Why do you want to get rich?

#finance 2 min.

I wouldn’t mind getting rich, but it strikes me as a silly goal.

What exactly would you do if you were rich, that you cannot do now? I’ve yet to hear a compelling answer.

Economic inequality is a real problem. Top 1% raked in most productivity gains over the last century. The rest of us got the short end of the stick. That’s not great for social cohesion, because societies tend to collapse when we no longer believe we’re all in the same boat.

That said, if you are lucky enough to live in a developed country and find yourself somewhere in the middle class, you’re still getting a better deal than most people before us.

Economies of scale and global logistics are the true miracles of the last century. We got so good at manufacturing and supplying stuff, that you can afford a fundamentally similar quality of life as the richest people on earth.

You likely have running water and automated heating (or cooling) in your home, which was a luxury not that long ago. You have abundant access to food, entertainment, and healthcare (sorry, USA). You probably wear similar clothing and use the same smartphone as billionaires. You can even drive the same car. Cheap air travel means you can go pretty much anywhere with a bit of planning.

Sure, it’d be cool to take a Bentley from your villa to the airport, jump into a private jet and fly off to a private island. But do you honestly believe that would make your life fundamentally better? I don’t.

Above a certain threshold, accumulating money is just a form of procrastination. You’ve taken care of your financial needs, invested for retirement - now what? You put it away, hoping you will figure it out later.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great problem to have. But all that excess money usually doesn’t come for free. You still have to work for it. Why work for something you might not even need?

If you feel like you cannot afford a good life until you’re rich, try to evaluate that assumption critically.

Maybe you truly need big stacks of money to do the things you wanna do. That’s a valid conclusion.

Maybe you’re really after the status that money brings, and not the money itself.

Or maybe you focus on the money because that’s easier than figuring out what a good life means to you.

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Est. 2011