There’s a part of today’s consumerist world that drives us to want more, buy more, act on our impulses, hoard, spend to solve our problems, create comfort through shopping, seek thrills through travel, do more, be more.
What would happen if we broke from our addiction to wanting and buying more?
What would life be like if we didn’t need all that?
Serotonin: The Feel Good Hit for High Status
The most important neurotransmitter connected to status is serotonin. Serotonin helps regulate appetite and sex drive, as well as one’s mood. Individuals with low serotonin levels are often cranky, aggressive, and depressed, which is why they are sometimes prescribed antidepressants designed to boost this neurotransmitter.
Serotonin levels are influenced by genetics and lifestyle factors like stress, sleep, and diet. But one of the biggest factors impacting the amount of serotonin in the brain is whether you think others perceive you as having high status. Serotonin feels good, and whenever we experience boosts in our status, serotonin floods our brain, and we become more confident, relaxed, cooperative, and pro-social. That groovy, connected feeling encourages us to seek more status.
PLAN WITH YOUR PARTNER
Even if you’ve been married to your spouse for years, it’s possible that you have different visions of how to spend your retirement years. That’s what Ellen Rogin, a financial services professional and co-author of “Picture Your Prosperity,” discovered when she learned her husband wanted to spend time on a sailboat in the Caribbean. Once she knew about his dream, they could start planning for it.
Standard Repayment Plan. Payments are a fixed amount of at least $50 per month for up to 10 years. The pro of this plan is that you’ll pay less interest over the long haul than you would with other plans.
Graduated Repayment Plan. Payments are lower at first and then increase every two years or so. You have ten years to pay off your loan with a graduated payment plan. This plan assumes that you’ll be making less money at the start of your career, so the payments are less. For the first few years, you’re just paying the monthly interest on your loan. While the smaller payments at the beginning of the payment term can help with the monthly budget, with this plan you will end up paying more in interest than you would with the standard plan.
Extended Repayment Plan. This is a payment plan for folks with over $30,000 in direct and FFEL loans. Instead of having ten years to pay back your loans, you have 25 years. The payments with the extended payment plan are smaller, but you’ll pay more in interest over time than you would with the 10-year standard plan.
Income-Based Repayment Plan. If you have a partial financial hardship, an income-based repayment plan is for you. Your maximum monthly payments will be 15% of your discretionary income, which is defined as the difference between your adjusted gross income and 150% of the poverty guideline for your family size. You’ll have 25 years to pay off the loan on this plan. If you’ve made qualifying monthly payments during the entire 25 years, but still don’t have your loans paid off, then the remainder of the debt will be forgiven. Keep in mind that you may have to pay income tax on the amount that was forgiven.
What am I going to do going forward from this? No, I’m not going to choose another tiny wardrobe and live with the clothes on my back; I’m looking forward to wearing some new clothes and having some diversity in my life. My style has evolved over the year, even without ever changing my outfit, the looks that I liked last year are substantially different from the ones I like now and it will be fun to get a chance to experiment with fashion again.
I’m not going to enact any strict rules on what I can wear or the number of clothes I can own. However, the way I approach material goods has likely changed forever, I’m no longer interested in hoarding fast fashion or filling my drawers and cupboards with cheap trinkets. I’m going to continue downsizing my stuff, carefully considering my purchases, and ideally buying nothing at all.
Interested in free online courses? Want to learn more about interest, taxes, stocks, housing and debt?
Khan Academy has several free courses.
Feel free to read through the titles and sign up for one.
If you are a runner and have to pick one or the other, the swing might be a better choice. The above study observed that it has a greater “horizontal mechanical output” than the snatch. Here is why it matters.
Russians measured the quad and hamstring strength of middle distance runners of different levels. They learned that while the hamstring strength keeps growing until the runner reaches the elite level, the quad strength grows until the CMS level (high intermediate)—and then drops way down. Among the reasons identified by the researcher: less experienced runners jump up and down overusing their quads and the elite do not waste their energy vertically and “paw” the ground instead to propel themselves straight forward. (Myakinchenko, 1983)
5. The United States has upward of 50,000 storage facilities, more than five times the number of Starbucks. Currently, there is 7.3 square feet of self storage space for every man, woman and child in the nation. Thus, it is physically possible that every American could stand—all at the same time—under the total canopy of self storage roofing.
The below interview goes into the life of a 30 something couple in Early Retirement. Read on through to the link to see what a typical day is like and more.
Any difficulty adapting to your new life?
Releasing baby turtles into the sunset, Puerto Escondido, Mexico
Even 6 months after leaving the workplace, I would find myself sometimes thinking about work. There I was on a beach with an ice-cold coconut, and my mind was thousands of miles away trying to solve a problem that no longer existed.
I’m happy to report that this bit of neurosis has been solved by an intensive regime of more beach and more coconut.
Suddenly, an ominous red bar interrupts my handheld activities, accompanied by a warning: low battery.
My first reaction: frustration, irritation, annoyance. Why the hell is my phone about to die? I can’t believe this stupid freaking thing!