Episode 37: Escaping From Prison--What is Financial Independence Really?

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

On this episode of the Build Your Life Podcast with Financial Expert John Browning, we're discussing how to create authentic financial independence.

Tune in today to hear John share all how to escape the boundaries between you and true financial independence. Are you stuck in a job that you can't stand? You don't want to miss this one!

For more information, visit www.GuardianRockWealth.com to learn more about what John can do for you. Or, give us a call at (312) 372-5000.

Welcome to the build your life podcast with John Browning. Build your life as a relaxed and unedited conversation with financial expert John Browning. John's the founder of Guardian Rock Wealth, with offices in Hawaii, Colorado and Illinois. John's also the author of the book build a life, not a portfolio, a guide to your financial future based on your personal values, which you can purchase on Amazon, or stay around to the end of today's show and I'll tell you how to get a free copy mild right to your door. I'm Michael D Lan, your host for the next few minutes as we chat with financial expert, business owner and author John Browning. Well, hello, John Browning. How's your day going, sir? It's going fantastic. Major issues yet today? Well, that's good, because we're going to talk about some things in in your past life that had some issues, because you and I have something in common that we just recently found out about, and that's the fact that you and I have been in prison. Now, let me, let me, let me, let me help our listeners understand, not physical prison, not real prison, but what I call prison, and I didn't know this about you. So I want you to unpack this prison, John. The way I interpret prison and describe prison is going to a job that you just don't enjoy anymore, and I think there are a lot of people who who are kind of stuck in that position. And I was able to escape prison, and you were too. You've got a very interesting prison escape story that I want you to tell our listeners. Oh well, unfortunately, I've been in prison like that a couple of times. And Yeah, career and you know, and how to escape those prisons is not as simple as as it might seem. But that idea where you come to a job, you've done a job for so long and you've may be moved up in your career and suddenly you get to a point where it's this, not only is it not...

...fun anymore, it is just hard to get up out of bed and and the go. But you have to, and there's a couple reasons that you have to. Number one is maybe you haven't planned financially to be able to just step away and say I'm not coming to work tomorrow and give your two weeks notice and leave. Yeah, and and maybe you got responsibilities, maybe you have kids and you've got a mortgage and just you feel like you can't and it is a real life prison and that you hate to go to every night and it begins to creep into every aspect of your life, even on the weekends. You start thinking about it on Sunday morning when you wake up, and then by Sunday night you're just in a bad mood because you see, you know you've got to get up on Monday and go to that prison. That's right, and I tell people all the time in the worst day of the week for me was Sunday night. Yes, I say because I knew I had to go to work on Monday morning. I'd come home emotionally exhausted, just drained. It would affect my family. So you're right, it affects lots of things when we're in prison. But fortunately you got out. Got Out, that's right. And one time it was to go to another job and then the you know, sort of the the latest time I actually I actually had a really a job that I really did actually enjoy right before we really began guardian rock wealth. But the right before that job I had a job that I hated. So I began to think about what would I really enjoy doing getting up every day and and sitting down on my desk and doing and that was to be independent of sort of the Big Wall Street firm and what they were doing to support their business. And I would actually rather than ran it manage say, a billion dollar portfolio, to manage that five hundred thousand million dollar portfolio or even, in some cases, even smaller, to help people who really need the help and need the expertise that I...

