The Man who moves a Mountain
begins by carrying away Small Stones.
Financial Freedom is the term that refers to having the desired job, home, and lifestyle, flexibility with your time and a savings cushion for future unexpected expenses.
In other words, Fin Freedom, simply stated, means that you are Financially Independent and have sources of steady monthly Passive Income.
Are YOU on the Road to Fin Freedom?
- Not need to rely on your next regular paycheck
- Fund a separate emergency savings account covering at least 3-6 months of expenses
- Have manageable low interest debt and consumer loans
Early Fin Freedom – The FIRE Movement
FIRE acronym stands for Financial Independence Retire Early. It has originated from the ideas written by Financial Gurus, Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez’s, in their book, Your Money or Your Life (1992). The Movement became quite popular among Millennials (2010) through online forums and Blogs. FIRE Movement inspires a lifestyle whose goal is to retire at a much earlier age than at the traditional age of 65-67.
Through a dedicated program of extreme saving and investing, it is possible to set aside up to 50% and more of your income for retirement early financial goal. Savings goal to achieve approximately $1Million (about 30 times their yearly expenses), FIRE achievers may quit their day job
The Concepts of FIRE is misunderstood by friends, partners and family members who think that FIRE achievers want to retire early, so that they spend 40-45 years of their life not working- “lazy or unambitious”. Also, FIRE community acceptance has been controversial because their oversimplified frugal lifestyle and extreme sacrifices taken in order to achieve their goal of retirement early.
Financial Independence, Retire Early philosophies is not a full proof plan to be able to retire early and live solely off small withdrawals from their savings and investment portfolios (withdrawal 3%-4% yearly). The FIRE plan may fall short due to unexpected downturns in global economy, stock market and savings interest rates.
- Make Saving Money is a priority when preparing monthly budget. Pay yourself first.
- Living below your means of income. Spend what you have and try not to use the credit.
- Track expenses, so that you are aware of where your money goes each month.
- Explore Creative Ideas for Entertainment, Socializing with Friends and Going on Vacations can be fun as well as within your budget
- Having a Family can be quite expensive but rewarding. Teaching your children to be Money Smart can save you money in the long run. As your children grow up, using your free time to share experiences is invaluable and memorable than the latest smart tech gadget that will need replacing shortly after its purchase.
Programs and Organizations for Financial Wellness
The Foundation for Financial Wellness offers nationwide programs for every age, provide counseling resources and certification. They have partnered with the National Wellness Institute in providing conferences for professional development, resources for career enrichment and opportunities for lifelong learning to promote health and wellness.
World Countries Wellness Data
According to Index for Economic Freedom (IEF) 2018 and 2019 reported by the Heritage Foundation, World Countries are ranked by measuring economic freedom in a similar approach as in Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations.
- The Average Overall Score in 2018 reached a record highest score 61.1 for all 180 countries.
- In 2019 the Average Overall Score for global economic freedom was 60.8, which was the third highest level in the 25-year history of the Index for Economic Freedom which began in 1995.
According to the findings of the IEF Report (2019), Countries with greater economic freedom enjoy:
- increased national economic growth and productivity
- its people living longer, improved access to environmental resources
- greater access to “higher quality” such as health services, education and leisure activities.
Also, Countries with greater economic freedom correlates strongly with:
- more efficient, effective democratic governance
- stronger judicial effectiveness for businesses and corporate taxes
- monetary stability with expansion of its global trade relationships
- adequate regulations for government spending and investments allocated toward infrastructure.
Note: The 2020 Index of Economic Freedom by The Heritage Foundation has been postponed (Event was scheduled on March 17, 2020).
How Do We Rank in Economic Freedom?
Index for Economic Freedom (IEF) of 180 Countries in the World
Data for Economic Freedom Index Comparison Chart was taken from Reports: The Heritage Foundation Highlights of 2018 Index Economic Freedom and The Heritage Foundation Highlights 2019 Index Economic Freedom.
Corporate Social Responsibility Trending
The Beautiful Thing about Today is that
YOU get a CHOICE to make it
BETTER than YESTERDAY.
Your Financial Mindset
Financial mindset is all about your feelings, thoughts and habits towards money. The experiences you had about money growing up can have long term effects towards your financial success today.
And more importantly the values you are instilling upon your family can have prolong affects towards successfully achieving your family’s saving goals and improving financial health for the future.
Having the Right Money Mindset and Relationship with Money:
- Think positive, abundance and opportunity through organizing and planning for investments. Clear mental negative thoughts about scarcity (‘paycheck to paycheck’) from fears which arise from media in regard to global trade conflict and debt crises that can led to procrastination.
- Know yourself, forgive your occasional impulsive purchases, learn/ read about effective money management principles and reward yourself for the small steps that you have accomplished toward achieving your financial goals.
