How many of you are financially free?

123 Replies

How many people are financially free on here? For those of you who are, do you still work or are you "retired" and living off the cash flow? If you are financially free, which method did you use to acquire it? (ie buy and hold, syndication, index funds, etc)

It just seems that the podcasts many times are about people who live off their investments, but no one talks about life being that way on the forums...

I worked 35 years in corporate to earn a pension, purchased rental income properties while I worked to supplement a early retirement reduced pension. I now only manage and maintain my properties. I have more income than I will ever need and will be liquidating everything in about 5 years to retire completely. My properties are maximum leveraged (100% were possible to increase ROI) and the equity has been redeployed into income funds. They all presently have positive cash flow.

I am financially free. I own over 100 rental properties. I acquired them through subject 2 and getting a loan. I have a few more aid off houses but most of them still have loans. I don’t know what my monthly cashflow is but its over $20k a month.

I still work.I enjoy working and I probably will never stop. I enjoy building my empire and mentoring my franchise owners.

Updated 3 months ago

I meant to say I have a few houses that are paid off, but most of them still have loans.

Updated 3 months ago

I meant to say I have a few houses that are paid off, but most of them still have loans.

"Financially free" is relative. Can you live on 50K, 200K a year? My buy and hold rentals generate six figures after expenses. I also own an online machine gun business. Neither of these requires much time and I enjoy it. I am working to increase my income another 100K a year and then will call myself "financially free".

I would say financially content and have been for a long time. Long before FI or FIRE, blogs, podcasts or BP I was 31 and never faced a time clock or interviewing for another JOB again. 

I enjoy DIYing projects and mowing my apt lawns and stuff but could hire it out.  Gives me something to do and the satisfaction of tangible results.  FI requires high octane. Hard just to sit around!

My 'free' is about half the cf as our friend Monica above and is relative,  hence my financially content comment.  When the rest of my apt loans and primary are satisfied in a few years my cf will increase another 50% without additional tenants or toilets or hunting or none a that.

What free has meant to me is not worrying about strict budgets anymore and not applying for snakes, I mean credit cards, to track my cattle, I mean travel points, to fly standby on the cheap. It also means my mailbox is not full of junkmail.

It has also meant being patient and not needy at buys and sells or vacancy and branching into other asset classes like small businesses and high end personal property (cars, watches, boats, rv, coins, cards, metals, jewelry, antiques, art, etc) people find themselves overleveraged in or just a don't wanner.  Talk about motivated sellers! Again, something to do and the hunt is fun.

Thanks for asking, Roshan!

We're financially free with an income in the $150K/year range. We are 70 and 74 years old.

I had one rental in CA that I couldn't sell when I accepted a job in TX because the Proposition 13 election was coming in a month. People would ask about property taxes and I'd lay out the three possibilities and they'd say, "oh, I can't make an offer without KNOWING what they'll be". So we kept the house and rented it at a small, about $40/month positive cash flow.

Five years later the oil crash hit the Houston RE market like a ton of bricks. The average house in Houston lost 1/2 it's value and the VA and RTC foreclosures were 2 to 3 pages in Friday and Saturday's newspapers. By 1990 the market was turning and we started buying, often for cash. By 1995, 2 months after buying the most expensive house we'd ever bought, I quit my salaried job to open a new, unrelated to RE, business. 4 months later my wifelost her job so we had no health insurance. Within about 2 1/2 years we'd paid that house off and haven't had a mortgage since.

Neither of us had pensions  because we worked for smaller companies but we both had 401k that we always CONTRIBUTED THE MAXIMUM ALLOWED TO. 

Some of the keys that allowed us to retire early and have more money than we'll ever spend:

We always lived below our means: When we took out that last mortgage in 1995 I was earning $62,000/year, my wife was earning about $47K/year and we had another $35K/year in net income from seller financed mortgages. As I said above that was the most expensive house we'd ever purchased and we paid $125,000 for it, about THIRTEEN MONTHS of our salaries. Both the Realtor and lender told us we needed to be buying a much more expensive house. No thanks.

