Freedom – Best Pursued with Wild Abandon

Freedom - Best Pursued With Wild Abandon - Jump for JoyToo often in the personal finance community, there are those that battle over what it means to be retired. For some reason people can’t rationalize or comprehend that at the end of the day, the title of being retired, whether early or not, whether voluntarily still working or not, does not matter. To me, these arguments can be summed up and discarded with just one sentence.

Freedom looks different for everybody, but everybody can appreciate being free.

Look, we all don’t make the same amount of money, nor do we all find value in the same levels of frugality. Heck, if you’re here at my site, you’ll see I write primarily about peer to peer lending and dividend growth stocks that are individually selected. In fact, there is a whole community surrounding the dividend growth mentality of investing, and peer to peer lending as well for that matter. And if it isn’t those who desire passive income from dividends, there are those who pursue real estate as their primary means of investing. Pretty rad, and totally different!

Going even further, there are countless other awesome bloggers and people in the personal finance space who are all-in on low-cost ETFs and funds through providers like Vanguard. These “Bogleheads” as they call themselves have found their investing mantra through vastly diversified funds with small expense ratios. They’re in tune with the concept that passive investing and a hands-off approach is what best fills their investment needs. Works for them, so it sounds sweet to me!

The best part about all of this is that every single one of these people can agree on one thing, and that is the desire to be free. J. Money has the Millionaire Club AND the Net Worth Tracker. Johnny Moneyseed has his Rule of 300 and Jim Collins has F-You Money. Dividend Mantra and Passive Income Pursuit have target levels of dividend income. Mr. 1500 also desires the $1MM mark. Mr. Money Mustache said goodbye to the tie with The 4% Rule. Lastly, FI Fighter is crushing his pursuit of freedom by creating his own rental real estate empire. And these are just a tiny fraction of the bloggers who have net worth, withdrawal rate, or investment income goals! Change your focus and you have hundreds, if not thousands, of hard-working, ass-kicking, debt-fighting folks who want to get on the right side of the ledger and join those who are already investing. ROCK ON!

Being free and able to do as you wish, when you wish, is a universal and unparalleled level of financial freedom. There never has to be a battle about who did it faster or better than anyone else, or whether they’ve “made it” and actually retired. In fact, why should anyone care or limit others based on how one word gets defined? Instead, celebrate how awesome everyone is for working for the same goal. I mean really, who doesn’t want to wake up each day and do what they want?!?

And again, why doesn’t it matter if someone wants to keep working? In some ways, there are those who derive great meaning and fulfillment from their work. Sounds like an awesome gig to me. And for others, this could mean getting to stay at home to take care of the kids while their spouse continues to work. No problems there! Some call them crazy, but others want to travel the world! There is no special formula to dictate how to maximize your freedom. Sure, sitting on the sofa rotting away might not be ideal, but for those who have the motivation to find that freedom, I doubt sitting has ever really been an issue.

So to everyone out there, let down your guard, invest in the path that best fits your desire, and pursue your freedom with wild abandon. Freedom doesn’t have to be defined by what you do once you’ve made it, but instead can be defined by the level of character and perseverance shown in the pursuit of that freedom. Again I’ll say, freedom looks different for everybody, but everybody can appreciate being free.

Flickr: richard culver

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  1. Thanks for the mention! Those are some great bloggers to follow, and I get inspired daily by them as well.

    There are many paths you can take to financial freedom. Find the one that works best for you. I completely agree — the desire to be free is universal. This is a path worth pursuing.

    • Some kick-ass bloggers showing there is more than one way to skin the cat and obtain their freedom! Freedom is worth pursuing, and those who pursue it should not be begrudged for pursuing it how they see fit!

      I appreciate your support and inspiration FI!

  2. Great post! I’ve also been inspired by all of the bloggers you’ve mentioned. Financial freedom means something different to all of us, but it’s great to see how everyone is working towards it!

  3. You know-I really do not know if I am going to retire exactly as early as I know I can, but my real goal has always been to have the ability to do it when I want and not when my company or society thinks I should. Continues success to all!


    • Amen to that! There should be no expectation or definition by anyone of when or what is right when it comes to freedom. A purely individual choice that should be respected by all for what it is at its purest, freedom.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting Joe!

  4. Amen, brotha. People like to bitch and moan about all kinds of things in life. I try to surround myself with those who like *taking action* instead :)

    • The rockstar himself! Action in its purest form is the public demonstration of internal motivation, therefore, since action breeds action, surrounding yourself by those folks will provide tremendous amount of external motivation. This coupled with internal drive is an unstoppable force!

      Appreciate you stopping by J. Money!

  5. Thanks W2R! I don’t understand this though:

    “Mr. Money Mustache said goodbye to the tie with The 4% Rule.”

    Does MMM not believe in the 4% rule anymore?

