Defining Enough

Thomas Cook |

How much money do you have and is it enough for you?

If we don’t define enough, we are wired to chase more.

A New York billionaire was once asked if he feels rich. He responded no, saying he was not even the richest person in his apartment building.

He was objectively wealthy, but relatively less wealthy than his standard of feeling rich.

Happiness is the difference between expectations and reality.

A study in 2010 found that after $75,000 a year, happiness somewhat plateaus even if your income increases. If we adjust that number for inflation, it’s about $106,000 today. That means once your needs are met and you feel financially secure, more money doesn’t add substantially more happiness.

Many of us have played or heard of the board game Life. The winner of the game is the one with the most money at the end. However, I have never met anyone with the goal to die the richest person in the cemetery. In fact, I commonly hear the opposite, something along the lines of “if I don’t bounce my last check, I miscalculated.”

At the time of my writing this, Warren Buffet’s net worth is over $112 billion dollars, and he is 93 years old. How many of you would trade net worth with him if you also had to trade ages?

Unless you are 94 or older, my suspicion is that most would not trade their time to experience life for this money. Turns out, we all want to live richly rather than die rich. The beautiful thing is that we each get to define what “live richly” means to us.

For me, a rich life is spending time with those I love and serving my community.

To discover what brings you more happiness is a journey worth starting. Jim Carrey said, “I think everybody should get rich and famous and do everything they ever dreamed of so they can see that it’s not the answer.”

Don’t get me wrong, money is important which is why I focus on becoming the best at what I do to help others minimize lifetime taxes and maximize their long-term wealth, but my hope is that we maximize life in the process. And to do that, we need to define enough.