It’s important to know where your financial advisor stands: Here is my philosophy regarding financial freedom and the nature of money, which I hope will give you some insight into how I process things.
Financial Freedom Starts With Changing Our Financial Freedom Expectations
Financial freedom isn’t being able to buy everything we want whenever we want. It’s about being in control of our finances, and starts with changing our expectations of what financial freedom really means. We’ve all got to realize the wealth and happiness are not as correlated as our culture leads us to believe. In fact, I’ve found the opposite to often be true.
Our culture has a misguided notion of what Financial Freedom is. If we asked someone at random the question, “what is financial freedom?” We’d find that a common answer is: the freedom to buy whatever you want whenever you want. Well let me let you in on a little secret; in all of human history there are only a handful of people who ever might have had financial freedom by that definition. Even the richest people of today, can’t buy anything they want anytime they want. So let’s stop believing the delusion; we must change our definition of financial freedom.
I think a better definition of financial freedom might be; having sufficient wealth to live and enjoy living a balanced life without having to work excessively to maintain. An important part of that definition is about enjoying a balanced life. Financial freedom isn’t about a precise dollar amount, it’s not about making a certain amount of money per year or accumulating a certain amount of assets. It’s about enjoy and appreciating what you have. Have you ever noticed how happiness and wealth are not correlated? If you’ve ever been to a third world country, you’ll find in many cases, although materially they may have so much less than we do, many people have much more joy despite their circumstance.
So why am I talking about third world countries in a financial freedom section? Well my point is this. More money won’t make you happy (or at least not for long). So the sooner we all stop believing that the better! In thinking about financial planning, it’s important not to obsess about money for money sake. Don’t expect Money to make you happy, It’s a tool and tools are meant to be used, both for your benefit and others! The first step in gaining financial freedom is soberly rethinking what financial freedom really is, it means changing our expectations.