“Money is something we choose to trade our life energy for.”
― Vicki Robin
To understand financial independence, start by answering this question, “What do you need money for?” It would be best if you thought as deeply as possible, and when you have the answer, let’s continue.
To be financially independent means that you have enough money to pay for whatever you thought of as the reason for needing money, and taking care of yourself and all your expenses for the rest of your life without having to depend on a job for the money.
Now, have it in mind that you aren’t doing this because you are lazy, or because someone left a fortune for you (though sometimes it’s possible), or because you’ve worked until you got old, and now you are reaping the fruits of your efforts as a retiree. No, financial independence is not restricted to any age group or demographic; you can attain financial independence before reaching 25 years and deciding to retire or quit your job. Also, you can now enjoy the luxury of doing whatever you like with your time, which never seemed to be enough before.
Are there types? Financial independence is relatively different because people have different financial needs or living standards. The amount of money you can have and be happy that you are financially independent is what someone may have and say that they are poor.
The first type is budget financial independence; you are on a budget in this kind of independence. Even if you aren’t working anymore, you don’t have much luxury when it comes to expenses because your yearly returns are enough to take care of you and your expenses. People in this category often settle for lesser living standards than what they had when they were working. The second is baseline financial independence. Here, you are financially okay, and your returns on investment can afford your current standard. Sometimes even an upgrade, because you are on the baseline, you would be in constant fear of settling for a lesser standard or, worse, bankruptcy. The final one is the blockbuster financial independence. At this level, it is safe to say that you are wealthy and can afford a luxurious lifestyle for as long as you want.
So, how do you work towards your financial independence?
You have to start by looking at your finances, pay-off debts, and start saving, save enough to start an investment, and put in as much effort as needed to get multiple income streams such that you can comfortably save up to 80% of your monthly income. You will achieve financial independence when your monthly ROI can cover your monthly expenses and even afford much more.
However, you must note that the quest for financial independence is not an avenue to ignore other aspects of your life that may require your resources. If you don’t have enough investments to allow 80% savings, you can reduce it to 70 or 60. The only difference is that it’ll take longer, but you’ll get there.