“But financial independence sounds awesome” – if you aren’t new to the concept that is probably the first thought that entered your mind. Yes, it is much better than the situation many people are in today. I won’t attempt to argue otherwise.




Yes, there is an obvious but in this that many people are looking past. Optimizing your life is awesome and I’m an advocate for anybody starting out to do it. Cutting expenses, lowering your lifestyle, all of these things are paramount for most people to start getting on the path to a solid financial future. It’s true.


But if you think the life of Mr. Money Mustache on 28k a year is for everybody and it’s the ultimate joyous adventure I have to interject and say… You are mistaken.


I’m sure this gentleman is very happy and his principles are great for people starting out to adopt, we could all use some hard manual labor to feel accomplished. But the bottom line is you would probably find more happiness at 128k per year in retirement spending than 28k. Nicer vacations. Nicer vehicles. An upgraded home. Etc….

That is Ed Mylett’s lake home, a second home for him. Ed is worth a reported 200M, far beyond true freedom but I’m trying to make a point. You can be happy on a bicycle to a certain extent no doubt, but given the choice, most people would take picture number 2 for their life I’ll wager.


Wealth is awesome, that’s just a fact of life that the sooner you take stock of the better off you will be. Money is not finite and living in a “FI” way of saying “28k per year for life is my plan” isn’t a future many people will actually want.


I understand that for those slaving away in a cubicle day to day the promise of never doing that again and a meager “FI” existence is enticing. I’ve spent some time in my life inside of a corporate cubicle. It’s not fun. Just isn’t. I don’t care how you slice that apple. But a life beyond traditional “FI” will be a more fulfilling life, I’m sure of it.


Enter what I refer to as “True Financial Freedom”.


As of today “FatFire” is accepted as the highest rung in the financial independence ladder and it certainly beats traditional “FI” from a lifestyle perspective. But I think the point of actual financial freedom is higher than that.


I would like to loosely define “True Financial Freedom” as a net worth of 7-10 million or higher. Not necessarily what the traditional wealth world describes as “ultra high net worth” which would be 30M plus, but a step above FatFire and a very different life.


Imagine the conservative 4% rule at 10M, you are now living on 400k per year. That is $33,333 per month, also known as a very nice high-end lifestyle. Comfortable. You can take that ski trip. And that Caribbean vacation. Drive the Mercedes with a built in massage function. Live in the multimillion dollar home. And you still won’t be eroding the principle.


This is not impossible for many people pursuing FatFire or a high level of general “FI”. You don’t necessarily even have to work longer, you just may have to work smarter and find the right advisor/financial planner to win this game.


I’m absolutely positive that the next level of financial freedom is the one that most pursuers of FI truly want if they are honest with themselves. This site is meant for a place to start your freedom journey and stick with us all the way to the end (spoiler alert, it never ends – I too plan to learn for life).


Do you agree that we need to define the final frontier of True Financial Freedom? If so leave a comment below and please join our FB group to discuss further. Thank you for reading and remember, enjoy the journey!


  1. […] That math actually does work, but people are taking it as the only methodology which is viable and that just isn’t the case. Bigger pockets does a great job of showing you how this math can be shortcut by using real estate and I applaud them for that. My hope here is to instill that the business asset class is actually an even lower risk way to control your time though, and when you do that most people will see “retirement” is a much less appealing goal than “True Financial Freedom”. […]

  2. […] I don’t want to mince words or come off as extremely negative but that just isn’t true and especially so if financial freedom is your end goal. I don’t mean “lean FI”, but actually “True Financial Freedom”. […]

  3. Diversification > Simplicity – MAD WEALTH on September 4, 2018 at 2:56 pm

    […] personal finance books is “The Simple Path to Wealth” ironically, but if your goal is “True Financial Freedom” then the simple path likely isn’t for […]

  4. Motivation or Discipline – MAD WEALTH on September 28, 2018 at 2:14 pm

    […] absolutely correct, and I’m here to follow that up with telling you “Discipline equals TRUE FINANCIAL FREEDOM“, and if you are reading this I truly hope some version of that is your end […]

  5. […] 3M would yield an annual income of $120,000 without dilution. Not bad at all, but not really true financial freedom by any stretch. This isn’t the one I’m trying to address […]

  6. […] All of that is true, but it won’t get you to true financial freedom. […]

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