Financial independence - how to get there

Financial independence - how to get there

For those of you who have just embarked on your working life, the notion of achieving financial independence no doubt seems like an elusive goal.

Just trying to make ends meet is a challenge.

And then there are those many temptations to live it up, such as buying a flashy car or going on an expensive holiday.

This makes saving on a regular basis nigh on impossible for many people.

But anyone looking ahead has to factor in the fact that Singapore has the fourth-longest life expectancy in the world. Women here can expect to live to 85 and men to 80.

So, unless you do some really serious financial planning early on, you may find yourself working till your 70s - and that is assuming someone is still willing to employ you at that age.

So, it was heartening to read recently in this newspaper of young people who are managing to squirrel away at least some of their money for investments.

However, as I read on, I realised that they were mostly driven by short-term objectives such as trying to get a better return from the stock market. Such a ploy would be unlikely to help them to secure their long-term financial security.

To be financially independent is to be able to maintain your desired standard of living, without ever facing the risk of running out of money. And being financially independent will enable you to choose what sort of work you want to do, as well as the luxury of working because you want to, rather than because you need to.

Trusting the vagaries of the stock market to try to achieve that goal is really too much like a roll of the dice.

I have spent 27 years around the financial markets and seen many of my friends attain financial independence, so I can offer a few tips on how to get there.

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