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My son-in-law and I recently had a conversation about “what it was like in the old days.”

Of course, I could wax eloquent about my early memories mixed with the stories from parents or grandparents.

We had to discuss the pricing of things “way back then.”

When I started to work, minimum wage was $1 per hour. Not bad compared to my dad’s starting wage of 35 cents an hour and Grandpa Mills’ 15 cents an hour in the 1920s. Compared to them, my first job at $1.25 per hour sounds pretty good.

Having money is a topic dear to my heart and dear to most people.

The lack of it is a major problem. Life is truly not just about money. The obsessive pursuit of money at all cost is quite common in our culture. Many pay dearly with this obsession.

It may have a deleterious effect on marriages, children, and health. Is it worth the price often paid by the obsessor?

Life is not all about money and wealth.

You can’t buy a lot of things with it. You can’t buy good health. Friendships and respect are in reality not affected by money. Certainly, love, the ultimate emotion, cannot be purchased.

Don’t get me wrong. Money and wealth can do a lot of good if handled well.

Wealth affords the opportunity for personal development. It allows the holder to travel, and to grow. It provides the potential for learning. It can provide happiness to the owners and to others when it is given away.

Hoarding for hoarding sake is a problem. Dying with a seven-figure net worth may be admirable, but why wait until you die to make yourself, your family and charities happy?

Why not give yourself permission to enjoy your good fortune while you can?

Why not see others enjoy some of it too? I know many are fearful of running out of money and becoming a burden to others. Careful planning is always smart.

Doing good for one’s self often involves doing good for others. Others could include your family and the less fortunate. Give yourself permission to consider doing good for all those who need a joyful lift in 2019.

Lest you think I am a confirmed socialist, I assure you that I am not. I am in the business of helping to build wealth. Building peace of mind is also important. Most folks will take peace of mind and happiness over miserly wealth every time.

Tuesday, we start a new year. This is a great time to reflect on things we want to improve upon, our goals, our relationships, and our financial affairs: good luck and Happy New Year.

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Tom and John Mills are registered investment advisers and certified financial planners. Reach them at 254-0155. MillsWealth.com. Securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advice offered through Strategic Wealth Advisors Group (SWAG), a registered investment adviser.

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