Happiness vs. Money and Wealth

I grew up with two conflicting guidelines regarding money and life. The first was the generally accepted and often-repeated says that money cannot buy happiness, and I will show you a man who does not know how to spend money.”

In my five decades of life, I have found there to be a great deal of truth in both expressions. The research with which I am familiar, shows that, when comparing rich countries to poor countries, there is very little difference in the reported levels of happiness. The USA certainly qualifies as a rich country—so why are we not happier than those living in very poor circumstances? Perhaps it is because too many people equate happiness with money when they should be equating happiness with wealth.

Money is money, whereas wealth includes money and many other “things” money cannot buy. I like the way J. Boldt put it. “Wealth comes in many forms and is not limited to greenbacks or the numbers in a bank account. Health is wealth. The love and support of friends and family is wealth. Knowledge is wealth. The service that others offer, the products we use—all are forms of wealth.”

Wealth comes in several key forms:

  • Human Wealth—This includes your physical and emotional health. This is also the enrichment we receive from family and the dearest of friends—trust, love, support, understanding and encouragement.
  • Intellectual Wealth—This is the capacity to understand what is of real worth (life’s truths and guiding principles) and to be able to communicate those truths and principles to family, so they will embrace them, and to friends so they can learn from your experiences.
  • Social Wealth—This is the enjoyment in the company of others in one’s community. This may include fun and well as employment and service activities. Financial Wealth—This is the acquisition, growth and use of assets of monetary value.
  • Spiritual Wealth—This is the understanding of where one fits in the universe, vis-à-vis your God, Supreme Being or other superior power or influence. This includes personal development in the areas of love, patience, sacrifice, service and true charity.

Financial and estate planning are not only about your money. It is my observation that your financial and estate planning is a reflection of your overall wealth. When handled effectively, your estate planning deals with your overall wealth, both while you are alive, and after you have passed on.

When you are ready, give me a call—let’s talk about your wealth, how to use it in this life and how to prepare for the distribution of it when you are gone. It’s easy, just give me a phone call at 303-225-0328. My consultation time is always free.