HOW I BECAME FINANCIALLY INDEPENDENT AT 34 AND HOW YOU CAN DO IT TOO
Becoming financially independent comes from proper planning and sharp focus; I achieved financial independence last year at 34, and there is no reason you can’t achieve it as well.
Most people overcomplicate the steps required to achieve financial freedom; they plan many wrong steps but do little accurate actions.
One quick note for self-claimed internet detectives and negative people, I’m not implying that everyone will reach financial freedom.
This article is a blueprint for someone who lives in a safe country with stable conditions and a positive mindset looking to achieve financial freedom through smart and hard work with sacrifices.
How to Achieve Financial Independent
1. Define What Financial Independent Means To You
Financial freedom comes in different shapes and sizes; for some people, being financially free is having $5M in their bank account and earning $250K annually from investment and passive income.
To you, it might be $100K in your bank account, and you earn $30K annually. Your location, lifestyle, the size of your family, and goals in life determine the amount of money to achieve financial independence.
Five years ago, I used to live in Shanghai, and the cost of living there for an average lifestyle was around $2,500 for two people per month; nowadays, I’m staying in Istanbul, and the cost has gone down to $1200 for two people per month.
If you multiply those two figures by 30 years, you get around $500K indifference.
It doesn’t take long to realize that the fastest way to achieve financial freedom is to move to a location where you can afford a decent life at a lower expense.
In terms of lifestyle, I like to shop for decent quality food and clothing, enjoy expensive restaurants and coffees, and travel and hang out with friends.
Maybe you don’t care about all that silly stuff; that’s for you to decide.
Visualize the lifestyle you want to enjoy and research the expenses of that lifestyle. Then multiply that number by a minimum of five years.
Secure that amount in your bank account before you think about achieving financial independence.
2. Have a Three to Five Years Plan
I’m financially independent. I can stop working, and I can still make enough income to enjoy a good life; I still work for a couple of hours daily, not because I need the money, but because I enjoy it.
Work has become a choice to me, not an obligation. I didn’t achieve this level in a month or two; I have been working to achieve this goal for the last five years.
The most important decision I made was to quit my six figures job and transition my work online; I started with freelancing, dropshipping, and affiliate marketing while creating on-demand, online courses.
From the first day I started, my goal was that three years later, I would be capable of not working and having enough money that covers my living expenses comfortably.
One mistake I made was that I was overly optimistic at the beginning of trying to reach financial freedom.
I spent most of my savings trying different projects, and I didn’t leave myself a stable source of income, which led to a stressful year and a divorce.
If I can go back in time to that point, I will keep my job a little longer while building a passive income stream as a side project.
3. Build Money Systems
Each kind of lifestyle requires a specific plan and a money system.
If the plan is to save $100K in the bank and earn $35K annually in passive income, then online teaching and affiliate marketing can get you there within the next three to five years with the right effort.
If you want to multiply that number by five or ten, you need a different system and approach to make that money.
There are different ways to achieve financial independence and freedom. You might start by freelancing for high-end clients, becoming a real estate agent, or working for a high-salary job.
Over time, take some of your earned income and turn it into a passive income, such as investing in small rental real estate, an index fund, or an asset with consistent earnings.
Avoid starting a business, investing in other small businesses, or high-risk assets such as cryptocurrency and NFTs, especially if your money is hard-earned or tight; such projects are risky and require a deep pocket to get returns on your money.
4. Secure Your Future
Protect your funds from being smashed by life circumstances.
I can tell you that from experience, my family used to own a small chocolate manufacturing business, and my parents were comfortably wealthy; however, during a horrible event, we lost 70% of our assets.
My family bought no insurance, and because of that decision, the quality of their lifestyle went down by 70%.
Almost all of my Chinese friends buy insurance for everything; they secure their health, lives, cars, houses, kids’ futures, etc.
You might think it’s too much, but it isn’t; the worst thing that takes you off your financial independence or freedom is coming across a situation that burns your funds in a few months.
Secure the assets or events that cost big money to recover, think of the worst-case scenarios, and plan for them; even if they don’t happen, you are still secured.
Achieving financial independence doesn’t require a ton of planning and overthinking. The financially independent people are not smarter or more hard-working than others. They just took the right steps and invested in the right assets.