How Much Money Is Enough?

in #life4 years ago

How Much Money Is Enough?

I often wonder why people with tens of millions of dollars don’t call it quits and just retire or do something that they love, like sail around the world, or die in a blaze of glory filled with hookers and blow. It was really only after I saw an episode of “Orange Is the New Black” when one of the actresses talks about a study where a salary over $75,000 only slightly marginally increases your level of happiness, that I looked further into the issue. The study the character is talking about was a study published in 2010 by Princeton University’s Daniel Kahneman and Angus Deaton, who would go on to receive The Nobel Prize for economics. I want to talk more about the correlation between money and happiness, but first I want to talk briefly about the study that was done to give more context.

The Happiness Study

The study surveyed over 450,000 people in the United States from all different backgrounds, incomes and ethnicities and focused primarily on how great was each participants emotional well-being. They actually divided happiness into two categories, one which was your happiness during your day to day life and another, which was how happy you felt about your life in the grand scheme of things. They found a relatively strong correlation between short term happiness and incomes up to the $75,000 marker, at which point it seemed the correlation started to dissipate. This lead them to the conclusion that people making $75,000 or over will not increase their short term emotional well-being by increasing their income even further. However there did seem to be a correlation between how much money someone makes and how they value their lives in the long run , that seemed to be unbroken as income went up. However for the sake of my write up I want to focus on just the short term happiness findings.

Many people might say that there are other factors that could attribute to a day to day emotional well-being, like mental disorders or relationship problems or relationship problems and you would be correct. The study acknowledged that there were many other factors that could affect individual happiness, but overall as a basic model their findings seemed to work. Making general models and assumptions is an economist’s job though so their data is a nice lens to look through to help how you see the world. Overall the study a generalization, but I do believe there is a lot of truth to it.

Valuing experiences over things

I strongly believe that money stops making you happy after a certain point because after that point most people are just buying ridiculously expensive things rather than experiences. There is sufficient research that shows that the joy of a good experience lasts much longer than the joy of an item. I think as a society we have been brainwashed to buy crap we really don’t need and at a level that goes beyond excess onto disgust. Why do we need 100 pairs of shoes or even 10 pairs? Does it really matter that your shoes don’t match your belt? As a society we think new things will make us happy, and it fits the agenda of the government because to them spending is good. People are looking for guidance in their lives and looking for something that can make them happy, even for just a small moment of time. Advertisers take advantage of this and make you believe that the 50,000 BMW is the solution to your problem but you soon realize its just another thing and the hole you feel in your heart just comes back. Sure you’re happy for a time but it fades away.

Purchasing experiences, many of which are far less expensive than the items you are buying, add to a feeling of completeness. I often hear people say things like “I can’t afford to go on vacation” or “ I don’t have time to take a class at a community college” ,but they have money for those $300 shoes, or they have time to binge watch Netflix on the couch. When were young we picture all these grand things we want to do with our lives and when we get older, we start making excuses as to why we can no longer do them. We need to start taking advantages of the experiences we have access to rather than waiting to buy another thing that will only give us momentary happiness.

Money can be the root of relationship troubles

I read a study a while back that the leading cause of fighting between married couples was usually about or had something to do with money. It’s a sad fact, but money is needed to live your life today and raise a family. Without at least some income life becomes less enjoyable, which is why we see a correlation between money and happiness up to a point. Once you are at a sufficient amount of money to support your family and enough to avoid arguments that cause stress take and toll on your relationships, your day to day life becomes much happier.

So why do people continuously work even after they become extremely wealthy?

I really wanted the study to delve into why people who are extremely wealthy keep on working when they could retire any day, but sadly it did not. However I still want to put forward some ideas on why I think this is the case. Im sure there are many reasons like people are addicted to their jobs, they like the recognition or would just be bored, but in my opinion I think at that point people start treating their bank account like a high score. They start to imagine all the things they could buy and become obsessed with increasing that meaningless number. But the things they can buy wont make them happy day to day, rather if they are spending their lives miserable at work it will make living a chore. They also become obsessed with the status of a good job, but that wont make them happy either. I think our culture of greed has created a society of people who can’t pursue their passions because they only think about the next payday. Obviously this isn’t the case for all of us, but I do think many think this way.

