Financial Independence Means Having The Ability To Change Your Mind

Financial Independence Means Having the Ability to Change Your Mind

When you plan your long-term financial life, what does the end goal look like? Do you have it all planned out to a T? While you're planning, remember to include the possibility you'll change your mind. As personal finance blog Frugal Vagabond points out, many of us envision financial freedom as simply being able to buy or do whatever we want. It's a lofty goal, but it's at least comforting. However, a more realistic (and in some ways more attainable) goal is to simply have enough that changing your mind won't break your bank:

The world of personal finance blogs (this one included) is filled with a healthy dose of fantasy. Where we'll live, what we'll do, and the many adventures that the ability to say "see ya" to our jobs will allow us to have. There's one freedom granted us by financial independence that I think a lot of personal finance and early retirement blog gloss over: The freedom of changing your mind.

Through this filter, "financial independence" can look different than we normally think. Maybe your financial goal isn't just to have a million dollar retirement account, but to have the freedom to travel. Maybe your goal isn't to get a specific salary, but to have the freedom to change jobs when you get bored. The goals lend themselves to each other, but they're not quite the same. When you plan out your financial goals, do you envision a number, or are your goals more intangible than that?

Changing Your Mind is a Freedom, Too [The Frugal Vagabond via Rockstar Finance] Photo by Anne-Lise Heinrichs.


    For me, I never really established any goals until well into my 30's, but my goal was financial indifference. Have enough super to be on the same income or better, which was the easy part, and to have a comfy place to live in while retired, which I'm halfway towards.

    My super looks after itself, I've been paying 5% into a defined benefit scheme for 26 years now, so thats my income sorted in retirement. The other thing was accommodation. It seems obvious but most people never click that you need a roof over your head even when retired, so you either better own your own place, or be willing to pay a decent portion of your pension in rent or repayments.

    In my late 30's, I chose the first option and bought. Nothing big, was pretty modest, on a modest income, but I'll have it paid off in 5 years than I can either sell and buy a bigger place, move to somewhere with a block of land, or just stay where I am.

    In a nutshell, I didnt want accommodation costs when I am retired, and I'm on track to have that covered well before that point. That was probably my main retirement goal.

    After that, my super means I have an indexed pension, more than what I'm earning at retirement, and thats enough to let me do anything else I want.

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