Findependence Day: How to achieve Financial Independence — while you’re still young enough to enjoy it

Findependence Day Book from Jonathan CheverauFindependence Day is a financial primer that uses classic fiction structure to impart core financial concepts to young people just embarking on the working world and raising a family.

Findependence is a contraction of Financial Independence, so Findependence Day is the moment far off in the future when your income from all sources exceeds the income you could get from a single employer. Henceforth, you work because you want to work, not because you have to.

The financial concepts roll out in the order of a normal human “life cycle,” proceeding from saving for college, graduating, landing a first job, enrolling in an employer pension plan, getting married, buying a first home, saving for retirement, raising children. Then the cycle resumes as you save money for the education of your children, and they need to learn the same concepts as they graduate and confront the working world.

The thrust of the novel is to impart enough major concepts that if all of the suggestions were implemented, you would achieve financial independence while you’re still young enough to enjoy it. Thus, in the book, a young couple named Jamie and Sheena want to reach their Findependence Day at the relatively young age of 50.

This is not a get-rich-quick book but is about getting rich slowly, whether through financial assets, pensions, real estate or — ideally — a combination of all of these.  It takes 20 or 30 years to achieve financial independence and the book follows the couple over 22 years: hence the “financial Pilgrim’s Progress” description of one reviewer.

The book begins when Jamie & Sheena are 28 and featured guests on a financial reality TV show. Humiliated by their credit card debt before a nationwide TV audience, Jamie vows his Findependence Day will be the day he turns 50. But Sheena won’t buy into the “guerrilla frugality” habit needed to save money.

Jamie prefers stocks and financial assets and wants to be an entrepreneur. Sheena on the other hand has a comfortable teaching job and expects a generous Defined Benefit pension plan when she retires. She feels uncomfortable with Jamie’s punts on the stock market, urging him to invest instead in something more tangible, like the bricks and mortar of real estate.

Their disagreements over money escalate, as Jamie stakes everything on the big score when his hobby website attracts a big social networking site. Betrayed by his business partner, his world falls apart, threatening his dream of early financial independence.

All-American edition now available, including as e-book

In April 2013, published the new revised all-U.S. edition under the same title, in both hardcover and soft cover, plus most major e-book formats (just $3.99 for e-books). The plot and characters are almost the same, but the setting is entirely in the United States (chiefly Chicago, Boston, Maine and Florida). The financial content is all-American and current as of early 2013, so it’s all about IRAs, Social Security, Roth plans, 529 plans etc., with no Canadian content whatsoever. The manuscript was vetted by several American financial planners, including Garrett Planning Network founder Sheryl Garrett, who also penned the new foreword. Also new is a glossary and end-of-chapter summaries of the new financial concepts Jamie and Sheena learned in the preceding action.

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Click here to order your copy of the Canadian edition of Findependence Day