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Your Take: Is Being Rich Really The Point?

Mrs. Micah [3], a great personal finance blog with a wonderfully personal touch to it and one of the blogs in my “Must Read” list, recently referred to a conversation on The Simple Dollar [4] about the middle class. In her response, titled What’s Wrong With Being in the Middle Class? [5], she says:

Ideally, yes, I’d like to never have to work another day in my life. It’d be nice not to have to worry about money (though I’d still be careful how I spent it). But I know that I would still work because there are certain types of work I find challenging and meaningful.

I think many people aspire to be independently wealthy, able to do whatever they want, but fail to recognize that having a job and financial responsibilities puts structure in their lives. They fail to realize that, in the absence of that structure, very few of us become Tim Ferriss’s [6] and more of us would share the fate of this unfortunate lottery winner [7].

Having to wake up to go to work, having 8+ hours of your day occupied, and having little time to get yourself into trouble is a comforting thing. You may not like it, but the reality is that you probably would be hard pressed to fill up a day if you didn’t have a job or a business to run. There’s a reason why so many movie stars turn to drugs… they have a lot of hours to fill and not a lot to fill it with.

It’s nice to do “whatever you want,” until you realize you have no idea what you’re going to do!

What’s your take on this? Am I off my rocker? Is money the ultimate goal? Or is it merely the oil that lubricates life?