I have come across and read so many blogs and Youtube channels about financial freedom and early retirement.
For me, financial freedom is different from financial independent.
— Right now I consider myself to be financially independent since I have a full-time job and don’t depend on anyone for financial support.
— Financial freedom, however, is when I can choose whether to work to provide for myself financially since I have enough invested and saved for the future.
Mr. FAF and I have talked about our future goals. Mr. FAF wants us to have $5 million in cash and investment (at least $100,000 in cash) and three rental properties by the age of 50.
We will then travel the world to explore different countries in Asia and Europe, eat world famous cuisines, enjoy ourselves at the beach, and even try the RV life for a month or so.
For me, my short-term goal is to pay off the our mortgage and invest in retirement (which we have not done very well yet).
I have no plan to retire at age 40 or 50. I like the line of work that I do and want to explore my full potential in the workforce.
My parents and in-laws are in their late 50s and 60s, but they still work while enjoying themselves. I don’t see any reason why I can’t work as hard as our parents. They have helped us out in difficult times out of love and through the power of savings.
I want to do the same for my children. I don’t want them to do nothing and just wait for their parents to provide for them.
But I want to have the option of supporting financially when they’re in need (i.e. education, investment, tough times). I just can’t retire early happily knowing my children are still struggling to make ends meet.
I also want to pursue my interests (i.e. real estate investment, small business ideas) without stressing about our finances.
I have nothing against early retirees, but I like keeping myself busy and productive with work. Traveling and eating delicious food every day is great, but it won’t make me feel fulfilled about what I’ve accomplished in life.
Who wouldn’t love this?
Mr. FAF also has no plan to stop working any time soon. After he’s established in his job, Mr. FAF wants to improve himself by getting an online MBA at a prestigious school while working full-time to advance his career.
He also wants to take History classes as a hobby since he loves history but knows it’s not a profitable career track for him and our family. That’s what I love about Mr. FAF. He’s ambitious and always works hard to improve himself.
So do we have fun? How and when?
We do indeed. That’s what the weekends and holidays are for. Mr. FAF and I are hard-working, but we’re not workaholics. I have realized that when I work hard during the week, any free time I have seems more enjoyable and precious.
I think it might have to do with the abundant resources theory. If I know I have limited free time, I treasure it more and want to make the most of it. If I know I have years of free time ahead of me, I’m not sure I’ll be as productive and happy as I can be.
When I was super busy in grad school, I wanted to have all the time in the world to watch my favorite TV shows. But now that I have finished all of my favorite TV show seasons, I want to be back at work.
I think the most important thing is that both Mr. FAF and I like our career tracks. I don’t just wake up every day dreading to go to work or counting down the days until I can retire. I think when we’re fortunate to find something we love doing, it’s already enjoyment in itself.
We want to have financial freedom as early as we can. But we’re not planning to retire and quit the workforce even when we’re millionaires.