The Definition of Rich

The Definition of Rich

A high income and a regular acquisition of expensive stuff do not necessarily make people rich. People may have a high income, but many won’t survive three months if they are suddenly without their high-paying jobs.

Being Rich is different from being Wealthy.

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Before assuming that you aren't rich, understand what "rich" means

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Wealthy People and Pseudo Affluence

Wealthy people have sustainable access to money, often for a very long period of time. Their habits are now aligned with the wealth that they have incurred.

Pseudo affluence, on the other hand, is what people experience when they are currently earning lots of money and start to believe that they are rich. They pay for their expensive lifestyle with a high amount of borrowed money and are just a job-loss away from being poor again.

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Being Rich

... does not mean having lots of money. There are thousands of stories where people have won the lottery or inherited a large amount of money, only to be on the streets in a few years.

The problem is our definition of being rich may be flawed.

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It isn’t the only factor in being rich, no matter how many articles tell you that. Money is at most a superficial and incomplete representation of wealth, and there are many more ways to think about riches.

Money changes people, and in many cases, makes them less grounded, less content and less human. If you feel unhappy most of the time, maybe equating money with happiness and success is a part of that problem.

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  • Friends: offer a kind of value that money cannot.
  • Family and relationships: is not experienced by everyone, and if you have this, you are truly rich.
  • Hobbies: A freedom to do what you love to do is real riches.
  • Community: A great circle of friends, neighbours, family and relatives provide us with the social riches that make us complete.
  • Happy Moments: Positive surroundings, laughs and love from the people around us provide us with untold riches.

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Being rich is about freedom, about independence and about being on your own. If you are filthy rich but still have to do things you hate doing, then that’s not real wealth. You are not poor if you don’t own a BMW and your neighbour does. But you are poor if you are not having the freedom to do what you want in life.

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... is a ‘state of excess’ when the stuff we own makes us poor, as the debt we incur has trapped us to keep working our jobs to fund the expensive lifestyle and habits.

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Being rich is, at its very core, about being patient with your money and the accumulation of knowledge, experience and your net worth. If you are investing in appreciating assets instead of spending it on liabilities (like a fancy car), you will experience true wealth.

If we curb our restaurant outings and the impulse purchases and sell the homes we don’t live in, investing the money in appreciating assets, we are on the way to maximize our investments.

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The wealthy

Most rich people do not flaunt their wealth: They don't live in high-class neighborhoods or drive expensive cars. They look like you and me.

The rich have a net worth of above $1 million. Most rich people got wealthy through a simple combination of earning an income, saving for retirement, and spending wisely.

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The pseudo-affluent: If you look rich, you probably aren't

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Wealth Is A Relative Term

The definition of wealth is personal. It may mean something different to everyone.

To some people, wealth is always going to mean money. But it's not that straightforward. 41% of people feel "wealthy" if they have meals out or food delivered. Services such as Netflix, Spotify, or Amazon Prime made life feel richer for 33%.

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The Definition of Wealth: What It Really Means To Be Wealthy

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Characteristics Of The Wealthy
  • They live in homes just large enough for their needs and drive used cars.
  • They have affordable interests.
  • They don’t worry about having the highest credit score possible as they have enough saved to skip loans and make large purchases with cash.
  • When they get a raise, they focus on investments instead of raising their spending. 

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Rich vs. Wealthy: What's the Difference?

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