We celebrate our country’s freedom and independence on the fourth of July as John Adams wrote we should, “with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other”.
Your financial independence day - the day that you become financially free and can pursue your hopes and dreams without worrying about money - should be just as exciting!
I find that many people work until either they can’t stand another day doing it, or until there is something they want to do so much that they’re ready to stop - right now! Sometimes there is a buy-out opportunity, or less fortunate, a company layoff or health reason that causes them to look at their ability to become financially independent.
The best financial independence day is one that is planned for. Here are some steps you can take to get started:
- Think about what you will do when you no longer have to work. What will your life look life? What do you want it to look like?
- Reduce debt. Any debt beyond mortgage and a car should be paid in full. Most people should have no debt once they stop working.
- Start saving and investing. Take advantage of tax-advantaged retirement accounts. Stick with investments that you can understand and evaluate. Avoid get rich quick schemes and tips from your work colleagues! Know your risk tolerance and be willing to stay invested.
- If you’re age 50 or older, look at purchasing long term care insurance. The best plans and bank balances can be devastated by unanticipated incapacity.
As you’re celebrating our nation’s freedom this year, think about when you will celebrate your independence - and start planning today!
Laura Mickels has spent more than 30 years working for investors with both Wall Street and independent firms. CochranMickels Retirement Specialists provides personalized planning and investment services to individuals approaching and in retirement.
These are the opinions of Laura Mickels and not necessarily those of Cambridge, are for informational purposes only, and should not be construed or acted upon as individualized investment advice.