Weekend Reading: Absolutely Fine

This article appears as part of Casey Weade's Weekend Reading for Retirees series. Every Friday, Casey highlights four hand-picked articles on trending retirement topics and delivers them straight to your email inbox. Get on the list here.
Weekend reading comparison and happiness Weekend reading comparison and happiness
Weekend Reading

Comparison is the thief of joy, and as you grow older, continually doing so in various facets of your life can lead you to lose sight of what matters most.


Often, you might measure yourself against four benchmarks:

📌 Relative to your peers: Comparing yourself to others can lead to contempt or jealousy, causing you to ignore the sacrifices that contributed to their success or failures.

📌 Relative to friends, family and neighbors: The age-old trap of "keeping up with the Joneses" can cause excessive spending and hinder wealth accumulation. It also discourages you from trying activities you might enjoy, but aren't good at.

📌 Relative to market indexes: Comparing your investment performance to market indexes may lead you to take bigger risks and ignore your financial goals.

📌 Relative to your past achievements: Dwelling on past successes can lead to dissatisfaction and constantly chasing fleeting happiness.

When you focus on absolutes instead of relative comparisons, you gain more clarity on how to live your most authentic, purposeful life. Set intentional milestones for yourself, but avoid moving the goalposts later due to external pressures.