176 left to go. Before you think I’ve shifted into a hyper-philosophical mindset after a long holiday weekend celebrating freedom, hear me out…
The internet has turned us into searchers; our pursuit of life has been shaped by summarizing. Come up with a few search terms, and you’ll have the latest thinking on any narrow category within one-click access on the first results page.
Freedom is an intriguing door to open on the World Wide Web. Turn that handle, and you’ll be presented with 40 million opportunities to click-into the concept behind the fireworks.
July 4th is America’s day to celebrate political freedom; the Tax Foundation offers their assistance each year in calculating our Tax Freedom Day. Their premise: the aggregate impact of federal, state and municipal government burdens are constantly rising and falling. How much of your year is spent satisfying their demands?
If you live in Alaska, you were free on March 25th. In California, it was April 20th. For New Yorkers (the worst), freedom was not real until May 3rd. Slavery is still practiced in some states…
The government loves to have people at work: workers pay taxes, while non-workers get checks. High-employment is one metric used by governments to measure their success; at every level, they claim control over that measure of productive participation. While the political class is measuring the size of the workforce, Gallup measures the satisfaction levels of the working stiffs. Their findings are intriguing: in their most recent survey, 85% of workers admitted that they hated their jobs (when responding anonymously).
Enter, stage right: the FIRE movement. Financial Independence, Retire Early is the backlash against the culture’s conundrum. Working in a job they hate – and doing it for months each year for governments they have no compulsion to underwrite – there’s a movement underway to opt-out of the rat-race before the rest of the rodents know what happened. Extreme frugality – motivated by profound self-interest – is drawing First Half adults into Second Half financial strategies. Boomers are choosing between Social Security at 62 (the threshold for monthly checks at the lowest pay-out) and waiting for the max-calculation at 70; Millennials on FIRE are using Index Funds instead of counting on FICA to pull their workaday ripcord and sell their briefcases on Craigslist…
What if the real “Freedom Day” is the day you “retire” from this life, and transfer into your Eternal reality?
The best lifetime counsel for obtaining financial freedom was offered by the most reliable advisor, ever. Here’s Jesus’ input: “I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings. Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else’s property, who will give you property of your own?” (Luke 16:9-12).
Our culture’s viewpoint: your money is yours, for you. Building reserves to allow a life of leisure and fund consumption is the grand plan. God’s viewpoint: it’s not your money; it’s God’s money. Your real grand plan is to use everything at your disposal to populate heaven with people. What’s at stake in your Eternal future? “True riches”, and “property of your own.”
Freedom Day: it’s out there, for you. Does your plan align with His Plan?