When a Forbes columnist suggests that readers “Plan for Financial Independence, Not Retirement, he is not preaching doom and gloom about how some of us will never retire. Instead, he is reframing the discussion surrounding what it means when you reach an age where you may want to stop working. The article offers advice and links to retirement calculators.
Some of the advice in the article may or may not work for your individual situation (that is why it makes sense to work with a Fee-Only financial advisor) but you can certainly decide what financial freedom means for you.
According to Forbes:
“In a new Capital One 360 survey, 44% of U.S. adults said financial freedom meant not having any debt, 26% said it meant having enough saved for emergencies and 10% defined it as being able to retire early.”
Do any of those options appeal to you? With financial planning, you get to define for yourself what success looks like. You can set your financial goals based on the kind of life you want to live once you reach traditional retirement age.
The writer of the article agrees with Jonathan Chevreau, author of Findependence Day, a “fictional finance” book: a person has reached financial independence when he or she continues to work because the work is gratifying and not out of a continual need for money.
For some it may seem difficult to imagine just working because you want to, but it is possible. Even if you still need to work out of necessity, you may be able to reduce your work to part-time or change fields if you have been diligent about financial planning. Whether you need or want to keep working, you won’t be alone: the next generation of retirees is more active than people in times past and for many of them the thought of stopping work completely is not appealing.