Phases of Financial Independence™

When modeling your investments for achieving financial independence, we look at your journey as having 4 distinct phases. Each phase has its own sub-phases as well.

Each phase is named after the goal you are working toward achieving. So, you might say, I am working on Phase 1… which is working toward having achieved minimal financial independence. Or, I am in phase 3 working toward safe financial independence. Or, I am working toward leaving a legacy (phase 4).

Phases of Financial Independence™

Phase 1: Minimal Financial Independence

In Phase 1, Minimal Financial Independence, you are working toward having the absolute minimum you'd need to consider yourself financially independent.

In the Real Estate Financial Planner™ software we define that mathematically as having less than 1 times your Minimal Target Monthly Income in Retirement™.

Some other people in the FIRE community might describe hitting your Minimal Target Monthly Income in Retirement™ from your investments as “Lean FIRE”. I would make the distinction that if you need (and I emphasize the word need) to be working to be able get by (what others might describe as “Barista FIRE”), then you have not hit your Minimal Target Monthly Income in Retirement™.

Phase 2: Ideal Financial Independence

In Phases 2, Ideal Financial Independence, you are working toward having enough money saved/invested to support your ideal lifestyle.

In the Real Estate Financial Planner™ software we define that mathematically as having less than 1 times your Ideal Target Monthly Income in Retirement™.

Some other people in the FIRE community might describe hitting your Ideal Target Monthly Income in Retirement™ from your investments as “Fat FIRE”. The key here is that your investments must be able to supply the money and not a side hustle or business that would require you to work.

Phase 3: Safe Financial Independence

In Phases 3, Safe Financial Independence, you are working toward making sure that you have enough to sustain your Ideal Target Monthly Income in Retirement™ even if you have market corrections or other financial setbacks.

In the Real Estate Financial Planner™ software we define someone in phase 3 mathematically as having between 1 and 2 times their Ideal Target Monthly Income in Retirement™.

Phase 4: Legacy Financial Independence

In Phases 4, Legacy Financial Independence, you are working toward leaving a legacy. You've got more than 2 times your Ideal Target Monthly Income in Retirement™ coming in and feel safe from market corrections and unexpected financial events.

In the Real Estate Financial Planner™ software we define someone in phase 4 mathematically as having 2 times their Ideal Target Monthly Income in Retirement™ coming in.

Related Resources

For more information about the Phases of Financial Independence™, check out these other resources:

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