The Lifelong Financial Security site is about creating a plan that involves income, budget, investment and savings to create financial security. It is about growing wealth and enjoying the sense of fulfillment and security that comes with knowing you are prepared for life’s financial challenges.
But that begs the question, “How much wealth do you need to be content and feel secure?”
This is a very serious question and one I think a lot of people are not prepared to answer. The reason: Because most people think that just by having more money they are going to be more content.
But that is not necessarily the case. The truth is, many ultra-rich people are not satisfied with their wealth. They are constantly seeking more and more.
I recently read an article about this very topic, and here was the conclusion:
“The whole experience did not leave Shteyngart feeling good. Here were people who could purchase anything they could ever want and whose wealth was widely envied, and even they weren’t content -just as these researchers studying happiness and wealth might have predicted. “At the end of the day,” Shteyngart told me, “I was just happy to end this research, because it was quite depressing.”
So, why is it so depressing to find out that the ultra-rich are not content? I think it is because it destroys the illusion that if we can just make more money we will be happier.
It seems happiness is more elusive than just making more money and buying more stuff.
I could have easily fallen into the trap of constantly wanting more and never being satisfied with what I had. But my journey through life took me in a different direction. And as time passed (I am now 50 years old), I’ve decided I don’t really need all that much to make me happy.
And this realization is partly because I don’t let society or my peers decide what I must have in order to be content. I had to figure out what was really important to me on my own.
If you’ve ever seen Marie Kondo, you know cleaning out the clutter is about keeping only the things that spark joy. (Yes, guys, I’m married and have to share the TV time).
And I think if you apply this way of thinking to every aspect of your life, you’ll find there is a lot of clutter that doesn’t really make you happy and that you could do without. Actually, getting rid of some things might even make you more content.
So, I would suggest reflecting on exactly what you need in life to make you content. As I found out, it might be a lot less than you previously thought.
I want to draw your attention to another passage from the article:
“Jeffrey Winters, a professor of political science at Northwestern University and the author of Oligarchy, said that in addition to social comparison, really rich people are often motivated to acquire more money by the thrill that comes with multiplying one’s fortune by making investments, buying up businesses, and so forth. “For those of us who make wages and have expenditures that we are trying to meet -a mortgage, pay our health insurance, food, whatever happens to be our kid’s tuition- we link the making of money to our expenses,” he says. Meanwhile, many ultra-wealthy people “use their money to make money,” he says—an exciting, status-enhancing process.”
I think this change in perspective is extremely important to reach financial security. Instead of looking at money in terms of what you can pay for and what you can buy… switch focus to making your money make more money.
That means investing.
As you go through the process laid out on this site, you will see aspects of what I am talking about here.
You see, the first two stages are about finding that balance in life that allows you to live a decent life AND have investment capital leftover.
If you get caught up in buying more, or buying bigger, in search for happiness, you will never have investment capital leftover.
And if you never have investment capital, you will never enter the essential stage of investment and making your money produce income for you. And it is exactly this stage that can lead to financial security.
The good news is, if you do some reflecting, you might find out you are closer to contentment than you previously thought. So, now that the goal is much closer… why not get started on achieving it?