Hacking the 9-5: How your finances can buy freedom from work
It's possible to travel the world, be present for the people you love and realise your dreams. Here's how people are using financial independence to choose life over work.
Travelling the world. Being present for your loved one's special moments. Realising your dreams. People are using financial independence to choose life over work.
Most people justify their time at work against their salary. But more millennials than ever are starting to weigh up work against the remaining hours of their life.
That’s why people are rethinking investing, quitting the day jobs they hate and retiring decades earlier. Followers of the financial independence retire early movement (FIRE) say life is too short to be unhappy in work and still end up poor in old age.
How your finances can help live life on your own terms?
Think of your hopes and dreams. The lessons you wish you could learn. The skills you thought you could acquire if only you had the time. Now realise that, with a drastic new way of life, this is possible.
You've probably been told to work smarter, not harder. But that's tricky when you're not sure how to start. Financial independence is the ultimate way to hack the system for your own benefit. The best news? Anyone can do it.
It’s a pragmatic and intelligent reimagining of what is possible in daily life. It isn’t asking you to reject the system we all know. It’s showing you how to hack it for the benefit of yourself and your loved ones.
Financial independence is when someone has enough income to pay for their expenses without having to work for the rest of their life.
FI followers save up to 75 percent of their income and grow it through investment. The goal is to live on 25% of what other people do, so that you can live 100% more enjoyably than them by not having to work.
In FI, people live off passive income like rent, interest or dividends.
How to become financial independent?
The way to become financially independent is simple. Spend less and invest more. When FI followers have saved and invested approximately 30 times their yearly expenses, they can retire from employment and live off the passive income.
If you think you can live on around 24,000 euros, then you would only need 300,000 in assets to be able to achieve lasting financial independence. But here’s the best part: you don’t need to earn all 300,000. With FI, you let your savings do the work for you through compounding.
Compounding is when the earnings from your assets interest or increase in value are reinvested to create exponential growth. This means that extreme savers can sometimes retire in ten years or less, depending on their lifestyle and values.
Different types of FIRE
LeanFIRE: For hardcore frugalists that want to save every penny, retire as soon as possible and then continue to live frugally for the rest of their lives. To some this might sound like a very specific version of a joyless hell. But to LeanFIRE enthusiasts, it is a way to live intentionally on their own terms.
FatFIRE: For the financially ambitious that don’t want to live like monks. With FatFIRE you can still enjoy a few luxuries along the way, but recognise that this comes with a knock-on effect on the eventual retiring date. To some this is a form of wanting to have your cake and eat it too. For others it’s more sustainable because the quality of life you experience is relatively stable throughout.
BaristaFIRE: Another flexible option. Just save enough to not have to work full time. This means you can take up part-time or freelance work and still have a lot of time to do what you want. For people that need pressure or external motivation, this could be the option for you.
You don’t even need to stop working. If you love your job, carry on. But with FIRE you are free to work only as much as you want to, not because you have to. This might not seem revolutionary, but having the freedom to spend your time how you want can be life changing. From spending time with your children, to travelling the world: the choice is yours.
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Your future awaits. 🌱