What’s the biggest surprise about getting rich?

By far the most interesting thing we read this week was a selection of responses to a Quora question: “What is the biggest surprise about getting rich?”. While the answers weren’t exactly surprising (to us at least), they did give us a lot to think about.

It’s no surprise that being truly poor is awful. If you’re not having to choose between feeding your kids or heating your home, you should be very grateful.

But as I’m sure you also suspect, being mega-rich doesn’t automatically make everything amazing. You certainly have a higher quality of problem, but you’ll still be worrying about whether your friends only like you for your money and getting frustrated that it’s not socially acceptable for you to complain about anything anymore.

The observation that struck us the most is that however much money you make, you can never buy back the time you spent making it. Which, surprise surprise, only re-confirmed that we’ve done the right thing by choosing this lifestyle. We’re building up assets that will eventually give us the income we need, but it doesn’t feel like we’re making any sacrifices to do it: we feel fulfilled by the work we’re doing, we’re experiencing the world, and we’re not going to wake up in ten years and realise we’ve missed our (hypothetical) kids growing up because we were always commuting and in meetings.

All of which sounds unbearably smug, but is really only intended to reassure: even if you’ve taken a serious pay cut by leaving a good job and are missing the normal markers that you’re being successful, the experiences of the seriously-bleedin’-rich suggest that you’re doing the right thing.

And if nothing else, let’s all be grateful that “Am I living my life in the most fulfilling way?” is a dilemma that we have the luxury of agonising over.