When my sons were young they used to talk about the cars they would buy when they grew up.  One wanted a Porsche, the other a Lamborghini.  Luxury items were high on their “wants” list.

The whole lottery business is aimed at “living the dream” and the commercials show winners with their own private islands, yachting around the world and playing games with their helicopters and motorboats.  Nice fantasies indeed.  But most people really wouldn’t change their lifestyles at all.

If you listen to interviews with lottery winners they say they want to pay off their bills, purchase a new house or truck, take a nice vacation and help out their families – statements common to almost all of them and pretty boring actually.  There’s never any mention of pursuing anything extravagant.

What Does Wealth Mean To You?

What constitutes “wealth” is relative.  Some people think they will be wealthy when they attain a high income or a net worth of a certain dollar amount.  Others associate money with being successful and attempt to show how important they are with a display of opulence by living in a large estate, driving a fancy car and joining the best clubs.

In fact there are more than a few people that earn a six-figure income or more who live paycheque to paycheque and are as stressed as those living at poverty level.  It becomes a race to have it all and someone will always have newer and/or better and it’s hard to keep up.   Also, job loss is a real possibility these days – then what?

The pursuit of wealth and riches by working long hours can be detrimental to health and relationships.  There are a lot of millionaires who are alone in the end miserably counting their piles of money.

There are those who take awful risks to strike it rich – gambling on dubious financial schemes as well as games of chance.  There are the Bernie Madoffs of the world who take advantage of the gullibility of others to make themselves rich.  And of course there’s always someone who expects to get something for nothing.  Greed rears it’s ugly head and makes them targets and surprised victims of scams and con artists.

The book “Millionaire Next Door” by Thomas J. Stanley examines wealthy people who are not extravagant and don’t need to show their wealth to the world.  They go about their business quietly and do whatever they want to do with their lives.  They know what it takes to become a millionaire.

I think that most people want enough money to feel a sense of security – no more worries about monthly expenses and unexpected bills, the ability to pay for some luxuries and live life on their own terms.  Some aren’t satisfied until they have it all.

How much money do you need to be wealthy?  It’s a personal choice.  It’s whatever feels right to you.

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