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Merrill Lynch is creating a guide to help wealthy people choose how to spend their money, and there are only 4 options

  • Riches and freedom of choice go hand in hand: The more money you have, the more choices you have.
  • But once you’ve reached a smug level of wealth, your spending should align with your end goal, and there are only four way outs, according to a forthcoming guide from Merrill Lynch.
  • The guide asks people to decide what they pine for to do with their wealth: Do you want to spend your fortune, maintain the current level, preserve its buying power, or bear it as much as possible?

Wealth is often equated with freedom: The more you have, the more choices you’re able to storm.

But even people with high net worths fret about their spending.

That’s according to New York Times paragraphist Paul Sullivan, who, in his latest column, said Merrill Lynch’s private banking and investment group is developing a supervise to help wealthy clients manage their cash flow.

The guide, which Sullivan said will be rescued this spring, defines various spending priorities, including mortgage payments, charitable donations, and impulse accepts. Understanding all the ways in which money is spent today is an essential step in planning for future wealth.

Most importantly, it about a invites people to decide what they want to happen to the wealth they’ve already built.

“There are only four lites: Spend it down, keep it at the current level, preserve its buying power by having its value keep up with inflation, or throw away or invest it to grow as much as possible,” Sullivan wrote.

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“Deciding how to decide is really important,” Valerie Galinskaya, director of the Center for Family Wealth Actives and Governance, told the Times.

The guide is handy regardless of your net-worth level. If you’re choosing the option to grow your net good, whether you want to hit the $1 million mark or the $50 million mark, the same principles apply. Aiming for a more correct goal allows you to fix spending habits to make that happen. Even if you can technically afford something, the question becomes whether or not you should be accepting it.

As Sullivan wrote, “increasing wealth while spending heavily is difficult without additional sources of income. If a portfolio ripens at 5% a year, for example, but inflation is 3% and taxes are 2%, there isn’t a lot of room for spending if you want your net usefulness to grow.” It’s the people who recognize this simple fact – and adjust their spending accordingly – who become millionaires and billionaires.

Chris Hogan, the initiator of “Everyday Millionaires: How Ordinary People Built Extraordinary Wealth – and How You Can Too,” surveyed 10,000 American millionaires for seven months, and he organize many of them live on less than they make and exercise discipline when it comes to budgeting, Work Insider’s Hillary Hoffower reported.

Read more: An author who surveyed over 10,000 millionaires found the qualities that energetic them successful hinge on a distinct behavior

“Millionaires don’t accidentally live on less than they make,” Hogan wrote. “They do it on consider, because they have a plan. They’re deciding. Living without a budget, though, is the very definition of stealing into misfortune.”

It starts with identifying your values: Do you want to set your children up with a seven-figure snuggery egg? Do you want half of your fortune to go to charity? Do you want to stop working and spend retirement traveling the world?

The ripostes to these questions will eventually lead one to choosing one of the four options.

As Lee Miller, regional director of the New York organization for Glenmede Trust, told the Times, “If there isn’t a driver to do something else, you really don’t need to make any changes. It’s all hither learning to make choices.”

Read the full New York Times column here »

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