The Four Stages of Financial Independence | The Simple Dollar


Financial independence is a tricky phrase because it can mean different things to different people.

Right now, I view financial independence as being a state where I no longer have to work for money. Yet, seven or eight years ago, I might have viewed it as simply being free from worrying about my next paycheck. At different points in there, I might have seen financial independence completely differently.

Along the way, I’ve come to realize that financial independence is made up of a series of stages. Some people might see more stages, while others might see fewer; I see four clear ones. In my own financial journey – and in the journey of others that I’ve had conversations with – “financial independence” generally means the next stage that hasn’t been achieved yet.

For example, once upon a time, I viewed financial independence as not needing to rely on my parents or on my very next paycheck to survive. As I achieved that, my definition changed.Let’s walk through these four stages and look at what needs to be done to achieve each one.

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