How rich is "rich"? (financially) MERGED THREADS

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wwb

Hunter
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As noted earlier, a lot depends on your lifestyle and where you live. Between my IRA, my wife's IRA, her pension, my Social Security, her Social Security, and our outside investments, we have more than enough. Paid off the mortgage early (smartest move you can make), the kids are long since out on their own and self-supporting, a car and a truck we paid cash for. If you research average net worth (or median) and average income, we're far above the majority, but I wouldn't say "rich". "Comfortably well off" would be a better description.
 
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Ragnarok Farm, Iowa
Compared to the majority of the people in this world, your average American is very wealthy. Even those on the government dole.

In third world countries, your Nike shoes or Casio watch is enough to mark you as a high roller. The fact that you have a house with several rooms, with real floors and a roof that keeps out the rain, and clean running water and sanitation facilities, proves it. You probably even had more than one meal yesterday!

Add to that, the privately owned car, and cell phone, and TV, along with reliable electrical service, and you seem very rich indeed.

If all of your basic needs are satisfied, anything extra is wealth. May we all be grateful for what we have.
 

JFB

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I thought I would have been “financially wealthy”.
I worked HARD at a career that required both high education and physical demands. I even lived frugal with respect to my income at the time. During work, I did associate with some extremely wealthy.
While I am now “comfortable”, I some time realize I am the poorest at the lunch table.
 
Joined
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In third world countries, your Nike shoes or Casio watch is enough to mark you as a high roller. The fact that you have a house with several rooms, with real floors and a roof that keeps out the rain, and clean running water and sanitation facilities, proves it. You probably even had more than one meal yesterday!

So true! And then there is the jewelry store here in the US with the audacity to tell newlyweds they should spend two to three months salary on a wedding ring! My wife and I spent less than a thousand dollars on our wedding.
 

vito

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Northern Illinois
[quote

So true! And then there is the jewelry store here in the US with the audacity to tell newlyweds they should spend two to three months salary on a wedding ring! My wife and I spent less than a thousand dollars on our wedding.
[/quote]

Most Americans are not even aware that the entire concept of a diamond engagement ring was created by DeBeers Co., after WWII when the world was broke, other than the U.S., and they saw the opportunity to create a boom in diamonds by advertising that diamonds were an expression of love. The markup in diamonds is astronomical, and (in my opinion) the entire concept of spending big bucks for a stupid ring that the bride-to-be can show off to her friends is absurd. I remember a friend back in the '60's who had saved about $2,000 for his dream purchase of a new MG sports car. Then he met the girl of his dreams and that $2K went for an engagement ring. He would tell everyone to look at his new MG on his fiance's finger. Crazy.
 

wwb

Hunter
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wisconsin
Looked up the median family net worth and income figures. 2019 was the latest data I could find.
Median family net worth... $121,760
Median family income... $68,703

This is a better measure than "average", since a few sky-high numbers can skew the results.
 

LAH

Buckeye
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I had cornbread & honey today after a bowl of chili. So in that way I'm certainly rich. And for money & things, I've a plenty. Put me on the rich side by the Grace of God.
 

Biggfoot44

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Leaving aside the Family , Faith , and Health vs filthy lucre aspect , there are several different contexts of " Rich " , which largely contradict each other .

" Being Secure " - Able to maintain a particular mainstream lifestyle ( let's say middle to upper middle class ) , without stressing or juggling bills .

Rich #1 - Lavish , high roller lifestyle . Huge home(s) , multiple high end vehicles , attend upscale restaurants , night clubs , country clubs , frequent vacations .

Rich #2 - Large net worth .

Rich #1 can be living it up , while spending everything as fast as comes in . or faster . Could have actual net worth of zero , or negative . Rich #2 at least some of the time , will live if not frugal , a normal- ish middle class lifestyle , while having large net worth , be it business equity , investment accounts , real property , or various combinations .

As to the " If I had $ X amount of money , I'd be permanently set , and could ride off into the sunset " , it's changed a lot , and will continue to change .

In early to mid seventies , a figure of $ 1 million would have been plausible . Today , $ 5 million would be comparable starting point of discussion .
 
Joined
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Greenville, SC: USA
Many years ago I was driving down the road from a really bad pain in the neck job and I said to myself .... " things are so bad they can't be any worse".... out of the blue (take this for what ever it is worth) a voice said: "Blume, get a grip.. you know you could be in a third world prison eating bugs and sharing a bunk with a guy named Raoul....." I have never even considered that my life is bad since then.... even when I was in the hospital hallway and a guy with the world's sharpest scissors took less than 20 seconds to cut all my clothes off.....

