27 Mar The Fulfilling Path to Financial Independence
You don’t need to have F.U. money to be financially independent. In fact, you don’t even need to be rich.
I’ve developed a framework to achieve financial security and independence, while living a fulfilling life.
I’m not feeling FIRE
The FIRE (aka Financial Independence, Retire Early) movement is such a tired trope. Yes, in theory you could move out of your beloved (but expensive) city, cram into a tiny 425 square foot apartment, and buy discarded brown bananas for your smoothies – but the opportunity cost would be unbearable.
I’m not denying that there’s a ton of wisdom in the FIRE principles (save a lot, compound your investments, and grow your income), but who wants to delay gratification for 10+ years? Yet Financial Independence and taking epic ski trips seem fundamentally at odds with one another. How on earth do you balance today’s enjoyment while being responsible about your future commitments.
Confused, you stay the course on the corporate treadmill. You diligently max out your 401ks, 529s, and IRAs, but feel completely disconnected from the fruits of your labor. As you respond to your boss’ weekend emails, you wonder if this is really the path to a more independent life.
So the years go by. And with each passing year, the commitments – kids, private school, mortgages – increase and intensify. You feel the corporate handcuffs tighten around your wrists. Crap! The escape route is quickly closing, yet you’re paralyzed with worry and indecision.
Are there even any levers left to pull? You’ve gotten the promotions and pay raises, but feel like you’re sprinting to stay in place. Your financial security feels tenuous at best, especially as the Ray Dalios of the world are predicting apocalyptic stock market crashes (and you’ve missed the last 30% of the stock market rally).
Yet somehow, everyone around you is crushing it.
There’s another path
The obvious answer is to earn more. And then some more. And then invest more aggressively, buy more real estate. Sure, these will help, but barely move the needle. Not to mention they require lots of time OR lots of capital.
But what if you had a solution to answer the timeless question: what does it mean to have enough? And I’m not talking about money, that’s a gross oversimplification. I’ve developed (and am living) a framework to determine what’s enough. Enough financial security, status, freedom, optionality, and free time to help you craft a fulfilling and financially independent life.
After all, the Tao Te Ching wasn’t kidding with this 2500 year old truth bomb: Wealth is knowing what is enough.
A “rad” life
I’m sending you this email from Manhattan Beach, where I work for myself writing, coaching, and giving talks under the RadReads umbrella. Every morning I surf with the dolphins, make breakfast for my wife and kids after having slept a solid eight hours. I don’t set an alarm (unless the waves are good), NEVER work with assholes, and (despite living) in LA don’t commute. I work about 40 hours a week.
Am I financially independent? Absolutely not. Do I feel like I’m retired? Totally.
This is a 180 degree pivot from my prior life as a Wall Street investor. I thought I had played my cards right because thanks to the combo of hard work and good luck, I was one of the youngest (age 32) Managing Directors at Blackrock. But I was bored out of my mind. My kids only knew a distracted and drained father. And I was emotionally disconnected from my work.
I looked at my colleagues who were 15 years older than me and didn’t want their lives. Not because their lives were bad (in fact, they were very financially secure) but because I knew that I needed to be build a life with a different set of priorities: Family, flexibility and creative expression.
But I had no idea how on earth would I get there. Could I withstand a 99% pay cut? Was I selfishly putting my family in harm’s way? How would I discover what I wanted to do? And did I have enough money?
Please don’t quit your day job
You don’t need to quit your job and dig a hole into your savings to determine if there’s an alternate path to financial independence. This workshop will be your reconnaissance mission.
I’ve immersed myself in research, lectures, and books about the psychology of money. Spoiler alert: when it comes to money, ambitious professionals regularly make decisions that are irrational, undisciplined, and totally reactive. Said differently, they make bad decisions.Something about money makes them ditch the exact principles that made them successful at work.
I’ve collected the stories of thousands of entrepreneurs, executives and creatives – my newfound tribe – who have attempted to carve a path towards Financial Independence. What worked? Where did they fail? What would they have done differently? (And of course, how did they get health insurance?)
I got so deep in the weeds, that I built an entire six-figure coaching and speaking practice around the topic without any marketing. This workshop is the result of dedicating the past four years of my life helping people find a fulfilling path to financial independence.
This work has taken me to companies including Bank of America, Liberty Mutual, Bank of New York, Coinbase, Knight-Getco, IEX and Blackrock. My work has been featured in Bloomberg, Barron’s, CNN, Wall Street Journal, TED, Financial Times, LifeHacker, Quartz, and the Nieman Journalism Lab.
The lottery test
You know you will have enough when you wake up saying to yourself “If I won the lottery yesterday, this is exactly how I’d be spending my day.” You will have enough financial security when you’re unfazed by that surprise IRS bill or when your portfolio suddenly plunges 20%. Not only will you know that you’ve got the right a plan, you’ll have the confidence that you’ll stick with it. And since you know you can afford it, you will splurge on that flight upgrade, with ZERO guilt.
You will then stop caring status games. You will feel nothing when your neighbor gets the new X5 or when your old roommate makes partner at their fancy law firm. In fact, you’ll be genuinely happy for their successes.
You will feel connected to your work. It will help that you’ll never have to miss a kid’s recital and you will be able to dictate who you interact with professionally – a true no asshole policy.
And finally, you will reclaim control of your time. Your kids get your best energy – FULL STOP. You will give yourself permission to increase the frequency for your house cleaners, which will let you prioritize sleep and daily exercise.
You will glide through daily life with purpose and lightness. You will savor each moment, with immense gratitude and positivity.
You will smile more.
Don’t take it from me
This workshop is the culmination of the money coaching practice I began in 2016. I’ve coached dozens of entrepreneurs, executives, and creatives and here’s what they have to say:
“Khe was incredibly helpful to me. Over the course of our work together he not only put together a comprehensive plan for me, but also helped me deal with my deep fear of making bad investments and spending too much money. Worth every penny.”
Dan Shipper, Entrepreneur and Partner at Product Co-Op
“We engaged Khe because despite being very financially secure, we felt a disconnect between our money values and our approach to spending and investing. This caused an unnecessary cognitive burden and made it harder for us to be as present as we want to be in our lives. Khe led us through a process to align our spending and investing with our values and shed some needed light on deeply held and subconscious aspects of a scarcity mindset. This made us more purposeful and confident in all our money decisions.”
Sunil Arora, Professional Coach
Millie Arora, Partner at ReD Associates
Purchase our workshop: The Fulfilling Path to Financial Independence
It’s an honor to share these past four years of research and experimentation with you with a 2 hour workshop and two recorded Q&As. By signing up below you’ll receive:
- A 90 minute, 8-part workshop on the Fulfilling Path to Financial Independence
- Two recorded Q&As covering participant questions on
- Private invitation to the Financial Independence Slack group
- 8 activation templates to start planning your path to Fulfilled Financial Independence
- Lifetime access to the curriculum and modules (including all replays)
- Discounts on all upcoming courses and workshops