Winning Your Financial Independence

Our 2 Cents – Episode #143

Winning Your Financial Independence

In the spirit of July 4th, we’re tackling the concept of Financial Independence on this week’s episode of Our 2 Cents. We’re sharing what some people strive to be independent from in retirement and how achieving these freedoms can lead to better peace-of-mind during your golden years.

  1. Winning Your Financial Independence:
    • Independence from depending on family
    • Independence from creditors and debt
    • Independence from employment or the need to work
    • Independence from worrying about the stock market
    • Independence from the government and excess taxation
  2. Gabriel’s Quotes of the Month:
    • “A simple fact that is hard to learn is that the time to save money is when you have some.” – Joe Moore
    • “If we command our wealth, we shall be rich and free. If our wealth commands us, we are poor indeed.” – Edmund Burke

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Podcast Transcript

Announcer: You’re listening to Our Two Cents with the team from SGL Financial, building wealth for life. Steve Lewit is the president of SGL Financial, and Gabriel Lewit is the CEO. They’re here to discuss all the latest in financial news, trends, strategies, and more.

Gabriel Lewit: Good morning. Good afternoon. Welcome to Our Two Cents. We’re back in action.

Steve Lewit: We are.

Gabriel Lewit: We missed a week. We’re sorry. We missed you too. We hope you missed us.

Steve Lewit: Well, I was in California.

Gabriel Lewit: Yep.

Steve Lewit: And I’m happy to report I made it home.

Gabriel Lewit: Good. I’m happy to hear that also.

Steve Lewit: 18 hours in the airport and flying, and I had no idea why, but I thought it was just United Airlines because they screw up sometimes and it turns out it was all over the United States.

Gabriel Lewit: Yeah, there’s been flight delays. I don’t know if it’s the summer travel months, the increased storms, fires in Canada, of which we have smoky skies still here.

Steve Lewit: When I landed, you could hardly see, there was so much smoke that was coming down.

Gabriel Lewit: That’s pretty crazy. Yeah. We didn’t have it as bad here as apparently they had it in New York, where there was orange skies and other craziness. But yeah, the other day I walked out of the office and there was this smoky haze and I’m like, “What is this?” And then I remember… I keep saying California, but usually it’s California wildfires. Canadian wildfires.

Steve Lewit: Yeah. So I’m going to write a book on what to do in the airport. How to kill 18 hours of time in the airport.

Gabriel Lewit: I don’t think you need a book for that. I think reading books is what you do when you’re killing 18 hours in the airport.

Steve Lewit: Oh, it was just terrible. Terrible.

Gabriel Lewit: Yeah. Well, welcome home.

Steve Lewit: Yeah. Thank you.

Gabriel Lewit: Yeah.

Steve Lewit: Great trip.

Gabriel Lewit: Very good to have you here.

Steve Lewit: Friend’s wedding, very nice.

Gabriel Lewit: So folks, you can blame Steve for why we couldn’t do the show last week.

Steve Lewit: It is my fault.

Gabriel Lewit: And then you can blame me for why we’re not going to do it next week, because I’m on vacation for July 4th.

Steve Lewit: That is your fault.

Gabriel Lewit: Well, speaking of July 4th, we are going to do a July 4th Independence Day special here today for you. And we, of course, are wishing you and your family a very wonderful July 4th holiday in advance.

Steve Lewit: Definitely.

Gabriel Lewit: And get yourself the barbecue. Heat it up. Get the food prepared. Get the drinks in the cooler. And let’s celebrate America’s freedom.

Steve Lewit: Yes. It’s good to be free.

Gabriel Lewit: Indeed, it is.

Steve Lewit: Especially when you look at what’s going on in the world.

Gabriel Lewit: Yeah. My goodness.

Steve Lewit: It is good to be in this country.

Gabriel Lewit: I don’t know, folks. Not to get too sappy, but I do think we live in a great country.

Steve Lewit: Well, with all the problems we have, I’d rather be here than anywhere. Yeah.

Gabriel Lewit: So, what are we going to talk about today, independence related? We’re going to talk about how to become or how to stay financially independent.

Steve Lewit: Well, actually, “independent” means more than just money.

Gabriel Lewit: Well, yeah. There’s a lot that goes into being financially independent or just independent. So we could talk a little bit about both. But being the financial people we are, we’re going to give you a little financial tilt towards that conversation naturally. So let’s go ahead and talk about what are we trying to gain independence from? Way back in the day, what was it? Was it 1776?

