Editor’s Note: In today’s article, Alexander Green shares the importance of saving in order to spend money on the things that bring you joy later in life.
He uncovered an investment opportunity with REAL cutting-edge technology that could be the cornerstone of your retirement.
– Madeline St.Clair, Assistant Managing Editor
In a column a few weeks ago, I noted that last year was the best year ever for millionaire creation.
Thanks to rising stock and bond values – which have since gone into reverse – the number of Americans with at least $1 million in investable assets climbed 10% to a record 14.6 million last year.
And if you include home equity, there were millions more millionaires still.
The vast majority who reach a seven- or eight-figure net worth get there by working hard, living within their means, saving regularly and investing smartly.
The surprising part? According to researcher Dr. Thomas Stanley, aside from the “glittering rich” – those with a net worth of $10 million or more – most millionaires avoid conspicuous consumption and frivolous spending.
But a small percentage take this mindset too far. Psychologists call it hyperopia.
That’s a fancy of way of describing people who are so farsighted that they can’t enjoy their money.
They are good at looking ahead and saving for the future. But they have trouble enjoying what they’ve earned.
Years ago, when my older brother was playing the mini-tour in Florida, he had a retired businessman and sponsor – “Joe” – in Virginia who planned to come down and watch him play in a tournament.
“Great, I’ll book you a room at the Hilton nearby,” my brother offered.
“The Hilton?” Joe said. “Forget that. I’ll book myself a room at the Motel 6.”
There’s nothing wrong with staying at a Motel 6, especially if that’s all you can afford. (Growing up, I never stayed in anything better.)
But Joe was independently wealthy. He owned a string of successful McDonald’s restaurants.
However, he grew up in the Depression. He had an understanding of “scarcity” that eludes most of us today.
And, like many businesspeople, he owed his success, in part, to keeping a sharp eye on costs.
Still, he was getting on in years. In fact, he died less than three years later.
Sadly, he never spent much of the fortune he earned.
He could let his heirs blow through it. But he couldn’t bring himself to spend it himself.
(There’s an old saying – quoted in The Maxims of Wall Street – that the hardest things in life are to save when you’re young and to spend when you’re old.)
Author Matthew Kelly writes that he, too, came from meager circumstances and – even after he was a bestselling author and an in-demand lecturer – couldn’t make himself part with much of what he was making.
If someone you know has hyperopia, you might suggest they do what Matthew Kelly did.
Just as most folks need to plan and make a habit of saving, some need to plan and make a habit of spending.
Kelly figured out how much of his after-tax income he could drop with a clear conscience and then set goals to make sure he actually did it.
It’s a minority to be sure, but some folks – practical men and women who work hard, save and invest – may need to pre-commit to spending.
(The spendthrifts in the audience are now shaking their heads.)
In my experience, most workers fall into one of two broad categories: those who have to be goaded to work and those who have to be reminded to stop.
The same is true of savers. The majority of Americans are not saving enough for retirement.
But others are saving more than enough and not enjoying the fruits of their labors.
It’s a great balancing act in life, deciding how much to save, how much to spend and how much to give away.
But shrouds don’t have pockets – and hearses don’t have luggage racks.
So earn it, save it, invest it and compound it. But be sure to enjoy it too.
We’re only here for a visit.