Break out the flags and the fireworks! It’s time to celebrate our country’s creation and our independence from British rule.
July 4 is a great time to think not just about barbecues but freedom. Why were a group of revolutionaries—the founders of our country—so determined to create an autonomous country? Ask any school kid: They wanted to be free.
So what does this have to do with financial planning? (I knew you’d ask.) Like July 4, financial freedom is about independence. With a financial plan in place, you’re free from the worries that plague so many people: Will I have enough money to retire? Can I afford to send my kids to college? Will I outlive my savings?
Many people resist creating a financial road because they fear it will restrict their freedom. They fear they won’t be able to splurge on a cruise or fancy steak dinner if they’re stuck with the drudgery of saving for “the future.” But an effective financial plan reflects the values of the folks it serves. If travel is a priority for you, then a sound financial plan will help you fund that African safari you’ve always dreamed of taking.
Our country’s founders were a smart bunch. They knew that their young country would need a set of laws, rules and guidelines to help it live up to their vision of what America could be, not just in the next few years, but long after they were gone.
So they drafted and crafted a Constitution that spelled out the core principles of our country’s operation: the role of the president, the authority to collect taxes and the limitations of state government. They added a Bill of Rights to guarantee freedom of the press, freedom of religion and so many other rights that make our country unique and wonderful.
These documents weren’t static. The 13th Amendment, which took effect in 1865, ended slavery. The 26th Amendment lowered the voting age to 21 in 1971. Our laws had to reflect how our country matured and evolved. Your financial plan should be equally flexible as your life changes.
The investment and spending strategies that served you well when you were single need a serious overhaul when you find yourself expecting twins. Or caring for a parent with dementia. Or selling a screenplay for six figures.
So true financial freedom means flexibility, too—while always, like our founders, remaining true to your core values.
Have a wonderful holiday!