How the Path to Financial Independence Changed My Life

Women Who Money
7 min readOct 3, 2022

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Financial independence commonly creates an image of work-free leisure in people’s golden years.

But in recent years, the concept of FIRE (Financial Independence/Retire Early) has inspired people to pursue the goal of financial independence before traditional retirement age.

Yet early retirement isn’t necessarily the goal for everyone striving for financial independence (FI).

Some folks retire when they reach FI, but others continue in their careers or choose to do work they find more meaningful.

So, people of all ages, stages, and backgrounds pursue financial independence for more time freedom and options.

As a result, work becomes optional, leaving more time for relationships, focusing on health, hobbies, volunteering, and other areas of life.

Below, I share my discovery of financial independence and how the path to FI changed my life.

Discovering Financial Independence (FI)

My penchant for personal finance began after I quit my job to become a stay-at-home parent (20+ years ago).

At first, saving money was my primary goal. But as I learned more about personal finance, I realized we could do more.

We could set ourselves up for financial success or, at the very least, financial security.

We didn’t have much extra money in those early years. But we started the 401(k), got term life insurance, created a will, and soon opened IRAs.

And when I read the book, Your Money or Your Life, I became intrigued by the idea of (early) Financial Independence.

To me, the time freedom that it promised was an excellent reason to make it a goal. Also, retiring before age 55 sounded pretty appealing in our 30s.

Yet I didn’t anticipate how life-changing the path to financial freedom would be.

The Pursuit of Financial Independence (FI) Changed My Life

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