How do you measure financial success? Is there such a thing, when each person’s financial landscape can be so unique? As it turns out, there is a way to measure financial success, and we’re handing you the “scorecard.” Below are the four levels of financial success, and what they mean in the scope of your own world. The following will give you a framework with which to measure your own financial climate for success, and a vision to aim for.
What is financial security, and how do you know if you’ve achieved it? We define financial security as having six to twelve months of living expenses saved up for your personal business economy. This means that if something were to occur in which you could not work, you would not slide into poverty. You could still maintain your lifestyle until you were able to earn an income again.
And where does one store this money? We suggest keeping it in an overfunded whole life insurance policy with a mutual company, specifically structured to facilitate the infinite banking concept. There are many reasons why, but the foremost is for control. Within a whole life insurance policy, you have full control over the access to your money. Additionally, you are guaranteed a return on your money, which is usually around 4-5%, much higher than your average savings account. It’s a tax free bucket, and it also has the bonus of a death benefit. Although the death benefit isn’t a sexy thing, it protects your loved ones and your estate.
With a combination of policies, there are a few things you can achieve. First, we all have earnings potential as wealth creators and entrepreneurs, or otherwise. Over our lives there will be a significant amount of money that we’re going to earn. The death benefit will allow you to lock in those earnings and protect them. If something happens to you today, your wealth and your family will be protected.
The second thing you achieve through these policies, is a vehicle of liquid money that is growing tax-free and under your control. This is a powerful place to warehouse your cash. Thirdly, if structured properly, you can actually create a private pension for yourself. So when you’re 55, 60, 65, 70—you’ll have a tax-free income stream that you can provide for yourself. If this is something you wish to learn more about, I’ve created a video series you can visit here.
Along with the idea of life insurance, another way to protect your wealth and create financial security is with gold and silver. If you own 10-20% of your cash in gold or silver, you have something you can collateralize. We call this wealth insurance. In future articles, we’ll cover this more in-depth. There are other types of insurance necessary for security, like disability insurance, or property and casualty insurance. All the things that protect what you have—businesses and households. Estate planning is also a facet of security, to make sure your wealth goes where you want it.
Security, therefore, is creating a stable environment for you and your family no matter what happens. It’s the stage of protection, and you can’t truly achieve financial success if you cannot protect your wealth and lifestyle from the unknown.
This is the second goal for financial success. After you’ve secured your assets against the unknown, you should be aiming for financial independence. And what is financial independence?
This stage is when your passive income, or leverage income, actually matches or exceeds your living expenses. We’re not even talking about active income here. But when the income you receive off of your investments and the income you generate by leveraging the unique abilities of others, supports your lifestyle. Therefore, if your living expenses are $10,000 a month, and you are generating $10,000 each month from income generating assets like real estate, you are financially independent.
Maintaining your lifestyle is a wonderful feeling, but the next level is financial freedom. And how do we define financial freedom? There are many ways to define this, but what I’ve learned from interviewing cashflow ninjas over the years is a bit different. What I’ve learned is that financial freedom is having three times what it takes to be financially independent.
If your expenses are $10,000 a month, freedom is having $30,000 a month to play with. This figure allows you to be able to save 40-50% of your income, and still have money left over to play with. The overflow, ideally, can be used for future investments to continue to increase your cash flows.
Financial freedom is the place in which money is no longer the deciding factor for whether or not you choose to do something. It puts you in a powerful position where you can make more intentional choices with your money, rather than living dictated by your money.
After freedom, what could possibly be next? Financial significance, that is. This is the point at which you see people pursuing their passions and being charitable, using their success raise money for causes close to their hearts. This level isn’t strictly the “final destination” for success, as many people passionately support their causes at any of the previous levels of financial success.
You can, and should, plant seeds along the way whenever you can. Each of us is gifted in some way, and can offer something unique to the world. We can all be charitable in some way no matter our financial status. This level is not merely about money, it’s about living. And the secret to living is giving, because the more value you can contribute, the more you shall receive in value from the world.
Zig Ziglar said, “You can have everything in life you want. If you help other people get what they want as well.” So you can give your time, if you don’t have money, and volunteer for a cause you are passionate about. You have something unique to offer.
This financial significance is considered to be the fourth level because once you have money to play with, it’s easier to make financial contributions to causes you care about. But never let money stop you from making an impact where you’re passionate.
So when you’re building your wealth, remember these levels of financial success. These are the benchmarks for which you can measure your own freedom and success. It’s not so much about the dollar amount than it is your proportions. You can’t measure your success against anyone else, only your own numbers.
Your life will take turns, but so long as you keep this scorecard in mind, you can scale your financial success as you progress.
Live your Freedom, Live Your Legacy, On Your Own Terms,
M.C. Laubscher is a husband, dad, podcaster & Cashflow Specialist. He helps business owners and investors create, recover, warehouse & multiply cashflow. You can learn more about exclusive cash flow strategies in M.C.’s new video series at https://www.yourownbankingsystem.com/