Friday, August 20, 2010

Living happily... and simply?

There was a good article in NY Times today about people discovering their true happiness through simple living and spending most of their money on what makes THEM happy.
As in my previous post about "liquid life", it seems that the tide has turned and more and more people discover that "stuff" doesn't make them happy.
The whole notion, once a very underground and "subculture" type is now getting traction in such well-know publications as NYT. Corporate America is also taking notice and is adapting their sell pitches accordingly.
The only "stuff" that might contribute to your happiness is actually sports equipment - golf clubs ( I don't play golf, but I do know Costco sells them!), fishing rods and surf boards (can get one used for not so much money). What really makes us happy is money spent on our experiences, be it around the world tour or a backyard "staycation"
What I hope will start happening to us is that we start asking ourselves this trivial, but hard-to-really-answer question "what truly makes me happy?". For a lot of us, it will be "vacation".
So what's a point of getting that shiny Bimmer and paying for it through the nose?

Monday, August 2, 2010

Taxes and doctors

Today there was a very good op ed in the Wall Street Journal about actual observed drop in tax receipts while raising taxes on the wealthiest. ( one of the examples being John Kerry who bought a $7 mln. yacht not in his own state of Massachussetts, but in RI whereby saving in exsess of $500,000 in taxes). The reason being that wealthy people have so many "advisors" that they won't pay those taxes anyway.
I was thinking about the doctors, who , by enlarge, make just enough money to be fleeced by uncle Sam because they are "rich", but usually not nearly enough to do the "creative" tax reporting by using those financial/tax/legal/estate etc. advisors. In the end, they probably end up paying for the poor, who completely depend on the government (i.e. taxes) and the truly rich who are smart/savvy/well connected enough to avoid paying those taxes...