The Definition of Wealth: What It Really Means To Be Wealthy
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According to a Modern Wealth Index Survey, the amount needed to be comfortable in America is $1.4 million. To be wealthy, you'll need a net worth of $2.4 million.
An average pre-tax yearly salary of $389,436 is needed to be in the top 1%, although it varies by state.
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%.
Money can actually buy happiness. It takes less than you think and it depends on what you buy.
It takes between just $60,000 -$75,000 for emotional well being and happiness. Earning more than that can make you unhappy, because you have more demands on you, more hours spent at work, and less time doing things you enjoy. Buying experiences also make you happier than buying things.
We all, rich or poor, have the same 24 hours in a day. But we can use our money to buy more time. For example, by eating out, you don't have to decide what to cook, shop for ingredients, cook, and clean it all up.
If you can carve out more time for yourself, you can use it in other ways that will improve your life. You can start a side hustle, exercise, read, or spend time with family and friends.
Some people view wealth in terms of prestige and not dollars. They would rather have a job that requires years of education than learning a trade, even though they may earn less with their Master's or Doctorate degree.
But less than half of those who start college finish - they don't have a degree, only a student loan debt. They may have been better suited to a trade. As 70% of construction companies have trouble filling jobs and robots take over more white-collar jobs, it might be wise to attend trade school rather than college.
By 2020, 65% of all jobs will require postsecondary education and training beyond a high school diploma. But with the cost of college education, this is out of reach of many people.
A college degree has increasingly become something only available to the wealthy. The rest have to take out a student loan which makes it harder to amass wealth.
Living and enjoying life is not dependent on money. Some of the happiest states in America are also some of the poorest.
For example, Lafayette, at the heart of Acadiana, which is better known as Cajun country, is said to have delicious food and drink, which makes things like fairs and festivals more fun.
Housing should be no more than 30% of your income. Warren Buffett's house is worth .001% of his total wealth.
The possession of things differentiates the rich from the wealthy. Wealthy people don't flaunt their money; they save and invest it.
If you just want to have a comfortable life, it is increasingly out of reach. If you earn the minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, you can't afford a two-bedroom apartment anywhere in the US. In 1963, wealthy families had $6 for every $1 of families in the middle. By 2016, it was $12 to $1.
It is very easy not to "look poor." If you have access to credit, you may be poor because you're in debt, but you can buy the same things rich people have, iPhones or vacations. When people can hide being poor from themselves, they don't demand change.
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