Have you ever thought about how much money you need to be truly happy? If so, you’re not alone. And chances are that number is elusive.

In today’s Retirement Headline segment, we’ll check out an article from The Atlantic called “The Reason Many Ultrarich People Aren’t Satisfied With Their Wealth.” In doing so, we’ll explore human nature and how to know when enough is enough.

In the Listener Questions segment, one listener asks how to withdraw funds from a taxable account during early retirement. Don’t miss out on discovering the logistics of how to access your money in retirement. Press play to find out.

Let's explore human nature and how to know when enough is enough. Click To Tweet

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:42] What inspires the ultra-rich to keep spending?
  • [5:55] What can this teach us about retirement?
  • [8:16] How to withdraw funds from a taxable account in retirement

Enough is never enough

You may wonder what drives multi-millionaires and billionaires to continue to try to earn and spend more than they need. From where we sit, they have more material wealth than we could even imagine.

The article highlights a key difference between the ultra-wealthy and many everyday people. Regular folks tend to use their wealth to cover their expenses; whereas extremely wealthy people use their money to make more money.

If the goal is to keep accumulating wealth, then there is never enough money, so the goal is never met.

It’s in our instinct to compare ourselves. Click To Tweet

Comparison leads to discontent

At first glance, Joe Pinsker’s piece seems to focus on the mega-rich. However, the article goes deeper to analyze why humans continue to yearn for more.

It’s in our instinct to compare ourselves. Am I doing better than I was before? Am I doing better than my peers? The problem with this thinking is that we need to continually move in an upward trajectory to feel better about our status in life.

Rather than asking themselves, “Do I have enough money?” the wealthy wonder, “Do I have as much or more than my ultra-wealthy peers?”

If you think that you need more income to be happy, you’re not alone. Almost everyone in a survey of multi-millionaires said they would need 2-3 times more money than they have now to be happy.

Comparison is the thief of joy. Click To Tweet

What can this article teach us about retirement planning?

One of my favorite quotes is, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” This holds true whether you are comparing your life with others on social media, your body with someone else’s, or your income to your neighbors or coworkers. This article shows that even the ultra-rich are looking for more.

Because of this, if you want to be happy in retirement, you’ll need to find satisfaction beyond financial wealth.

If billionaires can’t find complete satisfaction with their wealth, chances are, when you compare yourself to others you won’t be able to either.

Therefore, when planning for retirement, it’s important to consider factors beyond financial resources: personal fulfillment, social connections, and meaningful activities. We need some purpose beyond money to drive us so that we can ensure that we aren’t on a treadmill to nowhere.

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