I love Financial Independence and retirement strategies inside and out. I’m a firefighter in a small town of Indiana. My wife is a elementary school teacher. Our income has its limits. We often see minimal raises. We have a three year old son with one on the way! Very exciting but with our small incomes and cost of living that keeps rising we often find ourselves worried, stressed, or talking about the future. We have decided to do our best to make sure we can live for today and save for our future expenses. We established a budget system to help us stay on a comfortable path. We can take vacations, purchase needed items, and save for a retirement.
We find the key to our success is being content with what we have. Yes we like to live for today, but also find the importance of preparing for tomorrow. We try to plan, we try to save, but we also count our blessings and find contemptment in those. It’s a delicate balance.
Why Financial Independence?
Planning for your future is hard when you don’t know what the end goal is. I, for one, love the idea of starting with the end in mind and work my way back. These are my long term goals. For example, I know I don’t want to work the rest of my life. I, want to enjoy time with my family and grandkids someday. I want to be able to give to charities and research that I believe in. Above all, I want to provide a strong financial foundation for my family. What about the short term goals? Well, I like to spend money on my home, vacations, and my kids.
Think about your own long term and short term goals. Talk about them with your family. Write them down so you can see them! They may change overtime, but these will be a foundation for you as you start to build your own financial future!
Let’s take a moment to look on how Americans generally view finances. Through my interest and investigation into Financial Peace and Independence I’ve found that most Americans live paycheck to paycheck. They are one paycheck or one emergency away from financial disaster. I was there once never knowing when the next bill would wipe me out. It wasn’t fun. TD Ameritrade reports that 85% of people with a financial plan feel good about their future, whereas only 28% of those who don’t have a plan feel the same way. WOW!! Those are interesting figures.
What can we do?
Starting anything new or unfamiliar can often seem like a huge task. If you research Financial Independence you’re bombarded with websites. If you search podcasts you’ll get tons. So what do you do? How do you know who is good? I can help you sort though a bit of it with you!
First off ,check out Dave Ramsey’s website and or books. He is a well known financial expert. I started my journey by reading Complete Guide to Money by Dave Ramsey. It’s an easy read and goes quickly. I enjoy the podcasts of Stacking Benjamin, Afford Anything, Bigger Pockets, The Chris Hogan Show (a Ramsey affiliate), Choose FI, and Pour Not Poor. They also all have very good websites as well. They provide different theories into the financial independence movement. These are by far my favorite podcasts to listen too. Each talk about different ways to gain financial independence and how to approach it. The idea is to start somewhere!
Remain calm! As you look into the programs several different things are going to be thrown at you. I encourage you to look at the material with an open mind. You’ll be looking at information that not many people choose to look at or believe in. Some of it you might think to be a little extreme and that’s ok. I’ve taken different tactics from multiple sources. It’s all about finding what works for you and your goals. Give it time to work. This is your journey not anyone else’s. Remember your long and short term goals. What legacy do you want to leave behind.
Think your too old? Nope there is no age discrepancy with Financial Independence. You can strive to better yourself financially at anytime in your life. Yes, there are more possibilities for financial growth the younger you are. However, the opportunity is there for anyone at any age to join in.
What about income level? Again, there are tons of tricks and methods that work for any income level. The more drive you have for Financial Independence the better your chances will be to find success. Could a bigger income help in reaching Financial Independence? Yes it can. But often with bigger incomes come a mental desire for more things. This can make someone earning $100,000/year financially comparable to someone making $50,000/year. It’s all in how you manage what you have and being continent in what you own.
With this blog I’m not at all saying that your wrong in how your handling your finances. My way may not be for you. I just want to express to you that there is something else out there financially something more than just making it. Something that can bring hope to retirement and less worry about everyday needs. My goal is to inform you with learned tips and strategies that have helped me. Financial Independence, however it comes to you will bring you, that hopeful and successful feeling.
Before I go, let me leave you with this thought what would you do if you had an extra $100 a month? What would you do at retirement age if you had money to give? How could you leave an imprint on the lives of others? Establish the financial why for you. What’s your ultimate dream? Think about the possibilities!
- Random note: Interesting stat from the Chris Hogan Show. Most self made millionaires have never earned a 6 figure income. Mind blown!!
Please share your questions below or send a email.