Every summer, we have the opportunity to celebrate our country’s independence. For me, I am grateful that I was born in the United States, and for the independence we have obtained as a nation. We live in a wonderful time of innovation, technology, and new personal freedoms.Our forefathers spoke for us as a nation when they declared our independence from Great Britain. This was accomplished through that famous document recognized as being signed on July 4, 1776. We have 239 years of history as a country that had its humble beginning with those 13 rogue colonies wishing to remove England from its rule over our states.
Today we still have many challenges that need to be solved; however, in comparison with other countries, these are first world problems. It is great to be alive today with the freedoms we enjoy and defend in this great nation.
This year’s holiday is special for me since it will be the last July 4th Independence Day I spend dependent on an employer for income! Next year my wife and I will celebrate an entirely new experience when we declare ourselves Financially Independent! July 4, 2016, here we come – only 363 days to go!
The Constitution and Declaration of Independence envisioned our freedoms and became law
The resolution of the Declaration of Independence was Congress’ announcement that the 13 Colonies would become independent sovereign states from Great Britain. This was the formal statement and explanation as to why the United States should become independent of the British Empire. That was a big goal for sure.
In 1787 the Constitution was created, setting into motion the separation of the government into the legislative, executive, and the judicial branches. Just two years later in 1789, we had James Madison propose the 39 new amendments to the constitution that would help define and limit the powers of government.
The first 10 of these amendments became known as the Bill of Rights, which gave us such liberties as our choice of religion, the right to bear arms, freedom from search and seizure, free assembly, free speech, and a free press, just to list a few. The Bill of Rights was intended to give individual liberties and limit the control of the government. It is clear that over 200 years ago our new government strived to bring freedoms to individuals that would be backed and protected by the law.
It is unfortunate that it took so many more years to get past slavery, voting rights, women’s and gay rights, discrimination and many other social issues that faced our country. But, hey, we are moving forward and our country is a “work in progress”!
How about our Freedoms with Personal Financial Independence?
As I mentioned earlier, this July 4th is special to me – the beginning of the last year that we will be bound by personal finance debt! Next year at this time, we will be debt-free and able to live off our passive income. To me, this opens up a whole new list of freedoms that weren’t included in our Constitution, Declaration of Independence, or Bill of Rights:
- Freedom from working for an employer. We will not need to work for an employer just for the sake of collecting a paycheck. I certainly want to be in the position to determine if my attitude changes toward work. Who knows, maybe I will enjoy work more knowing I am not stuck.
- Freedom to work on projects I enjoy without pay. I will be able to choose to work on things that make me happy, even if there’s no money involved. This could be a win-win for me and for my community. Either way, I will have more options to pursue work for its own sake and not just for pay.
- Freedom from debt and our debt snowball. No more talking about debt and how to pay it off. I hate to even think how much time and energy we spend on this subject.
- Location independence. We don’t have to stay in one place as a result of being tied to a job. We can travel and see the world, as much as our budget will allow. Work won’t stop us from experiencing our travel bug. The good news is our passive income is location independent and thus can “follow” us wherever we may roam.
- Freedom from limited thinking. I think the biggest improvement for me will to take on directly my most common excuse for not trying some new experience or project: my work. With work gone, I will have freed up my time and eliminated the need to wait to try new things.
We are truly in pursuit of our own happiness. The country set us up to succeed.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. – Abraham Lincoln Gettysburg Address in 1863
Have a happy and safe July 4th Independence Day!
I am really looking forward to experiencing our new financially independent life next year. We are certainly curious how our mood, attitude, energy level, happiness, and other aspects of life will be different from what they are now.
My plan is to reflect back on this post next year to see how my opinion and perceptions of financial independence have changed. Will it be nirvana or simply just another day of life? Will I still be working? Has a new financial goal now appeared that seems important enough to keep working for money’s sake?
We are counting our blessings with respect to our national and personal independence. We are grateful for what we can achieve with hard work, help from others, and a free society. That would be incredibly difficult to do in many places in the world today.
I would like to wish everyone a safe and happy July 4th! Take care.
How about you: do you feel truly independent? Do you have your own declaration of independence? Are you seeking financial independence to go along with our country’s freedoms?