People tend to compare themselves with those who have more money than them, rather than less, which makes it almost a pointless exercise to ask yourself “How rich am I?”
Even among financial experts, the monetary definition of wealth differs from one bank to the next — and if that industry can’t even agree on the amount of assets that meets the definition of rich, perhaps there’s little for you to gain from fretting about these distinctions.
Google the topic of regrets that the terminally ill have and you quickly learn that there are plenty of other types of wealth that might have more meaning than money.
How Rich Am I Really?
While the number of these things tends to vary from one source to the next, they generally fall into a few general categories, not necessarily in this order of importance: love, friendship, life experiences, spiritual fulfilment, and physical health.
Some might group the overall categories differently, but that digresses from an important point: People near the end of their life wish that they hadn’t spent so much time working (presumably motivated by earning more money).
Although having money at the end of your life enables you to leave something for heirs, it doesn’t really turn back the clock so you can enjoy more life experiences, love, friendship and spiritual fulfillment.
Certainly, money can pay for healthcare that just might extend your life (including treatments that aren’t covered by insurance) –but if you have no one to share your extended time with, is that a rich end of life or a lonely one?
Of course, you might make up for that absence with spiritual pursuits and life experiences — and hope that you make friends or even find love while doing so.
But if all you have is money, after decade upon decade of not having the other types of wealth, eventually you learn the element of truth in the lyrics of the Beatles’ “Money Can’t Buy Me Love.”
Readers, how have you contemplated the definition of rich — and vcome to terms with it?