I officially reached FIRE (financial independence, retire early) the day I paid off my mortgage. I was 35, single, and working in corporate. Before I go over my strategies on how I reached financial independence, let’s start from the beginning...
What exactly does FIRE mean?
There are so many definitions of what it means to be financially independent. There are also a number of ways to interpret early retirement too!
Here’s what I mean when I refer to FIRE. Financial independence is accumulating enough assets that work becomes optional.
FIRE became my goal when I couldn’t stand another day at my 9-5 job.
From micromanaging bosses to passive aggressive coworkers, enough was enough. In fact, I quit a few times without a Plan B. That’s when having an emergency fund (aka F-U money) came in handy!
My 35th year on this planet was a mixed bag of emotions.
A few ups and lots of downs. The highlights of that year included getting over a breakup, watching friends get married and/or have children, and dealing with a lot of office politics.
One of the biggest milestone of the year was making a lump sum payment on my mortgage.
Sure there were a lot more tough times than good ones. But the few good milestones far outweighed the tough times.
During that year, I decided to write about my struggles which helped me not only heal but gain clarity on my purpose. I document everything from how I handled hostile work environments to my investment strategies.
My journey to FIRE was far from linear...
It took me a long long time to let go of my past money mistakes. I had my fair share of meltdowns throughout my emotional roller coaster journey to financial freedom.
Throughout my blog, I’ve mentioned one of my biggest financial regrets was giving over $30,000 to a psychic to help me “remove a curse”. In a nutshell, I was desperate and recovering from a breakup.
But my money mistakes didn’t end just there.
There are many things I wish I did differently with my money in my 20’s and early 30’s. I made a lot of financial mistakes from not investing early enough to overspending on things I didn’t need.
Even as a business major in college, one would think I’d be better with my personal finances. I figured, all I had to do was make more than I spend. End of story.
But had I done things differently, I probably would have achieved financial freedom much sooner. Maybe even in my 20’s.
Yet, the journey to financial freedom made life much more meaningful. After all, life is all about the journey, not the destination right?
Forgive, move on, and hustle!
If FIRE is your goal, then it’s time to start forgiving yourself for those cringe worthy financial mistakes. I’m living proof that financial freedom is possible at any age regardless of when are where you start from.
Once I was able to adopt an abundance mindset, I was able to notice my blocks when it came to manifesting money miracles. Soon enough, I began to create multiple streams of income.
My goal was to create steady income streams to cover my monthly expenses in addition to having a comfortable emergency savings fund. With my money blocks cleared, I was able to create an emergency fund within 6 months.
Here are 3 must-have tools to help you reach FIRE...
1. FIRE calculator
How close am I to financial independence? I asked this question many many times throughout my life in corporate. In order to know if I was even remotely close to financial independence, I played around with different early retirement calculators.
Of all the different calculators out there, Personal Capital offers one of the most in-depth retirement planning calculators. And it’s free to use!
Know exactly where you stand relative to your retirement goals.
2. Track net worth...routinely
Having multiple income streams and a diversified portfolio is important to reach FIRE. But keeping track can be a major pain.
I can barely remember my passwords to my social media accounts let alone all the other online accounts I have. You too? No worries, girlfriend. I got you covered.
I can securely link all my financial accounts to get a complete picture of my net worth with Personal Capital. Over time, I saw how my net worth was trending positively. It even helped me take steps to make adjustments in my spending and savings habits.
Over 1 million people use the Personal Capital app to track and manage their net worth. Ready to face the numbers?
3. Investment strategy
Not sure where to start with investing? I hear ya. Determining your asset allocation and constructing your portfolio can be overwhelming.
But in order to reach FIRE faster, the key is to have your money work for you. Yes, your money should be earning more money for you...not just withering away in a savings account (losing value to inflation!)
The registered advisors at Personal Capital provide a range of financial planning support. This even includes home financing, retirement planning, and stock options.
We all may have similar goals for financial freedom but everyone’s financial situation is different. For a significantly less cost than traditional financial advisors, you can receive a customized strategy just for your specific situation here!
Reaching FIRE doesn’t happen overnight.
It’s time to take some simple but powerful action. Being consistent with discipline is what it takes. Simple but not necessarily easy. So…
Surround yourself with the right people.
This may mean having to cut ties with those who just never seem to bring out the best in you. This may also mean to work with financial professionals who can help you reach your fullest potential.
It’s OK to not be financially on track all day every day.
We all fall in and out of alignment throughout life. It doesn’t mean you have to go on an “Eat, Pray, Love” journey. Remember, the journey to achieving any form of wealth is more fulfilling than having achieved it.
After all, life is about the journey, not the destination!
When we view life as an experiment, we are able to connect with our inner child. In turn, we are able to increase positive energy flow. Be willing to experiment with different activities to help you build wealth.
Ready to reach FIRE too?
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