Hey there! It’s the blogger formerly known as PFI. I realize even making that old reference to the “artist formerly known as Prince” makes me old. But, I’m so glad to be back I’m just rolling with it.
In my first post here, I’ll thank those who helped with the transition, lay out the (mostly small) changes you’ll find on the site, and talk about what to expect going forward.
If you’re interested in the details of why I’m making a change, check out my last post on why I shut down PrincipalFI.
Begin with Gratitude
As a lifelong pessimist, I’m constantly working on a mindset shift that begins with gratitude. So, let’s lead with thanks.
Sometimes, a small break is all you need to realize how much you enjoy doing something. I’ve been at this for just over seven months. In some ways, I’d started to feel a bit of a grind. Then, I had to make this change and it required a pause. I couldn’t make it quickly and keep up with some of my life events – particularly downsizing our home. So, I stopped publishing and interacting much online for a few weeks.
And I really missed it. More than I expected. I’m glad to be back, and to be reminded why I started doing this in the first place.
First – a big thanks to the many readers, and friends, who encouraged me to push through the transition rather than stepping away. When I announced the change, readers and other bloggers were very supportive.
Second, thanks to Bethany from His and Her FI for helping with the logo change and rebrand. I’ll write more about the logo below, but anything you like about it is totally due to her guidance and work. Anything you don’t like is my poor choices along the way. I absolutely recommend working with her.
(As a quick note, I’m also working with AccidentalFIRE on another piece that will be done soon.)
Third, a huge thanks for the help I received from SiteGround on the URL shift. I’m somewhat tech capable, but certainly no expert. I tried to make the URL change in a way that limited broken links and didn’t impact user experience. That required things I wasn’t fully able to do. I moved to Siteground about six months ago. There support then, and on this change, has been truly above and beyond. I highly recommend SiteGround if you’re considering a hosting change. The links are affiliate links, but this isn’t really a sales pitch – it’s an honest appreciation.
Finally, thanks to a number of other bloggers who have agreed to point old links here, or held up publishing a guest post while I made this change. In particular, Mr. 1500 was ready to go with my response to his 10 Questions series and he graciously volunteered to wait until transition was done.
Thanks to everyone who is reading this after my pause and transition.
So, What Actually Changed?
Well, the name obviously. And the URL. As I shared before, I had some legal motivation to change those things. Other than that, I was pretty happy overall with how things were going. I did take the opportunity to look at what could shift to better represent my current thoughts and emphasize the things readers had liked about the site.
“Financial Independence from an educator perspective.” Along with the less role specific name, I also wanted to open up the concept a bit. I’ll always focus on educators, because I love my career and the difference we make. Yet, I didn’t want to exclude those who might read from time to time for the general FI content and/or my personal journey.
Lets’ be honest – when I was first starting I had no idea what I was doing. My color choices were all over the place, they were mismatched, and I threw together a logo on some auto-maker site. I have no business doing design work. Fortunately, I got to work with Bethany this time.
I like clean and simple designs. I also don’t enjoy the traditional branding of most education things – they tend to undermine the professionalism of the skilled people in education roles. Teaching requires more than an apple and a pencil! Bethany worked with me to come up with a simple design that also emphasized a new realization for me…
“Optional Retirement” as a key component
When I first saw the logo design I eventually chose, I hesitated. It can read as “F or I” – you may have even read it that way. Then, I realized it was actually capturing something I’ve come to value – the concept of optional retirement. I’m not driving to FIRE (financial independence retire early.)
Instead, we’ve embraced the concept of FIOR (financial independence optional retirement.) We love our work and intend to do it as long as we feel we are adding value. We also want to be able to leave should we ever experience a leadership change that makes the job untenable. Or, worse, if we ever start to become burned out educators that shouldn’t be working with students.
And, we aren’t alone among educators who prefer FIOR over FIRE. Which brings us to the next change…
Educators on FIOR Series
One of my most popular features is the (former) Educator on FIRE series, where I share “interviews” with real educators working through real challenges to reach financial independence. I noticed something in my round-up of the first ten interviews: none of them were desperately pushing towards early retirement. That’s continued with the other interviews.
Instead, virtually all mention that they might come to a point where they no longer want to work in education. Even then, most say they’ll work or volunteer in something that continues to impact students. FIRE just doesn’t seem to be a passion – but financial independence to have options is.
The series will be the same. I’ve just shifted the name to better capture reality: Educators on FIOR.
FIRE has negative connotations for some. Financial Independence Optional Retirement better captures what most educators appear to be pursuing. If you’re interested in participating in the series, let me know. And if you’re a FIRE fanatic – you still fit!
I admit – I’d gotten lazy with the email list. Mostly, I just let the RSS feed run to send new post updates. I’m not doing that anymore – you deserve better.
Instead, I’ll send one weekly newsletter to email subscribers. It will include the following:
- Links to that week’s EducatorFI.com posts (In case you missed them)
- A favorite link to educator-specific content or a post published by one of the other fantastic educators writing about personal finance
- My favorite non-education link of the week
I’m looking forward to this new format. I think you’ll get great value. If interested, subscribe here.
Newsletters will be published on Friday. New posts will be published on Monday and Thursday every week.
I get back to my publishing schedule. The first post will be coming Monday and it’s a big one. In our latest financial review, we hit a big milestone. I can’t wait to share!
I’ll continue to publish twice weekly. Educator on FIOR interviews will be published the first and third Thursday of each month. I’ve got great content planned in advance for several months.
And now, I can get get back to reading, writing, and sharing great financial independence content.
A Few Requests:
I’ve tried to make this transition smooth. But, I know it’s not perfect. It will also take some time to recover from a URL change. So, a few requests if you have a moment:
- If you find any broken links, errors, or references to PrincipalFI please let me know.
- If you aren’t following me on social, please click on one of the follow buttons in the sidebar.
- Consider subscribing.
- If you find what I do valuable, please share the site with others.
- Most importantly, if you have any feedback about the site or the transition, I’d love to hear it.
Thanks for reading. I’m thrilled to be back!