independent is a worthy goal no matter at what age one achieves it.
If you are a Millennial,
where do you start?
Save and invest
We say save until it
hurts and then save some more. Take that money and invest in index ETFís
(exchange traded funds) like VTI or SPY. Investing in low/no cost ETFís will
create you a
money machine which will, over time, finance your future. Itís better to
save and invest a few of those Benjaminís today than to blow it on physical
stuff that goes out of date yearly.
Resist peer pressure
Which brings us to one
of the biggest derailments to financial freedom: keeping up with the spending of
Resist peer pressure to
consume any chance you can. When your friends are all showing off their latest
phone, digital gadget or new car, try not to get caught up in envy, but instead,
recommit to your financial goal of personal independence. While they are still
paying down debt years later, you will be personally and financially free to
live the life of your choosing.
Yes, it takes some
focus, but the rewards are enormous. We did it and you can too.
The cost of spending
Think about the cost of
spending. Instead of making $1,000 vacation purchase, consider what that
amount would be worth if invested for 30 to 40 years? Sure, you might have a
blast on your holiday, but once itís over and the credit card bill arrives, the
memories quickly fade and the stress is on to pay that bill off. Instead, bank
it, invest it, and let the money work for you.
Find a financially
Another key component to
building your financial freedom is to find a like-minded spouse, marry them and
STAY married. Relationships can be challenging, and sometimes difficult, but
give it your best to figure it out and stay together. Then, as a team you can
continue on your road to financial independence. An old jazz standard is, ďItís
Cheaper to Keep HerĒ; two-for-one splits can sabotage your financial freedom plans.
Get advice from the
More and more people are
becoming financially independent at a younger age. Websites abound with
information and advice based on their personal experience. Donít overlook
retirees who have successfully left the working world with money in the bank and
investments supporting their lifestyle. They may be able to give you some useful
insight and can open your world. Be receptive to advice from those who are
living the life, not just financial planners who are still working and who can sometimes
Dream and dream big.
Talk about your financial
future with your spouse, not your peers. Peers will
think that you are bragging and often times will not take you or your plans
seriously. Create an image and a lifestyle that both you and your partner can
picture. Lying on beaches around the world, scuba diving, climbing a mountain in foreign
lands, sipping on wines in France, learning new languages, biking in South
America, relaxing in the perfect climate, and all the while not worrying about
how you can afford it. Only you can paint that picture as itís different for all
of us. But go to that place in your mind and go there often. Hold on to that
For us it was our
personal freedom to spend our days as we wished and to travel the world
experiencing different cultures, different foods and spectacular landscapes.
This has been worth every one of the sacrifices we made decades ago.
Focus on these goals
together and your momentum will build. You, too, can achieve the land of
critical mass where financial freedom is bliss and retiring early is a reality.