Financial Freedom is the “New and Improved” Retirement

Below is a guest blog by financial educator, Chartered Professional Accountant and money coach Patricia Gass, who tweeted me that “You inspired this” and granted permission to post on the Hub.  I do that below with only slight edits and formatting tweaks because I can use all the help I can get at this stage, but please check out the actual blog at Patricia’s site, Let’s Talk About Money. She is @gasspatricia on Twitter.

Let us indeed talk about money! Naturally, I would have preferred that the title were “Findependence is the ‘New and Improved’ Retirement,” but we’ll have to go with what Patricia actually wrote. We can however agree that we both dislike the word Retirement. We suggested during Launch week that the word Retirement should itself be retired!

And that’s how Patricia begins her blog:

By Patricia Gass, CPA, CA

Patricia Gass

I’ve always hated the word RETIREMENT.

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!

A new life chapter

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 one 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!

The Gift of Time

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 who 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 the 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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