Today the Fourth of July is a day of celebration filled with barbeque, sports, and fireworks. But in 1776 when the members of the Second Continental Congress signed the Declaration of Independence they were in the beginnings of a war. They were having to consider some very difficult decisions. These decisions were not made quickly or lightly. It was a painstaking process that had to be planned, studied, and calculated. In order to achieve independence, sacrifices had to be made.
We’ve all heard the term “Financial Independence”. What exactly is Financial Independence? Many people define it as having enough money to maintain your lifestyle without having to work. While that may be the “technical” definition, you should ask yourself, “What is Financial Independence to me? “
It’s easy to say, “I want to be Financially Independent,” but how do you achieve it? Financial independence is achieved much the same way our country was founded; planning, hard work, and sacrifices.
First, you make a plan. We can all imagine General Washington making war plans throughout the Revolution. Yet his chief of staff Alexander Hamilton actually studied Governments and Economics throughout the Revolutionary War so that they could be ready to form the US Government when they won the war. That was audacious planning. You should plan the same way, years in advance. Begin by setting goals. Consider what do you want to achieve, identify what is standing in your way, and determine how to remove it. Develop a plan to work through the things that are preventing you from you financial independence. This may mean sitting down with an advisor (your own chief of staff) to help you develop a plan of action. Whether you need to eliminate debt, need advice on your investments, or options regarding your 401(k), an advisor has the training and knowledge to help you create a plan. This is generally the easiest part but it leads to the next step, which is sometimes more challenging.
Work the plan. The colonists could see what was standing in the way of the freedom they desired. They had a choice to make, sit idly by and do nothing or plan a course of action to achieve that freedom. The Signers of the Declaration stated, “we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.” Thankfully for us, they planned a course of action. More importantly though, they executed that plan and stuck with it. Just think how different things would be for you on Friday if the signers of the Declaration of Independence decided, after everything that had taken place up to that moment, NOT to sign it. The history books would certainly read much differently. Financial Independence will not necessarily come easy, it will take work, but it will be worth it. This leads us to the final step…
Sacrifice. The Signers of the Declaration understood sacrifice. These men and countless other patriots sacrificed their lives, families, and property to this great cause. Your financial plans will most likely call for you to make some sacrifices. We are not saying you should sacrifice time with family, your health, or your “life”. We are talking about financial sacrifice. This can be sacrifice such as living within your means, even a little below, during your working years. Financial sacrifice is delaying the financial gratification of today for future financial gratification. Much like our forefathers sacrificed and years later formed this great nation, your financial sacrifices now will be reflected in your financial independence years down the road.
If you have read this today and thought to yourself, “I wonder what it would take for me to be financially independent?” we would welcome the opportunity to visit with you about it. If you are ready to take the first step towards financial independence, give us a call today for a free, no obligation, financial analysis consultation. All of us here at Sound Financial Strategies Group want to wish you a great Independence Day filled with fun, family, and celebration. We hope you will take a moment to consider your financial independence, and look forward to the opportunity of speaking with you soon.
Securities and advisory services offered through National Planning Corporation (NPC), Member
Investment advisory services offered through Sound Financial Strategies Group, Inc.("SFSG"), a Registered Investment Adviser. Securities offered through Comprehensive Asset Management and Servicing, Inc., ("CAMAS") Member FINRA/SIPC. SFSG and CAMAS are separate and unrelated companies. The opinions voiced in this article are for general information only. They are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual and do not constitute an endorsement by CAMAS.
Posted on Fri, July 4, 2014
by Sound Financial Strategies Group