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Financial Independence Isn't A Dollar Amount Or An Equation

I’ve already spilled a lot of ink talking about financial independence, but I never bothered to define it.
I suppose this should have been post No. 1 on this blog, but it wasn’t top of mind when I was in original creative mode.
Full disclosure, my inspiration here is a recent post by The Physician Philosopher in which he defines financial independence by laying out the two dominant paths to financial independence: The 4% rule and the income replacement rule.
I think that financial independence is actually a desired goal we're planning for, not the strategy we use to estimate what it will take to get there. 
The 4% rule was invented by William Bengen in the 80s or 90s – I’m not going to look it up for the purpose of this post – to describe how much in assets from a balanced portfolio could be feasibly spent without greatly raising the possibility of retirement failure, with retirement failure defined as a total drawdown of available savings. Bengen pegged this percentage at 4 perc…

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