How do you consider yourself wealthy?

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Submitted by masayako on January 15, 2007 - 12:04pm


Something to discuss about:

How do you consider yourself wealthy?


Submitted by Real Buyer on January 15, 2007 - 12:14pm.

I'd say you are wealthy if you don't have to work to support your normal lifestyle.

I guess, this definition includes bums, though... :)

Submitted by sdrealtor on January 15, 2007 - 12:27pm.

I'd say truth wealth comes from being surounded by a loving/supportive family, friends and community. All the money in the world wont make and keep you happy without that.

When you are lying in bed taking in your last breathes you'll be thinking about that not your investments.

Submitted by PerryChase on January 15, 2007 - 12:54pm.

sdrealtor, I would agree with your definition if we were talking about happiness/contentment/satisfaction. Wealth, on the other hand is a matter of dollars.

Since wealth is always relative to others, then I'd say that a wealthy person is one in the top 10% -- in terms of net-worth, not earnings.

Submitted by kev374 on January 15, 2007 - 1:38pm.

Wealthy is all relative. Someone making $100,000/yr and has $50,000 in the bank is very wealthy compared to the guy earning minimum wage and $100 in savings.

Submitted by Critter on January 15, 2007 - 2:49pm.

On that note, somebody making $100K a year with $110K a year expenses is living a nightmare.

I have a couple of friends who make a lot and spend it all, and a little bit more. They LOOK rich but in my mind, they are impoverished mentally and physically.

Submitted by nla on January 15, 2007 - 3:24pm.

True, it's all relative. I'm making six figures and have more than 50K in the bank, but I don't feel wealthy. In fact, everytime that I go to the mall I feel that most of San Diegans is way wealthier than me.

Submitted by ibjames on January 15, 2007 - 4:21pm.


You are doing well, easy access to credit cards makes everyone seem wealthy. Not many people have 50k in the bank

Submitted by mydogsarelazy on January 15, 2007 - 4:35pm.

I worked for a man in the early 80's who was very determined to become wealthy. He talked about money and wealth quite a bit, and after much though he arrived at the figure of $20 million dollars in net worth as "wealthy." He defined wealth as never having to worry about money again.

This was a very serious thing to him.

Of course, that was twenty plus years ago, so would you have to say $30 or $40 million now?

My former employer, by the way, has outdone himself, and is certainly worth more than $100 million now.

For me personally we have no debt except a year left to pay on our Saturn and a modest 15 year fixed mortgage. That makes me feel wealthy.


Submitted by PD on January 15, 2007 - 4:59pm.

You are wealthy if your life is comfortable and happy. Many people have one without the other. A lot have neither.
I would like to be rich, as that makes a person's life more comfortable. However, it is pretty hard to buy "happy."

When it comes to being comfortable, the #1 most important thing is to get rid of all debt. Lots of people think buying expensive clothes and cars will make them happy but the bills just end up making them less comfortable.

Submitted by Critter on January 15, 2007 - 5:00pm.

"He talked about money and wealth quite a bit, and after much though he arrived at the figure of $20 million dollars in net worth as "wealthy." He defined wealth as never having to worry about money again."

I dunno.... sounds like this guy worried about making it so much that when he finally did, he probably worried just as much about keeping it, or making more.

I'd rather make a comfortable amount and enjoy life more, than focus completely on financial gain and enjoy life less during the process.

A distant relation claims her lifetime goal is to make five million dollars, then she will feel accomplished.

Meanwhile, she's a total bore at our family get-togethers because her conversation is all about money... making it, keeping it, and what others are spending. She repeatedly asks what things cost (like when my brother bought a new car) which makes me wonder if she thinks dollars are the only indicator of quality.

Submitted by pka4lif on January 15, 2007 - 5:24pm.

Kiyosaki had a definition I liked. (Love him or hate him!) It was that being wealthy meant you could cover all of your expenses with income from your assets. This mean that you simply had positive free cash flow now and forever if you lived at your current means or below.

The great thing about this definition is that it is all relative. It takes into account what money is really meant to provide, a means to an end. If you have enough means to meet your ends, and you don't have to work to do it...that is wealthy!

Submitted by FormerSanDiegan on January 15, 2007 - 5:27pm.

