Members of this South Florida real estate firm won $1 million from their office Powerball syndicate… how will it change their lives? Photo: Inside Edition
What if you never had to work again, ever? You can dream up a future life, but sometimes the reality of being exceptionally rich is quite different.
So this fascinating question was put to several contributors at Quora, and the candid answers from actual wealthy people may surprise you. Some are heart-warming, some are brutally honest.
Here’s a few highlights by Nicholas Carlson of Business Insider from their comments:
Money does not make you happier, relationships do.
“I don’t believe very much in the hedonics argument about wealth – that the more you have, the more money you need to maintain a certain level of happiness. Happiness has mostly to do with relationships and the quality thereof. I doubt that it’s a metric that can be measured effectively by economists to come to a conclusion.” — J.C. Hewitt
After you are rich, you take it for granted, like you take having great parents for granted.
“[Being rich] feels like all the other blessings we have in life when times are tough – we know that they are blessings, strive not to take the for granted, but can forget we’re blessed when we’re feeling down. It’s like having a beautiful kid of a wonderful spouse or great parents. And for me, at least, I can say with absolute certainty it has not made me any happier.” — Rick Webb, COO Barbarian Group.
Gordon Gekko, played by Michael Douglas in the film Wall Street, was fabulously wealthy.
Having a lot of money makes you want to make more.
“I thought, if I could make 10 million dollars then it must be too easy. In fact, I honestly thought, everyone else had probably already made 11 million dollars. So then I felt poor again. I now needed 100 million dollars to be happy.” — James Altucher
When rich people start dying, they become less proud of their wealth.
“After she attained what she thought was success, [my mother] was diagnosed with Stage IV cancer. She spent the days up until her death regretting almost all the choices she made and beat herself up day after day. One of her last journal entries included reflections on how unappreciative she was with the things in front of her, and finally realising happiness does not lie within superficial matters a little too late.” — Mona Nomura
Rich people get all the same sadness, but they don’t hurt as much because they are still rich.
“Rich people are prone to all the same maladies and emotions as anyone else, and at the same frequency. And certainly, in some cases, money itself can cause stress and unhappiness. But, with one difference — if you’re unhappy and rich, you have money. And money buys creature comforts.” — Steven Kane
After you get rich, you feel the same.
“After a few months of wealth you will eventually get used to it and become the same person that you are now.” — Balraj Chana
Being rich makes you feel smarter and better than the rest of the world, and that feels good.
You get the respect you don’t deserve.
“Life is effortless for the rich. Just by being who you are, perhaps 99% of the world will hop-to and accord you respect that you don’t deserve. Even the stupidest and most illiterate rich person can be showered with respect and praise.” — Anonymous
Being rich makes life less risky.
“My life has less risk. If I’m ever ill, I go to the best doctor. If I want to invest in real estate, I can afford to lose the investment without effect to my lifestyle. I can have 5 kids and know that each of them will go to college.” — Josh Kerr
After you get rich, you will still ask: “Is this it?”
“When you’ve achieved all material goals, you startup asking yourself, is this it? And then if you’re a truly ambitious individual, with some care for what the world could be you start asking yourself, what next, how can I change the world? That’s where I’m at at this point.” — Anonymous