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They Say "Mo' Money, Mo' Problems" (I Say “B.S.”)

Written by Sean McCloskey
Posted December 24, 2021

You know the old adage — money doesn’t buy happiness.

Well, I think that’s B.S.

Before I started writing today’s article, I took a 10-hour drive from my apartment in a historic midrise in Baltimore City to where my parents retired to on Hilton Head Island.

Let me tell you, the difference between these two locales is stark. 

Money Does Bring Happiness

Don’t get me wrong — I grew up a quick 45-minute drive from Midtown Manhattan. I've lived about 90% of my adult life in large cities, and I've always loved city life. Given the varieties of unique food, nightlife, art, and culture, I thought I’d be a “city kid” for life. And to this day, I do believe large cities offer a better breadth of how the greater world works. But in some ways, that knowledge comes at a price. 

Over the years, my parents have noted I’ve developed a bit of what they call a “hard edge.” The traffic jams, the litter, the jostling down sidewalks and in subways, the aggressive horn honking and the “f*** yous” I’ve heard every day for the last 20 years are having an effect. 

Hilton Head Island is not some podunk country town. It’s a bustling place. But everyone (for the most part) is very friendly. My morning drive today (during rush hour) to pick up a travel toothbrush to replace the one I forgot to pack was seemingly pleasant. Folks were even waving at me, saying hello, and smiling!

I think the main thing driving the disparity in demeanor is the lack of general happiness so many people in cities have versus a place like Hilton Head. And as I thought about this some more this morning, it became clear the reason is monetarily driven. Even the lower-income demographics on Hilton Head have their needs met and then some. Sure, they work hard, sometimes two jobs like my kayak guy over at Jarvis Creek Water Sports (tell them Sean the fisherman from Maryland sent you). But he’s happy, and it seems like everyone else — from the landscapers and plumbers to the PGA golfers who grace this place when the Heritage golf tournament occurs every year — is too.

Sure, it doesn't hurt that winters are mild and summers are beautiful here. But the same could be said for Los Angeles, right?

In the big cities like New York, Washington, D.C., Chicago, and LA, and even in smaller cities like Baltimore, Philadelphia, San Francisco, etc., the income disparity is right in your face. It’s real, and so are its effects. A lack of basic needs is the driver to much of the sadness I see in city residents. And in many people, sadness often turns into anger. That’s why grannies will flip you off on the West Side Highway in NYC without batting an eye, smash-and-grab robberies are out of control in San Francisco, and why we had 21 shootings over the weekend leading into Christmas back in Baltimore.

Don’t You Want to Be Happy? 

Success isn't easy, but everyone can be successful, even if you're starting off on the bottom rung. 

Take my dad, for instance. One of my first memories of my father is of us painting municipal benches in Beacon, New York. I was maybe 4 or 5 at the time. You see, my dad had just been laid off from his job at Texaco. This was the mid-1980s, a very tough economic time that I’m sure many of you remember better than I do. Many of you probably even have similar stories of layoffs.

Well, long story short, all my memories since then of my dad include him busting his ass to get back on top, and now he’s out golfing with a crew of 60-somethings in 54-degree weather on a winter afternoon. Not too shabby, I’d say.

The point is you don't need to be rich to be happy, but you do need some money — and a piddly couple thousand will not cut it. My goal is to retire with at least $1 million in retirement savings.

Granted, I have over 30 years to do so, but not everyone does, which is why now is the time to start taking control of your future and your happiness and make some serious extra money.

Here’s our latest heavily researched market idea to help you do exactly that.

Have a very merry Christmas and happy holidays from all of us at Energy and Capital.

To your wealth,

Sean McCloskey
Editor, Energy and Capital

follow basic@TheRL_McCloskey on Twitter

After spending 10 years in the consumer tech reporting and educational publishing industries, Sean has since redevoted himself to one of his original passions: identifying and cashing in on the most lucrative opportunities the market has to offer. As the former managing editor of multiple investment newsletters, he's covered virtually every sector of the market, ranging from energy and tech to gold and cannabis. Over the years, Sean has offered his followers the chance to score numerous triple-digit gains, and today he continues his mission to deliver followers the best chance to score big wins on Wall Street and beyond as an editor for Energy and Capital.

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