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Helpful Tips for Designing Your Life, with Matt from Financial Imagineer

Presented by Wealthsimple

Welcome to The MapleMoney Show, the podcast that helps Canadians improve their finances to create lasting financial freedom. I’m your host, Tom Drake, the founder of MapleMoney, where I’ve been writing about all things related to personal finance since 2009.

What’s your approach to life? Do you set goals for the future or take things as they come? And if you have a spouse or partner, how do you include them in your plans? This week’s guest has achieved financial independence with his wife. I met him at Fincon in Orlando, Florida, to discuss the role that lifestyle design played in their early retirement.

Matt is a financially-independent economist, entrepreneur, and financial consultant who left the corporate world in 2017 to pursue his dreams. With a deep understanding of the investment world in Asia and the West, he currently lives between Switzerland, Singapore, and Taiwan. He writes about how the wealthy manage their money on his blog, Financial Imagineer.

Matt explains why it’s important for couples to plan together for the future. Matt and his wife use a balanced scorecard approach to set 5-year goals. It may not sound all that romantic, but Matt says it keeps them aligned, and helps them understand each other’s biggest dreams and goals. Matt believes that one of the reasons couples grow apart is because they don’t plan together, and eventually head in different directions.

We also discuss emergency funds, and Matt shares how he sets up his emergency fund. Interestingly, he keeps a very small amount of cash (vs. overall net worth) in emergency reserves, but he has the capacity to borrow against his investments at very low rates should the need arise. It’s a very interesting system.

Do you prefer to invest in socially responsible companies? If so, our sponsor Wealthsimple will help you build a portfolio focusing on low carbon, cleantech, human rights, and the environment. To get started with Socially Responsible Investing, head over to Wealthsimple today!

Episode Summary

  • Matt explains how he and his wife set their life goals
  • Why couples need to plan together
  • How COVID impacted Matt’s planning
  • Matt explains how his emergency fund system works
  • A large emergency fund lets you ignore what markets are doing in the short term
  • How to plan for the unexpected
  • Matt’s approach to unlocking your child’s potential

Read transcript

What’s your approach to life? Do you set goals for the future or take things as they come? And if you have a spouse or partner, how do you include them in your plans? This week’s guest has achieved financial independence together with his wife. I met him at FINCON in Orlando, Florida, to discuss the role that lifestyle design played in their early retirement. Matt is a financially independent economist, entrepreneur and financial consultant who left the corporate world in 2017 to pursue his dreams. With a deep understanding of the investment world in Asia and the West, he currently lives between Switzerland, Singapore and Taiwan. He writes about how the wealthy manage their money on his blog, Financial Imagineer. 


Welcome to the Maple Money Show, the podcast that helps Canadians improve their personal finances to create lasting financial freedom. Do you prefer to invest in socially responsible companies? If so, our sponsor, Wealthsimple, will help you build a portfolio that focuses on low carbon, clean tech, human rights and the environment. To get started with socially responsible investing, head over to today. Now, let’s chat with Matt… 


Tom: Hi, Matt. Welcome to the Maple Money Show. 


Matt: Hey. Thank you so much for having me, Tom. 


Tom: We’re here live at FINCON. I really got to know you in the last hour or two, and you have an interesting story that I wanted to go through. It’s how you sort of decided to actually plan your life in these five-year increments instead of just going with the flow week-by-week or even year-by-year. You’re really planning out. Just to start us off, can you tell us where you were at in life that brought you to this point? What made you decide that this was a format that you wanted to follow? 


Matt: The problem was complexity for us. I was working in Taiwan. I got to know my wife there as well. After a while I got a great job offer to go back to Switzerland, but we were in our early 20s and the problem there was, if we don’t plan anything, the relationship would have stopped, eventually. That was one evening back in 2006 where my wife and I sat together, popped a bottle of wine and talked about what do we actually wanted to have in life. We actually took out a balance scorecard kind of approach. Sounds wrong for marriage—to order advice, but we actually put it all down. Each of us had Post-Its to write our dreams down. Then we kind of brainstormed and said, “Okay, if we want to have a relationship and do this life together, we should do this first… And this next. We should get married eventually. Otherwise, the relationship will come to an end.” That’s how it started. As a result of that, in 2007, we got married and she followed me back to Switzerland. After five years we realized almost all the things we planned, came true. We bought our first house in Taiwan. We had kids at the end of this time, so we became parents. She learned German. She started a Chinese teaching business in Switzerland. All these ideas kind of materialized. That motivated us to do it again in 2011 and 2012 and again in 2017. Now, we are about to do it one more time again. 