- Become Aware / Power of Giving- By expressing your gratitude and celebrating others’ good fortunes around you help to produce a productive relationship with money that other can also learn from you. Paying it forward through charity donations and giving your time all contribute positive energy to a better world through your self-improvement and financial happiness.
Eating more plant-based recipes improves overall health and lowers food costs, according to the research article Financial Benefits of Plant-Based, Mediterranean Diet from Lifespan (March 2013). Long term you save on medical expenses, new bigger size clothing purchases, decreases stress binge on unhealthy processed snack foods which frees up extra income. Creating better, more conscious habits towards food intake increases your energy levels during the day and improves quality of sleep during the night. Not to mention that the vitamins contained in the fruits and vegetables boosts your immune system so lowering the likelihood of taking a sick day from your job. Also, thinking ahead to retirement investments, keeping healthy allows you to work longer if you enjoy it to put more money aside for the future years and decreases need for unplanned medical costs in your later years.
According to a Brigham Young University research study (2012), exercising keeps you more productive as well as eating healthy, especially getting 5 servings of fruits and vegetables. Keeping your heart and weight/ body mass index healthy will help you reduce the need for medications and thereby saving you money from those monthly expenses.
Taking time to focus inward through meditation and creating space- to have time for yourself, enables fresh innovative ideas to flow easier in a relaxed, uninhibited environment that activates different areas of your brain increases your productive potential leading towards financial independence.
Creating the Vision
The desire to open their minds to possibilities and dream big gives them the inner motivational tools to attract opportunities so that their goals are achievable. It is the Powerful Law of Attraction.
Prioritizing their Time and Energy
The ability to free up their brains for focused decision-making (deep work), benefits them to become more productive and gives them the opportunity to create world-changing ideas.
Do YOU Need a Life Coach, a Financial Planner or a Financial Advisor?
Professionals who guide/ organize their clients on what to do in their daily lives so that they can take control of their future and motivate them to achieve their goals through behavior modification and inspire them in developing their self confidence. They can specialize in particular areas of personal growth.
Life Coach Blogs to follow Coach Corey Wayne, Valorie Burton, Lynda Field
Some Popular Life Coach Authors include Robin Sharma, Tony Robbins, Rachel Hollis
(A Broader Blanket term) Professionals who help you manage your money and recommend improvement on certain aspects of your financial life, help to create budgets. They can specialize in a particular area and include tax professionals, insurance agents, financial planners and stock brokers.
Find a financial planner near me https://smartasset.com/retirement/financial-advisor
Professionals who work with individuals, families and business with short-term and long-term financial goals by helping them to understand and work through their financial circumstances. Certified financial planner (CFP) can specialize in specific area of finance such as retirement planning.
Life Coaches’ Inspiring Quotes for Motivation, Personal Growth and Fin Freedom
What are the Financial Gurus Recommendations for Building Personal Wealth?
Financial Guru is a motivational person who brings you from darkness into the light of your financial journey with their experience and knowledge in money matters.
Tips from Financial Gurus Financial Philosophies
- Spend Less than you earn (Budget)
- Consider a Side Hustle to supplement your income
- Pay down Debt and/or build up Savings (Emergency Fund)
- Investing for future financial stability (Retirement and Brokerage Accounts and Real Estate)
- Automate your finances
We make a Living by what we Get,
But We make a Life by what we Give.
Positive Effects of Giving to Charity
- According to the National Institutes of Health Research Matters 2007, donating money simply makes you feel better by activating pleasure-related centers deep in the brain and even more brain activation occurs when given voluntarily (“warm glow”). Donating money, volunteering your time or offering emotional support for your loved ones boosts your physical health and mental well-being. (source: https://www.nih.gov/news-events/nih-research-matters/brain-imaging-reveals-joys-giving)
- By donating money to charitable causes, paying it forward, you create opportunities to impact lives for people and children in need and give you self-worth and improved self-esteem thus, giving more meaning and inspiration in your own life. These positive uplifting moods decreases stress in everyday life as well as less tendency towards depression.
- IRS- approved charitable organizations can be a beneficial tax deduction/write off for donations from cash and noncash (such as stocks, clothing, real estate, art, cars and other investments) on your tax return. (source: https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p526.pdf)
- Setting aside money towards donations, even a few dollars, regularly gives you an inner feeling of abundance and wealth, as well as makes you become more attentive in your own personal finances which brings you closer in your financial goals.
Your generosity encourages and influences a positive mindset and social responsibility in your children and motivates your family and friends around you and your community to become interested in a more sustainable world.
December 1, 2020 – Global Generosity Movement
Post-Thanksgiving Day in US, there are shopping deals on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but on #GivingTuesday we use the internet to support our favorite philanthropic causes around the world as well as in our own community. #GivingTuesday began in 2012 by New York’s 92nd Street Y in partnership with United Nations Foundation. 2019 online/ offline donations $1.97Billion USD in 60 countries. It has been supported by many Companies and Foundations such as Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Facebook, PayPal, Ford, The Rockefeller Foundation Fidelity Charitable and some have matched the donations of fundraisers.
