Is Richer = Better?
But what is being rich? Is it your net worth? Is it your cash flow? Is it what your financial statement says or is it a feeling inside? If you lose everything tomorrow, are you rich or are your poor? On paper, you would be poor; but if you have retained a thinking of abundance in the broader context of a world full of possibilities, you are still rich beyond belief. Again, I ask: is richness what dollar value you show on paper, or what's in your mind? The stock market, your business, and taxes could take away what's in your wallet, but they can never take away what's in your mind. The skills and expertise you acquire in life are what make you rich, not the dollars you have acquired.
On that note, I wonder why there weren't any financial management classes in high school? I don't use the calculus I learned, but I sure could have used learning about how to manage my own finances. Why don't they teach practice management in medical school? Is it because most doctors are going to work for somebody else? After leaving the employed world for the self-employed world, in spite of the initial nauseous feeling that not having a paycheck ever again gave me, I have come to enjoy life without a paycheck. In fact, not living for a paycheck sets you free to think about money in a more responsible way. You can't sit by passively not managing your money when you don't have a paycheck to lean back on.
I wanted to share some books I have read recently, which deal with managing money and wealth. If you plan to work for the next 40 years of your life, slowly building your retirement account over time, hoping you'll have enough to retire, don't read any further. Go back and play with your Lego set. This is not for you. In order to proceed, you must first shatter your view that life is about working as hard as you can so you can save as much as you can until that one day you have enough to retire. Personally, I don't plan to wait around till I'm 70 to retire so that I am worrying about medications, and blood pressure, and who knows what else when I should be enjoying my life.
Here are some guides for you:
Rich Dad, Poor Dad, by Robert Kiyosaki
Multiple Streams of Income, by Robert Allen
Millionaire Maker, by Loral Langemeier
If you do not think that you have to actively manage your wealth; instead, thinking that Social security, your 401(k) or IRA are going to take care of you -- WAKE UP and smell the coffee! These books are a wake-up call into a world of abundance that should be for everyone. Fine, be a doctor or other healthcare professional, but manage your money so that you can live the life you want to live, not the life you have to live to "pay the mortgage".