There are many things we all dream of and wish for, a new house, a new car, better health, the list can go on and on and on. However, in many people’s wish list, being rich is usually in the top five. If not the top wish or dream.
Why wish for money or to be rich? Easy, with money you can buy all the other stuff.
It shows how materialistic many of us are, but then again, we are the product of our consumer environments.
The wishing or wanting to be rich has its foundation in a few philosophies and ideals, mainly that being rich allows you to have all that you want. You have an endless supply of money so you can buy anything you desire. A large house and property, a fancy car, holidays around the world, as we know, the list can go on and on and on.
Having money and being rich, can promote materialism. However, what we may find in some instances is that while the rich and wealthy may surround themselves with all the lovely trappings money can buy, they also may be seeking out higher intellectual and spiritual matters.
We also must keep in mind not to confuse materialism with consumerism. We are all consumers in some form or fashion, however, not all of us may be materialistic. Materialism and being materialistic does have a somewhat negative connotation to it.
With all that being said, does being rich make you happy? That can be a very subjective question. Many may say yes, and many may quote that “you cannot buy happiness”, or “money is the root of all evil”.
Let’s look at what money can and cannot buy, and if being rich is overrated, or can it bring you happiness??
Can Money Buy Love?
“You can love a rich man, just as easy as a poor man”
When discussing wealth and being rich, one topic does rear its ugly head, and that is how money and love go together, or don’t go together.
While it is true you can purchase someone’s time, or their company for a period of time, love is a whole different matter. I am of course referring to the world’s oldest profession, however this is not love, but a business transaction.
So no, it isn’t all “Pretty Woman”.
Now that we have separated love from lust, or doing business, can money buy love?
Of course not. Or can it?
One study showed that the more you earn, the more you may be able to pull. A friend of mine who is a psychologist, found that when he was on dating web sites he had more interest from women when he stated his income was over six (6) figures, £100,000 a year. His own little experiment.
Naturally if you have wealth and you meet someone and fall in love, there can always be that nagging question in the back of your mind, do they love me, or do they love me because I am rich??
If you are considering marriage, that is where a prenuptial agreement comes into play.
Prenuptial Agreements: A prenuptial agreement is a contract that is entered into by two people who are getting married, prior to the marriage, which outlines the division of assets and property should the marriage breakdown and the couple get divorced.
In essence you are planning a head should you get divorced. Seems like planning for a divorce to me, but that’s just me.
A “prenup” as they are called, is to protect one of the parties property, assets, and interest should the marriage not work out. These agreements are usually used when one, or both of the parties is rich and wish to remain that way if they get divorced.
Nothing says love like a prenup.
Can Money Buy Good Health?
Money can buy you a lot of things, but just like love, money cannot buy you good health, or can it??
In the example of an employer offering employees a bonus if they don’t miss work due to illness, this isn’t so much buying good health, just rewarding those that don’t miss time at work due to illness.
If you use the example that money cannot buy good health, but it can buy good healthcare, then yes, having money and being rich may help in living a healthier life. And studies have shown that if you live in a rich area, you’re more likely to live longer and maintain good health.
In countries where there is no socialised medicine, such as America, being rich does have its perks in being able to afford good healthcare. A good example was the late Steve Jobs, who ran Apple.
Steve Jobs received a liver transplant in the state of Tennesse even though he did not reside in that state. While his wealth may not have moved him up the list for a liver transplant, the fact he had his own jet plane and could be at the hospital within the short period of time required once a donated liver is found, most certainly did help. So being rich and having your own jet plane did make a difference.
Old Money versus New Money
In the world of the rich, there are two forms or types of wealth, old money and new money.
Old Money: Old money is money that may have been inherited, but has been in a family for years/generations. These are people/families that may have never lived or known what it is like to struggle or do without. An example would be the Monarchy here in the UK.
New Money: New money is wealth that has not just recently been acquired, but may have stemmed from a lucrative business venture or investment. It is wealth that has been accumulated during that person’s lifetime, not inherited. Examples of this could be Bill Gates, and some of the world’s richest rock stars/musicians.
When discussing “new money” such as inherited wealth or sudden windfalls, we need to look at the lottery, and lottery winners who have hit it big.
Lottery Winners – The Curse of The Lottery
Have you ever heard the saying, “the curse of the lottery”? It is a saying that stems from the fact that many people who win millions in lotteries, either wind up skint again later on through poor spending, or the winnings change their life in other ways; possibly divorce, family issues, dependency issues, etc.
There have been a few studies done on lottery winners to see how their lives were changed, and if they were happy or not. There was even a study done as to how winning the lottery may change your political views.
Before we get to some of the winner’s stories, let’s look at reasons why you may not want to win the lottery.
Friends and Family: This may sound a bit cynical but you may be amazed at how many friends you have and long lost family members when you suddenly have millions in the bank.
You may need to “rethink your social network” once you become a millionaire.
Your Relationship: If you are married or in a long-term partnership, winning big on the lottery could change things. Winning millions does and will change your life, and it could change you or your partner.
