Pursuit of Happiness

Mike Drak, 12:58 am ET

NOW THAT I’M RETIRED, I use two metrics whenever I’m faced with opportunities that require an investment of time or money.

First, there’s ROTI, or return on time invested. I use this metric to determine if something is worth my time. I want to invest the bulk of my time in things that’ll make me happy. Some examples of high-return time investments are:

  • Seeing family and friends
  • Going on new adventures
  • Making new friends
  • Starting a business
  • Learning something new
  • Going fishing

Recently, I had to decide whether to go back to school to finish that degree I never completed or train for Ironman Cozumel, which would help ensure I got my health back. They both required a lot of time, but the payback on the latter was much higher in terms of happiness.

Next up: ROMI, or return on money invested. Similar to ROTI, it all comes down to where I can get the highest happiness in return for the money invested. Some examples of high-return money investments are:

  • Going to a concert
  • Buying a good book
  • Going on an adventure
  • Buying a new fishing rod

Yes, there is—unsurprisingly—overlap between my ROTI and ROMI lists.

A recent use of ROMI: My wife wanted us to purchase an expensive couch for the living room—a place we rarely spend any time. I tried to convince her it would be far better to invest the money in a trip to Hawaii, something I promised her when we were married. It was easy for me to see which investment would make me happier. I’m still not sure my wife feels the same way.

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Rick Connor
Rick Connor
1 month ago

Great article Mike. I love the dual concept of time and money. We need to learn to not underspend on something we need or want. and end up with something we are unhappy with. We bought new , inexpensive furniture for our beach house. When we only spent weekends there it was OK, but not comfortable. When we moved here full-time it was obvious we needed a significant upgrade. Luckily we were able to recover some of the initial cost by selling the older furniture. Buying cheap, low quality goods rarely satisfies.

Hawaii is beautiful, but don’t get tricked into a timeshare like I did.

Mike Drak
Mike Drak
1 month ago
Reply to  Rick Connor

Thank you Rick and you made a good point. Like you I learned buy good quality or don’t buy at all. No worries about buying a time share in Hawaii, I made that mistake many years ago in Cozumel Mexico. Live and learn!

R Quinn
R Quinn
1 month ago

Okay, was it Hawaii or couch? The solution is easy, you invest for the long and short term, you do both. You invest in the intangible and tangible to relieve stress.

And, depending on how long you have been married, I bet you know the answer. I’ve been married almost 53 years and not only do I know the answer to any question I ask my wife before I ask it. I know and she knows what each of us are thinking or going to suggest before it’s said.

Our best investment is in each other and a combined ROI.

Mike Drak
Mike Drak
1 month ago
Reply to  R Quinn

I like how you put that Mr Quinn “our bet investment is in each other and a combined ROI” or maybe we should consider changing it to ROL – return on life.

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