Steve Lewit: What do you ask?

Gabriel Lewit: The original Independence Day, Katie, the year?

Steve Lewit: 1776, wasn’t it?

Gabriel Lewit: I was a history minor. I should know this.

Steve Lewit: You should know this. I’m not a history guy, but we should know that. 1776 was.

Gabriel Lewit: I was correct.

Steve Lewit: July 4th. 1776.

Gabriel Lewit: 1776. So we commemorated our freedom from tyrannical British rule.

Steve Lewit: Yes.

Gabriel Lewit: And we defeated the British enemy back in the day and solidified our independence.

Steve Lewit: Thank you, Historian.

Gabriel Lewit: Okay. So now, nowadays, what are we trying to gain independence from my friends?

Steve Lewit: Well, I think the first…

Gabriel Lewit: It’s not a British invasion.

Steve Lewit: No. I think most people just want to feel financially independent, that they can stand on their own two feet. And what that means to me is they don’t want to rely on family first. Most of all, what I hear is, “I don’t want to rely on my family. I don’t want to have to go to them for help. I don’t want to live in the basement. Those kinds of things. I want to be able to do what I want to do, especially in retirement. I want to do what I want to do when I want to do it, and I want to feel free.”

Gabriel Lewit: It’s like my seven-year-old son that doesn’t want to, he just wants to do what he wants to do, not what I want to do.

Steve Lewit: But his concept of freedom is a little bit different.

Gabriel Lewit: So, I’m just teasing. But yeah. So what you’re talking about, Dad, is independence from feeling you have to rely upon your family to survive or to do the things you want to do. And when you’re a grownup adult, and you’ve been independent your whole life, what does this typically exhibit itself as? Well, maybe your health takes a turn and you’ve got to move in with your kids to take care of you, and you lose some of that independence. Maybe you’ve run short on money or you’ve run into financial troubles and you’ve got to call your kids or to ask them for money.

Steve Lewit: Yes.

Gabriel Lewit: Maybe if it gets really dire, you’ve got to call them and say, “Son, daughter, I need to move in with you to afford everything.”

Steve Lewit: And they’re not waiting for you. A lot of people say to me, “Well, my kids will take me in.”

Gabriel Lewit: It may not be open arms.

Steve Lewit: They may not really mean that. Yeah.

Gabriel Lewit: Reticently open arms. And being someone that’s been independent your whole life, that can be a very challenging thing for you to attempt to do, whether if you have the financial means, sometimes, again, that’s where health independence comes into play. But if you don’t have the financial means. So that’s where freedom from having to rely on family members, not that relying on family members in general is a bad thing. That’s a good thing.

Steve Lewit: Well, “relying” is very different than dependency.

Gabriel Lewit: Dependency. Yes. Good word. Yeah.

Steve Lewit: If I rely on you, for example, to… let me see, what do I rely on you to do as my son?

Gabriel Lewit: Come up with the agenda for our show?

Steve Lewit: Yeah. So I rely on you as family and a business partner to come up with the agenda for the show. But it’s very different than being dependent on you.

Gabriel Lewit: You could come up with the agenda for the show if you weren’t relying on me to do it.

Steve Lewit: That’s correct. So if I wanted to feel more independent about the show, I would come in with my agenda, you come in with your agenda, and then we would figure out which agenda to use.

Gabriel Lewit: But if your fingers were physically unable to type on the keyboards, to Google topics or to… Then you’d be more dependent

Steve Lewit: Dependency means I have no other choice. If I ever become dependent on you, it means I have no choice. I’ve given you my power, so to speak. Because I lose my power to go through life. I have to depend on you, for example, to drive me places. That would be a dependency. If that ever happened, I’d want to be wealthy enough to have a chauffeur rather than depend on my kids.

Gabriel Lewit: Me too. Yeah. I don’t want to be driving you everywhere.

Steve Lewit: And I know that.

Gabriel Lewit: Yeah. Well, so that’s one area of independence that we see very commonly in our business. Another would be independence from creditors, for example. People requiring money from you. Taxes without representation.

