Regardless of what state your finances are currently in or how your career has been progressing, true financial freedom is something that appeals to all of us. Who wouldn’t want the ability to choose when and where you work rather than being forced to work out of need?
Retirement and financial freedom can seem a million miles away in your 20’s or 30’s, but achieving financial independence at a young age is possible, and many people are actively working toward that goal.
What is financial independence?
Financial independence could mean many different things to different people, but for the sake of this article, we’ll be talking about accumulating enough money that you no longer need to work. You may choose to continue working, so retirement and financial independence are not necessarily synonymous.
The Trinity Study found that 4% is a safe withdrawal rate, and the 4% rule has become a cornerstone of the financial independence community. That means that if you can live for a year on 4% of your investment portfolio, you’ve reached financial independence.
For example, if you spend $50,000 per year to live, you would reach financial independence with $1,250,000 (which equals $50,000 x 25 years).
Keep in mind that this is a general definition. The goal of pursuing financial independence or financial freedom is to gain freedom over your life and to feel free from the stress and worry of money. A simple formula alone can’t dictate when you feel true freedom over money. Your goal for achieving financial independence could be higher or lower. For the sake of this article, we’ll be using this standard definition, but feel free to set higher or lower goals for yourself.