...was able to get while working on Wall Street in their little small real to them and they were real life and talking with him and how can they accomplish their objectives using all the experience, in the knowledge that I gained working with, like likely, some of the brightest minds on Wall Street? And that was the dream. That is now guardian rock wealth and it's what I get to do every single day. And I talked with real people, real portfolio was accomplishing real objectives that are important to them, and that's that's really, really important. I'm glad you said that, because the other aspect that you didn't really touch too much on, but we intrinsically understand that you were working on Wall Street, you were making a boat load of money and that's what, unfortunately, most people are driven toward. How can I make more money? How can I be a millionaire? We talked about that on a last podcast. That doesn't always bring fullfillment. Sometimes it actually throws you in a prison because there are so many other issues around that. And so it's it's really John's you've been able to build yourself the life that you want, and that's what you help your clients do to make sure they don't find themselves and in a sense of financial prison or a prison of any other nature. Helping them build that life by making sure they understand that they need to make sure they're not going after what everybody else says they should be going after. Right. A lot of people will tell you that right and then and they'll give you this definition of financially independent. What's that mean? And it's their definition. It's not necessarily your definition. If you're listening today, what is think about? What is your definition, not somebody else's, being financially independent, and that take some thought and you have to understand where you want to go, which is we talked about when we talk about building a life, not...

...a portfolio. That's why I wrote the book. But financial independence is somewhat of an illusion, because you you can have a million dollars one day and the next day it can be devastated. Right, and not to depress anyone, but this idea that that we can control things and that's why, generally speaking, that's why people say that they want that million dollars or two or three million dollars, is because they feel that gives them security. And it does give a feeling of security. But I've also seen situations where, for whatever the caught the reason, maybe maybe it's a health issue, maybe it's suddenly long term care that they have to they have to pay for and something that goes away very, very quickly. So it's impossible to plan for everything. What we do is we try and identify what you want your life to look like and we try and bring all the things that you should be thinking about together so that you can define your financial independence to the best of your ability. So most people say financial independence is the textbook definition. Is that time where you can quit your job, either retirement or just with the job, and do whatever it is that you really want to do for no money and your assets begin to work for you in that passive income supports you and your lifestyle as you define it, that's financial independence. So what we try and do is bring that to the forefront, accomplish that goal, but then also do our best. But sometimes your best is doesn't doesn't work right, and do our best than to protect that. So growing your wealth and then protecting it is important, and being engering your risk at that's great. And the other aspect that I want to throw in there, and because this is like DNA for you, like building a life, not just a portfolio.

I've got a friend at Church we do a Bible study every week and he's had a successful career, he's mid S, found himself out of a job and because of his portfolio he doesn't have to work. But you know, he's one of the most unhappy guys I know because he's not contributing, he doesn't have the life that he wants. And so I think that's another aspect. is so many times we chase the money that we're not we're not building the life, and I think you'll find it, but it's just interesting. The the I love that you said, the illusion. And again everybody's driving after this financial illusion of security. And you know, scripture talks a lot about the security don't. Don't put your your focus on money, because it can take wings and fly away. Anything can happen. Where's your where's your true security? Right, work toward it, put it in place, but at the end of the day, where's your trust? And it's a grand illusion. One of my favorite groups, rotten groups, growing up with sticks. I don't if you remember stick. Yeah, sticks, yeah, they had a whole album called the grand illusion, and that's what hit me. When you say it's an illusion, like yeah, welcome to the grand illusion. And you don't want your financial life to be an illusion. And that's why people should reach out to you, John, and you can help them plan a great life with a solid portfolio to navigate all of these things and realize that, well, you can become financially independent. But what does that really mean to you? Why do you want that? What are you going to do when you reach that level? You're going to be fifty, five or sixty with nothing to do you. That's that's a great way. I mean, I you probably know the statistic. People retire and if they don't work or do something, they you know, vast majority of them died within the first five years, or something like that. We're meant to contribute. And and I love your definition because it comes to the point of what I...

