How Will You Be Different When You’re Rich?
You’ve worked hard, saved and invested and now you have more money than you ever imagined. Or, maybe you won the lottery or the IPO jackpot and are suddenly rich. Perhaps you are still chasing that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow and are just dreaming about how your life will change when you have oodles and gobs of money.
Whichever category is yours, you have probably wondered how you will be different when you are rich.
Back in 2010, I entered the Home and Garden TV sweepstakes to win a home. I entered faithfully every day and as I walked, I dreamed about what it would be like if I won. After several days of dreaming, I realized that I already had the things I was envisioning in the prize! I wrote about it in Are You Content With Your Riches.
Will you be happier?
Probably not. Happiness comes from inner peace, realization of self-worth and enjoyment of the people around us. Although you may have access to more venues for entertainment, your inner perspective really determines if that entertainment makes you happy.
For many of us, happiness is related to fulfillment. Our work provides fulfillment. According to Secret Fears of the Super-Rich, an Atlantic Magazine article reporting on a study by Boston College on folks with more than $25 million dollars:
“Work is what fills most people’s days, and it provides the context in which they interact with others. A life of worklessness, however financially comfortable, can easily become one of aimlessness, of estrangement from the world.”
If we don’t have to work, sometimes we just dabble – leaving a career or job at the first sign of trouble, instead of overcoming the obstacles and succeeding.
Will you be prettier?
Maybe. Taking care of our bodies does cost money, more and more as we get older. Having enough money to buy and use the wrinkle cream, get the face lift and color the hair can make us feel prettier. Beauty, though, really is in the eye of the beholder. Even when we have little in the way of financial resources, we still look beautiful to our friends and loved ones. Even when we have no money left over after payday, we can still do something to make ourselves feel prettier or more handsome – even if it is just to smile.
Will you be healthier?
Maybe. Having riches probably gives us access to better health insurance, more qualified specialists and more time to practice healthy eating and exercise habits.
However, healthful living is a choice that is available to all of us, rich or poor. Being rich just gives you access to more of a bad thing (drinks, drugs, lots of food and etc).
Will you live longer?
Probably not. Think of the 2006 lottery winner Abraham Shakespeare, murdered for the winnings.
I’m convinced, that our genetic makeup really controls our health and lifespan. If you won the genetic lottery you will outlive someone who didn’t and live a more pain free and active life.
Death is the great equalizer, no one escapes it.
Will you have more friends?
No, not real friends. You may have more people who claim to be your friends, but really are only after your money. Rich people worry about this and seem to be always unsure of who their true friends are. Relationships may change once your pre-rich friends find out about your money. They may shun you, or you may begin to feel that they are just using you.
Will you have fewer worries?
Probably. After all, your financial concerns are covered now. You don’t have to worry about saving up for retirement, putting food on the table or being able to afford that trip the wife wants to take.
However, in a study done and reported on in that Atlantic Magazine article, Robert A. Kenny, one of the survey’s architects and who was trained as a psychologist stated:
“SOMETIMES I THINK that the only people in this country who worry more about money than the poor are the very wealthy,” Kenny says. “They worry about losing it, they worry about how it’s invested, they worry about the effect it’s going to have. And as the zeroes increase, the dilemmas get bigger.”
I can vouch for this statement myself. When we were dirt poor and living paycheck to paycheck we had a much less complicated financial life. We didn’t worry about interest rates, investments, theft, spoiling our children, asset allocations, accountants, tax audits or any of the myriad of things that wealth brings.
The super rich also worry about ruining their kids, meeting expectations and appearing ungrateful. I wrote about What Can Go Wrong When You’re Wealthy, check it out to see what other things you might have to worry about as a rich person.
How do you picture being different as a rich person?