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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review April 4, 2011 / 29 Adar II, 5771

The Sixth Sense

By Alan Douglas




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | British Author Jan Austen, famous for her romantic novels, was also realistic enough to advise that, "A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of." If you won the lottery, would you want a smaller lump sum payment made immediately or a larger annuity paid over twenty years? Would you prefer cash to spend now or prefer long term security? Which do you long for; a big bank account or big home? There are quantitative methods for determining the time value of money, but that calculation does not include human desires.

Religious leaders and self-help books on obtaining happiness, warn that the more possessions you accumulate; the more you need. As the quality or the status of your material possessions improves, you must constantly upgrade. If everyone owned a Rolls Royce, they wouldn't be so special. Philosophers and monks caution that, "You can't buy Happiness." This discourse is not meant to resolve such lofty issues. Happiness in this world, and the distribution of goodies, are two entirely different things. What is income, and what is wealth?

Taking an inventory of the value of your assets, and subtracting the value of your obligations, calculates your net worth. You may own a big home, jewelry, or valuable autographs, but the sum of all your debts erodes your net worth - your wealth. Many a millionaire "on paper" runs out of cash when they have to pay their bills. Owning things is not the same as having cash to pay for them. One of the basic case studies at the Harvard Business School M.B.A. program, tells of a lumber company that is high profitable and thrives, right up to the point where they run out of enough money to pay their creditors.

Wealth and net worth can be about security, power, status, or plain old greed. There are other forms of greed. Emotional greed is frequently more damaging than financial greed. Many times emotional and financial greed intersect. In Arthur Miller's play, "The Price" two brothers argue over how they spent their lives. They do so after the death of their father. One left their father to find his dream and success. The other brother stayed behind, sacrificing his dreams and happiness to care for and support their father. The argument is about the duties and obligations to others, to family and to our own souls. But I want to point out one other aspect of the argument to you. The father needed financial support because he had little income. The brother, who sacrificed his dreams, sent a part of his paycheck to his father each week. He made sure his father could continue to live independently, in his modest home with old antiques. He helped their father to maintain his honor and his dignity. The other brother left to pursue his dreams and failed to provide for his father financially. The brother who sacrificed so much for their father accuses his successful brother of being selfish. The successful brother points to one the antiques, a harp. He asks, "If our father really needed money; why didn't he sell the harp?" What kind of loving father would stand by and watch one of his son's give up on their dreams rather than sell a valuable, antique harp? If a parent, child, or spouse is emotionally greedy (frequently disguised as needy) they want others to sacrifice for them. And there are parents, children, and spouses who make the choice to be martyrs. In relationships, we ask, we give, and we get. Don't let the other person become a martyr and don't ask them to pay too high a price to prove their love.

The philosopher, Arthur Schopenhauer warned, "We forfeit three-fourths of ourselves in order to be like other people." The world may be filled with shallow people who are impressed by your house or clothes. Do not be na´ve; shallow people are often in powerful positions. Clients complain about their lawyer's waiting rooms, saying the attorney's fees pay for their extravagant, luxury furnishings. But if you went to an attorney with modest or cheap furnishings, wouldn't you worry about how successful the attorney was? Your "things" convey a message to others.

Positive cash flow means you have more money coming in than going out. The revenue you receive, minus your expenditures, equals cash flow. Mathematics has less to do with your financial position than your desires. Some people are happy as long as they can get what they want, when they want it. Credit, debts, and balance sheets matter less than having the freedom to buy where they want, when they want. This is why retirement on a fixed income can be restrictive or liberating. Once the income is fixed, the rules of the game become clearer. Okay, for some individuals fewer choices mean pressure. For others, being restricted to a budget is like slowly being strangled to death. Our behavior as to changes in cash flow is adopted early in our lives. More income means we spend more for some, while less income means we spend less. But for some, those rules do not apply. A nice government pension can bestow income that exceeds what a multi-millionaire will receive, with more security and cost-of-living increases. The retired postal worker or military officer with a pension that grows with inflation and provides an income regardless of interest rates is shielded from these pressures. We encourage double dipping so government employees can earn two pensions. Some can literarily live like a "multi-millionaire" because their income trumps wealth.

British writer, Somerset Maugham, explained the role of wealth and income, saying, "Money is like a sixth sense - and you can't make sure of the other five without it." As we age, our obligations, goals, fears, and self-awareness move us in a different direction financially. It is about income rather than wealth. When you understand the difference between income and wealth, you can decide the mix that suits your (and your family's) needs. And then you can review the needs of your soul.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment by clicking here.

JWR contributor Alan Douglas, an author, media executive, speaker, and attorney, lives con brio- except when he is grumpy.


Previously:

Dogs in Danger
Facebook, LinkedIn and the Zuckerberg Exit
Simon Bolivar Would Tell Glenn Beck to, ‘Put A Sock In It’
Children and Grandchildren
Swearing, Shoes, and Mark Twain
How my poor man's Porsche, Virgil, prepared me for life
Leases and Landing Gear
The Oscars, Obama and Job Creation
Damages and Penalties
Obstacles with Impossibilities
Making Others Feel Bad
Referrals and Recommendations
Woodpecker Frustration
Phrases, Not Resolutions
I Was A Crime Fighter and Super Hero
Comforting with Sympathizing
Nautical Worry Killers
Can You Keep A Secret?
Holiday Card Hazards
Gifts
Sharing, Transparency and Dumping
Red Alert
Readers Respond Regarding Rabbi
Readers: I Need Your Help with my Rabbi
Humphrey Bogart and P. T. Barnum on Fighting with Family and Friends
Columbus, Honors and Hound Dogs
The Free Lunch
When your child suffers
Conversational Transmitted Diseases
Conservative, Liberal or American
Paris, Antarctica and Shopping
Personal Protection
Dispute Resolution
Jumped or Pushed?
Friends and Acquaintances
Revenge and Vindication

© 2010 Alan Douglas

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