The easiest way to begin framing financial independence in your mind is to think of a typical day. I'm not talking about a special day or the week that you took leave from your work, where you might do something only occasionally, but on an average day, one that would categorize your activities once you've achieved financial independence.
The pursuit towards financial independence has somewhat evolved through the recent years I've been pursuing it.
It started off as a pursuit towards being able to handle basic proper financial planning like the usual stuff we often hear about - Being frugal about things. Never spend anything more than you can save. Spend on needs over luxuries.
The next step is about how to grow these amounts of money through investable assets that would make money work harder for you - Grow the human assets aspect. Invest in assets that will grow over time. Compound savings and investment early in our years. Choose the right portfolio allocation.
Finally, we look at things from the end results point of view. Grow our passive income. Determine the crossover point where passive income exceeds expenses. Calculate withdrawal rate after retirement.
In one of my previous post on redefining the concept of success (article here), I talked about how most society defines success as a measure of how well an individual is doing. One of the comments by a reader talks about a profession of doctor. Most of the popular professions such as doctors and lawyers are "favorite" because it carries "weight" to their profession, which can differ depending on how society sees it. When kids talk about wanting to grow up being a doctor or lawyer, the motive behind the reasoning is always going to be saving people's lives or bringing justice upright. But the moment one grows up, the society (and perhaps including your relatives and neighbours) sees such professions as having how much money, houses or fancy cars do they own. We can't really blame the society for viewing it that way, as we do have some correlation about the impression of money that can make an impact to this world.
Financial bloggers often talked about wanting to achieve financial independence on their blogs and it is not difficult to see why the community is so fixated on achieving the perfect aspect of this plan, be it savings or investing in any form of assets that can help grow the money. The truth is we can't deviate from the monetary aspect of this financial planning and they are critical if we want to survive in this world. They may look shallow to the first time reader reading the financial blog but they are there to serve the purpose and that purpose isn't all about the money at the end of the day. As a matter of fact, I'm pretty sure that most bloggers want to achieve independence rather than financial independence, though we can't argue much than accept the fact that they are a subset of the former.
This is perhaps the true intention behind my goal to reach the state of financial independence one day and that is to allow more freedom from whatever I am tied to do right now, be it fear from finding an alternative career path or an impossible task to take sabbatical away from work for a considerable period of time. I also dislike when there are people questioning my motive on my goal because these are mostly the same people who do stick to the conventional wisdom of life - Study hard, get a degree, find a stable job, and stay until retirement. And I want to live my life, while not forgetting my role as a breadwinner of the house. Not an easy task by any means. I can't simply walk away quitting and let my wife and child bear the burden of my selfishness.
I salute those who have the courage to step out of their comfort zones in life and whilst I can't speak for everyone's experience since everyone's situation is different, I'll stick to what I believe in when I started on this blog. But one thing for sure, it isn't necessarily all about the money at the end of the day.