Every worthwhile thing in life — in my opinion — will not be easy to obtain. As Randy Pausch said, the walls and barriers are there for those who are hungry enough and wanting it bad enough.
I truly believe that I want financial independence bad enough to climb those walls and get through those barriers.
Is it simply about retiring in comfort? Having enough saved up so that in my advance years, I can hum around in style, store my infinite supplies of Cheetos in my fancy pantry — that happened to came with my nice big suburban house?
Are we all spending less than our means, saving diligently, and investing wisely, just so that we can live in the future without worries?
For me, those are a part of the reason. I would be crazy to choose a life of worry and financial difficulties, especially in my later years of life. Plus, why not? Everyone always tout that basic personal finance values are common sense. Spend less than you earn. Build an emergency fund. Invest wisely.
It’s entirely boring. There’s nothing sexy about the system, but the math works.
Even so, why follow common personal finance adage? Why should any of us pursue financial independence, which as it turns out, is a very subjective thing? Some of us are fine with a house well-stocked with food. Some of us want the yacht, private jet, and houses with 10,000 square ft. ballrooms. Nothing wrong with either goals in my opinion.
I often debate the subject of why within my own head, but as I grew older, the reasons started to become much clearer and much more focused.
Everyday, I wake up and see my mom heading off to work. And although I don’t get to see him often enough, I know that my dad is doing the very same thing, getting up at six in the morning to head off to work. Many of you reading this do the same thing everyday.
Although our reasons may be shaped with different words and different ideas, I believe the underlying goals are the same as my own reasons for wanting financial independence: it is for the love we have for our loved-ones; for their well-being, for their happiness, and for their comfort in life.
One of my mom’s financial goals was to earn enough money to buy a nice little house in Fountain Valley, CA, so that my grandfather can live his later years in comfort. As the years went on, my mother got closer and closer to her goal, but things came to an abrupt halt when my grandfather passed away due to cancer.
I still remember that day clearly…
My family and I gathered around my grandfather’s hospital bed, and as he passed away, my aunt and uncles started to cry aloud their father’s name. My grandmother clung onto the hands of the man she’s been with for the past sixty years, and I stood in the back of the room… wishing my family wouldn’t have to go through this experience.
Despite the untimely death, my family and I were truly blessed. Tens of thousands of others pass away each day without the surrounding comfort of their family and the care of a modern medical facility.
At the end, all of us being there that day was the founding reason why I wanted to achieve financial independence — to also be surrounded by family and loved ones during some of my final moments in life.
To feel their warmth, look upon them, and know that they will be taken care of. To be comforted by the thought that they will continue to be happy, be well-supported, and be able to somehow contribute to the improvement of this crazy round ball we all live on.
And of course, to be able to smile and ask them, “Did I ever told you guys about this silly, stupid blog I had on the World Wide Web…?”