I think the recession has definitely helped a lot of people scale back (both by force but also because they recognize how much they don’t need). I know this because I was one of those people!

A few years ago, I owned three rental properties that I had intended on keeping as long-term investments. I lost all three of them in 2007 with the sub-prime mortgage crisis and ended up filing for bankruptcy. That event really helped me reevaluate material possessions, their usefulness, and the practicality of owning lots of material stuff as an assurance for long-term wealth. I realized that our own brains and life experiences are the best long-term wealth!