Achieving financial freedom is possible for everyone. Of course, financial freedom means different things to different people. For me, it means being able to one day retire while still living a comfortable lifestyle where I can travel and pursue my ambitions. I hope to be able to retire sooner rather than later, but first I have to accumulate enough wealth to be able to support myself and my family.
Popular strategies for achieving financial freedom
It seems that people have different ideas in mind for funding their retirement. Let’s take a look at a few that appear popular.
1. Live it up now and hope to get lucky later
In America, this one seems very prevalent. I have heard it expressed as, “Why should I scrimp and save while I’m young? I’d rather live it up while I can still enjoy it.” Spending even well beyond one’s means is very typical.
Of course, life expectancy continues to grow higher and higher. The average life expectancy reached a record high of 78.1 years in 2006. Who is going to take care of these folks in their old age if they don’t prepare?
I guess this group hopes to hit a financial gold mine one day. They must hope to get lucky by winning the lottery, collecting a large inheritance, or receiving some other large windfall. What other hope do they have?
2. Get rich quick with a brilliant business or investment
Many entrepreneurs and investors jump from one thing to the next in a heated pursuit of the next popular idea. They keep hoping to strike it rich in one brilliant move. If the money doesn’t come shortly, then they ditch it and move on.
The problem with this strategy is that so much money goes to waste. There is always a start-up cost or initial investment involved. However, because this group rarely sticks it out, they generally lose their money.
When I was growing up, my stepdad was one such person. He was constantly starting a new business hoping to ramp it up and sell it for a fortune. Obviously, there are people that have made money this way, but I think the failures far outweigh the success stories.
3. It is impossible so I’m not going to try
It seems some people have given up before they’ve even tried. They believe it is impossible to create margin enough in their lives to save a dime. They feel trapped and want to blame everyone else for their failings.
I know it is very difficult to make ends meet for some families today. However, I also believe those that are stubborn and persistent can get ahead. It definitely takes time and a lot of work, but for me, I’d rather face the difficulty now so I can retire with some financial security.
I’m not the type to just give up so I have a hard time understanding this mentality. I’ve seen it and I’ve got people pretty close to me that have adopted this way of thinking, but I still don’t get it.
4. Slow and steady savings over the long-term
This last group embraces a modest lifestyle, gradually builds their income, lives below their means, invests a regular amount each month, and stays the course for many years. The ebb and flow of the markets, economy, political environment, and popular opinion rarely effect them greatly. They are not quick to change their plans.
Some feel like these people make too many sacrifices all their lives. They think this group is boring and never enjoys anything really nice. It is said, they are always living for tomorrow instead of today.
In my experience, these are the only people that ever really win financially. They are the only ones that accumulate any wealth and hang on to to it. They are the ones you see traveling abroad or driving across the country in a big RV once they are retired. This is the strategy I’ve chosen and that I continue to promote.
Which strategy are you pursuing right now?
Achieving financial freedom at any age takes discipline and planning. It takes a commitment. Which of the strategies above most closely matches what you are doing today with your money? Do you have a plan? Are you following it?
Retirement will be here before you know it. It is amazing how fast time flies. It takes years to accumulate enough money to retire comfortably. It is time to start working earnestly so you can cross the finish line to financial freedom!
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