31-year-old self-made millionaire: The No. 1 downside to being rich that no one thinks about

Ruth Umoh

Acquiring vast amounts of wealth is seen as the ultimate prize for many. But that's not the case for self-made millionaire Timothy Kim. In fact, Kim says he lacked a sense of purpose once he achieved his financial goal, which then led to boredom.

Kim, 31, immigrated to the U.S. during his late teens with just $500 in his pocket, he says. Last year, he became a millionaire after making successful investments in the stock market starting at age 19. Kim now runs a personal finance blog called TubofCash.com where he hosts cash giveaways and was featured by Business Insider in November.

"People tend to think that they want this kind of lifestyle where they're on vacation for the rest of their life and I actually disagree," he tells CNBC Make It . "I'm in this situation and I'm getting bored."

Most people "romanticize" this idea of becoming rich and spending their days lazing around because they hate their nine-to-five jobs, says the millionaire. "They're so exhausted...and they're so in the rat race that they have no time to even decompress."

Kim likens the current corporate work-style to that of a robot: Employees wake up early, trudge to the office, perform an unfulfilling job, go home and start the process again. Yet most can't quit their jobs to pursue their true passion, he says, because they're bogged down with student debt, high mortgages and car payments.

"They're basically drowning from unhappiness due to a lack of autonomy," explains Kim, which makes them fantasize becoming rich and retiring.


However, those who prioritize accumulating wealth are left thinking "now what?" once they hit their goal, says the millionaire. "If someone gives you $100 million and you don't have to work anymore, you're going to quickly find out that life feels a little meaningless and you have this hole."

Kim notes that this is simply human nature. "Most people want to add value to society," he says. "They want to feel productive. They want to use their brain."

Though it may sound relaxing, Kim doesn't believe that people truly want to sit on a couch watching Netflix for 15 hours a day for the next 60 years or sipping martinis on the beach all day long.

"[People] think that they want that because they have so little downtime," he says. "But it gets boring super quick."

Additionally, more money does not result in higher levels of happiness or a stress-free life. A recent study of 4,000 millionaires from Harvard Business School found that only millionaires earning between $8 million to $10 million, experience higher levels of happiness than millionaires with lower levels of wealth. Even then, reports the study, a larger fortune is only associated with "modestly greater well-being."

Another study, by career platform LinkedIn, found that people who report making a higher income tend to face higher levels of stress at work and don't necessarily experience higher job satisfaction.

Rather than making wealth the end goal, Kim says you should focus on finding purposeful work that aligns with your passion. "I think every person with a nine-to-five job absolutely needs to try some form of experimentation whether it's blogging or creating an Amazon store," he advises. "Take some time to decompress and realize [you] really need an exit strategy."

The millionaire uses himself as an example. To avoid boredom Kim says that he runs his blog, doles out financial advice, attends mentorship sessions to expand his knowledge and collaborates with churches on philanthropic endeavors.

"Human beings inherently want to do something more," he explains. "You want to use your mental capacity." For those who disagree, and still see affluence as the ultimate achievement, Kim challenges you to go on vacation for three months without doing any work. "Most people would go nuts," he says.

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