What’s going on with Alan? This post is only interesting if you care about what is going on with Alan and Katie.  If you want to learn about financial independence, start here.  If you want more on Entrepreneurship the visit Rebel Business School

Alan Donegan Update

This is the Alan Donegan Update post! Continue reading at your own peril!
I want to warn you!  This post is all about me (Alan), which is not my most comfortable thing to write or talk about.  I much prefer to talk about business, learning or finance!  But I think there will be some value here for you from how I approach and think about things that you can apply to your world!

Selling all our property

Katie and I have decided to sell all of our property!  EVERYTHING! There are two seperate decisions involved in this.  The first is selling our own home, where we live, and the second is selling our 2 investment properties.  We own two small studios that we rent out in the building we live in.

Skyline Plaza Basingstoke

Our Home – Skyline Plaza Basingstoke.

As we have been travelling more and more this year we have found that we have only spent 2 out of 11 months in the UK and at home in Basingstoke.  We have been paying £1000 in mortgage, ground rent, tax, maintenance charge and more to leave our place empty and not live in it!  This seems CRAZY to both of us so we are going to sell it and use that money to go nomadic for 2020.

The second part of the equation is our investment properties and as we are not in Basingstoke it makes it harder for us to look after them and the tenants.  Katie and I don’t have a management agent; we do all the paperwork, repairs and more ourselves!  Why do we do that?  Management agents cost you around 10% of your rent and then you have to use expensive contractors if it goes wrong!  For the last 5 years of our life we have been in wealth accumulation and that has meant maximising returns.

This year whilst travelling it has become more difficult to manage remotely.  Getting a call from the tenants about the electricity failing and being afraid that the whole place is going to burn down is fine when you live down the hall in the UK but not OK when you are 8 hours’ time difference away in Santa Monica doing script writing. Then you get ripped off by an electrician for the repairs, costing you over a month’s rent to change a breaker!

At this point in our FI journey we are optimising for time.  So we are going to shift our money (by selling the flats) and put it into Vanguard index funds, which take a whole lot less management, time and can be organised wherever in the world Katie and I end up in 2020!

The choice of investment you go for is going to depend on what you are optimising for: returns, freedom, time, fun or other things?

If you are interested then here are our properties on the market:

We are selling our all property not because they don’t get good returns (they do!) but because we want something different in 2020!  We want freedom from Basingstoke, freedom to travel and not to have any calls about toilet blockages!

Going Nomadic

In 2020 Katie and I are aiming to be homeless! We are going to go nomadic.  What does this mean?  We aren’t going to have an official home, we are going to travel with all our belongings in 1 or 2 bags and go and live around the world! Ultimate freedom and flexibility?

Alan Donegan Travelling

This is Katie and me travelling back from Barcelona after a recent trip! We love to travel!

We are going to live in amazing Airbnbs as we did in Santa Monica whilst doing the movie writing experiment.  We are going to live in Thailand, get massages and eat Thai Green Curry every day!  We are going to explore the world and now that we can work on our projects where ever we want to we are free to do it!

One reason for doing this is to use geo-arbitrage to decrease our living expenses.  What is geo-arbitrage? It is the ability to spend your £GBP or $USD in different countries where they go a lot further.

In Thailand, our pounds are worth so much more than they are in the UK.  A 1-hour massage is £6 and a Pad Thai on the street that is better than anything in the UK is £1!  The 1-bedroom flat we lived in there for a few weeks in 2018 was £17 a night! By spending two months in Thailand, we will save a fortune compared to living elsewhere!  It is a tough life!

This will then offset the months we spent living in LA or other expensive areas. This is going to be an experiment on how much it costs to live around the world and if we can make it work!

Katie and I are preparing an annual report on our spending in 2019 so you can look forward to some pie charts and graphics!  In 2018 and 2017 we spent around £40,000 a year together. This should decrease massively when we are travelling!

Going Nomadic
This is a huge, huge, huge, change!  I am actually nervous and worried about a few things!  In no particular order, they are:

  • We won’t have a home!  Where are we meant to come back to?  Where is our safe space? Goodbye home!  This is especially hard when the saying “an Englishman’s home is his castle” is drummed into you from a young age!  Oh how I love societal training!
  • What am I going to do with all my Lego?
  • What am I going to do with all my stuff?  Current plan is to sell, give away and get rid of nearly everything that doesn’t fit into 2 bags!!  Do you want any of my books?
  •  Where do I register all my bank cards and stuff too? Do we remain registered with the same doctor (GP)? How is it going to work on the road!