Steve Lewit: Yeah, I think it’s so important. Once you become dependent on something or somebody, it puts demands back on you, because they want to be treated a certain way. So if you have a creditor, if you’re dependent on the creditor, the creditor, in a sense, becomes your boss. You got to make those payments on time. You got to pay the interest. You miss a date, they send you all kinds of letters. It’s like having a parent and being a child.

Gabriel Lewit: Well, and one of the biggest ones here is mortgages and retirement, for example. Or even earlier on in life, where most people are very, very emotionally excited when they pay off that last mortgage payment. And it’s a sense of freedom, independence.

Steve Lewit: I don’t owe anybody anything.

Gabriel Lewit: Oh, wow. The biggest asset purchase I’ve probably made my life up to this point, I now own free and clear. Nobody can come and take it away from me, in theory. So that’s a really nice feeling. And the goal is to try to replicate that with other creditors, other debts, so you can be in retirement and feel financially independent from creditors or debt obligations.

Steve Lewit: It’s such a great feeling. I remember when I was younger, I had debt all over the place because you don’t make much money as a professional tennis player and you don’t make much money as a professional opera singer. At least I didn’t.

Gabriel Lewit: A not so high ranked professional tennis player. You’re still a professional tennis player.

Steve Lewit: I should say. At least I didn’t.

Gabriel Lewit: Oh well, I’ll just clarify the top ranked people probably made some money.

Steve Lewit: I did make some money.

Gabriel Lewit: My point is, very hard to become a top ranked professional tennis player.

Steve Lewit: It’s one in a billion, and opera singing is a little better.

Gabriel Lewit: That wasn’t a knock on you.

Steve Lewit: No, no, no. I know where I stand in the professional world of tennis. But why was I telling you that?

Gabriel Lewit: Well, you were saying you paid off your debts or something, I believe.

Steve Lewit: Oh, so I had a lot of debt. So when I went back into business really to start our company. I had tons of debt and that’s a terrible feeling of being in a prison. I can’t do this, I can’t do that, I can’t buy that. I got to watch this nickel. I got to watch everything. And then when that debt was paid off, I remember the day the debt was paid off, and it was like, ‘”Wow, this is great.” It’s that feeling of freedom of financial independence.

Gabriel Lewit: And then you went to Vegas to take out a loan to celebrate, right?

Steve Lewit: Yeah. I went gambling.

Gabriel Lewit: Just kidding. I was kidding. All right, so then that’s our second area of independence. The third is, I think, a cool one. Independence from employment.

Steve Lewit: Oh, I thought you were going to say something else.

Gabriel Lewit: Well, there’s a few of them on the list here. So some people retire partially, what we call downshifting, and they feel like they still need to work a little bit. So independence from employment is when you reach a point where you can retire and work is truly optional. And there’s a huge difference between working part-time in retirement because you feel like you need to, or working part-time in retirement because it’s something you really want to do, and it’s a job or a position that you really enjoy, that you find value in, that you have social connections or relationships with, or it’s fulfillment, or gives back as opposed to, “I’ve got to do this to make $10,000 extra this year to pay my bills.”

Steve Lewit: That’s so correct. I know people, not clients that don’t have a financial plan, so they don’t know where they stand. So they feel they have to work part-time so that they’re going to have enough money, not because they want to work, but because they have to work. And that that’s a dependency on work when you don’t need it. It should be optional, but you don’t know that it is optional.

Gabriel Lewit: Yes.

Steve Lewit: Does that make sense?

Gabriel Lewit: Yeah. No, very much so. And that’s one of those things where if you’re already retired and you’re in that boat, that’s a tougher one to crack. But if you’re still planning ahead for your retirement, you’re thinking about when you can retire, those are some of the conversations that we’re going to have to make sure that you retire at the right timeframe of your choosing.

Steve Lewit: I had a client come in yesterday. I’ve been talking to him. Did not like his job, and I’ve been talking to him I think for two years now, maybe less, about retiring. I said, “Retire.” Every time he’d come in I was like, “Did you retire yet? Did you retire?” “No. No, I can’t. I don’t know what I would do. I would miss the people.” I said, “Do you like working?” “No.” “Are you worried about the money part of it?” Well, no, not really, because we have a plan.” “So why are you still working?” So he retired three months ago about. Right. And they were in today. And I said, “So how’s retirement?” He said, “Man, you are so right. I love this.” But I said, “Do you miss going to your job?” He says, “I don’t even think about it.” But before he retired, he was dependent on his job. He thought he had to have that job to be happy. And when you make a big change in your life, there are dependencies that you think you’re dependent on that you’re really not dependent on. You’re only dependent on them because you keep doing it. Does that make sense? I hope that makes sense.

