How Does It Feel To Be Financially Independent?

Girl Picking Up Shells During Sunset On The BeachA number of people have asked since I left my job how it feels to be financially independent. The quick answer is, everyday feels like Christmas. Whether you are Christian or not, the feeling is the same as when you were a kid every holiday morning. You go to bed late because you’re so excited, and you wake up early because you’re so excited!

I’ve been financially independent since 2009 when I realized my passive income could cover all expenses, forever. There was one point during the recession where I thought I’d have to start all over if things continued to worsen. Thankfully, the world didn’t end and I decided to hang on for the recovery and then some just to be safe. It didn’t hurt that financial firms raised base salaries by ~70% to comply with the government’s desire to lower year end bonuses. Ironically, the government allowed us to live more freely with higher cash flow. Those smart enough to negotiate received much higher severance packages because severance is based off base income!

When you’ve accumulated enough capital, or have built enough income streams, you no longer have to worry as much about money. Money will always be somewhat of a concern, but the concerns fade into the background. The end game has always been health, friends, family, purpose and happiness. Money is only a means to help facilitate such desires. In order to stop caring about money, you’ve first got to care a great deal about money. This means saving and investing your money, creating a financial plan, less complaining, and more doing.

Sacrificing and hustling when you still have the energy is worth it. If you are torn between being an optimist or a pessimist, waking up at 6am to get extra work done or sleeping in, and controlling what you can control or complaining about why the world isn’t fair, I always encourage the former, former, former!


* People don’t piss you off as much anymore. You know the people who are always late because they are selfish with their time? They used to bug me to no end. What about those who steal your ideas and don’t give credit? I could go on and on about such people in the work place and online. Or how about some who only contact you when they need something? Seriously, bug off! All these people use to piss me off, but now they hardly ever bother me anymore. I just stop associating with them, because I no longer care about lost opportunity.

* You begin to appreciate the government. When you’re working hard at your job or running a business, you slowly start resenting the fact the government takes more and more money away from you the more you earn. You also don’t like it when other people vote to raise your taxes without having to pay more themselves. I’m willing to bet the government takes more in taxes than most people save! How crazy is that? Meanwhile, you witness all the government waste, and don’t have time to enjoy public services. Now that I don’t have a W2 income anymore, I don’t pay W2 income taxes! I also get to enjoy the libraries, parks, museums, and concerts all for free during the weekdays. The return on my taxes has increased! I have so many friends who play tennis everyday and kick back thanks to the government. They aren’t rich, but they love life and are not stressed.

* Your health improves. Stress kills. During my most stressful working days I developed chronic back pain, tendonitis in my elbow, and TMJ (jaw clenching, teeth grinding). My chronic back pain has long been cured since reading Dr. Sarno’s Healing Pack Pain Book nine years ago, however, it wasn’t until I became financially independent did my elbow and TMJ disappear! Our health is priceless. Every time I’m sick, I wish to give anything to feel better. We need to remind ourselves how important our health is when we are healthy because it’s easy to take it for granted when we are young.

* You no longer are afraid of being disposed. I always had a little bit of worry I’d come into work one day and be called up to HR and get fired. A little bit of paranoia is good for everyone. It’s just an annoying feeling. Finance is a very cyclical and cutthroat business that will lay people off by the tens of thousands a year. Not only would I feel angry about being let go, I’d feel tremendously embarrassed as I packed up my box of things. Part of the reason why I wrote How To Engineer Your Layoff is so I could empower people to take control of their own destiny and leave on their own terms. There’s no better feeling than leaving a place you would have left for free, but got a nice wad of cash in addtion!

* Accomplishing things gets easier. When we first start out, it’s rare to be able to make a living off something you’d do for free. We’ve got to pay our dues, and sometimes, those dues can last a lifetime. I think part of the reason why Financial Samurai and the Yakezie Network have grown to where they are today is because I did everything as a hobby. I wrote for free and will continue to write for free even if I had no online income. I flipped the affiliate income switch on once I announced my departure from the corporate world and income just started flooding in because all my previous articles were written in a way that shared my honest story. When you start doing things you want to do, everything suddenly becomes much easier.

