Post Financial Independence Goals


Life is short.  And then we end-up dead.  

You could work at your job until death, or you could choose a life of financial independence.  A life free from the constraints of a job.

I chose the path of financial independence instead of the corporate life.  It freed up a whole lot more of my time for actually living.

But what exactly do I plan to do with all that time?  I’ve already talked about what my average day looks like, but what about my goals? My aspirations?

In the recent past we talked about the hard facts of mortality and retirement.  In that post I mentioned 3 questions to help decide if you should quit working:

  1. “What will your purpose be after you retire?  What’s will keep you going?
  2. “What’s your plan to maintain or improve your health?  Will you exercise daily?
  3. “Without work, will you get sufficient socialization to keep you happy?

But, I neglected to get specific about my own answers for those questions.

Well, today it’s finally time to fess-up and talk about my own financial independence goals.

 

Why Set Goals?

Before I open the kimono (and reveal all my goals), I should probably discuss why setting goals is important.  Right?

Couldn’t I just sit back and take it easy after financial independence?

I already take it a lot easier than I used to.  Life is nowhere near as stressful compared to when I was working.  

There are days now when I accomplish practically nothing, and I’m OK with it.  But there are also days when I want to accomplish a whole lot more because of my goals.

Goals give life purpose.  They keep us growing, achieving. and becoming better humans.  Goals keep us living longer in retirement.

They also keep us from becoming lazy slobs that spend all-day sitting on the couch eating Bonbons and watching Youtube.  Not that I’ve ever done that.

The Napping Couch
Yes, I could lie on the couch all day and do nothing…but I wouldn’t be proud of it.

 Before financial independence, I had goals — mostly those set by my workplace, but also my personal goal to achieve financial independence.  Now that I’m financially independent, I no longer have those corporate goals!  (Yeah!)  

I have a different set of goals now.  Thankfully, they’re nothing like workplace goals.  My new goals don’t have to be “Measurable”, “Time Boxed”, or even “Relevant” (remember SMART goals?).  Those criteria have little meaning after financial independence.

I can take as long as I want, and judge the results by my own internal metrics.

My goals (I hope) are a lot closer to Abraham Maslow‘s “Self Actualization” — Goals meant to realize the best version of me as a human being, not as a corporate robot.

 

My Goals For Financial Independence

So what do I want to achieve with my financial independence?  Read on to find out!

Parenting: Teach My Kids About Financial Independence.  As a parent, I want to provide the financial education to my sons that I missed out on.  This is one of my main reasons for creating this website — I want to teach my boys about financial independence and investing by example.  Everything I write on this website is real, and I want them to read and learn from this site when they’re older.

Parenting: Be there to raise my kids right.  I’m not looking to be a perfect parent.  That’s impossible.  I want to be an imperfect parent, but a responsible one.  I want to be present as a parent, and involved in my boy’s lives.  Showing-up is sometimes half the battle.  Financial independence gives me the freedom to do that.  It’s up to me to use that time to care, and set a good examples for them.

Teaching by example, and setting good habits early in life is key to my philosophy of being a “imperfect parent”.

Travel: Visit more U.S. National Parks with the family.  I’ve already visited a few national parks, but there are 59(!) in total.  We probably won’t visit them all, but a few more would be nice.  My bucket-list of parks include:  Yellowstone, Arches,  Bryce Canyon, Zion,  Pinnacles, and Yosemite.

Zion National Park
Our U.S. National Parks contain some of the most beautiful places on earth. There’s no need for international travel to visit wonderful places!

Travel:  Visit our friends in Texas.  We have some friends in the Houston area we’d like to visit.  I’ve never been to Texas so this would be a fun trip.  Ideal trip length would be a couple weeks.  We might be able to do this trip in the next couple years.

Travel:  Visit more of Europe.  I haven’t visited many European countries, but there are several I’m very interested in.  This is something Mrs. Tako and I could do once the boys are older.  I would love to spend a month (or more) exploring Europe by rail.

Travel:  Visit Thailand.  I love Thai food, and Thailand is one of the places in Asia I’ve always wanted to go.  I’ve read that it’s reasonably affordable, once you get there!

Reading:  Read at least 1 book a month.  I used to read about a book a week, but life happened and we have kids now.  Time is precious.  The reality is, one book a month will be a good challenge for me.  Both fiction or non-fiction included.

Health:  Get (on average) 1 hour of physical exercise per day.  Maintaining my health is important, and I want to live to a ripe old age.  (Ripe as in “mature”, not smelly)  To do that, I have to maintain my physical activity level, and strength.  One hour seems like a fairly modest place to start.  Usually this will involve walking, cycling, weight lifting, or yard work.

