Too many of us, when we think of wealth, tend to focus on financial or material wealth. That is OK although life can have even more to offer when we allow ourselves to broaden our search, by remembering that wealth also comes in many forms.
Wealth comes in many forms
As much as we have unwillingly tied this ball and chain around our ankle, we can easily break free from it. Remember that the ultimate goal of wealth is to make us feel certain ways.
Escape the rat race and work for yourself
I'm hoping the lockdown time afforded to us by the 2020 decable will help us recalibrate our goals. We probably had this impending sense that the rat-race was a nasty little joke, that was soon coming to an end: we get given the opportunity to stab one another in the back, to end up being the boss. It's a pyramid scheme with pain as a currency; depression, a side effect. Say no to the game.
Focus on unique marketable skills. Become really good at detecting what's the next wave of innovation in your industry, or whatever, learn how to build and sell that service, dot dot dot, profit. You can actually do it without the need to stab anyone or get stabbed.
Do whatever it takes. A shift to remote work might bring an abrupt end to the rat race. I know it has for me. That's really good given that remote may become the new normal.
Be debt free
Debt sucks. I took out a loan once for a Yamaha Fz-6; it took me 2 years to pay it back. Every single day of that 2 year period felt like a dark cloud was following me around. Honestly, i hated it. Turns out i'm not alone: 97% of people with debt believe they would be happier without it. That day i paid back my loan, i decided i'd live debt-free.
Debt is another "manufactured desire". Someone actually convinced you that you should be financially irresponsible (own a credit card), because it builds up your credit score so that you can become even more financially irresponsible (get a mortgage). And then you'll wake up in your oversized overpriced property-bubble house one day, and be happy. Not before that fella.
Honestly i'll stay out of this game just so i don't have to deal with experian.com's UX ever again.
Every morning i wake up debt free, i feel free. This applies to everybody, rich or poor. If you are debt-free with
$10 in your back pocket, then you are richer than people with loans and mortgages. That's just a mathematical fact. No doubt it makes you feel free, too.
Arbitrage on cost of living (PPP)
I'm currently writing these words from a Filipino island, where the cost of living is 90% cheaper than where my current client is: Santa Barbara California. I cover my cost of living with an hour's work per day.
Purchase Power Parity is the idea that living in some countries costs more than in others. Expatistan elucidates these enormous differences in cost of living. It's a really great website, you should bookmark it.
This idea that travel is for the 'rich & famous' is garbage. I know many guys who grew up in third-world countries, in poor families, and have travelled more than you and me combined for multiple lifetimes.
This idea that we belong to one arbitrary patch of dirt is arbitrary. We are humans first. We were humans for hundreds of thousands of years. Born with legs, and a migratory instinct. Born before the invention of borders and passports. These invisible boundaries exist only in the mind, and are by definition unnatural.
I'm not promoting the cliché of "drop everything and travel". No. Nor am i promoting that there's anything wrong with civilisation, or the rule of law. I am however promoting the idea of slowly building the kind of life that allows non-locality, and that the burden of the generations who came before you are not your own.
The main focus is:
- minimalism (don't own stuff)
- work for yourself (own your time)
- work remote (own your location)
- tax arbitrage (pay taxes in places on the rise, not places who'll make you pay for their mistakes)
- digtal currency (and non-local services e.g Coinbase or Binance)
I'm not shilling with that last one, and i am talking about holding USD Tokens. For me, the experience has been far more reliable and enjoyable than regular banking. I cannot stress this point enough: Banking was always my number pain-point when travelling, and this is my second year on the move.
Maximise PPP and QOL
Don't just pack your bags and go to the cheapest city on Expatistan (currently Madras). Instead think of what life would be like there. Watch youtube videos, check out their position on the Happiness Index.
|Big Mac Index||2.81||2.65||2.85||4.41|
What's the crime rate like? Health? Whatever matters to you. The happiness index is OK in the Philippines, but if you earn a western salary and have a lot of free time, it gets pretty close to a solid 1. The trick here is to do your homework.
I'm currently living in a patch of nature, between two beaches, Small Lalaguna, and Big Lalaguna. (The island is free from COVID19). This is one of the richest spots for sea life in the world. About 20 meters from my place, i can find sea turtles, live corals, and more exotic fish than i can count.
This is wealth. This is freedom.