People can choose to define financial independence in their own way -- after all, not everyone wants a private jet and a mansion. However reaching real financial independence -- the ability to live comfortably off one's savings and investments with no debt whatsoever -- could be easier than you think.
Our value as human beings extends far beyond our productive capacity. It includes our capacity to love and be loved, our capacity to listen to others without judgment and with compassion, and our capacity to make a difference for others. We can both contribute value and find value in life at any age.
Reaching financial independence requires some effort, sacrifice, and learning on your part. Many people shy away from planning their finances because they lack an understanding of economics and financial markets. I've found that managing finances wisely depends on some basic principles that anyone can understand.