Depending on where you live and if you have your own personal pools AS well as children - it's hardly unsurprising for you to have safety nets above these pools to prevent accidental and sad events of young children or babies falling into these pools.
These keep children safe.
Yup, it's true.
For you to achieve financial freedom, you also need to build, acquire and install your own financial safety nets as well, which protects you from falling into the pool of unplanned or unforeseen circumstances.
#1 First Safety Layer: Keeping Costs As Low As You Can
This is the easiest and most basic safety net layer to do - if you keep your monthly costs as low as possible by ensuring that 50% or more of your income is stashed aside to invest into safe and defensive passive income dividend stocks, not only you will accelerate your passive income portfolio, but you actually shorten your duration to freedom (as the lower your expenses, the less passive income you need to retire).
(Note: please don't think that keeping costs low = sad life. I don't want you to live a sad life. Focus first on eliminating costs that you don't really care about such as expensive/unnecessary extras in cable TV, internet, mobile phones/plans etc - your discretion).
#2 Second Safety Layer: Building As Big A Passive Income Portfolio...As Fast As Possible
This is linked to First Safety Layer above. Sometimes when we manage to build a system that saves us 50% or more of our monthly/periodical incomes, we either
A. Get scared of investing (so much hard work to save!) or
B. Over-reward ourselves
I prefer Option C: to invest as much as possible into very safe and defensive passive income dividend stocks (safest is index funds, but there are a few others if you like).
Yup. Just repeat First and Second Layers Of Safety Nets above until your passive income portfolio provides you enough passive income dividends...so that you have an OPTION to retire, or switch to part time, or to quit, or to explore other interests and passions.
That's really it.
Do #1 and #2 and rinse and repeat until your passive income from your dividends is more than you living expenses, and you're pretty much semi-retired, this is what you call "financially secure" - your living expenses are covered.
You can work for fun, or do other stuff.
You can stay in this realm/area, and just stay here and enjoy your life, time, relationships etc. (I'm assuming you have also factored in long term and age-related costs eg medical, food, lodging etc).
Financial freedom is where you have more than enough incoming passive income as well as stashed aside sums that is enough for decades of your life, and even if something drastic happens to your passive income sources, you won't be that worried (maybe a little sweat and annoyance, but that's it).
For this level, it's the continuation of #1 and #2 until your passive income is perhaps 2-5x more than what you need, with at least 30 years of income on standby.
Here is where you have more than enough passive income (and or active income) as well as stash enough for multiple lifetimes, and shortage of money will never ever be an issue ever.
Perhaps you may worry a little about where your money goes, the returns you get, but that's it.
At this stage, I pray that you use your money for expanding/extending good to to the world and I hope that money never ever "goes" to your head and corrupts your spending habits.
True north freedom...is a combination of Full Financial Freedom (Wealth Based) but also:
doing what truly makes you "flow" and feel alive - adding value to the world and changing the world the people's lives positively.
Most times...FIRST doing things that make you "flow and feel alive" will bring you Full Financial Freedom (Wealth Based), because of the impact that you bring to the world, which rewards you back in the same measure of value you give out.
If you're here - congratulations, God bless you! You're at the pinnacle, and may you keep shining for the world, and doing what you're called to do.
To reach this point, remember, start building your layers of safety nets.