Financial independence…are you really committed to it? - Al Zdenek

The question I’m most often asked is not simply “how do I become financially independent?” but rather “how do I become financially independent as quickly as possible?”

While there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to these questions, I can help you determine the best course of action to find your version of financial independence…as long as you’re truly committed to the actions you must take. If not, stop reading now and keep ignoring your finances. But if you are really serious about this, read on!

Many finance gurus tell you to scrimp and save now so you can retire in style. That’s depressing advice. Live the life you want now…and always!

Ready to dive in?

Insight 1: Think in terms of abundance, not scarcity. And in doing so, figure out what sort of life you want to live, both now and in the future. Many finance gurus tell you to scrimp and save now so you can retire in style. That’s depressing advice. Why would you want to live in squalor now? Or not enjoy the things that make you happy?

I need to enjoy good food and travel. It relieves stress and resets my battery. I can’t imagine living life without those, and I don’t think that you should either. Instead, create a plan that allows you to live the life you want now and continue it into your retirement.

Insight 2: Learn to use debt to your advantage. Being debt-free sounds great, in theory, but it can make your life harder than it needs to be. Why would you add more difficulties to your life just to say you have no debt? A smarter plan is to use debt to help you save more.

For instance, debt can free up cash flow, which can be used for savings, investments, and other wealth-building endeavors. Naturally, you’ll want to avoid high-interest debt. Pay that off quickly then use the extra money to invest. A lot of people have emotional baggage around debt, which hurts their commitment to financial independence. Might you be one of those people?

Insight 3: Finally, surround yourself with a dream team of pros that knows more than you. Do you have a proactive CPA, insurance agent, banker, and attorney? If your advisors check in only once or twice a year, they’re not earning your business.

Make sure you have A players on your Team, the best.  B players can be a drag on your independence: C players definitely! For example, if your CPA doesn’t think of tax planning as a year-round responsibility, you’re surely missing out on wealth-building opportunities. The same is true of the experts who oversee your investment portfolio, handle your insurance policies, and manage the money you bank. If they’re not offering ideas for protecting and growing your assets, you may need to find a better team.

These are just three insights for achieving financial independence. For more ideas, explore my book Master Your Cash Flow. Once you get a little more knowledge under your belt –– and find experts who can really add value to the picture –– you’ll see that the right strategies and a little persistence can pave the way toward true financial independence.