Financial freedom is subjective


This week I’m sharing two tweets about financial freedom from two people who (I think) really know what they’re talking about:

If you’ve followed either of them for awhile, you’d know neither of them are crazy trolls who want to see the world burn. They both sincerely believe what they tweeted.

And, I’m lazy to do this, but if someone were to look at their twitter followers, I bet you’d see significant overlap. So it’s not like they live in wildly different worlds either.

And I think that’s an important thing to keep in mind while talking about this concept of “enough”.

To spell it out: “Enough” looks different to everyone. Where someone only needs $25k, another needs >$20 million.

Let’s talk about the implications of this subjectivity

Judging someone for their enough number is a fool’s errand. If your concept of enough is $25k and you see someone stressed because they aren’t a millionaire yet, don’t judge them or give them advice by your standards.

You don’t know their world view, life circumstances or anything else.

Your advice or judgment is literally meaningless to them because it comes from a different standard. Reduce your outrage and try to be a neutral observer instead.

Likewise, be wary about taking advice from someone who has a different concept of enough from you.

Instead, always benchmark/apply that person’s context to any advice or ideas they give about finances, retirement or enough numbers. If their advice doesn’t resonate, it’s not because they’re crazy or dumb, they just have a different outlook from you.

If it’s worth doing, try to distil the principle behind their words, rather than actual numbers or advice. But it might simply be easier to ignore advice if their starting point is simply too different from yours.

Lastly, and this is my personal favourite: Revel in every opportunity you get to witness drastically different perspectives. This lets you challenge your own reference points and forces you to decide if you want to double down on your beliefs in light of new information or change.

Both are wins in my book because the process of challenging your beliefs is the important bit; where you end up doesn’t matter.

Personally, I think I land in the middle of Paul and Codie: $25k does not make me feel financially secure at all. At the same time, $20m seems wildly luxurious.

I still follow them both and really enjoy their insights into their worlds. I believe seeing the world through their eyes helps me clarify my own thinking on this subject.

What about you? Where do you land on the financial freedom spectrum?

Seeya next Monday,

Lesley

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