One of the most appealing aspects of financial planning, is the promise that one day I may become financially independent. That doesn’t necessarily mean that I will stop working. It simply means that one day, I will be in a position to choose my contribution to society, without concern for my income and expenses. For me, money equals freedom in its purest sense.
The Paradox of Working Life
Hard work has served me well for the past 25 years and I’m thankful for the many paychecks, the insurance and the benefits. I am also very thankful for all of the talented people who have helped me throughout my career. I am thankful for the many experiences (even the painful ones) that have made me a smarter, stronger and more resourceful person. And, I am very thankful for all of the wonderful people who have touched my life, in the workplace.
The paradox for me is the illusion of job security. Throughout the course of my career, I have noticed something develop; Employers are demanding an ever-increasing commitment from their employees, and yet they are providing an ever-decreasing commitment in return. So, while Americans routinely work 50+ hours per week and are the most productive employees in the world, they are now more likely to be laid-off, downsized, outsourced, replaced by people off-shore or even fired for dubious cause.
Implications for the Future
I don’t consider this positive for the future of our nation. I don’t think it “keeps employees on their toes” nor do I think it helps American corporations to remain competitive. I think it’s mostly greed and a lack of compassion for working men and women. If companies treated their employees the same as their CEOs, I might be convinced otherwise.
The most important implication is the hope of a brighter future. I don’t intend to work for 50 years, just to retire on 40% of my working income and hope Social Security remains solvent. We all deserve a better fate and only we can ensure prosperity for our futures. Counting on your employer or your Government for your future, is a promise of disappointment. The only thing retirees can count on for certain are that pensions will be looted, retirement benefits will be cut and Social Security won’t keep pace with the cost of living.
Living the Dream
I long for the day when I can wake up in the morning and be the master of my destiny. When I can schedule work around my life instead of scheduling my life around work. When I can think about helping others, instead of thinking about bills and paydays. When I can walk with the confidence that I am dependent on no one, except for myself. When I can shake a person’s hand, expecting only friendship and good will. Then, I will be living my dream.
What’s Your Dream?
Free at last! Free at last!
Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!
Martin Luther King – Recited from a Spiritual