Life is not money

Carlos Martinez Chess

What is the money really for? After all, we don’t want to be billionaires in the cementery. Money is simply a vehicle to try to satisfy our needs. Life is a game, money is part of the rules, and we are dealt different cards when facing it.

So then, what is money for you?

For me is key what Tim Robbins comments in the book Money: Master the Game, which he co-wrote with Ray Dalio. Always think about money or finances holistically.

This is what we REALLY seek: wellness.

🤍Financial wellness

What we want to pursue in our lives: whether it’s starting a business, getting married, raising a family, traveling the world. Certainty and security. Freedom of choice and varieties. Significance and importance. Love and connection. Growth. Contribution to society and the world.

Money is nothing more than a reflection of your creativity, your ability to focus, and your ability to add value and receive back. Life is not about money; It’s about the emotion. The real goal is to have the lifestyle you want, not the things.

The beauty of financial independence is that it teaches us about financial education, something that schools have not taught us. And how to achieve that lifestyle fit for us while playing with the rules of the game today. To take care of our financial wellness.

To mature is to ask (yourself) enough and appropriate questions

Remember that the rules fit for today, may not the rules fit for every tomorrow.

⛰️The mountain of financial wellness

There are two phases in the financial game: the accumulation phase, in which you are saving money for growth, and decumulation, the period in which you are withdrawing income.

The mountain trip represents your accumulation phase with the objective of reaching the peak or critical mass. The goal is to stay on top of the mountain as long as possible. And when you enter the second act of your life, you will have the freedom to work only if you want to.

For instance, financial security is achieved when you’ve built a critical mass, which can support and pay for all the necessities in your life such as food, housing and utilities. Financial independence is reached when your passive income can support your current lifestyle. Passing the pinnacle of absolute financial freedom is reached when your ultimate dream life style is supported by investment income. You’ve created a critical mass of wealth enough to live on.

I encourage you to calculate how much you need to accumulate in order to reach financial independence.

🔼 Accumulation phase

Save € and invest them to scale the phases:

  1. Financial security
  2. Financial vitality
  3. Financial independence
  4. Financial Freedom
  5. Absolute financial freedom

🔽 Decumulation phase

Live on said accumulated assets.


Also, we all need to make sure that regardless of the wealth we build, however large or small it is, our families benefit from it and are not stuck in a legal or tax process that exhausts the gift to our heirs.

🚠 Tips or experiences

The best way to save is when you don’t see the money in the first place

  • Pay yourself first.
  • Save more, earn more, reduce superfluous expenses and taxes.
  • Small percentages make a BIG difference, you don’t have to tip.

Get better returns on your investments

  • Don’t lose, and try to risk little to gain a lot: Asymmetric investments.
  • Diversify, but not too much either.
  • Invest according to your knowledge, don’t lie to yourself.

Never stop learning, and above all, reflect on what you learn

  • You need the right role models, learn from the teachers who go with you but also read qualified opinions contrary to your thinking.

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