This is going to be a massive change for Katie and me, and I am going to write more about it in 2020!  The one thing that gives me confidence going into this experiment is that we have only been at home for 2 months this year anyway and we have had an EPIC time travelling, creating, writing, and more.

Watch this space and I will keep you updated!

Movie writing update

I have been shit!  There is no other way to put it!  I haven’t done anything in some time.     Why?  I have been distracted by other projects.  Helping Rebel operate with out me on a day to day basis, writing my blog, working on Chautauqua, and more!

Alan Donegan not writing. Alan Donegan Telesales

Alan not writing. Alan playing around with a fake phone in a Portuguese cafe

The movie sciprt has fallen down the list of priorities!  Does this mean you aren’t going to finish it , Alan?  NO!

I just need to create the space to get back to it and I need a good clear week or so to do this.  My plan is to put aside a week in early 2020 to work on it non-stop and finish it and get it out into the world.

Thank you to all of you that have helped me get this far with my experiment of scriptwriting.  Jane, Jamie, Cathy, Ron, Ashley, and everyone.  I am committing to you that I am going to finish the script and get to the next step of selling it or releasing it in early 2020.  I will keep you up to date on my progress!

Chautauqua – FI conference

What is a Chautauqua?  It is a week-long financial independence retreat.  Katie and I went on one in Ecuador in 2016 and it changed our lives.  We then ended up running them with JL Collins and continue to do so each year!

FI Chautauqua Portugal 2019 Group shot

Chautauqua Portugal 2019 with the whole gang on top of the hotel

They are incredibly big projects for Katie and me to organise.  This year we hosted three weeks of events.  One in the UK and two in Portugal.  Hosting people all around the world in a country you don’t live in, booking all the accommodation, food and organising everything is a time- consuming project.  This has absolutely distracted me from doing the movie script above and it is a higher priority as it is time sensitive.  If I don’t organise this it will fall to pieces instantly.  If I don’t write the script this month there are no real consequences!

They are amazing week long events where we get together the biggest bloggers, podcasters and brains in the FIRE (financial independence, retire early) world and spend a week with 29 people at a time helping them think through FI, what they want in their lives, and more.  They are intense, fun, and inspiring events.

Katie and I are now turning our attention to 2020 and the upcoming Chautauqua events that will probably take place in the autumn in Croatia!  Don’t hold me to this though as nothing is booked yet and anything could change.

If you want to see more of last year’s events then you can see the FI Chautauqua site here. 

These events are not for people early in their FI journey with no savings.  They are for people further down the path who can easily afford the price.  I am doing a free FI workshop in London late November, 2019 if you want to come and learn for free.

​Katie and I love running the Chautauqua events and this is something we are going to keep doing each year.  It helps us meet incredible people, spend time with friends we love and help others!

TV Show Update

Have I even told you there is a Rebel TV show on the cards?  The Rebel Business School I ran with Jess, Henry and Katie in Houston in February got picked up by PBS News Hour in the States!  They came and filmed us in action!  You can see the video they produced on the right!

This was spotted by a production company in NYC who thought it would make a fabulous TV show helping people start up and make money doing what they love!  They flew out to LA to meet me in March and we have been working together ever since to make this a reality!  

I am so pumped about this and want to create a TV show to really reach people, smash the belief it takes money to make money and help people start up, create their own income and do it all debt-free!

This week coming I fly out to NYC to meet with one of the television networks in the States and have the first meeting with them about the TV show! I will keep you updated as I go but this is my big dream for 2020!  To make a TV show that really changes hearts, minds and beliefs about what is possible for people.

Podcast Intro

I really enjoy being on podcasts!  I have been on quite a few over the last few years including ChooseFI, the Mad Fientist, and Bigger Pockets, and I have enjoyed every single one.   I love answering questions, inspiring people, sharing ideas and more.

