If you were to venture onto the streets of your local area, and ask people how much money they would like to ideally have, you are likely to come across a large number of people who will say a million pounds. Though there may be some people going a little higher or lower, there is something quite attractive about the single million. It signifies a certain milestone, which is quite often only dreamt of, and so one could assume that this figure is the preference of the majority. Besides it representing a milestone, what is it that is so attractive about £1 million? Is it special because it means you can label yourself as rich? Or is it special because it means you can finally pursue your business ideas? Does it allow you to clear debts and have a house that is unencumbered? The fact of the matter is that £1 million is special to so many people for so many different reasons. This has been the case for so long. But, my question is: does this ideology still stand strong in the modern world? For some it does, yet for others it does not and so I would like to explore certain reasons as to why £1 million may not be enough.
For so many years people have been enthralled by the idea of becoming a millionaire. Perhaps that is one of the reasons for the legendary television programme “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?”. The show offered up what so many people had been dreaming about, and continues to do so, therefore making it a huge success. But, have people moved on from wanting to be millionaire? Does the much larger sums available via the lottery push people to want more than a single million? An argument for moving away from this figure can be made by analysing the average retirement age. A statistical breakdown of the average retirement age shows that both men and women continue to work until the age of 63.9 . For the vast majority of people, they begin working full-time once they have left university, or completed their degree-level apprenticeships, which tends to in their early twenties. Assuming that this is true, people have the potential to work for 40 or so years which is quite a bit higher than previous generations. Moreover, this figure does not take into consideration any side hustles or part-time employment which would only add to the amount.
Let us now work with this figure of 40 years of work and assume that a person earns a million over this period. This would mean that the individual would have earnt approximately £25,000 per year. This figure is less than the average salary of an individual in a managerial position. It is also lower than the average London living wage. This suggests therefore, that becoming a millionaire over a 40 year period of work is perhaps not an ideal goal, considering that this analysis does not take into account expenditure on other things. It is also perhaps not quite as ideal as initially conceived considering that the costs of living around the globe seem to rising due to the effects of globalization and the growing role of technology in day-to-day life. The question therefore arises: is £1 million really enough to enable one to live a good life considering living expenses in the modern world?
I feel that it is quite difficult to answer such a question objectively, as standards of living vary from household to household. The current median wage rate is £28,400, the average house in London (according to the UK House Price Index) is £478,853 i.e. over half a million when you consider stamp duty and the other relative costs of property purchases. Thus, despite not being able to speak definitively (or for the whole population) the indications seem to suggest that one should aim higher than a million. And lets be honest, who wants to work for 40 years to make a million to spend half on a house and retire at retirement age?
I hope that this breakdown has shown you that the goal of earning £1 million in a lifetime may not be such an ideal goal. As humans, we tend to latch onto the desires of others, but we also aim to go above and beyond. Though aiming higher than a million may sound silly, the long-term benefits could be quite extraordinary.
It is essential, in my opinion, that we go above and beyond in this situation. This is because the world is transforming and becoming a more expensive place to live in (mainly due to our changes in taste and preference). We must, therefore, continue to push forward and achieve greatness; this can be done by accepting the fact that we can do better than £1 million – with technology at our finger tips it is arguably easier to achieve than ever before. We can do better and so we must work and dedicate our lives to doing just that.