Financial Independence Interview-Even Steven Money

Welcome to a brand new series involving learning about you and your Financial Independence story, of course I wanted to be the first one to share, but I look forward to hearing from each and every one of you.  Don’t forget to check out the Financial Independence Day page as well, where you can share your FI Day with others, the list is growing and I’ve heard great things from people who love the idea.  Without further ado, here’s an interview from me and by me, enjoy!


Who are you and tell me about your reason for setting a goal of FI?

My name is Even Steven Money and I am the author of this blog.  I started this blog to share my story about how I have been working to pay back all of my debt, become Even Steven, and reach financial independence to retire early.  My reason for setting a goal of Financial Independence is I really wanted to get my FI goal out there to see if it was possible.In a funny way I kind of wanted people to challenge me (Mrs. Even Steven does this anyways), tell me that my FI Date is made up or ask for the numbers.  Instead I received a lot of support and questions, I think most of the people who read my blog already sip the Kool-Aid, they want to know others are sipping the Kool-Aid as well.

Who got you started and who motivates you on your Financial Independence journey?

It all started with my thirst for knowledge and something different with money and finances.  I was beginning to make headway but the idea of working until I was 65 seemed like a quote I have heard once before “Youth is wasted on the young”.  I used to say I wanted to retire at 50 because that sounded really young and I figured if I could make that happen I was most likely a very rich man.  During my search for Early Retirement books I was not satisfied with the selection, I then decided to do what every person in the 21st century does, I typed into Google all sorts of combinations of Early Retirement I came across a few very interesting websites.  Mr. Money Mustache and Early Retirement Extreme, for me they are beginnings in the FI journey.  Like many new things I fought hard against some of their writings initially, I don’t think I was a crazy angry Yahoo commenter, but riding bikes to save money was not what was in my mind for early retirement, remember I planned to retire at 50 a very rich man.  If you open your mind and you expand your knowledge it’s easy to get on board.

Today it’s everyone in the personal finance world who motivates me; everyone has such a great story and shares their adventures along the way.  I am of course in love with all the Financial Independence Early Retirement blogs out there, I even created a FI Day page so we can all share our FI Date, hold each other accountable, and knowledge sharing moments on what we are doing to become Financially Independent.

What or Who is your Why?

This is one of the most important questions you can answer so no pressure.  One of the reasons I started this blog was I was beginning to get my financial life on track it was far from being perfect but I was gaining on my financial independence.  I love my father with all of my heart and he has gone on many adventures in life including:  Mayor, Pizza place owner, and Head of the Water Department to name a few.  I know he would not take back any of the adventures he has been on but he would choose a different financial path along the way.  I learned many things from my father and one of them is to create a better financial future than he has made.  For many reasons my Father is my why, but for many other reasons he is only a part of the why.  You see I’m a dreamer and a big idea guy much like my father, but my wife is all about family and the type of person who is the day to day get things done through hard work and dedication.  I want to get to a point where we are financially independent, where work is a choice not a mandatory assignment, where we can be close to family while I can still be a dreamer and big idea guy.  For many other reasons my wife is my why.

Do you have any debt?  If so do you have a plan to pay this off before FI?

I currently have debt as of today.  I have a student loan that will be paid off by June 2015, a personal loan to my parents, a rental house mortgage, and a personal mortgage that also acts as a rental property.  Sounds like a lot of debt, I know.  The second part of this question will actually lead us to our financial independence.  Once all of these items are paid off, our real estate income will meet and/or exceed our retirement budget and we can declare our Financial Independence Day.

What planned income streams are you working on towards FI and Early Retirement?

I touched on this a little bit above, but our main source of income will be from our rental real estate.  Our current plan is have 100% of our real estate income be our declaration for FI.  However my plan along the path to FI is to create multiple income streams and emergency funds along the way. Here’s what I have in mind:

  • Dividend Income
  • Bond/CD/MoneyMarket Income
  • Individual Stock sale as needed
  • Blog, eBay, Part-Time Work ( I could see Mrs. Even Steven teach a class for fun as an example)
  • Rollover IRA being slowly moved to a Roth IRA (no immediate plans of using this until 59.5 or older)
  • Pension (Not available until 55 or older)
  • 1 full year of expenses aka Emergency Fund, liquid
  • 1% of the Value of the home in a separate account aka House Emergency Fund, liquid
  • H.S.A of 2x out of pocket limit

