What if you had 1 crore rupees?
What if you had 10 crore rupees?
Even better, what if you had 100 crore rupees?
What would you do?
Sounds like an impossible scenario. I get you.
When I was in college, if someone told me that I’d be earning several lakhs a month, I’d have thought that it would be impossible. If I could eat out once a week, buy branded clothes, or go on a local trip once in a year, I assumed life would be exciting.
Fast forward to today.
Local trips are boring. I can afford foreign trips without thinking. But now I want to fly first class and stay at luxurious hotels.
I can now afford to eat out 3 times a day, every day. But that doesn’t excite me anymore. Maybe if I can dine every day in fancy restaurants, life would be more fulfilling.
The point is, as life changes, your aspirations changes. Your definition of financial independence change.
That brings me to an important question.
What if you had all the money you’d ever want? What would you do differently?
What is financial independence?
You might be wondering – “Doesn’t financial independence mean having enough money so you don’t have to work the rest of your life?”
Not for me.
You see, no one will ever be able to accurately predict how much money you’d need.
There are millions of retirement calculators which will output some number, given your inputs. But the truth is, none of them can predict the future.
What if I live till 60 only? What if I live till 120? What if I need medical assistance and home care for the rest of my life? What if my spouse or children need lifelong financial help?
Sometimes, you end up overestimating how much you need. With the proliferation of online courses, the future of education might be completely online. And it might not cost anything at all!
Each tiny thing will impact the amount of money you’d need to be truly financially independent. And no one will be able to predict it accurately. Not even remotely close!
How do you achieve financial freedom?
By living in the present and doing the right things today! There’s no point in being overly worried about the future. There’s very little you can do to control your future. All you can do is control the present. For me, that means:
- I have health insurance to cover me in case I fall seriously sick
- I have life insurance to help my dependents if something unfortunate happens to me
- I save up enough money to handle emergency situations.
- I have a regular job or an income earning activity which I don’t hate having to do every day
- I am living within my means
- I have zero/minimal debt obligations
- I stay healthy
- I maintain a healthy relationship with my friends
- I save a considerable portion of my salary every month for future goals. Because who knows how much you will need?
- I travel with my family at least a few times in a year. Doesn’t matter how short the trip is. It’s important to experience new things
- I keep learning. Investing in myself is perhaps the best investment I have ever made in my life. Learning leads to growth opportunity – as an employee as well as a human being
What do you think?
What does financial independence mean to you? Does it mean having enough money so you don’t have to work anymore? Or is there more to it?