Gabriel Lewit: I think it makes sense. Yeah. Hopefully our listeners out there think it makes sense. So if it doesn’t, send us a note.

Steve Lewit: Send us a note that Steve did not make sense.

Gabriel Lewit: We’ll probably get a flood of emails. No, I’m just kidding. I’m teasing. I’m teasing you.

Steve Lewit: But you know people, I’m sure you do, that won’t retire because they love their job. “I have to work? What am I going to do?”

Gabriel Lewit: Well, that’s a whole other conversation because there are… Maybe it’s just because I’m in the middle of my career and I can’t do these things, but I could literally think of 10 million things I’d like to do if I, in theory, weren’t working. And I love what I do, and I like coming to work, but I also could think of about 10 million things I’d like to do if I wasn’t working.

Steve Lewit: Likewise.

Gabriel Lewit: And so, I sometimes hear clients that are, I ask them, “Hey, what dreams or what goals or what the things would you like to do in retirement?” And they look at me and they’re like, “Uh…”

Steve Lewit: Well, maybe…

Gabriel Lewit: “I don’t know. Honestly, I can’t really think of anything, Gabe.”

Steve Lewit: Maybe travel a little more.

Gabriel Lewit: Well, I’ve had some people that don’t. I say, “Do you want to travel?” And they’re like, “No.” I’m just like, “Wow.” And there’s nothing wrong with that, first and foremost, folks. If you really are very happy, just living a simple, easy life at home.

Steve Lewit: Yeah. There’s nothing wrong with that.

Gabriel Lewit: There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. But I’m just saying for me, I could think of 10 million things I’d like to do. And I think at some point, if you’re about to retire and you really start to think through all those things you’d like to do, you’ll enjoy being independent completely from your employment relationship.

Steve Lewit: Absolutely. Absolutely.

Gabriel Lewit: Yeah. Okay. There’s two last areas of independence we want to talk about here to celebrate our America’s Special Independence Day. And one is the independence from the stock market.

Steve Lewit: You still haven’t picked the one that I thought you…

Gabriel Lewit: I’m saving it for last because it’s got the most tie-ins to our Independence Day topic.

Steve Lewit: I don’t know which one you’re saving, but it’s not the one.

Gabriel Lewit: There’s only five and there’s one more left. So you’ve got to know which one I’m saving for last.

Steve Lewit: All right. Okay. All right. So we’re talking about independence from the stock market.

Gabriel Lewit: Yes.

Steve Lewit: Yeah, let me think about that.

Gabriel Lewit: Well, so this doesn’t mean you’re not in the stock market folks. It just means that you are no longer worried or dependent on the results of the stock market to be just right to achieve the goals that you’ve got set out for yourself.

Steve Lewit: Yes. So independence in that sense is, we understand the market, we understand it goes up and down. There are times they’re going to lose money, there are times they’re going to make money, but in the big scope of things, it really doesn’t matter.

Gabriel Lewit: In other words, if it loses money, it’s not going to impact your lifestyle. You’re independent from the ups and downs, swings of the stock market. Now, one way to be independent of that is to get out of the stock market. But that’s not per se say what I’m talking about here. I’m just saying that your plan is set up in a way, and your income is structured in a way, and everything is mapped out in a way where, and we call the stress testing as well. But when no matter what the stock market performs year over year, like last year minus 19%, and maybe it goes down another 10% next year, whatever it is, it’s not going to materially change your retirement plans.

Steve Lewit: Right. Because, let’s say I have all my money in the market, Gabriel, and I’m pulling out money to live on because I’m retired and I’m not working. When the market goes down, I’m going to not want to pull money out.

Gabriel Lewit: Well, and that is dependent.

Steve Lewit: That is the dependency.

Gabriel Lewit: That is dependency on the

Steve Lewit: Now my income is dependent on the market.

Gabriel Lewit: We’ve talked to people that came to me this year saying, “I’m not going to do a trip this year because of what the market did last year. I want to let my portfolio recover this year.”

Steve Lewit: So, I’m not going to spend money. And that’s a dependency on the market. And that’s a lousy way to live is looking over your shoulder. Can I spend money or can’t I spend money.

