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How do you define "rich"
Old 09-15-2007, 08:23 AM   #1
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How do you define "rich"

Hello all -

I've been toying with the definition for a while now, especially after some people have told me that I am 'rich.'

How do you define rich?

And when I ask that, I am speaking strictly in assets of monetary value or corporeal richness. I personally do believe that you can be rich in many ways - emotionally, ethereal(ly), mentally, spiritually - as well as bankrupt.

I think it's all relative - I'm rich when compared to the family of 6 in Nepal, but am I rich when compared to a colleague at work? Is it determined by net worth alone? Number of properties you own? Is there a tangible value or benchmark figure to work off of?

Interested in others' thoughts.
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Old 09-15-2007, 08:52 AM   #2
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I think it's all relative -
Yep. No one around here thinks I'm rich...except my relatives.
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Old 09-15-2007, 08:56 AM   #3
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The term "rich" is so objective that it's difficult to define. As you state, it's all relative. There was a thread started recently saying that $5 mm is the new $1 mm. That's pretty accurate in my estimation. I think having $5 million in investable assets makes your "rich" or "wealthy" by anybody's standards. With $5 million you might not be as rich as some are but I think you're deifnitely rich.
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Old 09-15-2007, 10:36 AM   #4
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The poverty level in the us is between $13,000 and $20,000 depending on the number of people in th family. The medium family income is around $48,000.

So what is rich? I'll bet to those making $13,000 the medium income folks are rich. However, in no way would Bill or Warren consider those with $48,000 incomes rich.

Therefore, IMHO, rich is in the eye of the beholder.
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Old 09-15-2007, 12:50 PM   #5
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How do I define rich?

When the money works for me instead of me working for the money.
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Old 09-15-2007, 02:07 PM   #6
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bbbamI has got the right idea, I'd define it as "having enough assets to meet one's current and future spending needs while following a conservative investment strategy".

A reasonable operating definition might be getting to the high 90s on FireCalc.
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Old 09-15-2007, 03:26 PM   #7
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I'm rich.

Of course, I never realized it until ER became a reality and I found myself saying "Damn, I'll never get around to spending all of this if it takes a lifetime"...and it will.
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Old 09-15-2007, 03:40 PM   #8
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How do I define rich?

When the money works for me instead of me working for the money.
Thank you William E. Thomason.
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Old 09-15-2007, 03:43 PM   #9
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Rich is when your glass is completely full. It all depends on the size of your glass.
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Old 09-15-2007, 07:57 PM   #10
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When I was younger, I thought that being rich meant having an income maybe three standard deviations above the mean.

Now, looking around me, I think that being rich, or poor, is primarily a state of mind.
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Old 09-15-2007, 09:33 PM   #11
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For me rich means:

Able to save for retirement.
Able to pay all of my bills.
Having a diverse group of friends and personal interests.
Having a sense of self.
Having spirituality.
Having peace of mind and serenity.
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Old 09-16-2007, 12:44 PM   #12
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Rich to me means being wealthy enough that you really don't have to care about money ever again.
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Old 09-16-2007, 01:20 PM   #13
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Rich to me means being wealthy enough that you really don't have to care about money ever again.
ER - as in not having a J-O-B and no intention of thinking about one, let alone looking.

- 14th year .
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Old 09-16-2007, 01:56 PM   #14
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For me rich means:

Able to save for retirement.
Able to pay all of my bills.
Having a diverse group of friends and personal interests.
Having a sense of self.
Having spirituality.
Having peace of mind and serenity.
That is a perfect definition of "rich", thank you Citrine!
I'm batting 4 out of 6 right now but need to work on #3 and #6.
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Old 09-16-2007, 04:56 PM   #15
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To me "rich" and "financially independent" are synonymous. So a person is rich when he has enough wealth to support his lifestyle, be it 6K/year or 600K/year.
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Old 09-16-2007, 05:22 PM   #16
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How do I define rich?

When the money works for me instead of me working for the money.
Exactly!
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Old 09-16-2007, 07:32 PM   #17
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If this thread was 'What is well off', I may agree with the if you are FI you are well off. IMHO rich is a different creature. There are people on this board that appear to get by on less than $35,000 annually. For me that's not rich. As all there financial desires appear to be fulfilled I would say they are financially well off. Not rich. Most of the members of Congress are rich. Well over a several million in assets and income.

For me rich is still relative, and, to some extent that is the problem. While I don't have the exact stats, folks making more that $100,000 a year were in the top 5% of the nation, and over $250,000 were in the top 1%.

I have seen several post on this board from those that pro-port to have incomes above $100,000 and some over $200,000. My guess is they feel well off, but not particularly rich. However, to those living on less than $35,000, I'll bet those folks are rich.
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Old 09-17-2007, 08:11 AM   #18
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Maybe this is old news:

http://opencrs.cdt.org/rpts/RL30922_20060522.pdf

Page 15 shows median and average savings by age group for 2001 and 2004.

For me it gives some perspective of how "rich" I am, relative to the rest of the country.
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Old 09-17-2007, 10:04 AM   #19
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Maybe this is old news:

http://opencrs.cdt.org/rpts/RL30922_20060522.pdf

Page 15 shows median and average savings by age group for 2001 and 2004.

For me it gives some perspective of how "rich" I am, relative to the rest of the country.

I hate it when the age range is "35 and under". Being 11 years under that, yes, my accounts are less. I wish they at least had a catagory of 30 and under.
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Old 09-17-2007, 10:33 AM   #20
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I hate it when the age range is "35 and under". Being 11 years under that, yes, my accounts are less. I wish they at least had a catagory of 30 and under.

Sure, rub it in to us old coots!
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