I can’t promise wisdom, but for what it is worth here are a couple of thoughts.
Financially you’re pretty well sorted now, but you know that already. You could probably declare yourself Financially Independent today if you chose to, your day to day needs readily covered by cash flows not requiring you to trade your time for money.
However that is just an arbitrary label set by accumulating an arbitrary number that you yourself defined… good for the ego but not for much else! .
The key point is at that point you are confident you are in a position to separate how you choose to spend your time from how you cover the bills.
The big question becomes: “now what?”.
Once you eliminate the money question from the equation all the personal finance stuff shifts from being the main focus to being a mildly entertaining sideshow. If (like many of us PF geeks) you spend an unhealthy amount of time playing with spreadsheets and counting pennies, once you reach your magic number you’ll probably need to find something else to keep you entertained!
It’s the extras.
When done honestly budgets and “safe” withdrawal rate (if that is your thing, substitute free cash flow if it isn’t) planning cover the day to day minutiae without breaking a sweat.
But what about those one off spends or quality of life improving events that are outside the ordinary/predictable budgets?
- Say you want to buy a lake house like PoF or a caravan like Steve.
- One of your kids decide they want to go to university overseas where student loans aren’t an option, so they look to the bank of Mum & Dad.
- An elderly relative may need full time care, or go into a nursing home
- You need to replace your car, or the roof on your house
- Your post FI passion project may end up requiring a sizeable outlay… a JD Roth style writer retreat/man cave, or a fully equipped workshop for that beautiful hand crafted furniture it turns out you are amazing at making.
- Perhaps you spot an opportunity to setup a new business venture, a Rockstar Finance style forum or a FinCon.
It is funding the extras that I think most people wish they’d started saving for 10 years ago, that represents the difference between being Financially Independent and truly Financially Free.