Tom: In the beginning, how long had you been together when you decided to do this? Because you weren’t married yet. You were including this in the plan. It wasn’t one of these necessarily “romantic surprise her with engagement” because it was literally already in the plan. 


Matt: Yes, exactly. There was no super romantic story about our wedding. But we both look at it and we smile, and that’s exactly how we probably wanted it to be. We were together for maybe two and a half years at that point. Long enough.


Tom: Yeah. This wasn’t someone you knew for three months that you were planning out the next five years with. It was someone that you already felt committed to. It was just sort of deciding what’s beyond that. When you decided to do this the first time, why did you decide that? What was the big point to all this—that you wanted to plan things out instead of just going year-to-year. 


Matt: Reducing complexity and getting clarity about what is the best option. Because we had the luxury problem back there. I could have stayed in Taiwan and just carried on with life as it was. I had a job offer in Hong Kong that would have been another version. And then the third one was the job offer in Switzerland. We had these three options. So we kind of did the balance scorecard thingy to see which option would give us how much pleasure, how many points in what category and so forth. And at the end we say, “Okay, based on this and this and this, we start to plan.” 


Tom: I want to cover more about your various five-year spans of doing this, but maybe we should jump in early to the technical side of this just so people can picture what this is. We could go through everything first and then have them explain it after but I think by breaking down what this is and the steps, might let people picture how this would affect in their own lives. How do you start this? How do you plan this meeting with your spouse, your girlfriend or boyfriend, to decide that you’re going to pick a date, I assume, and plan this all out? 


Matt: Well, usually the starting point is maybe some pivot point in life. When you reach a certain time where you graduate, get a job offer out of town, you have more things to think or to worry about. You become parents. I think the starting point is usually one of these pivot points. Then you should sit together and plan it together because marriage should be like teamwork. It’s not just both people going about their own lives and really not talk too much about it. There’s a lot of people that just go, go and go and go. And as the years pass by, there’s a divergence between the two ideas of life, right? This kind of thing aligns the couple. It makes clear to each other, what are the goals, what are the dreams, what are the feelings about certain things? And then it helps prioritize. So when we do that thing, we write down things like, buy a house, become parents, learn a language, go abroad, travel. All these things are nice, right? But then you have to decide which one comes first. So maybe to get a promotion at your job could be the first thing which will unlock the possibility to buying a house. And once you have that, you can become parents. It’s not getting the baby first then try to get promoted. You’ll never buy a house. Things are more aligned in the end. And then the second point, which I like is, the team gets aligned. We know about each other’s dreams, what we really want, and we can work together on making those dreams happen. It’s not just a one-sided thing, “Oh, I am the housewife. I stay back. I let you run…” Because after 5 to 10 years you are unhappy about life. This is kind of helping you to align better as a team. 


Tom: I like that you plan together because you may be a couple, but you are two individual people. If you’re not planning like this and just coexisting, you could very well end up going in different directions. Someone maybe has different goals and wants than the other person and you don’t even realize it yet so you’re going further and further apart. I assume that when you were doing this, there were probably cases where you guys didn’t blend perfectly, or at least it could happen. At least if you know that, you guys can figure out how that can still fit together instead of someone just having this idea in their head and never say it. They’re going in one direction and someone else is going in the other direction. Was there a time like that with you in any of your planning stages where maybe the two goals kind of conflicted a little? And how you would work that out? 


Matt: From my side, I would say it was not really conflicting. But it sometimes required a leap of faith to take the next step. In 2017, I kind of retired from a very well-paid job which was a lifestyle downgrade for the family. But in exchange for that, we got freedom. We have time to do whatever we like to do. If we wouldn’t have discussed that and they just quit, you can imagine, right? 


Tom: Yeah, exactly. 


Matt: Some people say, “How do I align my partner for the FIRE kind of lifestyle?” There are couples out there where one is the earner and the other is the spender. You have people who spend more than others. And if you don’t talk about your plans and priorities in life, you cannot get aligned so well. And of course, some people maybe don’t want to get aligned. And some people say they don’t have an ambitious dream or target in life, but all of us have dreams about what we want to do. And if you talk together, it helps at least to narrow this gap somehow. 


