Is obtaining financial independence within 10 years an achievable goal for everyone? Yes, it is, with the right strategy. Is this a goal that everyone should strive to achieve? Well, that is for you to decide, but let us go over some items to consider if aggressively pursuing financial independence is for you or not. Regardless, I think everyone should strive to become more financially independent as it leads to a happier and healthier life!
First and foremost, financial independence (FI) simply means that you can financially sustain your life without the need or reliance from an employer. This is the modern-day definition of FI. The classic definition more or less means “retirement”, but as a nurse practitioner who has a very powerful income generating license, I think completely stopping work would be unwise and let’s face it, most of us enjoy what we do. So, why totally stop? The real trick is doing something YOU want to do WHEN you want to do it. That is freedom my friends.
Being able to do what you want and when you want to do it requires free time and money. Working 9-5 Monday through Friday strips away your free time and restricts your income generating ability. The standard employment model is a form of modern-day slavery in my opinion… Sure, you get 2-6 weeks of PTO every year and a decent salary, but you are still under the constraints and restrictions of your employer’s policies and becoming financially independent being employed takes a long time (do you want to retire at 65?). It is not the most optimal way to live if you desire freedom as a nurse practitioner.
Now, lets go over the questions you need to ask yourself in determining if aggressively pursuing financial independence is for you or not.
1) Do you want more free time in your life to pursue what you want? If so, then you should consider aggressively pursuing FI.
How do you achieve this? Through passive income streams such as various investments and your business. You need money to sustain your livelihood that is produced outside of active work (like seeing patients Monday through Friday). The only way to do this is by aggressively saving, investing, and working your tail off to get your business to a point where it generates revenue when you are not even there. You need to generate as much income as possible, and unfortunately, standard employment is capped for the nurse practitioner.
I think all of us would like more time to spend with family and to pursue activities that truly bring us joy as well. Working within the standard employment model is unnatural and strips away the time needed to enjoy life to the fullest. The number one benefit of FI is more free time. Everyone wishes they had more time. Time = Dollars.
Now, are you sick of being in massive amounts of debt? Do you get tired of living paycheck to paycheck just so you can pay on your debt obligations WHILE obtaining more stupid consumer debt? Far too many Americans are weighed down with massive amounts of debt. The craziest part about it though is that they continue to pile on more debt! This is insanity. This is doing the EXACT opposite of what financial independence is about. The more debt you have, the less free TIME you will have because you are a slave to that debt. If you cannot meet your debt obligations, then you will lose what you have worked for. This fear is what creates the slavery of modern-day employment. You have no choice but to continue working within a model that is unnatural and downright miserable at times.
2) Is being in debt a considerable stressor in your life? Are you sick of being a slave to it? If so, then you should consider aggressively pursuing FI.
You cannot become FI with massive amounts of debt. A critical step in achieving FI is to aggressively pay off your debt as fast as possible. The only debt you should have is the mortgage on your primary residence and rental properties (as long as they pay for themselves).
Just imagine how much more money you would have if it were not going to pay minimum debt payments? Also imagine how much money you could SAVE once you became debt free. Most importantly, how much better off would you be mentally, physically, and spiritually if you had no debt? Considerably, because you will no longer be a SLAVE to it. With the right strategy, you can become debt free and become FI. Be aware though, it will take hard work and courage on your part.
Are you always stressed out about money? Do you stay up at night worrying about how you are going to pay your bills? Are you always stressed about saving enough for retirement while juggling everything else financial in your life? These are terrible feelings to have around when dealing with your finances. You are a nurse practitioner, you really should not have to worry about money if you set up your financial, professional, and personal life correctly.
3) Are you stressed out about money on a regular basis? If so, then you should consider aggressively pursuing FI.
When you become FI, you do not worry as much about money. The main reason for this is because you are living below your means. Your expenses do not exceed your income. Many Americans live the exact opposite way though: their expenses exceed their income. This is foolish and a recipe for stress and anxiety. One of the key steps in achieving FI is simply lowering your expenses. Living more frugally will allow you to save considerable amounts of money which ultimately will lead you to FI. When you have a very large nest egg, you simply don’t worry about money. That is one of the beautiful aspects of FI.
