have a fee-only advisor. And I want to know, you know, everything that’s going on with my portfolio and how it’s built and blah, blah, blah. And he gave me all that information, and was able to get me into a lower cost funds for most of my portfolio. So he really is taking the steps to try to keep me with him. So I appreciate that. And, you know, it’s not everybody’s cup of tea, but I find it’s really beneficial. So he’s a wealth of information.

Chrissy
And that’s why I like to share this kind of info because I think in the FI community, we can be a bit dogmatic about our approach. Like it’s only DIY, it’s got to be these certain ETFs. And if you don’t do it that way, you’re you’re not in you’re not in the community. And we have to be careful to not get that specific and narrow with our thinking that we’re we’re ignoring the other options that may be better for other people.

T
Right. So I would say the biggest change there is I took my chunk of my portfolio and I’m managing that myself. So it’s a smaller chunk. But I feel like that’s a huge step in a more independent direction, I guess. And I can kind of compare and contrast. Okay, well, how are How are my decisions comparing to my financial advisors decisions, for example? So he has access to some funds that I don’t so, you know, maybe he can outperform me. Anyway, I gotta give it a couple more years to see how things go. But…

Money Mechanic
Nice. So you wrote an article called The Slog.

T
Yes.

Money Mechanic
This one came out in early May. And since we talked to you two years ago, a lot has changed in the world. No kidding, right. Like none of us saw this happening two years ago. And so what is “the slog”? Sum this up for us.

T
Well, I really didn’t expect there to be so much feedback on this article. But essentially, I don’t know, I was just having an off day. And I think I started don’t tell anybody, but I think I started writing this article at work at my desk.

Chrissy
Is that a picture of your work desk that you’ve got in the article?

Money Mechanic
Yes, the coffee pitcher that never got filled, Chrissy.

T
it is because I was too depressed to just get up and fill the coffee pitcher. So I just sat at my desk and put it there and was like, I’ll do that later. I don’t know. Sometimes I come up with weird things. So anyway, yeah. And I had just read that article by Adam Grant, I think is his name, a few days before, and I, after I read it, I was thinking about it and thinking about it. And I’m thinking this is this guy knows me. Like, he’s exactly where I am mentally. And probably a lot of people are as well, I don’t know. And it just kind of kind of spoke to me in terms of like, having the motivation to not only just live your life, but also to do those side projects that you want to get done or start a side business or continue with a side business or, you know, whatever other things you have on your mind to kickstart it just none of it is there right now, for me, I’m just like, about pretty much everything so.

Money Mechanic
So that article was part of the languishing kind of what we’re talking about here. And I can totally relate to that too, because it’s like, I really should be more productive today. But I’m feeling it. And I think we all need to give ourselves some permission to have those days, especially with what everybody’s gone through in the last year and a bit, right. Yeah,

Chrissy
Yeah, I think I commented on your article to say, you know, I’ve experienced a similar feeling I think most of us have where everything is generally Okay, you’re safe, you’re healthy. You have a job, but it just feels like there’s nothing to look forward to. And the days just feel monotonous. And it is hard to keep going when you’re feeling that way.

T
Yeah, it seems like simple things are harder. Like I mentioned in the article, I think things like like you go to perform a task and you forget halfway through what it was you were doing.

Money Mechanic
Why am I here in the first place?

T
I actually went to my doctor, and I was like, you know, I’m feeling kind of weird and fatigued and like forgetful. And she’s like, maybe I should run some blood work. But really, the blood work came back fine. So I think there’s nothing wrong with me. It’s just like, this is the world that I’m in right now. And not really sure how to how to fix it. But I think the recommendation in the article is to get into a flow of something that gets your brain to a point where it’s happy moving along, doing that thing. Maybe it’s a new, a new hobby, or, you know, something, just to get you out of the funk. But I don’t know I’m not there yet.

Chrissy
Yeah, and I think in your case, it could be that the doldrums of FI where you’ve kind of got everything set up. And now it’s just the waiting game that that part has set in, in your journey, along with this pandemic fatigue. So it’s kind of this, you know, perfect storm of the two things happening at once. And so, yeah, it’s a tough stage to be in. There aren’t any really easy solutions. But I think it sounds like with you developing your investing journey further, whether it’s looking to leverage investing or investing in real estate, that might be something that could help get you out of some of that funk, because it’s new learning and new challenges that you’ll be bringing into your life.

T
I think you’re right. I mean, have you reached that point now where you are just waiting for things to happen? Like, I mean, I think you’ve done pretty much everything you can do at this point.

