What does it mean to be rich?

What does being rich mean to you?

Being rich is an arbitrary and discretionary concept. Everyone has their own idea of what it means.

For many, being rich means having a certain sum of money — like a million dollars, or, perhaps five million dollars.  A large amount of money creates financial security with no worries about paying bills or facing an unforeseen crisis. For others, a large amount of money means freedom to make choices about whether or not to work — or where and how to live. Some people consider being rich means having enough wealth to retire without worry.

Most people consider that being rich is about more than money.  They consider good health,  positive relationships with family and friends, and time to pursue hobbies and interests as part of what it means to be rich. Time is often deemed the greatest luxury!

What does it mean to be rich? -- photo courtesy of Clement Falize on Unsplash
What does it mean to be rich? — photo courtesy of Clement Falize on Unsplash

Sometimes being rich simply means feeling rich.  Feeling rich may mean having enough money to spend without worry. For example, feeling rich allows a frivolous purchase such as a pair of shoes you want but don’t need or a lifestyle purchase such as a country club membership or a vacation. When I was at university and got my first job as a teaching assistant, feeling rich meant having enough money to take a taxi and not using the bus when I was tired after class. As an adult, it means buying everyday things without worry and having enough money for the luxury of fresh flowers or a new novel or a gift for someone I love.

Sometimes being rich does not depend on how much money you have but what you want to do with your money. The retired person who wants to travel often and savour expensive destinations will need more cash to feel rich at the end of a year than the person who is happy with less frequent and more modest vacations.

Many people consider having wonderful experiences is what it means to be rich. Perhaps the experience means enjoying art, going to a concert, or having a world-class adventure. Often experiences are chosen over possessions.

Importance of Defining What Being Rich Means

For a fulfilling retirement life, taking the time to define what it means to be rich is worthwhile. What type of richness will bring happiness? Once you have food to eat, clothes to wear and a place to live, how much disposable income is necessary? What else will you need to be rich? Areas to consider include lifestyle, life satisfaction, health, relationships, and financial security.

What it means to rich is an evolving concept. It’s about deciding what you want from life.  What are your goals and values? Where and how and with whom do you want to live?  How important are possessions as opposed to experiences?  Will you feel rich only when you buy the bigger car or the new boat?  Or, does feeling rich mean having time to spend an afternoon with a good book and no worries? Being content with your life is true richness.

For me, being rich means having enough wealth to attain life satisfaction. I want to spend time doing the things I choose to do; have enough money to achieve personal comfort, and have enough time to enjoy life’s experiences. I’ve learned that balance is necessary especially when it comes to having the richness of time. Too often I over-extend myself and make too many commitments with the result that I’m frazzled, frustrated, and too tired to enjoy my home, my family, or my friends.

Thanks for reading my post.  I hope you will take a few minutes to define what being rich means at this time of life.  If you like my blog posts, please consider becoming a subscriber to receive an email notification each time I write something.






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