I have always held the idea that as soon as I had enough money to live off my dividends I would stop what I was doing and get a job I loved doing, no matter the wage and just live. I hope one day I can truly achieve this dream because living a life worrying about whether or not im going to be able to support my family truly scares me. Unless my crypto assets appreciate to absurd amounts, I will have to find another way to make my dream a reality, but one thing is for sure, as soon as I get to the point where I can live happily off my dividends I will be retiring and enjoying as much as my life as I can until I die.

-Calaber24p

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I often wonder why people with tens of millions of dollars don’t call it quits and just retire or do something that they love, like sail around the world, or die in a blaze of glory filled with hookers and blow.

Most of these money go to investements that provide jobs for other people. There is an extra sense of satisfaction when one is an investor knowing that they provide wealth to others.

The Happiness Study: The study surveyed over 450,000 people in the United States from all different backgrounds, incomes and ethnicities

Still, they are in the US. The study is nonsense if not taken globally. In much the same way I cannot survey people from Manhattan, from all different backgrounds, and measure happiness for all humans. Different environment entails different parametres. Happiness remains very subjective and is based on many different things. If we knew what constitutes it we would't be having this discussion.

Money can be the root of relationship troubles

The opposite also applies. This is a post-hoc fallacy. More money, no money, average amount of money, could cause trouble in a relationship. There is no way to measure this effect. This is afterall why social sciences are called "soft" . They can hardly replicate their findings.

So why do people continuously work even after they become extremely wealthy?

For the same reason you continue playing a video game in order to reach a new level. Every level provides satisfaction. After a while this conditioning provides small sparks of happiness. If it didn't they wouldn't be doing it.

I would stop what I was doing and get a job I loved doing, no matter the wage and just live.

After a while you would realise that giving back to the community gives you more happiness. You will start investing and thus making more money.

Remember, we are all humans. We are not THAT different from each other.

Most of these money go to investements that provide jobs for other people. There is an extra sense of satisfaction when one is an investor knowing that they provide wealth to others.

Sometimes, and usually only a fraction of it, but that is a whole other giant monster.

Still, they are in the US. The study is nonsense if not taken globally. In much the same way I cannot survey people from Manhattan, from all different backgrounds, and measure happiness for all humans. Different environment entails different parametres. Happiness remains very subjective and is based on many different things. If we knew what constitutes it we would't be having this discussion.

I agree, there are many flaws in the study I just found it interesting, like I said it was done as an economics study and they are just trying to make a generalized model that they can make assumptions from. Maybe I should put a clearer disclaimer in that paragraph though.

So why do people continuously work even after they become extremely wealthy?

I agree, like I said at the end it becomes a high score to them.

After a while you would realise that giving back to the community gives you more happiness. You will start investing and thus making more money.

I would probably do this along side my job and if I was extremely wealthy I would do it as a full time thing. I agree that would probably bring more happiness to my life.

Sometimes, and usually only a fraction of it, but that is a whole other giant monster.

Still, this is jobs for people who would otherwise have nothing. These guys create wealth.

Sometimes things around us might look weird and extreme but after getting into someone else's shoes the world makes much more sense

Thanks for taking the time to jump into the article and provide your feedback. The ping pong back and forth provided a lot of value form me, personally.

Ha.... That looks like a good way to throw your back out.

The more stuff you have, the more it costs to maintain it. If you buy a "dream house" and a "dream car" all of a sudden you are trapped into paying property taxes.

At todays interest rates and risk profiles there is no amount of money that is easily attainable by the middle class that can earn passive income sufficient to maintain their standard of living indefinitely.

