The Confidence To Be Independent

There’s nothing quite like the celebration of independence by Americans every July 4th.

Before darkness arrives, and the fireworks start, take a moment to really think about what it is that we’re celebrating because it’s something that DID NOT EXIST in the history of the world before our founding fathers created it.

We’re celebrating our ability to exercise our own judgment.

To use our minds.

To use our reasoning capacity in order to choose what we believe to be best for our own well being (as long as we don’t use force or fraud to deny anyone else the right to pursue the same for themselves).

This basic and profound right was not identified, and certainly not protected prior to the creation of America, yet most Americans are not even aware of it, or they take it completely for granted.

Never before in history was there a government created for the sole purpose of protecting and defending individual rights against force or fraud, even from government.

Instead, individuals were subservient to some form of a dictatorship, or governing body empowered with the right to control your life.

Stop and think about how incredible that is, and the life it allows you to live if you choose.

Are You Confident Enough To Take Advantage?

Now the question is, “are you confident enough to take full advantage of your independence?”

Well, that’s a loaded question, so let’s narrow it down a little. Grade yourself on a scale of 1 to 10 on your level of confidence in your ability to do:

  • What you want
  • When you want
  • Where you want
  • With whomever you choose

Where do you stack up? Are you a 10?

If not, you’re not alone.

The big challenge that I’ve witnessed over the last 24 years coaching hundreds of individuals and couples to a seamless transition to retirement is that most people are just not financially confident enough at this stage in their lives.

And, that lack of confidence translates into a lack of independence.

There’s a direct link between the two. You can’t experience high levels of one without the other.

If you really stop and think about it, all of those years of diligently saving money for the future are of absolutely no value to you unless you have the confidence to spend it without the constant and never ending fear that you’re going to run out some day.

Where to Derive Confidence

Confidence comes from certainty. From “knowing”. Whenever my confidence gets tested in any area of life, I immediately go into “information acquisition and quantification mode”!

What does that mean? Well, I can’t stand ambiguity or haziness, so as quickly as I can, I study up on whatever is making me uncertain, and quantify what it means to me personally.

For you, the recipe for financial confidence is knowing your numbers, (i.e. what it costs you to live exactly the way you want, how dependent you are on your Retirement Bucket, and what rate of return you need to earn on your investments in order to keep your Retirement Bucket from becoming empty).

Get as specific as you possibly can. Some rule of thumb touted in a magazine, or someone’s opinion, will not bring about the necessary confidence you need.

For example, there’s no power in knowing what “the market” did today, or this month, or this year.

The power is in knowing how your investments performed, and more importantly, where that now puts you in relation to your long term financial independence goals.

Are you still on track? Do you need to earn a better rate of return from here forward? Or, are you properly positioned to earn what you need?

Knowing your numbers allows you to make accurate, calm decisions, separating fact from fiction, and fact from opinion.

In contrast to the overwhelming majority of people who react emotionally and have little confidence, it allows your actions to be solidly based on truth instead of your own or someone else’s opinions.

That’s where your confidence will come from, and, in turn, your increased level of independence.

Now, THAT’S something to celebrate!

Committed To Your Relaxing Retirement,

Jack Phelps
The Retirement Coach

P.S.WHO do you know who could benefit from receiving my Retirement Coach “Strategy of the Week”? Please simply provide their name and email address to us at Or they can subscribe at appreciate the trust you place in me. Thank you!