Is Financial Security a Myth?

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Simple question…

Is financial security a myth?

Is it something that can be strived for, then actually attained? Can we work for it, save for it, invest for it, then arrive at that day where we say…

“Yup, this is it, I am secure!”

Or, is financial security something that exists more in the mind, something and can never be truly had?

Put another way, does a person with $1 million in the bank feel any more secure than another with $100,000?

What about $10 million?

Do all the concerns about security largely go away at that level…or do they just get bigger?

What do you guys think?

And, if you believe it can be had or at least nearly achieved, I’m really curious…

What would financial security look like?

What would you need to have?

How would it happen?

Let’s discuss…

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20 responses

20 responses to “Is Financial Security a Myth?”

  1. […] Go to the author’s original blog: Is Financial Security a Myth? […]

  2. Justin says:

    I believe financial security is an ongoing process. No matter how rich you are, if you don’t know what’s going on, you are not secure. Take MC Hammer, for example. He was quite rich, but we all know what happened there.

  3. sfk says:

    Of course it’s not a myth. Financial security is having enough money that you are able to live on the interest of it, and thus do not need to work and can survive economic disaster. Obviously the more extravagant your lifestyle, the more money you will need to be financially secure.

  4. Jane Pollak says:

    I feel financially secure, and also see that state as a moving target. If my phone doesn’t keep ringing, my sense of security can wobble a bit. I’ve got a prudent reserve, long-term care policies, a hefty nest egg and good investments. Our house is paid off. It’s been a process. Staying conscious is key–not just handing over your AMEX card and saying, “Whatever!”

    When I hear others’ fears of financial insecurity, I usually hear a lot of vagueness–people wanting MORE. So, what’s more? My dad taught me the principle of living within my means, which I’ve done. I recommend it.

  5. It’s interesting that you mention this. There was a study done a while back regarding feelings of security.

    Women, more specifically upper middle class women, were LEAST likely to feel financially secure. It surprised me because I thought that someone who was poor would worry more (having grown up extremely poor myself).

    But then I thought about it. Being poor taught me what I could live without and where I could find what I really needed. It was doable. For the upper middle class women, poverty was was an unknown – a financial boogey man. It was fear of the unknown, I think, more than anything that scared them.

  6. shelley says:

    For me financial security means that I can pay all of my bills and have some room to play. This may sound absurd to someone who believes in vast savings and investments. Perhaps it is my youth that blinds me to the true reality of long term financial planning.

    Today I feel secure with the income I am generating. I have no idea how I will continue to generate money when I am older and that is okay right now. When I think about more money it is in an effort to raise my standard of living, tithe more, and who knows what I would do with the rest. I would perhaps be more comfortable but I don’t see that as being necessarily more secure.

    I do have friends and family members that are in constant struggle with money and they are on all levels of the income scale. Seems to me the people who have less worry less and the people who have tons worry a lot.

    If you find your personal value tied up in how much you have and how much you will have then I guess that you will worry about it.

    If your value is anchored someplace else, then money just becomes this thing you need to pay the bills because your happiness is placed elsewhere.

    tis my thoughts-

    s

  7. Every kind of security is a myth, including financial. You have a lot of money in the bank? So what. There could be a run on the bank or a day could come when money itself isn’t worth a dime (ha). Oh, yes, it could happen. It has before.

    Then what? You could have your money tied up in assets, but if money becomes no good you’d have to trade. You’d have to physically take care your needs because you couldn’t buy that care anymore.

    And then a catastrophic weather event could take all of that away, too.

    Security is an illusion. It only feels real because so many people agree to abide by its terms. That illusion can be shattered in an instant.

  8. Kristen says:

    My husband and I have this discussion all the time. He is so worried about what we are saving and how it will affect our future and I just don’t share the same concerns as he does. Not that I don’t think about our financial future but I am so involved in the here and now that I just don’t have the time to dwell on where I will be in 20 yrs. I think the real issue of security is what one puts their faith and trust in. If it’s anything on this earth then-look out! If it is in God then all will be well.

  9. The desire for security is the granddaddy of all human emotions. Every person on the planet has an inherent and insatiable desire to feel safe and secure. And efforts to fill this desire shape the actions of individuals and the course of world events.

    Just as the Earth is in orbit around the sun, human behavior revolves around the need for a physical and emotional sense of security.