Chrissy
Yeah, I did reach that point A few years ago, and that’s when I started my blog. It’s like, I reached the point where we’d optimize everything like you talked about where you just can’t squeeze any more juice out of the fruit because you’ve done all the optimizations. And so that’s when I implemented the leveraged investing. And once that was done, like, What is there to do, you just have to wait till it grows. And so that’s that was my new challenge was the blog. So… but you already have a blog. So maybe your new challenge in investing?

T
Well, I mean, my blog has made about $4 in revenue. So maybe there’s some other work I could do there. But really, it’s not. I’m not doing it to make money. I’m just doing it because it feels good. And I don’t know, it’s like journaling. It’s like journaling or writing your diary to the internet. It’s it’s very cathartic, I guess.

Money Mechanic
Well, I think it’s great. And especially that you because I know you use YNAB extensively, and you track your monthly, I enjoy going and clicking on it and just having a look and and scrolling through because they’re not super long, in-depth articles. But there’s like, oh, how’s how’s my friend on the other side of Canada doing? I like checking up and I appreciate that you do keep up on it. For doing that for us, vicariously living over here in the West.

T
That’s one of the things that was so interesting. Like when Chrissy started publishing the FI series of interviews, just to see the differences between people’s expenses was a little shocking, to be honest. Like, it was like, Wow, this is amazing. Like, some people are really killing it in terms of living frugally or as inexpensively as they can, you know, it’s just amazing.

Chrissy
Yeah, for sure. It’s and it does show there are geographic differences to the… it’s becoming apparent to me, both from your post, and some of the comments left on your post, that some things are just more expensive. You think that smaller cities will be cheaper for everything across the board. But that’s definitely not the case. You know, there’s some things are cheaper, like maybe car insurance, and maybe gas, but things like groceries aren’t necessarily cheaper. Home insurance isn’t necessarily cheaper. So, yeah, it’s been an interesting journey to explore all these expenses in different areas of the world.

Money Mechanic
I’ve got a question for you, Tanya, before we wrap up here, you’ve explored with some different side hustles to generate additional sources of revenue to up your monthly savings, just as a without going into a deep dive here. Have they been worth your time? And did you enjoy doing them? Or did you just kind of go? Well, I can make some money doing that. So I’m going to do it. But it peters out after a while because in the end, it’s not that profitable, can just run us through a quick refund, what you’ve been trying for side hustles?

T
I would say more, the latter might be disappointing. But I don’t think it’s not worth my while to explore new things to try. Because I feel like it kind of gives me an idea of well, what can I do? If let’s say I hit Coast FI, what could I do is sort of a lesser, you know, maybe a part-time job, or a part-time business to kind of keep enough money coming in to pay my expenses? So I like testing the water. So I wouldn’t say it’s a total loss. But at the same time, it hasn’t really produced anything worthwhile, like I’m not, you know, I really need to stop and think about Okay, well, what is the best way to go about increasing my income? Is it maybe it’s shop around for a new job? You know, I mean, project managers are, seem to be wanted everywhere. So maybe that’s something I could look into. Or maybe it’s finding a niche that you can really build into something. So for myself, like, I think it’s more the benefit of just trying different things and seeing if they work and if they don’t, then that’s fine, you know, but I would say overall, there’s nothing that’s really been worthwhile in terms of bringing in a substantial enough income to allow either myself or my husband to cut back hours or, you know, even quit our jobs entirely. So that’s kind of the goal in the end, right. is to replace your income.

Money Mechanic
Yeah, for sure.

Chrissy
Yeah, I think a lot of people are in search of that side hustle that could eventually build into something but what a lot of them don’t talk about is it requires a lot of effort to build up some of these side hustles into something that’s substantial enough to not just be, you know, playing around and making a few bucks here and there.

T
Right like I started the cat YouTube channel, but I don’t think my cat YouTube channel is really gonna make me enough money to so I quit my job and like live the happy life. So…

Money Mechanic
It’s got to be on TikTok. All the kids are on TikTok.

T
I’m not on TikTok. I need to get there.

Money Mechanic
Well, it’s been great having T back on the show with us, two years later to catch up, and keep up the great work on the blog, because I’m a follower. And I think it’s super important to have this discussion so that listeners understand that, you know, FIRE’s super exciting at the beginning. But it takes work. And it’s a struggle and a slog sometimes. Thanks for joining us.

T
It was my pleasure. And thank you for keeping on with the podcast. I really enjoy listening to it on a regular basis. So keep going. Thank you.

