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Published on 29 Mar, 2024
What does financial freedom mean to you?
When I was 24 years old I fell in love with the idea of becoming financially free.
I felt like this was my ticket to a better life.
It felt like I found hope.
So I started to learn.
I started investing.
So that one day I would have enough passive income from my assets to never have to work again. Because I thought if I could get to this point then I would finally be happy and be able to start living my life the way I wanted to.
Have you fallen into this trap?
Thinking you need to get to some magical number before you can start living the life you want? 
“Once I have $2 million invested in shares then I’ll be happy and start doing what I want.”
“Once I have the mortgage paid off then I’ll feel at peace and be able to enjoy my life.”
Sound familiar?
I’m here to tell you this way of thinking is BS! 
You don’t have to wait until some point in the future to feel FREE and start living the life you want.
You can start living the life you want today. 
Yes, financial freedom is a worthy place to get to one day – but there are more important places to get to before that milestone that will significantly improve your happiness and quality of life. 
What I’m about to share with you was inspired by a conversation I listened to on this podcast episode.
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     1) Financial Confidence
This level of freedom isn’t about what you have… 
It’s about who you are and what you can do
This stage is about developing your most important asset – YOU.
You don’t need to have any investments or assets at this level. 
All you need is the character attributes and skills to know you will be ok if life throws a curve-ball your way.
Which it often does…
Such as losing your job, someone in your family getting sick or having to relocate interstate. 
At this level you have built intrinsic confidence because you have the mindset and skills to easily earn an income from somewhere else.
You’re not looking to be saved by some external factor like your employer or the government. 
You back yourself 100% and know you have what it takes to land on your feet no matter what life throws at you.
This level is all about the INTERNAL GAME.
Wealth is always built on the inside before it’s reflected on the outside.
You don’t have to wait until level three (financial independence) to start living your life.
You can make conscious decisions right now that will set you free.
If you’re not at this level yet, make the decision RIGHT NOW to get to this point ASAP. 
     2) Financial Security
At this level you have built your investment portfolio to a point where you have short-term peace of mind and long-term confidence. 
If you got into the shit you could liquidate (sell) your assets and have enough money to cover your expenses for at least one year (ideally more). 
This is the level I reached before making the decision to quit my engineering career and build my business full-time. 
We had $50,000 in cash saved up plus over $100,000 invested in shares outside of Superannuation. 
This meant I knew we had enough money to support us in the short term plus enough invested to know compound interest would do the heavy lifting for us in the long term. 
This is a powerful stage to reach.
You not only have built internal confidence (stage one),  you also have enough assets to give you some financial cushion to make big life changes so you can optimise for happiness now rather than some distant point in the future.
For example, this year Kaci made the decision to resign from work so she could be at home full-time with Clifford. Most Mum’s have to go back to work because of finances (which sucks). 
We were able to go against the status-quo because we had attained this level of financial security. 
If we stopped earning an income and liquidated our assets we could easily live for another five years at our current expense level. 
If you and your partner stopped working today and sold all your assets (not including Super) – how long could you keep living your current lifestyle for? 
If you don’t know the answer to this, work it out. 
     3) Financial Independence
The holy grail. 
At stage three, your assets produce enough residual/passive income to cover your living expenses so you never have to actively work again.
This is the dream for most people.
It used to be for me too…
I used to think I wanted to become financially free so I could retire early and never have to work again.
But I’ve since learned I had it all wrong.
What I discovered was I really wanted to build a life I never wanted to retire from!
To me retirement is quitting something you don’t enjoy.
F*ck that!
I don’t want to waste 40 years of my life doing something I don’t enjoy. 
I still want to reach this level (and I know we will), but I’m not in a rush to get there anymore. 
The numbers you need to hit for Financial Independence will vary depending on what you ideal lifestyle costs.
If your desired life costs $250,000 per year – then you will need significantly more invested compared to someone whose desired lifestyle costs $80,000 per year. 
Do you know how much it would cost to live your desired lifestyle?
It’s probably a lot less than you think…
Which stage of financial freedom are you at?
  1. Financial Confidence – the freedom to choose
  2. Financial Security – the freedom to follow your passion
  3. Financial Freedom – the freedom to live life on your own terms
Reply to this newsletter and let me know. 
If you want to build financial confidence and move towards financial security then come and join me in my community Money Mastery with Marshy.

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Financial Habits Mentor & Host of the Podcast 'Money Mastery with Marshy.


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