You have finished the race. You have entered the top two percent of Americans. You are no longer in bondage to the lenders and you are free. It is time to stand in the winner's circle and receive your rewards. Of course, having money will not give you a trouble-free life. After providing for your security, the rest should be used and best uses are to have Fun, to Invest, and to Give.
Boys and Their Toys
Now that you have learned to save up and buy things cash, you have no payments, and your retirement is set - it's time to have some fun. If you have the cash to go buy that motorcycle you've always wanted without it impacting your living expenses, go do it. Always wanted to be a chef in your own outdoor kitchen? Then build it. Never been on a seven-day cruise? Take one. They're a great experience.
Most people buy these things when they can't afford to. Because you were willing to do what was hard, you can now do all those things because you CAN afford to. Have fun.
Keep on Winning
When your money makes more than you do, you are officially wealthy. That means when you can live off your interest, you are financially secure. And when you start watching retirement funds grow, the grown-up inside you will find you like investing money and watching it grow because that is part of what makes you wealthy.
The important thing is to remember not to panic in the normal ups and downs of the market. I can't believe the number of people that cashed out their retirement funds when the market took a steep dive. They lost fortunes. If they would have just been patient, the market always goes back up. Buying high and selling low is not a formula for getting wealthy.
Along the road to your wealth, you should have picked up a few members to your financial team. A good estate-planner, an investment pro, a tax expert, an insurance pro, and a good realtor are a few you should consider. When selecting members of your team, make sure they have the heart of a teacher, not a salesman or 'expert'. The salesman is usually just chasing a commission. The 'expert' usually just enjoys hearing himself talk, and his opinion is more important that what is right for you.
Never just give your money to someone to manage for you. There are many celebrities and pro-athletes who gave their money to others to manage and ended up losing their fortunes. They ended up with nothing to show for all their prime years of earning millions. Know and understand what your team is doing.
The Biggest Reward
Possibly the most fun you will have with money is the ability to give it away. You can only travel, or eat in fancy restaurants, or buy so many toys before you get tired of it. But I don't think you can ever get tired of the joy of being able to help others.
Money gives you the power to do good intentions. Margaret Thatcher said, "No one would have remembered the Samaritan if he hadn't had money." In James 1:27, the Bible says that pure religion is actually helping the poor, not discussing why they are poor.
Once they get wealth, some people are afraid to give it up. They start to worship wealth. It's an easy temptation. One of basic tenants of Christianity is that the LOVE of money (not money) is the root of all evil. King David, Solomon, Job, and most of our Founding Fathers were wealthy. But they were masters of their money, not its slave.
So use your money to make this a better world. Give freely, without thought of any return, and more will be given to you in ways you can't even imagine.