Image Source: Morgan For many, investing is a way to get ahead financially and to achieve financial freedom. Unfortunately, many Canadians are missing some of the most critical steps in the process to becoming financially independent or to afford retirement. 1. Mindset & Strategy Many Canadians find themselves deviating from the path to real wealth or financial freedom because they are trying to earn or spend their way to it. Buying a bigger home or more expensive car or working more hours may provide more money and luxury temporarily, but when it all relies on earned income it is unsustainable. Investing little after spending on luxuries isn't the best game plan either, especially when it is in a depreciating asset or a liability which is disguised as an asset or investment. What most need is to get to the point when they are not reliant on any employer or their own ability to work to support their desired lifestyles and living. A big nest egg can appear to help, but large amounts of cash by itself is rarely the solution. Inflation can work against these savings or gains, and as we are living longer, large sums can be burned through relatively quickly. To get to the point of being financially independent and staying there comes down to having passive income streams. Passive income means that you don't have to work for it. Passive income investments can keep producing money to live on and reinvest. Investments in commercial real estate can throw off passive income cash flow from rents, while simultaneously growing net worth through equity. Investing in these types of investments first, and allowing their proceeds to pay for living expenses and luxuries is a great path to being financially free. 2. Invest Knowledge without action won't take you where you want to go. The next step is to invest and most importantly investing in income producing assets. This could be multifamily apartments or local shopping plazas. Fortunately, thanks to low interest rates and access to commercial mortgages, as well as real estate partnership opportunities, Canadians can start investing easier. 3. Reach the Tipping Point The tipping point' or point individuals reach financial independence is when their passive income from investments meets or exceeds their living costs. Keep reinvesting and adding new passive income investments to your portfolio until the monthly or quarterly cash flow can cover all of your regular expenses. From here you can continue developing a business, pursue your passion for arts and travel or volunteer without ever having to worry about needing to make a paycheck. Summary Successful investing and financial planning starts with the right mindset and a healthy appreciation for income producing investments. After that, it is merely the matter of getting started and scaling your passive income investments faster than you take on new debt obligations.