There are many articles out there that can help you put a numerical value on what financial independence is. However, I’d like (for once in my life, lol) to take the numbers out of it. Here is my stance on financial independence and what it truly means for me. Enjoy.
Simply put, being financially independent is being in a position where you are able to take care of your living expenses without needing an active job. Meaning you don’t necessarily need to go to some workplace and clock in 8 hours of your time every day. You have created passive income streams that you can pull from to support your lifestyle and you aren’t living paycheck to paycheck. Traditionally, the most common path to financial independence was through creating a successful business and then hiring managers or supervisors to run the daily operations. More recently, people have come to understand that simply saving a large portion of your income and investing over the years yields the same desired outcome.
Some people, however, enjoy working or are fortunate to be working in a field/ job that they are passionate about. They aren’t the CEO’s, Vice Presidents or even managers. Should they still seek financial independence even though they will likely continue working even past the typical retirement age? Simply, yes. Financial independence allows you to continue doing what you love without having to worry about making enough money to support your expenses. For example, let’s say there was a position you wanted to consider taking that typically has a low salary, such as a community outreach coordinator at a non-profit that serves underprivileged youth. For you, it’s not about the money. This is something you’ve always felt you were called to do. If you were financially independent (had been saving and investing over the years) you could take the job without fear of how you will care for your family and loved ones because you have a separate “income” that will continue to support your lifestyle and daily expenses.
Another (and probably the most obvious) reason financial independence should be a goal of yours is simply because the lack of money limits us from taking chances. Whether it be moving to the other side of the world to teach English to students in South Korea, investing in a second home for rental income, traveling the world fulltime for a year, or simply walking away from destructive relationships. One woman I admire, Myleik Teele of Curlbox, often makes reference to her savings account as “F*** You money”. Basically, money set aside to give you the power to make decisions that are best for YOU and your needs.
Has your workplace turned into a spiteful place where everyone stabs each other in the back? F**k it, I’m putting in my two week notice and not looking back. Need a one year sabbatical to reenergize and refocus on finding your purpose in life? F**k it, I’m purchasing a one way ticket Bali to start my “Eat, Pray, Love” adventure.
Money isn’t everything but it sure does help you live your purpose filled life. Why let the lack of money prevent you from doing that?
So my goal is to become financially independent by my 35th birthday. I will be 25 in a few months so I have a little over 10 years to make this goal a reality. Ten years seems like a long time; it really isn’t. However, I know that my goal is attainable. I plan to take the savings and investing route. Stay tuned for my investing strategy and the next steps I plan to take to start my road to independence.