Randy Spelling, life coach: ‘happiness has nothing to do with money’


Randy Spelling, son of prolific producer Aaron Spelling, is choosing a life of obscurity. Randy tried his hand in Hollywood but after spiraling into addiction he went to rehab in 2006. He gained a new lease on life. Randy said in an interview with Page Six that when he left rehab he realized that if he stayed in Hollywood he would be dead. Randy also said that he had put so much pressure on himself to match his father’s legacy that he didn’t know what he wanted to do with his own life until a friend suggested he become a life coach. Whereas his sister, Tori, has been battling to stay relevant while racking up debts that she can’t pay, Randy seems to be satisfied with living a normal life in Oregon. Below are a few excerpts from Page Six:

So why did the son of one of the biggest names in Hollywood turn his back on Tinseltown? It all started in rehab following his father’s death in 2006.

“I was just trying to fill myself in any way I could and started filling myself with the wrong things and got caught up in addiction,” he explained. “So I went to rehab and after I thought, ‘Gosh, I have this second chance, who do I want to be? What makes me happy? What am I here for?’ And all these existential questions that I really set out on a path to answer.”

A friend suggested life coaching and Randy was intrigued.

“It was just, ‘Hey this sounds really interesting,’ so I did it and it was suggested I work with people and I started doing that and I realized, ‘I think I’m good at it,’ and it just propelled me to do more,” he said.

That decision has led to a 13-year career in the field working with clients from all walks of life.

“I’ve been on both sides of the coin from having everything to being very concerned, ‘How I am going to make this happen for my family?’ and I can tell you happiness doesn’t come from money,” he continued. “It can bring less stress and afford more choice but I work with people who have very little and CEOs and I can tell you happiness has nothing to do with money.”

[From Page Six]

I understand Randy. Randy’s father Aaron cast a long shadow on his children and they struggled under it. I was floored to learn that Aaron left most of his money to his wife and only left his children $800k each. I think it was his way of forcing them to figure their lives out on their own. Although Randy took a hard tumble after his father’s death, I believe that he has gotten himself back on track and is content. I love that he became a life coach after leaving Hollywood. The fact that he became what he needed is not unironic. Unfortunately, I do not think Tori will grow out of her overspending, running up debt phase. It almost seems like Tori married a man who enables her delusional lifestyle.

What struck me the most about Randy was when he said he would be dead if he stayed in Hollywood. I makes me wonder how toxic the Hollywood environment is. We have seen several people go off the deep end after growing up in Hollywood and failing to adjust into adulthood or having toxic parents that take advantage of them. So I am glad that Randy is living a normal-ish life but I wonder if there is any resentment toward his father for not leaving them a fair share of the inheritance? My thing is, I think what Aaron did to his children was cruel. He raised them up in a very lavish lifestyle, didn’t teach them the value of money nor give them the skills they would need to survive. Then when he died, he made his kids take care of themselves. Like who does that? I’d be hella mad, honestly. I checked out Randy’s site and he doesn’t list his prices for consultation but I am sure it’ll cost a pretty penny. It looks like Randy has found his bliss in spite of his circumstances. And as Randy said, “Money can give you comfort and better choices but it can’t buy you happiness.” Amen to that.

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41 Responses to “Randy Spelling, life coach: ‘happiness has nothing to do with money’”

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  1. ItReallyIsYou,NotMe k8 says:

    I read that the research on money and happiness has consistently shown that there is sn increase in happiness between people who live in poverty or are financially stressed and people who have enough to be financially secure. But once you reach the point of financial security, the correlation between money and happiness decreases.

    • Northerngirl says:

      Interesting, thanks @ItReallyIsYou,NotMe k8 ! It makes sens.

    • sa says:

      I hadn’t seen research on it, but whenever I see statements about money not affecting happiness I always see an asterisk in my head adding ‘* assuming there is at least enough to meet needs and provide some discretionary spending.”

    • TrixC says:

      Yeah, it always bothers me a little when people who come from a privileged background say things like “money doesn’t buy happiness”. It’s true there is no automatic relationship between having a lot of money and being happy, and there are some people who have very little and still have happy lives. However, there’s also a pretty strong correlation between poverty and unhappiness, particularly in societies with great wealth inequality. In societies like the US there’s a pretty solid body of research linking poverty to raised levels of stress and anxiety and negative physical health outcomes like obesity, heart disease etc.

    • sally says:

      Yeah… I mean, I like that he specifies what he said and I hope that he means what ItReallyIsYou referenced, because that stress factor is a pretty big one. I have 99 problems rn and like 97 of them would be solved if I didn’t have to worry about money.

