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Hidden benefits of financial freedom
Old 12-25-2012, 04:36 PM   #1
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Hidden benefits of financial freedom

This Monevator blog post resonated with me:

The Hidden Benefits of Financial Freedom

I bet others here will have a similar reaction. To quote:

Quote:
The choice we’re making on the way to financial independence is being free to consume only what we need and to spend the rest of our time gorging on the most amazing good of all: freedom.
This blog (by a Britisher, so you'll have to convert the pounds to dollars as you read along) was new to me. After reading a few of the interesting previous posts, it's now bookmarked.
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Old 12-25-2012, 04:42 PM   #2
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Short but nice article. This (below) was the epiphany that enabled us to reach FI and ER early, while most people we know we're lusting after a BMW and a big house - most still are...
Quote:
You’re able to value things because they make a difference to your life rather than because they’re fashionable or because they offer an off-the-peg sense of identity.

“I must be successful because I drive a BMW.” That sort of mind-rot drops away long before you reach FI.
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Old 12-25-2012, 05:34 PM   #3
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I am convinced that most people do not want to be free. In fact they fear it.

When I retired I told my co workers to look upon a free man. You won't see many of them. I think it was lost on almost all of them.

Comments like: You are too young. What will you do? You will go back to work. (Well only if I have to, not out of boredom.)

Six months now. I have never been happier since I was a child.
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Old 12-25-2012, 05:51 PM   #4
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I am convinced that most people do not want to be free. In fact they fear it.
I think you've got something there. I still remember, from early in my career, the look of desperation in the eyes of a soon-to-be retiree when I congratulated him. I wonder how long he lasted.

As you've found, I'm sure it will infuse me with a sense of freedom I haven't felt since my youth. I get a taste of it sometimes and that only strengthens my resolve. No chance of boredom here.
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Old 12-25-2012, 06:03 PM   #5
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My idea of wanted to be free is the scene in the movie "Awakenings" when Robert De Niro temporarily is symptom free and wants to walk out the hospital on his own without others monitoring his move. He just wanted the choice of his own, to go left, or right, or straight ahead if he wanted. That's freedom.
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Old 12-25-2012, 06:39 PM   #6
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I was always a rebel . I never liked having anyone tell me what to do. I earned my own money as soon as I could so that I was financially independent of my parents. I would have sought a career anyway, but I was also motivated to earn my own living and not financially depend on a spouse. As I worked, I saved and stayed out of debt so that I never had to worry about "keeping up with the payments" and being tight on the budget, worrying about my job or salary overmuch. This kept me from falling into any kind of "consumerism" trap. Finally, as true financial independence (no longer needing to earn a living) came into view, it was welcomed with true relish, because finally, I didn't need to have an employer rule over a great deal of my life.

What it really means for me is having my time be my own (and my family's). My time and energy is my most precious commodity.
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Old 12-25-2012, 08:55 PM   #7
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I have always been an outlier in my ways and views, not conforming to the life paths taken by others.

Being able to accumulate savings enabled me to buy my way out of a lot of misery and improve my life tremendously, even before I made the ultimate "buyout" by retiring 4 years ago at age 45. LBYM and becoming debt-free at age 35 enabled me 3 years later to stop working full-time and switch to working part-time, ending the misery of an awful commute 5 days a week. When that became too much for me, I further downsized with another "buyout" to working 2 days a week on the way to ERing in 2008.

Financial freedom, even in stages, can be extremely valuable to improving one's happiness.
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Old 12-26-2012, 01:06 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by audreyh1 View Post
I was always a rebel . I never liked having anyone tell me what to do. I earned my own money as soon as I could so that I was financially independent of my parents. I would have sought a career anyway, but I was also motivated to earn my own living and not financially depend on a spouse. As I worked, I saved and stayed out of debt so that I never had to worry about "keeping up with the payments" and being tight on the budget, worrying about my job or salary overmuch. This kept me from falling into any kind of "consumerism" trap. Finally, as true financial independence (no longer needing to earn a living) came into view, it was welcomed with true relish, because finally, I didn't need to have an employer rule over a great deal of my life.
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I couldn't have put it better!
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Old 12-26-2012, 07:31 AM   #9
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I am convinced that most people do not want to be free. In fact they fear it.
Yep. Many fear having to make decisions. Much happier being told what to do.
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Old 12-26-2012, 07:39 AM   #10
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I've stayed close with one friend from my former workplace. She's retiring next spring at the age of 56. Here's what she wrote in her Chrismas card to me:

"Am working all through the holidays - for the last time."
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Old 12-26-2012, 12:08 PM   #11
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I heard the same things, Lazarus. I too retired this past summer and the "you'll be sorry" and "you're making a mistake" comments are still fresh. Like you I'm loving every minute of retirement.

Some of my colleagues said they planned to work till they dropped. That wasn't for me. I left at 61 and until I stumbled upon this forum ithought that was early

Thanks to the person who started this thread. I'm going to go check out this blog. From what I've read here, this bloke and I share similar ideas about saving and spending.
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Old 12-26-2012, 12:23 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Lazarus View Post
I am convinced that most people do not want to be free. In fact they fear it.
I think you nailed it.
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Old 12-28-2012, 11:14 PM   #13
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Semi retired and loving every minute of it! I can work as much or as little as I want, our bills are paid, no debt, and saving for retirement. In the next ten years, we will be mortgage free, kids will be on their own, and will be able to retire with a comfortable income.
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Old 12-29-2012, 02:45 PM   #14
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The last few years at megacorp I saved like a demon to get out even sooner.Working these last few years I was under the management of a narcissist/nutjob.My blood pressure,cholesterol(lipitor),and sugar levels were high.Over weight and STRESS related.Since retirement all levels are back to normal and no more lipitor.Yes,I am happy and I earned it.Freedom is amazing;I feel very fortunate.
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Old 12-29-2012, 04:34 PM   #15
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Also, some folks fear that if they don't work as long as possible ("leaving money on the table" is the phrase I often hear), somebody else in their "set" will retire with more $$ than they do, and get to live in a better retirement community, and, I suppose, end up in a higher-class nursing home. Trouble is, an inheritance will tip the scales even faster in the other person's favor - in the end, one has traded years of one's life for an illusory "competition."

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I am convinced that most people do not want to be free. In fact they fear it.
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Old 12-29-2012, 05:59 PM   #16
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Also, some folks fear that if they don't work as long as possible ("leaving money on the table" is the phrase I often hear), somebody else in their "set" will retire with more $$ than they do, and get to live in a better retirement community, and, I suppose, end up in a higher-class nursing home. Trouble is, an inheritance will tip the scales even faster in the other person's favor - in the end, one has traded years of one's life for an illusory "competition."

Amethyst
I think your post is not just good, it's wise. More than a few of us have spent most of our lives and energy competing and dealing with huge, driving ambition. And for what? Once FI, it does not seem so important if one drives a new BMW or a decades old Ford, as long as it gets us where we want to go.

Perhaps we have to work through this on our own before truly realizing that it was all a crock.

Those younger folks who were brought up to be super-confident ("every kid is a winner!"), might not waste so many years of their lives trying to come out on top. On the other hand, I wonder. Maybe excessive drive is inborn.
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Old 12-30-2012, 09:37 AM   #17
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A Ben Stein quote that has stuck with me was: "No new car, stereo, vacation, house, ANYTHING is worth my freedom!"
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