What is financial freedom anyway?
One of my favorite conversations comes when I meet someone who loves their career or profession and is passionate about what they do. There are those who love what they do and those who hate what they do for work. For many years, I was on the wrong side of this coin, but thankfully in the past few years, I’ve been on the right side of the coin. I now have the privilege of sharing my passion for passive investing with those who are looking for a hand-offs approach to real estate.
Are You Pursuing Money to Avoid Pain or to Gain Pleasure?
A lot of the benefit of being a full-time passive investor is the time freedom that cash flow can generate. Which is essentially, the ability to choose how to spend your time, or at the very least, to have more flexibility over your schedule. With this said, the word RETIREMENT has a lot of people confused as to what that actually means. I think of it this way; it’s having the OPTION to work, but not the OBLIGATION.
If working sounds miserable, perhaps the problem is not with this proposal, but rather with your definition of what “work” really is. The problem is likely that you are doing work because of money, rather than fulfillment. There really is a better way…
Why “Retired” People Work
I know quite a few financially independent people. This has come as a result of networking for many years, attending real estate meetups, seminars, and leveraging high net worth mentors. And many more have come out of the woodwork once I started blogging, making video content, and speaking at live events. Financially independent retirees, young and senior, are great to have in your network. You become who you surround yourself with.
Here’s the reality; financially independent people no longer NEED to work for money because their investments cover their lifestyle expense and yet, almost all of them are still doing things that appear (from an outside perspective) to be… work. Some are expanding their companies, others are writing books and investing. Some are helping others start companies of their own. But there’s a reason behind all of this work-like activity, and in most cases, it’s not the love of money.
What Do You Value?
Once you have enough money, getting even more doesn’t do you much good.
Related Blog How Much Is Enough? How to Know When to Retire
I’ve learned over the past several years, with the help of my wife, that having stuff does not bring more happiness. As we were once in the rat race of accumulating things, upgrading to bigger houses, driving fancy cars, and our stuff started to own us. And for the record, “The Joneses” could care less.
Fast forward to today, my wife and I could easily upgrade our base model Lexus to a Ferrari or Lamborghini if we chose to, but this upgrade would make us slightly less happy. Why? Because it would take us further away from our travel, family, and financial goals.
We discovered that spending on items that truly bring value to us is much more satisfying than buying luxury toys. A couple of examples include a pair of shoes I bought before we backpacked Asia. The shoes are extremely comfortable, they have a lifetime sole, they are lightweight, breathable, washable and can fold down to the size of a flip flop (which is great for backpacking) The cost: $99. Happiness = 9/10. For my wife, I bought her an inversion table to help her stretch out her back and neck, (which provides major pain relief due to her scoliosis) The price: $40 pre-owned. The happiness = 8/10. An upgraded car doesn’t add value to us because it does not make our life easier or more efficient, nor do we value that type of purchase.
Related Blog Mindful Spending – How to Save For Happiness
Now for the work side of the equation; the philosophy is interesting. My favorite days are the ones where I learn something new or create something of value. Conversely, my worst days are those that I spend sitting around with not much to do. In other words, pina coladas on the beach are fun for a while, but this leisure can lose its appeal rather quickly. Work can be an incredibly powerful source of happiness, but the key is to find work that is creative, social, engaging, and brings you towards a purpose you believe in.
When you take money out of the equation (due to being financially independent), it is much easier to make decisions that bring you a better life.
I find that when people reach financial independence, they usually don’t stop working, especially in their 30’s, 40’s, or 50’s. Instead, they start creating their best work.
Looking at many of society’s highest achievers, the world leaders and many founders of large companies, I see mostly people who have already made it in financial terms, and yet they are still working because there is meaning, purpose or a mission that goes beyond the money.
Early retirement does not mean “stop working”, even though it may involve quitting your current job. Rather, it is the ability to focus less on the things that do not bring you fulfillment and focus more on the things that bring you joy.
- An early-retired Doctor might set up a smaller practice which operates without any pressure for optimizing profit, and without dealing with the hassle of insurance companies.
- An early-retired Attorney might refuse all cases that are based on questionable ethics.
- An early-retired Engineer might continue to work or contract part-time to achieve a more efficient work/life balance. Or he or she might feel compelled to create a completely new invention with a newly freed mind.
How would you run your life differently, with a desire to create, and without the need to trade time for money?
There is nothing to lose and everything to gain from helping others uncover their own financial independence path. It is out of passion and purpose that I give back my time to others and educate in the space of passive investing, so more people can live their highest and best.
To Your Success
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this blog post are provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as an offer to buy or sell any securities or to make or consider any investment or course of action.