    Every inappropriate emotion that is not due to a chemical imbalance is due to feelings of insecurity. From the ancient civilizations to the new millennium, human history is a reflection of mankind’s inability to fill this desire.

    Wanting to feel safe and secure is closely tied to our sense of survival. This explains its position atop all other emotions.

    The best way to feel secure is to continue to strengthen your internal feelings of approval and control. Just as insecurity is supported by a lack of approval and a lack of control, your sense of security is supported by feelings of approval and control.

    Internal harmony is one of the best ways to protect yourself from feelings of insecurity. Knowing who you are, what you stand for, and where you are going is a strong foundation for feeling secure. Acting in accord with your personal values and guiding principles creates internal harmony.

  10. zania says:

    All security is a myth. Period.
    But as Jonathan (Advanced Life Skills) says, it is a driving force for every one of us.
    How we deal with that knowledge will be different for every one of us.

  11. Financial security has very little to do with money. It is definitely in our minds. If we believe we deserve abundance and have faith that we will always have more than enough to take care of our every need, we will. Even if a strong believer loses everything, she will bounce back.

    If we fear that we will never have enough and nurse a poverty mentality, no amount of hard-earned money will ease that insecurity.

    A case in point is the occasional news story of a dead body being found among squalor only to learn that the deceased slept every night on a mattress stuffed with $millions.

  12. Susan Murphy says:

    Financial security is a myth, only because no matter how secure you are there’s always the risk of losing everything. We all know the stories of people who win $10 million in the lottery only to squander it away in less than a year or two.

    Financial wisdom is the key. Learning how to be smart about money, no matter how much or how little you have, is the secret to success financially.

  13. Bryan Eye says:

    There are no guarantees, just risk management.

  14. Financial security I think comes with having skills that are well paid in the marketplace and more assets than liabilities. Financial freedom is more what I’m interested in and that would involve owning a comfortable home by the sea (almost there now), being able to write novels and be well paid for it, and travel the world whenever I like. I’d like to be able to do the volunteer projects I like without having to be concerned about a job or the cost of hanging out in South America for 6 months, for example.

    I don’t care about flash toys, all I care about is the freedom to create, volunteer on projects I care about and be nomadic.

    Being worth about $3 mil would easily do the job for my family.

    Kelly

  15. Winnie Lim says:

    Agree totally with Michael Martine above. Security is an illusion. No matter what you have, money or health, can be taken away in an instant. It is a good reminder to live life in the present.

  16. Jonathan Fields says:

    If you’d have asked me 10 years ago, I would have said security is not only possible, but it’s my main goal.

    Now, not so much.

    Partly based on my study of Eastern philosophy, partly because of my own experience with as what Michael so aply termed the “illusion” of security.

    And, partly because I’ve now had a chance to know many of the people I’d considered to be “secure,” people with anywhere from $5 million to $100 million in the bank and the funny thing is, many actually don’t feel a whole lot more secure than when they were just starting out.

    The reasons varied. Some felt they had so much less time now to recover from a major financial debacle than they did when they were younger. Others felt they’d now become much bigger targets for lawsuits and others trying to take what they had. Others were simply more freaked about losing what they had now, compared to what they had when they were younger, because the fall would be so much bigger and the landing so much harder.

    It’s definitely a question I grapples with on a regular basis. Love all the great insights in the comments, gang!

    Thanks!

  17. “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.” –Jesus, Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 6:19-20, ESV)

    The point is not that it is wrong to have a savings or a retirement. However, security, as an offshoot of peace and contentment, will not come merely by a financial place. It will come as a state of mind when we begin to rely on a power greater than ourselves to take care of us. We are weak. The world is fickle. Money is transient. Security can’t come from there. In that state of mind, whether we have much or little we can have peace, contentment and security.

  18. Bryan Eye says:

    @Edwin – Hear, hear…

  19. I think financial security is certainly possible – especially if you are able to adapt your wants and needs to whatever you earn or have in the bank.
    So I agree with those that say it is all in the mind. But many minds will disagree 🙂

    Olivier.

  20. Karen Putz says:

    I have an aunt who has millions in the bank and cannot enjoy life. She lives without air conditioning because “it makes her electric bill go too high.” My father, on the other hand, always makes sure he has enough in savings, enough to cover the bills and enough to spend when he wants to. To me, he seems much more financially secure than my aunt, even though the amount of money between the two of them is vastly different.
    I guess it all comes down to attitude and the confidence to enjoy life realistically with the money you have coming in.