Financial independence refers to the state of reaching a point of sufficient wealth where one is not required to work full time —unless they want to — in order to maintain a desired lifestyle. It occurs when people have enough built-up income to pay for necessities, for the remainder of their lives, without an active-income, work-related paycheck. Financial independence can be achieved through saving, investing, and other passive income sources, but it usually means that individuals can pursue the things that they are truly passionate about, such as hobbies, travel, and so much more.
If financial independence, early retirement, or creating an investment portfolio are on your radar, be sure to check out these financial independence (FI) blogs and bloggers. Their experiences, advice, and discussions may be just what you need to kick-start your path towards financial independence.
1500 Days to Freedom
Also known as Mr. and Mrs. 1500, the 1500 Days to Freedom blog chronicles the journey of one blogger (and his wife) whose goal is to retire in 1500 days at the age of 43 — thereby “[thinking] differently and [escaping] the rat race.” Blogs range from a variety of financial independence topics, all of which aim to “encourage and inspire others to abandon their consumer, spendaholic ways in favor of a more fulfilling existence” and learn how to invest and save money via cutting expenses and smart, simple investing. Learn more about Mr. 1500, see if he is accomplishing his goal by February 2017, check out their blogs, and read more about the resources that helped them grow their money.
Bogleheads® Forum http://www.1500days.com/goal-progress/
The Bogleheads® are a collection of people, inspired to follow the investing advice of Jack Bogle (author, blogger, and financial guru), who “follow a small number of simple investment principles that have been shown over time to produce risk-adjusted returns far greater than those achieved by the average investor.” On the site, visitors will find thousands of forums that “emphasize regular saving, broad diversification, and sticking to one’s investment plan regardless of market conditions.” Using the forum site can look a little overwhelming, but there is a great starter guide that will help you get organized — and prepared — to begin the Bogleheads® investment philosophy. Typical forum topics include: investing (help, theory, news, general), personal finance, personal consumer issues, and more.
Jim L. Collins’ financial independence blog, titled jlcollinsnh, focuses on a simple path to wealth. Best known for his Stock Series on investing — at times called “the best thing you [could] read about how to invest money” by Mr. 1500 — the blog also discusses anything and everything from money, life, travel, and business. The author began the blog as a way to teach his daughter what did — and did not work — financially for him. As far as what you should do with the information, the author states: “If you read my blog you’ll soon have a very clear idea of my views. You can then read other sources, compare and decide for yourself what resonates.”
Mr. Money Mustache
Mr. Money Mustache (MMM) is a financial freedom blog, started by a 30-something retiree, who wants to share his frugal, yet fun, life of leisure — and all that comes with it. Along with blogs, there is an MMM forum dedicated to providing The Money Mustache Community with resources, discussions, and advice on all things financial, investing, and more. However, if you would like to stick with the blog itself, Mr. Money Mustache recommends starting with his blog “Getting Rich: From Zero to Hero in One Blog Post,” and working your way to the classics. If you would like to dive into the community forum, try starting with these steps, followed by the Best of Mr. Money Mustache discussions.
The Mad Fientist
The Mad Fientist is not mad. He is a scientist of financial independence…or “fience”…or FI, if you will, which is short for “financial independence.” He wants to teach you, and every reader, that early financial independence is possible — and achievable earlier than you might imagine. “By analyzing the tax code and looking at personal finance through the lens of early financial independence, [The Mad Fientist] develop[s] strategies and tactics to help you retire even earlier” — rather than at 60+ years old. Along with well-researched blogs, he offers podcasts that feature some of the heaviest hitters in the financial independence sphere, as well as a free financial independence tracker. Not sure if it sounds legit? Check out this review from Mr. 1500.
The White Coat Investor
The White Coat Investor is a blog started by a practicing, full-time, board-certified emergency physician — who received a lot of bad advice and wanted to share what he learned along the way. It covers financial and investing topics and strategies that are specifically targeted at physicians and other high-earners, but the blog and forum are great resources for anyone who wants to find sound financial, investing, tax, and retirement advice. There is a lot of great content to sort through, so the author recommends starting here, which includes their top beginner blogs. Want even more from the White Coat Investor? Order the book — it summarizes the blog and contains material not found on the blog.
The Next Step
Hopefully, these blogs have proven to be a great start on your progress towards financial independence! Other financial blogs are available, but you may find that the six blogs mentioned provide some of the more meaningful advice on this topic. If you find something interesting and useful, be sure to share it with your family and friends, because education (ideally early education) is key to these strategies.
Also, keep in mind that all of these blogs and forums are meant to help educate oneself on financial independence, investing, and early retirement. The authors want to offer basic knowledge, but they state that it is up to you (and your circumstances) to decide what will be best — and most beneficial — for you. They do not guarantee performance or returns — but they do promise it will make you think!
Education Loan Finance is not paid to mention any of these blogs, books, or forums. We also do not promise or guarantee performance or returns based on their advice; we are simply informing you of helpful information sources available for your own research purposes.