“Time, not money, is your biggest asset in life. You need time to invest in relationships (with yourself and your family) or to chase your passion. ‘Think again’ if you are still trading off time for money. Let your money work for you. You don’t work for money. That is exactly what Financial Freedom is…” ― Manoj Arora

How much money would it take for you to give up your forties…the entire decade?

Is there a price you would accept to immediately go from age forty to age fifty, knowing you could not get those years back? If so, how much would you take?

In 2012 the average salary for someone with a bachelor’s degree (ages 25 to 34) was $61,000.00. Let’s just round up to $65,000 per year in average salary.

Would an immediate (tax-free) lump sum payment of $650k be enough money to entice you to give up the entire decade of your forties?

Think about it.

You would give up ten years with your spouse, parents, and your children. Ten years not pursuing the activities and hobbies you love, despite presumably being in good health. What is your time worth? Is there even a dollar amount fathomable?

If you have chosen to spend your time reading this blog post, I expect your answer is no. There is no price you would accept in exchange for the decade.

Time is finite and invaluable. You simply cannot put a dollar amount on your time that makes sense.

When you trade time for money you always get ripped off, regardless of the amount of money you are receiving. You will never come out ahead.

{Financial Independence: The state of having sufficient personal wealth to live, without having to work actively for basic necessities.  For financially independent people, their assets generate income that is greater than their expenses. Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Financial_independence}

I hope to help you live your best life and achieve financial independence. I will do this helping you specifically define exactly what you want your post-bankruptcy life to become, and then determine the step-by-step process for achieving your definition.

This website is meant to serve as a map; a guide which highlights the route that will deliver you from your bankruptcy discharge to your desired destination, financial independence. But before we can get traveling, we must first consider your starting position.

Do you spend forty or more hours per week trading your time in exchange for a paycheck? Assuming you work this schedule fifty weeks per year, that’s two-thousand hours every year and eighty-thousand hours over the course of a forty-year working career; much more than nine full years of your life given to your employer or your clients.

That’s nearly ten years spent trading your time for money, almost an entire decade. Ten years spent away from your loved ones. Ten years spent away from the things you enjoy. Are you beginning to feel queasy?

Let’s take this one step further…

How much of your leisure time is spent enjoying the activities you most love? Many folks I work with enjoy very little of their “free time,” because they spend most of their time worrying about paying the bills or living up to someone else’s expectations for their life.

They choose to buy a bigger house with a new mortgage every few years. They trade-in their shiny late model BMW every two years to take advantage of the “free money” offer of an enticing “zero percent” interest rate. All the while they trade an increasing amount of their time to create the income necessary to pay for their completely mortgaged life.

So they find themselves spending an enormous amount of their life in exchange for a paycheck to fund a life that makes them completely stressed out and miserable. They spend ten to twelve hours each weekday choosing to leave their family behind and give that invaluable time to an employer or a client. Is it worth it?

It’s not that a bigger house and a gorgeous BMW are inherently bad, but most of the big houses and luxury cars you see are possessed by folks who rent their life to appear wealthy. They are not actually wealthy.

They really cannot afford these luxuries, and will spend most, if not all, of their life sacrificing freedom to buy this stuff. It’s like they are spending a dollar to get two shiny nickels, and repeating the transaction throughout their entire life.

Is this you? You may not have a luxury car and 4,000 square foot house, but are you living like this? Do you spend most of your week at a job you would rather not be doing only to pay taxes, mortgages and car payments? Is that truly how you would design your life if you could start over?

The good news is that your choices brought you to this place, and you have total control over your choices. You can start making different choices. You can immediately start making choices that are in complete alignment with what you truly want out of life.

It will not be easy, at least at first.

A radical change will only result from radically different decision-making. The more radical your destination, the more radical your decision-making must be.Filing bankruptcy, I’m sure, was a radical and unusual decision for you.

Look around at the people you know. How many seem truly happy? How many are living the exact life they would choose for themselves if money were of no concern?

I expect none, or at most very few; so living your fullest life and achieving financial independence will require decision-making that is drastically different from the decision-making common among the people surrounding you. This will make you uncomfortable at first. It’s sort of like you are the new kid at school.

This discomfort is a good thing. Discomfort means changes are occurring, and changes lead to different results. Different results are what you need if you are unhappy with the results you have.

While you’re journeying down your road to financial independence, your friends and family may question your decisions. They may worry you are having money troubles, or wonder why you are acting so differently. Rest assured, this reaction is what you want. Their concern is a sign you are making the choices necessary for you to progress down the route to financial success.

I can help you. However, I need a commitment from you. This will require work; anything worthwhile always does. You are going to permanently improve the financial health for yourself and your family.  You are going to achieve financial independence, and enjoy all of the gifts that achievement provides.

So I hope you are ready for a positive financial change in your life, attack this blog’s content and take action, and you’ll be in a much better financial position from this day forward.

Image Credit: https://unsplash.com/@stephaniemccabe