“Being a billionaire is overrated.”
- Bill Gates
In a world that has population of over 7 billion, there are just over 2000 billionaires. That’s not even one in a million! Keeping in our mind that all of us want to be someone unique and special, there aren’t a few of us who want to become billionaires. We get easily fooled by trashy self-help books or pop culture that makes us fantasize about the up sides of being filthy rich and that rarely talk about the down sides. But as anticlimactic as it might seem, being a billionaire has its downsides as well, and these might easily outweigh the upsides.
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Billionaires: A rare species
“No one deserves to have so much money.”
- Mark Zuckerberg on being a billionaire
Well, had every joe blow been a billionaire, no one would’ve been wondering how it feels to a billionaire. But since they are so rare, billionaires are highly prone to be misunderstood. In fact, almost all those who write about billionaires aren’t billionaires themselves (including us). Maybe that is why in our fantasy, we tend to overexaggerate the perks and tend to think that ‘What could be the downside of being a billionaire?’ or something ‘You can buy anything you like, what’s the problem then?’
Going by the research, being a billionaire certainly has problems, and more problems than not being a billionaire. In fact, there is research which states that CEOs are twice as likely to suffer from depression than average people. If you update yourself on news everyday and read something about your very idols suffering from mental health issues, you might know that everything that looks good isn’t good in reality. So, here are some reasons why being a billionaire isn’t that cool and might not be worth all the trouble.
8 – Problems with being a billionaire
1. You get used to the money
Most of the romantic movies are about couples falling in love and there are hardly any mainstream films about happily married couple who are happy in the beginning remain happy throughout towards the end. It’s because the joy lies in the process and not in the achievement. Therefore, the only reason why we can fantasize about being millionaire is that we aren’t billionaires. Try to remember all the fantasies that you’ve had as a child, and how stupid they might seem now. In the end you get used to everything.
On the flip side of the story, it wouldn’t be wrong to assume that people who aren’t as well of as you might be thinking that they would be happy when they have as much money you have. However, that might not be the truth. You might not be happy. And if you aren’t happy with what you have, there’s a high probability that you won’t be happy even when you become a billionaire.
2. Maintenance Charges
If you ever imagine becoming a billionaire, do you imagine yourself keeping all the money in a bank and living a peaceful little life in a happy little apartment? No. You would think about spending money like there’s no tomorrow. Living in luxury bungalows, drinking expensive champagne, wearing designer clothes, going around in nothing less than limousine. Well, when you are a billionaire and you spend your money like a billionaire, your billions won’t last that long. Your life would come with maintenance charges that would make sure that you are always worried about the money that you lose every day.
3. Trust issues
When you are a billionaire, you have so many people around you who want to be like you. They would leave no opportunity to tell you how much they adore you and how much you mean to them. But, when too many people behave the same way with you, you start getting doubts whether they like you for you or whether they like you for your money. And when you ultimately find out that they like you for your money, it isn’t hard to be disappointed. So, you come to the same position as that of the billionaire protagonist of the film The Mermaid (2016) who keeps dancing to the tune of a song ‘Being invincible is so lonely’ and keeps on living a life where he doesn’t trust anybody, but, unlike the protagonist you don’t find the mermaid that changes your life.
4. People asking for money
Do you get annoyed when you come across an insurance salesman who persistently tries to sell his policies to you? Who doesn’t? But there are some people who are never bothered about insurance salesmen. Do you know who they are? They are the poor. Since they don’t have any money, no one bothers to take it out of them.
Now imagine if things are so for you (who we safely assume isn’t even a millionaire) then imagine how difficult the situation would be for the billionaires? Every single day you would come across tons of people trying to sell you something. And it won’t just stop at plain policies, there would be people selling you everything from property and business plans to vehicles and holiday packages. It would happen so much and so often that you would ultimately get tired of it and would simply want everyone to simply leave you alone.
5. Strained family relations
Unless everyone in your family is of a saintly attitude, you can’t help your family relations from becoming strained. If you have any children, they would keep on worrying about who gets your money. In case you have your wife and the two of you don’t get along that well, you are forced to behave as pleasantly as you can as you would always be afraid that ‘What if she asks for a divorce?’, because if she asks for divorce you might have to pay hundreds of millions of dollars as alimony. Not to mention the ugly court cases.
6. Unwanted fame
Being a billionaire is one thing and being popular is another, but since there are so few billionaires on this planet, you can be assured that you would be popular when you are billionaire. Although there’s no dearth of people who are ready to jump off a roof just to become famous for 30 seconds, but fame also has a negative side to it. You can’t go out in public places. People start rushing towards you and start screaming hysterically whenever they see you. For a day or two, it’s fine, but when this happens every single day of your life, you are bound to get bored and annoyed.
7. Too much work
Even if you employ managers to manage your money; managing all that money isn’t all that easy. Plus, you have to keep earning more so that at least you are able to maintain your current lifestyle. That’s too much of work. And even when you are not working, that’s too much of worry. If you are a millionaire, the lives of thousands of people revolve around you, they depend upon you. So, taking a day off or having a day when you are really not working might not be a choice for you, especially when you have the latest smartphone (It’s such a pity we don’t live in early 20th Century when there weren’t any phones).
8. Fear of losing it all
You might be one of those who treat money like trash, and don’t mind even if you lose all the billions that you have, but still you would be afraid of losing it because of people around you. The billionaires who fail to maintain their fortune become the laughing stock of the entire world. People look at you as they would at their child who didn’t turn out to be a worthy one, or they might just look at you with a deriding smile feeling a satanic pleasure in your downfall. Therefore, if not for yourself, but for the sake of people around you, you would be afraid of losing it all. And the worst part is, when your downfall comes, even your best of efforts might not be able to save you.
Final Words: Billionaires are humans too
We have nothing against billionaires, but we must admit that they are humans too, just like the rest of us. In fact, in the modern world there isn’t that much of a difference in the lifestyle of the filthy rich and the common middle-class people as it was in former times. Just as Bill Gates once famously exclaimed, “A hamburger is still a hamburger, millions in your pocket or not.” The best of phones in the market aren’t just for billionaires, they are for everybody. The same goes with the food find at KFC or MacDonald. Coca-Cola would taste the same to both of you. There are a lot of things that are different though, but happiness isn’t one of them. For most of us, happiness is a personal choice, and it has nothing to do with having too much of money.