Tom: Yes, there could be someone that’s the earner and someone that’s the spender and that can kind of cause resentment. You need to communicate and plan this out instead of going further and further apart every year. It’s okay for one person to be the earner if you kind of realize that this is your role in the team and the other person’s going to do something else that supports the team. By planning this out, you’re kind of having that conversation where it’s saying, this person will be the earner and this person will look after the kids. Or any of these other things that you need to run a household or a family. I like the idea that you can plan. That way everybody kind of understands their role and how they fit in as a team. 


Matt: Now, about the conflicting points you asked me about before. After we pulled the trigger, in Singapore, we had a super good life. We had a 24/7 maid at home. A stay-in maid helped us with babysitting, cooking, and doing the groceries. And it was wonderful, right? In the morning when I get up she would ask me, “Sir, would you like to have fresh orange juice or grapefruit juice?” I no longer have that now. But, of course, I have the time so I can do my own juice. And the other thing, my wife at one point she realized after about half a year into the FIRE life when because I said, “Okay, we’re going to live off the passive income. I’m not going to touch the capital,” at one point we were out of budget because we moved. We bought more furniture. We had some capital expenditures. It was not spending or consuming. But at one point, we reached the end of the budget before the end of the month. I was very hardcore there. She wanted to go to McDonald’s and I remember saying, “No, it’s out of budget,” and made us dinner myself. Of course, that was an interesting point. But then because we agreed to do that, we overcame it and we grew from there. 


Tom: When you say you agreed to that, was that sort of part of a five-year thing that you said—to stick to the budget, to make this financial independence push work? 


Matt: Exactly. Yeah. 


Tom: Okay. So it was already agreed upon. It didn’t come off like you’re the one saying, “No, we can’t go to McDonald’s.” 


Matt: I was just a semi-bad guy there. 


Tom: You were just reminded of the goal, but you guys had already agreed that you would stick within the budget, basically, no matter what. You’re only reminding them at that point not sort of coming across as the person that’s saying, “We don’t have the money for this,” because it was already planned. 


Matt: Correct, yeah. That was in 2017. And luckily, the stock market had some good returns afterwards. So the budget expanded as well, after that. It was great. And we don’t have to buy furniture every month so that’s a one-off. 


Tom: Yeah, exactly. And that’s something that happens. But when you moved and needed to buy the furniture, was that at all part of the plan, or was this something that happened? Because obviously, you can plan for five years, but you can’t predict the five years. Things are going to happen. Was this all part of the plan or did something happen that made that move happen at an unplanned time?  


Matt: You can buy furniture—and furniture, right? If you choose the nicer kind, the budget needs to be bigger, right? That’s maybe that. 


Tom: Yeah. 


Matt: And therefore, yeah, we definitely planned to buy furniture and stuff, but the budget had its constraints at one point. We chose the nicer stuff over the money at that point. 


Tom: Well, you can make a case for that too. If you’re buying something nicer will it last longer? That’s a whole other podcast episode about but I certainly see the point that sometimes it’s nice to push for something a little nicer. Yes, you want to stick within the budget but there are pros and cons you might want to leave a little leeway for. 


Matt: Exactly. You have to be flexible on the planning. Things happen, right? So our last five-year plan included a lot of travelling. And as you know, since 2020 it was almost impossible to travel as we intended to. The good thing was, that the budget grew. It was the opposite effect. We have more assets now to do this travelling afterwards. 


Tom: But I’m glad you brought up 2020 because COVID is one of the things I was thinking of, where you’re certainly not going to plan for this. The budget growth was a positive. And, obviously, not travelling was a negative. But was there anything else that was sort of thrown off by COVID and such a drastic change in the middle of your plan? 


Matt: Well, I’ve been investing actively in the stock market since I was 16. I’ve seen many ups and downs. But definitely, if you make your whole life depending on this one thing—your portfolio and your income from there, and you see it dip like it did in March 2020, it really shakes you up. You can always buy the dips—stay the course. The emotional part tested big time there. Luckily, it was a short downturn and the recovery followed, which was excellent. Now, we are in kind of a recessionary environment again. With things like that, you have to think how you react. If you plan your life to depend on certain things, you have to know how you will react to this market with the emotional, self-controlled, disciplined thing. I see myself more as a disciplined guy in this regard. But I have seen people who talk about this big time but then when the going gets tough, they suddenly surrender or let go of investments. Behavioural finance takes over. 


Tom: I’ve wondered about that myself because I’ve often said on the podcast, just keep making it regular contributions. If you have a little extra money, yes, buy the dip, like you said. But I also have a current income to basically retire in the sense that you did two to three years in advance of this. That does become a different deal I haven’t actually had to test myself on. I can say, in general, I’m such a numbers guy and I could probably stick to it, but I haven’t been in that position where that’s what you’re depending on. If you watch it cut in half all of a sudden, that’s got to change your outlook for things.


