I don't know because I don't know what's meant by "in the popular sense of
the word". Average of all the people on earth? Average for all people in
the US? Popular for a given income range? If Al makes $12K per year and
Bill else makes $50K, Al prob thinks Bill is wealthy - but if Cal makes
$100K, Bill prpb thinks he is not wealthy but Cal is - meanwhile, if Doug
makes $500K a year, Cal might not think he is wealthy but that Doug
is...and so on and so forth.
ALso, is wealth=income or is wealth=liquid investments? IOW, what is
wealth? If all your investments are in real estate, the actual (and oft-
denied fact) is that you're only as wealthy as other people are willing to
make you - IOW, buy a forclosure for $10K in a poor neighboorhood, put in
mega-improvements, try to ask for $365K, well, it's not likely anyone will
If wealth=liquid investments, then some (many?) wealthy people are not
IOW, it seems to be a bit of a "trick" question.
OK, *now* I see your point ;)
You're exactly right. Wealth is generally in the proverbial 'eye of the
Exactly. Rather than doing their personal best and enjoying what they
have, people almost always seem to, themselves, ruin their own
experience, i.e. create their own misery, by the endless game of Making
SO, rather than being excited that they got a new car that doesn't need
repairs every couple months (as do many cars when they reach the age of
12 years...), they hate their new car because it isn't as expensive
(read: "impressive", i.e. accompanied by an imaginary sense of increased
social status/importance) as soemone else's car (neighbor, relative,
whatever). So they end up miserable - but it's not because of what they
have or don't have, it's only because they *choose* to live in a
continual state of envy, whining about all the things they can't afford.
Ah - but for many, and I'd guiess most, people, "what others think" is
something of an obsession. Material wealth is not something they crave
because they would *enjoy* it, but rather, because it would (they
imagine) increase their social status, i.e. their importance, becaus
ethat is how many (most?) people interpret envy - if others envy you your
stuff, they see you as having importance. And, really, that is how
poeple *behave* - what I mean is, if people *perceive* you as having
material wealth, they are drawn to you, they want to try to grap "part fo
the magic" so to speak. Buying a car is an excellent example. Go into a
car dealership dressed in jeans and a t-shirt and, even if they're
perfectly clean, you will be snubbed in favor for the people wearing
designer this and designer that. Been there, done that - it's like
pulling teeth to get a sales person to even acknowledge you. OF course,
when you say "Payments? No way, I'm paying cash", it's hilarious to see
them suddenly turning red and falling all over their dumbass selves to do
their jobs - since 99.99% of those folks in desnger duds are either
leasing, or extending the payments out as long as possible so as to lower
the monthly payments, even tho' it raises the end-cost of the thing by an
IOW, most poeple are quite shallow and *DO* judge the proverbial book by
its proverbial cover, so, for most people, unlike yourself, "what others
think" is a central issue in their lives.
Personally, I couldn't care less about "impressing" a bunch of nitwits
and borderline-morons who are utterly irrelevant to my life (well,
irrelevant as long as they don't mess with me or my property...I never
said I wasn't territorial <L!>) But most people? IMO, most people thnik
and beleive an dlike what they're told, without thinking, never
developing an individual aesthetic, ethic, or idea.
I'd say very few folks - even ones whom others consider to be wealthy.
Too much cash sunk into house, car, gee-gaws, clothing, and so on. Very
few Americans have actual investments and emergency accounts and the like
that can be cashed-out.
Actually, I'd venture to guess that most, according to your parameter,
That's why I put "rick" into quotes ;) I was being wry - or rye... ;)
Part of the problem is that the vast majority of people only think
"stuff" when they thing of welath - a big house stuffed to the rafters
with, well, stuff.
True financial wealth is not about acquiring stuff - it's abotu getting
*some* stuff, and then investing the rest of your $$ into a wide variety
of well-chosen areas.
That's why lottery winners bottom out - all they think of is spend,
spend, spend. Few seem to have in hteir vocabulary the word "invest".
And they also never ever seem to consider the fact of taxes.
Same is true of many sports stars - make $10 million a year for x years,
stop playing, and be living off the dole within 5 years.
Yup - the "trick" being that the question has a different answer
depending upon whether one does or doesn't have a functional/thinking
"Retirement" is IMO something of a bogus word/concept. I think it is -
or, at least, should be - more like "life change" or "new stage of
life" - ideally, you get to the point where you can stop working just to
make money, and have enough savings and investments so that you can start
doing what you *really want* to do, whether it's getting into wildlife
carving and entering shows, pr playing a musical instrument, or raising
giant pumpkins, travelling, etc. :)
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