We know finances are one of the major reasons relationships fail, however, usually it is the lack of money that is the cause. The reverse can be said as well. One of the partners may easily fall into poor money habits or in some instances infidelity. Money can and does change people.
Lawsuit Target: Oddly enough once you become rich you also become a target for those who seek to get money from you through legal means, lawsuits, and also people will try to scam you.
Someone may come to your home for a party you are throwing, trip or fall and wind up taking you to court for compensation.
People will also try to get you to invest in their project, company or idea.
Bankruptcy: You’re thinking, bankruptcy, I have millions now, how can I go bankrupt????
The real curse of the lottery is that the majority of people who receive such a windfall have no clue as to how to manage it. They spend, spend, spend, and in doing do raise their expenditures to an amount they can only maintain for a short period.
The winnings were a one-off, a windfall, and as such will eventually run out. The bills are left and in many an instance the winner then faces bankruptcy.
Lottery Winner’s Stories
Adrian Bayford and his wife won £148 million from the lottery. However, just 15 months after winning the lottery their relationship has “broken down”. Mr. Bayford seems to have made a new friend along the way as well.
Michael Carroll aka the “lottery lout” won £10 million when he hit the lottery.
The reason he was dubbed the “lottery lout” is due to the fact he squandered his fortune on drugs, gambling and prostitutes. At least he did give something back to some.
Last heard he was working at a biscuit factory earning £204 a week. 10 million is a lot to go through.
Dave and Anglea Dawes won £101 million when they won the Euromillions. They split up stating they could not decide and argued how to spend their new found fortune.
The couple were also used as a part of a scam where people received emails stating the couple were to give money away.
Stuart Donnelly is a tragic story of winning the lottery. Stuart won £2 million at just age 17. It was stated the strain of the win caused him unhappiness and at age 29, he was found dead.
Lottery syndicates are a group of people who all pay an amount into a kitty or pot and but lottery tickets. If any of the tickets win, the money is then distributed amongst those that are a part of the syndicate or group.
While this sounds like a good idea and can increase your odds of winning, it also can go pear shaped.
There are instances where someone doesn’t pay their portion into the kitty and the syndicate wins only to exclude them from the winnings. There are plenty of problems that can arise from these syndicate groups winning the lottery. Of course having a signed agreement in place can help if any disputes arise.
Hopefully, after reading this you are not put off of taking a chance and playing the lottery. It is taking a chance, and it is a form of gambling, however, the cost of £2 a ticket seems reasonable for the possible return of millions.
The Rich and Charities
There is a unique relationship between those that are rich and charities. Naturally that relationship is based on money, or in this instance, donations. The rich do give millions to various charities or causes they support.
It’s called philanthropy and it is all about donating to just causes and charities. It is not just about money, as this donation can be time, and also highlighting a cause or making people aware of something.
In some instances the rich may come together and work together for a common cause. Bono, the lead singer of the band U2, and Bill Gates, have worked together to stop world hunger. They have also set-up their own foundation as well.
If not for the work of these rich, and famous people, and also their donations, many charities could not survive, and awareness for various causes would go unnoticed.
Here in the UK we have quite a few of the ultra-rich who donate millions to just causes.
Rich People Who Live Modest Lives
Just because a person may be wealthy, doesn’t always mean they flaunt it, or live up to their incomes. You may be living next door to someone who could be a millionaire. There are some very wealthy people who live modest lives in comparison to their wealth.
Let us not forget that having wealth can be costly as well. Even if you live a modest life in comparison to what riches you may have, being rich costs you money as well.
If for example you have a nice estate home, a boat, and a few other trappings of the rich and wealthy, you have to maintain these things, keep them up. This isn’t going to be cheap. You may want a housekeeper to clean the house, a gardener for the garden and landscaping, someone to keep the Rolls and Bentley cleaned and waxed, etc. It all adds up.
And if you are very rich and famous, you’ll also have the expense of security when you venture out to the land of the have nots. Another additional expense.
Work Ethics And How They Got Rich
If you inherit millions of pounds or win the lottery, you haven’t really worked to earn your wealth, however let us not forget that many self-made millionaires and those that are rich, did it by hard work.
If you look at people like Donald Trump, Sir Richard Branson, and even Mark Zuckerberg, they have a strong work ethic and didn’t stop when things got tough. They share some of the same traits such as being driven, ambition, setting goals, all factors that helped in making them successful, and wealthy.
If you look at some of the more famous musicians, artists and actors who are rich, they were not seeking out wealth when they began. They had a passion for their art, and through that passion a secondary gain was money.
The Good And The Bad
Being rich has it good and bad points.
Yes, you can travel, have a nice house, eat the best foods, and drink the best champagne, and rub elbows with other rich and famous people. However, it cannot buy you happiness.
If you are seen as being rich, there are those that may dislike you due to their own envy of your position and wealth.
So in the end, money can buy you stuff, material possessions, however the intangibles such as friendship, love, respect, inner peace, and all the other feelings and things that are inside us and from the inside, money cannot buy.