Wealth Equals Power or Security?

Yesterday I had coffee with my friend Peggy Gardiner, a clutter and organizational consultant, who worked for 7 years as an estate manager (trained to manage the financial & personal affairs of the wealthy) and she something very interesting about how the wealthy view money. "The wealthy think money is about power and the working/middle class see it as security." Big difference, yes?

Let's look at some current economic statistics:  In 1998 there were 1 million who filed bankruptcy. (The Wealthy Spirit, Chellie Campbell)  There were over 4 million who filed bankruptcy from 2008 to today.  The credit card industry is a 550 billion a year business and nearly 50% of borrowers do not pay their balance in full each month. Fifty percent of all marriages end in divorce and money is the #1 conflict. People are working longer hours, but for less money. According to Social Security most people retire without enough money to maintain their lifestyle. (Wealthy Spirit) And, one last depressing stat., a 1997 Oppenheimer Fund study found 1 in 7 women in their fifties hadn't saved a dime for retirement.  What is wrong with this picture?

Maybe it's our view of money and maybe it's our view of what we deserve or not that creates problems. Part of the problem is how we think about money (or not), our beliefs, patterns & habits that are too often hidden from conscious view. We don't really explore or work to change our money patterns and so the dysfunctional behavior gets passed down from generation to generation.

How'd we get to the point where money has become so highly valued (we all say we want more of it and we equate lots of it with success) but we often act thoughtlessly (not saving, overspending, creating too much debt) as if we don't respect it much at all?  There's a lot of internal confusion about money.

Lynne Twist who wrote The Soul of Money says the word wealthy has at its roots well-being and is meant to connote not only large amounts of money, but also a rich and satisfying life. What does money mean to you? Write down the first 5 words that come to mind - don't censor or think too much. Are these words positive or negative? Think about your first money memory and how your parents were with money. How did this impact your own financial behaviors and decisions?  Let me know.