Money Ain’t Everything…Until You Have None

When people make a list of the things in life that are most important to them, money is never ranked at the top – but it’s usually among the top three or four.

The list typically starts with health, family, happiness, and then money, in that order.

It’s always bothered me when people made comments like “money isn’t everything.” It may not be everything – but when you have none, it’s everything.

In the words of  Zig Ziglar, “Money isn’t the most important thing in life, but it’s reasonably close to oxygen on the ‘gotta have it’ scale.”

The only people in my life that I’ve ever heard make the statement “money isn’t everything” didn’t have any money. I’ve never heard someone that had money make that statement.

The fact of the matter is that to some degree – whether we like it or not – money is as close to “everything” as you can get without “being everything”. There are very few aspects of our lives that are not influenced by money either directly or indirectly.

Here are some examples of what I’m talking about:

1. The number one factor that determines where we end up in life is not our intelligence, hard work or ambition. I know this sounds contrary to what we’re taught, but it’s true.

The number one factor is the socioeconomic class we are born into.

This is not my opinion. It is a statistical fact.

If you are born wealthy, you are likely to die wealthy. And if you are born poor or middle class, you are likely to die that way as well.

2. Life expectancy increases as your socioeconomic status improves.

Fact is, the more your net worth, the longer your life expectancy.

People with more money usually have better health care and take better care of themselves.

3. Having money gives you options that you wouldn’t have otherwise. These include:

– The ability to not have to stay at a job that you hate, and/or to be able to venture out on your own and start a business.

– The ability to pay for your children’s education and spare them the burden of taking on an obscene amount of debt before they even start their lives.

– The ability to travel anywhere in the world whenever you feel like it, pay cash upfront, and not finance a trip that you’ll be paying off for the next five years.

4. If you want to live in a nice neighborhood – well, you better have a lot of dough. There is no way around it – living in a clean, low crime area that is well maintained costs money.

Let me share some of my personal story with you in closing.

I grew up in a what would be considered a lower middle class household.

My mother worked at NYNEX, which I believe is Verizon today. She made an annual salary of $30,000 – $35,000 in the 70s, 80s and 90s. She had great health insurance and a pension plan.

I graduated from college, and my first job out of college paid $18,000 a year.

My highest earning year in my life was in excess of $300,000.

I was never into cars, clothes or frivolous bullshit. The number one thing I wanted to do was travel and see the world.

I can tell you that I’ve been broke, and I’ve had money. And I will take the latter any day of the week.

 

My book, The Stock Market is For Everyone, is a short guide for the beginning, inexperienced investor that is easy to understand and can be put into action immediately.

Click the image of the book at left to be taken to its Amazon page. 

(Disclosure: As a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, I earn a small commission on each sale generated through these links.)

 

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Who Cares About How Much Money You Make?

I’m going to tell you a classic story of working-class mind set.

It’s the kind of mindset that only cares about how much you make, but never gives a thought to what really matters…their net worth.

My coworker was telling me a story today about someone she knows who is always bragging about how much money she makes. The individual in question earns $80,000 a year, which is a very respectable income that is higher than the national average.

There is one very important caveat, however. The $80,000 is earned from two separate jobs, each paying around $40,000.

This mentality is classic working class thinking, for a few reasons:

1. Her income is not earned by having two careers – it is earned by having two jobs.

You could practice law during the day and teach at a university in the evening – this would be an example of having two careers as opposed to two jobs.

If this person loses one of her two jobs, her income would immediately be cut in half.

2. Bragging to your friends about how much money you make is classless! It’s something working-class people do.

And unfortunately, it’s a symptom of not understanding anything about wealth.

Wealthy people talk about money in terms of net worth – not salary.

I know someone personally that currently earns less than $50,000 a year and has a net worth of $200,000. That may not be on the level of anyone on the Forbes 400…but it’s more than the majority of the country.

The reason someone with such a humble income has a six figure net worth? Ownership.

She purchased two condos years ago when she was doing well, and held on to them while they appreciated in value.

Don’t get me wrong – we all want to generate as much income as possible. But your net worth is the key.

The next time someone brags to you about how much money they make…ask them how much their net worth is!

 

My book, The Stock Market is For Everyone, is a short guide for the beginning, inexperienced investor that is easy to understand and can be put into action immediately.

Click the image of the book at left to be taken to its Amazon page. 

(Disclosure: As a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, I earn a small commission on each sale generated through these links.)