Gabriel Lewit: Yeah. So we would argue that being independent from those ups and downs, both financially and emotionally is a very good thing to be.

Steve Lewit: So, I like this theme because if I’m dependent on the market, then the market is the boss over my income.

Gabriel Lewit: Boss over your retirement life.

Steve Lewit: It’s telling me how much I can spend, and it is running me instead of me running it.

Gabriel Lewit: Yeah, absolutely. Now, how do you do that? Well, we may circle back to that. We’ll see how much time we have and we don’t want to get too off track here or in the weeds. But our last one, yes. The one you’ve been waiting for.

Steve Lewit: It’s not that I’m waiting for it. I just thought you would pick it earlier.

Gabriel Lewit: I did have it top on the list and then I’m…

Steve Lewit: You probably, because he saw I wanted you to pick it.

Gabriel Lewit: Yeah. Okay. Last one is being independent from the government. Now this why I saved this for last of course. What was the goal of the original July 4th, 1776?

Steve Lewit: To be independent.

Gabriel Lewit: Independent from the government, the tyrannical, overreaching, taxation of the British Empire.

Steve Lewit: That is correct.

Gabriel Lewit: And so, speaking of independence from excess taxation from the government, one of your favorite things to talk about, Steve.

Steve Lewit: Taxes. Taxes, taxes.

Gabriel Lewit: Taxes. I knew this is why you wanted to talk about it. I had to make you wait a little bit here.

Steve Lewit: Well, there are a few ways of being not independent. First of all, if you’re on a government program, get off of it. Get a job. Or don’t depend on it.

Gabriel Lewit: Well, that’s a little different. I mean, if you have a disability. We’re not sitting here saying there should be no government programs. They’re there for people that do need them.

Steve Lewit: Absolutely.

Gabriel Lewit: Those are important.

Steve Lewit: But people do become over reliant on them.

Gabriel Lewit: Well, yeah. So the target goal, I would surmise for everybody, even people that do feel like they’re dependent, would be to try to make sure that you would never need to be dependent on the government.

Steve Lewit: Who wants the government in your life?

Gabriel Lewit: And obviously if there’s absolutely no other choice and it is something you need to live, then that’s why that program’s there. It’s a great thing. But by and large, whether it’s, for example, Medicaid, which is, let’s say you need long-term care and you just don’t have enough money, or you spend a hundred thousand a year and that was the only a hundred thousand you have, and now you’re out of money and you need nursing care. You go on to Medicaid. They might change your facility to a different Medicaid facility. You may be somewhere you don’t want to be. You might be further from family. I would argue you’d want to have more control over that, that you’d have that independence from where they’re going to put you or what kind of facility you’re going to be in. You would want to have the ability to pick and choose that yourself as one example.

Steve Lewit: And it’s really hard to become independent from the government because the government, it has… what’s the word? Infused? Is that a good word?

Gabriel Lewit: I’m not sure what you’re saying.

Steve Lewit: Infused every part of our lives. The government is involved in every part of our lives. It’s because of finances and tax.

Gabriel Lewit: Intertwined.

Steve Lewit: Intertwined. Good.

Gabriel Lewit: If you were ultra negative, you could say infiltrated.

Steve Lewit: The government has intertwined and infiltrated itself into every part of our lives. So not only is it taxes, but it’s even traffic lights and national debt.

Gabriel Lewit: What I thought you were wanting to talk about on this, which was I think your favorite thing to talk about, which would be independent from government taxation.

Steve Lewit: It is.

Gabriel Lewit: But you went down a different road.

Steve Lewit: Well, I started thinking about all the ways that government influences my life.

Gabriel Lewit: I saw you going down a rabbit hole over here. But yeah, maybe we’ll focus on the taxes.

Steve Lewit: Let’s restart that. Folks, you want to be independent of taxes from the government.

Gabriel Lewit: Well, let me ask you guys out there listening, guys and gals. If you could, in theory… I mean actually some of you would answer no to this, but if you could just pay no taxes, just not have anybody requiring you to pay them taxes…

Steve Lewit: Wouldn’t that feel good?

Gabriel Lewit: That would probably feel pretty good.

Steve Lewit: Wouldn’t that feel good folks?