At 1% interest it requires 7.5 million dollars to earn $75,000 per year. That would require the typical middle class individual to save 100% of their income for more than their working life span. Once you factor in minimal cost of living and inflation and taxes, game over. It isn't even remotely possible without taking extreme risks in the market.

Someone who earns $7.5 million dollars after taking extreme risks in the market will still fall behind unless they continue to take extreme risks. Negative real interest rates are a bitch.

Yeah I agree with you that once you get to a high level like that, you need more money to maintain. I do disagree that there is no amount of money easily attainable by the middle class that would earn passive income sufficiently however. If we look at average annual returns on the stock market over long periods of time, if you are saving the right amount from when you are 24 or 25 you can live off your dividends by the time you get to around 55-60. High dividend yielding mutual funds/etfs can get you around 2-3% dividends a year, but the key is to live below your means.

Like you mentioned in the first part, the mansion and the large properties becomes a trap. Why do we need a 12 bedroom house for a family of 4? If people live frugally they could easily live their lives and pursue their passions without having to work, or at least not having to work a 9-5 job. Billions of dollars is a different story, you have to get much more creative there, but if your net worth is under 50 million you can still use the stock market without pushing prices much. There are relatively low risk options like VDC, a consumer staples etf which has a dividend yield of 2.16% and almost always goes up because consumer prices are always increasing. There are many lower risk options out there that can help you maintain your lifestyle without having to work a 9-5.

I do agree however that now in the current way things are looking, everything could change. Negative interest rates are essentially a money tax and taxes in general do greatly affect how well you can live off your salary.

"The more stuff you have, the more it costs to maintain it."

This very much reminds me of what one of my college friends used to say a lot...."If a man owns a couch, he must stay home and sit on it."

He claimed it was based off of some old Chinese proverb, but I've never found it anywhere. It makes sense, though. The more things you have, the more time and money you have to spend maintaining them, and the more obligated you feel to stay at home and use them, because you spent all that money on them.

There's a great sense of freedom when you get rid of things. I'm in the middle of moving, and am currently dividing my things into "keep," "donate," "sell," and "throw away." I used to be really sentimental about keeping things, just because someone important to me touched them once. But, now, I realize things aren't people, and I'm being pretty brutal about what I'm donating, selling, and throwing away. Having fewer things is actually a very freeing feeling.

Yes, current interest rate environment is distorting markets and makes even earning a nominal rate of return on a portfolio difficult (and risky). Definitely takes a large amount of capital to generate a secure $75k per year now. Hopefully a diversified portfolio could return a bit above 1%, but like you said I wouldn't get too optimistic. Now is not the time to get greedy.

Jim Pattison in Canada has a net worth of 4.9 Billion. I watched an interview with him on TV, and he said...

"People ask me, why not retire and go lay on a beach somewhere and enjoy life?" He says he's tried that, and it's not for him. He's happiest when he's at his desk making money.

Some of these multi-millionaires and billionaires can't stop. Their life path has been the accumulation of wealth, and it isn't a hobby. It's a way of life for them.

To the rest of us, it looks like they are addicted to greed, but they don't see it that way. I wish they would though.. because this stifles innovation that could come from the small guy if the marketplace was more varied and not so monopolized, controlled, and patented to the "nth degree".

I think you are spot on with this. People who are absurdly rich got that way because they are driven and focused with an intensity above & beyond what many people can muster. They would probably become restless and bored quite quickly, sitting on a beach all day doing nothing. Habits are hard to break, and if your lifelong habit is making money, then good luck giving it up.

I actually have no problem with billionaires who make money and then use it to move us forward as a society, for example the way Elon Musk used his paypal money to start Telsa and SpaceX. I do however have a problem with billionaires who just hoard their money and save it for generations to come.

I agree with you. There is a very thin circle of billionaires who use their money to better the world. Sure, lots of them pour money into charties and such. But I like the innovative type like the ones you described.

A lot of people trying to get rich are just not getting rich; they lack the knowledge or skills toward success. Others simply make money as a byproduct of who they are.

