“I realized that money is nothing more than fuel,” he said. “It is a resource that lets you have choices, but if you don’t think about what you are working for, you will die rich but not live rich.”
My grandfather would always say, "it's not how much you make but rather how much you save".
I know I learned a big lesson in 2008 --- that whole thing really set me on my heels for a while, and I don't mean months. It took me a few years to climb out of that mess and I don't ever plan to get back there again.
I'm very happy with where I live and my lifestyle, but to make me rich I would need more time off. To me being "rich" would be spending more time with my lady, family, and friends. Being able to take more time for hunting, riding, skiing, fishing, weekend trips, etc etc. I don't need or do fancy. One thing I've always felt strongly about is to be rich one needs to be debt free. You don't need lots of money if you have no bills.
How much that takes?? I dunno --- someday, hopefully, I'll be able to let you know.
I’d have to agree with Camp, having time to enjoy the things you’ve worked hard for (your home, car, new pair of skis, a new gun, vacation with family) and being debt free and able to pay your bill before they are due all give me a feeling of being “rich”.
When I was in my 20s, all I did was work. It was ok though, I was single, no kids yet, and didn’t have to answer to anyone. I invested well, accumulated some rental properties, built a new home, and always drove a nice vehicle. Some of this involved taking on debt which I was ok with.
Fast forward to my 30’s, I got married, started a family, and started my own business. I worked a lot to pay off debt and when that was accomplished, my income went so much further.
Now that I’m in my 40’s I value my free time more than I ever have. I’m less concerned about driving a nice truck, it’s 12 years old and losing the battle with rust, but I haven’t had a payment in 7 years now. I’m able to tweek my work schedule now to have free week days in the winter months for skiing. Ski days are so much better when you’re sharing the mountain with a couple dozen rather than hundreds on the weekends. I always try to get as much work done Monday thru Thursday in the summer so I can either have a short day on Friday or have it completely off.
Two other things that make me feel rich are health and friends. I have a great group of friends who are always there for me when I need them. And if you don’t have your health you can’t enjoy most of what you’ve worked for.
It’s not so much how much you make as how much you net after spending and your resultant quality of life
I could for sure make more say living in Boston metro or Jersey but my spending to do so would be multiples of what my cost of living is now and my quality of life would be lower. To me that’s not worth it. I’m living a great life in an awesome place. It forces me to travel a bit more for work at times but it’s a good trade off in my book.
Debt is something that freaks me out and I try like hell to not do. NW and ski racing at the elite level is pushing me to fianace it that I’m learning to live with but it’s tough. I’m trying to balance that against paying for college and then retirement at a reasonable age.
"It is better to go skiing and think of God, than go to church and think of sport."
Artic Explorer Fridtjof Nansen
My biggest problem with Gov’t data and “defining” the “middle class” is that the discussion is almost always based on averages, much like Harvey’s question. However, analyzing anything based on averages is a fool’s errand. While $60k puts one square in the middle of the average HH incomes nation-wide.....it doesn’t fall into the middle class range for places like NY, DC, LA or SF.....places where incomes pushing $200k are still in the “middle class” range......
It is NOT about what you make , it IS about achieving HNW with high quality of life ,good health and contentment . Financial Discipline , Impulse control and a health conscious life style and a deliniated goal oriented pathway toward the HNW goal is key . Early outs are very possible given that . It isnt rocket science .
That chart has NH ranked 7th at $70,303. Just goes to show how stats and measurements need to be evaluated to ensure you are interpreting the data accurately. This stat, as a median, suggests to me that NH has a population bias towards southern MA border population centers like Portsmouth, Nashua, Salem, and Manchester. A LOT of NH/MA boarder are residents commute into the Boston metro area AND those areas of the state have the highest population... which will both severely skew the state median upwards. Offset, of course, by much of the state's rural population with household income significantly below the median.
Wealth is a tough thing to define and measure because everyone views it differently... not just what dollar value or net worth makes you wealthy but also how you view being wealthy from a value perspective (someone who most people consider wealthy may not themselves view themselves as wealthy if they don't want to be identified or self identify as a one percenter... and vice versa for someone struggling to make it that wants to be identified as wealthy).
Wealth is always going to be a value based and relative measurement. One person's rich could be another person's poor and vice versa. Some want to self identify as rich, some would be aghast to be defined so. Rich could even be a perception based on the specific use and display of wealth rather than an objective measurement. It isn't how much money someone has but perhaps how they choose to spend and display it that invokes the characterization.