I've been talking with some friends about the economy and things of that nature. It struck me as weird we were at odds about who/what is wealthy. I see people that read the articles, like I posted below, and assume that the "top earners" are actually taking home all that money every year. But what about Cost of living, loans, and things of that nature?
So I asked you all, how do you define wealthy?? Here are some questions I've come up with as well
1) Would you consider a single person making 109k, wealthy?
1a) what if they lived in Manhattan, or LA and paid nearly $2500 a month for their studio apartment, so they didnt have to sit in traffic for hours each day. They also didnt own a car.
1b) what if they had student loans they pay? say $300 a month?
2) What about a family making 400k?
2a) What if they were both doctors with nearly half their yearly income in loans?
2b) What if they had a house and children?
2c) What if they lived in an expensive area like, Boston, LA, DC, etc?
I ask these questions based off of this article
I honestly hate the Huffington post, but these were the most complete and current numbers I could find.
So what do you think?
Wealthy is doing what you want to do with your time.
There is never enough money. The more you make it seems the more you have to spend. I guess like 5 million would be enough to not have to worry about anything for a good while.
I read the other comments first. Jack B pretty much gave what I think. "Wealth" is relative. I grew up in a more wealthy neighbourhood of my town. If you asked me as a kid who was wealthy I could probably list a few neighbours who were specialists (cardiologists, etc) that were wealthy and a very small few who had old wealth (descendent of the older ruling class families back when that was a thing) who were really wealthy beyond my wildest imagination. Yet I learnt later that some friends who grew up in poorer neighbourhoods who I thought I was closer to financially, would have grouped me with my richer neighbours as all being wealthy. They were further from that group and couldn't see the difference in it like I could. Using this logic I'm sure if I ever asked those wealthy families they would probably find even wealthier families that are richer than them. Or maybe not. One thing I find about wealth is that the more one has the more sense they have not to discuss it.
Also, as Jack said, wealthier people also approach it differently. The wealthier a person is the more they see wealth (money) as a tool to make more as opposed to something they need to lock safely away. I dated a woman once from a poorer background than myself and was surprised to see how differently her family approached money. They saved everything and was less wasteful than my own but because of their approach their money produced much less for them than what my own family did. For example, they would be horrified to see someone spend money on some luxury item when they could get a cheaper one somewhere else even if spending on such an item could give a bigger return. Say for example if you spent more on wooing clients as a sales rep knowing it will give you a bigger return. This concept was lost on them. To them, it was better to save the 5 dollars than spend it and make 50. Mind you I think this is also a relative thing since I would be horrified to spend the kind of money I saw my richer neighbours use. The richest people I know have been "broke" several times.
"There must be more money!"
-The Rocking Horse Winner, D.H. Lawrence
Wealthy is all your bills covered and having enough spending money to enjoy your lifestyle without creating debt.
It is not an amount of money. It is about resources available to be expended as you wish without long term effects.
That would have more to do with 'living within your means' than what your means are. Lots of high-income people live above their means ... and quite a few poor people can't spend what they don't have in cash.
That definition seems a little too lifestyle-connected. It is possible to be wealthy and squander it ... or, to never be wealthy but still cover your bills and not go into debt.
I was thinking living within your means AND being happy about it. My first thought on the topic was all bills covered + XXXX extra to spend how one pleases per month. But I realized that what I was really saying was based in what my lifestyle is. Others may not have the same basis.
I agree it is lifestyle connected. If we just say a number it does not take into account factors on the resources as said by the OP. But if we factor in the numbers it ends up being a question of Free Money (Resources). But even here that is really only a number. Some may think one wealthy if they summer in Europe, Others may consider a person only wealthy if they have x Number of Houses.
Its funny the press says someone has $$$,$$$,$$$ Therefore they are a millionaire, and people think the millionaires could access it all at once. That is not the case, its not in a bank account it is in investments, property etc. What makes it flashy is free money they can spend relative to our free money.
I would determine wealthy to be the financial point where you haven't even the most remote ressemblance of fear about paying for necessities and eventual retirement.