Matt: Correct. How we counteract that, we also rent out our flat in Singapore. We have not just all the income dependent on the stock market. You can diversify in real estate and other things as well, which helps. 


Tom: Knowing something like COVID has happened, it’s kind of changed some of our mindset. One of the examples I brought up before was, I’ve kind of changed my thoughts on an emergency fund. I used to say, three months to six months is fine. And it’s still better than nothing. If somebody doesn’t have 100%, just get one month and take it from there. But more and more, I’m thinking an emergency fund of a year doesn’t even sound that unreasonable anymore when you look at how something can completely shut down. Even though we’re hopefully mostly through COVID, we’ve hopefully changed our mindset on how drastically something can change. With your own planning where you’re just about to do a new five year plan, do you kind of have a backup option where you plan out five years and then realize you need a “what if” path?  


Matt: Sure. A what-if path? Well, I think monetary-wise, the idea for the next five years is to accumulate still even more assets but let the cash flow finance it. My emergency fund, so to say, is extremely small compared to our net worth. It’s not even 1%. And we have standby loans available, a credit line available on our investments where I can draw any time. So, if tomorrow my car breaks down, I can call the bank and get my loan with maybe 0.9% interest on it in Swiss francs. I could buy a new car on the spot, in cash, and then let the cash flow of the next maybe two or three months’ pay it off. That’s how I do emergency funds. But that requires also that the assets are more or less stable. The bank doesn’t cancel the credibility of the assets, which is okay in most of the diversified assets. They have something like 70% to 80% lending value. It depends on your emotional state. I also help some people with their retirement planning, and I think for some of them, even two to three years cash is something very, very good. Because having this cash makes you sleep better, worry less, and you actually don’t react to what the market does. You stay the course. And you wouldn’t sell because you’re afraid. Very often the dividend stream of a bigger portfolio will carry through. And if you have two or three years of timeline, you can adjust your lifestyle big time. You could cancel the car. You could jump to an electric bicycle. We got recently one of those, spending one fee to buy it—saving all the costs a car would incur. I replaced (I think) more than half of my car trips and even more than half of the budget for fuel and all that. 


Tom: And the idea of an emergency fund up to three years, like I keep saying—someone can have a lot in investments, but when things go south, having that emergency fund lets you sleep at night. It lets you not feel the need to pull that out. You can switch to the emergency fund instead of withdrawing any money from that because you’re worried that it’s dropped in value. A great point about dividend investing is they often stay the same. We talk about dividends as percentages all the time. But really, it’s not. It’s however many cents per share. It really isn’t the amount you’re going to collect in dividends. It doesn’t change. Maybe in the long run as a company gets worse, they might cut their dividends, but more or less, they’re going to try to keep that going.  


Matt: They have to have high incentives for that. Also, companies that manage to pay out higher dividends, have higher margins and higher pricing power, which comes in very handy in times of inflation. If your company makes a bottle of water… In Switzerland, I like Nestlé. They make food. People are always hungry. It doesn’t matter if it’s if there’s a recession or not, people are hungry. So if you sell a bottle of water or a coffee for $1, and you have a 30% margin, maybe two years later, the same bottle cost you $2, you still have the 30% margin on it and you can get even more as a dividend, right? 


Tom: True. I just wanted to mention, our friend J.D. Roth, was reading a book called Designing Your Life. I’m looking at some notes here, but the five-year plan that they talked about there was interesting about having these different paths. They sort of consider what you do now, and if that were to continue, what that would look like in five years. Then there’s what if you lost your job? Or maybe you just couldn’t work any longer, any kind of disability or anything so what would that look like in five years? And then what if money was no object? What would that look like in five years? Even if you’re still making that individual one plan, it’s an interesting way to look at it. It kind of covers these options of things like COVID or disability or anything else. Or, if suddenly you do have a lot of money, how does that look? I like this idea that you can kind of aim wide and then narrow it down. It’s just thinking of all the possibilities and then narrowing it into a single plan. 