Chrissy
Yeah, our first guest and now checking in again, and hopefully, we’ll all still be here in two years. And we can check in again.

T
I sure hope so! One of you will be FI by then, right?

Chrissy
Not sure. Hopefully!

Money Mechanic
Laying down the gauntlet.

T
Alright, thank you very much.

Chrissy
Well, that was a nice catch up with T. I really enjoyed chatting with her and seeing what’s been going on in her life lately. And what do you think of that? Any thoughts to take away from chatting with her?

Money Mechanic
You know, I follow her blog pretty regularly. And I’ve seen some of the parallels that we hear from other members of the FIRE movement, is that sort of some highs and some lows. And I think we’ve all felt it, right. And it’s like that discussion about languishing or the slog, I think the pandemic impacted A lot of us, I think we were fortunate to have kind of optimized and hopefully had emergency funds and made made it through the worst of that. Okay. But mentally, it definitely has impacted us. And as you mentioned, when we’re chatting with T, that it’s one of those things that you can kind of feel those slow days, right. And if you’re not in flow, or if you don’t have projects, it’s pretty easy to be a little that’s the word I’m looking for. I don’t want to be too harsh, but you’re just not motivated by FI anymore. Like you once were, right. You’ve kind of like, I don’t want to read about ETFs anymore, Chrissy I’m tired of reading about VGRO, you know, you feel like you’ve learned enough. And it’s like, I don’t need to know more about the details of the minutiae of of ETF investing, I’ve got my portfolio, set it, forget it, don’t worry about it. Yeah. So that wrapped up with some other things. And I we’ve all probably had some struggles with our employment this year with different changes, working from home, you know, having kids around all the time, whatever it is, that’s that’s changed your life, right? And, and your FI journey’s become mundane, it doesn’t give you the passion you had at the beginning.

Chrissy
Absolutely. And I think it’s something all of us can relate to, I can’t think of a single person who hasn’t eventually reached that point where they’ve just had enough and they they can only optimize so much. And they’ve kind of done everything that’s possible in their FI journey. All they can do now is wait. And that can be frustrating. If you can’t find the next new thing for you to move on to whether it’s related to FIRE or not. I think as humans we’re driven, then we want new challenges. We want to keep learning. And I think eventually most of us do find that but I think during the pandemic is a little bit harder to get out of that phase and motivate yourself to keep pushing on and finding something new.

Money Mechanic
Yeah, I agree with you. And I think one of the things that we’ve ourselves through doing this show is come to the realization that it’s not the destination that really matters, is designing the life you want to live along the way. So you get that super rush at the beginning of your journey to FI or FIRE. And it’s super new and exciting for the first year or so. And then you realize that the destination’s probably 5, 10, 15, maybe even 20 years out, and that’s okay. But you realize that all that time in-between, you need to live a good life, and you can’t just be super frugal, or super optimized or, or like T said, doing side hustles for the sake of doing side hustles, right? Do it because you’re interested that you’re gonna learn something. So, you know, for me, the big takeaway was, make sure you’re living your best life on the journey. don’t sacrifice that just for the destination.

Chrissy
Absolutely. Yeah, I think that’s an important message. And I’m happy that T could share that with us because I think most of us can relate. And we’ve all been there or we’re there right now. So thank you T for coming on and letting us know that FI journey is not always perfect. It’s not always rainbows and unicorns. So it’s good to share the slog when we need to.

Money Mechanic
The reality check.

Chrissy
Yeah.

Money Mechanic
We’re not here to dissuade people that are just starting we’re here to say it’s okay. When you feel this way. Give yourself a break, move forward. Let’s take a quick break for the show sponsor and then we will get Megan on the line.


Chrissy
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Money Mechanic
Chrissy we got Megan back on the line. So this is exciting because Megan was show number four for us.

Chrissy
Yes, and 26 and 27.

Money Mechanic
No, she’s definitely been a popular guest. So welcome back to the show, Megan, nice to have you.

Megan
Thank you so much. It’s so nice to be back. You know, I actually got a little bit nervous before I logged on here. You would think it would be an old pro by this point. But no, you guys are still… I’m still a little starstruck.

Chrissy
Oh, gosh, you don’t show it to you. You are a pro at this.

Money Mechanic
Yeah, we wanted to get you back on the show because… a little ‘Where are you now?’ catch up on your FI journey. Some of the things that are going on, you’ve made some decisions that have changed, well, maybe not changed. They’ve changed your FIRE plans. You and I need to talk a little bit about Smith Manoeuvre. So let’s jump right into all of that good stuff. Where are you? You’ve moved house, I know that. So that must be a big change. And I think Chrissy wants to talk about a little bit about homeschooling, like we talked about on a previous episode, but how’s your path to FI going?