Your Mileage Reward Points form most major airlines and hotel chains, as well as your Cash Back Rewards from Credit Cards have on their websites, a list of charitable organizations and programs that would benefit from your donations.
Similarily, you can donate your daily set points from Microsoft.com Account Rewards Program towards charitable organizations from their list. In return you gain rewards badges for donating your points. Badges include: Sweet Heart (1,000 points), Ace of Hearts (5,000 points), Heart of Hearts (20,000 points), Heart of Gold (50,000 points), World of Thanks (150,000 points).
The Giving Pledge was founded by Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett in 2010. It is a non-binding commitment by the world’s wealthiest (net worth at least $1 Billion USD) and their families to give more than half of their wealth during their lifetime or in their will to philanthropy and charitable causes to address some of the world’s problems. As of February 2020, there have been 206 Pledges from 23 countries.
Check it here: https://givingpledge.org
Corporate Philanthropy is the action of a business to make charitable contributions to non-profit organizations for a positive social and global impact. Donations from the company’s resources can be in the form of cash donations, employees volunteering their time, the use of company’s facilities and products/ services for a beneficial cause to underserved, underprivileged communities around the world.
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a concept that umbrellas many commitments in which the company undertakes to provide sustainability, promote its brand and maintaining profitability, while giving back to its community where it is present. This can be in the form of grants, scholarships, volunteering or sponsorships. CSR is an investment into its community and environment, as well as its internal ethical guidelines at the workplace and for future of the company.
Philanthropic Programs of Companies
Some of the most world’s powerful companies not only establishing their philanthropic programs that make a social impact globally but also care about the causes that their employees are passionate about and matches employee donations and volunteering time with money to various non-profit charitable organizations.
(Information from doublethedonation.com)
Exxon Mobil will Match Gift donation up to 2:1 $20 – $7500 per calendar year
Volunteer grant $500 with minimum 20 hours and up to 4 grants per year
Microsoft will Match Gift donation 1:1 up to $15,000 per calendar year
Volunteer Grant $25 per hour volunteered
Google will Match Gift donation 1:1 $50 – $6,000 per calendar year
Volunteer Grant $10 per hour volunteered
Google.org fellowship (launched in 2019) is 6-month pro-bono work for one of the company’s non-profit partners.
What is Traditional Crowdfunding or Equity (Regulation) Crowdfunding?
Crowdfunding allows you to have full control of decisions and ownership of your company, unlike angel investors and venture capitalists.
Can help your company gain some exposure and momentum in promoting your startup.
- Traditional Crowdfunding websites offer a way for a new business to raise capital
in return entrepreneurs give some sort of perk such as free or discounted product.
- In Equity Crowdfunding, the company raises capital by selling securities (equity of company)/ revenue shares.
- The Investors in Equity Crowdfunding are interested in seeing the company grow and make a profit.
- Federal regulation limit startups to raise up to $1.07 million in Equity Crowdfunding every year from non-accredited and accredited investors.
The US Security Exchange Commission which is a federal government agency established to protect investors and maintain fairness and function of the securities exchanges, brokerage firms, investment advisors and investment funds. The SEC requires that the financials of the company be available to every potential investor.
- Non-accredited investors are individuals with income lower than $200,000USD/year.
- An Accredited Investor has a net worth of minimum $1 Million US dollars, excluding value of primary residence or income in the past two years of $200,000USD single/ $300,000 USD combined income married, as well as present year this same amount.
From Heartwarming Causes to Mind Opening, Forward-Thinking Ideas for the Future, You can Make a Difference
What is Angel Investing?
- A way for a new business to raise capital privately from an accredited high net worth investor.
- In exchange of providing financial backing, the angel investor receives equity in the company.
- Angel investors are not only interested in maximizing their potential returns and profits but also in helping startup companies during difficult early stages of building a business (valuable mentors).
- No limit in the amount of capital raised but it can take longer to receive funding.
- However, Business decisions and certain amount of control is given to the investor.
- May experience increase in pressure to grow your business quickly.
What are Finaloca’s Thoughts on Donations?
On a personal note, a dear friend, teacher and colleague explained how he and his family, at the end of each year, with his children, decided which charities to donate. He set aside a portion of his income each year to encourage the importance of awareness in the ‘world outside their box’. He explained further that his children were fortunate have collected already so many material things each holiday season and this was more meaningful way to end the year. He also took time from his office once a week to offer his services to the local hospital, as well as volunteered abroad during the summers through world organizations, such Doctors Without Borders. Just Food for Thought from our family to yours as you find your Road to Financial Wellness.