You Are Not Alone
You are not the only one. The numbers are in and they are shocking: A recent NBC poll found that 95% of workers are considering quitting. Corporate America and employers better wake up! People are tired and burned out. They have worked their you know what’s off over the whole course of the pandemic. All while managing the stress of lockdowns, diseases, childcare and home schooling. But, the world is changing and folks want something better, as they should!
Some employers are starting to realize it is much better to invest in employee well being, manage workload and allow sabbaticals is the way of the future. First of all, we are not “Human Resources”, we are people. Humans with families. We also need time to manage our health, relationships, take care of children properly and perhaps enjoy life.
I am all for working. We add value, we build things, we invent things, we operate the society, etc. But in recent years the pace of work has quickened beyond any sustainable path. Many have lived this, and they are exhausted.
It is wonderful that many can work from home. But this virtual and remote world can also make people work longer, not take breaks and feel always on. All indicators show that American workers at home increased productivity over the last year. But this has come at a cost.
Some companies are taking notice. Bumble
is giving its workers a paid week off to “Shut off and focus on themselves for a week.” Other firms are implementing similar schemes.
Conquer Financial Freedom!
There is one main antidote to being over worked either by a company or a relentless system. Achieve financial independence. We explore dozens and dozens of ways to do this at The Money Vikings. And I believe it is as important as ever and in many ways more achievable than ever.
The Penny Queen and Gator Traders
We recently interviewed two fascinating folks that are literally building communities of people achieving financial independence through investing. Check out our interviews with The Penny Queen and Brian over at Gator Traders.
SEE RELATED: Podcast #42 The Penny Queen
, Podcast #39, Gator Trader Nation
These are just two great examples of dozens that are out there with communities of people building wealth.
What Level Are You On?
The first step to financial independence (FI) is to assess where you currently stand. We use the 5 levels of financial well being and health.
1. Sinking Longboat (Negative Net Financial Worth)
Most of us start in this zone, the negative net worth zone. Approximately 20 million people in the US have a negative net financial worth. We talk a lot about calculating your financial net worth as a way to assess overall financial health. This is typically our college/apprentice years followed by a few years that follow. Most of us spend quite a bit on an upfront investment to gain an education and get established within a career field or vocation. Most people are in debt. But what we want to do at this stage is get ourselves into a break even position. This takes a combination of paying down debt and at the same time building positions in assets/savings. The key would be a regular debt payment plan (most likely for school loans or car loans), etc. It is critical in this stage to reduce expenses as much as possible. This means deferring luxury purchases, sharing homes and apartments to cut down on living expenses, etc. Another key action in this stage is to automatically invest or save in some manner. This is when I started setting up my Robot Wealth Building Army!
“The first $100k is a b&$*h!” Mungie Pants
2. Treading Water (0 To Slightly Positive Net Worth)
Sometimes this level is referred to as scarcity. A person has achieved some level of steady income at a healthy level. At this stage one can easily service debt, pay living expenses and enjoy a little extra each month. According to some economic analysis this stage is hit around making $90k/year, adjusted for local cost of living. It is important at this stage to recognize that the issue here is accumulation of assets and pay down of debt. There is nothing wrong with the $90k/year income, but in this stage the person does not have a lot of assets compounding and building more wealth.
3. Viking Health
Here is where in my opinion things start to get fun! There is no exact income per year that equates to a “healthy” financial picture, but I believe we can describe what this looks like. To me, this is when a person is pretty well established in their regular career or job, is regularly contributing to a retirement account with a balance of stock and bond funds, has built a small emergency stash. This person is paying things on time and building credit so that said credit can be leveraged in the future. One more key aspect of this stage is to be continuously learning about investing and financial knowledge. This is a key education stage, just as critical as formal education in your earlier years. This is a big reason we started The Money Vikings and are engaged with communities such as Gator-Traders, etc.
4. Viking Prosperity
This is the stage that compounding and wealth building start to build great momentum. Covering bills is easily attainable here. At this stage a person may even be able to lean FIRE, in other words retire early if they are willing to live a frugal lifestyle and continue to collect passive income. Passive income machines are working well at this stage. Perhaps there are thousands a year coming in from dividends, real estate investments, side hustles, other business ventures. Many diversified types of assets are owned and managed skillfully.
5. Viking King Or Queen (High Wealth)
At this level a person or family have abundant income streams and passive income is flowing. Debt is either non-existent or very well managed. In other words, these folks are not paying excessive amounts of interest on borrowed money. They own their primary residence. They have ownership stakes in various investments and businesses.
Don’t Get Mad, Build Wealth
While we are working it is even more critical than ever to build wealth. That is at the heart of what we are putting together here at The Money Vikings, a virtual treasure trove of ideas and inspiration to build wealth. One thing I have found so fascinating as a personal finance blogger are all the ways. There are dozens or even hundreds of different paths to a wealthy life for each person.
Where Investing Meets Passion
Some of the most successful investors I have met have a particular passion for the path they choose. They can develop an interest and expertise in penny stocks, real estate, options, day trading, dividend investing, specific investing themes, etc. The list goes on and on, and it is awesome to explore one’s own investing interests.
We explore many options here and interview many successful investors. We also explore many passive income machines that make money while we sleep.
The Financial Independence Retire Early movement was an original inspiration for our blog back in 2017. Even though I have critiqued the movement, I completely understand the approach and how the practices and mindset can add value to folks.
FIRE is actually based on a rather simple concept: Save and invest a large chunk of money as quickly as possible. Then use the 4% withdrawal rule in order to live off the dividends, interest and gains for many many decades.
SEE RELATED: PODCAST ON FIRE MOVEMENT
The main point and goal is here is to take command of our own financial destiny. It is not easy and the journey has bumps in the road, but I truly believe we will all be better off for it. Use your unique knowledge, power and assets to harness wealth building activities.