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Financial Independence Is The Beginning, Not The End

March 01, 2014

Special note from Dividend Mantra: Today, we have a guest post from FI Fighter. This post is a continuation in the series of articles I’ve been publishing lately that focus on financial independence and how it can make your life better. But while I’ve enjoyed presenting these articles to you readers, next week we’ll get back to some core articles on stocks and dividends as I update my portfolio and dividend income for February. I guess I’ve just had financial independence on my mind while on my little break. With that said, I hope you all really enjoy the following guest post. And thank you FI Fighter for putting this together!

FI Fighter is an early financial independence seeker who aims to get there at 30. This day will arrive when the passive income and semi-passive income streams bring in more each month than is needed to pay bills. Let the journey continue!

I’m currently 29 years old and have high hopes of achieving early financial independence at the age of 30. I started the journey to early FI in 2012, and have been trying to consistently invest 60 to 70% of my earned income each and every month. In comparison to some of my peers in high-tech, I live well below my means. I’m certainly frugal, but by no means do I feel deprived in any way. Actually, I feel like I have everything I need, so I never feel burned out from saving “too much”. I’m actually just as determined to reach early FI, if not more so, than the day I first got started.

The truth is, motivation comes easy when there is progress being made. Over the past two years, my investment portfolio has grown by leaps and bounds, and the passive income it generates continues to expand. I know that each day of work I put in at the company office is one less day I’ll need to do so in the future. This rising cash flow gives me reassurance that the plan is working. If you haven’t done so already, I would highly recommend you start documenting your own passive income progress each month. In my case, the results are easy for all to see, and the proof is in the pudding. As such, the progress made only serves to add more fuel to the motivational fire.

Slowly, but surely, day-by-day, I continue my ascent up the mountaintop. Eventually, with enough time and persistence, I know that I will reach the top of the summit. I will have reached the Endgame.

Early Financial independence… The Endgame… it’s what we are all fighting for.

As I get closer and closer to the top, though, I’m starting to realize that the term “Endgame” is a surprisingly unfit name to use to describe such a magnificent accomplishment!

The Start of a New Chapter

What is commonly referred to as the “end” is actually more of a “beginning”. The journey won’t conclude when you reach the early FI summit. No, I would argue that once you reach the top, you’ll simply be starting a new chapter in life… One that will be filled with limitless possibilities.

Anyone with aspirations to attain early FI is obviously trying to get there well, well ahead of the rest of society. For those in a similar boat as me, this will mean getting there a good 20-35 years earlier than conventional wisdom.

20-35 years… That’s A LOT of time! Most importantly, that gives you a WHOLE LOT more life to live! 

Achieving financial freedom so early will feel like obtaining a second lease on life. You won’t get there old and grey… battered down, and broken. No, you’ll arrive at the next chapter still full of energy and zest. The sun will still be peaking with plenty of daylight to spare!

New Beginnings

What does the future have in store for you? That’s for you to decide! That’s also part of the thrill of reaching the top of the mountain… Finding out what lies beyond… You’ll begin to look around, and when you do, you’ll be amazed that there’s plenty more for you to see. New paths, new roads begin to unfold… Uncharted territory waiting… just begging to be explored.

Financial freedom makes all that possible. It brings with it one prize that all humans covet –

Time.

It’s something that cannot be bought. It cannot be regained once it passes. Once it’s gone, it’s gone forever. Time simply marches on, ALWAYS. And since life itself is finite, the older you get, the more you cherish it.

Why not own time in abundance? Why not maximize what very little you get in this lifetime, by being able to spend it freely as you see fit during the PRIME years of your life?

When I daydream about the future, I can’t help but get extremely excited. For one thing, I know that the 9-5 rat race lifestyle I’ve been living these last seven years will simply become a thing of the past. Once I detach myself from this routine, I know I’ll be free to live the life I’ve always envisioned.

When I reach early FI, I believe the world will start to open up. I’ll be able to wake up in the morning whenever I want. I’ll be able to travel the world, living in foreign countries and soaking up new experiences. I see myself learning new languages, trying different cuisines, and adapting to different environments. I picture myself growing as a person and becoming vastly more cultured.

A common saying is “you only live once” (YOLO), so why not party it up today and worry about tomorrow later? I say, take care of your financial situation early in life, and then you can YOLO it up every seven years, instead. For the rest of your life, in fact!

Break the Monotony While You Still Can

My biggest fear in life is growing stale as a person. I can’t stand the thought of becoming specialized, and I know that the more time I spend at work, the more specialized I become.

Days start to blur and I start to lose track of time. I can’t remember if something happened last week, or last month because every day (M-F) feels almost the same.

That’s scary. But it isn’t near as terrifying as witnessing my own life passing right before my eyes and knowing that I am hardly progressing as a person. We all get older and aging is inevitable. However, I feel like the person who is most willing to try new things and dabble around is the one that will remain mentally vibrant the longest.

Just look at all the older adults around you! How many of them still have a burning enthusiasm for life? How many of these folks still possess interest in trying new things? Over enough time, most people have a hard time saying goodbye to the 9-5 because they have grown so unaccustomed to change. If you spend enough time working for the man, eventually, you won’t EVER be able to let go!

Life is An Adventure!

Never forget, life should be an amazing adventure! A life not worth re-watching on the big screen is one that is not worth living.

You shouldn’t go through life trying to get from Point A to Point Z as comfortably as you can! No, you should:

Experience. Explore. Experiment.

Live a little… Or even better, get to early FI as soon as possible, and live A LOT!

Most people who retire at the traditional retirement age of 65 don’t have a whole lot to look forward to. The sun is setting and the thrill is almost gone. For many, getting to the finish line will mean crossing over with a slew of health problems, low energy, an inflexible mind, and worse, a waning desire to live life.

That’s so incredibly sad. But in many respects, traditional retirement is an actual “Endgame”.

Early FI is different. Vastly different! If you can reach the top of the summit at a young age, you’ll be amazed at how much more there is out there for you to explore. The best part? You’ll be able to do so while the sun is still radiating brightly! You’ll have your health, energy, spirits, enthusiasm, and hunger intact to make the most of each and every day.

Doesn’t that get you excited? Aren’t you ready for early financial independence? Don’t you deserve the best that life has to offer?

I know I’m ready for New Beginnings! How about you?

Photo Credit: nattavut/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

About the author:

Dividend Mantra
Trying to retire by 40 by investing in dividend growth stocks and living frugally, valuing time over money.

Visit Dividend Mantra's Website


Rating: 2.1/5 (10 votes)

Comments

nolan
Nolan - 5 months ago

What a great article. Time and the ability to really use it as we wish is our real asset. Even long lives are short. Good luck in your journey to FI.

fabio.sanchez01
Fabio.sanchez01 - 5 months ago

muchas gracias, me siento igual a vos. Estoy cada vez con mas animo y entusiasmo andando el camino de la libertad financiera. Mucha suerte a todos los caminantes!!!!

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