This is what it means to be financially independent

This is what it means to be financially independent 16

It’s been almost a month since I’ve written a post and I should be embarrassed. I’m not. This is what it means to be financially independent. To do whatever, whenever and however I want it. I quit my job to get away from deadlines, I don’t want to self-impose them again by means of this blog.

Will millionin10 survive?

Will it hurt the ranking of my blog? Yes, probably, but since I’m not trying to sell you anything, nothing lost. For those of you who are wondering what ranking has to do with anything (or even what it means)? For most of us bloggers, higher ranking means more visitors which means more people clicking on ads, which means more advertising revenue. If we’re selling books or T-shirts then more visitors means more revenue again. Btw, I do sell a book so if you want to make up for my month of absence feel free to check it out here. In case you’re interested, I’m also an Amazon affiliate so when you click on that “here” I also get a piece of the pie from anything you buy in that Amazon session.

If you don’t, that’s okay. I’ll never say no to a little extra money but I’ll survive without it. That is what it means to be financially independent.

One of the reasons I haven’t posted in a month is the fact we’re still grappling with the new(ish) diagnosis of Type 1 Diabetes with our youngest child. We just got back from a long weekend camp at Marrakesh at Wisconsin Lions Camp where the ADA (American Diabetes Association) hosted us, along with some 20 other newly diagnosed families. When I should have been shaking hands and spreading inspiration at FINCON16 in San Diego, I was dealing with other stuff. Is that good for business? No, but then again, I’m not blogging as a business. I started this blog to inspire others, not to stack another million on top of the one I already have. Millionin10 will survive, as long as I want it to. This is what it means to be financially independent.


Why I really have been absent

The real reason for my absence has been my preoccupation with building a new 3D printer. I already built one last year (see below) and really enjoyed the process. I want to do it again, bigger better and different.

This is what it means to be financially independent

My first self-built 3D printer

For the last month I’ve been teaching myself AutoDesk Fusion 360, which is an awesomely powerful CAD system, one I might add, freely available to hobbyists. Although I was never trained officially in CAD, it’s always been somewhat of a passion for mine. I started out in the earliest days of 3DS Max (back to 1990) and every couple of years I pick it up again. There’s been TurboCAD, AutoCad, 123 Design, SCAD and today it’s Fusion 360. Here’s where I am today:

this is what it means to be financially independent

Fusion 360 design coreXY

This is something it will end up like :

Along with designing the printer, I’ve been searching the planet for cheap parts (I’m kidding, it’s pretty much China only) and have purchased enough aluminum extrusion to build 5 new printers. I’ve bought gears, timing belts and hex nuts from Amazon, extruders from Alieexpress, guide screws with nema 23 motors from the local science and surplus store.

I probably lost you there but in a nutshell all of this brings together my passion for designing, building and programming. Many of the things I used to do for the big banks and pharmaceuticals, today I’m doing for myself. Not to make quarterly numbers but because I love it. As you maybe can tell, I’m passionate about this and today I can give in to this passion. This is what it means to be financially independent.

What this means for you

I realize you probably don’t give a hoot about 3D printers and I probably sidetracked way too much. It means I will keep posting to this blog when I have something interesting to say (next time probably about finance again). If you’ve subscribed, it probably means you’ll see fewer emails of mine (I’m sure you don’t mind). I hope it doesn’t mean I will lose you as a reader as I still hope to spark that flame of inspiration in you.

It doesn’t mean you should drop whatever you’re doing to follow your passion. I prepared for this, many years to be exact. You should do the same. I can do all of this because I’m already financially independent. Imagine what you could do when you are there, being able to do what it is you want to do. I did it, I’m sure you can too.

Good luck reaching your financial goals.




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About Maarten van Lier

Maarten came to this country with a suitcase and a diploma. He created a financial plan and goal to become a millionaire in 10 years. He successfully turned his financial goals into reality, wrote a book about it and now blogs actively in hope of inspiring other to do the same.

