One of the goals of many people is financial independence. But what exactly is monetary freedom? Simply put, it is a condition in which working for a living is no longer necessary. Instead, your money gives you an income that allows you to meet your needs, support your way of life, and be financially secure.
Even though it might seem impossible, with careful planning and money management, you can realise your dream even before you turn 50. Here is a road map to help you get started on the path to financial independence. The examples in this guide assume that the investor is a salaried individual aged 25 with a monthly income of Rs. 40,000 for the sake of clarity.
Put some of your monthly income aside
For one to be financially free, saving is necessary. In order to achieve this, try to set aside some of your monthly income while using the remainder to pay bills. For instance, you could evaluate your spending and attempt to save 20% of your Rs. 40,000 monthly salary, which equates to Rs. 8,000 in savings each month.
Invest your savings in securities that emphasise equity
You lose out on potential returns on investment if you leave your savings sitting in a savings account. Target investing the majority of your savings while you are still in your 20s in equity-oriented investments like stocks and diversified equity mutual fund schemes, which provide higher returns than conventional low-risk investments.
SIP investments with yearly top-ups
It is strongly advised that you use a Systematic Investment Plan to invest in equity mutual funds in order to build wealth (SIP). Long-term planning is necessary for building wealth, and SIPs are the best option. Try to increase your SIP amount by 10% annually or in line with salary increases when investing via SIP. For instance, if your SIP is Rs. 12,800 in year one, a 10% top-up in year two will raise it to Rs. 14,080, which will then increase to Rs. 15,488 in year three, and so on.
Put the rest of your money toward debt investments or an emergency fund
Put some of your savings into debt instruments like the Public Provident Fund (PPF) and debt mutual fund schemes to balance your portfolio. They provide predictable returns, stabilising your portfolio in the process. Additionally, think about using some of your savings to increase your emergency fund, which should ideally be big enough to pay for up to nine months’ worth of expenses. To ensure quick access, the emergency corpus can be kept in liquid instruments like a savings account or liquid funds.
Be sufficiently insured
Despite being crucial for achieving financial independence, investments shouldn’t be made at the expense of your wellbeing or that of your family. Inadequate health and life insurance coverage leaves you vulnerable to financial instability in the event of emergencies and contingencies.
Choose an appropriate level of coverage for your health insurance based on your health, the medical history of your family, and your income. Consider purchasing a life insurance policy with at least a Rs. 1 crore death benefit to further protect your family’s financial stability and assets in case of emergency.
After you turn 50, use a Systematic Withdrawal Plan (SWP)
The objective as you approach 50 should be to begin generating an income stream from the wealth you have so far amassed. Instead of making new investments at this time, concentrate on strategically restructuring the ones you already have.
Stop making new investments in order to do this, and gradually convert your current investments to low-risk products like balanced advantage funds, which can protect your portfolio from market fluctuations. Use the Systematic Withdrawal Plan (SWP) feature going forward to switch investments in 10% annual increments.
You can achieve financial freedom; it’s not just a distant dream. Early realisation, careful planning, and strict financial discipline are the keys to achieving it. As drops make the ocean, timely, consistent contributions can help you amass a posh corpus.