* You hang out with people because you want to, not because you need to. There are times when you need to go spend time with someone you may not particularly like because you’d like their business or need their recommendation. When you’re financially independent, you almost only hang out with people because you enjoy their company first. They might end up being a great connection down the road, but that’s because you guys become great friends.

* You gain even more confidence. So much of succeeding in anything has to do with confidence. At least once a week, I play tennis with the president of one of the largest mutual fund companies in the world. So many people want his attention, but can’t get it because he’s a busy man. He’s also quite intimidating to anybody in the finance world. But, I talk smack to him all the time because we’re friends, competitors, and I don’t rely on him for anything. I belong on the court just as much as him. When you feel confident you belong, good things start happening because the belief in yourself pulls you forward.

* You become even less afraid to fail. So many of my projects have flopped, I don’t know where to begin. I try to learn from each mistake so that one day, I might create something successful. Trying is scary for the only reason that failure is embarrassing or financially disastrous. However, if you have the financial means to withstand disappointment, then you become less and less afraid to fail to the point where you start succeeding more and more. Just imagine a world where none of your investments would ever lose money. You’d be willing to take huge risks. Just don’t over leverage yourself!

* You stand up for what’s right. There’s a lot of bullshit in the world that goes unchallenged because people are afraid of the repercussions. How many times have you bit your tongue because you were worried about the consequences? When you are financially independent, you are more confident to speak your mind when you see an injustice because your survival doesn’t depend on your reputation, a person, or a company. Just the other day, a tennis opponent quit his match after being down 4-6, 1-5, 30-all because of a close call I made which was clearly out. He started cussing at me so I walked right up to his face and told him not only was he a sore loser, he best apologize for swearing at me. He was in shock at the confrontation and apologized saying he was out of line. He realized he could not afford to damage his reputation because he was a professional tennis teacher. Tennis is just my hobby, but to him, tennis is his lifeline. Anybody who wrongs me online or offline should be very careful because I will happily go to war. Bullies need to be eradicated. It’s a wonderful feeling to never have to back down from anyone.

* You care less about what other people think. Caring less about what people think is Yin to the Yang of standing up for what’s right. It feels liberating to have insults and insinuations roll off your back. There’s less desire to try and get even or one up your dissenter because you’re already set. Insults are usually hurled by unsettled people who want what you have. They are secure and hope to bring you down to their level so they can feel better about themselves. Showing neutrality or even compassion is the preferred method of action. You actually start enjoying people talking bad behind your back or attacking you because it just shows how good you have it. It’s a pretty interesting phenomena!

* You can explore new industries more freely. It’s mid-2015 now and so much has happened since I left my corporate finance job in 2012. I’ve been able to consult with three financial technology companies and learn so much about Silicon Valley culture, startup land, and online marketing. The pay was 50% less, but it didn’t matter because any pay I earn is a bonus. It feels incredible to consult/freelance/work in new and exciting industries without caring too much on pay.

* You make your parents proud. Our parents tend to give us everything and ask for very little in return. They hope we can simply lead happy, self-sustainable lives. When we are financially independent, our parents worry less about us. We start spending more time with our parents, figuring out ways in which we can give back to them for all their years of sacrifice. I think hearing my parents say they are so happy that I’m happy is priceless. I want to focus on doing everything I can to allow them to live great lives.


Hard work is awesome because the benefits last long after the hard work is done. I’ve been called “lucky” many times and I don’t mind. It’s very motivating when people attribute any success to luck instead of hard work. I am lucky for living and working in America, having a supportive family, nice friends, a functioning mind, and all four limbs. I also realize the harder I work, the luckier I get. I don’t know why, but it’s true.

If you’re considering financial independence, go for it. And if you fail, work more for it!


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Update 3Q2015: It’s been three years since I left Corporate America and I’ve gotta say that the experience has been incredible. I’ve explored 10 new countries, wrote a book, built an online media business, spent a lot of time with family, and got in good shape. The one thing I’ll note is that having a lot of freedom gets boring after a while. It’s hard to stay retired once you retire early. You always want to be a part of something and make things happen.



