Being More, Not Having More

A recent article posted in the Retired Without a Pension Flipboard Magazine by Katherine Liola called It Is Time We Redefined Financial Success looked to reframe the financial success paradigm. It focused more on values we have as individuals rather than the messages we get from the world.  It offers 10 questions that you might wish to ask yourself that allows you to see financial independence as a tool, not an end in itself.

As I have been travelling this journey to a self sufficient retirement, I have found myself challenged by the conflict between the messages of the world and my own experiences, values and aspirations. I am a tremendous disappointment to my MBA class - I am not "rich" by the standards of the ads I see on the Golf Channel.  Several years ago, I realized that acquiring "stuff" was not the goal of life.  I decided that I wanted to live a life of Being More, not Having More.

Yes, we need a place to live, we need access to clean water, clean air and fundamental infrastructure that provides for our safety and security.  We need access to healthy food and activities that feed our social needs.  But, once the basic needs are met, enhancing our belongings is only a matter of degree.  It is the same stuff - but maybe a better quality or image of the same thing.  People pay a lot of money for status and perceived image without an equal amount of utility or function.  A $15.00 watch from the drug store keeps time just as well as a Rolex.

If we reframe our perspective and focus on being more, not having more, then retirement gives us a wonderful opportunity to simplify our lives. Retirement now becomes a place where we can contribute in our own unique way to the world around us.  It gives us a chance to take the time to interact with others, enjoy our grandchildren, and truly enjoy the moment.

Retirement is a time to create, be creative, be an artist of life. This week I am thinking about how I can use my talents to be more, not have more.


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  1. I liked the value proposition in your article.
    However, the "night is young" as they say... remember that Colonel Saunders started his KFC franchise at age 80, and Mary Kay started her Beauty Business at 80. You are much younger than they were. It takes an average of 13 years to create financial self sufficiency, in my experience, with hundreds of financial planning clients, if they start with nothing. And you have much more than nothing. The world is your oyster! - L


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