Gabriel Lewit: Now. And then you get into the, “Well, somebody needs to pay for the police officers and the schools and the roads.” So there is, at some level, most people get the fair share of taxes for communal benefit. But yeah, by and large, if you were never obligated to pay taxes, you would feel very free, I think. Very free and fulfilled. And so there is a way to do that with the right financial planning, using tax-free investment vehicles.

Steve Lewit: Exactly. And that requires planning. It requires a knowledge of the tax laws. I don’t think that’s something a person can do on their own.

Gabriel Lewit: It’s very difficult. Yes. But the idea here, folks, is independence from the government choosing where you stay or live, independence from the government taxing you, especially if tax rates go up. That was the whole excessive taxation issue back with July 4th. And having that independence from the government, from relying on your family or being dependent on your family, having to pay creditors, having to be forced to have a job, maybe one you don’t like, being reliant on the stock market. All those things really can cause you to feel very boxed in and confined as opposed to open and free.

Steve Lewit: And look at the political climate we have now represents that. There’s half of the country that thinks the government is too involved in their lives. And there’s another half of the country that says, “We want more. We want the government to do more for us.”

Gabriel Lewit: And we’re not going to go down that road.

Steve Lewit: We’re not going to go down that road.

Gabriel Lewit: I’m steering you back to the nonpolitical path here, Steve.

Steve Lewit: I really want to talk about something else, but I’m not going to. Yeah. But that is the problem is that it is very difficult to get your taxes down to zero. But there are ways to do it.

Gabriel Lewit: So hopefully you enjoyed our Independence Day connections here with financial independence. If you have questions on any of this, obviously we didn’t get into the maybe solutions, if you will, on how to do all those, but certainly it all starts with a very well-designed financial and retirement plan. And that’s something we can certainly help you with. Just call us (847) 499-3330. Go to And of course that would be something we would love to talk to you about. But as a quick interlude before our next segment…

Steve Lewit: I was just thinking about people that go off the grid. Have you ever thought you wanted to go off the grid, find a little cabin somewhere, and nobody knows you’re there? Just be on your own.

Gabriel Lewit: Me personally, I like the grid. I’m a grid guy. I like electricity. I like internet. I like running water. I like to be able to go get food at the store. I mean, I’m a little new school, I guess.

Steve Lewit: Well, there are new school people that want to go off the grid. Not many people. But there are people that will actually go off the grid and you don’t know they exist. And that’s how, that’s their sense of freedom.

Gabriel Lewit: Do you want to go off the grid?

Steve Lewit: No, not at all.

Gabriel Lewit: I’m just curious why.

Steve Lewit: I was just thinking about it.

Gabriel Lewit: You can go take a one-month off the grid sabbatical if you want.

Steve Lewit: Well, freedom for me is a very philosophical word, Gabriel. So I think a lot about freedom and how we get freedom.

Gabriel Lewit: You got to fight for us, Steve. Fight for your freedom.

Steve Lewit: I don’t know about that. You’re in battle mode today.

Gabriel Lewit: You got to get the muskets out, man.

Steve Lewit: You’re in battle mode.

Gabriel Lewit: The muskets and the cannons. Yeah. And the cavalry.

Steve Lewit: Because freedom is all about peace. You know, want to feel peaceful inside. And that’s what it’s all about. So anyway. You know where I could go with that.

Gabriel Lewit: I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t want to know where your brain goes. I said this before the show. Okay. I’ve got some quotes for us here. Some quotes to kick off the new month here coming ahead. And again, I just randomly pick these, and then we can talk about what you feel about them, Mr. Lewit. So here’s the first one from, I don’t know even who this is, Joe Moore.

Steve Lewit: Joe Moore. You don’t know who Joe Moore is?

Gabriel Lewit: Yeah. “A simple fact that is hard to learn is that the time to save money is when you have some.”

Steve Lewit: Thank you, Joe. That’s very interesting. Yeah, that’s actually so true because most folks, especially when you’re younger, when you have more, guess what you do?

Gabriel Lewit: You don’t save it.

Steve Lewit: “Hey, I have more money. Let’s take that trip that we want to take.”

Gabriel Lewit: But the money doesn’t magically save itself. And as Joe Moore says, the best time to funny enough to save some money is when you have some extra money.

Steve Lewit: Yeah.

Gabriel Lewit: Truer words have not been spoken.

Steve Lewit: It becomes like making a habit. Start saving. So when you have a little bit more, you save a little bit more. But it’s so easy to spend the money, isn’t it?

