Independence Day is on us. It’s a fantastic time to remember what’s great about America, and take a moment to make plans to catapult ourselves forward over the next year. It’s a day to think and launch new actions.
The 4th of July isn’t only about fireworks and food. We should definitely enjoy those things. Though it is also a smart time to contemplate what Independence Day is all about, and how we can make the most of that.
The 4th of July is really about celebrating freedom. While it may be true that we have a lot more laws, regulations, and rules to live with today, those living in America still enjoy an incredible amount of freedom, both historically and compared to many countries around the world. The media loves distracting us with headlines about what we don’t have, and even how successful entrepreneurs leave to enjoy more freedom and less taxes elsewhere. July 4th is all about celebrating the freedom we do have. We should continue to work to protect those freedoms. We can also often do more to enjoy and use what we have.
Going back to the original Independence Day, it was a lot about pushing back against high taxes. Ironically, the America we have now is one of the most highly taxed environments in history. Some taxes may be used for good things. Yet, if you do the math, we are now probably forking out 20-40x the amount of taxes as a percentage of our income than back in 1776. We’ve got taxes on just about everything. We’ve got taxes on earned income, capital gains, buying and selling things, and it often seems we have taxes on taxes. Many Americans work the first 4-5 months of the year, just to pay for taxes. Sadly, many far overpay in taxes. They don’t take advantage of the legal breaks given to them. That includes; 1031 exchanges, self-directed IRAs and 401ks, health and education savings accounts, and breaks for owning a business or investing in real estate.
Although as much as 47% of land in some regions of the US is held by the government, the landscape is still essentially open for individuals from all over the world to buy and own real estate here. It continues to be available with some of the best legal protections in the world, and relatively cheaply compared to many countries. This is a privilege few may ever get to enjoy, and which certainly shouldn’t be taken for granted. This is especially true given the freedom owning your own property can provide, and the tax benefits that can come with it.
One of the biggest draws to America, and one of the best benefits of living here is the culture of entrepreneurship we have, and the ability to start and grow your own business. It doesn’t matter what you are born with or without, or what you come to America with or without; if you are willing to hustle you can make great things happen. You can craft your own future. You can launch a tech startup, go into the real estate business, invest in land, or just train and launch yourself into a new independent career that you are really passionate about. Don’t let this get away from you. Time won’t wait. Don’t waste life working for someone else, doing something you don’t enjoy, when you simply don’t have to.
The 4th of July is one of those great staple American holidays. It is often even celebrated in other countries around the world. We should be making a big deal out of it. We should be taking quality time out to spend with people, to light up those fireworks, and share awesome food. Perhaps we should also take a moment to ask if we are paying too much in tax, and are neglecting to take advantage of the freedoms we have to invest and create our own destinies, and then resolve to do something about that.