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Financial Freedom Is “The New And Improved” Retirement

November 19, 2014

I’ve always hated the word RETIREMENT.The-gift-of-time

For me, this term comes with unpleasant images of failing health, unwanted naps and uninspiring leisure activities without purpose. Ouch! Maybe I’m too sensitive? Maybe it’s because my father lived only a year of his retirement “dream” before his sudden death. And for him, retirement was something he had longed for for quite some time. A hard-earned reward for being a productive and valuable employee for 45 years.

When I voluntarily left my corporate job several years ago, I didn’t know what to call myself. I tried the word “retired” but I would get strange and curious looks from people. “What do you do all day? You look too young to be retired” many would say. While I suppose the latter was meant as a compliment, it still made me feel uncomfortable. Less valuable to society. Idle and no longer needed. I must work on my mindset!

But here’s the thing; I was happy…VERY happy! I left my job because I had a choice (financially speaking). My job was no longer giving me the satisfaction and fulfillment that I desired. I couldn’t imagine 5, 10 or even 1 more year of the same stuff. Achieving financial freedom (or close to it) opened up a whole new and exciting chapter of my life. I couldn’t wait to get started!

While I no longer needed to search for paid employment (although a little income is always nice), I knew I wanted to do something meaningful. Does paid employment mean greater value for society? The reality was that I wanted and needed time to figure out what meaningful meant to me. Little did I realize that the opportunity to help people, strengthen relationships, give back or volunteer would give me greater satisfaction than a higher salary!

From my own experience, the gift of time is a wonderful thing. That’s what you get when you achieve financial freedom. Money no longer becomes a big factor in your decisions. The world is full of endless possibilities…so many things to see, do, learn, explore and enjoy. Some need money, but not all do.

Financial freedom is a worthwhile goal at any age. I admire the many people today that are doing what it takes to make it happen. Especially the thirty and forty somethings that want it sooner not later. Maybe one day, it will become fashionable to build wealth rather than spend it?

I think my husband (who is also happily “retired” and proud of it) said it best…

Retirement (aka financial freedom) is about doing more of what you love and less of what you hate.

I couldn’t agree more.

Thanks to Jon Chevreau and his new Financial Independence Hub (worth a visit!) for the inspiration for today’s post.

Proud founder of this blog Let’s Talk About Money, Patricia Gass, CPA, CA, provides personal finance coaching and education to improve your money skills. Follow her on linkedin, twitter or pinterest.

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