Gabriel Lewit: It’s very easy, especially with just everything feels more expensive this year than last year. Okay. How about this one? Dad, this is right up your alley. I picked this one because I think your brain’s going to explode with this one. Okay. Are you ready, folks?

Steve Lewit: My brain is ready.

Gabriel Lewit: Your philosophical brain.

Steve Lewit: Yes.

Gabriel Lewit: Okay. I don’t know who this is either Edmond Burke.

Steve Lewit: Edmond Burke.

Gabriel Lewit: I’m sure if I Google these people, it would tell me, but I just Googled the quotes.

Steve Lewit: I know that name.

Gabriel Lewit: Edmond Burke says… Hopefully these are good people.

Steve Lewit: I’m sure they’re good people.

Gabriel Lewit: “If we command our wealth, we shall be rich and free. If our wealth commands us, we are poor indeed.”

Steve Lewit: There we are. That’s the whole point. Edmond, you said what I wanted to say in so few words.

Gabriel Lewit: Let me repeat this again.

Steve Lewit: Oh, Edmund, I love you.

Gabriel Lewit: “If we command our wealth, we shall be rich and free. If our wealth commands us, we are poor indeed.”

Steve Lewit: Yeah. Independent. You don’t want to be dependent. Once you’re dependent on anything else, if you are dependent on your wealth, in other words, your wealth is commanding you, then you have no freedom. And everybody I think wants to have a feeling that I’m free to do what I want to do. That’s what we are. It’s built into our makeup. Freedom.

Gabriel Lewit: Well, naturally, there’s an Independence Day theme to this quote, which is why we’re going to end on it. But let me just…

Steve Lewit: Hold on. Who’s Edmund Burke?

Gabriel Lewit: Okay. Yeah, let’s read this here. Edmund Burke was an Anglo-Irish statesman, economist, and philosopher. Born in Dublin, Burke served as a member of Parliament between 1766 and 1794.

Steve Lewit: Edmund. Good man.

Gabriel Lewit: Right in the right timeframe too.

Steve Lewit: Good man. I like him. I’m going to read more about Edmund.

Gabriel Lewit: Yeah. “So if we command our wealth, we shall be rich and free.” What do you think that means, Steve? “If our wealth commands us, we are poor indeed.”

Steve Lewit: Yeah. So I think what it means for me is that the wealth becomes more important than our lives. We know people. We have clients that they’ve got plenty of money, but they’re so tuned into building it and having more, got to see more growth…

Gabriel Lewit: Got to see a bigger number on the statement. Got to see it growing.

Steve Lewit: And they live for their wealth. So the wealth, it kind of commands them.

Gabriel Lewit: Yeah, I think that’s spot on. And just noodle on that folks, over Independence Day, because what does being free mean to you? What does being independent mean to you? Is it all tied to the amount of money and the dollars on your statements and, “Oh man, I made 12% this year instead of 11%. I feel so much better about myself.” No, it’s not going to be based around that. It’s going to be based on many other factors of independence and achieving your goals, being happy, healthy, successful in life. As Edmund says, you command your wealth. Whatever that level of wealth is, you shall be rich and free.

Steve Lewit: I like it. I really like it.

Gabriel Lewit: And so, with that, we’re going to send you off with a very wonderful…

Steve Lewit: Was that the end?

Gabriel Lewit: Happy 4th of July.

Steve Lewit: Oh, it is the end.

Gabriel Lewit: Yeah, we’ve got our time clock in front of us.

Steve Lewit: Time went fast. I thought we had more time.

Gabriel Lewit: No, no. We pontificated for a good 30 minutes here.

Steve Lewit: Yeah, we did. So that is our show. And from the bottom of our hearts here, Steve and I and our entire SGL family here, wishes you a very wonderful and happy 4th of July with your family and friends.

Gabriel Lewit: Yes, we do.

Steve Lewit: Be safe out there. Don’t play with fireworks. At least be very cautious with fireworks. Don’t do anything crazy and, I don’t know, don’t get in trouble. But otherwise, have a phenomenal time.

Gabriel Lewit: And we’ll see you in two weeks.

Steve Lewit: We’ll see you in two weeks.

Gabriel Lewit: Thanks so much, folks. Have a great one.

Steve Lewit: Stay well everybody.

Gabriel Lewit: Bye now.

Steve Lewit: Bye.

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