Is it possible that you can never be secure enough?

Scanning this weekend’s Globe and Mail’s Financial section (and really wishing for the Sunday New York Times; I believe I would be doing a lot less skimming over articles than I do with my usual stash of Saturday papers in the form of the Montreal Gazette, The Globe and Mail and The National Post) I finally stopped at the “makeover” section where a couple’s or individual’s financial situation is broken down by a money expert and looked at from the point of view of that couple’s or individual’s “retireabilty”.

More and more, it seems to me reading these articles, that the people being described don’t really need help. Or is it true that some people can never be secure enough?


I mean, this week’s couple have over $5,000,000 in assets! The newspaper doesn’t go looking for these people; they send their email requests to the paper. This week’s couple pull in over 15 grand a month and feel compelled to write to the Globe and Mail for some financial help. (The Globe has always struck me as a rich man (or woman’s) paper so perhaps the editors do not feel any disconnect with the “average Joe” in presenting the financial picture of a person in possession of more than a million dollars in assets.)

Anyway, there exists some disagreement as to how much a person should really possess to comfortably retire in this day and age. The “rule of thumb” that $1,000,000  is not too much for a couple in their 60’s or 70’s to possess in order to retire comfortably has been challenged lately as being too high. There are calculators available on the Internet to help you decide how much money you want to have stashed away before you retire. (You have to be ready to answer plenty of questions regarding “what you want”.)

Er, I think that 5 mil should be enough!

(An aside: I have a Plan B. Should I ever run out of money at, let’s say 80 or 85, I could see myself, as a life-long meditator, retiring to one of the many Buddhist monasteries established in North America in some of the nicest and most scenic parts of the continent (Colorado, New Mexico, Nova Scotia) and living the rest of my life there. I’m not a Buddhist although I practise, among the four types of meditation that I employ, a meditation on the breath that forms the basis of Tibetan Buddhist meditation. Yeah, I could feel at home there. But would they take me?)

(Aside #2: On the radio recently, I heard two talking heads exclaiming how very wealthy people in the States feel sorry for those millionaires who only have 15 or 20 million dollars. Poor souls! Yes, everything is relative.)

I just hope that one of these millionaires doesn’t write in to the Globe and Mail for help.



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