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Dark Truths of Financial Independence Nobody Tells You

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There is no greater personal finance goal than financial independence. After all, quitting your job, traveling the world, and living as you please is what many people dream of.

But, here’s the reality.

In the United States, young adults are taking longer to achieve economic independence from their parents and live on their own — according to a Pew Research Center analysis.

In 2021, fewer adults under 21 held full-time jobs, were financially independent, lived alone, or were married.

In a separate survey, four in ten Americans said they don’t think they will be financially independent in five years.

Furthermore, 42 percent of respondents reported significant financial difficulties within the last three years. Among 2,000 Americans surveyed, 68% blamed rising living expenses. Among other hardships, 59% of respondents experienced unexpected medical expenses, 53% faced pay cuts, 49% lost their jobs, and 41% had high levels of personal debt.

Are these really bad things?

Despite financial independence sounding appealing, it is not all sunshine and rainbows. Rather, there are some dark truths about financial independence that nobody tells you.

In this post, we’ll discuss some of these dark truths, like the challenges of financial independence, the sacrifices you’ll have to make, and the fact that it’s not always easy.

1. Financial independence is not a destination, it’s a journey.

What’s one of the biggest dark truths about financial independence? It’s a journey, not a destination.

You’ll still need to manage your money once you achieve financial independence. After all, you still need to keep your budget in check and avoid overspending. You may think you’re financially responsible. However, it’s not uncommon for people to spend more when their income grows, aka “lifestyle creep.”

Aside from that, you’ll have to deal with the unexpected, like medical bills or losing your job. You also have to consider inflation. As pointed out over at Money Under 30, the early financial independence interest-only model means you’re living on $50,000 for the rest of your life. With 3 percent inflation a year, that’s $8,486 a year in 60 years. And, we won’t even talk about taxes!

2. You’ll have to make sacrifices.

Financial independence also means making sacrifices. For example, you’ll need to decide whether to live a frugal lifestyle now for the benefit of your future financial freedom later or if you’re living for the present.

You’ll also have to sacrifice your social life if you want financial independence. This means you won’t have to spend as much time traveling, going to parties, and doing other costly activities with friends or family.

In general, if you want to achieve financial independence, you must change your lifestyle. It may mean spending less on frivolous things, eating out less, driving a cheaper vehicle, or working a second job.

3. It’s not always easy.

Sure, there are many stories of people who achieved financial independence in their 20s and 30s. In reality, these stories are rare, not the norm.

The reality? In order to achieve financial independence, hard work, dedication, and sacrifice are required.

To put it simply, achieving financial independence is not always easy. Occasionally, you will want to give up. Also, the temptation to spend money you don’t have will come up from time to time.

However, you can achieve financial independence if you stay focused and persistent.

4. You’ll have to learn to say no.

Having the ability to say no is an important skill when it comes to achieving financial independence. Examples include:

  • Decling social invitations, like grabbing lunch with a friend or attending a concert.
  • Not purchasing new clothes.
  • Splurging on expensive assets, such as new vehicles.
  • Avoiding unnecessary expenses, like a new streaming service.

When it comes to achieving your goals, saying no can be challenging — especially in a world where we’re glued to social media. But it is essential.

5. You’ll have to be comfortable being uncomfortable.

Financial independence requires you to go beyond your comfort zone. It will require you to change your lifestyle and habits.

Financial independence involves learning to be happy with less, for example. As such, you may find it difficult to adjust to a simpler lifestyle when you’re used to one. However, happiness is not found in material possessions.

As you take on new challenges, you’ll learn different things and develop new habits. It is possible for you to achieve financial independence, though you need to be willing to endure discomfort.

6. It’s not for everyone.

Some people are not suited to financial independence. There are people who are content with living a comfortable life while working a 9-to-5 job. However, if you wish to achieve more in life, financial independence may be your best option.

What’s more, financial independence is difficult and requires a lot of commitment. Without sacrifice and hard work, financial independence isn’t for you.