Megan
My path to FI has taken a direct detour. I was actually very close to FIREing. I had kind of had enough and was was talking pretty seriously about retirement. And then as you know, I ended up getting pulled in to work on a passion project with a company called The RE Investors which is very real estate based. So instead of retiring, I’m now working full time. That just shows there’s always room for wiggling in, in a FIRE plan, right? It’s you have to find what’s going to work for you at that day and that time and improvise as you go along.

Chrissy
So one question we had, because when we talked to you the first time, I believe you’re working one day a week, which is how you’re managing to homeschool for children. So what are you working, what kind of hours are you working now?

Megan
So interestingly enough, we did the homeschooling episode, and I was completely convinced that we were going to be continuing homeschooling this year. And then my oldest son, who’s now 14, decided, actually he’s had enough and he wants to go to school. So we went for a tour of a school that we’d always kind of had in the back of our minds as being a possibility. And he fell in love with it. And then my younger children also fell in love with it. So one of the principles that we always had with homeschooling was that it was never going to be a forced decision because it is a little bit uncommon, right? So we didn’t ever want our kids to feel like they didn’t have the option to do it. Especially because I didn’t want to fight with them every day, it was like, I’m only going to be homeschooling, if they want to be homeschooling, if they’re an equal participant in that it’s very hard as you know, to force a child to do something that they don’t want to do. So we ended up at the very last minute signing them up for school. And then I found myself with a lot of free time. My youngest is only in half-day preschool, but the older ones are all in full-day school. And it has been a chaotic, but wonderful change. For our family, I still miss homeschooling just a little bit because there is that special bond that you get when you’re with them all the time. And you know, you really get to know the intricacies of their learning styles and all of that, but they are having the time of their life right now. So we may end up homeschooling in the future or maybe some of them will want to go back to homeschooling and some won’t. And just my main goal in life is just to remain flexible and give them what they need when they need it. So, right now, they needed the school.

Chrissy
That’s amazing. And it’s funny because I did it in reverse. My kids, we’re not homeschooling, we’re doing remote school, where I’m not the teacher. There are teachers that support my children and I’m just there to keep them on schedule and make sure things are running well. But yeah, we went the opposite way. But my kids same with you. I’m being flexible and open and it’s their decision if they want to go back to school, and we haven’t decided yet for next year but it’s nice to see both sides of it and for them to experience being at home and being in an in-person environment. Because it’s quite different.

Megan
Yeah, that’s exactly it. And you know, raising kids, it’s not static, right, it changes as they grow, and they change and they’re all such individuals. I would not be surprised if over the years because I’ve got the four kids, if they, you know, pull out one at a time, and they need to take a year’s break or, or who knows what I’m just trying to remain open to what it is that they need at that time and, and go from there, right, improvise and adapt and give them what they need.

Money Mechanic
So let’s circle back to The RE Investors. Some of our listeners may not be familiar with your real estate empire. So give us a little just a very brief background on you as a real estate investor. And then what The RE Investors are, who and what The RE investors are all about. I talked with Randy on the FI Garage. So some people may have listened to that. But fill us in on why the decision to go after much more work when you’re basically ready to FIRE.

