As we celebrate our nation's independence, we thought it would be an ideal time to ask our CentSai team members: What is financial independence, and what does it mean to you?
As expected, for many, saving enough money to do anything at any time is key. For others, financial independence means being able to give to others freely. One woman, whom I hold in high regard, expressed her desire to never become a burden to her children or her grandchildren. Whatever financial independence is to you, remember that you have the tools to get where you want to be. (And happy birthday, America!)
Arindam Nag, CEO and Founder
Financial independence means owning a giant balloon and drifting over the Andes.
Doria Lavagnino, Director of Editorial and Founder
My definition is having the flexibility to live life on my terms with helping others in the forefront.
Further Reading: “Welcome to the Digital Sisterhood of Financial Independence!”
Jalen Hatton, Business Development
Being able to make decisions in life without money being a deciding factor.
PaFoua Hang, Director of Operations
Financial independence to me means the ability to care for those I love and myself without constraints.
Burt Shulman, SVP Institutional Business
It is the ability to care for those I love and for myself, and also do some good globally for those I don't know who need help.
Hassan Spruill, Social Media Strategist
Financial independence means choosing to work because you want to, not because you have to.
Charlotte Baker, CentSai Education Operations
Seven years ago, I got divorced after 21 years of marriage. This was unexpected and put me in a very difficult financial position, particularly regarding retirement.
Financial independence for me is the ability to care for myself financially in my old age and not be a burden to my children or grandchildren.
Rita Pouppirt, Business Development
Financial independence means being able to do what I love, take care of my family, and help others in need.
Further Reading: Learn how to give to charity without spending money.
Jeff Pomeroy, Head of Banking and Brokerage
Financial independence allows me to focus on the important things in my life — my wife, family, friends, and pets, while trying to leave a lasting “positive” footprint in life.
Niamh Ring, Business Development Assistant
Financial independence for me would also mean being able to take care of myself and loved ones, but just as importantly, to give to those in need as freely as I wish.
Peter Hall, Business and Partnership Development
Financial independence or freedom for me is a state of mind that allows the luxury of focusing on the things that really matter.
Adam Russo, Affiliate and Partnership Manager
It means a lot of things to me: not worrying if you'll afford your next rent or mortgage payments, no concerns that your cupboard is bare, or concerns about the bills if your kid falls off her bike and breaks her arm. Financial independence is a state in which you're able to absorb everyday — and some non-everyday — financial burdens that we all face without fear of not having enough.
Further Reading: Get tips for dealing with financial hardship.
Peter Neeves, Director of Experts Community
Financial independence means that money is no longer a major factor in determining what you can or cannot do.
Binoy Thomas, Senior Editor
Like with any freedom movement, you need long-term commitment, careful planning, and a few sacrifices along the way before you can gain financial independence.
Kelly Meehan Brown, Editorial Assistant
Financial freedom is being able to buy as many handbags as I want without feeling guilty! Just kidding. It’s about stability and preparedness in the face of any financial emergencies. It’s all about peace of mind so that you can live your life how you want to.