Making The Most of Community – A Review of CampFI

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No, it wasn’t me living it up at CampFI Midwest a few weekends ago. However, my buddy Jeff did and he wrote a guest post about it so we can all live vicariously through him. 😉

I had the good fortune of attending CampFI Mid-Atlantic this past spring so I know how amazingly awesome these camps can be. CampFI 2019 here I come!!

Jeff & I met in the most awesome ChooseFI local group ever…just sayin’.

Our local group, here in NE Ohio, meets monthly and we alternate by having a social gathering one month and an educational gathering the next month.

NE Ohio ChooseFI Educational Topics in 2018

  • Travel Rewards with one of our members, Anna Z, who writes over at ChooseFI
  • Extreme Couponing Class with Joe the Coupon Guy
  • FITax with one of our accountant members
  • Next month it is Health Insurance 101 with yours truly

If you are interested in joining a ChooseFI local group in your area, start here.

So now a little bit about Jeff…

Jeff is a sales rep for a Fortune 500 medical company living frugally in Ohio with his wife and two young kids. Their family has big plans to Geo-Arbitrage in sunny Arizona and enjoy a slower paced life.

Alrighty then, take it away, Jeff!

Livin’ The Dream At CampFI Midwest

For the last three years, I have been an obsessive consumer. Not of the material type. A consumer of various how-to playbooks created by the numerous FI bloggers out there who have bravely pioneered the world of FIRE (Financially Independent, Retire Early).

The binge reading sessions have been so intense for so long that I had gotten to the point where I knew the material cold. I found myself dreaming of SWR’s (Safe Withdrawl Rates) in Costa Rica, BRRR (Buy, Rehab, Rent, Refinance) real estate strategies in Arizona, and other acronyms only my FI tribe would understand.

I had come to the point where I knew the next step in my FI journey was to meet these FIRE bloggers and other like-minded money nerds and so I signed up for CampFI Midwest 2018.


I was able to book a flight with hacked travel points and got to the beautiful retreat center which was just outside Marine on St. Croix. MN. By the time I got there, most of the 60+ group had already arrived and we got down to the money discussions right away.

It really is fascinating to me to see a mostly introverted group of people (myself included) discuss money (huge taboo) with complete strangers. Moreover, I noticed that once you are able to talk about money, no topic seems to be off the table. These conversations did go everywhere and anywhere…and well past midnight.


I decided that the best way to start the morning was to attend the unofficial Physician on Fire family 5K/10K. Those PoF kids are fast and I did my best to keep up.

We had a great round of presenters on Saturday:

  • Physician on Fire – How to retire early with kids. It was a great talk which reinforced the fact that kids need your time, not your money.
  • Coach Carson – Chad is an expert in real estate investing and led a talk and break-out session on how to use real estate investing as a tool for living your best life now.
  • Cait Flanders – I read Cait’s best selling book, A Year Of Less, prior to camp and have used some of her recommendations of how to lead a simpler life, which BTW is freeing.

After dinner, it was a great night for intense board games and campfires.


I got up early and met some folks for coffee before breakfast. We talked more about the previous day’s topics, and then it got really interesting…

One of the camp attendees, Doc G from DiversiFi, is a hospice physician. We were discussing his patients and some of the challenges of healthcare today. I found great irony in this as I keep the list of The Top 5 Regrets of the Dying hanging in my office.

For those of you who are unaware of where the list came from, it was a collection of most common life regrets heard by a hospice nurse. For me, this list serves as my Why of FI:

  1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
  2. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.
  3. I wish I had the courage to express my feelings.
  4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
  5. I wish I had let myself be happier.

If you are interested, here is the book created by this nurse.

[Ms. Fiology jumping in here: Oh my! I’ve never read this list until now and it made me stop in my tracks and ponder my life.]

More Presentations

  • Break The Twitch – Anthony made us aware of the “twitch” we are all prone to when we experience boredom. However, by creating intentional friction with the things in our lives that create problems we can live a better life.
  • Our Next Life – Tanja challenged us to think about how we will use our FI superpowers for the greater good.
  • 1500 Days – Carl talked about how he discovered he was leading a more authentic life away from work. Ultimately, it supported his decision to step away from the grind.

The weather turned out to be great and we had fun trying out electric bikes, drone flying, and canoeing.


As we headed back to the airport our group had time to reflect on our Camp FI experience. Furthermore, we had a group discussion on what was the best part of Camp and we laughed as we answered the same: It was the people, of course, it’s why we came.

Will I be back for another Camp FI in 2019? You betcha!

Advice for newbies considering a future CampFI

  • This is your tribe. You need verification that you are not crazy. There are others…
  • Cost- I gotcha covered in one credit card hack. Capital One Savor. Done.
  • If the logistics don’t work out for CampFI, get to a local group meetup ASAP.


Ms. Fiology here again and all I can is wow, Jeff, wow! You painted a phenomenal picture with your words of how prodigious these events can be in our walk on this FI/FIRE journey.

I’m still blown away by the top 5 regrets of the dying.  I recently wrote a post over at ChooseFI about loving your life and career while on the path to FI. This life is short and beautiful. Make sure you soak it up and most importantly find your purpose for being here.

As you’ve read, CampFI is a great place to do that.


13 thoughts on “Making The Most of Community – A Review of CampFI”

    1. I agree Doc. These camps/meetups have opened my eyes to the true beauty of this community. It is not for the love of money, but for its usefulness as a superpower to live our most authentic life.

  1. This only enhances my impending excitement! I fly out tomorrow morning to attend Camp FI South. BTW, I’m flying from Massachusetts; I guess it really doesn’t matter where they are held, there’s always a way! For me, this door was opened through the incredible generosity of

    1. O-FI-O, I feel the same way. Meeting with some of the campers who talked about not living close enough to any local groups made me appreciate what we have in NE Ohio. Looking forward to seeing you at another meet up soon.

  2. It was great meeting you at camp Jeff! Enjoyed our talk about moving down to Arizona for geo arbitrage as that’s something I’m seriously considering too. Who knows maybe we could be neighbors! 😉

    1. YFK- It was great meeting you too and enjoyed our AZ talk. You are crushing the game so early in your FI journey! Hope to see you at another event.

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