Megan
I realized that it’s a little bit backwards because you would think when you’re so close to the finish line to all of a sudden go from working one day a week and maybe not even going to do that to all of a sudden full time. It’s difficult to understand for a lot of people. But essentially what happened for me is that I have always loved real estate. We’ve talked about it a little bit on the show before in 2020. We ended up expanding our portfolio, we bought a triplex that was a major fixer upper. And we should talk about that because it was a cash for keys negotiation and it was very dramatic. And also we decided to move closer to my kids school. So we ended up keeping our our previous residence. So now we are up to seven doors. And we’ve managed multiple renovations we rented or we renovated two of the units and the triplex and we’re currently renovating our new primary residence because they were all just very rundown and needing help. So 2020 was an extremely busy year for us. So it was really good that my kids ended up going into school because I needed that extra time. And then I ended up with The RE Investors because I’ve been a part of their community for several years now I’ve gone to the meetups. I always, you know, listen to them on podcasts, and I’m in part of the Facebook group. And I found a lot of inspiration from that group. Interestingly enough, the reason that we bought our triplex is because I felt a little bit of a competitive streak in myself when Randy and Steve bought their triplex. And I thought, well, if they can do it, why can’t I do it? Right? So I had spoken with them. And they’re just so encouraging every time you talk to them, it’s like you just leave feeling like you could conquer the world, right? Like if they can do it. And they just give you these little tips and tricks. And I just thought, yeah, I’m gonna do it. And then I did, I went out and I got this triplex and went through this whole thing. And they were so supportive. And at one of their meetups, they mentioned that they were in the process of expanding, and we’re going to be looking for someone to join the team. And I thought about it for a little while, because I was so close to FIRE, I wasn’t quite sure. But when I spoke with them about it, I said, you know, what really lights a FIRE for me is the philanthropic side of their, their programs. And what they offer, The RE Investors is primarily an education company, right? Real estate, and they’re out there trying to change people’s lives and trying to show you how you can get these semi-passive investments, and even fully-passive investments with them, and how many options there are, for basically every lifestyle and every goal of investing. And there, they bring in all of these amazing guest speakers and they raise money for kids’ sport and they’re trying to change the world, right? And that I guess that just speaks to me, because education is so huge for me, I want people to know that, you know, Manoeuvres like the Smith Manoeuvre are out there. And you know, there there’s these tools for just regular average Joes that they can use, and they can get themselves on their own path to FIRE. And so when Randy and Steve said, Hey, you know, we’re looking for someone to kind of help with this and to run this and expand that community so we can spread that knowledge. I thought, yeah, okay, that’s for me. So, I ended up jumping in with both feet. And it has been a huge life change. But amazing, I have met so many amazing people. And I’m so excited for some of the speakers that we have coming up because they’ve been, you know, idols of mine in the real estate community. But when you’re just a single individual, it’s hard to say, hey, well, you have a call with me. But when you’re representing a community and you’re saying, Hey, can we bring you in and pick your brain all of a sudden people are more willing to work with you, right? So I feel like my own knowledge base has just exploded.

Chrissy
Well, congratulations. That is amazing. I can’t imagine a more perfect position for you.

Megan
Thank you. Yes, it does feel perfect. It absolutely does. It’s it’s right up my alley.

Chrissy
Can you tell us? Is this a full-time gig now? Or is it a part-time thing?

Megan
It was supposed to be a part-time thing. And then I’m not quite sure what happened. But somehow it ended up. I think it was I kind of put one toe in when I first started. And then it was I couldn’t get enough, right? It was all these different meetings with these amazing inspirational people and, and meetings with people who I could kind of say, like, Hey, I was you 10 years ago, and five years ago, right. And I remember being in that exact spot and not quite sure how to expand or what direction to take. And I found it very, you know, soul filling to to be able to help with that. So because I found it so rewarding, it’s ended up being a very full time, sometimes a little more than full time. Just… I can’t get enough!

Money Mechanic
Well, I just love that somebody who is ready to basically pull the pin and be FIRE has found a project that they feel so passionate about. That really speaks to me, because I’m looking for that project. I just haven’t quite got there yet. This podcast is part of that journey for me. But it’s cool to hear that because I think that gives a lot of passion and inspiration to people going forward that just because they’re ready, or they can be FIRE. It’s it’s returning to something, right is you’ve retired to the job you want, which is like that’s awesome. Right on!

Megan
Yes.

Money Mechanic
Tell us a little bit more about what The RE Investors does, because I think a lot of our listeners won’t know what it is. And also, I think it’s important to mention that even though they’re locally based for you and I here in Victoria, I’ve been on the meetup. I’ve been following them for a long time as well. And I’m on the meetups. And we have we hit over 100 people on the meetup, I think was it last month or the month before and that’s across Canada too. So just give us a little bit more background on that business side of it in case our listeners are interested in learning more about it.