Alan Donegan recording a podcast

Alan recording one of his latest podcasts

After being on one of the shows recently that has massively taken off, they have asked me if I want to create my own podcast as part of their family of podcasts!  The answer was an enthusiastic yes and I am working with them to make it happen. 

My next steps are to build a team to help me run it and be on it, to design the graphics, and to get it up!  It is a lot of work which I am looking forward to getting into!

​More on this shortly. I am planning an entire post about the podcast!

Planning 2020

One of the highlights of the year for me is the annual planning retreat that my wife Katie and I take.  Last year we went away to Tallinn, Estonia for 2 weeks to think about life. The year before it was Thailand!  We have an incredible week or two of introspection, reviewing the last year and planning what we want the next year to be like!

The picture is of Katie and me going through a planning process with Post-it notes last month in Portugal planning whether or not to sell our flats and go nomadic!

Alan Donegan planning

Alan and Katie Donegan planning with post-it notes

You know the decision we made!  I love going away and thinking about life.  I truly believe that this deep thought, planning, and idea generation is what has helped us create such a phenomenal life.  I am going to write a post about the questions we ask ourselves, the introspection we do and the idea generation methods in time for the new year. 

​This is one of the things I am most excited about for 2020!

Rebel Update

Rebel seems to be flying at the moment.  I have been speaking to Simon and the team and  I have been so impressed with that they have been achieving!  In no particular order here is what I have been proud of:

  • We have franchised the course to Morocco and it is being translated and run in Arabic and French and is now changing lives in northern Africa
  • Simon, Liam, and Jess ran an amazing event in Indianapolis and created a real buzz in the States again.  Well done team
  • Henry, Jack, and James are doing an amazing job building the company and I can’t wait to see the stats from 2019!

As always all of Rebel’s courses are free.  If you want help starting a business in 2020 then come along to one of our Rebel events around the world!

Financial Independence – Events

Over the last 5 years, the financial independence community has had such a big impact on my life and the advice they have given has really changed everything.  I want to continue to give back to the community that has supported me so well!  In that vein, I am going to do my first -ever financial independence workshop in London in November.  It will be completely free and if you want to learn about FI then please come along and see me! 

​I want to share everything I have learned over the last five years with as many people as possible.

Blog plans – what’s next?

I have loved writing AlanDonegan.com this year!  The blog is now 1 year old, and I have really enjoyed the comments, interaction, new friends, and sharing ideas.  Thank you for being part of that.  What’s next for the blog?

My plan is to keep writing about financial independence, entrepreneurship, and more over the coming year.  I will continue to share ideas and work to inspire you. The main plan is more of the same!

​If there is anything you want to see on the blog then please leave me a comment and let me know!  I would love to give you more of what you want!

Can you fit it all in?

People vastly overestimate what they can achieve in a year and massively underestimate what they can achieve in a decade!

​I am in danger of overloading 2020 and trying to do EVERYTHING all at once!  This is BAD!

​Here is my current thinking about 2020 and the plans

  1. The TV show is the thing I most want to make happen as I think this will have the biggest impact on the world and help me to achieve the mission I set out to achieve 8 years ago with Rebel. This is the #1 thing I want to make happen
  2. The movie script is close to being finished and after we have got rid of our property that should create the space for me to have more time working on it and finishing it.  I will get it out into the world in 2020
  3. The podcast is a massive opportunity and I am going to do this in seasons.  Instead of committing to do a weekly podcast with new episodes all the time I am committing to doing season 1 and producing content that is of great value and putting it out into the world.  I then want to see the reaction to the first season and plan what to do next.  I am very excited about this opportunity and how it can help me get the Rebel message out there
  4. Scheduling time with Katie.  I need to remember to have fun and not work occasionally.  I find my work so inspiring that this one is very tough for me!  So I want to plan time into my schedule for 2020 to have fun with Katie and just go crazy!

You can’t do everything.  But you can do one things at once and start to make progress!

Thanks for reading

Thanks for reading my post.  I am going to go back to more of the content posts coming up.  I just wanted to share some of the amazing and cool things that have been happening with you.  

If you want to hear about my latest posts then put your email address in below and I will send you an email every now and again.

If you are inspired to get involved with any of the things above then email me and let me know your ideas, thoughts, and more!

Join the Donegan mailing list

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