There is no real “absolute” definition of financial independence. Some people may think it means retiring at 40 but that is a very myopic view of it. Rather, I would like to define “financial independence” to mean the ability to live without financial fear during the roller coaster ride of life because you are prepared enough to deal with life’s ups and downs without going into debt, sacrificing and skimping on necessities. It is the ability to live your life as you desire within reasonable parameters, to be able to breathe. It doesn’t mean you never have to work another day in your life, but it does mean you have the freedom to pivot by quitting a job you don’t like, going back to school, starting a new business, or pursuing a new course in life without major upheaval. Freedom to choose, to have options.