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:
- “What will your purpose be after you retire? What’s will keep you going?
- “What’s your plan to maintain or improve your health? Will you exercise daily?
- “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.
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.
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!
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?