What are your plans during early retirement?  (Travel, special projects, part-time work)

I really think the first couple of years will be dedicated to travel and visiting friends and family.  I think a large part will be in the United States as our FI passive income approach will rely heavily on real estate so we will still need to be accessible, especially in the beginning because I’m sure we will be worried about how we will handle every little thing from fixing a door handle to collecting rent checks.  After our 2 years of getting the travel out of us, the plan is to settle down a little more in the South Florida area, while we will still travel some; I expect the special project and part-time work of our lives to begin.  Here are a few examples of things of things that have crossed my mind:

  • Adjunct Professor(Mrs. Even Steven)
  • Blogging and eBay
  • Starting a Youth Basketball/AAU program
  • Volunteering to help Nicaragua
  • Part-time work at a golf course (Free golf)
  • Following a college sports team around for the season and documenting the process
  • Creating a business (this list is too big for the ideas that are in my head)
  • Real Estate ventures (I absolutely love re-purposing old buildings, think closed shoe factory becomes loft apartments)

Anything can happen in my journey to financial independence and I imagine the twists and turns to bring excitement every step of the way.  Thank you for reading and learning a little bit more about me.


Did you enjoy the Financial Independence Interview and want to be included in our new series?  Please reach out to to be included in the special company of Financial Independence bloggers.

Want to share your Financial Independence Day, head over to my FI Day page to learn more.


14 Responses to “Financial Independence Interview-Even Steven Money

  • It was great learning more about you and your journey Mr. Even Steven. Look out for an email from me in the future!
    Fervent Finance recently posted…Savings WaterfallMy Profile

  • Great new series Steven and good to get to know you a bit more. E-mail sent.
    Brian @DebtDiscipline recently posted…Week End Round Up #82My Profile

    • EvenStevenMoney
      3 years ago

      Love to hear it, can’t wait to hear more of your story.

  • Will be interesting to follow this new series! I like that you have a really active early retirement planned and some exact goals that you want to accomplish. I think that’s important as many people think of retirement as just sitting around doing nothing.

    Right now I’m primarily focused on paying down my debt, but maybe I can take part in your series in the (near) future once that direction changes.
    Debt Hater recently posted…Buying a Used Car: Dealer or Private Party?My Profile

    • EvenStevenMoney
      3 years ago

      Thanks Debt Hater. I am a practicing debt hater myself working towards FI, I don’t hear a ton of stories out there that really get the debt out of the way, it becomes an after thought for many because it has been dismissed already by the FI journey, so I would love to see your story turning just like mine is:)

  • Great interview. I love these b/c even though i am pretty far from FI they just continue to motivate me more. Love your blog.
    Jason recently posted…Financial Tip Friday: At Least Get the Free MoneyMy Profile

    • EvenStevenMoney
      3 years ago

      That’s great to hear, honestly I’m excited as you to read some of the great plans and places people are trying to get to, it motivates me to stay on my game and think outside my own thoughts.

  • Nice interview Even Steven, it’s fantastic to hear more about you and what drives you. I love your ideas for early retirement, and hoping you’ll be ticking some of those things off your list before you know it! I look forward to answering your questions here one day in the future!


    Jason@Islands of Investing recently posted…What do you expect from your investments? (a case study on Growth Island)My Profile

  • Funny you mention the golf thing, Ive always wanted to do that when I retire. The wages wouldn’t even matter, it would just be the biggest perk to golf for free as much as I wanted (and since I would be retired I would have the time to do so)
    Dan @ Our Big Fat Wallet recently posted…An Open Letter to Air MilesMy Profile

    • EvenStevenMoney
      3 years ago

      I used to caddie at Doral in Miami, FL and a bunch of the older guys would work as starters, rangers, etc, they would work from like 5 or 6 in the morning until 2 and then go play 18 for free, plus Doral has like 4 or 5 courses so it worked out pretty well. I remember one guy saying he wouldn’t golf unless it was 60 degrees, that sounds like a good philosophy in Florida.

  • Cool new series here Steven! Like the look of the format you’ve got here and looking forward to hearing more about your volunteering in Nicaragua (out of interest why’d you pick here?) once you reach FIRE 🙂

    • EvenStevenMoney
      12 months ago

      Mrs. ESM is originally from Nicaragua so it makes sense for us.

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