Different River

”You can never step in the same river twice.” –Heraclitus

January 13, 2005

If you think you don’t have enough money…

Filed under: — Different River @ 12:56 am

… Having more money won’t solve that particular problem. Clayton Cramer has some insightful comments (as usual) on this survey quoted by TaxProf:

[A]mong those with net assets exceeding $10 million:

  • 29% say “having a lot of money brings more problems than it solves”
  • 19% “worry they will not have enough money to support the lifestyle they want to have in retirement”

The survey also reveals that people feel they need to double their wealth in order “to feel financially secure”:

  • Those with $1 million say they need $2.4 million
  • Those with $5 million say they need $10.4 million
  • Those with $10 million say they need $18.1 million

Read Clayton’s entire post for more insights. All I have to add to his comments is that it seems that the human desire for “more” is innate and does not change with increasing wealth. Indeed, this is a basic assumption of economic theory — though economists call it by the fancy name “local nonsatiation.”

Having said that, I still think I’d rather have $5 million and wish it was $10 million, than have $1 million and wish it was $2 million — or have either of those than the amount of money I have now. (Sometimes, I aspire just to live from paycheck to paycheck!)

Of course, there are lots of things I have that I wouldn’t trade for any amount of money, so in some sense I’m very rich. Jay Walker, the founder of PriceLine said, if you wouldn’t sell your left arm for a billion dollars, you are a billionaire on paper.

UPDATE: Albert Iannantuono said something similar.

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