So people just love haggling or wheeling and dealing. To be involved in conflicting negotiations to win some reward. Simply some people just love the egomaniac drug of marketing or closing a deal.

So while a million dollars is kool for many people others are not in it for the gold. Some of our famous entertainers are worth millions or even seriously multi millions; yet they grab every chance to be in front of the lens they can.

Any average person could retire with one million dollars, because right now they are probably working most of the year for around $ 50,000 or a lot less. The math shows 50 grand by 20 years equals a kool million.

Obviously that would have to be an older person and someone generally financially set up like only having a minimal mortgage, etc. But with care and planning one million dollars could secure most peoples futures till retirement.

But what would you do all day; could you simply live on Steemit for 40 hours a week : )

/ hugz ; )

But I plan to live to 150 years of age....

My " in laws " were unhappy when I told them, people have no business being alive over seventy five; ( 83 and 89 respectively ). If your ' bucket list ' is not ticked off by 75; then I was probably not worth doing and had little real business being on your bucket list . . .

Today people barely have enough gold to live while earning a wage every week. How much money will most people have in retirement to do the things they want; most likely a lot less. Indeed most people today choose between eating or utility costs, once retirement happens many people will find themselves sitting down to dinner sharing the cat or dog food to reduce grocery costs.

Even for those with enough gold most people will not have the health status to freely travel. Imagine having to return home every week for health appointments. Indeed even those with the quality of life medically to enjoy travel; many will be raising their grand kids so the parents could return to employment to maintain their lack of equity in their house mortgage.

Death and taxes; the only things you can be sure of : )

/ hugz ; )

You told your in laws "people have no business being alive over seventy-five"...
I'm going to take the rest of your comment as brutal and terse colloquy.
Fine, we should all expect hard lives, especially toward the end. I'll agree with you.

"More" To quote Wall Street Money Never Sleeps...

Me personally, just enough to cover my bills and live comfortably... I think others work for more because money can be a measure of social status/power. More = better (just like bigger is better) ;)

I agree that social status/power has a lot to do with it. Im sure money aside, that benefit becomes like a drug itself.

I also had the idea to write a post on the topic: "How much money do you need for happiness?"

still write it and let me know if you do !

"I often wonder why people with tens of millions of dollars don’t call it quits and just retire or do something that they love, like sail around the world, or die in a blaze of glory filled with hookers and blow."

I think the answer to your question is that they value work and progress more than sailing, hookers and blow.
---And those that don't... well, if they survive you usually get to hear about them sooner or later.

Excellent article! I often thought to myself that question "How much money is enough?" and so far have been able to to live owing nothing and having nothing extra, just like the aboriginal principle of eating only what you need, nothing more and nothing less. It provided, so far, for an extremely happy and content life. the extra money only help foster more goodness for others immediately around me or in my circles of friends. Thanks for this great posting! Namaste :)

more than what I got right now, which is jack shit!

Ohhhh.. I don't know, YOU TELL US!
You've made a FUCKING KILLING!

You know, ive been thinking about this a lot lately.

I don't come from much money wise. But ive been pretty successful. Not crazy rich like a rothschild or a sheldon adelson, but right now i probably have enough money to live out the rest of my natural life without ever having to worry about getting more.. Honestly, i just barely work right now, and im considering retiring even from my very limited duties within the next couple years.

Me personally, i don't understand how people like sheldon adelson and all the ultra rich people keep working. At some point, you just gotta say to yourself "i have enough cash now to hang out and play video games all day"

I still work because it's fun to create businesses and make investments. Life would be very boring if you just retired with your money. People who are self made rich like to do what they do, it's my hobby to make money.

Hi @calaber24p,

I inserted a link to your great article as headline on top of The Steemians Post! Well done a very good read.

Steemits first newspaper - The Steemians Post: Edition of 07 September 2016

Like how more SP gives more Voting power, More money is always == More Power, to you, to your family and to all who depends on you. So the skly is the limit.

Reminds me of this Star Trek TNG clip about an economy without money.

