Most of us would like to believe we can have both security and freedom. But in Rich Dad® terms, these are two opposing values. My rich dad said, “Freedom and security are not the same ideals. In fact, in many ways, freedom and security are exact opposites. The people who have the most security are people in prison. Prisoners have the least freedom and the highest security. People in prison do not need to provide housing, food, recreation, health care, or education for themselves. They have a lot of security but at the price of their freedom.”
One advantage of living in a free society is the freedom to make choices. There are two big choices according to my rich dad: the choice of freedom and the choice of security. Both choices have appeal, both have strengths and weaknesses, and both come with a price. If you choose freedom, the price is paid up front, at the beginning of your life. If you choose security, you pay a huge price in the form of excessive taxes and interest payments. Often the price is paid later in your life.
Look at the bankruptcy debacle of Enron, one of the world’s largest corporations. The price the loyal, hard-working, security-seeking employees paid is very high: they lost their jobs and their retirement plans. Unfortunately, many are paying this price at the end of their working years, just when their options diminish because of age or health.
Security vs. Freedom: It’s Your Choice
Today, many employees are learning their jobs are not secure and neither are their retirement plans. In the coming years, 75 million baby-boomers may discover that their stocks and mutual funds were not as secure as they thought, forcing them to retire to a lower standard of living that their parents enjoyed. With the prospects of downsizing looming over their heads, some have taken the initiative to start their own businesses. Should you be one of them?
My rich dad said, “Somewhere along the way, people become more desirous of security and have paid the price by selling their freedom. You may have noticed that schools today focus primarily on job security rather than financial freedom. The problem is most people do not know that the cost of that security is their freedom.” He continued to say, “If you choose security, someone is always telling you what hours to work, how much you make, and even when you can eat your lunch. That is the price of security.”
Freedom means having more choices, not security. You have a choice to be poor, middle class, or rich. If you choose to be rich, then you need to learn a whole new game. But it requires a different mindset and financial intelligence. You will be free to work or not to work. Your knowledge will bring you freedom from work because you will learn how to make your money work for you. The choice is yours.