Question from a Wealth Club member: How does one decide when they have enough wealth?
Answer: The truth is, anyone can make that decision at any point in their life. There are consequences though.
My take is we all have a responsibility to be self-sufficient; except of course those with extenuating circumstances.
To me, I would feel incredibly selfish, unfair, and immoral to expect others to take care of me if I lacked the drive to do something with my life.
So, in our post-pension age, I think it's unwise for anyone that doesn't have enough of a nest egg for retirement to focus on anything but accumulation.
Now keep in mind, you can retire for a lot less than you might think. You can live comfortably in Colombia right now for $1,000 /month; so it doesn't really take much to get to that point.
We are seeing a major problem right now with many people who didn't save at all, or invest at all, and now they have no way to take care of themselves; yet they expect the same benefits as those who are working their hearts out.
And if we look at the bigger picture, the producer/consumer model is at play. People must be productive, and they must shirk the entitlement mentality. That's one explanation for the success of Switzerland, and the gradual decline of America's prowess.
The other thing that's important to keep in mind is not necessarily when enough wealth is enough, but what the motivation behind it is. In theory, people who are altruistically minded should be encouraged to accumulate as much wealth as they can, because they share it and have a heart to help people.
So if I was to assign them a stopping #, it would be very high.
But this is different from the people who greedily cheat, lie, and steal to get every plum nickel out of every situation.
Although I don't think any government should be allowed to appropriate wealth, I also don't think it's right when people only accumulate wealth for themselves, and they do nothing for others. So for people like that, I would say they should stop much sooner.
A counter argument to that is people have the right to do what they want to do, but my reply to that is, just because we have the right to do something, that doesn't mean that we should; or that it's right.
So I think it all depends on a multitude of things when someone should decide whether enough is enough.
This is a sad reality, but we live in a world that is very money-centric - and it's something that we must deal with.
Since it's a lot harder to not have money than to have money, I would say we're better off doing our best to accumulate it while keeping the rest of our priorities in-balance.
J. Patrick Nichols