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What If You Didn’t Have To Work?

(Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

There has been a lot of talk in the news about income. How much people make. How greedy the quest for money has become. Some would say, “Money is the root of all evil.” But is that the whole story?

Wealth vs. Money

Aren’t they both the same thing? To many people they are the same thing but what is the end result of working for you? You work 40 or fewer hours each week. That leaves roughly 168 hours each week to do what? Spend every dime you make? What purpose does money really serve in your life? What does it really buy? Do you work just to accumulate money or do you work to add wealth to your life?

Money

Money is a great thing. It’s pretty tough to do much in life without it. They say the best things in life are free, and while that may be true, there’s not a lot of free homes or food out there. So we need at least some money to sustain us and realize an acceptable level of existence.

How much we make is usually dependent on our education, skills and abilities. The more valuable we are to someone the more they are willing to pay us for that value.

But money is nothing more than a tool. Money doesn’t necessarily make your life better. It won’t buy good health; it won’t bring back lost loved ones. Money simply makes your life easier. If you have enough then bills and other money related problems disappear.

Wealth

If I had known how enjoyable retirement is I would have done it a whole lot sooner. What did my retirement buy that is so valuable to me? Time! Time to do things I enjoy and yes there is physical and mental labor in many of the things I enjoy doing. The difference is, I’m not forced to do them to keep a steady stream of money coming in. More money won’t buy me more time just more things to do with that time.

My wife on the other hand is somewhat different. She retired and is the kind of person that really needs something to do. We don’t need her to work to finance our lifestyle but she needs to feel she’s contributing something to society. So she is looking for volunteer work or a job to fulfill that need she has. That’s her way of accumulating her personal wealth.

Some Final Thoughts

Most self-made millionaires and billionaires don’t waste their wealth on second homes, yachts, cars or jewelry. Most spend their money doing things for others. They support various charities they believe in. They send their kids to good schools. They spend time with children and grand children. They know that the mere accumulation of money isn’t much of a goal in life. What you do with that money is the real difference between the accumulation of money and the accumulation of wealth. I like the wealth train.

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