Two Paths to Financial Independence. Which will you Take?

It’s easy to put off saving for retirement until mid-life, take out a 30-year mortgage on a big home, watch cable TV to pass time, rely on student loans instead of working to pay off tuition, get the latest and greatest smart phone with unlimited data, drive to work from the suburbs, go out for lunch every day, and save a small fraction of your total income. There are conveniences at every step in life.

But, instead, what if you…

…maxed out your 401K every year from age 25 through 40 so that you could stop contributing and worrying about how long you could support yourself later in life?

It can be done, but it’s not easy.

…ditched the unlimited data plan and saved $65 a month and $700 a year by switching to prepaid plan like Tracfone for less than $7 a month? Or, went with no cell phone at all <gasp>.

It can be done, but it’s not easy.

…saved over $1,000 per year by getting rid of cable and using that time to connect more with family, friends, neighbors?

It can be done, but it’s not easy.

…paid for your house with cash so that you didn’t have to spend more on the mortgage over the life of the loan than you did on the actual house itself?

It can be done, but it’s not easy.

…saved hundreds per month by bringing your lunch to work instead of going out?

It can be done, but it’s not easy.

…moved closer to work and sold your car so that you could save hundreds per month and thousands per year by not paying for the car, maintenance, fuel, and insurance?

It can be done, but it’s not easy.

…paid for your education while you were getting it, instead of paying off student loan debt for the next 35 years?

It can be done, but it’s not easy.

…grew your own food so you weren’t held captive to price increases as fuel costs went up?

It can be done, but it’s not easy.

…saved 60% of your take home income versus the average U.S. savings rate of 5% so that you were saving as much in one year as most Americans do in 12 and could retire decades ahead of them?

It can be done, but it’s not easy.

It’s very easy to make justifications or excuses, to bend to peer pressures, to opt for luxuries, and to choose the more convenient alternative.

Consequently, there are two paths to a destination called “financial independence“.

One is common and expected – the tourist route, if you will. It’s long, flat, not very rewarding, and a few roadblocks could easily result in you never reaching your destination.

Another is off the beaten path. It’s steep and can be challenging. Some may call you crazy for even trying it. But there is reward in the challenge and it’s guaranteed to get you closer to your destination in a much shorter period of time.

Which path will you choose?

path to financial independence

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