What Financial Independence Means To Us

The standard definition of financial independence is to have sufficient personal wealth to live off of, without the need to work in order to cover ones expenses. In other words, in order to achieve financial independence, your assets will need to generate an income that is greater than your expenses.

But what does financial independence mean to us?

Even though we both feel very closely aligned with the standard definition of financial independence, and know that this is our ultimate goal, we believe that financial independence should mean more than simply achieving a high net worth.

And after a great deal of reflection, we have come to the conclusion that for us, financial independence means having the freedom to choose our destiny.

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The beginning of a hiking trail we found our drive through NH

At the present time we are both working for large corporations, and although we are grateful for our jobs, and the life we have been enjoying as a result, we both know that we don’t want to be locked into our careers forever.

We believe that there is more to life than waking up every day at 6:00 am, working for said company, and then coming home exhausted eight to twelve hours later to do it all over again the next day.

Sometimes it feels as though we should have our own starring roles in the movie “Groundhog Day” with Bill Murray.

We don’t consider ourselves to be lazy by any standard, and we have both worked very hard to attain our present levels in our careers, but neither one of us can consent to the idea of doing this routine for another 25 or 30 years.

And despite the fact that we are both satisfied with our careers, we believe that there has to be more to life than this. We can no longer ignore our sentiment and know that as humans our time is finite, and that we only have so many waking hours over the course of our life span.

Our concern is that by living our day-to-day lives as though we have an endless supply of hours, we are shorting ourselves time to enjoy the very things we both desire.

We both feel that we deserve to have the freedom to decide how we want those hours to be lived. Hours that we can use to learn new things or discover a new interest. To be able to change career paths on a whim. Or maybe give up working altogether and travel the world. It doesn’t matter what we choose, we just want our freedom so we are able to make those choices.

Here are some of the other benefits we see on the road towards financial independence:

  • Stress-free living – We will get to live a streamlined, more relaxed lifestyle. There will be little need for us to get caught up in the trivial pursuits of everyday life. We won’t bother to compare ourselves to others and will no longer be concerned about what others think of us. We will feel a greater sense of unification as we both work together towards our dream of becoming financially independent.
  • Peace of mind – We will get to reap the rewards of a life that rejects consumerism where we no longer need to make frivolous decisions on what we should buy. Advertisements will bear no meaning and we will oblivious to what the media attempts to convince us otherwise. We will be far more happy living a debt-free existence where we know that debt is a common cause of depressionWe will also be able to enjoy a life free of financial stress and know that we will more resilient against the occasional financial calamity.
  • Time to focus – We will get to spend our time with a renewed purpose. We will be able to delegate more hours to reading, learning new things – or as corny as this sounds – taking in the sunshine on a beautiful day. We will be able to invest more in our health and devote our time to cooking more nutritious meals and exercising regularly.

We can live deliberately and use our time more efficiently to customize our desired lifestyle, and no longer live with regrets as to how that time was used.

In the end, Mr.FE and I couldn’t be more satisfied with the benefits we will gain along the way in our quest to become financially independent. We both know and accept the seemingly long road ahead of us, and understand that there will be some obstacles along the way. But we are more than eager to accept this challenge and look forward to the day when we’ve finally achieved our freedom.

Are you on a journey towards financial independence? If so, what does financial independence mean to you? 

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18 thoughts on “What Financial Independence Means To Us

  1. Great post. I like how you define financial independence. For me, financial independence means security. I don’t want tomorrow to be uncertain, even though tomorrow is not certain and does not promise us anything. I’ve been in situations where financial independence didn’t exist. These situations have thought me to strive harder and be make a better financial future for me and my budding family. While I still work, I can say that I am way far from where I came from and what I experienced in the past. I can say that my family is traveling the road to financial independence.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree that security is another great benefit of achieving financial independence. Having a family to take care of is a huge responsibility and understand the importance of obtaining it. Happy to hear that you are in a far better place today!