Megan
Right. So The RE Investors is a real estate company. And essentially, they if it’s real estate related, we have our fingers in that pie. So primarily, what I’m doing is the education component of that, which is arranging monthly meetups and running, there’s a Facebook group for people who are interested in real estate, you know, reaching out and helping with education, if people don’t understand things like the Smith Manoeuvre, I can meet with them and walk them through it. That kind of thing. And then The RE Investors also does things like joint ventures with people who are wanting to get into real estate, but don’t quite know what they’re doing. We do developments so if people want to get in on building condo buildings, or houses and big developments of multi-units, they can invest their money and get some returns that way passively. I mean, really, it’s huge and just all-encompassing real estate-related. So you can, and you’re basically if you’re interested in real estate, join up with The RE Investors and see what’s what’s going to be there what’s going to be available, an interesting for you because it’s so personal, right? Some people really want to get their hands in there and, and get dirty and do the renovations and all of that. And other people just say like, I don’t want to be involved. But you know, you’re you take care of it. So there’s a little bit for everyone. And the speakers that we bring in, like you said, are based all across Canada, we’re bringing in amazing speakers who do really incredible things. And I mean, the speaker that we have for our our meetup, which will be having already aired by the time this podcast airs, but for the meetup that’s going to be tomorrow. It’s a real estate investor who’s managed to buy 55 units just in the last year during a pandemic, you know, I mean, that’s incredible and inspirational, right? He’s finding deals even in these wild times of real estate prices just going right through the roof, right. And so he’s coming in to give us some tips and tricks, how he’s finding deals, and we just every month, the focus is just bringing in experts in different real estate areas that can help our members figure out if they’re interested in real estate. And if they are interested, which little segment is it that’s going to work for them and just trying to provide the value, right? The RE Investors just has such a huge mission statement of trying to financially educate so that they can inspire people to become financially free. So it really fits in with the FIRE movement, and it’s just focuses on real estate, but it is very FIRE-based. And so many of those principles and ideologies just mesh so well with the FIRE community that it felt like my perfect happy place when I found them.

Money Mechanic
And I just want to include in there too, is that those meetups are now available post-meetup in on YouTube. So just going back and having a, see if there’s anything they’re interested in, you can do that too. So that’s kind of nice because I sometimes out of town, I can always make a meetup. So it’s great to be able to go and see the content and catch what I want to catch out of it. You mentioned an interesting part in there. That was one of my other questions for our little catch up episode here because it was, Chrissy, help me out. What did you say it was? 27 or something was the Smith Manoeuvre episode? 21?

Chrissy
The Smith Manoeuvre one was number 4. Yes. Well, we had a…

Money Mechanic
It was in the beginning?

Chrissy
Yes, it was. Yeah, that was number four. And I have to tell you, it’s our number one. It’s been number one, basically, since it’s aired, and it’s still number one. It’s crazy. People just love the Smith Manoeuvre, and they want to know more.

Megan
Oh, I’m so happy.

Chrissy
Yeah.

Money Mechanic
And that’s the perfect question to finish off our little catch up here with is because you and I are going to become Certified Smith Manoeuvre Ambassadors.

Megan
That’s right. Yeah.

Money Mechanic
How cool is that?

Megan
It’s so cool. I’ve been kind of an unofficial ambassador for so many years now. And I just feel like I want to shout it from the rooftops that everybody should at least know about it. You know, and now we’re gonna go out there and, and get it so I can have it in an official capacity, it’s gonna be amazing.

Money Mechanic
That’s exactly how I feel, too is you know, we’ve learned so much about it. We’ve shared what we can, and we’ve talked about it, but it’s gonna be nice to have a little document that says, Robinson Smith approves me to be able to have an appropriate discussion with you and know as much as I possibly can. So that’s gonna be exciting, where I think we’re both gonna sign up, we’ll be signed up for that. And that’s also something that it’s not exclusive. I think Robinson’s offering that program to whoever has passionate interest and knows about the Smith maneuver. Maybe we’ll get Chrissy to join us on the on the certification as an ambassador too.

Chrissy
I would nothing more. I love the Smith Manoeuvre. Everything about it is it just opens up so many possibilities, like you said, not just The RE Investors but the Smith Manoeuvre ties so nicely into the FIRE community and everything that we were striving for. So I would love nothing more. But I just have to be careful what I take on. I already have too much on my plate.

Money Mechanic
Don’t worry, we’ll be the ambassadors, Chrissy.

Chrissy
Yeah, that’s exciting.

Money Mechanic
Megan, anything else to wrap up with, before we sign off with you? It’s been great. Catching up. It sounds like you are busier than ever, which is exciting as well.

Megan
Oh, so many things going on? You know, have you got a few hours? I kid I kid. Yeah, I know, I’m busy. I’m renovating and buying properties and working with The RE Investors. And it is the wild wild west in my calendar. So it’s great, though.

Chrissy
Well, thank you for making time for us in that busy calendar of yours. It’s wonderful. I have one more question about The RE Investors. Now you said that your speakers are from across Canada. Your members, can they also be from across Canada? Or are they only local to your area?

