So what are we saving up for, anyways?

Good morning income streamers!

A few days ago I introduced the concept of financial independence and my ambitious plan to achieve it as soon as possible. In the article, it certainly sounds like a wonderful opportunity – the chance to do exactly what you dream about, to pursue passions, and to contribute constructively to the world. But why the hurry? Is Steve just some lazy loser looking to get out of work as soon as possible?

Far from it. Instead, I want freedom to pursue what I find fulfilling, and I want to enable others to do so as well. Here are the general categories I hope to fill my time with in financial independence, if I were to leave my job. If I feel fulfilled at my job I obviously would not leave it.

1. Challenge

I firmly believe that anyone who has the temperament to achieve financial independence would be very bored in a traditional retirement. It takes aggressive goal setting and determination to earn highly while sacrificing luxury, and someone who finds this kind of lifestyle fulfilling will not enjoy filling their days with golf and restaurants. As a result, I am determined to challenge myself, and set goals for myself once I’ve achieved financial independence.

The principal goal will likely be creating my own startup. Innovating companies and technologies drive change in the world and are the number one source of an improved quality of life for everyday of people. Startups are the most constructive way to help people, in my opinion, given that they do not depend on donations like non-profits and don’t foster dependency such as many aid organisations. I hope to devote some time to volunteering and non-profits as well, since I believe there are certain empowering causes like education and counseling, but startups open up opportunities for people rather than giving handouts.

2. Learning

I have always been an eager student, in and out of the classroom, and that will certainly not change once I achieve financial independence. There are many ways to learn, but I will be focusing on three methods.

The first will be daily learning, for skills that require consistent practice. I hope to re-learn the saxophone, a passion of mine that I have let fall by the wayside with school and work taking up so much time. I also hope to devote some time to language learning and writing everyday as I receive great enjoyment from these hobbies and many studies show they are a great way to keep your brain active as you age.

The second will be periods of intense learning, per Tim Ferris’s recommendation in Four Hour Work Week. He takes frequent mini-retirement (which I shall not be doing) of two to three months at a time to focus on mastering one skill. These include adventures in tango dancing, martial arts, and much more. I like the idea of devoting time to learning a skill and accomplishing something in its field over an intense, high-pressure period and I think having recurring short-term goals will keep me active and happy.

Lastly, I hope to learn by travel. I have always been a huge fan of history, and the best way to learn history is to experience the cultures and places that shaped it over time in person. These visits will always be budget-friendly, and I may engage in churning to earn points that could fund much of this travel.

3. Child rearing

This one is relatively self explanatory. By the time I reach financial independence, I hope to have started a family, and the increased free time will be very valuable to a child of mine as I get to use the time to bond and educate.

4. Recreation

I have many recreational hobbies that are happily low-cost, and I hope to see if I can devote more time to each of them once I am financially independent. These hobbies include running, hiking, mountaineering and the musical pursuit mentioned above. It would be great to have more time to spend in nature and pushing my body to the maximum, and I would always be open to trying new hobbies as well.

That’s all I have planned for my days of freedom. Luckily, I get to enjoy many of these pursuits today, even with a job! I like to approach financial independence following an old saying: “Build the life you want, then save for it.” I’m not putting these pursuits on hold, but rather making them part-time passions that I hope to grow into full time ones once I reach financial independence.

What do you all plan to do once financially independent? Do you have any hobbies or experiences you think I should try out? Let me know in the comments!

Check out @StevesStreams on Twitter for nuggets of financial wisdom!

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