Millionaire Luxury – Lifestyle Myths Debunked

Derek Notman |

There has always been mystery and intrigue when imagining what a luxury life should look like, but a by-product of this ambiguity is persistent untruths, myths, and rumours. Let’s jump in and dispel the disinformation and unlock the mythology around self-minted millionaire lifestyles. 

You Should Lead A Humble Lifestyle – Myth 1 

Luxury Travel

I've lost track of how many times I've read that Warren Buffett still lives in the house in Nebraska he bought in 1958 for $31,500. That may be true, but it's a five-bedroom house, so it's not like he's roughing it. This supposedly frugal billionaire also has his own private jet, travelling in the lap of luxury and with the ultimate convenience.

What about Jeff Bezos? He kept driving his Honda Accord for years after achieving elite wealth status, but he too is a member of the private jet club.

The idea that wealthy people shouldn’t spend big on luxury much doesn't mesh well with reality for me. While you should be actively saving a large portion of your income and practicing diligent wealth planning, you should also be spending your money on what you’re passionate about. Never underestimate investing in the finer indulgences to improve your quality of life.

Millionaires Take Many Risks – Myth 2 

This myth assumes that millionaires achieve and maintain their wealth status through high-risk investments. But, unfortunately, the truth is often far less exciting.

Wealth is predominantly built and then preserved using a suite of more traditional investment vehicles. Sure, you could have some riskier investments in the mix too, but a lot of millionaires have already taken the risks necessary to create their wealth, so now they are more in preservation mode which means typically lower risk.

Successful millionaires do take a measure of risk, but they certainly don’t put their money into blind investments, hoping to get rich. Instead, they do careful evaluation first, weighing up the risk against the reward.

Warren Buffett summed it up perfectly in a quote: “Don’t risk what is important to you to get what is not important to you.”

The Wealthy Don't Give Back – Myth 3 

A secret to happiness is to help others. Scientific research supports the notion that giving is a powerful pathway to personal growth and lasting happiness. As a result, philanthropy has long been adopted by the affluent. They understand that by helping others, they are more likely to live a life that is not only happier but filled with meaning, productivity, health, and wealth.

A Chinese saying goes: “If you want happiness for an hour, take a nap. If you want happiness for a day, go fishing. If you want happiness for a year, inherit a fortune. If you want happiness for a lifetime, help somebody else.” For centuries, the greatest thinkers have integrated this ideology into their plans for what to do with wealth.   

Money Can’t Buy Happiness – Myth 4 

I must have heard my parents & teachers say this a thousand times growing up, but it's an erroneous belief. Prominent research suggests that people do tend to feel happier the more money they make.

The real question you need to pose to yourself is – am I getting the optimal happiness from my spending? You will be surprised by how many small things are adding to your happiness when spending money wisely.

In the book Happy Money: The Science of Happier Spending, I like how they veer from the conventional train of thought. They don't try to convince you to make so-called smarter financial choices but instead focus on the importance of spending money on things that will help bring more joy to your life.

According to the book, happiness research shows that material things produce less happiness than experiential purchases. So, the next vacation you take, seize the opportunities it may offer. Trek on a glacier, hike up a mountain, raft down a river, or view incredible waterfalls. Few things can top that! Want to give your happiness a boost with unforgettable memories? Well then, investment in experiences is the way to a luxury life for you. Evidently, that's what money can buy!

I hope these insights have lifted the veil of mystery surrounding the interpretation of a luxury lifestyle, what it entails, and what habits you can adopt to live your best life today and tomorrow. 

Best Regards,

Derek Notman