Financial Freedom

Ray’s Take We have been trying to move away from using the word “retirement” and instead focus on achieving “financial freedom.” But have you ever asked yourself what financial freedom is? 

It may have a different meaning to you than to your friends or your spouse. There are bound to be many opinions and some disagreement, even with a spouse or other family member.

In other words, there are many routes to financial freedom and many pictures of what financial freedom looks like.

The first step to financial freedom for a couple is to have a discussion with your spouse and family about what financial freedom means to each of you. It’s difficult to create a plan to get to your destination if you aren’t working toward the same point.

Does financial freedom mean no required work with no debt at all? Or is some debt OK? And if so, what debt? Mortgage? This knowledge can free you. It may include supporting your favorite causes with time, money or both. With a plan, you won’t be wondering if what you’re doing is “right” or “wrong.” In most cases, there is no right or wrong answer – it will depend on your situation.

People often view financial freedom as an enormous task that requires years of saving and investing while concentrating on that distant goal of retirement. It’s important to plan for that day, but it’s also important to enjoy life as you work toward that goal. Financial freedom doesn’t need to wait until retirement; it’s much more beneficial to focus on each victory along the way. That balance can be financial freedom right now.

Have that discussion and put your feet on the road to your destination. It’s up to you to define financial freedom for yourself – and then to create a plan that will help you methodically reach that goal. A financial planner can help you set up the plan to take you there. 

Dana’s Take I might define post-retirement financial freedom as having no worries about money, living in pleasant surroundings with reliable transportation and being able to pay my health care expenses. Plus having the liquidity to travel often and eat out a few times a week. But, is that doable?

In my mind, the key to achieving that freedom is keeping overhead manageable, post-retirement. Hitting that mark does not necessarily require a huge nest egg. Finding a super-affordable rental or sharing a home could drop expenses a lot. I’m surprised that more senior adults don’t share a home. Even if installing a second kitchen were required, the savings might justify the remodel. 

Think about your definition of financial freedom and brainstorm creative ways to get there.

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