What If You Had Lots of Money?

by David Ning · 14 comments

drown in cashHoney, what happens when you have TOO MUCH money? I said to Emma a few days ago. She must’ve thought that we either won the lottery or her husband went crazy, both of which required more attention. With her eyes wide open (I seriously thought it was going to pop out), she said “WHAT DID YOU SAY?.?”.

Let’s imagine with me for a moment that we have enough money to a point where we don’t need to work. Let’s also assume that we don’t really need to think about it much because we also have a wealth management company in charge of handling our assets. How would your life be like? How would your life change?

The first reaction from most of you will probably be along the lines of “It will be awesome.” Certainly, there will be no more debt to worry about, and you’d be living in a nice house and drive nice cars. But is it all good?

  • You know those annoying telemarketing calls? They exists because you, as a customer have something they want. When you are wealthy, there are all kinds of people who will try to get close to you because of a possible big payday. In fact, many agree that there’s really no genuine relationships anymore when there’s money involved. Will you meet anyone who isn’t after your money? Even if you do, can you trust it’s purity?
  • Think of all those close friends of yours. It’s very difficult for them to keep up with a lifestyle that’s totally different from theirs and relate to problems that they will never experience. If your lifestyle changes drastically, could all your relationships stay the same as before?
  • We spent a good deal of time on money related matters. We work because of it, we use our energy thinking about it, and we spend even more time managing it. If that part of our life becomes a non-issue, wouldn’t we feel a little empty? I for one like the pursuit of financial independence. It drives me to become better at everything that I do and it helps me be more creative at the same time. A small part of me will never want to stop chasing my dream.

Now, don’t get me wrong – Having a lot of money is a high class problem. But next time you are feeling down and wished you have more money, think of this post.

The grass is always greener on the other side.

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Daniel @ Sweating The Big Stuff October 22, 2009 at 6:49 am

Thank God you don’t have that problem…

But I totally hear what you’re saying. If I had too much money all of the sudden, what motivation is there to continue working.

I think I’d be able to sit down and really think about what I wanted to do. Not as in travel the world, but maybe I’d be able to start a business or something I find very appealing: investing in other’s.

I think it’s a matter of what you want to do with your time more than what you want to do with your money.

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CD Rates Blog October 22, 2009 at 7:28 am

The grass may be greener, but it still has to be mowed. :O)

Money is a tool. If we don’t have enough, we may lose focus trying to gain it. If we have too much, we may lose focus on what we really value, which usually isn’t money, but there are plenty of studies that show when people suddenly find themselves rich, they really don’t know what to do with it.

cd :O)

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marci October 22, 2009 at 7:37 am

It would go into a trust – to make it further untouchable.
Then I would spend time, precious time, with my family
and grandkids. And be able to help the charities I wanted to.

At my age, no one would necessarily have to know about it,
as I could just say I retired. My standard of living would not
change much – as I can’t see that my wants would change any,
and I have all I need already :)

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Robert October 22, 2009 at 8:21 am

Live off the interest, invest wisely and enjoy life. Pretty simple :)

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MoneyNing October 22, 2009 at 8:32 am

We at least won’t need to share a computer when we are rich.

But going back to the post, I believe that most of us will find other headaches once we solve the problem of needing more money. And judging by what I hear about and see from the wealthy, those new problems are much more disastrous than the pursuit of money itself.

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Daniel @ Sweating The Big Stuff October 22, 2009 at 10:18 am

Agreed, we don’t know what it will be like. I don’t think all people with money have big problems, but money doesn’t erase all problems, it just changes what those problems are.

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MoneyNing October 22, 2009 at 11:56 am

Too bad we just can’t enjoy what we have and stop complaining about what we don’t have.

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Joe Morgan October 22, 2009 at 8:35 am

You raise a very relevant question. I say it’s relevant because we in America are in the midst of a philosophical crossroads. The choice being laid out before is whether government knows better how to spend than the individual; socialism vs capitalism, if you will.

It’s relevant because when you look to the uber rich – Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, etc.. – and ask yourself what do THEY do with their money, you see why free market capitalism is a winner.

Guys like Gates and Buffett create more jobs than government ever has through their investments, but there’s also a philanthropic aspect to consider.

Quite simply, when you have more money than you could ever spend, you’re very likely to donate large sums to charities you believe in (like the gates foundation) and help less advantaged people in the process.

How many charities have never been started due to a lack of capitalism in 3rd world and communist countries?

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kenyantykoon October 22, 2009 at 9:28 am

If I had too much money I would by a private jet, a fleet of super cars and luxury vehicles a set of beach houses and penthouses all over the world and a very big library full of all the latest bestsellers :)

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Nadene October 22, 2009 at 3:51 pm

What a negative post.

You could be inspiring people but choose to say – no it’s ok being where you are – it’s a little lonely up here at the top?…

With lots of money comes lots of choice. If you can open your choices – you can change the world.

~N

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MoneyNing October 22, 2009 at 4:00 pm

It’s true that lots of money brings lots of choices, but having no money comes with the same amount of decisions. No one said it’s wrong to strive for better, but to believe that wealth is the answer to everything isn’t it either.

There’s not enough people to remind us that it’s not the end of the world to not have a billion dollars. It’s not the end of the world that we got laid off. It’s not pleasant, but it’s okay because we are adaptable people and we will find a way to be happy. Money has NOTHING to do with happiness.

You may be able to change and help the world with lots of money, but you may not be able to change and help yourself with just wealth alone.

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Financial Samurai October 23, 2009 at 10:06 am

I remember when I first started working in finance, I was 22 years old and didn’t no lick. I bought $3,000 worth of stock and sold it for $158,356, five months later, and I was STOKED.

I took girls out to fancy shows in NYC, ate at the best steak houses like Peter Lugers, Nobu, and Le Bernardin, bought a car and motorbike with cash, and had a grand old time.

Then the stock market began tanking and I lost about $20,000 of it in a month or so. I took it out and kept the remaining money in cash.

Having a lot of money relative to how old you are and how much you make is a FANTASTIC thing. That said, it’s dangerous too.

I had my fun, and now I’m quite alright being frugal. It’s why I started Financial Samurai :)

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Financial Samurai October 23, 2009 at 10:08 am

David – And I will admit to you and everyone, when I was 22-23 and had over $150,000 cash in the bank, I was EXTREMELY happy to have it. It provided me the freedom and opportunites to network and see things I never would have seen or experienced.

My job was certainly stressful, but it was so exciting being in the heart of Manhattan, NYC as a kid, with some coin.

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E April 12, 2011 at 8:00 pm

My hubby and I are saving and learning skills to be more self-sufficient and live a more sustainable life. We plan to set up our own farm so that if, or when, the economic, energy, food, or climate system becomes untenable, then we’ll be prepared. You can bet if we had lots of money, we’d only accelerate those plans because who knows what good money will be at that point.

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