How to Buy Time: Gain Financial Independence Years Earlier
Look to your retirement years. Are you finally able to take that trip of a lifetime that you’ve been dreaming about for the past three or four decades?
Ah, the golden years…
What if, right now, in the midst of this daily grind, we can press pause on this trajectory that take decades and decades for us to be able to realize our dreams. What if it didn’t have to take decades to be in a position to retire? What if we pivot from this path and change the future? What if you can take this trip of a lifetime, and fulfill other dreams, in half the amount of time?
Well, you can.
First off, let me be very clear: I am not yet retired nor am I pretending to be.
But I am positioning myself well. I have nothing to sell to make you rich overnight; if someone is claiming that they do, I urge you to be highly suspect of whatever that thing may be.
I am an avid reader of Mr. Moneymoustache’s blog. He and his wife retired from what he calls ‘real work’ in their 30s. His story inspired me—he is living proof that financial independence is attainable and that it does not have to come when we are in our mid to late 60s… or later.
When we are talking about retiring earlier, we aren’t talking about people sitting around in recliners watching birds out their window (but hey, if that’s your ultimate dream, I’m not knocking it!). What we are really talking about when we use the term retire is financial independence: the absolute ability to choose what you do with your time. And likely, this will still be work in the form of pursing something you are deeply passionate about rather than work that simply pays the bills, covers the mortgage, covers the car payments, etc.
When we are financially independent, we are really well-positioned to contribute to the world in meaningful ways. Many financially independent people work in fields that they love. They solve problems. They inspire others.
It’s important to note that you should not wait for money to bring happiness. That life is rich and meaningful even without money and the independence that well-managed money can bring. You should not have to wait to become financially independent to pursue passions, to do things that bring value to your life, to be a global citizen, etc. However, of course it is easy to see how—without the constraints of the regular grind—we are able to have the time to really invest in the things that bring meaning to our lives and the lives of those around us. And that’s what financial independence gains us: time.
The Canadian census data shows that the average Canadian household saves 3.4% towards retirement. To be blunt, when you do that math, that’s a really long road ahead to retirement.
So, how do we get there? It’s a simple formula, and I’ll cover it in the next post.
For now, take some time to imagine what passions you’d pursue if you were financially independent. It is totally doable.