On living below our means: The first new car we ever owned was my wife's Lexus purchased 2 years after I had retired. She retired 4 years earlier.

I did a lot of my own work on my houses. I've re-framed walls that were termite eaten, sheetrocked, installed new shower pans and re-tiled, replaced roofs, and obviously painted more than my share of places on turnovers. I once even did the "scut" work for a cut-rate guy who was jacking up a cracked slab. I was the least productive guy on that team but following that I decided that if I ever needed to I could do that job!

We have a net worth of about 3 1/2 million and no heirs. Until 3 years ago we were both in excellent health but I'm fighting my second bout with cancer in that time and waiting until I feel well enough to head to France and Spain for a month, probably in June. 

@Frank Adams Thanks for sharing your story.  Enjoy your trip and jack up that cancer just like the concrete.

Yes. Still work, because what else would I do with all my time? I have a satisfying job, that has good benefits, that also makes a difference in the community, and I just keep plowing the returns from the properties back into the business. At whatever point I decide to retire or stop working, I will have less cash flow but still more than enough to cover all my expenses and put away decent savings as well. I'm pretty conservative vis-a-vis many on here, in that I own most of my properties free & clear, but I do have a little leverage and I recognize that my path doesn't generate returns as high as others might. If I was 20 I would do it different, but I'm almost 30 years from 20 and I like my way. 

The key to life is find things you like doing. You have to do something, even if it's watch reruns all day. If you can find something you like to do, and get some financial compensation besides, that's just gravy. I like playing music, and I get paid to do it besides. Win-win. 

I am Financially Independent and work because I love my job. I have two small kids who are in school, so we are location dependent for the next 10 years. They're in school 35 hours per week, and I need something to fill my time. I'm not a sit around and do nothing kind of girl.

My financial freedom came as a combination of frugality, high income, live-in flipping and the stock market. My retirement is fully funded, and my husband, who did not love his job, left formal employment one year ago. 

Not yet, but I'm only approximately 2 years into investing. So I still work my previous day job. 

My goal is to be able to quit my day job 5-10 years from now. I'd like to be even earlier, but I haven't hit a watershed moment where I know I'll get there. I'm optimistic with where I'm at, but I'll still need to make a couple good/smart moves in between now and "retirement" from my day job. Those moves could set me back if I make a mistake, so nothing is guaranteed at this point. 

I'll always have to keep a pulse on my properties, so I don't know that anyone completely retires while owning rental property. 

My ideal situation would be that I make enough money to completely support my family completely while still traveling w/ them often. I would like to have a trustworthy employee that manages all my property to keep day to day headaches to a very minimum. My "job" would be reviewing that person's work and to continue to hunt down more property (if I even want any more at that point). If I'm bored with that lifestyle, I'll re-evaluate and cross that bridge if/when I get there. 

@Roshan K. a homeless person is financially free. The definition is simply that you don't need to work to live. That just means you have reduced your expenses to less than your passive income. Within the realm of people claiming FI, there is a wide spectrum. Many have accomplished it through extreme frugality more so than abundant passive income.

Most people talking about FI on podcasts are not retired. They continue to work, often running a blog, podcast or writing books. Usually they are living off that income more than their savings. Nothing wrong with that, but they really are not retired.

I could quit my job and pay all my bills with passive income. I chose to work because I like my job and I enjoy my current standard of living.

So there I was...24 years old with a fancy new job in Washington DC as a Management Consultant. A couple of months go by and panic sets in, "am I going to have to do this for the rest of my life? 40 years is a long time" I had to figure out a better path. I set out on a 2 year journey to "retire" from corporate America.

Here's how I did it:

1. I invested $10,000 into the purchase of a triplex in Hagerstown, MD and also co-signed for the loan since my business partner had just left his salaried income to be a full time real estate agent. We spent every weekend for a few months at this house renovating it with our own hands. We later refinanced this property for $272,000 and pulled out more cash than we originally put into it. This now cash flows over $1000 a month.

