“Insanity is repeating the same mistakes and expecting different results” – said Albert Einstein / Mark Twain / Ben Franklin / Rita Mae Brown / Bhuvana Shreeram. (This quote is attributed to too many people, so I thought why not…)
Why are we repeating the same mistakes our parents made with money? Let’s make different mistakes.
Over the last 2 weeks we broke and replaced 6 old rules of money management with fresh new ones.
3 more interesting ones are coming up…
Old Rule 7 / 9 - Retire early
From a recently witnessed event -
All of Ramu uncles’ colleagues were laughing and enjoying themselves while devouring the sweets. For a few moments they forgot their diabetes levels and their wives’ faces.
Ramu uncle wasn’t as pleased. All the backslapping wasn’t pepping him up.
He was retiring. He would be gifted a nice watch or a suitcase (which one we don’t know yet), garlanded and sent home with a small cheque and a thank you note.
Ramu uncle’s boss was on the podium. ‘Look forward to the golden days. Bat well in the second innings. Having cash and having good health are two critical requirements to a happy retired life’ and more such pearls were uttered.
A 30 something executive from the crowd was sharing his plans to retire at 45 and travel the world. He said it was unfashionable to work till 60. He argued retiring early was the in thing and you should enjoy life when you are young. Another uncle due to retire next week, simply sighed.
From not wanting to retire at all, retiring early has been a big aspiration for many in the last 10 to 15 years.
“I don’t plan to retire. I want to live 130 years. There is so much to do” says my friend and mentor Neeraj Shah.
And that sounds refreshingly nice, inspiring, purposeful and my eyes brighten up when I hear that.
What he is teaching me is, “Along with cash and good health, one more quintessential requirement for a happy old age is a ‘sense of purpose”.
Find the third love of your life when you are well in your 40s. Transition gracefully.
New Rule – Don’t retire
Old Rule 8 / 9 - Knowledge Is Wealth
My first boss Renga was a fiery man. Big sized, big voiced, big hearted. If he walked up the stairs to the office, we would all scramble into our cabinets and wait for the thunder and rain to subside.
He wasn’t too impressed with my educational qualifications and certifications. He would say “It doesn’t matter how much you know. What matters is how much you do”. And rightfully so, for how cocky and lazy my younger self was.
With personal finances now – there are dedicated TV channels, good magazines, at least 50 good bloggers on the topic and enough and more knowledge around.
7 in 10 people I meet know about the Certified Financial Planning course. They know ULIPs are bad, SIPs are awesome, rupee cost averaging, power of compounding and all the works.
But ask them what they actually do with their money – they either claim they have no money to spare or they are searching for the perfect product to fall from the sky. That's when I get possessed by Renga's spirit.
If you are here just to read more stuff and plan to go back and do nothing about what you read, I would suggest don’t waste any more time. Click close on the top right corner and go away. Reading this is not taking you ahead much. You are not paying off your debt, you are not getting rich. Nothing.
But if you take even a tiny bit step - watch your expenses, save some money at the beginning of the month, start a regular investment plan, open your credit card statements and see what it says - then we are making sense.
New Rule – Knowledge isn’t worth much if you do nothing.
Old Rule (rather old belief and the worst of it all) 9 / 9 - Rich is bad
“Helloo… I am sorry???? Not everyone wants to be rich”
“I am happy being not rich. I have been taught to be kind…. So I cannot be rich”
“We don’t need rich now. We need peace.”
These were some of the comments I got for my earlier blog on what makes the rich, rich.
Very well then, why not have a sit down with the boss and explain you don’t need the annual bonus or increment, and that you would like peace instead. Anybody?
We worship Lakshmi as the goddess of wealth. We pray that she comes to our house and gives us prosperity. Our forefathers knew that money is something we definitely want and taught us to pray for it. Wonder how the script changed somewhere down the line?
Having unhappy thoughts has nothing to do with how much money you have. You can feel victimized and hence crib or feel entitled and hence crib. You can be good or bad, with or without money.
You can be kind, generous, spiritual, loving and really really RICH. They are not mutually exclusive. Life is not a zero sum game anymore. I am not the only one saying it. Read Harv T. Eker say it here.
This single realisation liberated me from the guilt that getting rich would mean giving up on my middle class values. No, it doesn’t.
The New Rules of money are changing the way we earn, spend, save and grow.
If you have old beliefs and old habits and are wondering why you aren’t getting ahead, now you know.
Quick recap of the new rules of money:
Which of the rules do you agree with from the above?
Do drop a message at the comments box below and share your thoughts and wisdom with the readers.
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