For example, someone wants freedom to work at what they love, to travel, and to slow down and enjoy life. They get an offer for a job that pays $150,000 a year and then buy the house and car to match the income. The Golden Handcuffs are on and they are going to be really hard to take off. This person continues to work at this high paying job that they hate and live in a big house that is more than what they really need and one day they wake up and find themselves in their sixties and unhappy.
They never achieve what they want to achieve personally because the high paying job, that they hate, requires them to be at the beckon call of the employer. They can't go home and relax at the end of the day because they have to work on the upkeep of the oversized house they live in. They are not happy, but they are unable to get those years back.
Plainly said, if you live above your means or with more than you really need, you will be forced to take the job you don't really want but that pays what you need to support the life that you don't need or really want. Instead, live in such a way that if you had to choose between freedom or a sucky job - you can choose freedom.
Now, if you are already in your sixties and looking toward retirement and you have lived your life wearing golden handcuffs, you still have options. The only time you don't have options or choices is when you're dead. So unless you are a ghost, you can still change things. You can't get the time back, but you can make the most of the time you have left. Most of over 50s will live another twenty or thirty years or more. You don't want to spend those years living a life you don't enjoy.
So, here are some ideas for taking off the golden handcuffs and finding freedom if you are at or near retirement:
1. First thing? Write down everything you owe on - house, car, tvs, furniture, credit cards, etc. Know what you owe. You can't change what you don't know.
2. If you own a house or owe very little on it, is it the right size for you? Many people think they need a five bedroom house even when it's just the two of them because the kids may come visit and we need room. Just how much room do they need? If the kids go on vacation and they rent one hotel room for the parents and the children, why can't that be the case at your home? Why can't the grandkids sleep on a sofa bed in the living room or in a sleeping bag on the floor? Why do we need two bedrooms for a once or twice a year sleep over from the kids?
If your house is too big and you owe a lot on it, consider selling it and getting a smaller, more manageable home that you can pay off sooner. The sooner you can get free from a house payment, the sooner you will feel the freedom you desire. That too big house is costing you more than just a large house payment. The cost of insurance, utilities, and maintenance is adding to the strength of those handcuffs.
If you find that your house is too big, then you may be able to sell it, buy a smaller house and pay off some of those bills you listed earlier. If you find that it is small, make the most of it. Not that I am saying to go that small, but the tiny house movement has some really cool ideas for making more out of less when it comes to houses. Change a few things to give you more room.
3. Pick a bill and concentrate on thowing any extra money you have at it. Most people find it easier to focus on a small bill and then when that one is paid off, focus on the next smallest bill, and so on. Eventually you will be out of debt and that will make freedom more real.
4. Stop spending money just to impress or keep up with someone else. At this time in our lives we should not care what other people are doing with their money or what they drive, we should only want to grow friendships with them and respect differences in lifestyles. Live your life, not what others expect you to live. I have known a few people who had extremely high incomes (some based on work they created themselves from things they loved to do) and could buy anything they wanted. The difference was they didn't want anything. They lived simple lives and if you didn't know them, you would never know they were weathly. As a result, they were able to travel and kick back when ever and where ever they wanted. They were not tied down with the Golden Handcuffs.
(NOTE: when my children were growing up, I spent more money than I should because they had interests and I wanted them to experience those interests. While this was good for them, it was not good for our lifestyle and freedom. I changed this way of thinking when they were almost grown and on their own. I wish I had changed it sooner.)
5. Decide on what you really want. Where do you want to live? What do you enjoy doing? Do you have a retirement income and just need to supplement? Do you need a full income until you can retire? Are you planning to never retire and want a job you can do from anywhere? What does your ideal lifestyle look like? You must make decisions and then make more decisions on how to make it happen. Think it through and be realistic Don't jump out there and throw caution to the wind and end up jobless and homeless, but do make a plan to make the changes in your life that gives you what you want. Then take the steps toward unlocking those Golden Handcuffs.
Make the changes, however small they may be, that will lead to the freedom you want and need in your life.
Most of the time the only that stands between you and what you want from life (no matter what your age) is the willingness to try and the faith to believe it's possible. Also, we ourselves are often the only obstacle between us and what we want.
"If you really want to do something, you'll find a way. If you don't, you'll find an
- Jim Rohn -
Are you wearing golden handcuffs? Do you know how to get them off? Do you want them off? Be careful not to trade Golden Handcuffs for a ball and chain. Go for real freedom with no retraints, no handcuffs, chains, or debt. Change your mind, change your life, change the world.