I have this recurring dream of setting up my own law office where I will specialize in happy cases like adoption and maybe have a retainer or two to keep my balance sheet happy. And ever since I stumbled into the world of personal finance and financial planning, my dream now also includes being a financial planner, helping people find financial freedom. A small law office that takes on adoption cases and dispenses financial advice. Why not right?
To make that happen I have set up the following goals for myself:
1) Hone my litigation chops – I’ve been churning out decisions and resolutions for the past four years, so I’m fairly confident of my research and writing abilities. But I don’t feel as secure about my courtroom skills, thus, I will try to remedy that in my next job by actively seeking out courtroom exposure. For the record though, our courtroom scene isn’t as exciting as what you see on TV or the movies. Even I with little experience know that much.
2) Emergency and educational funds, check! – I know that the first few years of setting your own practice can be financially trying so it is imperative that our emergency funds (6 months worth of expenses) are in place and that my son’s education is protected. I’ll make a separate post on how I’m planning to set up an educational fund for my son.
3) Get my name out there – That means networking and expanding my social and professional circles. I’m a natural introvert but sometimes, you have to play the role of an extrovert to get things done.
4) Have a retirement plan in place – One of the best things about working for the government is that for a minimum of 15 years in service, we’re guaranteed a lifetime pension of our last basic pay. I have 10 1/2 years to go before I reach the 15 year mark and if I decide to retire early and strike out on my own on my 15th anniversary in government service, I can expect 18 months of my basic pay as separation pay and a pension for life when I turn 60 years old. Beat that SSS.
So that’s my goal if I go back to private practice. However, I’m also not averse to spending the next 30 years in government service as long as I’m occupying a position that gives me psychic satisfaction, where I know I’m doing my share in nation building. Seriously, I would always be the first to roll my eyes at such lofty terms like “nation building”, but through the years, I’ve found that there’s something intensely satisfying about working towards something that’s so much bigger than just yourself or your company’s net worth. It’s the sort of thing that will make you bounce out of bed in the morning, knowing that there’s so much work to be done and that your contribution affects peoples lives for the better.
Call me corny, but one of the reasons I strive for financial independence is so that I can apply myself to causes that inspire me, with earning a living not getting in the way of living a life.
Isn’t the future exciting?!
*Image from ElleUy.com