EP177: Why Millionaires Aren’t As Rich As You Think
When you think of millionaires, what comes to mind?
👉 Exotic cars?
👉 Opulent lifestyles?
We too were under that illusion, until a revelation that changed everything.
What we discovered about being a millionaire not only shocked us to our cores but also made us realize we share sentiments with, of all people, Dr. Evil from Austin Powers, more on that later.
Our discovery about being a millionaire is controversial and opposite to everything we’ve been taught, but once you understand this, it will be the key to unlocking your true long-term wealth.
The Glacier Effect
Before we go any further, let’s briefly pause for a little science and history lesson that will eventually help us out in our understanding of economics.
Learning is fun, right?
We think so! 😵😵
So anyway, when you think of a glacier, you might imagine a massive, unchanging sheet of ice, much like how many people envision their savings—static and sturdy.
But with the effects of climate change, many glaciers are slowly but steadily receding, losing their mass and size.
And if you’ve ever seen Ice Age, you know that’s not great.
You know, that’s kind of like how inflation works – it’s this slow chipping away at the value of money as time goes on.
It’s kinda like when a glacier slowly moves back, and you might not really notice it in the moment, but over a bunch of years, bam 💥, you see the big change.
Same deal with inflation – it might not hit you right away, but give it some time, and you’ll definitely feel the impact on your money’s worth.
The crazy thing too is that just decades ago, having millions of dollars 💵 was a distinctive mark of wealth and affluence.
Unfortunately, due to this little thing called inflation, those days are gone.
Now, we aren’t saying that having millions is a bad thing, far from it!
But it just won’t take you as far in 2023 as it did in 2003 or 1993.
Back in the day, before the 1900s, the U.S. 🇺🇲🗽 didn’t really see much inflation action – the dollar’s buying power was pretty steady.
They had these gold and silver standards that kind of kept prices in check.
But then the 20th century rolled in and things got wild.
The Federal Reserve popped up in 1913, the ⭐ gold standard got ditched in the 1930s, and a bunch of major economic events happened.
All these changes shook up how money and inflation worked in the U.S. and how it evolved in history.
If you look at data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, it has some interesting stats for us.
Back in 1913, a single dollar could get you things that, in 2021, would cost you more than $26.
Wrap your head around that! Basically, the U.S. dollar has lost its mojo and it’s down by more than 96% in terms of what it can buy in just over a hundred years.
That’s actually really insane and a little depressing if you think about the value of our currency over time.
Here’s another way to look at it: back in 1933, you could use a single dollar to snag 10 bottles of beer.
But, jump to the present day, and that very same dollar would struggle to get you even a small coffee at McDonald’s. Times really have changed, huh?
Modern Family (Expenses)
Look, it’s no secret that today’s capitalist dance encourages consumerism.
If you were alive like us in the 90’s, it was a simpler time.
Somehow we survived without our latest iPhone, tracking our workouts on 🍏 Apple Watches, and analyzing sleep cycles with our Oura rings.
Yeezy sneakers weren’t a closet staple, and Instagram-worthy overwater bungalow vacations were unheard of.
So it makes us think about what’s really essential.
And no matter how you look at it, housing is truly essential. The problem right now is that there’s a lot of unpredictability in the housing market.
Of course, it’s impossible to predict the future, so a fear of recession and general economic downturn or uncertainty is leaving us all feeling uneasy, to say the least.
Lifestyle and Perception
Now hang on a minute, weren’t we just talking earlier about the millionaire’s lifestyle of luxury and glamor, with all the accompanying glitz?
In an age of social media and influencers, it can be hard to really even know what’s normal anymore. 😖😖
In fact, social media puts so much pressure on us that some influencers have resorted to fake posts, buying their followers, or other desperate measures.
And have you thought about how much pressure even career titles can create?
Think about it – a doctor should drive a “doctor’s car” and live in a “doctor’s mansion,” right? The endless search for more is as exhausting as it is defeating.
Income vs. Assets
This brings us to one of our favorite topics 〰️ hustle culture.
Oh man – the stress!
You know what we are talking about, the grind of modern-day hustle as you swap out hours of your time and energy for what honesty feels like pennies.
Look, this common exchange of our time, energy, and skills for a paycheck, is not only draining, it’s downright unsustainable.
And when you think about it, life is just too short! 😵😵
When you pour your heart and soul into something, you want it to be something you are truly passionate about and care about, not just so you can see your next meal and make your rent payment.
Believe it or not, this struggle affects income levels of all kinds, even millionaires!
Not only is it a physical toil, but it’s definitely an emotional drain too.
But imagine a world in which your money works for YOU, instead of the other way around. 😉😉
This is where asset ownership comes in.
You see, assets take a variety of shapes and sizes, anywhere from real estate to businesses or intellectual properties, and they all have the power to generate income without direct oversight.
We don’t need to tell you the life-changing difference this is between constantly chasing and gracefully accumulating.
While earning an income is essential, especially in the early stages of one’s career, the true key to long-term prosperity and financial peace lies in nurturing and expanding assets.
Remember when we mentioned 🎥 Dr. Evil at the beginning of the episode?
Well, we are bringing it full circle as we remember the moment from the scene where he had an evil cackle as he described his plan to hold the world ransom, for, wait for it – ONE MILLION DOLLARS.
This humorous scene from the film “Austin Powers” strongly connects with the present-day financial environment.
The antagonist, Dr. Evil, who is drastically disconnected from the current times due to his background in the 1960s, attempts to demand a ransom from global governments.
As Number Two endeavors to explain to Dr. Evil a million dollars no longer holds the same level of impressiveness as it did in the past.
You see, guys, when you strip away the comedic value of the movie, it’s actually a super sobering reflection on our times.
While reaching the milestone of becoming a millionaire is glorified both in popular culture and individual accomplishments, the reality carries a nuanced complexion.
In the face of inflation eroding purchasing power and the steep escalation of contemporary lifestyle costs, the distinction of being a millionaire doesn’t wield the same formidable financial impact it once did.
Don’t get us wrong, it definitely gives off an aura of grandeur, but it falls short of ensuring the lavish way of life or, more crucially, the sought-after financial liberation that many aspire to.
Just like Dr. Evil had to quickly learn to adapt his financial outlook, we too could benefit from redefining our notions of wealth. Some of us have already grasped this shift.
We understand that merely reaching the million-dollar goal might not ensure an endlessly cushy existence.
In fact, it could be just the initial stride in a more extensive journey toward authentic financial autonomy.
While the allure of hitting that million-dollar benchmark is tempting, maybe it’s about time we aimed a bit higher.
After all, we wouldn’t want to repeat the same endearing yet misguided blunder as our beloved movie villain, right?
Now that you understand why millionaires aren’t as rich as you think, you need to learn how to make money more valuable and you can do so by watching this video.
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