Here’s another excerpt from my very nearly finished book:
I’ll quickly tell you this story about my father. He died at age 73. Which seems far too young these days, when most of us hope to live well into our eighties. The good news was that he retired not long after his fiftieth birthday, so he’d had 23 years of freedom before he died.Thanks to the sale of his photocopier sales business he had a grand old time after retirement. Not a flashy life but a very fulfilling one. He and my mother travelled first class around the world to places they’d always wanted to see. When my first child was born and we were living in New Zealand, he flew my family first class back to England so he could see his grandson. The ability to do that is really cool, don’t you think?
A story was told at his funeral that I’d never heard before and it sums up the beauty of financial freedom for me. Apparently one day my mum got a call from a Veterans Association in England wanting to talk to my dad. When she told them he was out, they said “We just want to thank him for the £10,000.” “What £10,000?” she asked. “Oh, didn’t he tell you?” they replied. “We’ve just received a cheque from your husband for £10,000.” So when my dad came home later she asked him what on earth he was doing sending £10,000 to the Veterans Association. He looked at her and said, “I saw their ad in the paper, trying to raise funds to send a party of veterans to a memorial in France where a bunch of their colleagues had died at war. So I rang them and asked them how much they needed. They said they needed £10,000 and I gave them the whole lot.” My mum said, “Why on earth did you do that?” To which he replied, “After everything they’ve done for our country they shouldn’t have to beg.”
To me, thanks to the lessons from my father, finanical freedom means the ability to make a difference to others without having to worry about paying the bills.
What does it mean to you?
From the desk of liber8yourbusiness. Business mentors and experts in small business exit strategies. Based in Wellington, New Zealand.