“By ‘how much is enough?’ I mean the amount that will allow you to stop driving so hard professionally should you choose to do so. I mean the amount that will allow you to feel safe, the amount that will compensate for risking hard-won relationships, the amount that will affirm your feeling good, smart, successful, accomplished, in control." Pamela York Klainer, How Much is Enough?
How much is enough? Author Pamela York Klainer responds to this thought provoking query by writing, “The question is deceptively simple, but the answer is critical to integrating money with other aspects of your life and finding happiness.”
In similar fashion, financial planner Karen Ramsey commented in her book, Everything You Know About Money is Wrong, about the importance of making sure your financial life supports what is most important to you:
“Money will only improve the quality of your life when it is used with clarity. Only when you learn to spend money in concert with your underlying values—the things that you most deeply care about—will it become a tool for creating a more fulfilling life.”
In other words, money can help you achieve our goals, but financial resources alone cannot produce the essential ingredients of a satisfying and rewarding life such as good health, loving relationships, and meaningful activities. Keep in mind that the word “rich” has two meanings. It can be can be defined as “possessing great material wealth,” and it can also be defined as “that which is abundant, meaningful, and significant.”
In his book The Prosperous Retirement, Michael Stein wrote:
“Just as a wagon wheel without spokes will not carry your wagon, money cannot, in itself bring joy, satisfaction, fulfillment, and a sense of balance into your life. In fact, money sometimes can get in the way of achieving these non-financial goals.”
In addition, it is important to keep in mind that life is multifaceted and that each facet contributes to the quality of life you will experience—now and in the future.
Think of each facet as an integral part of your total “life portfolio,” and remember that it is your investments of time and energy that will make your portfolio grow. Once you have a clear definition of what “true wealth” means to you, then you can invest in each area of life in a meaningful and purposeful way.
As you consider your life portfolio, ask yourself, “Am I experiencing the ‘return’ that I want and need?” If not, it’s time to re-evaluate and re-balance how you allocate your limited and precious resources.
©2010 Money Quotient, Inc. All Rights Reserved.