The journey for Financial Independence is a marathon. It takes a lot of time before you reach the finish line. It can be quite demotivating not to see the end. While reading blogs and comments on my site, I actually came to realise that there are maybe multiple stages in financial independence.
Some eye openers I had the last few months
I see travelling part of FI (if you can travel, you are somewhat free and independent). therefore, by travelling, you are “touching” FI for a few moments. Besides, travelling is the biggest riches I find in life.
When looking at our lives like this, we can indeed see what FI could be like. Maybe not yet for the full 365 days per year,but at least already for 30 some days per year. The days that we travel, the weekends aways that we do, the kids free weekends. All of that is just great time that we should enjoy already now.
There could also be an in between FI as suggested sex health money death
Last week I spoke to a friend still in employment who was somewhat surprised to find himself working alongside an old boss who’d taken a voluntary demotion. My friend wasn’t quite sure how to handle it, but I was surprised that this was even a workplace option. It’s one that I now sometimes think I should have explored with my own employer, but I have to say my own prejudices and insecurities might have prevented it.
The key message here for me is that you can reach semi FI earlier in life by taking a step back at work or by switching to other jobs with more freedom. Is this semi FI? Coming close for me. You have less stress that way, are likely to work less on a weekly basis and have less urgency to check emails in weekends and while on holiday.
Eat the financial elephant has a good view as well.
We therefore believe that after covering our basics, it will be far easier and more fun to be creative with earning small incomes or being creative with spending in retirement while living with much more freedom compared to continuing lives that revolve around jobs just to save more money.
The above state is probably 90 pct FI. Do you need more?
How can that be Financially Independent? You would still need to work for the man? Or you still need to work to have ends meet.
At the surface, it does indeed does not make sense. Once you scratch, you will see that semi FI could well be a very good value proposition. How?
Why would that work?
What is FIRE for me?
For me, FI means that I have the freedom to do what I value most. For now this is a combination of
- my family and friends,
- contributing to successful projects, realising things I can be proud off.
What if by working less (half time) or working in a different sector/position, I could have more time for the family and travel while still realising projects that I value. I do see that as a win-win.
Delayed gratification where I would work hard now to profit after 2029 looks a risky business to me. What if I do not make 2029? What if by then, the kids are too old to want parents that go on a trip with them. Or that they are not used to travel and see the journey as part of the vacation?
Would it be ok to do a step back from the career and savings rate now and delay the FI date under the condition that you get more joy and freedom already now.
What if you jump before reaching the official number? You accept a certain flexibility in spending and are willing to exchange some of your time for money. In return, you feel 100 pct free already.This is what I have in mind now. How about being with the family and travelling while they are having school holidays? I could work the rest of their school time.
As a conclusion, I would say that having a plan in place and being able to enjoy the here and now with family and friends is already the fist step towards Financial Independence. And possibly the most important one.Being able to enjoy these moments means you will know how to enjoy them them later.
These thoughts will have to sink in a little. I am curious how this will impact our road to FI. Where and how could I make this real?
How do you see the journey?