For many people, financial freedom is the ultimate goal. You want to be able to do what you want when you want, and how you want. That’s the dream.
But should you pursue this goal? While financial freedom sounds laudable, is it everything it’s cracked up to be?
In this contributed post, we take a look at some of the arguments behind shooting for financial freedom, and why you might not want to dedicate your life to it.
Arguments For Financial Freedom
The main argument for financial freedom is that it gives you independence and autonomy. You can buy the things you need to live well without having to go hat in hand to an employer. Mostly, you can live off the returns on your capital investments. A paycheck isn’t something you need anymore.
Another big argument in favor of financial freedom, though, is how it makes you feel. It’s not just about being able to do what you want, but also feeling free and confident that you will always have money, regardless of what might happen in the job market. You don’t have to worry about bullying bosses or the pressures of working every weekend. Instead, you can take time out to just “do you,” meaning you aren’t always struggling to achieve the next objective or milestone.
You also sometimes see people making the argument that financial freedom creates generational wealth. That is, it is not just you who will benefit from having ample money, but your children and their children, too. It’s a wonderful way to reduce stress across the family and prevent life from solely being about the acquisition of material rewards.
Institutions, like the North Country Savings Bank, play a role in helping families generate intergenerational wealth. Secure deposits mean that money stays safe for years to come and earns a return. If you would like a list of banks that have the highest yields at this time, just sign up below.
Finally, some people argue that financial freedom brings opportunities and flexibility. It provides individuals with the ability to pursue their passions, start businesses, and change careers without worrying too much about the consequences. It is not an all-or-nothing gamble as it is for individuals with fewer means.
Arguments Against Financial Freedom
Of course, financial freedom isn’t 100 percent rosy. Just like anything good in life, it comes with a set of its own challenges.
For example, striving for financial freedom can lead to obsession. People might neglect their personal lives in pursuit of money, leading to loss of relationships, burnout, and lower overall happiness. Many people might start feeling despondent and wonder why life is the way it is, and not more rounded. (Katy's note: these things also don't have to happen in pursuit of financial freedom, as long as you truly know your own worth and what it is that you want and why you want it.)
Financial freedom is also uncertain. While markets generally rise over time and investments compound, that doesn’t necessarily have to be the case. A war, climate change, or some other social problem could cause such devastation that investors go a long time without returns.
Finally, chasing financial freedom might conflict with your other life values. For example, you might want to prioritize family or experiences over having more money. That's why it's important for you to know what you want and why you want it.