Reached Financial Independence. Now What?

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I have a friend who has reached financial independence at the relatively young age of thirty-eight. He is completely debt free, having paid off his modest mortgage several years ago and owing nothing else. He has enough money invested to live quite comfortably, if modestly, from the earnings those investments produce. In other words, he no longer has to work to make a living. (If you want to learn more about financial independence and how it can be accomplished, I highly recommend the book, “Your Money Or Your Life” by Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin.)

I’ve never considered him wealthy; he’s not a trust fund baby or a dot-com millionaire. He didn’t inherit millio


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14 Responses to Reached Financial Independence. Now What?

  1. Mark Nelson says:


    Your friend sounds like he has it all together. I wish more people were like him.

    It is so easy to say he missed out on life by living below his means. But it certainly doesn’t sound like he missed out on much to me.

  2. A Marino says:

    What a wonderful and giving friend that you have the privilege of knowing.

    I love the YOUR MONEY OR YOUR LIFE book. It is a book that belongs on your shelf to be reread through out your life.

    While I think that it is important to save; I also think it is important to live. Along the way we all need goals even if they are short-term. These goals keep us motivated for the longer term goals.

    There are also people who have no children and may want to donate time as well.

  3. Jay Gatsby says:

    I think volunteering is a great idea, particularly if you can use some of the skills you acquired prior to reaching financial independence. Doctors and lawyers frequently do this to rediscover why they first went into medicine or law (i.e. to help people).

    I’ve never been a fan of just giving money to a charity. You really don’t know what the charity is doing with the money, and some of the most well-respected charities have been discovered misusing donated money. Still other charities simply don’t know what to do with their money or the supplies they purchase. Supplies often sit unused in warehouses, and are often sold as surplus (at a loss) to raise money when it’s needed for something else.

  4. Frank says:

    It’s time for your friend to give back! Also, what about investing in things that help others?

  5. SaveForHouse says:

    This is a really amazing story, one which I hope to replicate with my own life. I’m only in my 20s but truly crave that financial freedom. The main benefit of financial freedom in my eyes is just knowing that you are not reliant on anyone at all. You can sleep every night knowing that no company will determine your destiny. That feeling alone must be extremely energizing. The feeling of financial freedom (after working extremely hard to get there) has to be so motivating and energizing that it can push you to do amazing things, like your friend in this story. I can imagine once I achieve financial freedom (I hope I get there) I will really want to start my own projects and businesses. Definitely not interested in playing golf all day, although that would be fun for a while.

  6. Fern says:

    I don’t think wishing to do volunteer work during retirement, or semi-retirement, is all that unusual these days. The old, “I’ll play golf every day when i retire” is an anachronism left over from another generation where people generally kicked the bucket in their 70s.

    Today’s retirees realize that retirement doesn’t mean retiring from life, it means you have a chance at a second life, one that’s not so centered on work.

    I’m still 12 years away from leaving ful-time work, yet there’s not a day that goes by that i’m not centered on my early retirement goals.I spend a great deal of time daydreaming of how i’ll frame my new life in retirement and what will be rewarding for me.

  7. Lisa says:

    There was a follow-up book to Your Money or Life written by followers who read the book and then became FI. I love reading their stories and I love this one too. Thanks for sharing it.

  8. BWK says:

    wow…is he single? 😉

  9. crazyliblady says:

    I would say to him, “Go for it!” If he can actually afford to stop working at his age, that’s great. Or maybe he could occasionally do some consulting on the side just to keep some income coming in. But it sounds like he has fulfilled the dream that most of us aspire to.

  10. Darren says:

    This is a fantastic account of a fulfilling life – helping others while not having to worry about an income.

    I’m in my early twenties myself and share the view that financial independence is at least one of the prerequisites for enjoying life later on. Needless to say, my friends can’t understand why I don’t want to spend every single weekend drinking myself silly and throwing my money away…

  11. Gail says:

    Amazing! I am happy for him. I wish the media could feature more stories like his instead of urging people to spend more and more. Young people need to know that this is possible. How many kids graduating from HS let alone college would think that with about 20 years of hard work they could retire debt free? I see articles in Money magazine where people are planning on retiring at 50-60, but when you see their finances, you know it won’t be possible as they have huge mortgages and piles of debt.

  12. Oasdg says:

    Funny enough, this has always been a plan for me. I completely admire his choice to give back his time. I’ve always enjoyed being able to give back time, and the plan has always been to be able to spend a few years (not retirement) giving back as I can.
    I say kudos to him, and I hope he is fulfilled giving back!

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