Retirement and Financial Independence

Becoming Wealthy is a Choice

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Very few people wake up one day and just become wealthy. Becoming wealthy is a choice that you make and a way that you live your life. Work less, live more!

For most of us, becoming wealthy is a journey. For those lucky few who found themselves rich overnight, it becomes not so much a dream come true but a nightmare come to life.

A large percentage of lottery winners wind up not only losing the millions of dollars they win but eventually losing everything they own after being buried under a mountain of debt. Why is that?

It’s because you can’t just become wealthy, it’s a conscious choice that you must make. Sure you can have a lot of money, but without the proper mindset, you will eventually let it all get away from you.

There is a major difference between wealthy people and everyone else. The wealthy work and save to create freedom, opportunity, and happiness in their lives.

When you have “Fuck You Money”, suddenly you don’t have to take crap from your boss, you can just walk out. The wealthy know this. For the wealthy, money gives them the power of choice, they do not have to answer to anyone but themselves.

Do What the Wealthy Do


You’ll find that the wealthy don’t have fancy cars because that’s a terrible waste of money and they don’t need to prove to anyone how successful they are. In fact, you can usually tell a poor person based on how flashy they are and how much stuff they have acquired.

The wealthy didn’t get wealthy by spending their money. Most of them live comfortably happy, normal lives not so different from yours’.

That’s where the phrase (and book) The Millionaire Next Door comes from. See, the wealthy know that they don’t want to be enslaved, they want the freedom to make decisions based on what they want and what makes them happy, not what the bill collectors say.

The financially illiterate on the other hand see money in a whole different light. Or, rather they don’t really see or understand money at all. They are primarily driven to work so they can acquire more things.

To get a better kitchen table, to buy a flatter TV, they let their stuff own them. Eventually, their stuff becomes the shackles that hold them back and prevent them from being happy.

The worst part thing about the financially illiterate is that they don’t respect money, themselves or their time. A financially illiterate person may make $12.50 an hour or $100 a day, which is fine, however, at the end of the day they may spend that whole $100 at the bar.

In the matter of a few hours, they drank away a whole day’s work. They might as well have skipped work and stayed home.

It’s Not About Working Hard

This is the sobering truth about how most people spend their money and the irony is that most of these people aren’t stupid, they just don’t understand money and the value of their time.

There is this notion that you must work 5 days a week for at least 40 hours and maintain that level of dedication for nearly 40 years. That’s crazy!

By the time you’re 60, you’ll be old and you won’t want to work. If you drink all your money away you’re basically screwing the future you and making him or her work for the rest of their life.

Thankfully, there is another way but first you must sit down and decide for yourself that the past is the past and from today forward, you will work towards being wealthy. Until you make that conscious decision you’re doomed to be enslaved by your stuff and your job.

You will work away the best years of your life and you won’t realize it until it is too late.

The first step to becoming wealthy is deciding to take responsibility for your financial future. Once you make this choice you can start the slow but rewarding journey of building wealth and becoming the master of your own destiny.

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Build Meaningful Wealth

Once you start building wealth you are going to have to keep track. I’ve found this tool invaluable in my wealth planning and I’ve made some major changes because of it. I’ve been using Personal Capital since 2013 and since then I haven’t found a better free online tool for building and managing wealth.

Manage your cash and investments in one place. Sign up for Personal Capital to keep track of your cash and optimize your investments.

They have a 401k Fee Analyzer to help you choose the right funds for your 401k as well as an Investment Checkup tool to help you diversify and reduce fees. I had no idea I was paying over 1% of my assets in fees every year – these tools helped me dramatically reduce that.

Once you have all of your accounts linked you can leverage their Retirement Planner to plot out exactly what your retirement would look like. Using a Monte Carlo simulation they determine how likely it is that you’ll reach the level of income in retirement that you’re hoping for.

Personal Capital retirement planner

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Andrew Fiebert - Chief Nerd Andrew Fiebert is a thirty-something father of twins, data nerd, and has prior Data Engineer for Barclays Capital and iHeartRadio. He's spent the past six years growing this site into a multi-six-figure business with over 500 hours of free personal finance education that reaches over 1 million people every month. Andrew has a B.S. in Computer Science and has been featured in Quartz, Forbes, Business Insider, and The Telegraph.

Current Project: Making bloggers money with Lasso.
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