Sam started Financial Samurai in 2009 during the depths of the financial crisis as a way to make sense of chaos. After 13 years working on Wall Street, Sam decided to retire in 2012 to utilize everything he learned in business school to focus on online entrepreneurship. Sam focuses on helping readers build more income in real estate, investing, entrepreneurship, and alternative investments in order to achieve financial independence sooner, rather than later.

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  1. Traineeinvestor says

    I may be financially independent, but the chances of me ever liking the waste and inefficiency that is symbolic of government and the way my tax dollars are wasted is lower than Bernie Madoff’s chances of being nominated as the next chairman of the SEC.

    I mostly agree with the rest…but we’ll see how it pans out after I retire next year.

    • sojourner says

      I know that government being inefficient and wasteful is a part of the mantra of the conservatives. But there are plenty of counter arguments. I recommend any of the books written by Professor Ha-Joon Chang of Oxford. In his book he shows a plenty of examples where private companies are NOT more efficient than the government or state run companies. He acknowledges that many governments and state run entities can be inefficient but there are plenty of examples of bad private companies and good government entities. Was Haliburton efficient in Iraq just because it was a private entity?

      One of Chang’s central argument is that the economists too often hold onto their dogma instead of actually studying history. And his book has many examples where governments DID engineer economic growths and developments. He was born in South Korea, where centralized, government led economy worked miracles. Japan, Israel, West Germany are all examples where the government led economic developments worked. Even the US is a good example. The postwar economic boom followed massive investments in infrastructure by the government. It’s interesting that even many conservatives (except maybe far right libertarians) love government spending when it comes to defense, anti-criminal/anti-terrorist activities, and the kind of space explorations that provide bragging rights over the Russians and Chinese. None of those provide immediate short term profit, thus unfit to leave to the private sectors.

      • Darwin's Money says

        If you’re a government worker, you’re much less likely to give a crap, much less likely to be fired for lousy performance, don’t have much vested in “the company”, etc. Using Halliburton as an example, is it that they’re not an efficient company? Or that the government drones and bureaucrats overseeing them failed miserably and allowed the US taxpayer to be fleeced. I can bet when Halliburton is working for a multinational integrated oil, they have their shit together. For every study, there’s a counter study. Plenty showing that for the same level of education and/or job type, private sector has higher output and for many in which the public sector union is applicable, the public sector unions have higher pay/benefits for equivalent output as well.

      • John. C says

        The difference here is private companies that are deficient and or are run badly eventually die (well they do unless the government bails them out) and only their investors get hurt. Government however will just tax you more and more while borrowing more, eventually killing your fiat currency which will hurt everyone.

        So with all due respect to Ha-Joon Chang of Oxford its not the same.

      • says

        @ sojourner – Whether all private companies are inefficient and wasteful is irrelevant to the issue of whether my tax dollars are being wasted. What private companies do with the money they have raised is none of my business (unless I am a shareholder or are called on to bail them out). What the government does with the tax payers money is my business.

        @ Sam – And I will still be paying the taxes – the companies I invest in will pay taxes, I will pay taxes on my retirement income, I will pay consumption taxes and my children will one day be taxpayers too. And every dollar that gets flushed down the toilet by government is a dollar that rightly belongs to someone else.

  2. says

    I am striving for FI so that I will not have to wake up at 5.30 am anymore. But your first point about not being pissed with people comes a really close second.

  3. Invest it wisely says

    I’m curious; how does one report business income (I.e. from the blogs) in the states?

    I’m not financially independent by a long shot (if we’re talking about passive income only) but I have also gotten more confident as I build up my own income streams. I guess it’s because I no longer have as many doubts as I used to have. Good to hear that you’re taking it more easy these days too.

    You’re both lucky and hard working, and the second really helps out with the first! :)

  4. Sojourner says

    Hi Sam,

    The last two points of what you mentioned reminded me of an interview with a British author living in the US. It has been a very long time since I read it so I even forgot the author’s name. But one point he made stands out vividly today.