      • ItReallyIsYouNotMe says:

        @sally and whoever else this may help, Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University is life changing. They preach a debt snowball which is to save a $1000 emergency fund, then pay off your debt, then start saving for retirement and a down payment on a house. I listen to his radio show while I work out for the inspiration.

    • Moxylady says:

      Money can buy time. Money can buy freedoms from financial worries.
      It’s privileged and wrong to think money can’t cause peace of mind which in turn creates space for happiness and the ability to follow the things that make you happy.
      If I hear one more person say, Beyoncé has the same 24 hours you do…. I adore Beyoncé. But she buys time. She doesn’t meal plan or grocery shop. She doesn’t run her own errands or spend hours haggling with her insurance company. She doesn’t pack her own house to save money when she moves. She has people who she pays for their time to do those things for her and do them well. She’s fortunate and I am happy for her. But our 24 hours are not the same. Money can buy ease and peace and energy. Which to me translates to the ability to pursue your desires and your happiness.

      • lucky says:

        Agreed! My mom always said, “Money can’t BUY happiness, but it sure makes it easier!”

      • Eleonor says:

        THIS.
        And especially in 2020 we saw this.
        Here in lockdown France I am stil working from home, and I am glad I have a job, I can pay my bills and offer me something special, from time to time.
        Having said that: we also have the curfew at 18pm .
        Basically I wakeup, I start working at 9 am, I finish at 17:00 and I have one hour for whatever my personal life is now.
        If I was super rich I wouldn’t have to care about a strict working schedule like the one I have.

    • Ceej says:

      Yes exactly – it may not buy happiness but up until the stress and worry of finances lifts, it definitely helps!

      I think the number used to $70,000 when you longer see happiness increase with pay increases. There was a startup in Seattle where the founder decided to pay everyone in the company that happiness number as a minimum salary because he realised how stressed all his employees were from struggling to make ends meet. They did a 5 year follow up and people are definitely able to make more of life now with the breathing space having financial security has given them!

      • Embee says:

        I remember in 2012 someone telling me $75k, so this tracks. I live in a coastal town and we have a large Marlin fishing tournament each year. Entry fee is like $100k so you can imagine who participates. We have a little deck boat to muck around in, and when we pull up to the marina where these people have their boats docked it always horrifies me. I cannot imagine trying to manage “all of that”. Michael Jordan participates but he flies in and has his crew bring the boat. I just couldn’t be comfortable trusting THAT MANY people with my stuff, and the boat is a minor factor in MJ’s life, but it costs $200k to fill it up…how do you trust that your captain isn’t cutting some for himself in a fuel bill like that? What about the guys cracking into your expensive shit on the boat? And the time and detail it would take to have any sense of control over it. What a headache managing a wealthy lifestyle must be.

    • Ariel says:

      A number of years ago there was a big article on it- and at the time the # was $75,000 annual income.
      Guessing it is more now.
      Huge difference between not having to be rich and living in poverty.

      But i love how Mr. Spelling has made his own path.
      His sister grosses me out, i feel like she is just waiting for her mother to die and hopefully leave her the money.
      She has actually said, as an adult woman- that she thinks her dad would’ve wanted her to spend the way she does (and technically he did not raise her any better) but, really.

  2. Lonnietinks says:

    I don’t think it’s strange that he left almost all his money to his wife when he died. That is customary, people get inheritances after both parents have died, not one.

    • Levans says:

      @Lonnie I agree! I get what Oya is saying about the Spelling children not being taught how to manage money,but they are also of an age where they can earn money and learn what they didn’t get from their parents. When one spouse dies and the children are grown, the money is to ensure the spouse, who has less money earning years left compared to adult children,can survive.

      There were plenty of things my parents didn’t teach me that I had to learn as an adult, including managing my money better. Tori has no excuse for her continued reckless spending. I don’t think leaving her 800K is cruel at all. Candy has given her millions over the years too

      • ItReallyIsYou,NotMe k8 says:

        Also, a lot of people leave the money to a spouse in trust to provide for their care for the rest of their lives but the trust will be disbursed to the children upon the spouse’s death. I’ve never heard what Aaron Spelling’s inheritance is designed to do after Candy spelling dies but it may be that it will be put into a trust for Randy and Tori or their children. Given Tori’s history, I hope that there is a trustee who parcels that money out in bits and pieces so that there something left for her children.

        And hasn’t Candy been open that Candy pays for Tori’s children’s schooling and clothing. It sounds like she knows that giving Tori money is just enabling her a compulsive spending habit, but still wants to care for her grandchildren.

