Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Responsibility First

To continue my series about people near (or in) retirement and their experiences with money; I interviewed ReggieMama- a self-employed mother of two grown boys.

Before she was ever a mother or an entrepreneur, she was a young nun teaching in New England. She made a bold move in her twenties to leave most of her family (and the convent) and moved to California with only $50 in her pocket. While she has been bold with her major life choices, none of them were influenced by greed. She emphasizes that personal responsibility coupled with a desire to care for her family has been the driving forces that have set her up for a comfortable retirement in the upcoming years.

SCS: When you were 26-years-old how did you view money?
ReggieMama: I didn’t give money much thought. I had enough for rent and other basics. At the time I was teaching and making next to no money, but I loved what I was doing so I was happy. I wouldn’t have turned down a lot of money, but I would never have based my profession on it.

SCS: When you were 26-years-old how did you view wealth?
ReggieMama: I never thought about wealth.

SCS: How do you think of money now?
ReggieMama: I think of money now as a colossal pain in the ass.

Oddly enough I’ve always earned a lot of money over the course of my career (I didn’t stay in teaching), but I think the reason is because I’ve enjoyed so many aspects of my work.

Raising a family forces a person to plan, save, invest, and worry about money. However, it has never meant more to me than providing for my family and it still doesn’t. As I near retirement age, it annoys me that I have to think about it even more, but it’s part of life, and we’ve never wanted to stick our kids with taking care of us or have them worried about us in our old age.

SCS: How do you think of wealth now?
ReggieMama: Real wealth has nothing to do with money. The pursuit of monetary wealth in this country has caused too many people to sacrifice their principles at the expense of others and it’s contributed to the financial mess we’re in now.

SCS: What events in your life shaped your current beliefs about personal finances?
ReggieMama: The families we grow up in play a part in shaping our beliefs about money, and I saw a lot of goofy things growing up that helped me recognize what’s important and what isn’t.

Taking care of others has always been important to me and that is only possible if we are taking responsibility for ourselves first.

1 comment:

BeThisWay said...

What a great idea! I love this interview.