Since 2012, I’ve been arguing that freedom is priceless. After giving up a healthy income and my career for more freedom, how could it not be?
But maybe I’ve just been telling a lie to make myself feel better about not being richer! We lie to ourselves to help justify our decisions. Otherwise, we might feel like idiots for giving up so much.
In this article, I’d like to explore when freedom matters most. It seems all freedoms are not created equally and have different values at different ages.
Jail Time For Money
For example, in a past newsletter I had erroneously calculated Elizabeth Holmes would only serve half her 11.25 years sentence with time off for good behavior. A part of me entertained whether I’d be willing to give up 5.625 years of my life for $4.5 billion if I could get away with what she did.
Are you confusing your good fortune due to your own skill rather than due to luck? I’m here to argue that above average wealth is mostly due to luck. Therefore, stop deluding yourself into thinking you’re so great!
As President Obama said in a July 13, 2012 campaign election speech, “If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that.“
When I first heard Obama say this sentence, I was taken aback. From 2009-2012, I had been working on Financial Samurai for three years from about 5 am – 7 am and from 10 pm – 12 pm after working 12-hour days in finance.
If I wasn’t building Financial Samurai, who was?!
I had also recently left my finance job because I wanted to be free. All I really desired to do was write while traveling around the world, so that’s what I did.
Wisdom Grows With Age
There are very few occupations that provide the ideal combination of riches and status. Being a professor is one of them.
Tenured professors are able to make six-figure incomes. Getting a PhD or a post-doctorate is the pinnacle of academic achievement. Meanwhile, most people respect professors for their positive contributions to society.
After I retired from finance in 2012, I considered getting a PhD. Given I had enough passive income, I could afford to return to school for several years. With a PhD, I would then have the option of becoming a university professor.
Teaching is something I thoroughly enjoy doing, as hopefully evidenced by my writing on Financial Samurai. I’m always curious about new concepts and theories because the world is always changing.
My Quest To Become An Academic Professor
Stanford University had a Communications Department that offered a PhD program so I drove down to meet with some