If your parents are really rich and are willing to pay for your lavish lifestyle, would you still work?

Some people have rich parents with money to pay for their next few generations of children and grandchildren's upper-class lifestyles. But, if you had parents who would buy anything you wanted and supported all your desired living expenses. Would you still work at a job?

How important is keeping a strong work ethic when you don't need the money? How important is a career when you don't need the money?

 
Best Response

I grew up lower-middle-class and am glad that it molded my worth ethic positively. I've had a job since I was 15 where I started at a pizza kitchen. I had to literally endure the heat of that place so much that it eventually sent me to the hospital. I think it gives me an edge over those who are pampered. It also makes the victories I have feel a lot better.

So, if I could re-do things over and have my parents buy everything for me, it would provide me with a safety net that wouldn't force me to hustle. Since I love the hustle (cliche, but true) it wouldn't benefit me in the long run and life would be boring. It's the same principle for those who make it to the top and become depressed.

To answer your question, if my parents won the lottery today, I would still get a job. I want to grow as a person and learn. Part of that is being faced with challenges that are thrown at you when you least expect it. That's very hard to replicate on your own.

 

Yes I would still work, or find some way to make more money with that money.

Literally anyone can sit on their ass and spend money. Anyone can swoop around in their S class Mercedes and drop thousands of dollars each year on restaurants and dumb shit, and "live it up."

My ultimate fear with adopting that lifestyle would be that my life would essentially be meaningless, and I would have accomplished jack shit except for funneling money into other people's bank accounts. There are so many ways you can use that wealth to your advantage, so why not try out something really fucking cool. Move to New York and start a small media company like Casey Neistat. Buy up some real estate and make a lifestyle around that. Start a research firm and spend your days being an autist in front of computers studying something really interesting. Or as most people on wso might do: spare no expense on education and networking to build a path to your dream career.

Many people have done great things in life without the benefit of coming from wealth. I don't want my ultimate accomplishment in life to be: having rich parents.

 

You talking multimillionaire/ billionaire? I’d still learn finance to know how to make your money work for you and make sure you aren’t taken advantage of by others. I’d also do VC, RE, and some PE. I would be like Dan blizarean and perhaps the even buy a modeling agency ya know for..

26 Broadway where's your sense of humor?
 

I would absolutely still work. However, the type of work would be radically different. With billionaire parents, I think some type of NGO focused on education in impoverished areas or social impact investing may be what I focus on. Humans require lifelong learning, challenges, and striving to provide meaning to life. The rockier the road, the more satisfying the destination.

I have friends of friends who grew up in HK in families that are generationally wealthy. The lack of drive shown by some of them is extremely offputting. I’m talking dropping out of college, living at home forever, and with zero desire to do anything on their own. And the funny thing is none of them are happy. They can jump on a first class flight to anywhere in the world or hop on their yacht at a moment’s notice yet many of them are bored out of their minds. Their parents or grandparents feel fulfilled having built this life for their children, but the younger generation lack anything to strive for.

 
kuf135:
They can jump on a first class flight to anywhere in the world or hop on their yacht at a moment’s notice yet many of them are bored out of their minds. Their parents or grandparents feel fulfilled having built this life for their children, but the younger generation lack anything to strive for.

The bored part rings so true. I took a month off in between jobs once, and the first week was amazing, but after that it became almost unbearable. Not having structure in your daily life is awful (especially when everyone you know is working all day and exhausted afterwards). And beyond that, even if life is one giant party, it gets kind of old - at that point, it's your job to "live it up" and that sucks all the fun out of it. Going out on a Saturday night, or doing awesome shit on a vacation, is amazing and fun in large part because it isn't routine.

Short answer to the long question, is I'd do something that was less intense than my current job but still "work". Focus on getting a degree/being published in an academic field of my choice, or teach, or start a non-profit and actually put some work into running it. Being able to set your own schedule is an amazing luxury.

 
Ozymandia:
The bored part rings so true. I took a month off in between jobs once, and the first week was amazing, but after that it became almost unbearable. Not having structure in your daily life is awful (especially when everyone you know is working all day and exhausted afterwards).

Not to fully derail the thread, but boy does this hit close to home, and ties into a previous thread about retirement. Boredom is a prison, and for those who are not content with boredom, it's a terrifying state of being, regardless of age.

During my 2nd year of b-school, I had a six-week winter break, and it damn near killed me. It was catastrophically boring. And nobody shares your perspective - "oh, you have too much time off, poor baby."

Time off and vacations and leisure are the dessert of life. They're wonderful and to be enjoyed in the right quantities, in proportion to the "real meal." You can't just eat dessert, unless you want to feel like garbage.

"Son, life is hard. But it's harder if you're stupid." - my dad
 

My family net worth is around USD 100MM. But never feel that I was a part of the rich family. We live like the typical family who made around USD 80,000 per year. College was also 50% funded by my scholarship. I paid for my own expense and lived in a basement trying to make it in New York (when I first got out of college).

For the last 10 years, I have been working in finance, mostly investment banking. I am in my early 30s, now my goal is to prove to my family that I can be MD of a regional bank in Southeast Asia (i.e. SCB, CIMB, UOB). My parents made it very clear early in life that they won't let me die but I am all on my own.

If I just stop working today, I could coast by a decent living standard until I die. But I am still putting in 60-80 hours per week working at an investment bank.

 

Bankers truly are a special kind of people. The fact that so many of you associate work with purpose and meaning would be hilarious if it weren't so pathetic. If you would truly choose to work for someone else in the absence of any financial need, you have been completely brainwashed by industrial society. Why do you consider it virtuous to toil away over PP slides for some egotistical jackass MD? To work on Saturdays? To spend hundreds of hours on deals that will ultimately never be realized? If you derive meaning or pleasure from work just for the sake of it, notwithstanding the actual significance of the outcome, you are deluded.

