I have achieved a certain level of financial independence. Actually, I obtained it about a year ago. It was pretty bittersweet in all honesty, but the power it gave over my life was significant. But I want to talk about what happens when you actually reach a level of financial freedom as a nurse practitioner. What the day-to-day is like and how it changes your perspective on life.
First though, I want to discuss how you determine if you are financially free or not based on your net worth, cash flow, and investments (FYI, I talk about this in more detail in the Financial Independence course, but I am going to summarize it up here since it is Financial Freedom Week here on Elite NP to celebrate nurse’s week). So, how do you come up with a number to determine if you are truly financially free? Where do you have that “FU money”, so to speak…?
It is simple: you have enough investments and cash flow (through your own businesses hopefully) to sustain your livelihood. It really is that simple. The key here is “sustainability.” And this first starts with determining your monthly burn rate. How much do you need to be comfortable on a month-to-month basis?
The lower your expenses = the less you will need. It is that simple, again (no need to complicate stuff folks!).
If you live way above your means = you are going to need some very large cash reserves and investments to sustain your life.
Here are some numbers:
We are going to assume the 4% rule which states your investments in a conservative portfolio should pay you an average of a 4% return a year. If you want to increase the risk on your investment, then the reward is higher. You can get up to 10% if you want, but there is a lot more risk associated with it.
If you can survive off $40,000 a year, you would need $1,000,000 in investments that pay you an average 4%.
Many of you live way above your means. Therefore, if you need $120,000 a year to live off, you need $3,000,000 in investments that pay you an average 4%.
Sounds daunting, doesn’t it? Well, it doesn’t need to be if you are a nurse practitioner entrepreneur with multiple businesses. If you want to be just a standard employed nurse practitioner, then you better be saving your money and living WELL BELOW your means. Otherwise, you get to look forward to retirement at 65 to live off your 401k and social security. Have fun, but personally, that doesn’t settle well with me. I want to live life NOW, not when my knees are giving out, and my back hurts all the time.
If you are a nurse practitioner entrepreneur, then you should have multiple income streams and cash-flowing assets. When you have these, a snowball effect happens that exponentially compounds your wealth but there is one caveat: you need to live below your means. Having low expenses is a great way to instantly increase your income folks.
You also need to aggressively pay off your debts. Debt = slavery. When you have mounds of debt, you will never be financially free. You will always be a slave to that debt, and ultimately a slave to your paycheck. That is not freedom, therefore be very cautious about taking on debt. I am debt free, and I am damn proud of that. It took a lot of work, but it was worth every minute of that hard work.
When you are debt free, your wealth compounds even further. Why? Because you aren’t wasting money paying off debts. Instead, you are investing that money!
Living below your means + being debt free = financial freedom overdrive!
Seriously, if you can do those 2 things, your path to financial freedom will be faster than those that are not living below their means and aggressively paying off their debt.
But you MUST have a solid income stream (or 4). You got to have the income to pay off your debts, to live off, and to invest. That is why being a nurse practitioner entrepreneur is critically important to your success. I have talked about that multiple times on this website and THIS article sums it up.
So, how much do you need to live off? Just look at your bills and your monthly income burn rate. Do you need $60,000? $100,000? $250,000? Whatever that number is, multiply it by 25 and you will get your target number to be considered financially independent. It is the 4% rule folks.
$40,000 a year x 25 = $1,000,000.
$250,000 a year x 25 = $6,250,000 (You better have 3-4 profitable businesses and some aggressive investments if you want to live off $250,000 a year and not work much.)
I am financially free because I am frugal. I have no debt. I don’t need money to be happy or entertained. I don’t need expensive crap that I cannot afford. I see money as a TOOL vs something I spend. It is a tool that I can use to live the life I want. Therefore, my target number is less than you think.
I know people who are financially free and only have $500,000… How? Because they live well below their means and have no debt.
I know other people who have $3,000,000 houses and a private jet. Big whoopdie do… guess what? They are slaves to their business. They are slaves to their $30,000 a month mortgages. They are slaves to chasing money. If their business fails, they are broke within 6 months. Is that how you want to live? No thanks!