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  2. My first 2 years of working hard, saving and investing have allowed me to pick and choose the jobs I take. I want to work because it pushed me forward, to learn new skills, become more confident and become the person I know I can be. While I do all this I save and invest for a possible future where I may not have as many options. To work a job I enjoy without having to compromise or sacrifice but create a financial cushion just in case. That is why I love not just financial independence but the journey towards it as well. Great post and enjoy the journey 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s great that you were able to see the benefits of hard work and saving for the future early on. It’s a much better alternative than working a lackluster job that you garner nothing from. And like you said, having that financial cushion will be a huge help down the road if you decide to pursue another interest, so kudos!

      We appreciate the comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. These are all really good points for financial independence. i would also add you get to be your own boss and make the rules. I don’t think I would every want to stop working, but I definitely want to stop working for other people. I would of course take the time to travel and enjoy life but usually when one project is done I am working on something else. i just like motion, it keeps me young.

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    1. We agree about the desire to be your own boss. We also realize that retirement no longer means sitting around the house and doing nothing. Both my parents are retired and they are constantly on the go. They have been on a cruise around the world, remodeled two homes, and spend a great of time outdoors hiking, biking, and walking. My mother does interior decorating for people and my father is an avid golf player. We believe that, in time, the stereotypes associated with a retirement will eventually be disregarded.

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  4. I definitely love the idea of financial freedom. To me financial freedom is part of true health. Health is not just physical but involves the mind/soul and bank account as well. I am excited that at age 23 I have already found my open door to true health including financial freedom.

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    1. Wow! That’s great how you made this discovery at such a young age! Kudos to you! We were a little late arriving at this conclusion ourselves. We agree that health and finances are closely aligned with each other. Great insight!

      Thank you for the comment! We really appreciate the comment!

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  5. I think we would agree with your own FI description. For us, we have 2 stages of a goal for FI. The first stage is going to be to stop working a 9-5 job that I have to commute to. To be able to work from home, how we want, when we want, will add a lot more to the enjoyment of life.

    The second stage will be where our passive income will cover all the expenses we’d want to spend however we want. If we wanted to completely not work, then we could.

    Tristan

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We hear you on working 9-5 and understand why you would want to first eliminate your commute. We feel fortunate that we were able to keep Mr. FE’s commute down to only 2.8 miles.
      We believe that passive income is one of the most important pieces in achieving FI. We know from working on this ourselves, that it will require a good strategy so true freedom can be achieved. Both great definitions!

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  6. It seems like two of your big benefits (stress free living — or maybe call it stress-reduced living — and peace of mind) are things you can practice starting now, rather than waiting for FI to arrive. Of course there’s still work stress, but everything else you said, like not being swayed by marketing or keeping up with the Joneses, can happen today, or you can take baby steps toward them. That will make the transition into FI much easier when it comes! 🙂

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    1. We agree that “stress reduced living” may be a better term. We also agree that a living out our desired lifestyle now verses waiting is more beneficial. It more or less falls along the lines of the excellent post you recently wrote “Crafting a Life That Keeps the Stoke High”. We must not lose sight of living for today while we work towards achieving tomorrows goals. Thank you for the comment! We really appreciate it! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. For me, financial freedom will mean only taking the type of work I like. I’m currently working FT for an agency, have my own business on the side, and am starting the blogging adventure to sort out how to get to freedom. I love my business, and my aim is to have my business support the life I want, which will include taking the type of clients I want and being able to work the hours I prefer (within reason and some limits). Once I am doing my business FT, I will have more flexibility to serve on local non-profit boards making my city better.

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    1. That’s a really great reason for wanting to achieve financial freedom! So many of us go to work day in and day out and reap very little satisfaction from it. Financial freedom allows for more choices. Great insight! Thank you for the comment!

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  8. I enjoyed reading your writing here. After many years of living too close to (or beyond!) my means, I’ve finally started going down the rewarding, frugal path towards financial independence. I find your conclusions in this post very much in line with what I’ve discovered along my own journey. I look forward to reading more of your writing.

    https://minmylife.org/my-story/

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