Often, people initially come to our firm because they want more money to have or to keep. They may want more investment returns, more ideas for passing on their estates, more methods to pay less taxes. Even if they are doing fine, they may want more.
While all of these issues are part of financial planning, more should not necessarily be the only goal. All of these things need to be integrated with the why to understand the purpose of the money and the what to understand the trade-offs.
Some clients want more appreciation for what they already have. They recognize that the hedonistic treadmill is real. When more things are what is important, it is difficult to feel satisfied and comfortable with where they already are. Simply appreciating what they already have creates a pause in desire and helps them recognize how different they feel when they think they have enough.
They want to feel more joyful for the success and/or happiness of others. Legitimate joy for others good fortune inoculates them from the disease of more because they recognize that someone else's happiness doesn't have to take away from their own. Sympathetic joy enhances their personal joy.
They want to be more generous. They spend their time helping or mentoring others. If they help out family or friends financially, they do so maybe with an expectation of being paid back, but no more. And if it is a real gift, then it doesn't turn into a contract by the unstated demands of a certain level of gratitude shown in a prescribed manner. If they give to charity, they do so because tacitly they have determined that they have enough and are comfortable sharing what they have for causes that are important to them.
They want to be more intentional with their money. They don't want to be too frugal or too loose. They want money to support the things that are most meaningful to them. They don't ignore the feelings that money generates in them, but they don't fall prisoner to them either.
Most of us want more of something. But if your wants feel like they can't be sated, then think about more of the why's and the what's.
Spend your life wisely.
Levin is founder of Accredited Investors Wealth Management in Edina. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.