Tracking Financial Independence

Tracking Financial Independence

Hello folks! Happy Fourth of July week! This is always a fun time of year for our family and the Fourth of July is one of my favorite holidays (sorry to my British readers 🙂 )! Everything about this holiday screams fun family excitement. Grilling out, going to the pool or lake, shooting fireworks, etc etc…just loads of fun. And I thought I’d have a little fun today on the blog by pulling forward a post from two years ago where I “declared my financial independence“. Today we will see how I’ve been tracking financial independence ever since.

First, let’s give a bit of history here…don’t worry, it’ll be brief. Obviously this is a personal finance blog and not a history blog!!

Your History Lesson!

July 4, 1776 is when the United States (just 13 colonies at the time) declared its independence from Great Britain. Declared is the operative word, this is not when we received our independence. After the declaration we went to war with Britain and ultimately received our independence about seven years later.

One other important point of clarification, while the US ultimately declared its independence from Britain on July 4, 1776, it had been brewing for quite a while. About 11 years to be exact, as the Stamp Act was passed by the British Parliament in 1765 which was a significant tax levied on the colonies. That was when the colonies initial opposition to British rule began as they pushed for “no taxation without representation”.

In the grand scheme of things, it took about 18 years from when the colonies got its first itch to be independent from British rule to when independence was ultimately received in 1783.

Financial Independence

There in lies the tie back to personal finances.

Two years ago on the Fourth of July, I made my formal declaration of independence (financial independence that is…). Just like the 13 colonies, that didn’t just come out of the blue. I had been itching for independence, albeit without a formal pursuit, for quite some time. About ten years to be exact, as that was how long Lucy and I had been in the workforce up until our declaration. 10 years coincidentally not far off from the 11 years it took for the colonies to declare independence.

The question is though, will I receive my financial independence quicker than the 18 years it took the colonies?

Since my declaration two years ago, I’ve refined and detailed my path toward financial independence and early retirement much more. For instance, in one way I consider myself financial independent already. I’m still working though to allow for a more elevated lifestyle than my current standard, as well as to build a buffer for my expected long retirement horizon.

In the same sense as the colonies, I haven’t reached my independence yet. But I’m tracking financial independence closely. I’ve targeted my retirement date to be March 2023, a little less than five years from now.

If I reach my targeted retirement on time, I’d be tracking financial independence in roughly 17 years from beginning to end. Not too shabby, I’d say. And again, very coincidentally close to the timeline as the colonies reaching their independence.

Your Independence

Are you tracking financial independence? I hope you take time today to enjoy the holiday, reflect back on the history of this great country and the fight we made to gain our independence, and lastly, take time today to reflect on your path toward financial independence. Keep fighting the good fight, and soon you’ll be able to declare your independence from the working world!

Thanks for taking a look!

The Green Swan

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  1. Hey JW, nice analogy! Similar to you, I started tracking my financial independence very seriously just a few short years ago. I’m targeting 2025, which is when both kids will be out of undergrad and the house will be paid off. I’ll be 55. So, I got a little bit of a later start than some, but am probably much better off financially than most. Like you as well, I could probably retire now on a reduced but livable lifestyle as the college funds are already stocked. But, I’d rather keep working and enjoy the enhanced lifestyle that affords. Have a great 4th of July holiday!

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