From Earth to the Stars: Achieving Financial Independence


Sun Feb 04 2024

Earth to the Stars

What does financial independence mean to you? The answer varies among individuals and families, as everyone interprets this concept uniquely. At its core, financial independence represents the ability to lead a life free from the necessity of additional income. It can manifest in various forms; for some, it's a specific figure securely tucked away in a bank account, while for others, it's the empowering ability to decline job offers or opportunities. 

Whether it entails settling in a dream location, pursuing an alternative lifestyle, or having the flexibility to make choices, financial independence takes on diverse meanings for different people. However, there are those whose aspirations soar far beyond the confines of the financial galaxy, transcending the mere orbit of escaping debt. 

These individuals aspire to achieve genuine financial independence, akin to navigating their spacecraft toward safer cosmic realms. Here, we share the inspiring stories of those who have successfully charted their financial journeys, emerging as radiant beacons of financial independence.

How The Lupos Turned Debt Into Real Estate

Many cosmic journeys to financial independence don’t begin with a horror story, but this one is different. Josh and Ali Lupo were a couple in 2017 and sat down to discuss their finances. To their shock, they realized that they were in six-figure debt! Obviously, this is not the financial position they wanted to be in, as they wanted to plan a wedding the next year.

The Lupos sold their car to help buy them some time regarding their debt. In true entrepreneurial fashion, they even skipped their honeymoon to buy their first rental property in 2018. Thanks to budgeting and house-hacking, it felt like they could finally see a cosmic path to the life of their dreams, even if it was lightyears away. 

Three years into their cosmic trip to financial independence, The Lupos also began their own Instagram page and quickly gained an audience as “The FI Couple.”  Once they noticed that their page was getting traction, they quickly learned and capitalized on different social media techniques to help monetize the page as much as possible.

After smart financial decisions and paying down their debt, the Lupos have established an impressive real estate portfolio. They now advise other potential homeowners or people trying to control their finances. The Lupos now own five properties consisting of 11 apartments and are clearly also passionate about steering others towards safer financial galaxies. 

Ali Lupo puts it clearly and concisely about pursuing financial independence: “It forces you to be very intentional with both your words and actions. But we are more confident now than when we lived our lives on autopilot. We now live on our terms and decide how we want to spend our time and money.”

Lakisha Simmons Went From Divorce To Seven Figures

When Lakisha Simmons and her husband divorced in 2017, she knew she had to make serious changes. As a single mother with two young children, she started wondering how she’d be able to pay her mortgage and support her family simultaneously. This led her down a financial planning wormhole of reading as many blogs, articles, and books on personal finance as she could.

Lakisha then got to work on implementing her new financial knowledge. Understanding that financial independence requires sacrifice, she sold her 5-bedroom home and moved into a 2-bedroom apartment. This saved Simmons over $12,000 annually in housing expenses. 

She then turned to different tools and apps, including Mint, to help track her monthly budgeting and spending. She knew that the more she saved, the more she could invest, which is why she began grocery shopping at Aldi instead of other, more expensive, supermarket chains. She increased investments in her 401K and also found other innovative ways to invest while also thinking about how to cut taxes.

Four years after her divorce, Simmons’ financial spaceship has accumulated $900,000 in its cargo hold!  “My investments have grown even though I haven’t contributed anything since I left my job May 31, 2021,” she says. “Now I have around $910,000.” 

While some prefer a quiet life once they reach financial independence, Lakisha Simmons remains a bustling astronaut in the financial cosmos, running both a financial coaching service and an Etsy shop.

How Grant Sebatier Leveled Up His Life

Many people soar through the financial cosmos to financial independence through techniques like saving, investing, and real estate. Grant Sebatier takes a different approach and believes that entrepreneurship is an incredible way to achieve financial independence when others might choose more traditional methods.

He’s also clear that this doesn’t mean that you have to start your own business: he recommends platforms like BizBuySell. BizBuySell is the Internet’s largest business-for-sale platform and boasts tens of thousands of actual businesses for sale. He points out that a large part of the baby boomer generation is aging, so it’s the perfect time to start purchasing their business and potentially flipping them down the line. After all, that generation owns half the nation’s wealth

This is part of a larger trend called ETA, or “entrepreneurship through acquisition.” Instead of taking a high-paying business consulting role, many younger entrepreneurs are choosing to buy companies to achieve financial independence eventually. While it might not be the ideal path for everyone, the trend certainly seems to be growing

In 2010, Grant was living at home with his parents. After learning some marketing basics, he launched a digital marketing agency. That agency’s success led him to only work harder, eventually enjoying 14 income streams simultaneously. He has emerged as a shining example for all the cosmos - someone who went from living with their parents to achieving true financial independence in November 2015.  

Sebatier now writes books, has a successful podcast, and enjoys operating different side hustles and businesses thanks to his newfound financial independence.

Final Thoughts

Achieving true financial independence is akin to navigating the cosmos; it's not merely about having a high-paying job but also steering your own financial spaceship and shielding yourself from economic meteor showers without relying on external lifelines. Just like an astronaut in control of their spacecraft, financial independence means having the helm of your income sources firmly in your grasp, free from the gravitational pull of others.

In the financial planning realm, the general cosmic guidelines suggest accumulating 25 times your annual spending in a retirement or savings account to achieve the coveted state of financial independence. Yet, much like navigating the cosmic expanse, the precise calculation depends on your unique coordinates in the financial galaxy. 

To chart your course to financial independence, chart your financial constellations, budget diligently, and ensure your income surpasses your basic earthly needs while leaving room for savings and investments. When your passive income becomes your cosmic fuel, covering your living expenses, you'll have reached the financial event horizon—the freedom to traverse the universe of life on your own cosmic terms.