Column: Goals To Being Financially Independent

March 15, 2021 | 0 Comments

Carla Seely Bermuda October 2018[Written by Carla Seely]

I was recently chatting with a friend who spoke of how much they had relied on their spouse to provide their family with financial security. Since getting divorced, they were struggling to live above the poverty line.

Financial planner and TV host Suze Orman made a statement with a lot of impact when she said: “Our problems with money are manifestations of problems in our life and relationships. Work on the money issues and many of the other problems will take care of themselves.”

Personally, I don’t think this could be said any better. Let’s face it: regardless of whether you are a man or a woman, old or young, many relationship issues develop from trouble with money.

In order to become financially independent, it is important to examine what drives you emotionally when it comes to money and figure out what the stumbling blocks are that are keeping you from your goals. Essentially, you need to figure out what is driving the problem in order to conquer it.

Here are ten common-sense goals for working toward becoming financially independent:

  • 1. Do not ever rely on someone else for your financial security. Instead, educate yourself about money management and investing.
  • 2. Set personal financial goals — this is the key to financial success.
  • 3. Do not use money to make yourself feel better. Instead, do things that promote self-respect, self-awareness and creativity.
  • 4. Spend at least 10-20% less than what you earn – it takes sacrifice, but it’s the easiest way to create wealth.
  • 5. Get educated. This does not necessarily mean going to college or university; it could be getting a designation that makes you more valuable to your employer or potential employer.
  • 6. Build an emergency fund. Without one, losing your job or incurring a large, unexpected bill could force you to take on heavy credit card debt, possibly putting yourself in a downward financial spiral that can be difficult, if not impossible, to dig your way out of.
  • 7. Be involved in the day-to-day management of your family’s finances – both partners should discuss money and make joint decisions regardless of who earns what.
  • 8. Do not take on your spouse’s debt when you marry. Wait until you are both out of debt before tying the knot or protect yourself with a formal agreement. Yes, it may seem a little harsh – but their debt is not your responsibility.
  • 9. Take chances. Don’t let the fear of potentially losing money outweigh the benefits of long-term investing.
  • 10. Acknowledge previous mistakes you have made with your money and learn from them. Remember, no one is perfect.

Acquiring wealth and becoming financially independent is a slow process that takes time. It is important to do small things every day, such as reducing your expenses, generating extra income and putting money into savings or your pension. You will see growth in the long-term, and as each new investment opportunity appears, you can respond on a larger scale than you could with your previous investment.

Financial independence starts with you – it should have nothing to do with your spouse or your dreams of receiving a family inheritance. From working hard, being disciplined, saving diligently, spending wisely and making sound investment choices, you, too, can create financial independence.

- Carla Seely is the Vice President of Pension, Life and Investments at Freisenbruch-Meyer. If you would like any further details, please contact her at cseely@fmgroup.bm or call +1 441 297 8686.

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