Does Where You're Living Make You Rich?
So many of us linger in counterproductive environments—from the offices we work in, to the houses we live in and the cities where we’re based. The freedom to choose where we dwell is rarely pursued even though it’s shown to be directly correlated to our personal financial success and wellbeing.
The effects of remaining in a particular circumstance may seem like it’s limited (or irrelevant) in your own life. It can be hard to recognize. But, especially if you’re feeling miserably stuck, consider these symptoms to determine if location inertia is cramping your lifestyle, and financial goals.
<<HEED THE HEDONIC TREADMILL>>
From the time we wake up to the time we go to bed, so much of our life is deeply-seated in routine. This pre-programming gives us the comfort of knowing whose familiar faces we’ll see, what bills we’ll pay, where we are, when we’ll eat; so on and so forth.
The risk in this consistency, though, is that it can shroud the drawbacks of complacency. Humans naturally adapt to their environments, which means habituation can cause us to overlook the joy and inspiration in everyday moments.
Living life on repeat is also the procrastinator’s playlist. Going through the same motions everyday is usually accompanied by a hum of busyness that becomes an excuse to avoid actually following through on things that are (more) important to us.
While efficiency helps smooth the way, the path to personal growth and greater life satisfaction requires embracing discomfort and reversing the inertia that propels a life lived on repeat. Moving (physically) outside of your comfort zone breaks ground on accomplishing ambitions that are influenced by the relationships and activity that surround us.
<<POWER OF PLACE>>
The mantra of residential real estate is that the three most important considerations (when buying or selling) are "Location! Location! Location!".
In other words, the street that the home is on matters more than the colors, square footage, bathrooms, yard, etc. Extending this axiom beyond our places of domicile begs the question, what role does (and should) location play in designing our lives?
In most cases, where we live is left to fate—it’s where we were born, where we are close to family and/or near the office where we go to work. We spend decades in our predetermined homebases distressfully trying to establish the foundation for a comfortable retirement. Financial decisions are an important factor in creating the life we want, and location should be too.
Think about the details of daily life around you: the public transportation you ride, the sidewalks you walk along, the parks you frolic in, the neighbors you encounter, the selection and affordability of food you eat. The people, places and things that coexist in particular areas influence the way we feel and how much we spend (and save!).
Location is pivotal to live life to the fullest at every age.
<<FOLLOW YOUR YELLOW-BRICK ROAD>>
The willingness and ability to explore living in other locales is an experiment in personal growth. Being surrounded by the unfamiliar demands greater attention to the present and makes us more conscious of who we are.
From the challenge of trying to communicate with someone who speaks a different language to simply noticing sights and sounds while navigating new routes (near and far), the foreign has a way of humbling us. When we base ourselves in places that bring out the best in us, personal finances and energy are less likely to be limiting resources.
Evolving workplace trends and the advancing mini-retirement revolution are making it even more plausible to beat location inertia and leverage geoarbitrage today in a way that supports your personal, professional and financial goals. Harnessing the power of place can help you tap into the joys of surprise and find ways (and wheres) to be richer in life.