2. I purchased a duplex in Hagerstown, MD. I bought this property for $98,000 using a conventional mortgage and 25% down. The property brings in a monthly revenue of $1650/month and leaves $814 in free cash flow after all expenses.

3. I got my real estate license and committed to selling 5+ million in real estate while still working my full time job

4. I purchased a 4 bed/2 bath house in Annapolis, MD for me to live in while renting out the remaining rooms. I moved into the basement office and added a bathroom for myself in the basement so that I could receive rental income from all 4 rooms on the main floors. 

5. In a partnership with my best friend, we purchased and renovated a duplex in Baltimore MD using privately raised capital. We then refinanced into a 25 year loan with a community bank, paid back our investors plus their interest, and hold this property for a monthly free cash flow of $1000.

6. In the same partnership with my best friend, we purchased another triplex in Baltimore MD using hard money and privately raised capital. We renovated, refinanced, and rent it for a monthly free cash flow of $1050.

7. Still holding the full time job, I purchased a single family home in Baltimore, MD at an auction. Using hard money, a small HELOC from my house hack, a 0% interest credit card, and the cash I had earned from selling real estate, I completed a full gut renovation on this house. I purchased for $89,000, put $135,000 of work into it, and cash out refinanced 80% of the loan value on a valuation of $335,000. The basement is a 1 bed/1bath apartment that I rent on AirBnb and net roughly $1000/month of income from leaving my out of pocket expenses at $800/month for the rest of the house.

8. In the partnership with my best friend, we purchased 5 more units that we renovated, rented, and refinanced. 

9. I cut the cord on corporate America and now serve as the lead buyers agent based out of Baltimore, MD. I enjoy helping buyers find house hacks and their own cash flowing rental properties.

From the beginning, my goal was to cover my expenses plus a little bit more on top so that I could move comfortably away from a salaried job to my life as an agent and investor - and that is what I have accomplished so far. 

@Roshan K. A lot of people here are beginners learning or marketers. People typically move on. I suspect you will find a lot of FI people in that sub group.

I would be financially free except for my passion for real estate & desire to build massive & passive legacy wealth for my retirement & children. I choose to reinvest my cash flow to expand my portfolio from my current 21 SFR. I continue to work to keep W-2 income while I am in acquisition mode. However, it sure is nice to sleep at night knowing if something happened, I have created a passive income stream sufficient to provide for myself without a job.

We are FI. After failing in the 2008-2011 real estate collapse we have rebuilt and now have a 28 unit apartment complex in Crestview Florida, a triplex in Midtown, Atlanta, GA, a triplex in Columbus, GA, and a couple other small SFR in Crestview. We self manage all of them for now. We travel in our RV anywhere from 3-6 months per year, home schooling out 6 & 8 year olds along the way. Last year went on a 7 month trip to Alaska and everywhere in between Florida and there! On our way to North East US for 4 months this next summer/fall.

I still work , I enjoy it .  I could retire , then my wife would have me working on things I dont want to do 

I'd say that I'm financially independent. After expenses my income is about 10K/month. My networth is  +1 million, but our neighborhood is exploding and I expect the values to double in the next 2 years or so and go further up, because of some development that has finally started. 

I don't have a job and only manage my properties. 

Originally posted by @Monica Breckenridge :

I am financially free. I own over 100 rental properties. I acquired them through subject 2 and getting a loan. I have a few more aid off houses but most of them still have loans. I don’t know what my monthly cashflow is but its over $20k a month.

I still work.I enjoy working and I probably will never stop. I enjoy building my empire and mentoring my franchise owners.

 This is an amazing testimony certainly. I am only 20 and getting into Florida Real Estate via my agents license. I hope to get just ONE property in the next year. Preferably a duplex or so. Nice work!

Originally posted by @Frank Adams :

We're financially free with an income in the $150K/year range. We are 70 and 74 years old.

