I Am Doing Well Financially. Now What?

By David Ning on 17 August 2010 (Updated 4 June 2014) 6 comments
Photo: shaggyshoo

"Eventually, you can afford to better your life."

You've worked hard all your life, saving up while making sensible decisions about your finances. You built a sizable nest egg and is currently in a stable job, earning doodles of money.

Now what?

If you've been reading personal finance literature for a while, you might have thought that you live amongst a bunch of money slaves. And who could blame you? We talk about saving, getting out of debt and never spending a dime more than our fair share of the time. Sometimes it seems there are no other pastimes than checking our bank balances.

But what if, after years of saving, you are actually on track for a comfortable retirement? Is there anything you can do to make your life just a little bit better?

The answer, of course, is yes. Here are a few suggestions, and while this is by no means a comprehensive list (nor something you might want to do), it will get you started on the right track.

Go on that vacation.

Quite a few of you already go on vacations every once in a while, but I know of too many people who are always stuck in their hometown using staycations as an excuse for their laziness in organizing a trip somewhere fun. Experiencing different cultures could be a life changing event. If you are worried your new passion may cost too much, here are 50 ways to save money on your travels.

Start hiring.

Strong entrepreneurs understand the importance of getting help for their businesses, but few apply the same concepts to their everyday lives. With the internet these days, you can pretty much find someone to do virtually anything you ever want for a small fee.

Do you not like to clean the house? Find a house cleaner. Can't cook? Look for a chef that will come to your house. You can even find people to sort through mail for you. It's amazing how much better life could be if you pay a bit of money for someone else to do what you hate. This whole "expense" may sound ridiculously to you, but when you are happy, you may spend less on stuff, or you might end up being more energetic at work and get a promotion! After all, it's your money, and your choice!

Give them that 1%.

You may think that more money will make you feel richer, but chasing a number is really a never ending game. Feeling rich is all about not worrying about money, and one way to do this is to hire a financial adviser who will worry about your money for you.

Now, this isn't as easy as it sounds of course. It takes considerable effort to find a competent individual who is at least somewhat interested in helping your finances. But once you find that person you can bond with and trust, they are worth every penny he/she will charge for managing your assets.

All wealthy families have wealth managers. If they are willing to pay a much higher amount than you for the same privilege, shouldn't you at least consider the same?

Change careers.

Finding another job, especially in this economy, might sound drastic. But if you can afford it and you aren't happy at work, perhaps this is the best advice anyone could ever give you. For most of you, 40+ hours feeling miserable every week is just way too much! If you can find another job that you can be passionate for, even if it pays less, why not?

Think of it as an expense. You buy something because it makes you happy. How much is working in a happier environment worth to you?

Look. Everyone's situation is different, so it's hard for general advices to always make sense. All I ask is for you to look, think about the pros and cons and make a conscious decision. If you can practice that all the time, you are well on your way to financial freedom.

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Guest's picture

Great stuff and advice. I think some people focus so much on doom and gloom and saving more and more and more that they fail to recognize when they are doing well and enjoying the voyage.

Guest's picture

I am a big believer in the concept of hiring people to do things that you do not like to do. For example, if dusting, vacuuming, and cleaning your house each week is the "bane of your existence," it probably makes a lot of sense to hire a house cleaner vs. spending the money elsewhere.

Guest's picture

I wonder how many marriages are saved by hiring a house cleaner. Rarely has money been more well spent than to eliminate an eternal source of bickering over when something is truly dirty enough to need to be cleaned, has been cleaned enough to be considered clean, and has had its cleanliness addressed in the proper timeframe.

Guest's picture

David -
I think the "giving away 1%" is not what I'd suggest. That is a drag on one's wealth that is a huge percent of the 4% withdrawal rates we all discuss. If the planner uses average expense funds, you may have a 2% total cost which can easily be beat in the long run with the simplest mix of index funds.

Guest's picture
justmike

I choose 40 years of OK and 10 years of OK, over 40 years of suck and 10 years of great. LEARN WHAT YOU LOVE, THEN DO WHAT YOU LOVE! Some people say they do it for others, but their enjoyment or "lack thereof" comes home ten times over. There are NO guarantees of tomorrow. If you hate your job, everyone "who is not playing you" knows it. Congrats to everyone who became rich or well off early. The question then would be how many people as a percent would you estimate your economy/politics would support being in that rich/well off category?

Guest's picture

Hi David, I agree with the "hiring" if you are an entrepreneur, and also the travel (as I love to travel). But the most important advice is to spend on things and experiences which will give you lasting memories and pleasure. Spend in accord with your own values.
My husband got both our families together for a vacation to celebrate the new millenium. It was expensive, but a memory that will last forever.
Best regards,
Barb Friedberg