10 Ways to Celebrate Independence Day

I proudly served in the U.S. Army from 1991 to 1992 as a medic. My time serving makes me appreciate being a U.S. citizen. This holiday, I hope you do something enjoyable with family and friends. Here are ten ideas — I will likely do a mixture of them all!

1. Read the Declaration of Independence.

While many of us can recant passages of the document such as, “We hold these truths to be self-evident,” how many of us have read or can recall the 27 grievances in the original writing leading to the declaration? You don’t have to answer that! Here you go: archives.gov/founding-docs/declaration-transcript

2. Treat a veteran to lunch or dinner.

What better way to honor our nation’s heroes than by treating them to lunch? When we see active-duty servicemen and women at restaurants near the Asheville airport, something we like to do is anonymously pay for their meal. You could also pay for a meal delivery service to get a warm meal to a veteran you know, or you could work with a local nonprofit to identify a deserving individual.

3. Make a difference.

Volunteer organizations are always looking for helpful smiling faces. Now, maybe more than ever before, there is a tremendous opportunity and need for you to help these deserving charities. Find a nonprofit that is meaningful to you and reach out to them to learn more.

4. Educate yourself.

Given the current environment, I challenge you to learn more about social justice issues from a variety of respected news publications. We are all one country and have a responsibility to treat every American with respect, regardless of our differences. To do this, education is key.

5. Get active. Go hiking, fishing or camping.

Did you know that western North Carolina has arguably some of the best trout fishing in the state? We have well over 3,000 miles of trout streams. Visit the NC Wildlife website to learn more.

Recently, I was able to treat some out-of-town family members to a memorable hike in DuPont Forest. More specifically, we visited Triple, Hooker, and High Falls as well as the covered bridge (at High Falls). While not a particularly strenuous hike, there are a couple of spots where the terrain is a little steep, but the views are well worth the work! To make the hike even more memorable, consider tossing a frisbee or football at the covered pavilion above the trial near High Falls, which also offers a unique and higher vantage point of the waterfall. More information can be found at dupontforest.com/explore.

6. Make it memorable.

Consider investing in a decent photo or video camera. We took the plunge a few years ago and bought both types of cameras. We have a lot of fun capturing memories. Occasionally, we look back on these priceless photos and videos to relive the moment, which we have found to be a great pastime. One of the things I like to do is compile short video clips and then set them to music; this makes for a fun and engaging way of preserving memories.

7. Pack a picnic and watch the fireworks:

Admit it: If you’re like many reading this, you won’t be able to recall the last time you sat on a blanket and enjoyed a picnic dinner. How about trying a new recipe or picking up a box of fried chicken while choosing the perfect viewing area? Don’t forget to pack a disc to toss around.

8. Throw an Independence Day-themed barbecue.

On a recent visit, my client arranged for a catered low country boil as incentive for his staff to stay after hours for my education presentation and one-on-one meetings. This was my first boil, and I was impressed by the simplicity of the food and great conversations. This inspired my family to invite family and friends over on numerous occasions. More recently, I have taken to smoking and slow-cooking on our grill. What is your favorite tradition? I hope you’ll take the opportunity to share with me (nnolan@parsecfinancial.com) and as an incentive, I’ll write you back with my personalized low country boil recipe.

9. Watch a Fourth of July parade

Remember when you were a kid and watched the parade? The nostalgia of candied apples, popcorn, marching bands and waving the American flag oozes fun and happy memories! It just doesn’t get much better in my opinion.

10. Declare your independence, financially that is.

The Declaration of Independence is roughly 1,400 words. Financial independence does not require a formal declaration per se, but it does require a well-thought-out plan. Just as our forefathers were resolute in their desire for independence, our decision to save and invest for our future should be a high priority. Things that should be considered include having adequate cash reserves; health, life and disability insurance; long-term savings and investments; and estate planning documents, to name a few. The internet has a wide variety of tools and resources that may be helpful. However, the advisors at Parsec take a unique and tailored approach to client recommendations and advice. More importantly, our advice is consistent and specific, whereas information on the internet will often be generic and varied. Our belief is that with proper savings, planning and investment oversight, most people can achieve financial independence. If you have questions or concerns that you would like us to address, please reach out.

I hope everyone has a happy and safe Fourth of July!

Disclaimer: Some of the information in this article is provided through linked websites. Links on this website are for informational purposes only. We do not endorse the content nor the products of these linked websites.

Note: This article appeared in our Q2 2022 newsletter, go here to read it in its entirety: parsecfinancial.com/newsletters/thrive-by-learning-and-growing-edition.

Neal Nolan, CFP®, CPFA, AIF®
Partner, Director of Business Retirement Services


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