If you google “What is financial independence?” you are going to get hundreds if not thousands of answers for this. Some of them such as below:
Financial independence typically means having enough income to pay your living expenses for the rest of your life without having to work full time.
Financial independence is a state in which an individual or household has sufficient wealth to live on without having to depend on income from some form of employment.
Financial Independence occurs when you’ve saved enough to support your current spending habits for the rest of your life without the need to earn more money.
Why so many different definitions for the same phrase? It’s simple: different financial writers use the phrase differently. They all tend to agree that “financial independence” is a worthwhile, lofty place to aim your financial efforts towards – they just can’t quite agree on what exactly that phrase means.
So what does it mean to me?
Financial independence to me ultimately means that you can shape your life without taking money into consideration. Most of us have to consider our finances in nearly every decision we make or maybe even make decisions solely based on money. Once we reach financial independence we get the freedom not to be bossed around by what we earn or what we have saved.
So to me Financial Independence = Freedom. Freedom to me means at any moment if I wanted to I could jump on a plane and decide I want to travel around South America for a few months or maybe I wanted to learn Maui Thai in Thailand, I’ve always wanted to learn how to cook a perfect pizza by hand so lets go to Italy for a month and learn first hand in a kitchen. All of these things while not having to worry how I will be able to “survive” while doing it (paying rent, food, expenses ect.)
Will I be able to sail around the world in my own personal mega yacht? No but is it possible that while I’m visiting Monaco in the south of France that I happen to make friends with a multi-millionaire that owns a yacht and happens to invite me on a journey with him? Sure you bet. I would at least have the freedom to do so if the opportunity comes up.
So there you have it for a Finance Friday post. It’s simple but many people have been asking me this question lately so I thought I’d share my own personal view on what it means to me.