The holy grail of financial independence. Why do so few people achieve it early in life?

Sep 12, 2018 | Tony Byrne's View


I have advised many, many clients over more than three decades now and I have learned what it takes to become financially free early in life because many of our clients have already achieved this. I have been financially free for the last few years yet I continue to work because I love what I do. So what is the secret?

Well it all boils down to one simple thing- self-discipline! It really is that simple. In my book “Wealth Magic” I explained how someone on the average national wage would earn more than £1 million during a 40-year career but the average person has little to show for a lifetime of earnings! Why is this?

We, human beings, are creatures of addiction and spending money is one of our many addictions. It takes self-restraint to not spend money on those many wants in our lives, let it be our clothes, holidays, dining out, new cars etc. However, it is those people in society who spend less than they earn, who invest their savings wisely and don’t over-spend, who practise deferred gratification who are the ones that become financially free early in life.

It is a question of balance between needs and wants. Most of us love to spend money on our wants because it can be thrilling, it gives us a buzz and it’s exciting, but how long does that good feeling last? Not very long in my experience. It’s much like eating. The food that gives you the instant buzz usually consists of sugar, salt and/or fat. You feel great for a short while but as the day drifts on you don’t feel so good. Eat a healthy salad instead, and I don’t mean one with fattening dressing such as Mayo, and you will feel a lot better for hours afterwards. Love drinking Latte? I certainly do because of the instant caffeine boost, but limit it, to say, one a day and drink plenty of water. You will feel far better for hours afterwards if you drink lots of water!

The same self-discipline applies to spending money. The irony I find is self-disciplined investors end up spending far more money during their lifetimes and are often far more generous with their money than spenders. The difference between the savers and the spenders is that the savers spend more money later in life than the spenders and tend to have a far greater quality of life for longer. They have saved so much money and have such low overheads that they have lots of surplus spending money to enjoy their early retirements for far longer than the spenders.

Am I advocating saving lots of money each month and not spending? No, far from it. Save just 10% of what you earn and you can become a millionaire just from your savings alone by age 65. It is all explained more in my book “Wealth Magic”, which I am unashamedly plugging because the latest edition is due to be published soon, it is updated for the current tax year and has a number of additional chapters! Why don’t you buy it and either read it yourself or buy it as a Christmas gift for friends, relatives and work colleagues?

If you would like a one-to-one consultation to find out how to become financially free early, please contact us for a financial review. You know it makes sense.

Our Scorecards

Try out our quick and free assessments; your personalised reports will instantly be created.

Useful guides

We've created two useful documents to help you find a Independent Financial Adviser and make sure you get the most from them.

16 Questions To Ask Your Independent Financial Adviser

How to find an Independent Financial Adviser

    To download this file, please fill in your information below.