Matt: Yeah, that’s the luxury problem of the whole early retirement thing, right? If you can do whatever you like, what should you do? What’s the thing you like the most? It’s different than playing video games like Super Mario where you have 99 lives and you can try 99 times. In our real life, you have a finite timeline. One day will be the last, and that’s it. In my situation, being a father and husband, of course, is super, super big. And trying to have more time for the family in this stage when the kids are still young, is one of my top priorities. Whatever comes with that— We have a neighbour in Singapore with three kids. When he was 42, he went on a business trip and suddenly passed away. He had a stroke in the hotel, and that was it. And the whole family’s life got turned upside down. That was a very, very strong wake up call. In our family, we do have plans for if something happens to me or what if something happens to my wife. But we haven’t settled the most important thing—what if something happens to both of us? The kids are still there so we still have to think more. This is extremely tough. But even for these adversities in life, we should be covered. 


Tom: Something like that, you’re obviously not necessarily including it in your five-year plan whether something happens to you or your wife? But do you kind of consider that almost a separate meeting or a separate conversation where you’re kind of planning for these kinds of possibilities? 


Matt: Yes. I think for that particularly, one thing was the life insurance that I took on my life. Also on my wife’s life. We have we have some insurance coverage there. We do term insurance which can be adjusted every year. You can actually lower it or increase it depending on your needs. And the main point is to have sufficient liquidity for the follow-up plan to work out. 


Tom: Yeah, I definitely like that you’re thinking of that. And certainly the idea of what happens to if something happens to the both of you. What can you do next with your kids as they’re growing up? How do you include them in the five-year plan? Because you can decide that they’re going to college or anything like this and they’re going to get a job at this year. But they’re not actually part of that decision so how do you plan for that? 


Matt: Well, three houses down the road from where I live are the parents of Roger Federer, the tennis player. I talked to the father of Roger Federer. I asked him one question, “When did you figure out that this guy is going to play tennis? When did you know it?” I think my job as a dad is not necessarily to tell them to play tennis or do this or that, but to see what they like and then try to give them the opportunity to explore whether that’s something they like or not. My daughter, at the moment, goes to a kids theatre. It’s like an acting school but for young ones. She’s nine years old and she really loves acting, playing up there. She’s got two small roles in the first play that will go live at Christmas. And she knows actually 80% of the whole play that is something like two hours. She knows it by heart, but she has about six or seven lines that she has to learn. I think I try to see but what really, really interests them and give them opportunities to grow into something that is closer to what I believe could be their potential. It’s kind of unlocking the potential to help them grow into it. Then when it gets tough, which is the other thing, Roger Federer’s dad said once, “Yeah, of course, if you play tennis, there will be the days where maybe it’s raining outside or maybe you have a party or you have something else going on. And when your training comes, you have to be there.” That’s when the discipline part will get very, very important. So depending how this goes, I don’t want to live my own dreams through my kids. I don’t want to be that kind of parent. But I want to see that I support them as well as possible to live up to their potential. 


Tom: I like that because your daughter is young enough that it’s hard to know if this will be the direction she goes. But at the same time, she’s showing more interest and skill in this area than a lot of nine-year-olds in a lot of other topics. In the sports example, you would have to push them at some point, because if you realize that this is what they like, what they enjoy, what they want to do, eventually you’re going to become a young teen and you’re kind of willing to quit and take an easy way out sometimes. So, yeah, there’s got to be a little bit of push where you’re sort of reminding them or encouraging them. And you might have to do it a little heavy-handed, but you’re doing it because that’s the direction that they’ve shown they want to go. How do you plan on doing this once your kids are older? How would you keep them on their own goals? Would you do a five-year plan with them? Is that an option? What do you want to do for a career? What do you want to do as a hobby? What do you want to do for school? 


Matt: Well, I want to be the parent that is walking the talk. I want to show them how I do my things and let them watch. I don’t want to be the parent who just tells them what I think they should do and hope they follow. I want to lead by example in that situation. As a matter of fact, the two names of our kids are on the next five-year plan, and we want to include them. Not in a way to commit and do this, but just to listen to what they think. Of course, when they voice out, we can see how we can assist them, how we can help them. And then hopefully the result should then be that some of these things will actually become true. I want to show them that that’s the whole game of my blog name, Financial Imagineer. It’s also to make your dream life become reality, maybe using money as a tool. Money is important, yes, but follow your dreams and know where you want to go and then try to push it through. Our two kids’ names are on the next five-year plan and we will talk to them about that as well. 


Tom: I like that. You’re kind of onboarding them on this a little bit without overdoing it. They’ll see some wins. Then you can show them your past ones. You said how sort of everything you’ve planned out—other than COVID maybe sort of came true because you pictured it, you planned it. You’re just naturally working towards that even if you’re not thinking of it all the time. It’s already out there so that’s kind of where you end up.


