Anyone Can Do It

 

Financial Independence is no more complicated than completing a marathon. It may be hard because it requires discipline, but the process for both is really quite simple, so simple in fact, that almost anyone can achieve them. Both require a bit of planning and preparation, as well as practical monitoring throughout.

The advance work of financial independence really sets the stage for a successful time after the pay checks stop. It requires some sacrifice of current spending to facilitate the development of assets for later consumption. Likewise, training for a marathon requires the sacrifice of some time devoted to training the body to run for long distances.

The first step in either endeavour is to make a commitment to accomplishing the goal. It is best to start small and gradually build up to the volume of running and saving that’ll actually get you across the finish line in good shape. For people who’ve never run, I recommend starting to move, walking and running, for 15 minutes a day, and then add to that more time every couple weeks. For people who’ve never saved, I recommend starting with just one or two percent of their pay check and then add to that half of any raises received.

Over time these gradual increases will start to mount up. When the body is conditioned to an hour of daily exercise, gradually increase the intensity and diversity of the workouts. Similarly, when the amount in the savings account provides an adequate emergency reserve, it is time to start investing in retirement accounts, such as an employer sponsored 401k plan or an Individual Retirement Arrangement (IRA) account.

The beauty of starting small and building gradually is that you learn your boundaries. There will be times of pain and distractions. Other commitments will interfere with your exercise. A financial indulgence or an emergency will wipe out your emergency reserves. But getting back on track after one of these distractions is a lot easier than starting over, because once fitness, both physical and financial, becomes a part of your lifestyle, you find you need it to maintain your sanity.