I think they are different
I'm a little bit obsessed with money. My wife often comments on this.
Generally speaking, being obsessed with money is seen as a bad thing. Greed is one of the deadly sins, and left unchecked can become a kind of addiction.
In some ways, wanting to be financially independent looks a bit like greed.
Think (talk) about money a lot -YES.
Have strong desire to acquire large amounts of money -YES.
But that is where the similarities end.
Greed doesn't really have an end point, and taken to extremes also lacks a specific purpose. It's a lot like that story about Joseph Heller and his comment on the financier worth more than he would ever earn.
Financial independence is different. The end game is defined (you can work out more of less how much you need) and the purpose is to have enough passive income to cover your living expenses. The formula looks like this:
- annual living expenses = investments x rate of return
You can save more money to increase the amount of your investments, and you can spend less to reduce your living expenses. You can technically increase your rate of return by choosing riskier investments, but I am not going down that rabbit hole ;)
For me, those numbers look like:
- annual living expenses = about 3 million yen for a decent lifestyle
- rate of return = a conservative 3%
- necessary investments = about 100 million yen
The nice thing is that this is not all or nothing. Any passive income you have makes your life better, even if it is just a few hundred yen a month.
And thus the snowball starts rolling.