The poor have little,
Beggars none;
The rich too much
Enough not one.

- Ben Franklin

Submitted by North15 on January 15, 2007 - 5:34pm.

One of my definitions of wealthy is the ability to:

Own new vehicles of your choice that if and when a breakdown occurs, abandon the vehicle, walk away and purchase a new replacement the same day.

No repairs, no mechanics, no towing, no reselling......even for a flat tire or whatever.

Submitted by LookoutBelow on January 16, 2007 - 8:37am.

When you can afford the lifestyle you want to live with the money you have WITHOUT having to work for it anymore, is the definition of wealthy......Its a sliding scale and everybody has their own lifestyles they'd like to live.

Submitted by tugg49 on January 16, 2007 - 9:09am.

I try to keep it in perspective. Wealth and success are intertwined and one can make up for the other. I've made (and spent) enough money to know I'll never make enough money.
If you were a social security child and have grown into a 100k a year position I would say you are wealthy and a success. If you are a Harvard grad and making 150K a year I would consider that a bit of a disappointment (depending on what you are doing). Wealth is not a money in the bank figure. Wealth is the ability to write the thousand dollar checks and not flinch. "I wish I $1 mill in debt cause that means someone believes in me enough to front me a million dollars".

Submitted by TheBreeze on January 16, 2007 - 9:27am.

I think there have been some studies done that say once you have enough assets that you can live on 3% to 4% of that, then you don't need to work anymore. I'm sure $100,000 per year would be plenty for me, so I would need between $2.5 million and $3.3 million to never have to work again. You can read more about this stuff here:

Submitted by calidesigner on January 16, 2007 - 9:59am.

I often think of Bill Gates when questions of wealth/success come up. I'm no student of his trust me. However, I do wonder if he genuninely considers himself "successful". Does he consider himself wealthy? Or is he continuously chasing the illusive realm of "I've made it, this is it"...

I am the sort who day-dreams about financial wealth but frankly isn't the sort who is capable or willing to do what it takes. As a result, as financial needs increase (car, rent, children etc., 401k), I take steps necessary to fulfill those obligations, such as getting a better-paying job, taking an exam, courses, etc. I guess I like my weekends and sleeping in on Saturdays a bit much!

I don't have what it takes to be a billionaire, and I say this because I sense that besides intelligence, timing and financial acumen, a person needs to be, in my opinion, somewhat pathelogically obsessed (or driven you might say), to really "make it", such as Bill Gates, Richard Branson, etc. So you see, I make myself happy by convincing myself that infact really really rich people are essentially slightly demented. I'm normal, yeah! Maybe if inflation keeps up I might be a millionaire by my sixties, huh? Unless my 401(k) tanks! Nonetheless, I am serious about not getting bamboozled by the local-socal housing market. The last few years have got me upset enough to take the time to learn as much as I can, as Perry Chase says, so I can perhaps actually make housing work for me, or at least not work against me. This site and the contributors have opened my eyes over the past year, given me psychological support and data to counter the "owning a home is a blessing" crowd (yes it would be if I hade bought 10 years ago but I didn't have a real job back then). Thanks to all of you...and may 2007 bring good sense and hasten the collapse of our glorious housing market.


Submitted by Doofrat on January 16, 2007 - 11:18am.

I think it differs depending on the person. For my wife and I, I think we'd have to agree with "the breeze" that being wealthy for us would be not having to work for a living, but have enough money to travel when we want to.

Submitted by sdnativeson on January 16, 2007 - 10:17pm.

I agree with sdrealtor. He has the proper perspective. I find that his perspective/belief being so easily dismissed fascinating, and more than a little sad.
Some might find this interesting;

Submitted by sdrealtor on January 16, 2007 - 10:18pm.

Interesting read sdnativeson. While I know very little about Bhuddhism my older brother (very successful but previously very unhappy and self-destructive)is a practicing Bhuddhist and it saved his life IMHO.

Submitted by sdnativeson on January 16, 2007 - 10:53pm.

You might know little about Buddhism, but it sounds like you know about life sdrealtor. I added that for all the other posters, maybe it will give them pause.
Thank you for sharing about your brother.

