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Spaarwiel: Financial independence – What does it entail? And who is it intended for?  

By Eduan Kruger of Spaarwiel

Spaarwiel is an Afrikaans business in the Netherlands listed on Worldwide’s interactive World Guide. Spaarwiel is a podcast discussing financial independence, personal finances and savings and investment opportunities. This podcast is presented by Eduan Kruger who talks to the ordinary man and woman as well as specialists about personal finances and financial independence. 

I think back regularly to the first time I heard the term financial independence (FI). I realise I did not fully understand then what the concept really entailed and meant. At the age of 22 I thought FI meant to be rich. My frame of reference of “being rich” was typically measured against when my wife and I might own ten or more properties of which most, or all of the properties, might already have been paid off and we received a large amount of money every month to spend on whatever we want of whoever we want.

A few years later and after a good combination of financial mistakes, personal introspection and a lot of reading on the concept of personal finances, I now realise that I was naïve, but also mistakenly too focused on the income aspect of the FI sum. Not enough attention was paid to the expense side of the sum.

Financial independence sounds a little bit Greek to most, but simply put; FI refers to a financial status one reaches where you have enough prosperity and assets to cover your life expenses without being dependent on a salary or other current active income.

Financial independence creates freedom for you and increases your options in all aspects of life. A life where you have more time to spend with your better half and/or family. A life where you can realise your passion in your career without income being the biggest motive.

Most people on the “ordinary road” reaches FI only at the beginning of their new season of life … the day they retire! For most people (if you are lucky) it only happens at the age of 65 or even later!

For those who strive to achieve FI earlier, the resignation from normal working life is not necessarily the main goal or the goal at all. On the contrary, the bigger aim is however to be free to create a life that coincides with one’s own worth and objectives.

Whatever your reasons are to want to be independent, the reward of financial independence is felt long before FI is achieved. Just to pursue independence already gives you oomph, inspiration and motivation. Besides, the unbearable things in the everyday life suddenly become more bearable when you keep your bigger goal in mind.

FI is possible for all. Maybe not immediately, but with the necessary attention, planning and discipline it is indeed possible! And long before the age of 65!

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