    He said, when the population has universal healthcare, they become bolder and less afraid to speak out their minds and stand for what is right. The Americans remain constantly afraid of losing their jobs thus losing their healthcare. The Brits and other people who have better social safety still would prefer to keep their job, but have less to lose by standing up for themselves.

    While I am happy for you that you worked to attain your own freedom and courage, it’s clear to me that universal healthcare and stronger sense of community would encourage truer democracy where people don’t make their decisions based on fear.

    • says

      I believe it. Either bolder and less afraid to go for things, or the complete other way.

      The issue is, not a lot of innovation has come from the Brits or other socialist countries.

      I’m happy to have universal healthcare, so long as everybody pays as well.

  5. says

    I’m working on building my passive income streams so that I can leave my office job in about three years. Fortunately I enjoy my job so I’m not hating my life or dying to get out as soon as possible. So, I’m using the free time I have to build up side income streams so that I’ll be prepared and fully financially independent when I’m ready to walk away.

    I think that’s awesome that everyday feels like Christmas to you. Not very many people can say that!

  6. says

    I quit my office job in 2009 with back pains and grinding teeth too, it does feel like Christmas every day now. But I don’t agree that getting things done is easier. Having no schedule, nothing but your own motivation to get things done is weird at first. When I have a goal I do work like crazy but you can also find me procrastinating for days.

    • says

      Maybe it’s b/c it’s still early for me Pauline, but I haven’t found myself procrastinating at all with my endeavors, even though I don’t have to do anything.

      It’s just so exciting to write, travel, do whatever. I’m very aware of the scarcity of time.

  7. Mike says

    You make some decent points about using free services as much. I can see where you are coming from on certain things. For me, I guess I already enjoy some of those things through open-source software (screw Microsoft-I hate anything related to Windows and avoid it if I can help it). I am still working on the people pissing me off things. I happen to live in an area where there are a lot of tourists, and it drives me nuts to be dealing with some of them.

  8. Money Beagle says

    What you’ve illustrated here is exactly why I think the strategy many take about focusing on getting out of debt or paying the mortgage early is exactly the right course for some. Many will focus exclusively on rate of return and say that paying off a mortgage is a horribly bad idea when they can do so much better elsewhere, but what they don’t see is what you can’t quantify, and that’s the independence and feeling of relief and all the good things that come with it that they get. For some, it’s just a number. For others, it’s a weight lifted off.

  9. says

    People will still piss me off, I’m sure. I’m not particularly anti-government now, regarding fiscal spending. And, I only hang out with people I want to because doing otherwise would piss me off. You missed the biggest bullet point: Your life suddenly becomes more flexible than it ever was before. Flexibility, in and of itself, is my biggest reason for the strive to financial independence.

    • says

      I thought it was assumed that one’s life get more flexible once they are financially independent? Kind of like saying the ocean water is cold. More interesting to talk about life in the ocean once you jump in.

  10. says

    I didn’t think I could want to achieve financial independence anymore than I already did, but after reading your article, I think I do!

    Can FI really be even better than we anticipate? There are very few things in life that exceed expectations, but maybe this is one of them?

    “everyday feels like Christmas”… man, now I really can’t wait to get there!

  11. says

    You’re also keeping yourself really busy — Tim Ferris made financial independence sound kind of awful because his definition was summer vacation that never ended — you’re still working hard!

  12. says

    I strive for this goal and hopefully I can reach it before I turn 45, I am big fan of passive and portfolio income sources to get me there. I want to reach this so that I can enjoy some freedom time instead of doing something because I have to. Since I was a kid we had to go to school and now that I graduated I have to go to work to pay for bills. Even though they both benefit me in the end, I still want to feel the freedom that comes with retiring early.

  13. says

    Love it! I haven’t quite reach FI yet, but we are pretty close. I agree with everything you said. I don’t have to take any crap from anyone and that’s the best feeling in the world. Well, maybe the Mrs. can give me some lips, but that’s it. :)
    Everyday does feel like a gift.

