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Why Being a Billionaire Isn't For Most People

To everyone in the world, becoming a millionaire or even being a billionaire would be a dream come true, especially since it would mean the end of their financial troubles and it would mean they wouldn’t have to work in the same job where they’d have to put up with co-workers whom they find to be irritating. But would it be worth it? Sure, you could buy yourself a dream home, employ a butler, a maid, a cook, etc. You would be able to send any children to excellent schools, afford to travel abroad and go places you had always dreamed of going but had never been able to in the past because you didn’t have the money for it. But what if there was a downside to being a billionaire?

Here are 20 reasons why being a billionaire isn’t for most people.

20. Taxes

Ah, first and the most obvious on the list is taxes. As you earn more money, you will owe more income tax, and even if you have an accountant on hand to help you then the chances are you will need to expect a higher tax bill. If you’re a millionaire or a billionaire, the chances are you will be in a higher bracket for owing more tax, the amount will be different if you’re an individual payer, or you’re married in a joint relationship where your partner owes tax as well. The chances are regardless you will be owing more money to the taxman.

19. Fake Friends

Whether you intend for it to happen or not, people will come to you if you’ve got more money than they have, and according to Money's article, you should be vigilant about the people who come to you for money. Some of them may be relatives, some of them can be your regular friends or your colleagues. Some of them will probably come to you for what they need, whether its for financial troubles they’re going through, and they want your help to bail them out, or they can be gold diggers who will want to try to take whatever they want, and they will only stay with you for as long as you giving them money. However, you don’t necessarily need to be distrusting towards them, though being vigilant will keep the fakes away from you.

18. Isolation

If you’ve won the lottery for instance, like this girl seen in a Youtube video, you can be excited by the prospect of being rich, splurging on new cars, even properties but when the euphoria has worn off you will go in one of two ways; some people who win the lottery will invest the money they have left wisely after splurging on it to make sure they’re not dreaming, but for others they will begin to feel isolated since some people will come forward and want gifts. Not all will want that of course, but there will times they’re embarrassed by you offering to pay for everything. Sometimes it will spiral into arguments in public. It can reach the point where you will be on your own a great deal, literally and metaphorically.

In another video on Youtube, we come back to fake friends again; some people who have never been interested in you in the past will come to you when you are splurging on money to pay for an expensive house or flat, buying gifts for people you really count as true friends and for family, though at the time you won’t see it until its too late. Having loads of money can lead to a great deal of stress, and with dozens of people around you liking you for your riches, it will just get worse for you. For some lottery winners, the stressful part would be the newspapers since they will be digging deep into your past, and they will intrude on your privacy, and if you use the money for something worthwhile and you find yourself in the paper on a frequent basis you will find it very hard to get on with your life, especially if you receive loads of comments from people whom you don’t even know.

17. Troubles with Romance

This one is related to the two reasons listed above, though its closer to the heart, according to this article written by Forbes about the reasons you may not want to become a billionaire, its stated that the wealthy mother of a student attending Boston College was worried about the boyfriends of her daughter, she was worried they might prove to be gold diggers only interested in her daughter’s wealth. However, the same part of the article hinted that although some people may not be automatic gold diggers, they could potentially become gold diggers and cause friction in the relationship.

16. Children

Every good parent wants the best for their child, and that is why so many works long and hard to provide for the good schools which would hopefully give them opportunities in life, make them ambitious as they discover they’ve got talents in various subjects which would lead to all kinds of opportunities in the immediate future. In the same article referenced above written by Forbes, its revealed billionaires have the opposite problem since having too much money which sends their children to schools which cater for the super-rich will actually ROB their children of those same opportunities.

It also goes deeper than that - money also has the potential to mess children up, give them a sense of entitlement, and stop them from learning because they believe their money will be the answer to all of their troubles. These points are echoed in the BBC - Capital article “The trouble with being a billionaire," only it states clearly that the children of the super-rich do not know how to struggle in life because they’ve got money, and although the philosophy has little to do with the perils of becoming wealthy, its stated that struggle is a key aspect to human evolution, and without struggling in life, trying to reach where you wish to get to, to achieve what you want, you won’t grow as a person. Some of these parents will give their children an allowance which is quite large, and some children could lose their inheritances to charity especially if they don’t learn how to be responsible. If you do become a billionaire, it might be a good idea to think about children and what having so much money could do to them later in life.

15. Lawsuit fears

Alright, you can be sued whether you are a billionaire or not, but the risk can increase if you pass through the millionaire mark on the way to being a Billionaire, especially if there are particularly vindictive people waiting in the wings. They won’t think twice about suing you for ridiculous reasons.

14. You might not be happy

As the old adage goes “money can’t buy you happiness,” and it is right. You can be rich or poor, but if you don’t find something to make you happy then you won’t, and while being a billionaire might make you think you can find something, some hobby or something along those lines to making you happy, then you’ll be in trouble. Rich people can become depressed, like everyone else. According to The Richest’s article concerning the Top 10 Worst Things about being a Millionaire, both millionaires and billionaires have more time on their hands than others. How do they fill those moments?

13. People judge you

The rich vary from one country to the next; in the United States, being wealthy means being celebrated. However, in the United Kingdom, people can be a bit more critical of those that have accumulated an abundance of wealth.  The point is this.  When you're in the spotlight of being wealthy, you are judged, no matter what.  So even before a person gets a chance to know the real you, they already have preconceived notions of the type of person you are.

