- Personal Finance
Being Wealthy - What Exactly Is Wealth?
What or who do you think of when you think of wealth?
For many, if not most people in the world, the desire to be wealthy is probably high up there on their list of things they desire. Some will have certain people come to mind like Carlos Slim Helu, Bill Gates, Warren Buffett or Donald Trump. Maybe you have heard of Mukesh Ambani, Lakshmi Mittal, Lawrence Ellison or Bernard Arnault? While each of these people have their own story on how they became rich or wealthy, this is not what I am really talking about here necessarily. I mean there is no denying their wealth and extreme riches, and there is much to learn from them I am sure.
I am speaking of having a handle on one's finances to the point that you live comfortably and happily and make the most of what you do have. How can more people learn to appreciate what wealth is, and experience it? Is wealth something that can only be achieved through a large income? If you think about it, many that make quite a bit of money every year STILL live as if poor, paycheck to paycheck. Even if they make 10 times the amount of another person, its hard to consider that person wealthy. Many of those "wealthier" types need help from Consumer Credit Counseling agencies, and the like. They seek help for getting themselves out of deep financial problems very often, and are at risk of losing everything sometimes. That is not wealthy.
People that earn just an average income for instance, can make very wise decisions that can help them to retire in complete comfort. Some of them have planned ahead and build their own wealth through invisible assets. They may have invested in things others can't see like a company savings plan or any other number of things.
So while having a high income can provide for the opportunity to accumulate a lot of money, it does not automatically make a person wealthy. The decisions they make will make that "call." How you invest, save, and your spending habits will make the difference.
We all have heard of people that were millionaires and nobody knew about it until their death perhaps when they gave it all away. Clearly, being wealthy isn't defined by the toys you gather up during life. Status symbols aren't really necessary to show you are wealthy and can be a drain on money very often anyway.
Of course wealthy people should have fun and can afford to do so. The key is to not spend so much money on things, as long as other financial goals are not sacrificed in that process. Planning and having a great attitude go far as well. I think that how you live your life, and the level of "richness" you experience comes from many other valuable and beautiful things. Appreciating the beauty around and in your family and creating wonderful memories are things that a very wealthy person can't purchase anyway. Put wise decision making with money, and pursuing the things that really matter in life, at the top of your list for a truly wealthy life. You can't take it with you anyway when you leave.