When you become financially free, you are in a position of “FU.” You choose to spend your time as you want. Do you want to see more patients to make a few more dollars to have a nice vacation? Then do so. Do you want to relax this June and go camping for 2 weeks? Then do so. Want a new car? Fine, see some more patients or make an aggressive investment and earn the money to pay for it cash. But what is important here is that YOU DON’T NEED TO! You don’t need to go to work to make that paycheck to pay bills next Friday. You do what you want.
TIME BECOMES YOUR TRUE ASSET!
Time = dollars… If you want to spend more time making more money, then do so. I do it all the time. But if you don’t want to spend your time making money, then you don’t need to! You have the reserves to sustain your livelihood.
THAT IS FINANCIAL FREEDOM, MY FRIENDS!
When you hit that magic financial independence number, something amazing happens: you make it a priority to focus on the things you want, not the things you have to.
You don’t need to focus on your job because you don’t need it. Instead, you can focus on your family.
You don’t need to focus on that paycheck because you don’t need it! You have the reserves to sustain your life.
You work on what YOU want to work on. You don’t work on what you have to work on. I work on my men’s health clinic, see medical cannabis patients, and work on Elite NP. I do the work I want to do, not what I have to do like that urgent care I was stuck at for years!
Essentially, you focus on what you want to focus on. Money is there in the background to be a tool to live the life you want.
I don’t have an alarm clock anymore. I just wake up when I wake up. Some mornings it is 5am, and other mornings it is 730am.
Some days, I forget what day it is… Just yesterday I forgot I was seeing men’s health patients because I thought it was Tuesday and not Wednesday due to being out of town for a week. If I hadn’t looked at my phone’s calendar, I would have been working on something else I wanted to work on and missed my appointments.
Financial freedom is living a more natural life. It is living life how life was supposed to be lived – in the moment. Life isn’t supposed to be lived on deadlines and on strict schedules, but unfortunately, that is how it has become over the past 100 years. You have to be at work by 9am or else you will be written up! You must leave work when it is time to leave work or else you will get written up. “I don’t care, I QUIT!” You can say that when you are financially free.
When you own your own practice, you create your own schedule. When you are the boss, YOU MAKE THE RULES! When you are financially free, you do what you want with your time. You become natural and in sync with your biology and the world. That is what financial freedom brings you… not a private jet, $50,000 vacations, and 4 vacation homes. The people that have those are not any happier than the person with 1 paid-off mortgage and a paid-off car. In fact, I bet the person with the paid-off mortgage is happier.
More money = more problems. Biggie Smalls was right.
So, my nurse practitioner sisters and brothers, look at financial freedom as a way to get back time. To be more natural with the world. To live a life that you want to live. Don’t look at it as a way to have millions and millions of dollars you will spend on ridiculous luxuries. That is unrealistic for most people. If that is what you want, then go for it. It can be done:
Build multiple businesses and provide a lot of value to the world. And ensure you do it very well and what you provide is in demand. You will be compensated well for it. But you are going to give up a lot of your time getting there. And you better be smart with that money and invest it well.
If you just want to be comfortable, then it is simple:
Have a business or two.
Live below your means.
Pay off your debts.
Invest everything else.
Once you have that magic financial freedom number, then you are done. You have the ability to do what you want with your time and not be restrained by the need for money. Instead, you focus on what you want to do and live the life you want to live. You become natural. You live in the moment. It is a fantastic feeling and every nurse practitioner who wants it should strive towards that goal. I definitely recommend it. The journey is difficult, but it is a well-worth journey, my friends. Make a plan this year to break free and get started. Don’t push it off any further. The more you delay taking action, the longer you will be a slave to your debts and money.
Be sure to check out The Elite Nurse Practitioner Wealth Building bundle which includes our financial independence/investing course, our tax lowering course, and finally our asset protection course. The combination of these courses will provide you with the framework you need to know to reach financial freedom. There are well over a dozen hours of knowledge from my personal journey and the information from professionals in these courses to help you succeed! The sale on this bundle will end on the 14th!