12. Great Expectations

Believe it or not, according to the Financial Samurai article about the downsides of being a millionaire which isn’t far off from being a billionaire since there is bound to be even more pressure placed on a billionaire’s shoulders, there are dozens of expectations leveled at you. People will expect you to: pay for every bit of shopping, always help members of the family even if they deserve your financial aid or not, give your money to charity, being around other rich people and having to learn to sink into the crowd even if you don’t actually like them. They are also expected to put up with people who always want more than what you would be prepared to give them, and they won’t stop until you close that door on them permanently. Billionaires have these exact same problems, but they have far more money so they will under more pressure than a millionaire would on a good day.

11. No privacy

As stated above, if you become rich such as if you win the lottery, the chances of you having your name and your history in the newspaper is a very real problem. According to this article from Career Addict, the press is always a problem. They will hound you day and night, barking questions, shooting pictures of you and any partner or child you have at the time without a thought about your privacy. Sometimes it can become dangerous as they go too far, and they might also cause harm to your health. If you’re a billionaire who has become rich and powerful and you’re famous for it, the media are not likely to leave you alone.

10. Crime

Wealthy people are always the target of scams/cons, bad investments, and more extreme kidnappings and extortion, and blackmail. There is always going to be cases where criminals will try to take more from rich and famous people, and many of these cases will be extreme. It isn’t unheard of for billionaires to be extorted millions for the same return of a loved one, such as a spouse or a child, and such cases can cause strain in a relationship even if it isn’t intentional. A wealthy heiress, according to Forbes, is terrified her children could be targeted for kidnap. It also doesn’t help that children are not entirely discreet about holiday plans, which means the prospect of criminals using the information increase, either by burglary or by some other method. Scammers aren’t any different, although they will look for wealthy people whom they can target with investments which are a waste.

9. Sacrifice

Many millionaires and billionaires, and other celebrities such as actors, authors and musicians have worked hard to get to where they are. But that doesn’t mean they can’t lose out on opportunities in life, and relationships turned sour.

8. Being considered a failure

For rich children growing up, they will want to be better than their parents at making money, but according to this article from The Telegraph, some children who want to make it big in the world will feel like they can’t become like their rich parents, particularly the one to make the most money, so they will feel like failures.

7. Arrogance

Sure, not everyone who becomes rich become miserable. Some people can develop a Scrooge mentality where they have made a lot of money and they’ve become hell-bent on earning more by appearing less wealthy than they actually are, and won’t spend money on anything but the essentials. People who earn more, according to a study, are more likely to shoplift, according to this Youtube video. UC Berkeley also states its likely with more income than others were more likely to cheat on a game.

6. Life might not change

You might become a millionaire or even become lucky enough to become a billionaire, but once you get that money, you may not change. Sure, they might be able to afford a bigger, better house, cars, great clothes, be able to afford going out to great restaurants, but according to this article on Scott H. Young, nothing might actually change in your life.

5. Gambling

Although it is close to number 7 on this list, the risks of gambling are too great to not put down, they are obvious. Many rich people gamble, and it can cause all kinds of problems. Rich kids who don’t know any different are also vulnerable to the lure of gambling. What are the problems? The first is the chances of winning anything are low since there are dozens of other competitors nearby betting on the same game and going for the same stakes. There is also the risk the more you gamble, you will become greedier for more if you have a lucky streak which will eventually come to an end, meaning you lose everything, and soon a billionaire could become so greedy for more they will put everything on the line. It will only be a matter of time before the billionaire could lose everything they own. Also, and this is well known, gambling can destroy your life. Imagine how bad it would be for a billionaire to lose everything because they became addicted to the thought of winning and gaining a winning streak, only for it to come crashing down?

4. Losing Everything

Even billionaires are not invulnerable to having everything repossessed either because they were extraordinarily careless with their wealth and blew everything on spending or gambling, or there was some kind of outside problem like their business could run into some kind of trouble, but it can and will happen. This New York Times article contains a note about it.

3. There’s always someone richer

Some people may not actually care about this point, but the truth is there are some out there who are very aware that even if you become a billionaire, with a net worth of four billion or so, you will soon become aware of billionaires with three times the net worth you have. Sure, you might want to go further and increase your wealth, but is it worth it in the long term because when you reach a higher level, what will you do when you do then? You have struggled to reach that point, so what more if there to do? Furthermore, there is also the risk of you endangering your health, causing you stress and driving a wedge between you and your family.

2. What do I do next?

It is possible for you to stop trying to go further, according to this article from Business Insider because they have worked long and hard on becoming what they are later in life. Sure, they can travel around, invest time and money in pursuing new hobbies, but there is always the risk of becoming bored with what you’ve found an interest in. Even buying things can become unappealing because when you can’t afford something, say a yacht or a mansion, but if you win the lottery or become a billionaire through a successful business, once you buy whatever it was you wanted means it won’t mean as much.

1. Losing Perspective

All wealthy people run the risk of having problems since it is possible for money to control life in general. It is possible for friends and family alike to call you materialistic and greedy for buying nice things and you wouldn’t even know it until it happened.

Garrett Parker

Written by Garrett Parker

Garrett by trade is a personal finance freelance writer and journalist. With over 10 years experience he's covered businesses, CEOs, and investments. However he does like to take on other topics involving some of his personal interests like automobiles, future technologies, and anything else that could change the world.

Read more posts by Garrett Parker

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