Imagine a life where your decisions were not motivated by money. What would your life look like without financial constraints? With this question in mind, here are some 7 reasons to pursue financial independence.
The average person works until they retire at age 65 (give or take a few years). It is also often the case that most people go to work out of financial necessity and not passion.
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According to a Gallup World Poll, only 15% of the full-time global workers are engaged at work. It is no wonder that so many people love Fridays and get the Monday blues when the weekend inevitably ends.
Spending 5 out of every 7 days doing something you do not enjoy (for decades?!) is a disservice to yourself and your employer. Most people understand this fact but too often feel they do not have a choice. After all, the bills (mortgages, student loans, credit cards, car loans, etc.) won’t just pay themselves.
This article dares to suggest that you do have a (much better) choice. It will show why you should strive to create a life you love waking up to every single day (yes, even Mondays). It is possible.
P.S.: Even if you love your job, there are still plenty of reasons why you should also consider financial independence.
What is Financial Independence
Generally, financial independence means having enough income to cover your living expenses without depending on employment or on others for the rest of your life.
Building wealth and becoming financially independent is often a slow and intentional process. It does not just happen. You would need a detailed plan and an intense commitment to sticking with the plan.
Most people who have achieved financial independence (well before the typical retirement age) do so without winning the lottery or receiving some cash windfall. They are often everyday people who intentionally pursue financial freedom.
It is also worth mentioning that attaining financial freedom does not mean sipping cocktails on a beach and not working for the rest of your life. Although, you would certainly have the choice to do just that!
People who achieve financial independence pursue other impactful projects (charity, writing books, and generally find solutions to issues that fascinate them).
But wait, I’m getting a little ahead of myself. Let’s now talk about the reasons to pursue financial independence.
Reasons to Pursue Financial Independence
Time is Not a Renewable Resource
Remember that question at the beginning of this article, “what would your life look like without financial constraints”?
I am curious to know your answer, so please feel to let me know in the comment section down below.
But if you are like me, your answers probably revolve around time. More time to spend with your loved ones or more time to travel or pursue projects you would find fulfilling.
Upon reaching the traditional retirement age, you would have all the time in the world to do whatever you please.
However, you would then be in your mid to late sixties and without the same youthful energy you had during your working years. And it would be even more dire if you spent your youth at a job that you did not enjoy.
Financial independence allows you to choose how you spend the days and hours that make up most of your life (not just the golden years).
Job Security is an Illusion
2020 was a strange year, to say the very least. The COVID-19 global pandemic turned the world upside-down.
Here in Canada, the Government announced widespread lockdowns on March 16, 2020, and the Canada-US border was closed to non-residents. These are both previously unimaginable incidents.
But all this to say that nothing is guaranteed, including our jobs. Things could change. Even with employers’ best intentions, profit margins determine the employment they can provide.
Financial independence ensures that you are not putting all your eggs in one basket.
It gives you peace of mind knowing that if you were to lose your job today, for whatever reason, you would be able to weather the storm with minimal impact to you and your family’s lifestyle.
It will enrich your life
Wealth is a means to an end. By itself, money has no much value. It is the things and experiences that it allows you to have that give it power.
As the saying goes, money will not buy you happiness. It may provide a temporary escape from certain situations, but it won’t solve any internal or relational discord. To find happiness, you have to deal with such issues head-on, despite your financial situation.
However, wealth will boost your happiness and amplify the richness of your life.
Being financially independent gives you time and freedom to do things that are most meaningful to you. You can discover the joy of doing work not motivated by money but by passion and purpose.
Further, it allows you to explore and experience everything that life has to offer. Much more than material things, experiences, and time spent with loved ones are the substance of life.
Imagine packing up your life full of incredible experiences shared with your closest ones. Sounds great, right?
It will teach you good values
Let’s face it, achieving financial independence takes discipline and undeterred commitment.
It is often not the size of your paycheque that builds wealth but rather the amount saved each month. A bigger salary will help you save more, but it does not necessarily determine financial independence.
You probably can think of some athletes who have made millions of dollars in their heyday but ended up broke or even bankrupt. How could this happen?
It all comes down to the money mindset and the money habits that you develop.
People who attain financial independence tend to be frugal, learn a lot about investing, and strive to make more money. They take on side hustles and start small businesses that boost their earning potential.
In the process, you determine what is essential and do not waste time trying to keep up with the proverbial Joneses. And in the end, you will have developed excellent values that you can pass down to your children.
Opportunity to help others
According to the World Bank, about half of the world’s population (a staggering 3.4 billion people) struggle to meet basic needs.
Even though you may not always feel like it, as you are reading this article, you are one of the most economically fortunate people on earth! You are immensely blessed.
There are so many opportunities to help those less fortunate both locally and abroad. But so often, we are caught up in our own financial obligations (you know, the mortgages, student loans, credit cards, etc.) that we cannot help as much as we would like.
While you individually cannot solve all the world’s problems, one of the many reasons to pursue financial independence is that it gives you an opportunity for a more significant impact for good.
Fear of failure no longer stops you
If you have significant financial obligations such as having dependents, failure may not be an option. You cannot afford to fail, or else there may be no food on the table.
That is quite the responsibility to bear.
And as such, you may be more averse to taking any financial risks. This risk aversion means forfeiting many great opportunities and never entirely challenging yourself.
If your work were not motivated by money, you would have the opportunity to experiment more, and who knows what heights of greatness you may reach.
Inspire your children and make your parents proud
Let’s not sugar coat it; attaining financial independence is no small feat. It will take sacrifice, a willingness to keep learning, creativity, and focus.
You may have to wake up a few hours earlier each morning to work on your side business. It could also mean temporarily giving up a few luxuries to save a little extra cash each month.
You will need to spend some time (as you are right now) gaining financial knowledge and researching what to invest in.
And as is the nature of life, there may be some curveballs along the way, such as market recessions or unprecedented global pandemics.
But all that will make it so much more worthwhile when you finally reach your financial independence figure.
Through this journey, your children someday will understand that they too can achieve whatever they set their minds to do. And for your parents, it is probably one of life’s greatest joy to see your children succeed. For their sake (and yours, of course), I hope you get started as soon as you can.
Conclusion on Reasons to Pursue Financial Independence
Financial independence is a worthwhile pursuit even if you love your job and want to keep at it for a long time.
It allows you time to pursue whatever you feel passionate about and spend more time with your loved ones. Being financially independent provides you the opportunity to have a more significant impact on the world while amplifying the richness of your life’s experiences.
In a nutshell, financial independence is freedom.
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