    • Absolutely not! He simply developed a large enough nest-egg to far exceed his income needs and was able to retire. His belief is that the 4% rule will sustain anyone into perpetuity. My line simply was saying he left the corporate world (the tie) to retire early, and the fundamental process behind that is the 4% rule!

      Thanks for stopping by Mr. 1500!

      • Ah, got it. Thanks for the explanation!

        I’d like to hear your thoughts on the 4% rule sometime. I like it, but there is the possibility for terrible events that now that were far more remote 25 years ago. One example is a nuke attack on a major US city,

        This is also why I need to be more diversified. I’d love a couple rentals.

        • No worries! Glad I could clear things up!

          As for the 4% rule, I think it has some merit, but like with peer to peer lending filters, you are examining things historically. It is easy to find a great filter, but you always must be aware that you are backing into the information. I can find commonality and a general standard for most anything if I start at the results and work backwards. That is the essence of the 4% rule. As you’ve alluded to, diversification is key, and should insulate you beyond what the 4% rule dictates. A couple of rental properties kicking off income will be a huge boon to your portfolio and will help serve as a hedge to your equity holdings. Overall, diversification and a solid margin of safety will be your best friend, regardless of what you point you throw in the towel and call it a career.

          I’ve asked before when you plan on selling your FB, TSLA, GOOG, and APPL holdings, and there is some uncertainty there as you respond about when to pull the trigger. Projecting further, are you comfortable selling $40, $50, or $60,000 of your holdings if life mandated it? Selling is always the hard part as emotionally we feel timing is everything. That is very much something I think about when I plan on developing a significant passive income stream. Sure, I have a healthy amount of index funds in retirement accounts, but ultimately why worry about selling my assets, stocks or otherwise, if they produce enough income to live off of indefinitely. For me, this means a few rentals, dividend growth stocks, and P2P lending. Those by themselves will probably far exceed any 4% rule requirement, but that is neither her nor there.

          Man… I should probably write a post about this! Haha thanks for stopping by Mr!

          • Wow, thanks for the great response, Seems like we’re on the same page regarding investing.

            The other thing about the 4% rule is that I believe it assumes no other income. Even if/when I quit my main job, I enjoy programming, so I may do some freelance stuff. Also, the wife just got her real estate license. If she just helped buy or sell a couple houses per year, that is 5 to 10K in additional income. Then there is social security.

            Yep, selling is the hard part. I always like Warren Buffett’s quote that the ‘ideal holding time to buy a stock is forever.’ However, you better be sure that company is going to be around forever.

            Speaking of Buffet, I sold about 25% of my Apple a month ago and bought Berkshire Hathaway with the proceeds. Even without Munger and Buffett around, I believe that Berkshire will be healthy for a long, long time. I also like that it tends to outperform the market in downturns (I expect one soon).

            I think Google is the strongest company of that bunch. I’m holding on to that one with no sell date in sight.

            I’m also not worried about facebook. The biggest threat to them is some other social network catching on and going the way of MySpace. I think Zuck is a pretty smart dude though. Also, they have barely started to turn the monetization screws.

            I also think Tesla has some strong, competitive advantages. There are other electric cars out there, but none have the free charging network. Also, Musk’s planned battery production facility should bring down costs. The battery is the single most expensive part. Also, Tesla has Musk at the helm. Love that guy!

            As you can see, I cling to my investments tightly! However, I’d sell a portion of each to get into rentals.

          • Heck of a response yourself Mr!

            I agree, the 4% rule is more than likely plenty for the vast majority of folks as they will likely have other income sources in their life. My thoughts on it are less about the pure math, but the psychology that goes behind selling assets to live in retirement, early or not.

            Ultimately, I see you as someone who doesn’t want to sell unless compelled to (putting assets into other revenue streams). Makes selling some TSLA just to pay the bills a bit more of a complicated decision for an investor. I’m the same way. That is why I am planning on avoiding selling any of my assets down the road through developing enough income streams to support my lifestyle.

            Appreciate your support, readership, and comments Mr!

  6. W2R,

    Thanks for the kind inclusion! I’m honored to be part of a select group of fantastic bloggers up there.

    But don’t forget you’re inspiring others out there yourself! So keep up the great work. :)

    Many different roads lead to Rome. The most important thing is that you’re walking a path.

    Cheers to our pursuit. And cheers to freedom!

    Best regards.

    • I appreciate your support DM, certainly appreciated! Definitely looking forward to continuing this journey with everyone in the personal finance community, and especially those in the P2P lending and dividend growth arenas. There are so many ways to obtain freedom as I’ve said above, but thankfully we can all appreciate how awesome that freedom will be and respect the journey everyone is taking to get there. Additionally, there is no right way to spend one’s independence, therefore boiling it down to loving the freedom itself seems to be the right perspective.

      Enjoy your weekend!

  7. Being free is the most important thing that there is. No reason to be chained down when you don’t have to be.

    What I like about all the bloggers mentioned is that they are easy to relate to. They are real people just like you and me. And you realize if these ordinary people are out there doing it why can’t I?

