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What's Your 'Why'?

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  • What's Your 'Why'?

    A great book by Viktor Frankl titled "Man's Search For Meaning" has one repetitive principle throughout the book. I would paraphrase this principle as: 'If you give a man (or woman) a why, he can accomplish anything." The author is a Holocaust survivor and makes referrrence to most survivors did so because they had a deep rooted 'Why'.

    So, to all of us financially savvy folks on here, what is your 'Why' to motivate you make, save, and invest all this money that we do? What's the 'Why' behind all your sacrifices and sweat to reach your goals when it comes to FI, early retirement, ultra-wealthy, etc....?

  • #2
    I'll go first.

    My wife and I come from broken families. Neither one had much of a father growing up and still don't have much of a relationship with them. It makes our overall family dynamics feel lacking even now as grown adults with kids. Our dream is for she and I to stay married forever and build a ultra-close family that stays that way our whole lives and do the things together that we only dreamed about as kids.

    So my 'Why' is this:
    To built enough wealth to do whatever I want with my kids and their kids one day. Whether that be have a beach house we frequent together, take trips around the world, or just make sure they have a good footing at starting their lives as adults. Having lots of money to give us whatever family experiences we want is my 'Why'. Can we have a wonderful family without money? Of course we can. But, I want to be able to provide luxuries in the life that allow my family to do things I used to only dream about. Imagining family Christmas at a future family beach house or one day taking my future grandkids to Europe for their entire summer makes my heart smile already.

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    • #3

      I think my personal motivation for amassing a large nest egg and continuing to work is rooted in my parents.  My mother was widowed at 35 with 2 small children then she married my father.  She instilled in me a sense that even though I was female (in her generation few females worked outside of the home) I needed to be able to take care of myself.  To her this meant getting educated and having a career. My father had to support his parents in their later years so he instilled in me a sense of saving money for retirement. Interesting topic.

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      • #4
        Freedom and choices. Not worrying.

        I’ve had to spend a lot more money than planned on my new baby. Because we saved and are relatively frugal it hasn’t hurt us at all. So grateful to not have to worry that money will run out.

        For me saving, investing and reaching FI is to have freedom and not be tied to a job if it doesn’t suit me. Thankfully I love what I do but would love to cut down and spend more time w my family too.

        I too want the ability to take nice vacations w family and be able to be generous whenever I can.

        I remember WCI wrote an article that peeps really need money early on not when they are 50-60. Would love the ability to help my young adult kids out when they have children for example.

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        • #5

          Because I come from a family of big spenders and low income.  Because I remember worrying about small amounts of money as a child because we didn't have anything.  Because I want to break the cycle of despondent elderly parents leaching money from their kids to pay for basic life needs (housing, food, clothing, etc) because they didn't save.  Because I'm some odd combination of competitive and money hoarding.  Because I realized quite a while ago that the best way to make lots of money is to have lots of money and/or to be born rich.  And lastly but probably most importantly, because I want to create a life for my wife and kids where money doesn't prevent them from doing the smaller day-to-day things in life that make life enjoyable (celebrating certain milestones/occasions, going out with friends, going to shows/events, etc).

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          • #6



            Because I come from a family of big spenders and low income.  Because I remember worrying about small amounts of money as a child because we didn’t have anything.  Because I want to break the cycle of despondent elderly parents leaching money from their kids to pay for basic life needs...


            Click to expand...



            Nice story. Makes me thankful for my relatively wise parents, and opportunity filled childhood. Some families with money spoil their kids - that could be worse than a financially poor childhood.


            BTW I think you could win the WCI scholarship with that essay...

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            • #7

              Great question and something I had to answer as part of my practice as a CFP.  I wrote this a little over a year ago.


               


              http://theflatfeeplanner.com/know-let-share-mine/

              Comment


              • #8

                To Build on the hard work of our immigrant parents so that they can retire in comfort and spoil their grandchildren as their reward for the years of toil.  Allow the next generation wide opportunities to pursue their passion, and finally to spoil our grandchildren.


                All the while to make a positive impact in the community -- move that needle forward.

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                • #9



                  Some families with money spoil their kids – that could be worse than a financially poor childhood.


                   


                  Click to expand...



                  Really find this hard to reconcile. Sounds pithy, but makes no sense. Spoiling a kid (subjective) may have some effects that are negative, but pales in comparison to a poor financial childhood. Not the money part necessarily, but usually the circumstances leading to and surrounding that are far more detrimental.

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                  • #10


                    I’ll go first. My wife and I come from broken families. Neither one had much of a father growing up and still don’t have much of a relationship with them. It makes our overall family dynamics feel lacking even now as grown adults with kids. Our dream is for she and I to stay married forever and build a ultra-close family that stays that way our whole lives and do the things together that we only dreamed about as kids. So my ‘Why’ is this: To built enough wealth to do whatever I want with my kids and their kids one day. Whether that be have a beach house we frequent together, take trips around the world, or just make sure they have a good footing at starting their lives as adults. Having lots of money to give us whatever family experiences we want is my ‘Why’. Can we have a wonderful family without money? Of course we can. But, I want to be able to provide luxuries in the life that allow my family to do things I used to only dream about. Imagining family Christmas at a future family beach house or one day taking my future grandkids to Europe for their entire summer makes my heart smile already.
                    Click to expand...



                    Mine is almost exactly the opposite. My father was brilliant and hard-working but very very conservative. He accumulated what he accumulated through sheer force of will. He largely sat out the stock market his entire life. My motivations are probably 1. To continue and grow the family legacy my parents began; 2. To outachieve my dad financially by having started earlier and learned the basics of low cost passive investing as a teenager; (Oedpial complex) 3. To avoid the trap of OMY by reaching a ‘definitely enough’ amount early in life - and more importantly, by recognizing (in the words of Joseph Heller as told to Kurt Vonnegut and paraphrased by Jack Bogle) when I have ENOUGH, acting on it and RETIRING with decades of healthy life ahead of me.

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                    • #11

                      Same as Miss Bonnie MD and a few others here.  Money may not buy happiness, but happiness is much easier to find when you have the monetary ability to take action at will.  My "Why" is all about having options.  


                       

                      I should have been a pair of ragged claws. Scuttling across the floors of silent seas.

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                      • #12

                        Freedom to do just about whatever we want, whenever we want, however we want. Everyone's level of "F you" money is different, but the gist is the same. The ability to decide your next day and every day after that, at least in regards to money not being the rate limiting factor.

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                        • #13






                          Some families with money spoil their kids – that could be worse than a financially poor childhood.


                           


                          Click to expand…



                          Really find this hard to reconcile. Sounds pithy, but makes no sense. Spoiling a kid (subjective) may have some effects that are negative, but pales in comparison to a poor financial childhood. Not the money part necessarily, but usually the circumstances leading to and surrounding that are far more detrimental.


                          Click to expand...



                          Not hard to reconcile. Good parenting is more important than wealth.


                          My parents grew up way below US poverty standards (not enough to eat, elder sisters copying school text) in a then 3rd world country. They survived and prospered due to good parenting and hard work.


                          If a less than great rich parent gives a kid everything they want, and teaches them no life values, how do you think they'll turn out?

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                          • #14

                            To do the things I want to do, not have to do.   

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                            • #15

                              Why sacrifice?  <--------Geez.  Really provocative question.  In biologic terms, the mission of parenting is to sacrifice  ones immediate desires in order to pass on genetic material. Without the capacity to sacrifice, we'd all  breed, and leave our offspring to wither.  So, I guess sacrificing is in my DNA.

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