Just seconds ago, my wife messaged me with delightful financial information – her company-sponsored 401k retirement account has finally, after months of flirting with the magical 6-figure amount, finally crested the $100k mark.

And you know what?  That rocks. It rocks so hard that I can hardly contain myself.

Fireworks in Epcot
Fireworks in Epcot

Because this whole financial independence thing is a journey, and we must never forget to stop and recognize the small achievements that we get to experience along the way.  Staying focused on the NOW, as well as the FUTURE, is the very best way to keep motivated and stay out of the doldrums of “I want to be retired NOW”-itis.

After all, all these little achievements add up to something much, much greater.

Is $100k the magic number that will allow my wife and I to give the middle finger to corporate America?  Heck no, not yet.  But $100k – or whatever other amount that you’re actively trying to achieve – is that step in the right direction.

And it starts simple enough.  

Get a job at a company that offers a 401k program is first (and if you can’t, any job will still work).

Even better, find one that offers some kind of a 401k match, usually in the form of a percentage number.

Then, devote into your 401k as many pre-tax dollars as you freaking can while you’re still working, because this is the time to save, and a reduction of your taxable income is like, well, the best thing ever.  Our goal is to make the government believe that we’re living in poverty.  It’ll be pretty darn easy after we both quit.

Remember, persistence is key.  Keep throwing money at your 401k retirement account until it reaches $10k.  Then keep doing it.  Soon it’ll hit $50k.  Then $100k.  It all adds up, and it adds up to sweet, sweet jobless victory in the end.

But through it all, never forget to recognize all the things that are going right along the way.  Remain focused on the end goal, but don’t lose sight of the now.

My wife just made $100k her bitch.  It’s been brazenly sitting at $99k for a while, then last month’s stag-tastic stock market brought that back down to $94k and the market laughed in our face.  But today, we get to slap the stock market back across the face.

Because she hit the 6-figures.  You go girl.

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