  14. Mysterious Guy says

    It’s really a great service that you continue to post your blog after you went FI. A lot of this stuff, especially for those who are new to this field (started working) and have no incentive towards FI other than the basic package of working until retirement, is good to hear from someone who manages to start off from working full-time.

    For me, I’ve had good habits for managing finances: pay off bills, don’t buy anything beyond my means, invest early on known investments (401K and house), but that’s the extent of how far I’ve gone. I’ve always had the notion of just working until retirement, and as long as I have some money here and there, I’m good.

    Your blog shows that there’s a lot more than that, and if you work hard towards a goal, it’s possible to be FI, or at least until money is no longer your primary goal.

    That said, I do have a small chunk of cash looking for invest in the coming round. I’m probably going to dividends (I just found out what they are!) even through everyone is fleeing from them due to the high increase next year. I know you’re doing structural notes, but frankly I just don’t understand them well enough to see why they’re good.

    • says

      No problem. It’s really easy in our 20’s to think we would love to work forever because we love what we do. I would say most folks after 10 consecutive years will tire out or get bored with their occupation. If they haven’t been saving and investing and figuring out different income streams by then, they might NEVER start, leading to a life of misery for being STUCK.

      Good luck on your journey!

  15. says

    I’m lucky enough to have a job that I excel at and don’t mind doing. One could say I have the best of both worlds right now, but the second I can safely and securely supplement my 9-5 income with passive income I will work 5 more years then retire for good!

  16. San Diego says

    There is nothing wrong with laziness, well to be more specific, doing nothing with your time. Did you ever see the movie Office Space? Peter the main character said he would do absolutely nothing if he had a choice and didn’t have to go to work due to his social obligation and. Its the American folk story we have all been told since we were little, “Be Productive”, “Don’t Waste Time”, “Time is Money”, all of which serves to make us busy little productive bees of society. I don’t think there is much value in doing something just to do it because others say you should, that is herd mentality. However, I do think that apathy, not caring, is the true danger you speak of because when you stop caring you stop living by removing yourself from the world. A lot of the concepts in this article reminds me of the book The Tao of Pooh, which explains the teachings of Taoism (similar to Buddhism) through familiar characters from Winnie the Pooh. I challenge you to read this book and create a post around some of the concepts. Don’t be a Busy-Back-Soon, someone who needs to be busy because it makes them feel important to be busy, be like Pooh, be yourself.

  17. says

    Hi Sam, Great post.

    Thanks for commenting on my blog I really appreciate that.

    Even though technically I guess I could be financially independent I don’t consider that I am there yet. Like you I have found that generating passive income online to be very liberating. Success leads to success as they say.

    I also wonder, if you can earn income passively from things you enjoy doing, when do you retire?


    • says

      Hi Quinn,

      I’m actually living off all my passive income generated from dividends, private equity, real estate, and CDs mostly (Check out the achieving financial freedom post for details).

      Online income is a new frontier that I’m now working and have a lot to learn! This is why it’s been fun reading your site and others in the online money making genre.

      Thanks for stopping by!


  18. says

    What a great story Sam!

    I am wondering if you wish you had “pulled the plug” earlier. It seems like you had all your ducks in a row well before you left, had you been a little riskier and left before your passive income had grown so large what would have happened?

    Thanks for sharing your story!

    • says

      Not sure Jon. I really want to accumulate X more dollars from 2009-2012 and figure out a way to negotiate a good severance package after 11 years at one firm before taking the leap.

      FS has been online since 2009, so things were working concurrently.

      Best, Sam

  19. Mike Hunt says

    Hi Sam,

    I just came back from a week of business meetings in California. What a great place to live… but not to work. Especially with all the additional taxes coming in… I strive to live in CA after I am retired and making modest passive income. It is really a perfect place for that.

    But working like crazy, and commuting long hours just to pay a ton in taxes… well, that is just crazy.

    I was ready to retire early but with news that the wife has one in the oven, I’ll have to re-think my early retirement plan!