Megan
Oh, yes, absolutely. A large part of our membership is coming from out east you know, we are based The RE Investors company is based in Victoria. But we are are doing business all across Canada, a lot of the investors that are coming in with the RE Investors, they’re from Ontario, interestingly enough. So they are you know, you can use your RRSPs and TFSAs and invest in some of the properties and developments that the real investors are working on. And a lot of the questions are coming from landlords in those. We’ve had a lot from Saskatchewan, and again, from Ontario landlords coming in and saying, you know, how do I do this? Or is this a good deal, and should I buy this? It’s kind of… the group is a range from people who own no property and just are trying to break into the group to people who own dozens of properties. And you know, in the case of the speaker, that’s going to be happening this month’s meetup, it’s 55. And some of them even more, some of them have like multiple 100-unit apartment buildings. And it’s really is just the full gamut. And it’s such a wonderful environment, because everyone, like in the FIRE community is just so supportive, right? It’s saying like, Hey, you can do this, the average person can do this, but you just have to set it up properly and, you know, have a mission and a goal and kind of work towards it. And it’s very similar to the FIRE community, how that’s all just laid out. And they take this overwhelming and kind of big concept and just break it down so that the average person can understand it. So it’s very inspiring.

Chrissy
It might be something we have to tell T about, who we just interviewed. She’s looking to get into real estate.

Money Mechanic
We will connect you so she can ask real estate questions.

Megan
You should. It’s my favorite topic.

We know, we know! Well, thanks so much for joining us. We’ll follow up with you, I’m sure in the future to hear what other exciting ventures you’re up to. Thanks again for joining us, Megan.

Wonderful. Thanks for having me.

I am pumped. Wow. Talking to Megan is always super exciting. She’s got a lot going on, especially now and she’s just like super passionate, super enthusiastic, I am like ready to go out and jump around or something like, it’s fantastic.

Chrissy
I couldn’t be happier for her. Yeah, it’s such an exciting time.

Money Mechanic
It must make you want to get into real estate after listening to all the things that she has to say.

Chrissy
I always do after talking to people like you who are super into real estate, like it’s, I love that hands-on aspect of it, where you can kind of control your destiny. It’s different from investing in the stock market, right? Cuz you really can get in there. And you can change the outcome based on how much effort you put in. And that’s what I love about real estate.

Money Mechanic
Well, totally. And it’s important to realize that to the, you know, you can magnify your gains through additional effort. But there’s so many passive ways and we’ve explored that on the show before so I won’t I won’t bore everybody with that. But ya know, Megan is, she’s very impressive that she can now juggle, like four kids like that just blows my mind right there. The four kids, let alone anything else. And then yeah, I think it’s just such a cool story that to go from being basically FIRE to going, I found my project. And you know, maybe it’s only maybe she only does it for two years, or three years, or four years or whatever. But that’s the beauty. That’s the flexibility of being able to make that choice and do something you want to do.

Chrissy
Yeah, and she’s smashing that myth that people who FIRE will do nothing for the rest of their lives. It couldn’t be farther from the truth.

Money Mechanic
Yeah, yeah, exactly. No, it was great to catch up with her and with T on FIRE, nice to hear how, you know, everybody’s lives changes. And, you know, we’ve talked so much about the FI journey being like the beginning and the middle. And, and then the end, we just saw that there’s the we talked about the middle with T. And then we talked about towards the end with Megan, and you know, it’s gonna change things life changes, right. So it’s pretty cool. Right on. Well, you know what, we also need to tell our listeners?

Chrissy
What’s that?

Money Mechanic
Well, this is a two year episode. But we’re also taking a summer vacation. We’ve earned it!

Chrissy
Exactly, right. Yes. We wanted to tell everyone that this will be our last episode for the summer. It’s just the beginning of the summer, but we’re taking a break for the rest of the summer, until…

Money Mechanic
September 10. I guess we’ve committed ourselves to that. So we’ll be back. There’s some, well, the reinvention of the long-awaited FI School, maybe back in the fall?

Chrissy
Yes, yes, we’ve had a number of requests through the last year or so for FI school. And we, we were, we kind of shelved it. But after a number of requests, we decided, okay, maybe it’s time to pick it up and refresh it and get back into that series. So we’re not sure if there’s going to be any kind of schedule, but we’ll record at least one of them over the summer and release it in the fall. And we’ll go from there and see how things go.

Money Mechanic
Yes, that’s something to look forward to. And also just for all the listeners out there, if you have suggestions of people you would like us to reach out to and have on the show. Or if you know people or you yourself have a very interesting story you think would be valuable to share with the community, then please reach out to us, drop us an email or comment on the show. And let us know because we the whole point is just sharing people’s stories and talking to really people that can help with everybody’s FI journey.

