ST. CROIX INSIGHTS
Financial Freedom – what it means to me.
BY BRETT ANDERSON/ST.CROIX ADVISORS, LLC
Everyone’s definition of financial freedom varies based on their background, upbringing and life experiences. It seems today on TV, social media and movies, we have all types of expectations set forth for us to live up to. Yet, what is real life these days? From what I see – most of it isn’t real.
Almost every day, I ask someone what financial freedom means to them. Most reply with a dollar amount so they don’t have to worry about money or expenses and they can financially handle whatever life brings their way.
I’m no different. I believe financial freedom is being debt free and having an asset base provide enough monthly cash to support my lifestyle. That’s it. Basic. What that framework, it’s easy to understand and figure out what your number should be.
There are three steps to help achieve this type of financial freedom:
1. Don’t purchase what you can’t afford.
Sounds easy but it’s not. For example, do you purchase a new car at 100,000 miles or do you drive it in the ground? Drive it in the ground. At 100,000 miles you’ve barely went through two sets of tires. And that dream home you desire – “right size” it. Don’t over buy.
2. Pay yourself first.
Sounds easy but it’s not. For those in your working years, target 15 – 20 percent of your gross Income. Yes it’s a lot, but that is what’s required to achieve financial freedom. Numbers don’t lie.
3. Pay attention to the tax man.
Remember that our money belongs to the government and if we don’t understand the rules, they keep more of it. That’s not ideal if they keep more of your hard earned money.
Financial Freedom doesn’t happen overnight. You and I have to work for it. You know that saying, “Freedom isn’t free.”
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Ask yourself- can my portfolio support my lifestyle in my retirement?