What is the purpose of your money?
Would you be happier if you were richer? This question was integral to the research that led Daniel Kahneman to win a Nobel Prize in Economics. Following Maslow’s hierarchy of needs pattern, Kahneman found that above a certain amount, more money contributes little to people’s happiness. Rather, increased happiness results from positive relationships, a deeper sense of meaning and purpose, active leisure, and an ongoing sense of achievement. Further, money did not significantly contribute to one’s ability to better connect with these enriching activities.
Return on Life
Mitch Anthony, author of The New Retirementality, writes of shifting investing perspectives from solely ROI (Return on Investment) to include ROL (Return on Life). This concept raises awareness about whether you live in service to money or if money serves you. Anthony asks: Do you believe in doing what you do not necessarily enjoy to accumulate the money you need to someday do what you want? Or do you believe that right now you can intentionally create and live the life you want with the resources you have?
A Different Conversation
Let’s all agree planning is necessary. What is not always obvious is that how you have the planning conversation matters. Are you curious about the possibilities, open to adjusting your thinking, and willing to perhaps do things differently? Questioning longstanding conceptions can lead to uncovering exciting new dimensions.
Do plan. Wrap your arms around your financial picture. With an appreciation of Return on Life, utilize engaged conversations to explore how you can live with increased intention given your values, priorities, and individual definition of success.