You Can’t Take It With You…Right?

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Overspending - wealth management“In everything the middle course is best; all things in excess bring trouble.”

 –  Plautus

Last week, we asked ourselves the question: How much is enough for me? There are two extreme answers to this. One is, “I want to consume all I can on myself while I have the chance.” Some individuals make that choice. It’s those people you meet from time to time who live their lives according to the adage: “You Can’t Take it With You.”

That outlook leads to certain outcomes. One of them is what I call “self-implosion as a result of self-consumption.”

Actor Nicolas Cage is a box-office star, Academy Award winner, and earns millions of dollars. He’s also spent millions—more millions than he has earned. Here are a few documented items on which he spent his earnings:

  • He paid $8 million for Mitford Castle in England and $17.5 million for his Bel Air mansion.
  • He bought 9 Rolls-Royces, 30 motorcycles, a mega yacht, and a Gulfstream jet.
  • He bought many rare, exotic animals.
  • He acquired an Enzo Ferrari—one of only 349 in the world, with a price tag of over a million dollars.

The public record in November of 2009 says he owed $6.5 million dollars in unpaid back taxes. Cage exemplifies one extreme response that says, “It’s never enough for me.” The other extreme is to give away every penny in life and survive your final years by living on the generosity of others.

Being at the extreme end of either spectrum is probably not where the majority of us want to be. But how much is enough? If you didn’t write a number down last week, think about how to quantify that amount, and then discuss it with your loved ones. Don’t leave it up to chance, fate, or luck. The only way to make sure you end up with “enough” is to plan for it.

Wealth is more than money. Don’t just plan for your future, live it right now. Pass it on and share the insights like this that you find valuable.


Based on and adapted from top-rated book,
The Secret of Wealth With No Regrets by Barry H Spencer.
Rich DeVos, Co-Founder of Amway, on Forbes-500 List, Owner of NBA Orlando Magic says: “Too few wealthy people ask the bigger questions… I can highly recommend Barry Spencer’s book.”
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