What does being financially independent mean to you? Is it only about having enough to cover all your expenses and having some savings or is there more to it.
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Being financially independent means different things to different people. There are those who receive sufficient income from their investments that they do not feel the need to work anymore. Their net worth will be greater than the number of years they can still work. There are those who need to constantly keep working to just make ends meet and staying afloat is financial independence for them. Finally, the third class is those who have enough to spare that they can retire by their 40s and still lead a comfortable life.
As a general rule, it is better to be conservative than bullish in your working years as the future is uncertain and you do not know how the economic condition of the nation will change. A very conservative approach to investment will be where you are not looking beyond 5% returns on your income. This will ensure that you continue living a frugal life without any major expenses and luxuries. But if you do feel bullish and invest in the risky market your returns will be much higher. You should not lose money during your working years, if you do that means you have made some very poor investment choices.
If you are satisfied with your present life where you are able to meet your expenses and lead a comfortable life without feeling insecure about the future you are financially independent in your own way.
But when financial independence goes beyond having a shelter over your head and being able to cover your expenses then you must take stock of your passive income, your present investments, future expenditures, and plan for a better future. While the white-collar jobs have it easier here because of the hefty pay, the middle class often suffers. But if you can upgrade your skills and look for other part-time job offers things can brighten up. And if you have a working spouse then you are looking at a more secure financial future and greater freedom to do things you like like travelling or pursuing a hobby without having to keep your health and life at stake trying to secure a better future for your family.