What does financial independence mean to you? For retired Navy Commander Bob Chambers, it means “spending time with family and friends and having a predictable, life-long income that provides a comfortable lifestyle.”
Commander Chambers retired before he turned 50, putting him among a small, but growing, group of super-savers achieving what’s called “FIRE” (financial independence and retire early). Early on, Chambers knew he wanted to attain financial independence, enjoy a comfortable lifestyle and leave a legacy for future generations. (Learn how he did it in his booklet “Financial Independence Made Easy,” available as a free download.)
Financial independence can be defined as being able to handle whatever challenges life throws at you. Yet how many of us have this kind of true financial independence? Only 52 percent of those asked in a recent Bankrate Financial Security Index survey have more money in emergency savings than in credit card debt, and 24 percent have more credit card debt than emergency savings. A recent report by the World Economic Forum calls retirement savings a “global retirement time bomb,” with Americans facing the largest gap between what they’ll need and what they’ve saved. The collective shortfall hit $28 trillion in 2015 and is expected to rise to $137 trillion in 2050. It’s clear to me that Americans need a financial revolution in 2017 as surely as we needed a political revolution in 1776.
Credits: Pamela Yellen