    I used to be a fan of some of the famous personal finance people you see on TV all the time but they are disconnected from reality I think because of their fame.

    Take care.

    • Couldn’t agree more, being free is the most important thing. And the bloggers I’ve mentioned, these are people talking the talk and walking the walk. Pretty awesome I’d say.

      Thanks for stopping by BJ!

  8. I love this! There’s a large group of fairly diverse bloggers out there all with their own attack plan clawing their way to freedom. It’s great to be a part of it. It doesn’t matter how you define freedom or retirement. It just matters that you take the steps that will get you to where you want to be.

  9. Thanks so much for the inclusion. It’s an honor and I just hope to keep living up to it.

    I never understood why, in general, people get stuck on the fact that you call it early retirement even if you go back to work, work part-time or blog more regularly. The key concept is that you don’t have to go be stuck in an office, unless of course that’s what you really want to do. For some people they don’t have the social network or other interests to keep them occupied in FI/ER, but others do. It’s about the freedom to really choose what you want to do.

    • You’re absolutely right JC. Why get stuck on a particular definition of a word, that obviously varies from individual to individual, when you can really focus on the fact that someone has made it and are now free to set their own definition and priorities in life? Crazy to me! Celebrate they are in a position to enjoy their freedom.

      Appreciate you stopping by and inspiring others.

  10. Well said. Freedom does indeed look different to each of us and how it is attained is also a bit different. I’ve not made it to FI yet, but I have made it to a level of Financial Freedom (FF) that has allowed me remarkable flexibility in how I live my life. I would never have been able to buy a house for cash as well as do the renovations at the same time I’ve taken eight months off work had I not worked for a certain level of FF. Recently I have found that starting a business of my own and learning what needs to be done has all been possible because of FF.

    At the end of the day it really doesn’t matter if your conception of freedom fits within the narrow confines of what others have said it should be. Define it personally; I promise it will have more meaning.

    • Flexibility or freedom, you name it, we all want it and what it looks like doesn’t matter to anyone but the person defining it for themselves.

      You’ve had a wild journey the past year! Best of luck with the business and continued pursuit of independence!

  11. I couldn’t agree more, that’s why I get irritated with individuals who constantly seek the advice of other people instead of educating themselves financially so they can make decisions that fit their personal situation.

  12. Very motivational!

    I’m excited to see what you do with your freedom once you earn it! I vote for more time writing :) Being financially independent is such a great idea and I could work if I wanted or not. To have that choice would be so amazing! It’s really far off for me, but this community has helped teach me many different ways how it can be possible. It’s awesome that everyone interacts and is so supportive of each other.

    Thank you W2R!

    • I’m excited to see what that freedom looks like as well! I think the ability to do as you please, work or not, is really the fundamental element in all of this.

      The DG/Financial Independence community is an awesome community, and the support shown to one another is fantastic.

      Thanks for your support and stopping by Ryan.

  13. W2R,

    I couldn’t agree more, nice post!

    I’m primarily a DGI, but I have dabbled in Peer-to-Peer lending, and I’m interested in eventually buying a property to let out. I think it’s important to be open in most things in life and investing is no different for me. We can all limit the risk of an investment by educating ourselves, researching the area, and communicating to people that are successful in that field.
    You’re so right, it really doesn’t mater how we get there, just as long as we’re heading in the right direction. We all share the same destination – Freedom, but there are many routes to achieving it.
    On a side note, the comments to this post are so encouraging. I’m new to investing and blogging, but I’ve been pleasantly surprised with just how supportive, positive and motivating everyone is!

    Good luck on your goals this year, I look forward to seeing how you progress.


    • The support for this post, and the concept behind it has been tremendous. Truly a wonderful community out there for those seeking financial independence and the associated motivation and support is incomparable.

      Best of luck with your investment diversification! Real estate, P2P lending, and DGI sound like great options to me, and a solid foundation for anyone looking to maximize their passive income. Continue working on the blog and focusing in your goals and I have no doubt in my mind you’ll nail them!

      Greatly appreciate your support and thanks for reading Huw!

      • Great post. Enjoyable to read the different ways that folks are approaching financial independence and the different pathways they have set for themselves.

        • I agree, it is absolutely fascinating to see so many people striving for the same thing, but taking such a diverse means to get there. The best part? There is no right or wrong path, as each person follows a plan that fits their life and circumstances.

          Appreciate you stopping by Integrator!


  1. […] freedom with wild abandon. (Please note he didn’t say “reckless” abandon.) Check out Adam’s post and have a great […]

  2. […] Freedom-Best Pursued with Wild Abandon by Write Your Own Reality. “Freedom looks different for everybody, but everybody can appreciate being free.” Great post about how regardless of the way you’re investing or how you view early retirement (i.e. continuing to work part-time vs. not working at all), we are all pursuing the same overall goal-freedom to choose to live our lives the way we want to. […]

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