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Authentic happiness and your money background image

Authentic happiness and your money

Authentic happiness and your money icon

Most of us don’t measure our success in life by how much money we manage to accumulate.  We realise pretty early on that there’s more to life than money.

But when you ask Australians what success looks like for their super, the financials matter most.

Show me the money

According to research consultancy MYMAVINS, the most important thing to super fund members when it comes to their account is strong investment performance, followed by low fees.  The next most important attribute of super is to be easy to understand. In fourth place is responsible investments.

It’s pretty clear what a super fund’s job is for most people; to maximise returns.  In fact, three in four superannuation members believe that the government should not be using Australians money in super to solve social issues.

Living our values

But financial decisions are complex, and it’s not as simple as that.  The MYMAVINS study also found that four in five super fund members agree that how their super is invested is just as important as the returns.

That makes sense because life is better when we live according to our values.  Money is an important enabler, and how we spend it and invest it matters to us. 

If we live according to our values, we are happier and more resilient. According to psychologist Martin Seligman, genuine happiness and life satisfaction arise through the development of character.  Character is built step-by-step with behaviour that aligns with virtues that include wisdom, courage, love and justice.  

Psychology’s blind spot 

Over a century ago, Sigmund Freud proposed that human beings are motivated by a drive towards pleasure and sex. Some years later Alfred Adler wrote that we are driven toward power.

But according to Viktor Frankl that’s an oversimplification.  Our search for meaning is at least as strong a force as pleasure and power.

Meaning is personal, not universal

Authentic happiness comes from living our values, not someone else’s. Character and meaning develop over time and they’re personal to the individual. 

A sense of purpose can be influenced by others, but it can’t be forced on you by someone else. 

That’s where the mega super funds get it wrong.  Investing in abstract social causes doesn’t serve the members.  Investing in causes consistent with clearly defined and articulated themes, does.

At When Financial Solutions we understand that strong performance matters, and that high fees are a drag performance.  But we also understand that there’s a lot more to life than money. 

We can help you find a super fund that aligns with your values and encourage you to experience authentic happiness in retirement. It’s not a matter of ‘if’ but ‘when’.


This article is general and does not consider your personal circumstances so it may not be appropriate to you.  If you would like advice specific to you, please give us a call.













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