DIY Skills:  Become a better chef.  I believe good home cooked meals are a secret ingredient in the recipe for good health and a close family.  I’m a passable cook, but with practice I hope to improve.  I cook (nearly) every single day for my family.  I hope I’m improving!

Meal Time
Good meals mean a lot to our family. I’m still learning to cook. With practice I hope to improve!

DIY Skills:  Learn to build or fix anything.  Most consumer products fall apart.  I’d like to build-up my DIY skills to the point where I could build (or fix) practically anything.  I have some basic skills, but I’m still a beginner.  The DIY skills I want to develop include: electronics, car repair, woodworking, and maybe even some metal working.

Financial:  Live off the dividends from our taxable portfolio.  I’ve mentioned this one already on this blog, but it bears repeating for completeness’ sake.  Our goal is to live off the dividends from our taxable portfolio only.  We want to continue to let our tax free accounts grow!

Financial:  Grow our net worth faster than inflation.  I want my net worth to continue to grow even while I’m not working.  It should do this at a rate faster than inflation.  Partly this means making smart investment decisions, but could also mean starting a small business to generate cash flow, or taking part-time contract work.

 

Subject To Change

Do you think these goals aren’t challenging enough?  I’m only at the beginning of my financial independence, so it’s very possible these goals could change with time.  In fact, I expect it to happen!  This is just my starting point.

Life has a way of changing constantly, and rather than trying to keep a rigid set of goals, I’m just going to go ahead and say “My goals will change” right up-front.  

Some of these goals are longer-term than others.  In particular, the travel goals may have to wait until our boys get older.  (They’re young and don’t travel so well)  

Some of the other goals are skills that will take a lifetime to master.  I expect to be working on those for a very long time.

What are your goals after financial independence?

 

[Image Credit: Flickr1, Flickr2]

21 thoughts on “Post Financial Independence Goals

  • July 23, 2016 at 2:58 AM
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    Those goals sounds great and I’ll probably emulate many of them in FIRE. I love traveling to national parks and have hit some of the big ones, but many more on the list.

    I too would like to get involved with my kids including coaching their activities and tutoring them, etc.

    And also, I’d like to put the skills I’ve developed to good use by volunteering for a non profit.

    Thanks Mr Tako!

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    • July 23, 2016 at 10:31 AM
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      Great points about volunteering for non-profits!

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  • July 23, 2016 at 3:22 AM
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    Many of our goals are very similar to yours (but your are worded much better!) One other goal we have is to try to give more back to the community – the local schools, the Red Cross – wherever we can when we are not traveling. (And maybe some travel community service as well!) I was very busy (working/getting an advanced degree) when my kids were younger but as teens – I am now home with them almost all the time. It has been great (not sure they always think so…)

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  • July 23, 2016 at 3:32 AM
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    I completely agree. I would not have left the corporate life to sit on a couch all day, that would leave me depressed and unfulfilled. Like you, I have goals to exercise, travel, garden, cook, and learn new skills. One that I wanted to concentrate on was art. Before, I did not take as much time for creative projects as for functional ones. Writing is one form I started with the blog, but I also plan to pursue some music and painting.

    Reply
  • July 23, 2016 at 8:53 AM
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    I like your plan. You have clearly retired from something (the stressful corporate job) and to something (a life of family time, self improvement, and travel aspirations).

    I imagine you’ll also find yourself donating time and/or money to worthy causes. Some of it comes naturally as part of raising a family. You volunteer in your kids’ classrooms, teams, clubs, etc… It’s also important to introduce them to the concept of helping others who aren’t so fortunate to have millionaire-next-door parents.

    I think there will be a lot of Me time early on as I decompress in a few years, but I think some amount of giving will help provide that sense of purpose.

    Best,
    -PoF

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    • July 23, 2016 at 10:25 AM
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      Great reminder about donating to worthy causes PoF! Once my kids get a little more self sufficient, I imagine I’ll be donating time to their school and activities like you mentioned.

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  • July 24, 2016 at 6:17 AM
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    Great post. I think it is very important to have goals post FIRE. A couple of years ago I was let go from a corporation in a downsizing and had some time off. Unlike most of my former co-workers who suffered the same fate I had daily, weekly and monthly goals. I worked for myself on a side hustle and built some long term revenue streams while others sat on the couch. The important part for me, coming from a corporate job, was to have these goals written and I would track towards them daily. I used Excel and mapped my progress. I also found it helpful to book time / appointments on my calendar. Seems silly but after years of following the Outlook calendar at work it really helped.

