If your life were a movie, would you want to watch it?
I’m dying. No I don’t have cancer and I’m not starving to death. But life, inevitably, is mortal. Every day that passes by is one less day that I have left on this earth. And the same is true for you. What are you going to do about that?
I live a bit of a “Groundhog Day” every weekday. On Monday morning I get up before the sun does and work until it’s almost dark out. I repeat this on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. By the time Friday night rolls around I’m tired and worn out from the previous 50+ hours of my diminishing time spent at work. So the weekend usually becomes a time to recover my energy level back to some type of equilibrium. I know I’m not alone here. Almost everyone who visits this blog is in a very similar situation. If you were completely free to choose how to spend your time, is this how you would allocate it?
I turn 31 years old this year. I’m certainly no old man and hopefully have plenty of time ahead of me. However, I’m also no longer a spring chicken. The time to live is now. We all live here in the now, in the present. Is life truly school, work, death? Or is there more? If there’s more to life, how do we access it? What would it look like? How would we know it if we seen it, when all we know is the status quo? Are you happy with the status quo, or do you want more?
If you want more, why don’t you have it?
I want more. I want more than a life filled with endless blurs of repetitive sameness. And I’m doing what’s necessary to have that life. There’s many ways to get to the same destination, but the train I’m taking right now is one of living a frugal life and investing my savings into high quality companies that pay dividends through common shares. I’m then reinvesting those dividends, along with fresh capital, to increase my equity stakes in said high quality companies. Where has this train taken me so far? Well, I now have what I call my Freedom Fund, which is my portfolio of aforementioned stocks, along with the skills needed to maintain a happy high quality life that doesn’t require a lot of capital to upkeep. Why is that important? Well, the less capital you need to survive, the less “Groundhog Days” you need to live through.
After all, you don’t need a high paying, time consuming and stressful job that you agonize to go to if you only need $1,000 per month to live on.
Flexibility is key!
I got on this train taking me far away from the status quo back in early 2010. I’ve been riding it for almost three years. And what do I have to show for this long ride? The enemy of rigid sameness: flexibility! Flexibility, in my opinion, is one of the greatest assets you can have. I live on about $1,000 a month right now, not including minor debt service. I’m aiming to receive almost $300 per month in dividends in 2013. That means I’ll be able to cover a full 30% of my living expenses from the passive income my Freedom Fund generates.
What does that mean? It means that I only have to cover approximately $700 per month in active income generation, most likely through employment of some kind. Not too difficult. I could work about 20 hours per week making $10 per hour for the rest of my life right now if I so chose to! I could semi-retire before my 31st birthday after only three years of riding a train that required only frugal living and wise investment decisions to board. A rather difficult ticket to attain if you’re not used to saving and know nothing about investing, but remember: you are dying. If that’s not motivation to change your life I don’t know what is.
I love the train I’m on, but even it can become the status quo.
I don’t know how long I’m going to keep working at a fast paced and stressful job that requires over 50 hours of my time every single week. I don’t know when I’m going to start taking my time back. But it’s a wonderful feeling knowing that I can. Having that choice, an opportunity that gets brighter with every paycheck I put away and invest, is truly priceless. I originally planned to keep doing what I’m doing until 40 years old, saving that large paycheck and investing as much as I can. But as I look out on the horizon, 10 years is a very long time. I think it’s important to break free, innovate yourself and stay fresh. Life, after all, is a journey and not a destination. Make sure that journey is one that is filled with love, laughter, great memories, family and friends, but no regrets.
I’m dying, and so are you. I just shared with you what I’m doing about it. What about you?
Thanks for reading.
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