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The best and worst thing about financial independence.

Hello, money nerds. And good-bye.

This morning, I’m flying out to Portugal for yet another adventure. It’s my fourth visit to Europe in nine months. Crazy. (In fact, I spent the first couple of days of September in Italy!)

This time, though, I”m traveling for work. I’m headed to an FI chautauqua to talk about financial independence and early retirement. As much as I’d love to tour the country — the Rock of Gibraltar is on my bucket list — I don’t have time.

I do have time to share some top money stories with you, though. Today, in celebration of the chautauqua, let’s talk about financial independence. And our first article does a scary good job of pre-saging the talk I’m giving next week…

The best and worst thing about financial independence. [Mad Fientist] — “If you’re unhappy when you’re working and you blame your job for all your problems, you may struggle after FI if you’re still unhappy. What do you do when your biggest scapegoat disappears? […] This leads us to the best and worst things about financial independence. They’re actually the same thing…Financial independence gives you the freedom to do anything you want with your life.

Financial independence isn’t about early retirement — it’s about gaining choice. [Seattle Times] — “Gaining choice and achieving financial independence is the de facto goal of every consumer, every individual trying to save for retirement and to provide for their family. Achieving it doesn’t require an acronym or joining a ‘movement’. Just be financially focused on what’s important…”

Financial independence stories from developing countries. [/r/financialindependence on Reddit] — “I want to know the stories of people not from the U.S.: Romania, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam. Can you tell the same tale [of financial independence]? Does your market return 6-7% just like in the U.S.? Does the volatility in the market make it impossible to achieve FI this way?” [Related: Journey to FI from an African perspective.]

Lastly, here’s an example of financial independence in action. The woman in this story may not be able to achieve early retirement (I don’t know) but she had enough money to make time for something important. She quit her job and spend 57 days searching for her lost dog. And she was successful. Yay!

Through the magic called “working ahead”, I actually have several more days of Apex prepared for you. But soon Jim will return to share some of his favorite recent stories.

Until then, if you’ve found something you think your fellow nerds might like, send it in! Help spread the top money stories on the web here at Apex Money.