  20. says

    I really inspired and motivated while reading your post. Indeed, Financial Independence is worth it. Imagine you have the opportunities to live your life to the fullest, to eat the food you like and to get everything you want in life.

    In fact having financial independence, it means you are having a personal freedom. Having more money can make you do what you love doing any time, travel around the world and you can spend more quality time with your kids or family.

  21. says

    “Anybody who wrongs me online or offline should be very careful because I will happily go to war.” This is a bit much, don’t you think? I think intimidation is part of why I haven’t reached out to some bigger bloggers, because I don’t want to inconvenience them or have any perceived slight against them.

    • says

      Not really. The message is simply not to be an asshole. It’s easy to troll on the web, but who likes trolls? Nobody. The only people who should feel intimidated are those who are trolls, who steal ideas, or who have very bitter dispositions. Everybody else should be fine! I’m more disappointed when people do nothing to defend their honor because they are worried about the repercussions.

  22. Matt says

    Can you expand on what you mean by people playing tennis all day thanks to the government. Are they just claiming unemployment or disability? Just curious what you were getting at.

    • says

      In some ways, they get direct government assistance. In other ways, it’s because they’ve worked for the government and retired with a pension that still pays even if they work for another job.

      Big gov’t is here to stay, which means it’s best to take advantage of the situation rather than be bled to death by gov’t.

  23. says

    Excellent points! The feeling of accomplishment is a huge confidence builder. In addition, you are in a very small group of people who did it without creating a full blown company. Success creates more success and motivates you to try new things. The biggest reward is you now have the time to actually do something about all those ideas. Be careful though, confidence can become arrogance.

  24. says

    I love your insight. What I have seen others do as well as myself is have fun when all of the little crazy things that big corporations do just don’t seem to matter.

  25. says

    Gotta say, I’m enjoying my failing road to eventual financial independence and entrepreneurial success. I’m so grateful thatpeople like you put out such motivating content like this. It keeps me inspired to keep plugging away.

    I love getting up at 5am to work on my online side hustle ventures for a couple of hours before work. I cringe at the thought of all the time I used to waste by “sleeping in.”

    • says

      Hey Matt! Good to hear from you man. Did you mean to write “failing” road? I check out what you’ve been up to and it seems like there is some progress along some bumpy roads! Just keep doing what you’re doing on the side, and one day, you’ll wake up and hopefully find your side income is enough to provide for your entire life!

      Good luck!

      • says

        Great to hear from you as well Sam! Thanks for spending time on my Dumb Passive Income blog yesterday and commenting on several posts. It means a lot to me when one of my biggest online influences takes the time to notice what I am doing and leave feedback and encouragement.

  26. Matt says

    Nitpicky point:

    “If you are torn between being an optimist or a pessimist, waking up at 6am to get extra work done or sleeping in, and complaining about why the world isn’t fair or focusing on what you can control, I always encourage the former, former, former!”

    isn’t that “former, former, latter?” Either that, or we have an imposter Samurai on our hands! or, as my wife and I say “That’s your mistake, alien!!”

  27. MD says

    I was just chatting with a friend the other day about FI. This dude is in his 40s and he’s doing extremely well. He told me that the best part about being FI/making the big bucks is that you have choices. He doesn’t have to worry about what he’s going to eat or where he’s going to go on a date. He has the choice to do whatever he wants after working hard for so long.

    I believe that’s the main benefit of being FI. You have the choice to do what you want. You’re not forced to work a job that you hate or to hang around with people you can’t stand for “networking” reasons.

  28. says

    To say I’m jealous is a massive understatement. I understand that it takes hard work and a lot of effort to get to the point in your life that you have reached.

    Congratulations on your achievement. Do you think there was 1 thing in particular that lead you to be able to be able to achieve this? Or was it a combination of a lot of little things?

    • says

      Hey Glen, thx for stopping by. When I grew up overseas, I saw A LOT of poverty. I knew around the age of 9 that I did not want to be poor. I didn’t want to be a burden on my parents either. The images of poverty have stuck with me for a long time. As a result, I was very motivated to never stop trying early on.

