My wife’s family farmed. The farmer attitude included many attributes that off-farm people seem not to develop so easily. Things like:
- Don’t buy on credit, except land and equipment that will pay for itself
- Help your neighbours if they need help.
- Accept help when you need it
- Work hard
- Expect adversity
- Enjoy the little things in life, like the first warm day in spring
- Be a good steward
- Family first
Life is more complicated when you get off the farm. People want to be independent of the world around them and may not share the gratitude, stewardship, and credit ideas. People have become interested in self-sufficiency and no matter your skills or resources that does not work all the time.
The popular buzzword in financial planning is financial independence. Have enough financial assets to no longer need to work to live. To have security and be able to deal with adversity. That is all good, but it should not be equated with self-sufficiency. All of us need others. Maybe not every hour of every day but sometimes.
Other people energize us, give us new viewpoints, provide insight into problems, make us aware of things we never would have found on our own. People need people.
Work at financial independence because it gives you options. One of the options is to help others. Consider philanthropy with your money, your time and your unique skills. There are things you can do easily and conveniently that others cannot do at all.
Independence is unselfish. Self sufficiency less so. Share what you can and when you can. Look for opportunities.
Don Shaughnessy arranges life insurance for people who understand the value of a life insured estate. He can be reached at The Protectors Group, a large insurance, employee benefits, and investment agency in Peterborough, Ontario. In previous careers, he has been a partner in a large international public accounting firm, CEO of a software start-up, a partner in an energy management system importer, and briefly in the restaurant business.
Please be in touch if I can help you. firstname.lastname@example.org 866-285-7772