    • Nikki* says:

      I disagree, when someone has a large amount of money, they often make sure they leave a reasonable sum to their kids in case their spouse remarries and anything can happen. Candy would still have plenty to live on. I’m only middle class, but after seeing a conman fleece my MIL after my FIL passed, I am leaving a moderate amount to each of my kids although my spouse will get most of my assets. It happens too many times to not provide for your kids, and really rich people like Spelling knew this.

      • emu says:

        Exactly. When you’re really rich like this it is a little more allocated, especially with adult children, and as Oya says, it doesn’t seem like Aaron did anything to prep his kids for this. Maybe even springing this on them without telling them first. Like, Sting says he’s not going to give his kids his millions but the kids know this and Sting probably raised them not to worship money and live a lavish lifestyle.

    • Kate says:

      I’m an estate planning attorney and I agree the most common estate plan when you don’t have kids from a prior marriage is to leave everything to your spouse first (or in a trust for your spouse and your kids with a non-family member Trustee holding the purse strings) so that the spouse is provided for during their life and they have the ability to make gifts to your children as needed. The kids then inherit what’s left at the spouse’s death. That said, with his level of wealth, many people who do not have estranged relationships with their children make gifts during their lifetime to their kids – setting up trusts for them, etc. It’s how you create generational wealth – you set up a trust for your kids and the trusts stay in existence after your kids are gone and provide for your grandkids, etc. So that’s a little strange he didn’t do that. Anyway, I’m glad Randy figured it out and lives a more modest lifestyle. After working in my field with wealthy families I’ve seen how growing up with too much money can actually be a detriment to a person’s growth.

      • Embee says:

        Also an EP atty and I agree; moreover, there is no estate tax due when assets are left to spouse. By contrast there’s a limited amount that can be left to kids without paying significant taxes. At Spelling’s death in 2006 he could only leave $2 million to his kids without paying estate tax at a rate of 46% (nearly half). So, simply “kicking the can down the road” and deferring paying estate tax until Candy’s death makes sense financially.

  3. Noki says:

    I always get screamed at, that the father didnt owe his adult kids anything. But i agree it was clear they were not equiped with the skills to make it on their own. And i find Candy Spelling particularly cruel she could have easily given them a bigger share and some life lessons moving forward. Rob Kardashian Snr didnt leave an inheritance to his kids either and look at them now,some people simply dont know to turn lemons into lemonade.

    • SamC says:

      I’m pretty sure she did give Randy a bigger share at one point, but knew Tori would blow through anything more as fast as she went through the original inheritance.

      • Lanie says:

        Right. Tori blew through her small inheritance. She blew through her 90210 earnings. She blew through her reality earnings after her fathers death and now Candy is supporting Tori’s gold digging husband and the kids they can’t afford to feed, clothe or house.

        There’s no doubt in my mind that she would’ve burned through a much larger inheritance by spending lavishly and making sketchy investments. She’s not equipped to keep her bag secure.

    • Elizabeth says:

      I do feel like he could have easily set up a trust and parceled money out, BUT Tori is a financial trainwreck and compulsive spender. Sometimes you need to practice tough love and stop enabling bad choices. With Randy’s addiction issues, as well, Aaron Spelling may have viewed Candy as the only financially competent and definitely trustworthy person in the family and decided that she should control the family wealth and asked her simply to care for the children’s emergencies or other actual needs. (Which it seems she has, including her grandchildren’s expenses.) It sounds like Randy is completely fine with this. Honestly $800K is nothing to sneeze at for most people! It was a solid nest egg they could have turned into wealth-earning investments.

  4. Joanna says:

    I’m so tired of hearing money can’t make you happy. I call BS on that. I used to struggle to pay the bills but made “too much” to qualify for aid. Now I’m not rich but I have enough for minor emergencies (knock on wood) and it makes all the difference in the world. Instead of trying to decide WHAT to pay, I have enough to pay my bills plus a little left over and it has reduced the stress so much! And if I get a flat tire, instead of calling family for help or putting it on a credit card, I can pay it. Best feeling in the world IMO.

  5. Katie says:

    if by money he means being rich than yes but having *decent* amount of money is very often a decisive factor in whether or not a person is happy. for example, money allow one to have a choice of jobs (and for financially independent, even the choice of not having one), while a person who’s financially strained needs a job and is restricted a lot by that

  6. SamC says:

    I’d read a long time ago that Candy gave Randy a big chunk of change after rehab and when he moved to Oregon, to help him get established. Was interesting to read his story yesterday right after reading about Stephanie Seymour’s son OD’ing.