      The one thing I can recommend is for everybody to be RELENTLESS in their pursuit of their goals. More than half the battle is sticking things through to the end. Good luck!

  29. says

    I like your philosophical angle of wealth. Money is just a means to a great purpose — lasting inner happiness.

    How ironic it is that those who make a great deal of money without caring for it end up slaving their life energy to make more money; those who make money to build inner happiness tend to achieve real freedom.

    Anyone can become financially free, if he/she wants it badly.

  30. says

    I absolutely agree with you that it is best to hustle when you still have the energy. Being financially independent surely feels like Christmas every day. I’m still on the process of building up my passive income. Hopefully in a few more years, I can completely give up my office job and concentrate more on blogging.

  31. Mike says

    I just wanted to note that you’ve given some good advice and some bad advice (primarily on the importance of GPA to careers outside of finance or Academia), but that I slightly object to your statement that bullies need to be eradicated; you’ve mocked commentators who politely disagree with you, and you’ve struck me as very much a bully yourself because of how rude you can be online (although presumably you are much kinder in person)

    • says

      Mike, thanks for your thoughts. If you come into my house to mock me or disagree without a reason, then of course I’m going to defend and fight back. I’m happy to have a debate with anybody who disagrees. Seriously, that’s a big reason for this site’s existence so others can provide their viewpoints. Just disagree with some substance and some background rather than attack out of the blue. You’ve always got to protect your house.

      Please share with us your story. Thanks!

  32. gianna says

    I agree with everything you say. I’m working on reaching financial independence though youtube. I already started working less for my boss and more for myself making video’s. I even agree with paying taxes and bills paying them with a smile. I struggled paying bills, I was behind on them and they cause stress cause you can’t pay them. Now I can pay them as soon as they drop in the mailbox and I pay them with a smile, just because I CAN pay them :-). If everything goes accordingly to plan I should reach financial independence in 2 and a half years from now. Can’t wait :-)

  33. says

    I am still a long way from being financially independent but thanks to blogs like yours, I have made a lot of changes to the way I manage my finances. I no longer live paycheck-to-paycheck. However, I need to come up with a side income stream. One reason why I would like to be financially independent is to have the choice of whether or not to stay at any job.

    I know this is not the right forum to ask, but what can one do to have extra income? I do not seem to have any business acumen. I am however, a very good listener and good at comforting people in sad situations. In fact, when I was back home in Zambia, people always asked me to talk to those who were bereaved or had problems in their marriages and apparently my words worked. I just wonder how I can turn this into a money making venture without taking advantage of people in distress (I am also not sure of how to do so in Austria where I now live.)

  34. Josh says

    Were you bullied while growing up? Or maybe you never grew up around rough neighborhoods where violence is a daily part of life. Your statement of willing to go to war over being mistreated is admirable in theory, but sounds dumb in practice. You can get shot if you decide to go to war with the wrong people.

    • says

      Definitely got in a lot of fits and suspensions growing up. There was definitely a lot of conflict.

      How about you? You say it sounds dumb in practice to stand up for yourself. Were you walked over a lot as a kid? How did you cope with not standing up for yourself?

      • Josh says

        I was never bullied or walked over at all while growing up so never had to really stand up and fight back at all. I went to an inner city school and grew up in a rough neighborhood, so my friends and I knew to stay away from certain people. If you try to start a war over every trivial injustice such as someone cutting you off in traffic or argument on a basketball court in the neighborhood I grew up in, it can easily get you shot.

        • says

          Definitely. But for other things, I recommend you really stand up for yourself and know your worth.

          What is your story? Age, industry, eduction, financials etc so I can get a better idea of where you are coming from?

          • Josh says

            I’m late 30s, bachelors, high tech, 160k to 185k depending on bonus, around $1 mil net worth. It wasn’t my intention to sound harsh with my initial comment. I recall reading about how you remained calm with your meathead racist college linemen story, so was mentioning sometimes removing oneself from a situation is the smart thing to do. As you mentioned once someone becomes financially independent, we don’t have to deal with ignorant folks any longer.


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