    Thanks again for another great post.

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  • July 24, 2016 at 8:41 AM
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    I will probably share most of these goals, except visiting Texas since I already live here. If you come to Houston and feel like having a beer or two, let me know!
    One goal that I would like to have in FIRE (not currently well defined) would be to give more to others, maybe in mentoring/teaching. Financial literacy is still not widely spread and I think spreading the word about it would be a great FIRE activity.

    Reply
  • July 24, 2016 at 5:58 PM
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    love your plan!

    while i could retire at 38, i’ve chosen to go for mini-retirement into my 80 instead of full retirement at 38 for the same reason you quoted about sofa vs. sense of fulfillment 🙂

    i would cut back my work from currently 80-100 hours to 20-30 hours weekly as soon as i can (upon completing my training in 2020), and start volunteering at my kid’s school (get credential to teach her middle/high school sciences), travel more, and go back to writing children’s book, and train to become a yoga instructor 🙂

    these are my current post FI goals (2023).

    Reply
  • July 25, 2016 at 6:37 AM
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    Wow Mr. Tako, reading your goals makes me want to reach financial independence even more than I already did (if that were possible!). My own goals are very similar to yours, particularly spending time with my (future) kids and being present during their growing-up years – it’s a complete tragedy when a parent can’t spend enough time with his/her kids due to work.

    PS. When you visit Europe, make sure you see some of Spain, especially my hometown of Barcelona! I may be biased, but I think it’s one of the most beautiful cities out there 🙂

    Reply
  • July 25, 2016 at 7:02 PM
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    Ahhh, Thai food is one of the great joys of life! If you find yourself passing through Colorado on the way to Houston (Google Maps tells me it’s kindof on the way), stop by and practice.

    BONUS: We live next to Rocky Mountain National Park.

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    • July 25, 2016 at 9:52 PM
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      You got yourself a deal there Mr. 1500! I make a pretty mean Thai curry! My Pad Thai is improving, and my Thom Kha Gai soup often gets compliments.

      Reply
  • July 25, 2016 at 7:06 PM
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    Ah man those ribs look so delicious..

    Yellowstone is a really nice place to visit, I went as a kid and don’t have the best of memories but I certainly remember my trip to the park. Also, Houston is a great city! Lived there my summer between junior year and senior year of college, there are bad parts but the good parts are great to visit.

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    • July 25, 2016 at 9:53 PM
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      If you think those ribs look good, wait until my next post! 😉

      Reply
  • July 26, 2016 at 11:33 AM
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    In addition to what you’ve pointed out, and the rediscovering the creative passions and ‘giving back’ pieces that a number of others have included, my bucket list includes spending more time with the extended family – the cool ones anyway that we wish we could see more often than mostly at weddings and funerals – as well as those good friends who we don’t get to see as much as we used since we all grew up, got jobs and had kids. Oh, and there’s getting that black belt in Taekwondo….

    Reply
  • July 27, 2016 at 10:54 AM
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    If I am not mistaken, the post image is from Easter Island and the moai. (887 Giant statues)

    On your opening line of the post and comments related to longevity : rapamycin (natural product) was discovered on Easter Island back in the 1960’s from a bacterium. Turns out rapamycin, as well as its amazing story as an immunosuppressant and role in leading to a number of related compounds as powerful anti- cancer drugs, it is now being studied for…wait for it….longevity!

    Thought you might enjoy this little bit of trivia connecting the moai to longevity!!

    Reply
  • July 28, 2016 at 11:50 PM
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    Love your post-retirement goals, Mr. Tako!

    You will love traveling through Europe with your wife. The food is amazing.

    Your kids are so lucky to have you to be in the financial position you are, and more importantly your fantastic sense of emotional intelligence. This will inevitably rub off on them, and they in turn, will share their knowledge to positively affect others.

    Reply
  • October 31, 2016 at 10:17 AM
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    Just curious if you’re retired why do you spend so much on childcare rather than take care of your children yourself?

    Also, do you have any articles about how you managed to save up the $2M that produces your ~$4k monthly dividends?

    Reply
    • October 31, 2016 at 1:00 PM
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      The kids go to a language immersion daycare. They’re learning a second language at the same time they’re learning their primary language. It’s an investment Mrs. Tako wants to make. Most days, our youngest is home with me.

      Yes, I have *many* articles on saving. Just click on the savings category on the right hand side of the website.

      Reply

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