My partner and I were discussing this yesterday because soon we will both be individual millionaires (he is already one, I need more money still about a year more of working), and yet we don’t feel rich. Don’t get me wrong, we are extremely well off compared to the middle-class, or most people nearing retirement (and I am not even close!), but we don’t FEEL like millionaires.
(Okay okay, money isn’t everything because you need health and family too, which is far more important than $$$$, and now that is out of the way as a disclaimer…)
I always thought millionaire = rich… and for me, rich people fly private jets, and do all these other things we don’t do (heck, even economy class near the exit row is a luxury for us).
Sure, I drive a very nice car and we both paid for our place in cash, but that for some reason doesn’t seem as flashy as a private jet or having a private chef… or all these other things I think of “rich people” doing.
Then I thought about it some more — those are more hundreds-of-millionaires, and they are the ones who are able to afford such things (a jet would be $50 million for starters), and we already live such a rich life but sadly have gotten so used to it as being ‘normal’ that we don’t feel rich because we are amongst people who have as much if not farrrrr more than what we do.
So we feel .. normal.
We feel like we just have enough, when in fact we have far more than the average household or person.
What is also funny is that we have the same things, but each of the things we have is usually srsly upgraded.
Even cutlery, we don’t go cheap on anything for food for sure, but when I bring out my fork and spoon, people remark at how nice they are. They’re using $5 Ikea spoons and are perfectly happy but I distinctly remember people eying my food and making note of what I am using to eat with.
They see I carry glass tupperware, not plastic… they see my watch is not a Rolex or anything expensive but it isn’t a $10 watch from a store.
It’s all the little things, I suspect that seem to quietly signal that we just may have some money (or a LOT OF DEBT).
Isn’t that funny?
How your environment can make you so de-sensitized to how rich you truly are to the point where you feel like you ARE part of the masses and can instantly point out that we do NOT do X, Y or Z, and only “rich people” do that….
We’re just fooling ourselves, but it did make me wonder what a real millionaire has and does.
The truly rich for me, don’t stress about money
I think being truly rich is when you can spend within your budget / reasonably, and not feel the pinch, nor blink when you need to pay $20,000 in extra taxes, or $5000 for dental surgery.
That, is being rich.
If you can handle those 5-figure amounts fairly easily and absorb them without much pain, you are rich.
…and based on that, we are.
Maybe a million back when we were kids was an effload of money (it still is a lot today), but with inflation and houses costing $500,000 for a “basic starter studio” in cities like Toronto, it can be sort of surprising to realize that a million is not enough for those of us in the midst of saving for our retirements 20, 30 even 40 years away.
I think the new “millionaire” should be amended in our minds to be the “hundreds of millions”-aire …. unless we make it a point to say “a million IN THE BANK”, cash, money, in stocks! Not in net worth, because I can tell you a good chunk of my own net worth (70%) is home/car related. It’s fixed assets I can’t spend.
The other 30% is actual cash, but if we just take that and look at it, I barely have quarter of a million saved. That is not to say that is nothing, but it is not as much as one might think if retirement age is 35 years off, and you plan on living an additional 30 years, for a total of 65 years to cover of living expenses.
$30,000 a year (HAH!) at 65 years = $1.95 million needed in cash, saved.
Or at least, by the time I retire in 35 years (assuming 35, and not earlier).
$250K is a long way off, and my lifestyle wouldn’t even change. I’d be living as I do today. Just maybe with slightly nicer things 😉