How much is enough?

Imagine you had enough money to last you for the rest of your life. Enough to mean you never had to worry about money again and enough to enable you to live the life you wanted without the fear of ever running out.

Surprisingly, many people are in that very position. They just don’t know it. So they carry on working when they could be retired. They skimp on the nice things in life. They worry about their money and how long it’s going to last. They might spend money, but then feel guilty for doing so. You needn’t be one of them.

The big question is how much is enough? How much do you need for the rest
of your life? What’s your number? An equally big question is – enough for what?

Paul Armson is a well-known personality in financial advice circles. He made his fortune in his 40s, retired and sailed the world. He now works tirelessly to promote the benefits of proper financial planning.

Essentially, Paul believes there are three types of people:

The ‘Not Enoughs’

These are people who haven’t yet got enough money to last them for the rest of their life. They need to know how much is enough and then formulate a plan to enable them to accumulate the money required.

The ‘Got Too Much’

These are people who have more than enough already or are heading that way. Once they know how much is enough and how much is surplus to requirements, it opens up a whole host of possibilities. They can spend more – and feel good about it. They can start giving money away to children, grandchildren and to

The ‘Just Rights’

People with the right amount of money for the rest of their lives. People who, if they knew they had enough, could stop worrying about money. People who could be enjoying life more, who could be playing rather than working or spending rather than saving.

Do you know which type you are? What if you already have enough?

The Mexican boatman story

Paul recalls a story in his book about the Mexican boatman.

There was a high-powered management consultant who had a Harvard MBA. He was on holiday on a beach in Mexico. Early one morning, he saw a local boatman come up to the shore in his little boat.

Inside the boat was a large yellow fin tuna. He got talking to him and asked, ‘Tell me, what do you do with your life?”

The boatman said, ‘Well, I go out fishing early in the morning
and I catch a yellowfin tuna. I come back and I sell it, then I go home, have breakfast or an early lunch with my beautiful wife. We chat for a while. Most days we make love followed by a snooze in the afternoon. Then in the early evening, I play with the kids when they get back from school, I have dinner with my wife and then I go down to the local cantina where I play guitar, sing and have a drink with my amigos.”

The management consultant said, “I think I can help you, because I have a Harvard MBA Here’s my advice. Instead of coming back so early, why don’t you stay out and fish a little longer and catch more tuna. That way you can make more money so you can buy a bigger boat.”

‘Really,” says the boatman. ‘Then what happens?”

‘Well, then you can catch even more fish. Then what you can do is employ some of your amigos and set up a fishing fleet to catch even more yellow fin tuna.”

“Wow!” the boatman said, ‘ … and then what happens?”

“Well … ” said the consultant, ‘eventually you can bypass the
middle man altogether and have your own cannery. Over the years you can build a fantastic fleet and a marvellous business.”

The boatman was fascinated by all this and he said, ‘That is brilliant. What happens next?”

“Well, eventually you’ll have thousands of employees, you will have to move to a new head office in New York. Then we’ll help you do an IPO and sell the business and make millions!”

The boatman said, ‘How many millions?”

The consultant said, “Well … about 20!’

So the boatman says, “Wow! 20 million! What happens next?’

The consultant says, ‘Oh that is the best bitl You can then relax, retire to a little Mexican fishing village and in the morning you can get up and go fishing for yellowfin tuna and in the evening you can play guitar and have a few drinks with your amigos!”

Live big, live rich

The moral of the story? You may already have the life you want. So why work harder or longer than you really need to? Life is about living big and living rich – and that has very little to do with money.


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