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  • Writer's picturePeter

Financial Independence 101. What the media, finance experts and most books don’t tell you

Updated: Jun 4

Angkor Wat
Angkor Wat, Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia

Financial Independence 101.

This blog is not based on new theories, new ideas or new philosophies; it‘s simply a collection of experiences, insights and discoveries on a journey to financial independence over the last twenty years.

As such this blog hasn’t just happened it’s evolved.

On the journey to financial independence I've read a lot of financial books and information. Most of such assumes financial success determines our quality of life and experiences. While on the surface this sounds logical, real life experience has taught us otherwise.

For example the decision to either save, borrow, buy, invest or sell is not in fact to make more money; but to experience an emotionally inspired feeling and certainty of security, freedom, choice, independence, deeper relationships, increased stature and happiness.

All which directly enhance our quality of life.

Early into this journey of  financial independence I (Peter) found myself quickly out of my depth and questioning my own abilities be them emotionally, financially and my courage to commit.


My goal of financial independence was to fund a $50,000 yearly lifestyle, consisting of six months world travel each year, skiing, surfing and some part time work I might pick up along the way. Funding this lifestyle I calculated would require $1,000,000 in investments and I was starting with $0.

Based on what books and financial experts advocated, my goal financial independence would require a commitment to save $250 per week (equal to 60% of all my income), a 10% pa reinvested return and the next twenty two years of my life.

Looking back, while daunting, my plan was simple. Save $250 each week, every week, full stop.

So just like becoming better at any sport to improve, i.e. a better swimmer, the best way is to simply get in the pool and swim every day.

Most of the books and the financial expert’s advice stop there and forget to reveal the intangible benefits.

When we make a commitment and stick to it even though our bigger goal might have not been realised yet, we actually start to experience the benefits from already achieving our goal. This is particularly evident when making financial choices and commitments.

For example saving 60% of my income was hard; no extremely hard at first, however my savings commitment also taught me to value more the things I owned and take better care of them.

It also challenged my creativity to choose low cost high value activities and experiences. At the same time my life became less complicated. I discovered endless new, free, low cost and interesting activities like restoring antique furniture, visiting museums, libraries and nature walks. I read more, had more interesting conversations all contributing to richer experiences, personal growth and enhanced quality of life.

So simply by committing to a savings plan all of the benefits I initially thought I would have to go without, began to show up daily in my life and doing so this reinforced my commitment to stay the course. A self-fulfilling prophecy one may conclude.

Here’s a question “What defines a millionaire? Is it only a person who has more than a million dollars in their bank account? Or could someone with a realistic plan, proven projections, time frame and commitment to amass a million dollars be also considered a millionaire, because they are doing all the activities expected of a millionaire?”

Financial independence is a significant milestone for anyone to achieve and biasedly I believe a worthy crusade. 

If you do choose to embark on such a journey I wish you the very best and can guarantee your life will be enriched in unexpected ways and deliver you countless ah-ha moments along the way.

If you are stuck in a funk or you’re lost in a cloud of complexity feel free to contact me. Most often in life we just need someone to talk things through and to lighten our load a little.

This post was written by Me, as such they are my personal views and not financial or general advice.

You should always seek independent financial advice when it comes to choices about your personal finances. This is one area of your life where it’s worth paying for it to be done right.

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