Happy Independence Day!

Photo by frank mckenna on Unsplash

What does it mean to be free? It’s a complicated, age-old question that I don’t have the answers to.

But maybe your financial plan could provide at least part of the answer.

At a minimum, to be really free and independent I think you need at least these three things.

Money. You don’t have to be Warren Buffet, Bill Gates or Jeff Bezos to have enough money for true freedom. In fact, I would argue that it’s quite possible to become a slave to your money and actually have less freedom and independence. However, you do need enough to meet your basic needs and have some left over for at least a little bit of discretionary spending.

How much is enough? What’s the best way to maximize your financial resources?

Update your financial plan to see where you stand.

Time. All the money in the world won’t buy you freedom if you are working 60 hours a week and taking only minimal time off.

Imagine the dairy farmer whose land is worth a small fortune, but who works 12-hour days, 7 days a week to keep his operation running. Or the corporate employee who fears taking time off and accumulates hundreds of hours of unused PTO.

Here again, your financial plan can help. When can you retire? How long will your money last? How much money do you really need? What income sources can you count on in retirement?

Your financial plan answers these questions and more.

Good health. Without this, the other two don’t make much difference.

A financial plan won’t provide a roadmap for good health – or will it?

Studies show that people who have higher incomes and are more financially secure often live longer and enjoy better health than those who are less well off. If your financial plan helps you achieve a higher level of financial security in the future, perhaps there’s a chance it could help increase your odds of living a healthier life.

In those instances where that is not the case, a good financial plan provides for contingencies in the event that life, well, doesn’t go exactly as planned.

Be safe. Have fun. And make the most of your Independence Day holiday.

Happy July 4th!!!