At the core, we look for freedom, the freedom to arrange our life the way we want, to focus on what matters. To be free from any limitation, imposed by a job, mortgage or the norm. We could then decide to work on projects in line with our values, travel the world or do nothing. That is the goal. The journey is long. So, we also make the journey as fun as possible.It took some time. We now know it is not about the money alone.
Want to know more? These post can help you
Money is now an enabler, not an end goal.
What is Financial Independence for us
Does Semi Financial Independece exists?
Alternatives to being 100 pct FI
How to become Financially Independent?
You are financially independent when your investments generate enough income to cover your spending. According to the Trinity study, you become financially independent as soon as your assets are 25 times your spending. Imagine you need 40 000€ per year to live, then you would need 1 000 000€ (40 000€ * 25). Alternatives are rental income or dividend income that generate more cash than you spend.
That is a lot of money. How do you get there?
Life below your means: spend less than you earn and invest the rest. I do realise this is not possible for everybody, especially those living on a minimal income. For others, when you make some intentional choices, it should be possible.
Start to invest
Once you know your budget, have an emergency fund, decide where and how you should invest. Historical data suggests that investing is the best way to accumulate and preserve wealth. Nobody has a crystal ball, it is sure that saving in 2017 yields less than inflation.
Define your own journey
Personal finance is personal…! It means you need to find out what is important to you, what is it that you value most. And do not look to much at others for that.
15 thoughts on “What does Financial Independence means for us?”
Great wrap-up. A reason study showed that wealth, fame, success or money can´t compete against good relationships. That is the main difference if your live is good or not. Period. So, even though FI is good, one should focus on keeping and maintaining good relationships. Even if it means you reach FI later? Yes. The cost of losing friends is much higher than what a FI live could give you.
See you ATL!
Love the summary and links on where to go to find more info! You have a great philosophy and attitude towards FI and money and the time-value of life.
I would reference the Trinity study 4% rate with a little caution – it was based on US data; the withdrawal rates were lower for other countries and early retirement could mean a lot longer period than 30 years. A useful summary is at https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Trinity_study_update showing different rates per country and asset allocation.
On the positive side, if you have pension / social security income later than the investment income only needs to fill whatever’s left, and you’ve already covered the ability to work part time as another solution.
Keep up the great work and posts!
Thx for the feedback. The trinity study indeed needs some caution. The article was in interesting read.
Love the thought behind money not being the end goal.
Some people just chase after a specific number, then once they get there they’re disappointed because nothing changed. The financial independence is just a tool to get the ultimate goal, happiness.
I think you nailed it on the head with “Define your own journey”. It’s really easy to get caught up with what everyone around you is doing or what everyone around you is writing. My first year seeking FI I was making myself crazy with everything I was trying to do to cut expenses and try to fit a certain mold. Looking back I can only laugh. This is a marathon, not a sprint. I’m so much more aware of that now. 🙂
Once you figure out what matters to you, it is more easy to take action. Not easy. We are still learning
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Lovely article. Indeed, we need to think wisely what means money and financial independence for us, because everyone is unique.
I am dreaming and planning and building a future financial independence (my number is around 10 years if I keep actual tempo, but if I do more….) . But in my last months I realize for me it is important to have a NOW. I want to live in the George Constanza paradigm: to work 6 months/year and to “relax” the other 6 :D. It is possible on paper? yep, if I work double or I spend at a half. Actually this is the second year with 2 months holiday and I hope to increase it next year 🙂 and this because we have a budget, we understand the money are a tool not a target.
That is great news: 2 months holidays. As you say, money is a tool.
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Define Your Journey. Interesting. Keep up the good work
You seem to know what is important for you. That is what counts the most. If you know that, than it doesn’t matter how you arrange things as long as you are happy with them.
found another Belgian one: https://whendoyouretire.wordpress.com/
I like your perspective AmberTreeLeaves – my views on money and FI have certainly changed over the years, but always to try and fit with what is most important in my life at any given time. I’ve been obsessed with investing and FI at various points in time, but these days the main focus is family and health – the money plans are still on track but are a distant third to those two things.
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Blogging made me evolve in my money and priorities thinking. Money is now less of a focus, more of an habit.
Yep, that’s the story in a nutshell.
It’s very simple actually but when you start getting into the details it gets more and more complex. Suddenly you are asking questions such as “What do you really want in life? How much are you willing to compromise for freedom? What does freedom even mean to you?” I find it very exciting to think through all these things.
It is a long journey and many people are impatient. They want to get there quickly. I can understand it. I was there too and wanted to retire quickly so I was making many mistakes and lost a lot of money. I am still paying for those mistakes, but man one is lost time. Hopefully, I am out of this craziness and now building my wealth more mindfully. I still apply other strategies than just simply accumulating assets, such as trading options around those assets to make more income. But going there. Another issue I have seen in the past years is that when you start saving and investing, you have zero knowledge, little money, but plenty of time. Once you learn investing and finally start making nice money to invest, you have little to zero time… What a paradox.