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:
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:
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.