The Cost of Freedom

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As a financial planner I’m used to assessing the cost of things. How much will it cost to buy a house, to take a vacation, to send kids to college or to retire comfortably? My chosen profession is devoted to advising people to save and invest the money they’ve earned for some future goal.  I love what I do, and I am grateful to be able to do it.

On November 11th we celebrated another Veteran’s Day…a time that I was reminded that “cost” is not always counted in money. Amidst the parades and weekend sales events, we should always strive to remember why we have this “long weekend” in November. There are men and women, many of whom chose to serve in our country’s armed forces, who have suffered life-long injuries, witnessed unspeakable injustices, spent precious months or years away from their families, or were killed in action — and they did these things while just doing their job. And what was their job? To Keep Us Free.

Yes, in the United States of America, I am free to own a private business to provide advice in my chosen profession which enables clients to keep, grow, and spend the money that they earn, in the manner in which they deem is best.

And I owe much of this privilege to people I have never met, but who served and died to protect the freedoms for which our country was established. No matter what our politics, we should never forget that we are free to voice our opinions because of soldiers and sailors who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country and its ideals. These men and women left behind families in order to preserve a better life for us all, and we owe them our gratitude not just on one day, but throughout the year.

Though we never will be able to repay such a debt, we can, at the very least, live our own lives as an act of appreciation. We can exercise our right to vote and uphold the principles free Americans should hold precious. We can keep our history alive for future generations by sharing with our children the importance of remaining vigilant and honoring those that have served.    

So if you are reading this and are in the military, or are related to someone in the military, or have lost someone in the line of duty, please know that we appreciate you. It is truly a privilege and honor to be an American.  God Bless America!

Robert (Robin) W. Tull, Jr., CFP is founder and president of Tull Financial Group.  With more than 25 years of financial planning experience in the Hampton Roads community, he has contributed to The New York Times, USA Today, and The Wall Street Journal. He has served as a financial analyst for WAVY-TV 10 and’s Newswatch. In 2012 for the eighth year in a row, he was named by Wealth Manager Magazine as one of the nation’s top wealth managers.  Find out more about Robin and sound financial planning at

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