Money in excess is like any other drug.
When you have 10million, its not enough. You become a money junkie.
What it amounts to IN THE END, is a score card.
Whomever scores the highest can go to the next realm knowing they kept too much for themselves and assisted the impoverishment of many thousands.

@calaber24p I often wonder why people with tens of millions of dollars don’t call it quits and just retire - it's not all greed - its also self fulfillment - if you love doing what you do - it feels like playing when you do it - it wouldn't feel like work that you'd love doing it till you die
Most of them also understand that even if you have tens of millions of dollars - it's not just all that - that you need to be financially free and it's also possible they are making sure their great great grand children would also be financially rich or and in doing that they also educate them how to.
And if they have a good heart more or less they are contributing to the society without vested interests and I admire people like that a lot - those whoDO NOT JUST dump donations but educate people on how they could also be well off, financially independent if not financially free . Those are people who understand their purpose in life - honestly speaking I look up to those.

on "Money can be the root of relationship troubles" - NO IT ISN'T - it's the LOVE of money that is the root of it . Any man who works hard would never be enough as a good provider to a whining wife living up with the Jones'. Is it the money that's whining and f..king up their relationship as a couple or is it the wife? I haven't seen any money with a mouth - that could talk and say - "whine for more of me" have you? This kind of ideology would make people fear money when actually it's a reality that it is a necessity be it in crypto currency or whatever financial resource there is. It's never MONEY and if MONEY could talk - like @wang it would cry for "too much hate". Don't get me wrong, I am not bullying you I just do not agree with some of what you put out here.
As for happiness - money could buy me something that could make me happy in a while.
I don't chase happiness but I find it everyday - in many nooks and even on bumping into a stranger.
Like what someone once wrote - I also believe it's an inside job.
As for you - achieving your dream - I wish you the same ... that you make it happen ;)

Peace !

simple answer to all of you , money is paper , a piece of paper , but without these papers wow we can not afford to buy !!!, say in important life is not money , then what is the main thing ? Without these papers , we can not afford to buy anything , we can not support their families , pay for a home , just think that in this world is important to have the money , there is money , there is everything

@laskoff - is this a reply for my comment? you have to reread my comment if it's for me - that's exactly what I was pointing out - just worded differently.

Las personas lamentablemente se enamoran de lo que podemos ser de una imagen no de lo que somos en realidad, buscamos el exterior y llenar el cuerpo antes que ver cuales con las necesidades del alma

Confirmation bias dictates I love this post LOL. But I, too, yearn for experience....so glad you posted this, truly, because that is clearly what is valued here on steemit, and therefore by the majority vote. <3 Yes to having a good time aside from digits on a sheet! :D Hope you achieve your dream someday! <3 Best wishes n cheers @calaber24p!

Hello @calaber24p

I totally agree with you, as soon as I have enough money to survive day to day live I would love to go tour around the world and see all of the wonders of the world!

Regarding the dream-work part, as soon as I am done studying I will be a Teacher - and that is my dream!

What will your dream work be?

:) F

It is not always about the money. After a certain point, where you are set for life in the lifestyle you want, then work may be the reward which is sought. Look at Bill Gates. He could burn a million dollars a day in his fireplace and never run out. He still works hard, but on things he thinks will change the world. In fact, he has signed up to give most of his money away to charity upon his death. Same for the Oracle of Omaha.

value is subjective. For the businessman who wants to employ and give jobs to as many people as he can for example, his dream might require many millions more than I would aspire to achieve, because he wants to use the wealth to maintain a business for example. Maybe he wants to pass it to his children so they too don't have to struggle like he did? :)

I know one elderly man for example who has a LOT of wealth and he still shops for sales and never goes out and enjoys his money.. he just hoards it.. and I feel bad for him, he won't even splurge and take his partner out.. it's like he is scared/living in fear too afraid to spend the money, this is a man who grew up in unimaginable amount of poverty and lived through the depression tho so maybe that is why..he used to walk through the snow for many miles to get to school wearing paper bags for shoes. You wanna talk about struggle. This man has worked hard all his life though and he deserves every penny he has and I don't despise him for having more than I do.