...call passive income. When I have enough income coming in that I knew whatever I want. Well, I want to be able to contribute to my church or missions or something. That's my driving passion, right, what's yours? Let's let's build a life around that and get your portfolio on place to support that so that that they will come and you'll have the money, you'll have, you'll be financially independent to do what you really want to do. That's that's the mean I have. So as short a time ago as this weekend I talked to you. He has pretty short I talked to an individual and and this person's not a client yet, but but before somebody becomes a client of ours, we talked to them about why they're they're looking to do what they're looking to do. And and what do you what is your life look like in retirement? Well, I don't know. I don't know what I would do. I honestly don't know what I would do. So I said, why are you planning on retiring? And and I said, well, let's dig through that a little bit deeper in a long story short. You know, we kind of got to what her passions were and and I think we're going to talk some more about, you know why, and then, based on why, when she might want to retire. And I even had a couple instances where he talked to fellow financial advisors who were saying, wow, you know, this is I'm getting a little bit tired. I'm thinking about selling my practice and but I can't do that because then I don't I'm not significant to any I'm not contributing, like you said, and Anyah, that's just sad. If you're a financial advisor and you don't know how to you know how to find joy and in your own retirement, that's that's just amazes me. But it happens a lot more frequently than you would think. I'm bad. I know a good book they should read, you know,...

...as I've got one right here. You know, a lot of portfolio. That's that's really what it's all about, because it's about if you're not enjoying life and contributing and giving the other the money is just the money, right and it is good, and that's why I think people need to reach out to you, John, and talking you about financial independence. What does that mean? And enjoying the journey to get there is probably more important really, because the challenging. You've seen it and we've heard of the stories of somebody works years and years and years to get to retirement and then the market crashes are whatever and they lose it and then they have to go to stay at work for two or three years. Well, if the if you're enjoying the journey along the way, yeah, that's a speed bump and it's like cow bomber, but it doesn't destroy you, you don't become desperate, you just it's a redirect right, because you're enjoying life and that's what it's all about. So I assume you talked with people all time about you know, just don't always put everything off to the future. I've heard the stories of somebody says, I'm saving all my retirement till the day I die. Then I'm going or till the day I retired. They were going to travel and you know, the good Lord visits them in the day after they retire, they die and all that planning came to nothing, but they didn't enjoy their life. So I know that's what you help your clients do is is build that life. What do you want then? What do you want now know, let's help you enjoy the life. We talked about that a few episodes in a driving the driving the nice cars, or having a having another house or what. That's all okay. It's part of the life that you want. If that's what you want, that's what you help your clients do, right, that's what we help them do and we help them plan for that. And and how are they going to get to the point that they want to be at? And they you know, we run into two different, very opposite scenarios to we end up with the person who wants to accumulate all this...

...wealth and then doesn't understand why, and then we also end up with that hyper conservative person who wants to put all their cash into a bank, and what they don't realize is that there's a risk to doing that as well. It's a very real risk and I still have one individual today that I'm thinking of that is so afraid of losing money that he is losing money because he's got it all in the bank and he's making about a quarter of a percent, or twenty five basis points, and he's going to run out of money, like almost for sure. I mean it dependent, you know, if he happens to pass away within the next couple years, the you know that would be Hu would not run out of money. But if he's planning on living for an extended period of time, and there's no reason that he shouldn't, he's going to run out of money if he doesn't do something besides just have that cash. It's like person that puts it in the mattress and then the house burns down and their money there wasn't as safe as they thought. So there's a risk to everything and the biggest service that I can provide the people is helping them understand all the risks, both too conservative and too aggressive and everything in between. I like that and I think that's a topic for an upcoming episode, because you're right. Some people they think they're safe when they really aren't, and so we'll talk about that in an upcoming episode. But, John, thanks for taking some time with us today to talk about to share. First of all, share about your prison escape story. That's that's really a resonates with me. I think it's going to resonate with a lot of people of hating the hating your job and then getting out of it to do what you love to do, which I so love talking to you, because you love what you do, you're passionate about it, if you're in your sweet spot, helping people build a life, not a portfolio. So let me encourage you reach out to John Guardian rockwealthcom and talk with John About what financial inpendent, what financial independence really is and what it means to...

...you and how John can help you get there. So, John Browning, thanks so much for being here, sir, good to be here and thanks a lot to you as well. All right, but bye bye. So thanks for listening to the building your life podcast with John Browning. Be Sure to subscribe to this podcast so each new episode will be sent to you automatically when it is released. Have a terrific day.

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