What is Wealth?

Wikipedia says that wealth is the abundance of valuable financial assets or physical possessions which can be converted into a form that can be used for transactions.

According to respondents of a 2019 Modern Wealth Survey from Charles Schwab, once you have $2.3 million in personal net worth, you can call yourself wealthy.

I have another way of looking at wealth.  I believe a person is wealthy if their life is fulfilling to them, even if it doesn’t seem that way to other people.  A person may be working 80 hours/week, and if that person has no desire to change because they are fulfilled and happy, then he/she may very well have wealth. 

Another person may decide to sell their home so they can retire early to travel with their spouse.  I would call that person wealthy because she is able to spend her days doing exactly what she wants, even though her bank account may not be very large. 

My father used to always say, “My wealth is in my family.”  There was nothing that brought my father more joy than spending time with his children and grandchildren.  His bank account was not huge but he was extremely fulfilled in his life by being surrounded by the love of his family.

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Many times society places expectations of attaining monetary wealth on us. 

  • We need to make enough to afford to pay for our children to go to college
  • We need to take our family on a vacation every year
  • We need to own a home
  • We need to have a late-model car
  • We need the latest version of cell phone/tablet/laptop, etc.
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“It doesn’t matter about money; having it, not having it. Or having clothes, or not having them. You’re still left alone with yourself in the end.”

Billy Idol

Instead, I suggest we use a different measure of our wealth.

  • Do you have anyone who loves you?
  • Do you have anyone who you love?
  • Do you have what you need to live a happy life?
  • Do you take advantage of every day and all that your life has to offer?
  • Do you have people in your life who bring you joy?

Not what we have but what we enjoy, constitutes our abundance. 

Epicurus

Each one of us has the power within ourselves to be wealthy.  We have to define what wealth means to us, and take the steps necessary to create that life.  It is by changing the way we think about wealth that we can change our attitudes of our ability to be wealthy.  We need to live the kind of life that brings us happiness.

“Wealth is the ability to fully experience life.”

Henry David Thoreau

As the saying goes, “You can’t take it with you.” Make sure you enjoy your time here on earth and pay attention to all the blessings in your life and the many ways you are wealthy. 

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