We Keep Meeting People Who Want Financial Freedom While Vacationing at Luxury Resorts

10 03 2010

I think you kind of get where this is going from the post title.

Our age and the nature of our gig at this resort get us into a lot of interesting conversations with people who are interested in financial freedom and location independence. I am thrilled to give advice to people when I think it may have some benefit, but what constantly pains me is when people here tell me that finances are the one thing that’s keeping them back.

I heard that excuse a bunch back in New York City, but hearing it here makes no sense. These people need to step back and remember where we’re chatting. It’s usually at the beach bar or in one of the two hot-tubs, sipping coco-loco in the sun. They are usually at the resort for a week, likely having dropped $4-5k on their vacation, and they are saying that money is what’s holding them back. I hold my tongue, but I can pretty easily tell them where a good chunk their cash has gone. We could live for nearly two months on that in New York City! Ugh.

posted by jayhorowitz

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3 responses

10 03 2010
Freely Living Life

Oh man you hit the nail on the head with this post. We get this ALL the time….people saying they just could not aford to live the way we do. And these are the very same people that waste money on material items, fast food and fancy vacations. It’s all about balance and most people have no clue. I guess that’s where people like you and I come into play to help these folks figure it all out. 🙂

11 03 2010
Michael in the Great Plains

@Jay: Yes, it’s quite something to see how blind another is to an element of his situation, when to us it seems obvious. Yet the odds are that while I can see what he can’t see about his life, there’s an element of my life, to which I’m blind, that he can see–not only because we don’t see ourselves from the outside, but because different people are good at noticing different kinds of things, and also have different life experiences and areas of expertise.

Also, and this gets into the arena of the unconscious, most of us do not easily let go of our problems and preoccupations. When offered solutions to what we have found troubling, some of us reach for those solutions, but many of us, not realizing we’re doing this, fight them off and hold on with a tenacious grip, to our problems.

Of course, all of us should try to learn, and should try to teach–because we all have much to learn, and something worthwhile to teach someone, and there will always be some who are ready to learn. Having said that, some are not ready.
So when people have financial problems–whether they’re wealthy and drop 5K on a week’s vacation, or they’re middle class and live in a 2500 SF house in an expensive suburb and have 2 car payments, cable TV, eat out a lot, etc.–some are open to solutions on these matters, and some “need” their financial problems. Thomas Szasz, speaking on the more extreme context of severe mental illness, said something like this: “To us, psychosis is a problem; to the psychotic, it’s a solution.” And while our denials and avoidances and neuroses and procrastinations are far more mild than psychoses, the underlying point relates to us all: Sometimes our “problems” are functioning as solutions, in that they help us avoid encountering other troubling questions and circumstances and self-doubts, and the uncertainty of change, and fears about what we’d do with ourselves if we didn’t have to work, and terrors of not feeling worthy of living a relatively stress-free financial life, etc. And the unconscious mind will often see to it that we don’t listen to solutions to a solution.

15 03 2010
jayhorowitz

Michael, your comments are always thought provoking. It’s difficult to try and see oneself from an outsider’s perspective, and any attempt is probably impossible to fully succeed at. I think people – at least myself – live their lives with the occasional epiphany moment when they realize how others are viewing an aspect of their character. Those times can both be trying and exciting. The tough part, as you allude to, is to be open to them.

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