- Personal Finance»
- Understanding Finance
A Job is a Means to an End
Retire When You Want
Very early retirement or financial independence is a distinct possibility if you put your mind to it. Most people toil away at jobs they don't like for the better part of their life and have little monetary assets to show for it. It doesn't have to be this way. Think of it this way, a job is a way to get investment capital to plant your money tree for financial independence. Look at your job income primarily as investment money not consumption money. That mindset right there will put you ahead of the masses. The three basic steps to early financial independence are avoid debt, keep expenses low, and build investment income.
Debt is bondage! It's the biggest enemy of wealth and financial independence that I can think of. And what does society encourage us to do every day? That's right, mortgage our future. No thanks! I will do everything in my power to not owe anyone a dime. The thing about debt is it's guaranteed to stay with you while your job is not guaranteed. See the difference? Sometimes debt is understandable like with a home mortgage. It's still good to be conservative though. Play it safe with debt if you take it on.
Keeping expenses low is the same as a company keeping low overhead. And what can low overhead lead to you ask? Higher profits of course! Higher profits for you! It costs money to live no doubt, but we have more control over our day to day expenses than we'd like to admit. Do your best to keep the big three of housing, transportation, and food as low as possible. This will allow a bigger investable surplus to play with. Every time you're about to spend money ask yourself if you could do without whatever you're about to buy.
Americans are abysmal savers. We just don't do it. That's too bad because we're just hurting ourselves. Remember each and every dollar that crosses your palm has the ability to grow into much more in the future and produce it's own passive income. But what do we have to do to save? We have to delay gratification. No not that! Anything but that! I want to enjoy my life today! The trick is to have some fun today but to save a good portion of your income as well. Think of it as providing more options for your future self.
Very early financial independence is possible if you follow the steps above. The main thing I think is determination and tuning this messed up world out. Look out for your own future by avoiding debt, keeping expenses low, and building net worth and investment income.
© 2013 Blair Williamson, ChFC®