Not Working for Money – Is it the Most Important Financial Goal?

I was thinking about financial goals and what is the most important one. I understand that different people will have different definitions of what’s important or not.

But if you think about it, isn’t the most important financial goal about – not working for money?

As a habit, I tweeted about it (link) a while back to see what people think:

Tweet Most Important Financial Goal

Then I did a bit of search to see what google thinks about the most important financial goal. I came across a beautiful article titled – How to Live a Happier Financial Life (link). Few lines in the article resonated with me:

Unless you have enough saved for retirement, you need an income. But if possible, never work just for a paycheck. I believe the keys to a fulfilling life are spending our days doing what we’re passionate about and our evenings with friends and family. Problem is, the career that makes us happy in our 20s may not be satisfying in our 40s – and the new career we want to pursue may not be as lucrative. What to do? Avoid the acquisition treadmill of bigger homes and better cars, and instead save like crazy in your 20s and 30s. Do that, and you could buy yourself the freedom to spend the rest of your life on your terms, rather than one dictated by car leases, credit-card bills and mortgage payments.

This article was written by Wall Street Journal writer Jonathan Clements, whom I interviewed a few years back here.

On the point about being able to spend ‘our evenings with friends and family as he points out in the article, I did come across a sad piece of information and graphic a few days back.

Who people spend time with by age

I am sure you will get the message from the picture above – just look at the line of time spent alone.

The author of the article goes on to add that…the best way to spend money is to go for Experiences. He says – I believe money can buy happiness, but you have to spend with care. My advice: Use your spare cash for experiences, not possessions. Pay for the family vacation. Go to a concert. Head out to dinner with friends. This will strike many as counterintuitive. Possessions seem appealing, because they have lasting value, while experiences leave us with nothing tangible. But this is also the reason experiences can bring more happiness: We have not only the event itself, but also the anticipation before and the fond memories after – and those memories aren’t soiled by the messy reality of some object that gets dirty, breaks down and is eventually discarded.

Interesting and the thoughts do seem to be in the right direction.

What else can I say?

We need to figure out what’s most important for us in life. And then, we need to operate accordingly. You can’t say that family is most important and then spend 16 hours at work every day and then, spending the remaining tired hours with your family. You need to do the right thing.

Just something to think about.

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