How important is money? Rephrased.

I William Wiser (
Wed, 25 Jun 1997 10:55:24 -0700

I will rephrase my questions since the answers I am getting
are more abstract than I had in mind.

If you could make 100K per year at a job of your choosing
(MI, aging, writing, whatever) or double that income every
six months (200k, 400k, 800k, etc.) selling cars 10 hours
per day, which would you pick? If you picked the car job
at what point would you stop or cut back on your hours?

I don't mean this to be an abstract question I am curious
about people's strategies regarding the place of money
in their longevity plans. At some point the cost of
acquiring dollars exceeds their value.

Every now and then someone waves a job in my face that pays
large amounts of money and takes a lot of time. I keep saying
no, because I think my time is more important and that I
can make money at something that also has a lot of other
fringe benefits related to living longer. I'm just
doing a reality check here by asking other people's outlooks.
Obviously these are individual decisions but I might learn
something from other people's experiences with money and

Work in the field of life extension is clearly valuable
and I am much better suited for it than other sorts of
work but it is quicker and simpler to make money in
more mundane ways. Given my values and logic this does
not make any sense but the market does not have my values
and does not seem as rational.

I am looking at is the value of dollars in hand verses
the value of time to do other things. I have thought
enough about this to realize that for me it graphs as
a exponential curve with plateaus at various places.

There is little I can think of that benefits my day to day
life which cost more than about 150K per year. Sure more
would be nice but not compared to the hours it takes to
get it. The relatively expensive things I can think of to
do are no more interesting than the relatively inexpensive
ones so until I change my brain I can have all the fun and
learning and skill development I have time for without a
lot of money.

Beyond personal spending I can think of many things I can do
with money but I am less clear how much it cost to get a
given benefit that would be meaningful to me. I don't know
a lot about who I might hire to do what work that would help
my longevity more than my own efforts could.

Of course there isn't a limit to how much money is enough
if you are talking about free money but there are tradeoffs
between making money and doing other things with your
time. Not everything can be bought with money some things
take direct effort (physical fitness, health, knowledge).
I don't know that Einstein could have hired someone to figure
out relativity or that Ralph Merkle would be better off as
the CEO of Coca-Cola.

I can assign a dollar value to almost anything but that does
not mean that all of the value I receive is in dollars or
can be bought for dollars. I have had more money in the
past but I have never been better off, there are other things
in life.