Last year, I gave a talk to a group of folks about downsizing when an audience member asked me, “What is your best ‘Antique Road Show’ story?”
In other words, he wanted me to tell him when a client and I discovered the family’s jewels or the lost Monet after decluttering.
I took a deep breath and responded, “‘Antique Road Show’ makes my job hard. Everyone thinks their stuff is worth so much money. What the popular PBS program does not show you is the hundreds of other people they have talked to whose possessions were worth $0.00.”
Everyone wants to believe the things in their homes are worth millions. I am here to tell you they are not. Not even close.
A used couch, no matter how much you spent on it, is worth nothing. Would you want to spend a lot of money on a used couch? No.
Even if you have legitimate antiques, they are not selling very well these days because the young people don’t want “brown furniture.”
Your silver and your china are not worth what you think they are worth. And your kids don’t want them.
I recently read “The Millionaire Next Door,” an old book, but so relevant to my business. In it, the authors say America has invested way too much in stuff and too little in retirement funds.
The authors interviewed folks who were able to save up millions for retirement, even though they made modest salaries. The authors’ conclusion was the “millionaires next door” had a few things in common:
They did not buy a lot of stuff.
They did not drive expensive cars.
They did not wear expensive watches.
They lived below their means.
And they took all that money that they were not using to buy stuff, and invested it.
I see this every day in my line of work. People are spending way too much money on stuff, and they are expecting to get that same money when they go to sell it.
Unless you have a Monet, your stuff is worth pennies on the dollar — if that.So I invite you to stop buying stuff and, instead, invest it.
And, two, maybe it’s time to figure out what you are trying to fill up inside of you by buying so much stuff.