Dear FutureMoneyTrends.com Member,
I want to talk to you about real wealth. This is an important topic because most of our parents failed to teach us what real wealth is. The technical definition of the word wealth is “an abundance of valuable possessions or money.” The origin of the word wealth comes from “well” or “weal,” deriving from the word health.
My good friend, Marshall Reddick, is often heard saying “health is wealth.” Doug Casey says that the knowledge in your mind and the skills you possess are the only things someone can’t physically take away from you – they are your true wealth. The last private conversation I had with Rick Rule, he talked about the feeling of wealth being part of certain decisions you might make, specifically on paying off debt.
I think many people are searching for wealth or the feeling of wealth, but they are far from finding the answer. Everyone knows of or has personally experienced the feeling of owning a new car. From this experience, you get about 72 hours of a great feeling every time you sit down in the driver’s seat, and then about 30 seconds of a similar “new car high” when you show the vehicle to friends and family for the first time.
After that initial artificial feeling of wealth, the average American is left with a lifestyle of perpetual poverty. Most people in the U.S. pay a steep price for this short-term feeling of wealth. The average auto loan is 65 months – that is over five years’ time! According to Experian, 20% of new car loans are 84 months (7 years), with some loans being as long as 97 months (8 years). The average monthly auto payment is $460.
This may be normal, but if you want real wealth, this has to be unacceptable in your life.
So many people have chosen a lifetime of interest payments. Just this weekend, my wife told me about a couple in their 60s who plan to sell their home and buy a more expensive one, where they plan to sign up for a brand new 3-decade loan.
In my September 11th FutureMoneyTrends.com Weekly Wealth Digest, I touched on the cost of committing to a 3-decade loan. Let’s say you buy a $300,000 home with 10% down ($30,000). Now, you have a loan for $270,000, at an interest rate of 6%. Over the next 3 decades, if you follow the plan (conventional wisdom), you will have paid $582,763 in mortgage payments, $180,000 in taxes (2%), roughly $50,000 in insurance, $50,000 for major repairs, and about $36,000 for maintenance ($100/month). In total, including your down payment, you could end up paying about $928,763 for home ownership.
The interest came out to be over $312,000. Add up the auto loan interest, credit cards, college, and personal loans, and I would bet that your average American pays close to a million dollars in interest throughout their lifetimes. My friends, that is not wealth, and in my opinion, it isn’t even the feeling of wealth.
I’ve given this a lot of thought, since it is important to me that I live every day to the fullest. A good exercise I did that I recommend to all of you is to write down 3 things you want to be remembered for at your funeral. It is likely these 3 things are where you will find your real wealth – what gives you great value and satisfaction.
- For me, the first thing that came to my mind was that I wanted people to say I was a good father.
- The second was that I was a good husband, and
- The third idea that came to my mind was to be a fun-loving and helpful friend to all.
My definition of wealth from this exercise is how I spend my time. The average person lives for 78 years. That gives you roughly 28,000 days to live. It’s hard to tie any of my success or definition of wealth up with material things, knowing that I am going to die.
Living debt-free frees up my time and lowers my stress level. Financial obligations can be the worst and most difficult to overcome. Focusing on residual income, as well as saving money. Money is not the key to happiness, but it sure does make things a lot easier, which is why I have spent a great deal of time building and developing businesses.
Rejecting the crowd lifestyle. Don’t get suckered into having the latest iPhone, brand-name clothing, or the nice house that comes with a 3-decade loan. Live your own life! I promise you, no one cares about what kind of house you have or what car you drive. You can’t get your time back – it is priceless. Focus on real wealth, be happy, and live your own life. Don’t follow the path of all these idiots who are literal “debt slaves” to corporate America.