Do you get tired of doing work that you do not like doing? Are you tired of seeing patients that are non-compliant, mean, hateful, ungrateful and those that generally just make your life a pain in the ass? Most providers get sick of certain aspects of patient care, especially when it comes to a specialty or type of practice that you are forced to work in simply because you require the income to survive. People who are FI do not perform work they do not like or are forced to do… Why? Because they don’t have to!
4) Do you get sick of working to survive in a field/specialty/practice you generally dislike? Do you want to see the types of patients that make you happy and fulfilled? If so, then you should consider aggressively pursuing FI.
How does a nurse practitioner develop a professional life where they can choose what type of work they want to do and which types of patients to see? By creating their own practice and/or business. This could be a full-time primary care practice to a small niche weight loss clinic. We live in a fairly free country, so you can decide what YOU want to do with your own practice.
By saving your money, investing it correctly, and creating a business or two, you will become FI very quickly. Like I mentioned before, the beautiful thing about our profession is that you can continue working doing the things that YOU enjoy, not being forced to see 30 primary care patients a day for a measly $55 an hour. That is not freedom. Seeing the patients that YOU want to see while being financially secure is freedom. That is the essence of FI.
Finally, are you fed up with going into work when you don’t want to? Do you hate going into work at 8am? Would you prefer to start your day at 11am instead? Do you wish you could be done with work by 1pm instead of 5pm? Do you dread those long second shifts? Basically, would you like to work whenever you wanted to instead of being forced to work in a predetermined structure? I think many of us tire working the same routine shifts day in and day out. Many of us would like to take our children to school in the morning or work out or play a round of golf. Many of us would also like to be finished with work at a reasonable time so we can enjoy our afternoons doing what we please. Life is short and being forced to work when it does not even make sense becomes old very fast.
5) Do you want to work whenever you want to? If so, then you should consider aggressively pursuing FI.
Listen, when you own a business or have multiple streams of passive income, you can work whenever you want. Yes, during the initial phases of your journey to FI you will be forced to work hours you do not want to work. That is life and part of the hard work necessary to achieve the goal of FI. You gotta hustle! But there is a beautiful thing that happens about halfway through your journey: you can begin working more as you see fit. Some days I get to my men’s health clinic at 10am and I leave at 2pm. It is awesome.
Once you create a niche side practice or a business of your own and that business begins to gain traction, you will begin to break free. This will be the start of your financially independent life and let me tell you, it is AWESOME. This happened for me about 2 years after I started my men’s health practice. I was making money when I wasn’t even there. This never would have happened if I continued to work full time at an urgent care. The only way to work on your own schedule is by owning your own business and/or developing passive income streams. All you need is the right strategy to do so.
Financial independence is not about having 100 million dollars. That is super wealth (If that is your goal, great! Go for it! The principles to getting there are generally the same though). Financial independence, for most of us, is about obtaining a level of financial wellbeing that allows us to live a life on our terms. Remember, study after study shows that once you hit around $80,000 a year, the amount of happiness additional income generates is minimal compared to the work necessary to achieve it. Basically, people are usually just as happy at $80,000 a year than they are at $300,000 a year.
If your goal is to live a happy life where you do not stress out about money, have the time to do what you wish, pursue the activities that bring you joy, and to live a life where you are not enslaved by a system that does not care about you, then you need to seriously consider implementing the necessary steps into your life to become FI.
On the other hand, if you are content working long hours, retiring when you are in your 60s, obtaining debt and living how the “Joneses” live, then taking the steps necessary to become FI as fast as possible likely would not be something that you would have the fortitude to pursue. Remember, you will be doing something that most people are unwilling to do!
Ultimately, the choice is yours and yours alone. I hope this article might have shed some light on the subject of financial independence. I also hope it helped some of you ask the hard questions to determine if putting the work into the journey is worthwhile or not. It is not for everyone, but I suspect for many of you, we share in the same dream.
Reminder, the Financial Independence and Investment Course is still currently on sale at the discounted rate of $347 until January 15th. This course covers everything you need to know to build a financially independent life including topics such as investing in the stock market/real estate/your business, lowering your expenses, paying off debt, increasing your income, and how to view money as a tool vs. something to just spend. This course will build the foundation to the rest of your financial life, I guarantee that. I have received nothing but positive feedback so far!
For those that have purchased the course and have gone through it, I want to personally thank you and I want to let you know what I am right in the middle of the journey myself.
Now, sit down and ask yourself the 5 questions mentioned in this article and determine if pursuing the path to FI is right for you!