When suddenly fate strikes
When I was five years old, I was rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery. As I understand it, I had a severe ear infection, a complication of my chickenpox disease. Although it was a scary experience, I also keep the precious memory of the love of my father, my younger brother and my two sisters who were standing on the lawn in front of the hospital window and beckoning me as I lay there in bed. My mother was not there.
She was at home, sick in bed herself and struggling with a weak heart. In the same year, my younger brother was also taken to the hospital after he fell in the garage and hit his head. My younger sister was the next. She needed knee surgery. And the youngest, my sister Beth, a newborn, had a serious skin disease that kept puzzling the doctors.
How to deal with crises
It was a tough year for my father and he was the only one of us six who didn't need medical help. The good news is that we have all recovered and then lived a healthy life. The bad news was the medical bills that were stacking up. My father may not have gotten sick this year, but he was burdened with a debilitating burden - a mountain of debt for his family's medical care.
At that time my father was a PhD student at the University of Hawaii. He was a brilliant student, got his bachelor's degree after only two years and dreamed of becoming a university teacher one day. Now, with a family of six, a mortgage and high medical bills, he gave up his dream and took a job as a deputy headmaster in the small town of Hilo on the Big Island of Hawaii. In order for him to be able to afford to move our family from one island to another, he had to take out a loan from his own father. It was a difficult time for him and our family.
About burying dreams
Although he had tremendous success in his job and was eventually awarded his doctorate, I suspect that it hurt my father to the end of his life that he could never realize his dream of becoming a university teacher. He often said, "When you kids are no longer at home, I go back to school and do what I love: teaching." Instead of teaching, he eventually became head of the Hawaii education department, so he worked in administration , then ran as deputy governor and lost.
At the age of 50 he was suddenly unemployed. Soon after the election, my mother suddenly died of her weak heart at the age of 48. My father never recovered from this loss. Once again, money problems increased. Now that he had no more work, he decided to liquidate the savings intended for his retirement provision and invested in a nationwide ice cream franchise. With that he lost all his money. The older he got, the more my father felt abandoned by his peers; his career was over.
A lost identity
Without his job as department head in the Ministry of Education, he had lost his identity. He became increasingly angry with his rich classmates who had gone into business rather than like him to go for formal training. He often complained bitterly: »I have dedicated my life to the education of children in Hawaii and what do I get? Nothing. My classmates who turned into fat cats get richer, and what do I get? Nothing."
I'll never find out why he didn't go back to university to teach. I think it was because he tried very hard to get rich quickly and make up for lost time. He chased dubious deals and surrounded himself with eloquent swindlers. None of his endeavors to make him rich quickly were successful. If it weren't for the few odd jobs and social security, he might have had to move in with one of his children.
A life full of money problems
A few months before he died of cancer at the age of 72, my father asked me to come to the bed and apologized for leaving us children with so little. I held his hand, put my head on it, and we cried together. My poor father had money problems all his life. No matter how much money he made, his problem was not having enough money. His inability to solve this problem caused him great pain until his death.
Tragically, he felt as a failure both professionally and as a father. Typical of academics, he pushed his financial problems as far as possible and devoted his life to something higher than money. He steadfastly claimed that money didn't matter, even if it did. He was a great man, a great husband and father, and a brilliant teacher; but it was this thing called money that often set the tone, tortured him in silence, and unfortunately, towards the end, was the measure by which he judged his life. As clever as he was, he had never solved his money problems.
Financial intelligence helps
My rich father, who started teaching me about money when I was nine years old, also had money problems. He solved his money problems differently than my poor father. He recognized that money matters, and so he strived to increase his financial intelligence at every opportunity. For him it meant tackling his money problems head on and learning from the process.
My rich father was not nearly as smart academically as my poor father, but because he solved his money problems differently and increased his financial intelligence, my rich father's money problem was to have too much money. With two fathers, one rich and one poor, I learned that we all have money problems.
Poor or rich - what money problems do you want?
My poor father had money problems all his life. No matter how much money he made, his problem was not having enough money. My rich father also had money problems. His problem was having too much money. What money problem do you want?
The poor's money problems are:
- Not having enough money.
- Taking loans to help with financial constraints.
- The rising cost of living.
- The more they earn, the more taxes they pay.
- Fear of emergencies.
- Bad financial advice.
