Whether you’re middle-aged, retirement-aged or a Millennial – and regardless of your financial status – I have a valuable message to share with you. I became financially independent in my thirties – and I want to share my story with you!
In my book, The Financially Independent Millennial, I share my successes and failures, what I learned along the way, and what did and didn’t work — to illuminate the path I took to gain financial independence.
When I was younger, I had no idea how to manage anything. I dropped out of high school at age 16, was credit-rich at age 19 — and bankrupt by my early twenties. I looked for an easy way out and didn’t seek the right advice. It’s no surprise that by my 20’s and early 30’s, I was caught in a financial trap until I took steps to change my circumstances. The book is my personal story of the experience I gained following a path through trial and error got me to where I am today.
Many people believe that being financially independent means having 25 years’ worth of expenses invested, and the ability to withdraw 4% a year. With inflation, your money should last infinitely.
I define financial independence as having a reliable source of passive income that exceeds your expenses.
I’m the guy who recognized that the system, the one that tells you that you should keep up with the Joneses, buy a new car, a bigger house, spend money on expensive things, and overspend is not sustainable. I’m the guy who figured out how to beat that system and make it work for me. I wrote the book to inspire and empower the readers to take control of their financial health.
These days, I wake up in the morning, and I don’t have to worry about a job. I don’t have to worry about a paycheck. It doesn’t mean that I’m not going to work, or I’m not going to get a paycheck, it’s just that I don’t have to worry about it. Why not? Because the money that I’ve already made is working for me. I’ve built enough passive income to live the lifestyle I’ve chosen. I have to be straight with you though: financial independence is a continuous work-in-progress.
Think of becoming financially independent like going on a diet.
You might have a little bit of extra weight to lose, so you go on a diet, and you’re dedicated, and you’re doing well, and the pounds begin falling off like magic. Friends and family and colleagues see you and ask, “What’s your secret? You look amazing!” Well, that feels good and should motivate you to continue, but then the holidays roll around, and you fall off-track. Fast-forward a year and where are you? Sad to say, but you’ve probably gained the weight back – and then some. If you apply this scenario to a financial perspective, you might have a goal to be “financially proportionate.” Perhaps you want to save more money or get out of debt. Or create a big fat bank account that is magically replenished each month.
It doesn’t matter if you’re making $50,000 a year or $150,000 a year – you must have a plan for your cash flow.
If you ask me what being rich is, it means freedom.
If you ask somebody if they want to be rich, most people are going to say yes, of course. The real question is what does rich mean to you? The dollar figure doesn’t matter: ask a hundred people, and they’re going to give you a hundred different answers. The dollar figure means nothing.
Financial freedom means I get to spend time with my friends and family any time I want. It means I can travel whenever and wherever I want. I can buy whatever I want. I see people driving around in fancy sports cars, and I could buy them too! Some people would say I should enjoy the money I’ve earned. I am enjoying it a lot actually, just in a different way than I did in the past.
If you read my story, I’m sure you’ll find something that you can relate to, and you learn a few tips and tricks along the way. Financial independence isn’t impossible: you have to be willing to make the changes and commit to them.