Turns out, money isn’t as important to people as your local news program would have you believe. According to the Journal of Financial Planning:
The “good life” for middle-aged and older Americans is equated with spending time with family and friends, not piling up wealth, finds a study by the MetLife Mature Market Institute.
The Institute interviewed 1,000 Americans ages 45-74. “We found through this research that people who make valuable use of their lives through meaningful work, time to socialize, personal interests and travel, and care for this physical and spiritual health are more likely to have contentment and purpose in their lives.” said Sandra Timmermann, Ed.D., director of the Institute. “Having enough money to be comfortable, a different standard for everyone, remains important as well, but it’s not the only, or even the most important, focus.”
When asked to select from a list of 13 activities that contribute to living a purposeful life, 86% chose friends/family and 63% cited their physical care. The good life also is less an issue of “more” of things, whether friends or financial security or health, but a balance and alignment of these factors.
Of several types of people defined by the value they place on the core components of their lives – money, medicine, meaning, and place – the “meaning minded” were the happiest and the “financially focused” were the least happy.
We take the burden off of our clients having to be financially focused so that you can attain the good life. Financial focus is our responsibility. Your responsibility is to the priorities of your good life. Have you told your friends/family that you love them today?
Source: Journal of Financial Planning, April 2009