Ever since I started co-hosting the Stanford off-shoot of the Financial Independence and Early Retirement Meetup, I have been amazed by how easy it is to get strangers to show up and talk about their personal and financial lives. There’s a thirst for implementable personal finance information and a camaraderie that naturally develops from discussing how to optimize and improve our lives.
Yet, the steps required for financial freedom are simple: earn more and save more. Invest the difference. Do you really need a meetup to explain how to do it?
Dig a little deeper though and you’ll discover that what people are looking for isn’t more information. What they want is community and relationships with like-minded people.
This desire for community is what draws strangers-turned-friends to show up to a hike in Woodside on a random Saturday afternoon advertised on the Internet. It’s what develops an in-group language with jargony terms like backdoor Roth conversion, tax-loss harvesting, and CD laddering.
I’ve made real friends since joining and organizing this meetup, including friends I text regularly and discuss topics unrelated to finance.