The seven pillars of financial independence
THE FIRST PILLAR: AN ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE
Central to financial freedom is a sincere spirit of thankfulness to God for every big and small blessing in your life. From this heart of gratitude comes the natural, joyful overflow of sharing with your community, church, and worthwhile endeavors around the world.
THE SECOND PILLAR: A COMMITMENT TO HEALTH AND VITALITY
Good health is vital (a) to help avoid big medical expenses down the road and (b) to the fitness, energy, and vitality you will want in order to truly enjoy an active, fulfilling life style.
THE THIRD PILLAR: FREEDOM FROM DEBT
Break and stay free of those Buy Now, Pay Forever Habits that rob your future as you pay for your past. When you get rid of consumer debt for good, you are liberating thousands of dollars that you can set aside for your future.
THE FOURTH PILLAR: DISCIPLINED SAVINGS
As your consumer – debt load lightens; you will be able to direct more dollars toward savings for the future. Some of that money should fund a contingency reserve of two to six months living expenses to help handle life’s surprises. Your major savings commitment, however, should be for the long term so you will be financially free as you enter your retirement years.
THE FIFTH PILAR: INVESTING FOR GROWTH
Even the most diligent savers will cheat themselves if they leave all their funds in “safe” places such as bank accounts or certificates of deposit. For long – term retirement savings put your money to work more aggressively in investments averaging 10 to 12 percent or better annually. You will be pleasantly surprised at the results over time!
THE SIXTH PILLAR: ASSET PROTECTION
Invest a few dollars now for some “safety nets” to guard against losing what you are working so hard to build. These include important insurance coverage’s such as adequate life, health, auto, homeowners/renters, and liability coverage. (Warning: Some policies are excellent values while others are wastes of good money. Choose carefully.)
THE SEVENTH PILLAR: MAKING YOUR MONEY LAST
As adults grow older their most prevalent financial fear is: “Will I have enough to ‘make it’ when I retire?” We don’t want to merely “survive” financially – we want to thrive! By combining smart planning, savvy investment choices, and systematic withdrawals of funds, we can have all the money we need for all long as we will need it.
Contributed by Dan Benson
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