I know that looking at death as an economic transaction sounds a bit crude, but if you really think about it – Why exactly are we all working so hard? For some, it’s a means to an ends with one of those well-cushioned, lots of good sun retirements that we’re told to believe. [The cold, hard truth is that we’re not in the 1950’s (thank God for us, minorities) at the height of American consumerism: 1) Americans were obsessed with car ownership in a monumental way and the federal government began the huge Interstate Highway initiative, 2) average kitchen appliance, alone, increased by over 240%, and, mostly importantly, 3) people cared about saving and spending.] For others, we are diligent for the sake of building a future for our children, creating a robust legacy.
We’re almost in 2015. Some of us are working hard for the retirement dream, while others are diligent for the sake of building a legacy – both involve some form of high narcissism. My belief is that death marks this endpoint, to which performance of one’s goals, can be assessed; it’s when the ultimate economic transaction, wealth transfer, takes place. The time value of money, the single, most fundamental finance concept, is a great way to think through your savings goals. The time value of money concept is the optimal, economic to think about your debt, savings, and long-term goals. While I think it’s important to consider your feelings, I think that too often we attach a great deal of emotion into our finances, and what we feel like we deserve and the process to getting what we deserve – don’t quite align. The best example of this are impulse shoppers: those who buy because of the emotion. Not a good look. Good wealth building, through saving, is a meticulous process.
History of the 1950s: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/features/general-article/tupperware-consumer/