It’s not what you think…. The gift that FI gives.
If you follow the blog you might have noticed I’ve had an unusual gap in posting… It’s not because of losing interest or being busy, rather it’s because of being injured in the weirdest way. Back injuries are common in the world, we are a mostly sedentary society so it’s nothing new. But this one was different….
I was warming up in the gym, two glori0us Wednesdays ago for a nice quick leg workout when on the second set of squats I felt a twinge. Racking the weight, which wasn’t yet much, I knew this wasn’t just the average pain of a leg workout – it felt worse almost immediately. That night I hobbled home and began what would be about 6 days straight of serious pain, like some of the worst I’ve felt in my life.
Missing the gym for 1.5 weeks isn’t something I’ve done since around age 15, but there is a first time for everything. The first 4 days were so painful I didn’t even feel like talking on the phone, forget making it to the office for any work – so I just didn’t. Not in an irresponsible way or shutting the world out, but there was no fruitful work completed to any degree. And that was fine, because thankfully I monitor my personal finances well enough for work being optional. Which is the true beauty of Financial Independence – capitalized because it’s important.
The goal should never be lazy.
This doesn’t mean the best part of FI is being able to spend your days on the “netflix & chill” wagon, but I’ll admit that the comfort of being able to shut out the world while you are in pain was a rock solid good feeling. Choices, an abundance of them, is really the gift of FI that remains an unsung hero.
Time wealth is something I recently heard discussed on a podcast and that is by far the best example of what I’m trying to portray in this article. People think of financial freedom in the from of extreme excess, but that is very much missing the point of its true value. The best real-world example I can give of this will only make sense to those of you who happen to be parents of young children.
In April of 2018 I didn’t renew the lease on our companies city office space that we had for several years prior, and the decision wasn’t really a simple “cost-cutting” measure. It was a measure of value and recognizing time as the most valuable asset of daily life. The commute was just under 25 minutes each way, and that was the closest office space that made sense – so even though I love podcasts as much as the next guy, it was 50 minutes wasted. But that wasn’t the real driver of my decision, this is where the parent part comes in.
In the years since being successful in business, I’ve been fortunate enough to have some really nice vehicles, vacations, and housing. The stuff that most people think is the end goal with financial independence, but more of none of those things is the decision driver. My daughter is in second grade as of this writing, she is 7, and being able to get her off of the school bus at 2:25 a few days every week and see her smile made building a home based office completely worthwhile.
That is the time I’m speaking of when I try and get people to go down the FI journey, the time you literally can’t get back.
It may have a price tag to free it up, but in the long run it’s priceless.
PS: I’m moving around fine now back pain wise, almost 2 weeks later. Still not 100% but good enough to stay in motion, which is all I need.
Let’s do the math
Calculate your mortgage or work with the compound interest to see what it can do to expedite your wealth building.