16 thoughts on “This is what it means to be financially independent

  • Mrs Groovy

    This is just what I needed to read today. Inspiring! As you know, Mr Groovy & I just retired. And we’ll be dealing with all the possibilities of what it means to be TIME independent on top of being financially independent. We enjoy blogging but like you, we don’t need to make a living from it.

    I love the passion you have for building your 3-D printers. All the work it entails seems to energize you and that’s wonderful. I plan to get back into some hobbies and/or start some new ones, myself.

    • Maarten van Lier Post author

      Yes! Welcome to the club. I think I have found a passion. I do have to keep an eye on the cost. Unfortunately hobbies tend to come at a cost. Should you pick one, try something that can offset the cost by itself (sell the woodworking projects you carved).

      It certainly keeps me busy. Working on CAD puts me in the same “zone” I used to get in when coding. This time by choice.

  • James

    Your approach to retirement provides a great guide and is certainly one others should consider emulating. Like you, I plan to get deeply involved in various passions, both old and newly discovered.

  • Martin-Get FIRE'd asap

    I’ve just disco your blog on Twitter (see, it does work) and this is the first of your posts I’ve read. It sounds like you and I have a bit in common. Recently retired from having to work and now working on finding constructive ways to fill my day. Like you, I don’t have a set schedule for posting articles to my blog although I do try to once a week but only if I’ve got something worthwhile to chat about.

    Sorry to hear about the type1. A good friend of mine has this so I’m very aware of how it can and sometimes does affect his life but in saying that, he has managed it well and refuses to allow it to be a handicap.

    When I first read that you were building 3D printers I assumed it was from kits. I’m very impressed that you are building them from scratch.

    I look forward to reading your future posts whenever they do come out.

    • Maarten van Lier Post author

      Thx, the American dream alive and kicking with the Dutch and kiwis 😉 Your part of the world is actually where I wanted to move in the first place. Just so happened I met a girl from the States.

      We’re dealing as best we can with the T1D but certainly try not to see it as a handicap (more like a lifelong pain in the ass). We’re told that pricking for blood and injecting insulin becomes as normal as breathing.

      The first 3D printer I built was loosely based on the prusa which is a commonly used design. The printer I’m building today will be something completely different with hopefully some of my own ideas.

      Enjoy the good life of retirement.

  • Mustard Seed Money

    I think it’s awesome that you are financially free and able to do whatever you want. I sometimes worry what I will do in retirement. But it’s nice to see that you don’t have that problem. 🙂 Thanks for sharing your perspective!!!

    • Maarten van Lier Post author

      Thank you. It is a valid concern that I struggled with myself. Even going forwards, there are only so many printers I can build. The market to sell them is hardly there so costs run up.

  • Larissa

    Sorry to hear about the T1D diagnosis. As hard as it can be, it does become less overwhelming…our kiddo has been for over 6 years now (diagnosed at 5 yrs old) and it truly does become the family ‘new normal’. Keep a positive outlook and work together. What a blessing to be financially free to do whatever is needed it you want to during the good times and the challenges.

    • Maarten van Lier Post author

      Thank you for that. Today I took our son ice skating and although I checked his numbers once every few laps we had a blast as if life was normal. Life does goes on and thanks to him being such a trooper about all this, it makes it easier on us too. We’re looking forward to the new normal (maybe once his honeymoon is over).

  • Mr. Groovy

    “It’s been almost a month since I’ve written a post and I should be embarrassed. I’m not. This is what it means to be financially independent. To do whatever, whenever and however I want it.” Maarten, you made my freakin’ day. Love the sentiment. In one simple post, you captured the essence of financial independence–and dare I say LIFE! I also love the 3D-printing passion. Keep us posted on your progress. Can’t wait to see what your printer brings to life. Cheers.

    • Maarten van Lier Post author

      You are welcome. Love to brighten someones day ;-). It has actually been more then a month since I wrote this post so embarrassment is creeping in again. As soon I as have something really on my mind worth writing about I will. In the meantime here is the progress on the 3D printer (it is time consuming) The core of the new CoreXY printer

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