Watchman is right.... even the poor in this country are far better off than the average person in many others..... I understand the problem with illegal immigration... but how many folks realize that when people stop wanting to come here and will use any means to get in .... we as a nation are then going to be seriously in trouble... maybe the news just blocks it but I've never once heard of Russia or China having a problem with people wanting to get in, just the opposite.
 

The Norseman

Single-Sixer
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Dec 5, 2009
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377
Location
Black Hills of South Dakota
I’ve worked hard for what I have, and I’m very
conservative. And yes listening to people and
being humble gets you a long ways in Life,
honesty too. The Army thought me that.

When someone gives me crap for the things I have
and I can afford what I do, I just tell them,
“You had the same Chances as I did” and “You
probably have it better now a days”.
That usually shuts people up.

The Best to you all and your Endeavors.
 

Bear Paw Jack

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Dec 19, 2001
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Alaska, Idaho USA
blume357 said:
Many years ago I was driving down the road from a really bad pain in the neck job and I said to myself .... " things are so bad they can't be any worse".... out of the blue (take this for what ever it is worth) a voice said: "Blume, get a grip.. you know you could be in a third world prison eating bugs and sharing a bunk with a guy named Raoul....." I have never even considered that my life is bad since then.... even when I was in the hospital hallway and a guy with the world's sharpest scissors took less than 20 seconds to cut all my clothes off.....

Watchman is right.... even the poor in this country are far better off than the average person in many others..... I understand the problem with illegal immigration... but how many folks realize that when people stop wanting to come here and will use any means to get in .... we as a nation are then going to be seriously in trouble... maybe the news just blocks it but I've never once heard of Russia or China having a problem with people wanting to get in, just the opposite.

Watchman is right about a lot of things. According to BP we have had people enter our country from between 148 and 151 countries.
 

A.J.

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Jun 25, 2017
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481
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Michigan
I guess I'm "rich".

I sold my big 4 bedroom house, pocketed a bunch of money, moved out to my rural vacation house and retired. I have no income, do some volunteer work and complete daily lists of honey-do projects.

My military pension will kick in about a year from now. Until then, I'm living small.

I'm rich.
 
Joined
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Greenville, SC: USA
I know this post might not go anywhere but I was laying in bed this morning... cognitating and thinking about the U.S. and such and had a thought.

Just how wealthy can a nation be? Heck in this country we don't just throw all kinds of stuff away and build mountains from it but we actually throw away houses and perfectly good buildings. In the last 5 years 3 perfectly good houses in a the same block area where I live have been "thrown away" .
that's right... bought by contractors and pushed up... then build two.

Just up the street from us they tore down a house and are in the process of building a new one... original was 5,000 square feet the one they are now building in it's place is 14,000. here's the before and after pictures:

Before:


Replaced with:
[/url
 

Dan in MI

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To answer the question, very to too wealthy.

I wonder about your example though. There are many countries that have built whole cities that sit empty.

But, to get back to the point. Think of all the specialty shops for niche items only. If a country wasn't very wealthy those places would not survive, or probably even ever exist. The one that comes to mind for me when I think of this is dog/pet restaurants.
 
Joined
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Ragnarok Farm, Iowa
JFB said:
and the second "house" has no sense of propertion nor any historical style

Absolutely! The architect for the second house should be run out of town on a rail, properly tarred and feathered.

The first house was a fine and stately dwelling, with class and style. For the money spent on that new abomination, it could have been retrofitted to modern standards.

And yes, some people have way too much money and way too little taste. Pity.
 
Joined
Nov 5, 2007
Messages
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Location
Dallas, TX
Agreed on the two houses. And who needs a 14,000 sq ft house anyway? There is a neighborhood here that has 10 and 15 thousand square foot houses. The few you can see from the road are gaudy and just plain ugly. They start to look like hotels.

But to the question of how rich is the USA…Are we the richest country, or just the most wasteful? I think some countries like Sweden and Japan are also very wealthy.

I’m sure ya’ll have noticed that many bank branches are closing. One closed here, and now they are just tearing down the building. I think of all the waste going into the landfill. It was a perfectly fine building.

Or the monthly bulk trash pickup. Every month so many people throw away mattresses and large items they just don’t want any more.

How big are the landfills becoming? And what happens when they finally fill up?
 

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