Matt: Correct, yeah. Life shouldn’t become a thing where you just wake up and think about your KPIs, commitments and plans, and then take the list through life. That’s not fun, right? Yeah, life should be fun. But at the same time, if you live life with a purpose, it becomes so much more enjoyable. You will get much better at what you do and you will have so much better experience. You will live a richer life. I love the so-called Ikigai concept on that. Ikigai is a Japanese concept about life. Ikigai is used in Okinawa. People in Okinawa, if you ask them what’s the purpose of your life, they come up with their Ikigai, which is the purpose for getting out of bed in the morning. What does it entail? You have four parts in the Ikigai. One thing is what are you good at? What do you like? What do you enjoy? It doesn’t have to be the same, right? You can be good at something, but you hate it. Then, what does the world need to serve a purpose? And the fourth one? What can you get paid for? Monetary recognition is like a value system of society. If you find something that puts all four together, you will have a much better life. And for my retirement studies, what I really like is exploring. Retirement, when it started in Germany was in the 1800s. They laid off people that were old to actually make space for young ones to grow into it, which was actually very discouraging for the old folks because, before that, retirement never existed. There are studies that say early retirees usually live shorter lives because they were taken out of their life of purpose. There are a lot of people, they just go through life and at one point they lose their job and they will be devastated because they never think about what is my purpose, except probably the role of doing my job. And this Ikigai thing is like a wholesome concept that I want to instill somehow in my kids together with the financial education I try to give them. Every week we sit together and look at the budget, look at their situation. I do something called Papa Bank. Let’s say they give me $100. I deposit it. I write down how much they have. And then each week they get $1 in pocket money, you could call it. So my daughter now has much more money in there than my son. And the son is older and the son found it recently unfair. And I say, “Well, what is unfair? You bought this and this and this. You bought some Nintendo game. You bought that, you bought toys, right? You used your money already and your sister didn’t.” They have this kind of competition and they see already how it works. And another thing I do, we set up fun saving plans for them. Every time stock markets crash, we go with them to the bank. I could do it on my phone. I could do it on my computer with online banking. But I want them to actually walk into the bank physically, take the cash, and deposit it. That’s another thing. Money is so intangible in this age. When I’m in the shop and my daughter wants something, I like to say, “Oh, I don’t have money for this now,” and she says, “No, no, no. You don’t need money. You have to your card. You just swipe it.” It sounds like money is infinite. As long as you have the card, you can get anything. And this is so dangerous, I think. So, I try to teach them all these things—how to deal with money and then, of course, how to grow up to their best potential. 


Tom: Yeah, I love that. I’ve felt that myself where I’m using my card for everything. I like to earn my rewards. But I think with the kids, they still need real money that they can hold, spend, lose, whatever it is. Thanks for running us through all this. I think it’s very inspiring that as a form of communication, instead of just walking through without a plan and not talking to the other person. I think this is a great option for people to plan and communicate, all in one. Can you tell people about your site and where they can find you online? 


Matt: Yeah, well, maybe just one more thing on the other topic first. I feel like a lot of people spend so much time to plan their job or plan a lot of things in life, but they don’t plan their life. I think that’s a huge, missed opportunity. A lot of people don’t really realize that they put KPIs up for anything except their life. I highly encourage anyone out there listening to this, try it out. You can adapt the plan. It doesn’t have to mean you stick to it 100%, but at least get some guidance. So, where can you find me? If you go to Twitter it’s @FI_imagineer. You can find me at, That’s my website. And Financial Imagineer on Facebook. I’m also there. 


Tom: Great. Thanks for being on the show. 


Matt: Thank you for having me, Tom. 


Thank you, Matt, for showing how lifestyle design and careful planning have helped you achieve many of your life’s goals, including financial independence. You can find the show notes to this episode at If you haven’t yet, head over to our YouTube channel and subscribe there as we’ll be getting back to releasing never-before-seen content, soon. Either search for Maple Money or go to and subscribe today. Thanks, as always for listening. I really appreciate the feedback I get from people all over Canada. This week, I was honoured to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Plutus Awards that took place during FINCON. This support from both listeners and my personal finance peers is a great source of inspiration. I look forward to seeing you back here next week.

If you don’t talk about your plans and priorities (with your partner or spouse), you cannot get aligned very well…some people say, ‘I don’t have an ambitious dream or target in life, but all of us have dreams. - Matt, from Financial Imagineer Click to Tweet