“I’d like to share something I’ve never talked about here before, about when I really felt financially independent.
It wasn’t when we hit “technical FI,” it wasn’t when we hit our original magic number, it wasn’t when we paid off the house and it wasn’t even when we said goodbye to our careers.
It was when I realized that we had enough saved that, if we had to split things up, my share would make me financial independent on my own, and Mark’s would make him FI on his own.
I hadn’t realized it before then, but up until that point, I wasn’t actually financially independent, I was financially dependent. So was Mark. We were both financially dependent on the marriage. We were FI together, but not separately, and that’s a very different thing.”