I think like many of us I started on my path to financial independence before I had even discovered the FI movement. I was never a fan of having to be at a 9-5 each day, yet I liked working, the satisfaction of getting a job done well can’t be understated. But if I’m going to work hard I don’t want to make money for my boss I want to make money for me! I had always been interested in real estate so I gravitated towards real estate investing as a way to earn passive income and try to remove the need for a 9-5 job. The problem with real estate in Canada… you need a lot of capital to make it your full time hustle. That’s especially true if you live in a city like Victoria like I do, with average home prices way over $600,000 I figured it was going to take me 20-30 years to get to a point where I no longer needed my 9-5.
Once I found FI, I understood that my goals were actually possible and through saving and investing I would be able to ditch the 9-5 a lot sooner than I thought. It’s not that I don’t like work, it’s more that I don’t like having to work when I don’t feel like it. There’s nothing worse than having to drag yourself to the office on a morning after a few to many craft beers in the old FI garage.
The struggle I now find on my way to FI is the obsession over wanting to be FI right now. Once it was in sight it was all I could think about, and I don’t want it in 5 years I want it now. I constantly try to optimize everything in order to reach FI as soon as possible. I drive my wife crazy as it’s the only thing I want to talk about (Part of why the FI garage was created). As I am using mostly real estate to get there I don’t have a net worth number as much as an income level I need to reach. Each property gives me a certain cash flow, once my cash flows are greater than my expenses I don’t have to show up to work anymore. I spend countless hours each day trying to figure out the quickest way to get to that point.
I will hear about people reaching FI by 30 and I get rattled that I won’t be able to make it by the time I’m 30 (I am currently 29). I sometimes lose sight of the fact that the average person is stuck working until they are 65. I think sometimes on the journey to FI it is important to look and see how far you have come. To set goals and celebrate when you reach them. I am also considering taking a mini retirement, maybe take 6 months to pursue one of my passions, or just take a break from having to show up to work every monday morning. Thanks to our rental properties we don’t eat through our savings nearly as quickly as we used to, so we now have the freedom to take some time off without causing a major disruption to our lifestyle.