Shortly before the 2009 financial crisis, ING Bank frequently aired a set of television commercials asking “what’s your number”? It showed people of varying ages carrying a large orange dollar figure with them as they performed everyday tasks. For one person scooting by on a bike, the figure is $1.2 million, for a jogger it is $700 thousand, and for a business traveler at the airport the figure is over $2 million. A voiceover explains that your number is “what you’ll need to have saved to retire the way you want.” The marketing concept must have been effective – you couldn’t watch a nationally broadcasted sports event or primetime sitcom without seeing one of these commercials. And I think it’s certainly positive to encourage people to think of what amount of money or assets they need in order to retire.
But is your number something you should aim to achieve just in time to retire at some society-determined age? Or should you aim to have enough wealth to be financially independent even sooner – enough money so you can afford to live off of your assets and the passive income they generate? With these assets comes the freedom to choose whether you even want to keep working and to choose how to spend your well-deserved free time.
Figuring out “what is your number” is one thing, and going out and achieving that goal is another. This site is dedicated to helping you achieve financial independence. We’ll explore how much do you really need to stop working or start working less before retirement age, and how much do you need to fully retire at any age. Maybe you don’t want to retire early, but instead need a financial cushion to change careers, start a business, or you simply want to pad your nest egg as much as possible. If any of those describe you then this site is for you too. We’ll discuss lots of strategies on how to build wealth, whatever your motivation or desired end goal.
Obviously, the higher your income, the easier it should be to become financially independent, but it is possible at modest incomes as well. You’d be surprised how many people with six figure incomes have a net worth near or even below zero, just as there are plenty of people with incomes well below six figures who have accumulated assets worth hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars.
The most important factor for achieving financial independence is changing your mindset about spending and lifestyle, and then taking action, even small accomplishments add up.
This site will explore it all, and throughout my posts, I will go into the mechanics of saving and investing, share plenty of amusing stories, bounce ideas around, and respond to your questions. Become a regular reader, and I promise you’ll achieve financial independence faster than expected.