  7. Talia says:

    I think a study a few years ago said the tipping point was $70,000 which allowed a decent lifestyle without money worries. With inflation and the increase in the cost of college fees I assume it is now a lot more.

    However, the key point was that *below* that income, more money most definitely did increase happiness for most people.

    • Case says:

      That’s funny – I make slightly below $70k and always feel like if I could get my next job to pay $70k, that would be perfect. I’d have a comfortable cushion to do fun things and still be able to save. I don’t need a huge house or a fancy car, but enough money to be able to go on a trip once a year would make me very happy!

    • Nan says:

      The most recent research (1.7 million data points from more than 33,000 participants ) actually shows that money matters quite a bit. Medicalexpress published yesterday article “Money matters to happiness—perhaps more than previously thought”. Not sure if link posting is ok, so I’ll leave it like that.

      • Kate says:

        I think that money facilitates happiness but it is not itself happiness – if that makes sense. With enough money to pay for necessities, to feel safe, to not have to work 2 jobs or every weekend, you can then use your time and mental energy for things that bring you peace or joy. But if you have a pessimistic mindset, if you do not practice gratitude or have self awareness, you can have all of Aaron Spelling’s money and houses and still not feel happy or have satisfying relationships.

  8. GR says:

    Only $800k? Sounds like a wonderful retirement fund, which would buy me a lot of happiness.

  9. mar says:

    Wow I am impressed with this young man. Good for him.

  10. Lunasf17 says:

    This is coming from someone that was ***only*** left $800,000 and had a lavish upbringing and connections and privilege. Oh please. I agree money doesn’t bring happiness necessary but it does increase happiness once our basic needs are taken care of and we have a safe and stable home and enough food to eat. Good for him for staying healthy and finding his own path but I doubt life coaching as a career is available to less privileged people without clout and connections. I want to see more celebs admitting they have huge advantages over most people and not self made from their hard work as the they always claim.

  11. GuestwithCat says:

    What I like about money is it lets you buy health care for yourself and animals. I can help a lot of animals now that I couldn’t help when I was poor. And I suffered a lot getting minimal care at public clinics as a kid. Other than that, I was never dissatisfied with hand me downs or doing without material things. I can buy whatever I want now and live in a nice big house. And I just buy stuff for animals. I just don’t have to worry now if anyone gets sick. I can get them the best vet care. I can get the best medical care for myself. I can take care of my parents if they need it. That’s what money is really good for. I vacation pretty much the same except now I eat out more.

    I feel so old now. I remember him on the tv soap Sunset Beach. He looked like a kid then. Now he looks like an old dude. Lol.

    • GuestwithCat says:

      Lol sorry for my ramblings. My health has been off lately and it is very hard to be coherent and succinct. I’ll have to lurk more and post less. I’m at least enjoying the inauguration.

      But I wanted to say about money is no, happiness is not in material things. But the security it can help you acquire allows you to do the things that do mean something. It’s the things that mean something that bring happiness. I’m materially blessed now and will contribute to things like Feeding America that can help others in positions of terrible insecurity right now. My thoughts and prayers are with those going through insecurity in these hard times. And my support and action as well.

      • ItReallyIsYou,NotMe k8 says:

        @GuestwithCat, I didn’t even think twice about your post. Spending money on animals and things you love if you can afford it is a wonderful thing.

  12. Sunny says:

    $800k is more than enough to pay for a college education.

    Don’t know about money? Take finance classes.

    $800k could cover therapy too!

  13. paddingtonjr says:

    I think Aaron thought he was providing for or helping his kids by giving them roles on his shows or thought they would have more opportunities because of his name and connections. He seems to have had a common confict: if you had nothing and became successful, you don’t want your kids to suffer or struggle, but you don’t want them to be dependent on you. So, maybe the Spellings didn’t do the best job, but both Tori and Randy are adults with spouses and kids of their own. Maybe Randy’s wife is okay with their life and doesn’t care about being a “Hollywood wife.”

    I’m sure Candy helped both Tori and Randy with money over the years; many parents do if they have the means. There is a difference between giving a few lump sums over the years and continually paying for school and living expenses. I don’t know if Candy supports all of her grandkids, but she seems to support Tori’s, while Tori and Dean just spend whatever trickles of income come their way and ignore bills even as their bank accounts are garnished and they’re being sued by creditors. It sounds as if Randy has found his way and a happy, content life. I wish him continued success.

  14. Cali says:

    Said by people who grew up wealthy🙄 if you haven’t lived in poverty, you have NO IDEA the happiness that money can bring to desperate people.