At the start let me tell you that the number 5 came from thin air – I could end up at 6, 7, or 4 – it does not matter! When I meet doctors, or generally anybody who attends my session I ask them one question: What scares you about your money life? Or “what is your biggest money scare”. For most people it is “running out of money when I am alive” aka “out living my money”.

So let us see what are the culprits that lead us to a situation where we are afraid of “running out of money”. Funnily in the USA many people do not say this is their biggest fear, and in India nobody has done a scientific study. I could be wrong by a mile. However here are my views:.

  1. We do not even realize how ‘life style creep’ is impacting us. Every aspect of our lives have been taken over by new services. New services which we did not even guess have become an integral part of our life. Yes I choose he word integral after thinking. It has taken up more than 50% of our lives!! Ola, multiplexes, theaters, swiggy, airlines, – name it and we are now addicted. What’s app, Twitter, Google maps, Facebook – these are services that we pay for by advertising. So new cameras and new destinations hit you every second – whichever app you use. This is increasing our day to day expenses, and thus reducing our capacity to save and invest.
  2. Job insecurity: Get a job at 23 and work for 37 years in the same company. My Dad did it. Not sure how many of us born in the 1960s – and after will be able to do this. Shit scary.
  3. We are refusing to learn new skills, and carry a huge ego – if you want to be like the Americans you should behave like them. I have known about a pilot who taught English in primary school and drove Uber during a recession where he could not find a job. Not sure how many Indians will do that. Wake up and smell the coffee guys.
  4. We are terribly over confident while investing – and this could ruin our corpus. Start small if you are doing it for the first time. Index your equity portion if you are not confident about your investing skills. Blogs (including this one!) are more for fun, and checking what you think, it cannot be an INVESTMENT MANAGER for you.
  5. Comparative Misery: we are not impacted much if Mukesh Ambani spends on his daughter’s wedding, but if our neighbor buys a new car, our life style creep starts worrying us.

Apart from these lack of gratitude also contributes to our insecurity, and WORSE, unhappiness with all the wealth that we have. If your Grandfather (or great grandfather) were to have a look at your current life style, he would be jealous. I remember in the 1970s it would cost Rs. 3k to buy a good music system – and that was the salary of the President of India – just to put things in perspective.

We have so much to be grateful for, it would take me too much time to write them down. Go pursue your Happiness. Nothing else matters.

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  1. Greta article Sir, I see 3 factors different for USA compared to India which makes them less worry about “what if I run of money”,

    1. Unemployment benefits : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unemployment_benefits
    2. Social Security benefits : Any Resident can start collecting benefits at age 65 , you could receive approximately $33,773 per year per person (may be more) !!
    3. Switching jobs – I agree with you that in USA, people do not have “ego” problem learning new skills. May be that is why employers are open too. They are ready to hire people at any age and then give them opportunity to learn. In India job market is not that open.

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