- Not enough pension
The money problems of the rich are:
- To have too much money.
- Keep it safe and well laid out.
- Not knowing if people like them or their money.
- Need smarter financial advisors.
- Raise spoiled children.
- Estate and inheritance planning.
- Taxes too high.
Bad solutions to money problems
Learning early on that we all have money problems, no matter how rich or how poor we are, was a very important lesson for me. Many people believe that if they had a lot of money, their money problems would be over. They don't know that a lot of money causes more money problems. One of my favorite commercials is for a financial services company, and it starts with the rapper MC Hammer, who dances with beautiful women, with a Bentley and a Ferrari, and an extremely oversized mansion behind him. Luxury items are brought into the villa in the background. In addition, MC Hammers OneHitWonder "U Can't Touch This" is played.
Then the screen goes black and the words "15 minutes later" are displayed. In the next scene you can see MC Hammer sitting on a curb, his head in his hands, in front of the same great villa, next to a sign that says "ZWANGSVERAUIGERT". The speaker says, “Life is catching up with you quickly. We're here to help. «The world is full of people like MC Hammer. We have all heard of lottery winners who win millions and then a few years later are deeply in debt. Or about the young professional athlete who lives in a villa as long as he plays and under a bridge when his active days are over. Or the young rock star who is a multimillionaire in his twenties and looking for a job in his thirties. Or the rapper who peddles on financial services that he had probably been using long ago when he lost his money.
Money doesn't solve money problems: 3 examples
Money alone doesn't solve your money problems. Therefore, poor people's money problems cannot be solved by giving them money. In many cases, the problem only lasts longer and creates more poor people. Take the idea of social assistance, for example. From the Great Depression until 1996, the United States government guaranteed money to the nation's poor regardless of personal circumstances.
All one had to do was meet the poverty classification requirements in order to receive regular payments from the government. If you showed initiative, found a job, and earned enough to get above the poverty line, the government cut benefits. Of course, the poor then had other work-related costs that they didn't have before, such as uniforms, childcare, transportation, etc. In many cases, they had less money and less time than before. The system benefited those who were lazy and punished those who showed initiative. The system created more poor people.
- Hard work doesn't solve money problems. The world is full of hard working people who have no money; hard-working people who make money and still get deeper into debt and have to work harder for even more money.
- Education doesn't solve money problems. The world is full of highly educated poor people. They are called socialists. A job does not solve money problems. For many people, the letters JOB stand for just over broke - just before bankruptcy.
- There are millions of people who earn just enough to survive but cannot afford to live. Many people at work cannot afford their own home, adequate health care or education, let alone set aside enough money for retirement.
How do you solve money problems? 10 tips
Financial intelligence solves money problems. Simply put, financial intelligence is the part of our total intelligence that we use to solve financial problems. Some examples of very common money problems are:
- "I don't make enough money."
- "I'm deep in debt."
- "I can't afford to buy a house."
- "My car is broken. Where can I get the money to fix it? ”
- “I have $ 10.000. What should I invest in? «
- "My child wants to study, but we have no money."
- "I don't have enough money to retire."
- "I don't like my job, but I can't afford to quit."
- "I'm retired and I'm running out of money."
- "I can't afford the surgery."
Solving money problems makes you smarter
These and other money problems can be solved with financial intelligence. Unfortunately, if our financial intelligence is not sufficiently developed to solve our problems, the problems will persist. They don't just go away. They often get worse and cause more money problems. For example, there are millions of people who do not have enough money to retire. If you don't solve this problem, the problem will worsen as you get older and need more money for medical care. Whether you like it or not, money affects lifestyle and quality of life - while allowing comfort and effortless decisions. The freedom of choice that money offers can make the difference between hitchhiking, bus travel or private jet travel.
In my childhood, my rich father said to me: "Money problems make you smarter ... if you solve the problem." He also said: "If you solve your money problem, your financial intelligence grows. As your financial intelligence grows, you become richer. If you don't solve your money problem, you will get poorer. If you don't solve your money problem, this problem often leads to even more problems. «If you want to increase your financial intelligence, you have to be solution-oriented. If you don't solve your money problems, you will never get rich. In fact, the longer the problem persists, the poorer you become.
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German edition: ISBN 9783965965300
English version: ISBN 9783965965317 (Translation notice)
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