And to those of you saying you nearly lost your mind from boredom when you had more than a week away from work, I pity you, truly. To be such a boring person that you cannot find anything fulfilling to do apart from work for at least 3-4 months is one of the saddest things I can imagine. It would take me years to grow bored with many of the hobbies I have outside of work, if I ever did. Writing, playing music, working out, photography, traveling, etc. would all occupy my time in the absence of work. If I ever found myself yearning for pointless meetings, bad coffee, circling back, HR trainings, synergy, or pr*ck bosses, I would promptly check myself into a mental institution.

But don't ever change - capitalism needs folks like you.

 

when I say meaning I do not exclusively mean that work itself is what gives my life meaning, it's the character I become and growing as a person that gives me meaning. I enjoy music and traveling just as much as anyone but how is living a life where all you do is chase short term happiness like writing, playing music, working out, etc going to help you grow as a person. How will you learn to care for other people, how will you learn to be productive in society, how will you learn to raise a kid and start a family if you've never lived a life where you had to sacrifice anything. And on top of that how would you ever build real relationships, what type of person will you have stuff in common with if all you do is "play". People bond and grow from hardships, I just don't see how you would be able to do that. That's just my opinion, I'm not trying to attack you.

I do agree maybe IB or finance in general wouldn't be the work of choice if money wasn't a concern, maybe creating some sort of charity, or going into some industry I am truly passionate about that still benefits society. Work in some factor would still be present though if I had parents money, my life wouldn't all be play

 
dsch:
The fact that so many of you associate work with purpose and meaning would be hilarious if it weren't so pathetic.

That's nice. You sound fun.

dsch:
And to those of you saying you nearly lost your mind from boredom when you had more than a week away from work, I pity you, truly. To be such a boring person that you cannot find anything fulfilling to do apart from work for at least 3-4 months is one of the saddest things I can imagine. It would take me years to grow bored with many of the hobbies I have outside of work, if I ever did. Writing, playing music, working out, photography, traveling, etc. would all occupy my time in the absence of work. If I ever found myself yearning for pointless meetings, bad coffee, circling back, HR trainings, synergy, or pr*ck bosses, I would promptly check myself into a mental institution.

But don't ever change - capitalism needs folks like you.

I think you've cut to the core of it, albeit dripping with a solid dose of superiority and derision for the choices of others that I could do without.

I don't think the lot of us are as crushingly stupid as you make us out to be. It's not that I have literally no idea what to do with my time outside an office, and I long to be directed by others so that I can create motion with my hands instead of staring at my blinds. I'm an adult, I can fill a day.

But the difference is that you find fulfillment from those "hobbies" and day-fillers, and I don't. I'm really happy for you that the personal pleasure you get out of experiencing life is enough to sustain you. Problem is, it's not enough for me. I get a lot of satisfaction from building things in long-term projects that I can sit back and say were good things to have built - a good product, a good service, a better business model, anything that after I leave it will continue to be valuable to some group of people. I can't think of a more satisfying career than leaving a trail of useful tools and institutions behind.

I can't stand busy work, or pushing paper. I don't get anything out of it. Luckily, I've gotten to the point in my career that the banality is minimized, and I can actually spend my days on things that I enjoy. Back to the original point, when I can't do that, I feel an emptiness that can't be filled with hobbies. A guy can only golf so much.

It sounds like you haven't had that experience - your comments about "work" (pointless meetings, bad coffee, circling back...) sound pretty terrible, and match the work experiences of people I see who are perpetual service providers (risk, accounting, tax, etc. - who I would argue are the true capitalist proletariat). Maybe you'd feel differently if you had experienced fulfilling work, maybe not. But assuming that everyone else is a bunch of hilarious morons because you don't have the perspective or capacity to understand what they find fulfilling is reflective of your shortcomings, not theirs.

"Son, life is hard. But it's harder if you're stupid." - my dad
 
TheBestMan:
Some people have rich parents with money to pay for their next few generations of children and grandchildren's upper-class lifestyles. But, if you had parents who would buy anything you wanted and supported all your desired living expenses. Would you still work at a job?

How important is keeping a strong work ethic when you don't need the money? How important is a career when you don't need the money?

To me this has less to do with the individual and much more to do with parenting. Rich kids that were spoiled, never taught the value of hard work or altruism tend to end up being lazy assholes. I knew a bunch when I was in NYC. I’m sure there are exceptions, but the kids of the super rich seem to be binary - complete wastes or super competitive. I would bet that parenting styles and parental engagement (or lack there of) is primarily responsible.

I know kids from families, whose names would be instantly recognizable on this forum, and every one of the kids went to a top school and opted into banking, corporate law, advertising, or some other soul crushing 90 hour a week job. I was always blown away by that. Their early careers were no different than most on this forum, but a clear divergence occurs later. Their families use IB, etc. to train the next generation and then hand them the proverbial keys.

For example, a good friend’s family started a major media company, and they honestly have a private lake at their multi-building Hamptons estate that also is beach front. It’s insane. The son was top of his class at GS, went to a mega fund for PE and then Stanford for his MBA. After he did the ever popular search fund route, but here’s the thing, he didn’t have to raise a fund...he had access to unlimited family money to acquire a good sized business. His board of advisors was also insane. He bought a company and flipped it after 5 years and is now in the C-suite at the acquirer, which is a Fortune 500 company. The connections and access to capital part of being super rich would be great if you want to work hard.

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