Is money the root of all evil? Or is it what makes the world go ‘round? What IS the meaning of money?
Most of us receive most of the money we will ever make in exchange for our efforts. Our labor, our knowledge, our skills may be sold to employers if we are workers. They may be sold to customers or clients if we are in business. For this reason, in large part, money is the residue of the sweat we make while providing value to others.
What could be more noble than this symbol of being worthwhile to the rest of society?
In this framework, a 401(k) balance at retirement is the end result of a lifetime of effort. An inheritance might represent two or more lifetimes of hard work. What could be more worthy of our best efforts to preserve and extend it?
While its sources are of interest, the uses of money have come into sharp focus for me recently. For the most part, my material needs are few. But money has become a vital factor in securing the health and welfare of loved ones.
The recent severe weather has resulted in hardship, pain, suffering and sometimes death for those who could not avoid its effects, or afford backup systems to meet special health needs. Oxygen concentrators require electricity, which sometimes fails. Refrigeration is needed for some kinds of life-sustaining medicine. Mobility is required to avoid some dangerous situations. All of this takes money.
When the power failed, we had a backup generator. When the storm threatened, we could leave the area. When the oxygen concentrator failed, we had another source. All of these things take money. And we had it.
Cathy’s care for children and work in the corporate world produced some of it. My efforts to help people with their plans and investing made some of it. Being good stewards of the amounts we were able to save provided some of it. The money came from worthy efforts, and it does important and worthy things for us.
Is money (or more properly, the love of money) the root of all evil? I don’t think so. It may be the evidence of lives of service and thrift. Luck? Certainly good fortune plays a role. And ill fortune surely plays a role in some people not having much of the stuff. We each must come to our own understanding of the meaning of money. This is mine.
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The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.
Investing involves risks including possible loss of principal.