Submitted by BikeRider on January 17, 2007 - 7:10am.

The story of Bill Gates is rather interesting. He was just some computer geek. Would show up at computer trade shows unshaven and needing a bath. Actually stunk. It was mostly timing for him. IBM needed a PC. They were looking for an OS. They went to Bill's place and I think they sent IBM to this other software company. The guy that owned that shop was out and his second in command would not sign a non-disclosure aggreement. So, IBM goes back to Bill's place and Bill says, sure, I'll sign whatever. Then Bill buys some other guys OS for like $50K, tweeks it a bit, tells IBM that EVERY PC must have it's own box of DOS, and the rest is history. He got lots of money to work with. Then Apple and him steal Xerox's mouse idea and on and on.

As for wealth, you can be wealthy many ways. I think this thread was started thinking of money. For me, I want a mix. Good friends and also I don't want to worry about paying the bills. My wife and I combined make $160K. We have a paid for house that the county assess at $280K. We have around $40K in savings and other money invested, plus the old 401K. So, we are not really wealthy and by no means can retire. I hope one day we can retire and have enough money to do a little traveling. I think if I can always do that, be happy, have good friends...... I will always feel wealthy.

Submitted by jg on January 17, 2007 - 9:29am.

Nice parable; thanks, sns.

No one on this forum likes Christianity, but it teaches one to value the important things in life.

Little appreciated observation: the late Pope John Paul wrote a few years ago that because Westerners had fallen away from Christianity but still needed an anchor in life, they turned to Eastern mysticism and meditation. He stated that Catholics needed to return to praying the rosary, which is a form of meditation. I do so (abbreviated form) on my morning walks with my dog, and find it relaxing and comforting. I think my dog finds it perplexing (ha, ha).

Submitted by noone on January 17, 2007 - 9:52am.

I agree with sdrealtor. He has the proper perspective. I find that his perspective/belief being so easily dismissed fascinating, and more than a little sad.

Yes, sdrealtor definitely has the proper definition of success or happiness. In fact every month or so, while my wife points out all the things that we don't have, I have to remind her of all the things that we do have. We have two beautiful, happy children, a roof over our heads, clothes on our back, and never go to bed hungry (unless we're trying to lose a few pounds), and time to spend with each other. Those are the things that are really important in life.

I think those who dismiss this as a valid response, are doing so because the original question was about wealth, not about happiness or success. Since the primary definition of wealth is An abundance of valuable material possessions or resources; riches, they are trying to answer that question.

Submitted by sdnativeson on January 17, 2007 - 10:58am.

Obviously I gave the impression that I am or may be buddhist - which I am not, I am a practicing Catholic. I believe that to grow in my chosen faith I need to know more not just about it, but other faiths as well. I can say that for the most part, I have found "gold" in most all (MKP speak).
I concur, Western civilization has fallen away from Christianity (IMHO to it's detriment). Still, religous or faith affiliation of any nature(sadly, as we all know) doesn't necessarily mean there is any deep-rooted desire to better oneself and/or those around them. However, That does not invalidate the acheivements, beliefs, values, morals of those who do.

Submitted by sdnativeson on January 17, 2007 - 11:18am.

noone; or, an abundance or profusion of something desirable, which can be construed as, well whatever you want, right? Your point though, is accurate.
Of course, your children, wife, roof over your heads, clothes on your backs and food in your stomach are all tangible items are they not?

Submitted by jg on January 17, 2007 - 2:03pm.

sns, I'll ask the question on behalf of PC, lk, kjm, et al.: why are you practicing Catholics so darned judgemental and intolerant?

Submitted by jztz on January 17, 2007 - 2:04pm.

Wealth means satisfaction and independence.

Satisfaction -- always get what I want, and I want not much more than what I need.

Independence -- work because I'd like to, not because I have to.

If you feel that you have all the options in life open to you, limited not by financial resources, then you're fairly wealthy.

Submitted by sdnativeson on January 17, 2007 - 2:13pm.

jg; a subconcious desire to be liberal?

Submitted by 4runner on January 17, 2007 - 2:27pm.

You are wealthy if:
-you make more money than your wife feels comfortable spending and
-you make more than your brother-in-law.

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