plonkee money an english-er's thoughts on personal finance

March 6, 2009

middle age is realising you’ll never realise your dreams?

Filed under: philosophical — Tags: — plonkee @ 12:00 pm

I once read a definition of middle age as the point in time when you realise that you are never going to own a Mercedes convertible.

Now, I guess all the Mercedes owning readers get overexcited that they’re never going to reach middle age. The point that the author was trying to make is that when we are young, we have dreams about the things that we’re going to accomplish, and the stuff that we’ll have – we’re all going to be rich and successful etc, etc. But at some point we’ll probably realise that no, we’re going to have more modest and ordinary lives.

It sort of makes me think about lifestyle inflation. It’s reasonably easy for me to go without various luxuries – new clothes, expensive trips abroad, eating in posh restaurants – but I think that I expect to be able to do these some day. When I reach middle age, and realise that some stuff probably isn’t ever going to happen and that I’m probably never really going to be any richer, financially, will I succumb to lifestyle inflation then?

I know there’s that saying that Dave Ramsey fans are always quoting that goes something like:

Live like no one else will, so that you can live like no one else can.

Which is fine, but what happens when you suspect that no matter how much you live like no one else will, you’ll never really be able to live like no one else can? Perhaps, when you reach true middle age, that can be true and you make your peace with it. I certainly think it would help to have a fulfilling life in non-financial terms because nobody thinks money is everything, and being content with what you’ve got is easier when you have a rich life in intangible ways.

I don’t know. I get the impression that many of my readers are more mature than me, whether they are older in years or not, so why don’t you let me know what you think about contentedness in the comments.

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