Mondays with Mac: Choose Financial Freedom
Here's a story from one of the newest Simple Truths books, One Choice. Often, a change in your life can be traced back to a single event. At that time, you made a choice that changed your life.
That's what One Choice is all about...those watershed moments that make all the difference. Enjoy this excerpt:
Whether you're born rich or not, the power to be rich is within your control. You have to make the choice… and then follow through. That's the advice of financial counselor David Bach. In his book, Start Late, Finish Rich: A no-fail plan for achieving financial freedom at any age, he relates the story of one of his clients who appeared on the Oprah show, sharing how she made the choice and successfully accumulated $1.6 million in a brokerage account...starting in her early fifties. Her name is Lynn Haley, and Oprah explained that she came to my first "Smart Women Finish Rich" seminar when she was in her early fifties, put a plan in place, and took action. Now here she is a decade or so later, having retired a multi-millionaire. Lynn is beaming with pride—as well she should. Although she got a late start, she didn't let that stop her from taking action to catch up. She wasn't poor when I met her, but she didn't have a plan in place to really finish rich. I told her as much during our first appointment. "Lynn," I said, "with what you have now, you won't starve during your retirement. You'll be able to enjoy the 'early bird special.' But you won't be traveling to Europe or taking any cruises. If you want to finish rich, you are going to need a new plan of action." I made it clear to her that this new plan wouldn't involve anything particularly fancy or complicated. It would all be based on common sense. The thing was, she would have to apply what I taught her. Not just pay it lip service, but actually do it. "The choice is ultimately yours," I told her. "If you want to retire rich, we can work together to make it happen. I'll guide you, but you'll need to follow through. Otherwise, it won't work." Lynn was up to the challenge. "Tell me what I need to do, David, and I'll do it," she said. Fewer than 10 years later, Lynn took early retirement—rich enough to do what she wanted to do when she wanted to do it. And getting there wasn't all that difficult. In fact, the hardest thing Lynn had to do was what she did that first day we met: deciding—and then really believing—that it wasn't too late for her to be able to change her destiny. Which life will you choose? When you contrast the bad news (the paycheck-to-paycheck struggle that kills freedom) with the good news (the phenomenal wealth and opportunity that is all around us), you begin to realize that life is not fair. The fact is, you don't get in life what you wish for. You get in life what you go for.
What have been your watershed moments? How can you make those hard choices? What advice do you have for others?