Do you know someone who did not pay attention to their Finances and suffered in life because of it? Maybe that person was very close to you and it even affected your life. Maybe that person is you.

I’ve said before that if you don’t have a plan so that one day you can slow down or retire, you are probably part of someone else’s.

  • Are you an employee or contractor for a company?
  • Are you a tenant or do you have a mortgage?
  • Are your Finances managed by a Bank, Investment or Financial Co.?

Answer yes to any of these, you are part of someone’s plan.

For the vast majority of folks I work with, $ is Out of Sight and Out of Mind (other than making more).

Which one day will leave you Out of Options (because you’ll be Out of Money)!!

I have also said before: Money = Choice(Options). Choice = Freedom

Recently an amazing man passed who lived his life in the pursuit of Freedom…or did he?

Muhammed Ali died almost 2 weeks ago. Since then, I have seen several shows honouring his life.

When I was a kid, other than hockey players, he was probably the only Sports personality that I looked up to. I didn’t understand all that he represented but I knew he was respected for more than just being a Boxer.

There is no doubt that Ali had an amazing impact on the World through Boxing, his political and religious views and actions and he really showed people what it meant to be a Free man.

A lot of people look up to him and use him as a symbol for hope, for change, for strength…for Freedom. I do as well…except for one glaring part of Ali’s life that bothers me.

Ali developed Parkinson’s disease after his Boxing career. What I did not know was he was diagnosed with it 32 years ago which, as he died at 74, was almost half his life!

In the last couple of decades, he was NOT the Ali he had been in his glory days. He shook, he was not very mobile, and perhaps the greatest blow ever dealt to Ali in his life…he couldn’t really speak. I say greatest blow because if you ever heard Ali speak…you know he was an amazing orator and he was almost as gifted at speaking as he was at fighting.

After his death I saw an interview with one of his daughters and when they mentioned about her grieving, she said she had been grieving for her Father for a very long time because he was a prisoner in his own body because of the Parkinson’s.

And I immediately thought…the man who fought so hard and was such a symbol of Freedom for people all over the world was a prisoner in his own body for the second half of his life. And I felt sad.

I started this particular Post talking about not paying attention to $ and how that could cause you to suffer in future.

I’m not sure if anyone has formally come out and said that Ali developed Parkinson’s because he took too many head shots in his career…but I doubt you could find anyone who knew him or saw him fight who wouldn’t agree off the record that it most likely contributed to him developing this crippling condition at such a young age. He continued to fight for a very long time and came out of retirement twice. He utilized a style that had him receive a LOT of blows from his opponent.

And here’s the parallel I want to draw to make a point that could make the difference FOR YOU being or not being a prisoner in your later years.

Ali focused on short term Freedom and what he wanted NOW. He wanted to be the Champ. He wanted to win fights. He wanted to be the Greatest in the world. Worthy goals…but at what cost?

He (I imagine) ignored the advice of his Trainers, Doctors, Friends, Family who must have warned him to stop…that getting hit again and again was damaging…especially when he came out of retirement AGAIN in the 80’s for a comeback (and got pummelled by a much younger, faster fighter in his final fight).

“The future seems so far away. I can’t worry about what life will be like when I’m older…I’m living in the Now! There are so many unknowns…what’s the point of considering choices today when I don’t even know how things will turn out! I have goals now…I need to focus on what’s important today!”

Out of Sight. Out of Mind. Out of Options.

What do you think Muhammed Ali in his 70’s would have said to himself back when he was in his 20’s and 30’s if he could travel back in time?

Do you think he would say: “Don’t worry kid…live for the moment now. Who cares if you’ll suffer for 30+ years later…its worth it for a few years of glory!”

I think Ali understood just how precious Freedom really is and he wouldn’t sacrifice long term Freedom for short term (after all, he was willing to give up his Title and go to jail to avoid going to war).

So what potential Freedom are you giving up through your Financial actions or ignorance today? Are you saving enough Money every year? Do you have a sound Financial plan that will get you to where you want to be when you are older?

Or are you spending $ like it’s never going to matter on worthless crap and immediate gratification and setting yourself up to be a $ slave to the System for possibly the rest of your life?

I choose Freedom. If you do too…write me here and put I Choose Freedom in the Subject line.

I hope when your children are remembering you after you’re gone they aren’t saying ‘I felt sad for a very long time…my Mom/Dad was a financial prisoner for more than half their life…’