Emilia Echolis is the pseudonym for a writer who holds a very controversial financial plan for her future: She plans to marry "rich." And by "rich" she means a man who makes at least $300K a year and has at least $1,000,000 in investments. It's no small task, but she is determined. And she has some time. Did I mention Echolis is only 23?
Hmmm ... I think only a 23-year-old could have written this. Sure, I admire her brazen honesty and there is some truth to some of what she says. Money DOES make a huge difference in terms of comfort and overall happiness. No, you can't "buy happiness," but being poor is a pretty surefire way to be unhappy.
On the other hand, this was clearly written by someone who has a lot to learn about the world. According to Echolis:
You see, “marrying rich” isn’t about draping myself in diamonds and paying for superfluous cosmetic surgeries. It’s about being able to protect myself and my family from whatever expenses the world may throw at us: medical issues, legal problems, retirement. And in doing that, I will still be able to live in comfort, to give my children every advantage, and to seize opportunities like travel, investments, and tickets to The Book of Mormon, but without incurring debt or sacrificing the basics in favor of the luxurious.
These are all good points. But let's also recall that one doesn't need to be "rich" to do those things. Just comfortable. Now, I would be lying if I said these things didn't occur to me in my marriage. And certainly my husband's earning potential crossed my mind. It should, after all. But more than that, what appealed to me was his passion. He was pursuing his PhD in something he loved, and his drive and work ethic were part of what made him appeal to me.
I would have felt the same even if he had been in a less lucrative career or one in which he made even more than he does. It was the passion that did it for me. And yes, money often follows that, but not always.
This seems to be a common theme among women in their early 20s who are looking for mates. They have an idea of this perfect person with very specific pieces (like number of zeroes in his bank account!). As they age, one hopes they start to recognize that those things aren't nearly as important as more general qualities -- kindness, intelligence, and yes, passion.
At 35, my guess is Echolis will be changing her tune significantly. At 40, if she keeps it up, my guess is she will be alone. Wanting to marry for money isn't so horrible. But refusing to bend on the specifics guarantees a life of poverty either financially or emotionally.
Good luck to her. She will need it.
Do you think Echolis is right?
Image via AMagill/Flickr