I had one rental in CA that I couldn't sell when I accepted a job in TX because the Proposition 13 election was coming in a month. People would ask about property taxes and I'd lay out the three possibilities and they'd say, "oh, I can't make an offer without KNOWING what they'll be". So we kept the house and rented it at a small, about $40/month positive cash flow.

Five years later the oil crash hit the Houston RE market like a ton of bricks. The average house in Houston lost 1/2 it's value and the VA and RTC foreclosures were 2 to 3 pages in Friday and Saturday's newspapers. By 1990 the market was turning and we started buying, often for cash. By 1995, 2 months after buying the most expensive house we'd ever bought, I quit my salaried job to open a new, unrelated to RE, business. 4 months later my wifelost her job so we had no health insurance. Within about 2 1/2 years we'd paid that house off and haven't had a mortgage since.

Neither of us had pensions  because we worked for smaller companies but we both had 401k that we always CONTRIBUTED THE MAXIMUM ALLOWED TO. 

Some of the keys that allowed us to retire early and have more money than we'll ever spend:

We always lived below our means: When we took out that last mortgage in 1995 I was earning $62,000/year, my wife was earning about $47K/year and we had another $35K/year in net income from seller financed mortgages. As I said above that was the most expensive house we'd ever purchased and we paid $125,000 for it, about THIRTEEN MONTHS of our salaries. Both the Realtor and lender told us we needed to be buying a much more expensive house. No thanks.

On living below our means: The first new car we ever owned was my wife's Lexus purchased 2 years after I had retired. She retired 4 years earlier.

I did a lot of my own work on my houses. I've re-framed walls that were termite eaten, sheetrocked, installed new shower pans and re-tiled, replaced roofs, and obviously painted more than my share of places on turnovers. I once even did the "scut" work for a cut-rate guy who was jacking up a cracked slab. I was the least productive guy on that team but following that I decided that if I ever needed to I could do that job!

We have a net worth of about 3 1/2 million and no heirs. Until 3 years ago we were both in excellent health but I'm fighting my second bout with cancer in that time and waiting until I feel well enough to head to France and Spain for a month, probably in June. 

 Medical canabes. 

Originally posted by @Joe Splitrock :

@Roshan K. a homeless person is financially free. The definition is simply that you don't need to work to live. That just means you have reduced your expenses to less than your passive income. Within the realm of people claiming FI, there is a wide spectrum. Many have accomplished it through extreme frugality more so than abundant passive income.

Most people talking about FI on podcasts are not retired. They continue to work, often running a blog, podcast or writing books. Usually they are living off that income more than their savings. Nothing wrong with that, but they really are not retired.

I could quit my job and pay all my bills with passive income. I chose to work because I like my job and I enjoy my current standard of living.

 I would not call a homeless person financially free, I would call them Financially challenged. If something happens to them and no one helps, they die - big difference, but I get your point. 

As for the question, financial freedom/independence is a mind set more than anything to me. I am financially secure. I could sell all my assets and invest completely passively, live the rest of my days (I'm 36) and be comfortable. I don't want to be comfortable and I don't want to be on this earth just for me, so I choose to work on building my business and kicking butt everyday, with the goal of creating something special on this earth that everyone that knows me can be proud of. 

I’m Lean-FI right now, as they would say on ‘choose-FI’ but working hard towards total FI

Not FI. Won’t be FI for a very long time. Positive net worth though. I think that’s some sort of achievement these days. 

I’m currently leveraged to the teeth, but my earned income is a huge buffer. I also like the constant pressure of being leveraged. Keeps my mind active.

Regarding FI, I have no problem paying for my home, living expenses, while working my day job. I enjoy my career.

The three things I want to be financially independent of is my car payments, first class travel and UberBlack/SUV. I want my investments to cover the cost of these three things in my life. 

Anything beyond that is gravy to me. I suspect because I am relatively aggressive in terms of investing there may be more gravy then I know what to do with at some point down the road.

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