What is it about being “rich” in America? We continue to be fascinated with this concept of being rich, and there are plenty of lists on why people have not attained this coveted financial status. Somehow we imagine that someday, if we do things correctly, we will be swimming in cash and all of our problems will somehow be solved. I don’t buy that belief for a number of reasons. However, that is irrelevant. By societal standards I am not rich, and there is a good chance that I probably won’t be.
A job is a job
How do you get rich? Simple. Get a job that pays well, minimize your expenses and save regularly. No problem, right? The reality is that I do just fine in life, and I remain grateful for a good job when so many people are out of work. That said, I do not know if I will eventually end up with a position that is far more lucrative. Nor do I expect to start a business that will be wildly successful and make me millions. I watch my budget, save each month and have a plan for both affording college and eventually retiring. Sometimes there is only so much that can be done to gain wealth.
At what cost?
Sometimes I wonder what life might be like if I made financial wealth a more dedicated pursuit. There has to come a point where money is not worth the toll that it takes on other aspects of life. There is only so much time in the day and there are only so many goals that can be pursued. What would I need to give up if I wanted to be “rich” by American standards? A satisfying job? Time with my family? Opportunities to work with non-profit organizations? That doesn’t sound appealing.
I take it back. I am rich, and I plan on staying “rich” for the rest of my life. Not to get all sentimental, but there is a reason that we have a quote on our living room wall that says, “The best things in life aren’t things.” As mentioned, I have a good job and I also have a loving family and good friends. Would I take more money? Certainly. Who wouldn’t? However, I am not going to consider my life a failure because my bank accounts aren’t flush with cash. There are many different definitions on what it means to be rich.
Todd Pheifer contributes finance content for the Yahoo! Contributor Network. Follow him on Twitter @tpheifer, “Like” him on Facebook and add him to your network on Google+.
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