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What Freedom Means…and What Financial Freedom Means | By: Multiple Speaker(s)

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What Freedom Means…and What Financial Freedom Means
By Vena Jones-Cox

July 4th is the day when we traditionally think about and celebrate freedom.

Of course, what the founding fathers actually did on July 4th, 1776, was declare that the U.S. was a sovereign nation, no longer to be a mere colony of the Kingdom of Great Britian. It took another 8 years of war and bloodshed for this to be established as fact, and countless more lives have been lost over the course of almost 2 ½ centuries in the defense of the freedom of this country and its allies and interests in the rest of the world.

Yes, we have a lot of people to thank for the “big” freedoms that we enjoy, to some extent or another, in this country. Without the freedom to associate with whomever we like, assemble as we like, vote and worship as we like, and so on, many of the “personal” freedoms we enjoy—like the freedom to pursue our dreams—wouldn’t be possible.

Say what you want about the U.S. and its various political and cultural dysfunctions—I’d still rather live here than anywhere else and now than any other time in history.

But since pretty much everyone understands the benefits of political and personal freedom, I’d like to talk a little about the very clichéd, very slippery concept of “financial freedom”.

For most people, financial freedom has a connotation that circles around “not needing a job” or “not having to worry about money”. In other words, it’s sort of a way of saying, “I’m so rich I don’t have to work”, or “I’m so rich I don’t have to do things I don’t enjoy in order to get the money I need to survive”.

And there’s nothing wrong with wanting this for yourself—a state of being that allows you to pursue your passions and do things you love instead of things you loath is a good goal. But I think there’s something much deeper about financial freedom that we rarely discuss—and it’s that financial freedom gives us enormous personal freedom. Which is, in my opinion, more important than the things we can buy with money!

Naturally, when you are dependent on someone else for your income and the benefits that go with it (by which I mean insurance etc), you are limited to following that person’s rules and policies if you want to keep your job. You show up at a particular time, you leave at a particular time, you do what you’re told to do whether you enjoy that thing or not. You take vacations and days off as you’re allowed by the company’s rules. And while all these things set annoying-but-perfectly-fair limitations on your “personal freedom”, it’s the smallest part of what I’m talking about.

When I say financial freedom conveys personal freedom, I mean something beyond where you spend your 9-5 hours. I mean the freedom to choose lots of things that you may not even recognize right now.
With real financial freedom you can choose to send your children to the very best college that they can get into—or you can choose to send them to the best school that they can pay for themselves. People without financial freedom have only the latter option open to them.

With financial freedom, you can choose to go to the top medical specialist in the country, or you can choose to go to the one that’s in your insurance network, or, if the government persists in its apparent mission to make medical care in this country more cumbersome and difficult to access at will, you can choose to leave the U.S. for your care altogether, and go somewhere where you can get the treatment YOU want when YOU need it instead of what the government says you need . Most Americans don’t have this choice, and therefore don’t get the best medical care they can.

With financial freedom, you can choose to drive your 7 year-old car and spend your money elsewhere, or you can choose to get your dream car. You can choose to live in a dirty house, or a clean house, or a house that someone else cleans. You can choose to leave your heirs financially independent, or to give all of your money away before you die and teach them to make their own fortunes. You can choose to not vote, or to vote for the candidate that you think is best for the office, or support that candidate with a big fat campaign contribution.

Once financially free, you may very will choose to live in exactly the same way that you do now, but without all the worries about how the bills will be paid. Or you may choose to become a different person with different hobbies and different “stuff”. The point is, without financial freedom, many of your choices are made FOR you by your circumstances.

Just as the people of the United States of America got sick and tired of following the rules of a country with different customs and goals, so the people of real estate investing are, by and large, sick and tired of adhering to the rules thrust upon them by their circumstances.

So this 4th of July, let’s take a minute to remember our ancestors who thought and planned and worked and struggled and died for our “big” freedoms—and also take a second to pat ourselves on the back for working toward our personal freedom.

Reprinted with permission of Vena Jones-Cox. To get more free articles and tips, subscribe at  (Akron Canton Real Estate Investors Association, Inc.) does not give legal, tax, economic, or investment advice. ACREIA disclaims all liability for the action or inaction taken or not taken as a result of communications from or to its members, officers, directors, employees and contractors. Each person should consult their own counsel, accountant and other advisors as to legal, tax, economic, investment, and related matters concerning Real Estate and other investments.   

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