Early Retirement Extreme wants to slay the ‘enough’ dragon; while, for many, ‘enough’ refers to their income and/or spending, in ERE’s case it refers to his investment net worth:
In terms of the invested assets dragon, I have several. I want to have a $500k net-worth. Once I hit that, I want $750k; then I want $1M. It’s been like that all along. It might just be my biggest source of stress— not being able to rapidly save money, which, rationally, I’m not going to spend anyway. It’s pretty stupid, I know.
And, before you think that “when I’m rich, then I’ll have enough” remember that when people who you and I think are rich (i.e. with net assets in the $5 million to $25 million range) are asked how much they will need before they consider themselves rich, they tend to say: “about double”.
That is, they tend to think that they need about twice their current net worth in order to feel comfortably rich!?
The solution is to prepare your definition of ‘rich’ … in advance!
… and, that should be to have enough money to live your Life’s Purpose. We call that number your Number.
When you get there, STOP because that is – for you – truly ENOUGH.
On the other hand, my ‘dragon’ isn’t income, investment assets, spending, etc., it’s my entrepreneurial gene … I see opportunity in everything and want to invest in it.
Right now, I’m working on my real-estate development projects, partnering with a young entrepreneur in his first bricks-and-mortar venture, and have any number of browser windows open with new technologies that I want to pursue.
While it’s all fun, and mentally challenging, and fits totally within my Life’s Purpose, it all still takes money … so, in some ways, it’s no different to any of the other forms of ‘enough dragons’ out there.
So, how do I deal with my ‘enough dragon’?
Well, I built enough ‘fat’ into my Number to allow both the free time and the free cashflow to play with these new ventures: about 10 @ $50k a pop. Unfortunately, just one of my non-property business ventures is already in $100k territory, so I need to tweak by reducing the number of other ventures that I back.
And, as I’ve already said, this is easier said than done 😉
Is enough really enough? I think if your having fun doing what you do,and making money(and have enough cash to not go broke while doing it) enjoy.
Yes and no and yes.
I agree that there are far too many people who just don’t know when to get off the treadmill. Some time hanging out at the early retirement forums is good therapy for this sort of problem. It’s also a good place to deal with the idea that you are not rich until you have more than the next person.
I also agree that have a meaningful amount of fat in the number is important – I don’t want to be faced with the choice of eating cat food or going back to work in my 80s.
However, I do have an issue with the idea that you can fix your number in advance once and once only – numbers can and will change. Mine did for a number of reasons, some related to lifestyle and some due to circumstances outside my control. As an example, my number is partly dependent on the yield I can get on my investments. Yields are now lower than when I did my original analysis which means I need a higher number to generate the same level of income.
I know that I am not as rich as a lot of other people, but I don’t care. I really don’t. I have calculated the (slightly overweight) number that will enable me to live my chosen lifestyle and when I hit that number, I will consider myself rich enough.
@ Traineeinvestor – I agree; when I did my Number, I was sure that $5 million would be ‘enough’. Just need to make sure that ‘mission creep’ doesn’t set in: growing your Number just for the sake of it.
I think a big dragon that we all face is that human nature of wanting more. We all seem to do it to some degree or another. We’ll live in a 150k-200k house(which was probably an amazing home to our grandparents standards) and while there, we imagine that million dollar pad. Once we get that, we need a 5 million dollar one, etc..etc..and our number continues to climb with the chronic discontent and needing more.
The same thing tends to hold true with everything else. Suddenly, even the finest public schools aren’t enough for our kids(even though they worked perfectly well for us, heck, we did become very educated and wealthy after all from them, didn’t we??) and we ‘need’ very expensive private schools, or first class flights(even though not too long ago, we were totally elated with simply getting to fly to Italy period, lol), and the list goes on and on.
I think the key is to somehow be able to turn the ‘More’ switch off in our brains, or else we’ll be ‘needing’ to purchase an island, lol.
@ Scott – Now that you mention it, I have a hankering for an island 😉
BTW: Thanks. I will post on this (the ‘more’ issue … not the island!) …
hehe, Adrian 😉
Pingback: Beating the ‘more’ bug!- 7million7years