Chrissy
I agree. I would say the majority of our guests have either been suggested to us or reached out to say I would love to come on your show. So it’s nice to hear from you. We take your your messages and your emails seriously. We really do read and listen to you and we want to produce a show that you enjoy and that you find valuable.

Money Mechanic
Specifically for Canadians.

Chrissy
Yeah, yeah, exactly.

Money Mechanic
What are you doing for the summer?

Chrissy
I’m not sure yet. I’m still leery about traveling. But…

Money Mechanic
Are you?

Chrissy
A little but we’ll be fully vaccinated by mid-August, all four of us so we’ll see. I’m kind of waiting till then to decide what we do. What about you?

Money Mechanic
I have no plans to leave the island. So you know, local traveling, just a little bit of you know, lake camping type thing if we can if we can find spots, but keep it simple. Keep it frugal and spend time with friends and family now that we’re allowed to. Have a great summer, listeners. You can always reach out to us we do check our emails, but enjoy your time away from us and re-listen to some old episodes.

Chrissy
Yes, and thanks again to T and Megan for coming on and celebrating our two-year anniversary. And we’ll talk to you all again soon.

Money Mechanic
Bye for now.


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11 Replies to “059: Where Are They Now? | T and Megan”

  1. I can totally relate to what T, Chrissy, & MM are saying in the beginning of this episode about the doldrums of FI. I’ve felt like that a lot this past year. I have my FI plan, it’s working, I just have to keep slogging away in the meanwhile at work and continue saving and compounding as planned, but it’s kinda boring now. I can’t optimize much more so that’s done etc.
    I’ve recently decided what I need to do now is focus a bit more on the “what next” to get me out of the doldrums? What will my RE or semi-RE journey really look like? How will I plan on giving back to society? What will my “purpose” be after my job?
    Anyhow – loving the podcast as always. I’m always excited when a new episode comes out. All the best.

    1. Hi Ana—we knew that many of our listeners would relate to the slog/doldrums. It’s almost an inevitable part of the journey, but it also seems to be a launchpad for new interests and endeavours (which is a very good thing)!

      I think it’s a great idea to take the time to think about your post-work life. Too many people forge ahead and land on the other side of FI lost and without a purpose. You’ll be well-prepared to start thinking about it early!

      Thank you for the kind words and for listening and commenting. You and all our listeners are what keep us going!

  2. Thanks for having me guys, I always have such a great time chatting with you! I’ll miss you over the summer and am looking forward to your return soon!

    1. Hi Megan—it was our pleasure (as always) to chat with you. I’m thrilled with the exciting turns your life has taken, and look forward to seeing where it all leads you and your family. We will miss you and all our listeners too, but I know this break will do us good. I’m already excited to get back to it in September!

  3. I loved this follow-up episode. So interesting to hear about how everyone’s life adjusts as you go but still on the FIRE journey. I can totally relate with the slog. I would love more of these.

    1. Hi Christie—thank you for the amazing feedback! Sometimes, podcasting can feel like we’re just talking into the void, so it’s always helpful to hear back from our listeners. There are at least a couple of other guests I know of who’ve experienced big life changes… I look forward to doing more of these check-in shows. 🙂

  4. Happy Anniversary EFIC! Thank you for all of the inspiration so far, and for the continuing motivation. You’ve made such a change in my life, and so many others. Enjoy your summer break – you deserve it – and can’t wait for the next episodes in the fall!

    1. Aw, shucks! Thank you for the kind words and continued support for our show. It thrills us to receive lovely comments like yours, so thank you for taking the time to share.

      We wish you a wonderful summer too. Looking forward to talking to you and all our listeners again in September!

  5. Happy Anniversary EFIC. Thank you for your hard work and bringing good content/guests as always. This episode speaks to me the most that I had to listened to it twice. I have my FI plans, I do househacking, I have a side hustle, I keep saving investing, but sometimes I wonder what I can do more to reach FI sooner. I am excited to learn/read more about Smith Manoeuvre and starting to apply the strategy soon.

    I also love when Money Mechanic reminded everyone Fi is all about the journey, sometimes you gotta stop and smell the roses.

    Chrissy, Money Mechanic. Enjoy summer break you two. You guys deserve it and we all can’t wait for the next episodes in the fall. Lots of love <3

    1. Hello Khai—thank you for the lovely comment! The “slog” is a tough phase of the FI journey. There are no easy solutions, but I’ve found that it’s helpful to know others are in the same boat.

      This is why we love sharing a variety of experiences from a wide array of guests—someone’s bound to relate to every story!

      We’re grateful for your listenership and hope you also enjoy your summer. We look forward to getting back on the air in September. ?

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