One night after supper, Dan shared some pleasant news with Sherry. “I used to worry about retirement. I’d wonder if we’d ever have enough money set aside to retire or if we’d work for the rest of our lives. But now, not only can I see how we will be able to retire at age sixty-five, but I think we might be able to retire earlier than that!”

Dan and Sherry have now completed step three. After eliminating as much debt as possible in their lives, they can realistically look toward financial independence.

Much happened to Dan and Sherry over the next several years. After having a son, they decided to purchase a house they could comfortably afford and pay off as soon as possible. That way, in time they could eliminate their most expensive monthly payment. They took vacations together and were able to eat out more because of the amount of money they had built. They didn’t have to use credit cards because they had the money to pay for such things all at once.

When Dan and Sherry retired around age fifty, they did so comfortably. In an effort to increase their finances even more, they purchased some commercial property and had storage buildings built. They rented the storage buildings to people and businesses that needed extra space to store infrequently used items. After two or three years of focused work, they hired a small staff to help them run the business so they could spend most of their time doing things they enjoyed. The income from their business was steady and new buildings were built to accommodate more customers.

“I’ll be able to leave our business to our son one day,” Dan told Sherry. “It will be a constant and secure source of income for him when he is ready to start a family of his own.”

Eventually, their son, Jonathan, reaped the benefits of his parent’s hard work and logical planning. Potentially, his grandchildren and later generations could have financial security because of the efforts of Dan and Sherry.

Obviously, this exact plan will not work for every couple. But these basic rules will help anyone plan for the future by getting his or her money under control. 
 
Do you remember the steps?

The first step is deciding what’s more important. Dan and Sherry chose to live a lifestyle they could afford while being able to spend more time together and have a home environment where they could relax and enjoy being together.

The second step is implementing a lifestyle with long term plans. This means making a budget and sticking to it. This will eliminate a great deal of stress and will ensure funds for your retirement savings. Dan and Sherry contributed to a savings account and sought the advice of a professional to help them invest their money. You’d do well to do the same.

The third step is to seek financial independence. Dan and Sherry did not want to live paycheck to paycheck for the rest of their lives. They worked to retire early and used their money to extend their earning capacity by starting a business. Because of their desire to be financially independent, their son, if he chooses, can build on what his parents started and provide his family with financial security.

For further reading and detailed instruction on the subject of debt removal, finances, and financial independence, I recommend “No Debt, No Sweat!: Catching Up, Getting Ahead, and Enjoying Life” by Steve Diggs.


© 2003 Family Dynamics Institute

Lee Wilson is a ministry consultant at Family Dynamics Institute, a marriage and family ministry that works with churches and concerned Christians to build strong, healthy marriages. You can visit their Web site at www.familydynamics.net or call them at 1-800-650-9995. If you are interested in working with married couples at your church, ask for Lee.

To learn how God can help you make your marriage all it should be and all you want it to be, click here to purchase "Becoming One: Emotionally, Spiritually, Sexually," written by Joe Beam, the president of Family Dynamics Institute.