It's good to have money and the things that money can buy, but it's good, too, to check up once in a while and make sure that you haven't lost the things that money can't buy.

Money isn't evil, but it can turn people evil because its the focus on life.

In our society, money is the new god. They use the color green to indicate life, generation, as a value as well to trick our consciousness into favoring it. Green is life... LOL

Make money to live, but don't live to make money, is a good philosophy. Don't obsess over it.

Good luck on your efforts to maximize your freedom in life. I hope to get there too...

Take care. Peace.

Amen to that!!!

There is no enough money that's why even the billionaire still fight for more than they have.

This is a great piece and I simply came to say thank you for writing it @calaber24p!

Nice Read

I personally believe that part of our current awakening process happening now is manifesting for those with money as well as those without. One principle in effect is the greater the quantity of any given commodity the lower it's value.
There is more money in circulation than at any other point in history. Therefore you need to have more just by virtue of the fact that you now have a depreciating asset, not a solid investment. For those already in the poor category without doing anything wrong they are growing more and more poor each day that passes. Rich are disappointed by an unreachable goal. The Poor are forced to revolt due to involuntarily being made to go without while watching the ultra rich waste their good fortune.
Food is also suffering worldwide from this phenomenon. We produce and grow more food at any other point in history yet its overall nutritional value has gone down. We import more food then we need in some countries while others go without due to the artificially low prices of this commodity. Farmers are kept in perpetual serfdom to the rigged market until the Biomes that made high production farming possible are depleted beyond resuscitation.
Communication and information also have fallen prey to it's own abundance. We now worship at the altar of Science without questioning it's discoveries or demanding a burden of proof before something is believed. Productive arguments are rarely had that don't turn into fights, name calling or social ostracism.
If we truly want to live in a world without a masterclass of citizen the penultimate player must at some point be removed for the benefit of progress. Namely money itself, the shadow coach, mentor and bully(dare I say deity) driving our collective wills and desires.

I have the same goal as you do. I wish I can make the money work for me so I can appreciate life experiences rather than just live for work.

Money can't fix many things at this time who have mony have value who don't his is nothing

Why do people work after they become extremely wealthy?

They become extremely wealthy because they were GOOD at what they do (what ever that was) At some level they must ENJOY doing what they were good at. They continue working because they enjoy doing what they are doing.

Money = bonus.

I guess some people only know of one way to distract themselves from uncomfortable thoughts on their mortality.

awesome.Money

One of my favorite songs by my favorite band, The Monkees, has a line in it that really resonates with me. The song is called "The Door into Summer," and the line is:

"With his travelogs of maybe-next-year places
As a trade-in for a name upon the door.
And, he pays for it with years
He cannot buy back with his tears
When he finds out there's been no one keeping score."

That, right there, is why I can't work a traditional job, or work in an office at all. I actually feel sorry for the people like the man in this song, who spend their lives in offices just for what they consider the prestige of it. They're missing out on so much that's way more important.

Excellent !!

For me enough would be around $7000 lol all I want is to pay off my debts then I will be happy :)

You are talking about measuring happiness as if it was an objective phenomenon. What if the interviewers of this study had no clear idea of what happiness really is in first place? What if there isn't even such a thing as happiness as a normative concept? It's not like people don't need to read tens of self-help books, and learn meditation and research spirituality to have a mere and ephemeral glimpse of what happiness is really about...

Asking people how good they feel about life doesn't help since people are delusional and have the wrong assumption that being successful and wealthy is being happy. Following the same standard you would find that people are happy during bull markets and depressed during bear markets. This is a very broken definition of happiness. Given that the study covers only USA residents, a country which is known for being an extreme example of materialism and consumerism based culture, it's likely that the bulk of the subjects have a very strong bias toward thinking that happiness relates to fulfillment of the "keep up with the Joneses" social urge.