7. There’s no guarantee.

As Clint Eastwood said in the movie The Rookie, “If you want a guarantee, buy a toaster.”

No matter what you do, financial independence isn’t guaranteed. There are times when things go wrong, like losing your job, getting sick, or fluctuating markets.

However, if you are prepared for the unexpected, you will be more successful.

8. It’s not the end of your problems.

Sure, money solves some problems, such as food and shelter. But you will still have problems after reaching financial independence. In life, you’ll still have to deal with:

Usually, more money can make our lives easier. However, money isn’t a cure-all solution for all our problems.

When it comes to money, a healthy view is to put it in its place without giving it too much power. To put it another way, money can help us build our ideal lives. However, it won’t do everything.

9. You’ll have to be patient.

There’s no quick and easy way to financial independence. The journey takes years of dedication and diligent work. As such, you have to be patient and persistent.


Many people dream of becoming financially independent. Before starting your journey, you should be aware of the dark truths. Financial independence is a journey, not a destination. There will be sacrifices and patience required.

However, the work is worth it if you put in the effort.

[Related: How to 10x Your Financial Happiness, according to Science]


Is financial independence really possible?

Yes, financial independence is possible. However, it is not an easy task.

Working hard, being dedicated, and making sacrifices are essential to achieving financial independence. In order to become a successful investor, you will need to learn how to budget, save money, and invest wisely. As part of the process, you will also have to be willing to make changes to your lifestyle, such as living below your means and delaying gratification.

Are there any dark truths about financial independence?

Often people don’t talk about some of the dark realities of financial independence. Among them are:

  • Despite what it seems, it’s not always glamorous. It’s likely you won’t be able to do everything you want at times, and you’ll have to make sacrifices.
  • It can be lonely at times. As you become financially independent, you may find that you have less in common with your friends and family who are still employed.
  • Happiness isn’t guaranteed. In spite of the fact that financial independence can give you more freedom and control over your life, it will not solve every problem you face.

Why doesn’t anyone discuss these dark truths?

The dark truths of financial independence are often overlooked for a few reasons. For one, when you hear about the challenges involved in financial independence, it can be discouraging.

Also, some people may not want to talk about the difficulties of achieving financial independence because they don’t feel good enough to do so.

How can I overcome financial independence’s dark truths?

If you want to be prepared for the dark truths of financial independence, here are a few tips:

  • Make sure your expectations are realistic. It won’t be an easy road to financial independence. Therefore, don’t expect to become financially independent overnight. Motivate yourself by setting small, achievable goals.
  • Don’t be afraid to make sacrifices. To become financially independent, you’ll have to give up some things you enjoy.
  • Maintain a strong support system. Your journey to financial independence will be made much easier if you have people who support you and believe in you.
  • Don’t lose sight of the reason you’re doing this. Things can get tough when you get discouraged. However, you should never lose sight of the reason you are striving for financial independence. What do you hope to accomplish with your financial freedom? Whenever you feel down, remember this.

What is the silver lining to financial independence?

Although financial independence is not without its dark truths, it can still be a very rewarding achievement. Here are a few silver linings:

  • Your life will be more flexible and free.
  • Money will be less of a stressor for you.
  • It will be possible for you to retire early and enjoy your golden years.
  • Your loved ones will be able to inherit your legacy.

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CEO at Due
John Rampton is an entrepreneur and connector. When he was 23 years old, while attending the University of Utah, he was hurt in a construction accident. His leg was snapped in half. He was told by 13 doctors he would never walk again. Over the next 12 months, he had several surgeries, stem cell injections and learned how to walk again. During this time, he studied and mastered how to make money work for you, not against you. He has since taught thousands through books, courses and written over 5000 articles online about finance, entrepreneurship and productivity. He has been recognized as the Top Online Influencers in the World by Entrepreneur Magazine and Finance Expert by Time. He is the Founder and CEO of Due.

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