Some People Just Don’t Get It
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery. Charles Dickens [David Copperfield], 1849]
Financial security is a feeling. Someone with relatively little can feel secure while someone with tens of millions can feel insecure. The truly content people I know feel secure whatever the dollar amount of their wealth.
A key to security is being able to live comfortably within your means.
Living within your means is attitudinal and controllable. It can be turned on or turned off. Those that don’t can feel entitled or that the money will always be there; crave indulgence; spend on possessions they really don’t need; feed ego gratification; want acceptance or envy from their so-called friends; or because they are who they are. I’ve heard it all.
Those that live within their means recognize the reality of their situation; care about their future; abhor debt; like their independence or want to be independent; become content with what they have, can have or able to have; don’t envy others; and are strong in their own skin.
There is an inevitable disastrous conclusion when the clear reality of the situation is not recognized. There is no guarantee of success when it is, but an unlikely success when not recognized. Running out of funds is a major fear that isn’t framed many times until it is too late. Assets in retirement are finite with little growth if at all, and then with varying degrees of risk. Cash flow which is dependent on asset accumulation is guaranteed to decline as the asset base declines. The question is when. If projected to age 110, you probably will be ok. If projected to 82, it is likely things will not be so good for you.
Not responding to reality early on, or not starting today if the years already caught up to you, is irresponsible and you should not be surprised at the consequences. Unhappy, yes, but not surprised. Financial security starts with getting it. Do you?