A normal, hard-working, middle-class family finds themselves having to turn to Medicaid to ensure all of their children can get their shots. It is the first time anyone in their family has received government assistance in any form.

A career woman can’t find a job for more than a year and cashes out her 401(k), wiping out the nest egg that she spent the last decade building up.

A newly single mother must move back in with her own parent, and can’t find the footing to move back out for years.

None of these stories are uncommon. Each of these people has a similar condition: a heart that is heavy, burdened, and sad with despair. The mind, on the other hand, is a flurry of activity. Frantically, it tries to see through the murk in the crystal ball and through the constantly present conflict.

What If…?

“What if I don’t have enough to retire?”

“What if I can’t pay my bills?”

“What if my kids can’t go to college?”

“What if I my car breaks down?”

“What if I get sick and can’t work?”

“What if I can’t afford to care for Mom or Dad when they are old?”

Turn the “What If” into a “If I…”

Asking questions doesn’t necessarily give you power over your situation. Instead, turn your questions into action!

“If I put “x” amount into a retirement fund, I will be that much closer to what I need for retirement.”

That’s great!

“If I cut back on buying that new blouse, I can pay all of my bills on time next month.”

Yes!

“If I consult with my financial advisor, I will know how to properly prepare for my children’s future.”

Fantastic!

“If I budget properly, I can put away money in my emergency fund, for when I really need it.”

Awesome!

Not a Retirement Plan, but a Plan for Retirement

As with all plans worth any real value, it all starts with baby steps. Nothing happens overnight. This is true for retirement but also for winning financial independence sooner instead of later.

  1. Reach out for help – this can be a trusted financial advisor, friends, or family. Call on someone who can offer you practical advice without judging you.
  2. Set realistic goals. There may be setbacks – accepting them is part of the plan.
  3. Take a step towards your goal each day. You’ll get closer to financial freedom with each day and each step.
  4. Have a plan. Worry and anxiety are actually great sources of energy! Focus that worry toward a goal. Organize. Prioritize.
  5. Be your own cheerleader. Working your way to financial freedom is an ongoing process. You’ll need a push every now and then, and you’re the best person to give that push!

“What Does Financial Freedom Mean To Me?”

Having control over my financial situation will manifest itself physically, mentally, and emotionally.

I can imagine my heart becoming light as a feather, free from burden. I will feel lively and optimistic.

My mind will be full of activity, but it will be organized instead of chaotic. I can stop focusing so much on the “what if” and, instead, transform my thoughts toward the “if I!” Many of my internal conflicts will be laid to rest.

What Does Financial Freedom Mean to YOU?

  • What financial hardships have you overcome in your life?
  • Share an example of a worry that has slowed your progress towards financial freedom.

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