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The Meaning of Wealth

Posted by f18lumpy on 6/14/2008 at 9:13 PM | 11 answers | 1474 views
How do you define being wealthy? Is it a number? A lifestyle? Is it something you own?

Answers

forbes defines wealth as a million dollars a year in income... I would say cut that number in half and restrict it to only passive income. So someone a number but also a lifestyle.
I have a totally different view:

1. What is the lifestyle of your 'HAVE to have it' dreams?

For example, mine has a lot of travel, nice house, fancy car (one is enough) ... but, no chalets in the mountains, no lear jets, etc.

2. How much will it cost (in PASSIVE annual income) to live that life when YOU are ready to start living it?

For some people, living in an ashram on a bowl of rice a day is more than sufficient ... for a very few $500k a year (or more) is required ... for most, anywhere between the two is the range of what I would call 'wealth'.
Adrian,

My definition is in line with your statement. I'm happy in my current lifestyle, I'm just not able to fund it passively yet. Well, there is that airplane that I want that I don't have, so maybe I need a bit more passive income than I'm earning actively right now. :-)
living worry free, fear free with the ability to chase whatever interests you; this to me = wealth.
Wealth is spending your time (otherwise known as your life!) doing what you want mostly. It also means having some security if you lose your job-- 1 year emergency fund of living expenses.

Material stuff is not part of my wealth definition really.

Of course I own stuff that I really need but I try to keep it to a minimum.

The more stuff you have the more you have to work. That's fine, but you have to like your job.
I don't care about the numbers - I want a certain lifestyle, stability, flexibility, and opportunities.

7 million's definition is pretty much mine. I have two major goals so far: Full retirement at 55. Part-time retirement (working less than 20 hours / wk) at 35, supporting my entire family on 1/2 income. However, we're happy living on the equivelent of today's $35K to 40K / yr once we own our own home.

A lot of people here want a more expensive lifestyle, and are willing to work hard for it. Good for them! I would be less happy working hard and having more stuff and money, so I think I am wealthier with less money.
Wealth to me means flexibility. I want the freedom to choose how I spend my time without worrying where my next dozen meals are coming from. I don't need a big house, lots of stuff, or a fancy car. It sounds cliche, but I think that too many people become slaves to their material things, so I try to keep mine to a minimum.

Right now, I work for my money - so that I can afford the roof over my family's heads, food, clothing, vacations, etc. I will feel wealthy when my money works for me - we own a place free and clear, the kid's are out of the home, and we have enough passive income to cover the necessities.
Ethel: Assuming that you need to do all of this alone, very roughly $35k - $40k is approx. $100k per annum in 25 - 30 years (4% inflation). Means you will need about $2.5 Mill. in the bank when you retire at 55 (plus a paid off house, unless you're figuring mortgage payments in your $35k - $40k today?). Good Luck!
For me.. being able to say "I'm wealthy" has to do with the entire package. I'd have to have no debt to consider myself financially wealthy, and able to purchase needs and wants with cash. I'd have a nicer home, although nothing insane like you see on MTV's Cribs!

Wealthy for me would include that... and also the ability to work because I want to work, for the hours I want to work (instead of working round the clock to make enough money to pay bills). It would mean the ability to travel whenever we wanted, wherever we wanted.
For me wealth was not having to work a regular job and the freedom to travel.

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