Retirees: More is the Enemy of Enough
"Don't risk what you have and need for what you don't have and don't need." - Warren Buffett
There's a group of Twitter overachievers that share their quest to optimize every aspect of their life.
Wake up at 5am.
Meditate for one hour.
Steam and cold plunge for 30 minutes.
Lift weights for 90 minutes.
Eat a healthy breakfast.
Go crush it at work.
Some of these productivity warriors write books about how the average person can achieve personal fulfillment.
One such book is "Good is the Enemy of Great," which outlines behaviors to optimize everything from interpersonal relationships to creating wealth. The below is the book teaser on Amazon...
"Do you want to achieve more? Reach your goals? Have a better outlook on life? Better relationships? Set the bar higher and have more success in your business and personal life?"
Achieve. More. Goals. Better. Success.
Who doesn't want to achieve more?
Who doesn't want to conquer their goals and become successful?
Hell, I do. These books make up the majority of my reading list.
But, when does the relentless pursuit of more become a problem?
In my opinion, it's the most understated potential landmine for retirees.
We wrote about the inability to be content with what one has built in our Oct. 8th, 2020 post, "What is Your Enough?"...
"It sounds rather simplistic; build wealth, find your happy place, and enjoy life. But there are countless examples of people building wealth, only to never take their foot off the gas. They keep pursuing wealth without ever considering the question, "what is my enough?
In many cases, failing to identify their "enough," resulted in financial ruin due to taking unnecessary risks."
The same attributes that made us successful could be the cause of our demise.
Most career driven professionals spend 40+ years seeking opportunities and taking risks. We are programmed to build. Who wants to pass on an opportunity to make money?
Not many, but it's the "pursuit of more" we must recognize and control.
It's tough to turn off, especially if you do not recognize the skillset of creating wealth and keeping wealth are different.
Morgan Housel, author of Psychology of Money, talks about the rare skill of recognizing your enough...
"People don’t like leaving opportunities on the table, and it’s counterintuitive to realize that you’ll likely end up with more than those whose appetite for more is insatiable."
Here are some examples of the relentless pursuit of more mindset...
Taking on leverage
Performance chasing into the best performing stocks
Over-allocating to a certain stock because you know it's the next Amazon
Constant tweaking or restlessness (buying and selling homes, changing priorities and goals on a whim)
None of the behaviors spell imminent doom, but they do represent a risk-seeking mindset. This might be fine for a 30-something, but could derail a well planned out retirement.
How can you avoid taking risks where the best outcome won't change your life, but the worst outcome could adversely affect your retirement?
Be content with what you have.
If you asked the average person if they would trade their net worth with Jeff Bezos, most everyone would immediately take that trade.
If you trade your net worth with Jeff Bezos, but added the caveat you would instantly age to 95 years old, most everyone would decline that trade.
At some point in our lives, money doesn't mean as much. What we value shifts to health, time, family, and legacy.
The subtle downshift from more to enough is a necessary, but understated characteristic of a stress free retirement. In my opinion, the skills required to build wealth and keep wealth are completely different.
For further reading on how you can find your enough, click here.