As Independence Day approaches, it makes me think about all of our freedoms including the choice to make work optional. It’s a modern convenience, to be sure: retirement is a very modern idea.
The interesting thing about financial independence is that it leads to other freedoms. Not only can you choose how to spend more of your time, you can speak your mind without fear of being cancelled. Ever notice how older friends tend to “tell it like it is”? As we gain wisdom, and freedom in life, we are more free to be ourselves in all things.
What does it take to become financially free? Consistently saving and investing throughout your career. I recommend that everyone reach a savings rate of 15% of your gross earned income. If you can start that with your first job, you will easily adopt a lifestyle to live on the other 85%.
Everyone’s road to success is different, but knowing you are on the right track will help you stay consistent. One rule of thumb is that your retirement portfolio will need to be 25x your yearly expenses (not including social security and other pension income). This is only a starting point. And realize that the road to 25x starts slowly, but compounding will kick in heavily at the end.
This weekend make sure to celebrate all of life’s freedoms.