You have achieved financial independence. Now what?
If you achieve financial independence in your 40s (or earlier) you probably are a go-getter. Sitting on a beach with a beer for the rest of your life isn’t going to keep you satisfied in the long-run. In fact, like some people who have achieved financial independence, you might find yourself wanting to go back to work after a period of time if you don’t have a plan or purpose after you achieve financial independence.
I recommend putting some thought into what you want to do after you achieve financial independence before you actually achieve it. I had some basic ideas of what I wanted to focus on but I didn’t have a more detailed plan. Looking back on it, I should have forced myself to do a lot more detailed planning of how I wanted to spend my time before I actually achieved financial independence and left my corporate career.
Instead, my first step after achieving financial independence and ending my corporate career was to take inventory of my life by writing a short book on my life and my experiences. It was a soul searching exercise that helped me realize I liked a lot of things in my life but it also highlighted areas I wanted to focus on more now that I had more control over my daily activities. An important conclusion of this exercise was identifying the major areas I wanted to focus on now that I had achieved financial independence:
Establish new habits that make me healthier and more active.
On my last day of work (March 2019), I was 210 pounds as a result of inconsistent eating and exercise habits. I weighed 185 pounds after college. Now that I have the time I want to do everything I can to be healthy and fit so I can achieve the other goals I have for the next phase of my life.
Spend a significant amount of quality time with my kids to prepare them for their life journeys.
My kids were 9 years old and 6 years old, respectively, when I achieved financial independence. It’s unfortunate that so many families have to spend so much time and energy working at the time their kids could benefit a great deal from their presence (probably ages 5-12 years old). A goal over the next phase of my life will be to expose my kids to a lot of different experiences and provide them with an understanding of how to succeed and how to develop a strong level of self-confidence.
Turn my net worth into consistent sources of cash flow.
During my 20 years of working I successfully translated hard work and smart financial decisions into a net worth of over $3 million. However, this net worth has not been successfully translated into assets that consistently generate cash flow. A goal during this phase of my life is to identify a series of assets that can generate consistent cash flow with my assets to ensure I maintain my financial independence.
Develop a platform to share my ideas on topics important to me with others.
I feel a lot of my ideas and my overall approach to life have led to my successes in school, in business, and as a family person, but I’ve never really shared these things with anyone. Hence, FIRE Mountain was created! I see FIRE Mountain as platform that can generate content my kids can read as they get older and it will also force me to continue to learn and improve as I write about my journey.
Build relationships with people that have similar interests as me.
Writing about my life-to-date made me realize that the people I have met and interacted with during my journey had a significant impact on my thinking and my life. I think consistently working on my relationships outside of my family will be a real challenge for me but I want to work on it going forward.
Prepare for the time when the kids have their own lives.
I know it is only a matter of time before my kids enter the next phase of their lives and want to spend less time with their parents. I don’t want to be left flat footed when this time comes because I haven’t spent enough time thinking about what is next for my wife and me. I’d like to have my thoughts ironed out over the next few years so I can begin to prepare for life after the kids are gone and leading their own lives (which will be a wonderful but very sad moment for me).
Be inspired by the life journey of someone who has achieved financial independence and learn from the mistakes I will make along the way.
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