The Benefits of Financial Independence

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Mason Currey, who wrote Daily Rituals while working as a magazine editor, explains that “having too much to do is an unbeatable motivator,” especially for those who balance various responsibilities at once (Currey, 2013). While some might believe that working for a living is most important to achieving intellectual freedom, writer Virginia Woolf defends the argument that legacy—inherited money— allows one to produce the most creative work. In her book, A Room of One’s Own, Woolf explains that prior to receiving her legacy, her days were filled with the “poison of fear and bitterness”, having to complete unbearable tasks (Woolf, 1929).

However, inheritance can sometimes stifle creativity, causing people to become lazy and isolated. In comparison, the stress that comes from meeting deadlines, personal or work-related, can serve as a motivator for focus and out-of-the-box thinking. Working for a living not only ensures that survival needs are met, but also acts as a motivator for social and financial security, both short term and long term. Through maintaining a stable career, workers can gain support from trusted colleagues and grow closer to achieving financial independence (Groysberg, Abraham’s, 2014). Although legacies can relieve some of the occasional stresses that accompany careers, it is better to work for a living because it promotes independence, friendship, and personal success. Relying on hard-earned income rather than a fixed sum of money makes people feel successful and optimistic about their future.

Independence is an important skill that is often taught from a young age. Throughout one’s childhood and into adulthood, parents, schools, friends, and bosses teach him/her how to be prepared for living in the real world. With Americans in the top ten percent averaging “more than nine times as much income as the bottom 90%,” everyone does not have the privilege of inheriting money from relatives (“Income Inequality”). Therefore, Americans must rely on their own goals and perseverance to live the life they prefer. Virginia Woolf describes that before receiving legacy, she was “always having to do work that one did not wish to do,” a feeling that is experienced by most workers at times (Woolf, 1929).

However, having to work for a living, although stressful at times, leads to many benefits, including financial, personal, and social independence. The ability to choose a career and support oneself (and others) allows an individual to feel confident and successful in his/her achievements. Although receiving a legacy might remove a certain burden, the benefits of financial independence outweigh the occasional stresses. Furthermore, long term benefits of achieving financial independence allow one to spend more time relaxing later in life, without the stress of “running out of money,” which can easily occur with inherited money.

Working hard to ensure a useful retirement plan allows one to save money and sufficiently prepare for retirement (Bowlin, 2018). As a result, both short term and long term benefits of independence allow one to feel confident in his/her ability to be successful in life. In addition to financial freedom however, friendships also play an important role in the lives of working class citizens by acting as an motivation for perseverance.

Many people often make life-long friendships with colleagues from their work force. Workplaces that encourage a supportive, honest environment can serve as a positive outlet for stress and self confidence. In a 2014 study conducted by the Harvard Business Review, 46 percent of women and 59 percent of men believe that “personal success means rewarding relationships”, which are often formed from work-related connections (Groysberg, Abrahams, 2014). Although some might argue that jobs create the stress, having coworkers as friends allows for a deeper sense of understanding of any stress caused by work conflicts. Friendly competition among colleagues also serves as a strong motivator for success, which would otherwise not be experienced.

On the contrary, not needing to work for a living can often times encourage stress and loneliness. Although legacies grant more time to complete tasks, they can sometimes allot too much time. Eventually, one might lose motivation to “‘work hard or go to school’” and isolate himself from others (Hill, 2012). For those who are responsible enough to make use of their “freedom”, they still do not get the same experience of going to a job everyday to greet coworkers with similar hobbies and aspirations. Therefore, working for a living encourages camaraderie and confidence in one’s accomplishments. In addition to friendships, personal success often results from self-earned income, which encourages workers to feel a sense of reward and comfort.

Although working for a living has its benefits, there are many people who do make good use of their inheritance, all the while contributing to society. For example, Laurene Powell Jobs inherited the wealth and assets of her husband, Steve Jobs, after his death in 2011. This inheritance included “5.5 million shares of Apple stock and a 7.3% steak in The Walt Disney Co.,” making Ms. Jobs one of the world’s wealthiest entrepreneurs (Loudenback, Martin, Stanger, 2016).

In addition to becoming a successful entrepreneur, Laurene Jobs is also a philanthropist who used her money to create the Emerson Collective, a social change organization that focuses on environmental issues, gun violence, education, and immigration reform (Musil, 2018). Although many people with legacy squander their money, there are still those who focus on promoting positive change and giving others the opportunity to achieve their own success. Even those who do not inherit as much money as someone like Ms. Jobs do not always have the opportunity to be such successful entrepreneurs. They must depend on their own goals and determination to ensure a financially secure future for themselves. Such perseverance instills a feeling of personal success among those who work for a salary, whether having inherited money or not. Working for a living ensures that one does not need to depend on an inherited sum of money to be successful and can thus be satisfied with personal achievements.

Being able to enjoy the benefits of a legacy is a luxury that many do not have. Most people have to work for a living, but many are still able to appreciate the satisfaction of receiving a self-earned income. Although legacies can provide a break from the busy work life, working for a living is the better option (and for some, the only option) because it promotes independence, friendship, and personal success. Many people don’t have a choice in the matter, but through having a determined mindset, most have the opportunity to find a career they love.

Through doing so, they will likely become financially and socially independent, form life long friendships, and achieve personal goals along the way. Inheritance can support one financially for reasonable while, but it rarely lasts for life. Through ensuring the short term and long term benefits of a steady flow of income, workers can gain a positive and secure outlook on their future. Thankfully, long term benefits save the best for last, allowing workers to spend the rest of their retired life completing the items they have left on their bucket list.

Cite this paper

The Benefits of Financial Independence. (2022, Mar 23). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/the-benefits-of-financial-independence/



How important is establishing goals in pursuing financial independence?
It is important to establish goals when pursuing financial independence so that you have a target to work towards and something to measure your progress. Having goals also helps to keep you motivated and on track.
What are the disadvantages of being financially independent?
The disadvantages of being financially independent are that you have to manage your own finances and you are not eligible for financial aid.
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