Paths towards financial freedom #1 - is the 'classic path' enough?
"If you want success in life be a doctor, a lawyer or an engineer."
I can safely bet that everyone reading this have heard this 'advice' at least once in their lives, normally by good intentioned but not very open-minded parents, the idea that success can only be achieved by this narrow path has always been ludicruous to me and here I want to show the statistics on how truly effective the 'classic' path towards success is.
First let's lay off the basics, let's say that to be financially free you want to have a passive income high enough to be at least in the middle class (around 60k per year), in a normal retirement or savings account you can earn 4% of the amount you have saved per year, which means that you need to have $1.500.000 saved in order to be free with zero risk.
Now we also have to consider two more details, the amount of time you spend to be able to work on any of those professions, and the amount of money you have to spend to be able to work on them.
First let's start with an engineer, it takes around five years of study to be able to start working on this field, and you will have to pay around $300k during this period, which means that you will need to make 1.800.000 after finishing your studies to be able to save enough for your goal.
The average salary is around $100k a year and supposing you have a annual living expense of 40k per year, you will have a net profit of 60k each year, and now it's time to answer, how long would it take for you to be financially free as an engineer?
The answer is: Around 35 years
Making similar calculations to the other professions, as a lawyer you make around 120k a year, but is only able to start working after 7 years of study, and during this period you will have to pay on average 50k per year, increasing the necessary amount to $1.850.000 while having a net profit of 90k a year, so how long would it take for you to be free as a lawyer?
Around 30 years.
Lastly as a doctor, you earn on average $200k a year, but needs to study for 12 entire years to work on this field, with an average cost of 70k a year until you start an internship (8 years), increasing the quantity you have to save up to 2.160.000 while having a net profit of $160k a year after you are 30y old, so how long would it take for you as a doctor?
Around 26 years.
Of course, here we are only using the best possible average scenario, without considering accidents, being laid off and becoming unemployed for any amount of time, not getting a family or increasing your cost of living by any amount.
Now you have to question yourself, studying extremely hard to be able to retire by the age of 50 on average sounds like an ultra successful life?
Of course, those professions are adding true value to this world and are highly respected in our society, I think that anyone who is really interested in following any of those paths is going to be wonderfully rewarded by his choice if he makes the effort, what I'm challenging here is the narrative that this is the only way to become financially free, and the truth is, It's a lie.
Altrough those professions are extremely well paid you would still only be able to retire comfortably by the age of fifty, the 'only' path for success is just another path for success.
With creativity and boldness you will be able to find different ways to achieve this goal which even higher success rates, impossible is just a word for something who hasn't been done yet, and each one of us can be the person to transform that 'impossible' in the possible.
Ps: With this reseach I only considered the data for the U.S, there are countries where you can achieve financial freedom way quickier and with less effort, I will be showing my research on the best and worst countries to achieve this goal in the future.
If you have find my article useful or interesting, please like, share and subscribe to my blog, any feedback is extremely appreciated and if you have any idea or throught to share on this topic feel free to write it on the comment section.