Luxury items, mansions, and cool cars are glorified in the media, but there’s a darker side to wealth.
In a recent Quora thread, “Is getting rich worth it?,” users shared the surprising downsides of being rich.
We picked out some of the most compelling ideas for why getting rich may not be nearly as great as you might imagine, and share them below:
1. You sacrificed a lot. During your years of hard work to earn money, you might have given up key relationships, cut off future opportunities, missed out on life experiences, or sold out on your true passions and dreams. If wealth simply compensates for the things you can’t do, then the benefits are a trade-off that might not be worth it. — Ben Towne and Stan Hayward
2. You could be perceived as greedy, ruthless, or a workaholic. If you buy nice things, people may perceive you as materialistic or as a show-off. Furthermore, “Your success is someone else’s loss, and the cause of their resentment.” — Alex Coppen
3. Being wealthy can cut you off from larger society. Either out of fear or the belief that you are somehow better than others, you start to find it harder to relate to most other people. Few people can empathise with you, so you might feel a certain sense of isolation. — Paul Buchheit
4. Friends and family may treat you differently. They might be more likely to ask you for a loan or have unrealistic standards for the Christmas or birthday presents you bring home, and if you don’t pick up the bill during a meal, you may seem stingy. Since many people think that being rich is the secret to all happiness, they may have lower tolerance if you vent about your frustrations. It can be difficult to meet the high expectations people hold you to. — Alex Coppen
5. The money might cause you to lose perspective. Ask yourself: “Do you own your money, or does it own you?” It can be easy for money to gain control over your life, whether as the subject of frequent family arguments or the constant worry of losing your wealth. — Christopher Lochhead
6. Your money becomes a means to attract attention. You can become addicted to buying status symbols, such as nice cars or homes, just to show people you are wealthy. But if you try to attract people through trappings such as amazing parties, you’ll quickly find yourself with low self esteem. — Christopher Angus
7. Your children might not learn the value of money. They might feel like they don’t have to work for or worry about money, because they grew up in such a comfortable environment. Although they will have the ambition to know they “should be” working hard, they might not develop the qualities needed to succeed like you did. — Michael O. Church
8. People want something out of you. It can be harder to figure out whether someone is being nice to you because they like you or your money. Especially if you aren’t married, it is difficult to figure out whether your significant other is into you or your wealth. — Alex Coppen
9. The things you want to buy become less appealing. Most of the things you imagine buying are only worthwhile to you because you can’t afford them, or because you have to work hard to acquire them. Once you can easily afford a high-end item, it doesn’t mean as much to you anymore. — Christopher Angus
10. You become more conscious of those who are richer than you. There’s always someone richer, and you never seem to have enough. When you earn $US20M, you might meet a guy worth $US3BN. Once you are at such a high level, it’s easier for you to compare yourself with others. — Alex Coppen
11. You don’t know what to do next. Most people use money as their motivation to work hard. Once they reach that goal, they are at a loss for what else to do. — Christopher Angus
12. You learn that money doesn’t change your internal mindset. Money can buy comfort, but comfort doesn’t always lead to satisfaction. “Happy people are often still happy when they become millionaires. Unhappy people are often still unhappy when they become millionaires.” — Cameron Purdy
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