This study seems more like a exercise in proving the trivial tautology that people who have enough money cease feeling that they don't have enough, and any extra money has little effect in the very same way that beyond some amount of food people stop feeling hungry and any extra food just makes them feel bloated. That's just mistaking the feeling of being financially secure for happiness.

Happiness lies in the very simple things, but often people do not notice it. Always strive in life to something else. Then I regret after years of living on what did not.

Rejoice now! Laugh now! Live now!

help full info

thanks

Great post, When I was younger I focused mostly on what I could create in the world; Now I mostly focus on how I can make money to do or create the things I want but I feel like I have lost a lot of my vision. In the end, all of this ends up creating a paralysis in me, were i end up doing nothing and everything becomes short term. Still trying to learn how to change all of that.

So why do people continuously work even after they become extremely wealthy?

Ask them...

http://steemwhales.com/

The first thing to look at is the feverent belief that the rich will invest. Trickle-down economics has been an unmitigated disaster, the rich sponge off of society far more than the poor - the last two recessions were caused by the wealthy gambling with hundreds of times the entire economic value of the planet because changes in the law let them. It wasn't invested, it was squandered.

The problem with economics is that it must be that way. Although economics is the correct way to describe the world, it is also intensely toxic and a powerful drug. It's the single-most deadly legal high. It is also subject to a form of Information Uncertainty Principle. You can either forecast or you can utilize, but you can't do both. Attempting will produce violent instability. It's a chaotic system. There is no disruption so small that it cannot have a profound, unpredictable consequence. That's as true for an investment account as for trading in stocks, quantitative easing or a trillion dollar unpaid tax bill. The number is almost an illusion. The relationship between cause and effect is deterministic but unknowable.

The second thing to look at is experiences. Experiences change us. Not figuratively, literally. Memories alter the structure of your brain. You are a product of your brain. Alter the brain and the old you has no existence, only the new you does. But not all experiences are equal. Some, even if theoretically beneficial, are harmful and vice versa. Others have no significant impact, yet others have an impact beyond reckoning. How do you choose?

I have no good answer to that, the best I have ever come up with is that if the brain is as flexible as possible, more experiences should have outsized impacts and more negative impacts should be reducible. With a broad and deep understanding of the world, the probability of a good chiice should rise - and may further broaden and deepen understanding of some element of that world. Othertimes, it will simply broaden and deepen the person as a person. Both are good, but you ideally want both. The ideal ratio, however, is something only the individual is capable of knowing. It's personal and there is no universal right answer.

The best solution I can find is to abandon speculation, switch to the Scandanavian model of high-quality public services, abandon the pretense that anyone other than a Survivalist hermit on Mars could ever be 100% independent (everyone depends on everyone, even if it's not visible, it's time to grow up) and learn how to learn. It won't kill, but I can guarantee that pride and ignorance will.

Modesty is a virtue. So not much.

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Well, if we all knew up-front how long we were going to live, that would certainly change how people spent their time and money, and on what. It's hard to pull the parachute cord when you don't know how far above the ground you still are.

I suspect a lot of those extremely wealthy people don't feel the need to retire because they're already their own boss or have so much power and prestige they can largely do as they please. I imagine a lot of them delegate the hard work to their underlings, so it's not like they hate their jobs. And they probably already have a ton of time off each year.

But for normal people, money beyond the basics represents security. The people who are better planners will save for a rainy day and hopefully still be able to afford lovely experiences and useful things. The people who are less good at planning will fritter away their "disposable income" on useless things and lavish experiences.

A lot of people are just one healthcare crisis away from financial disaster, and with the rising cost of healthcare, it's hard to guess how much you'll really need to save.

@calaber24p I think it is about having a purpose in life and doing something meaningful every day. I sometimss wonder wjat would I do if I won tge lottery. I know I would do three things: 1 buy a house, 2 go on a trip around the world, 3 help my family. Then I would go back to work :)