We don’t often think about the best thing money can buy — our own time. Time and money are the two resources you manage more in your life than any other. You’re making constant decisions regarding their trade-offs.
Money can be used to purchase someone else’s services to do something you don’t wish to do thereby freeing up your time. In that sense, money can buy very small quantities of your own time (in the present). However, no amount of money can be used to buy back years you spent working. The reverse is true though — you can use time to find creative ways to go earn more money (if needed, i.e. in the event you find you retired too early or got an early sequence of negative returns). And this is even easier to do when you have an abundance of time.
The fear-mongers and whiners in the personal finance industry spin cautionary tales about “What if you retire too early?”. I see it the other way around. The real danger is in retiring too late. While most Americans today claim to be satisfied with their job, I wonder how their answers to the survey questions might differ after having reflected deeply upon this picture.
In my 14th YouTube video, I use a bit of humor and dramatization to discuss time vs. money trade-off considerations. I may be poking fun at a trendy millenial concept known as YOLO (you only live once), but I really want everyone to carefully consider the dangers of:
- Overspending – which leads to regret
- Underspending – which leads to misery
How to avoid these? Simple on the surface – know yourself. And that’s no easy task despite this wisdom dating back to the ancient Greeks.