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Most of us strive to achieve ‘financial independence’.

But what is financial independence?

Giving up work?

Paying off the mortgage?

Extensive travelling and holidays?

Pursuing the simple pleasures you’ve never had time for?

No matter what financial independence means to you, it normally costs a life’s work — and some good fortune — to attain it.

What price your independence?

If you’re some way off from retirement, it can be difficult to gauge, with any accuracy, how financially independent you’re going to be when you get there. A truism it may be, but the answer is, that it all hinges on how much you can afford to put away in the here and now.

But there comes a point in your life, usually at retirement, when the capital you’ve accumulated (which will pay for your independence) is likely to be all the capital you’re ever going to have. That’s when you can evaluate the degree of financial independence you can look forward to. So if you’re close to retirement — or you’ve already retired — how’s reality shaping up as far as you’re concerned?

For example:

Is your financial situation all that you hoped it would be, or something less?

Are you convinced that you know what to do for the best or are you worried about ‘putting a foot wrong’?

Would you say that your investment program aligns with your changed circumstances and financial priorities?

Have you anticipated — and thought through — the events that could undermine your financial independence?