Yesterday I spoke to a client who sounded very different from a year ago. She no longer has the sense of optimism and joy about her recent retirement. She, like other high net worth individuals who lost a significant percentage of their wealth, are feeling insecure. In a recent national survey, high net-worth consumers were much more concerned about their sense of security than their quality of lifestyle.
This makes sense as there is a hierarchy of needs that we all relate to in life with our need for security at the very base and foundation of other higher needs. Unless that security need is fulfilled, human beings are not interested in seeking to fulfill higher needs such as achievement or self-actualization.
Once our security needs are fulfilled, we can then focus our energies in fulfilling our other needs with a sense of optimism and confidence. Meanwhile, most consumers are playing it safe and doing whatever they can do to feel more secure--even the wealthy.
Everyone is looking for some reassurance that they'll be OK--financially and emotionally. The important point is for all of us to get in touch with our individual financial situations and definitions of security and then be deliberate in achieving and maintaining it. Only then will we be able focus and realize higher needs, take some risks and venture beyond our comfort zone.