Here is something that I read recently that I wanted to share my thoughts on:
Wealth Is What You Don’t See (Fervent Finance)
I shared this link on my social media this week, and I have been thinking about it (way before today, but more so lately). I think it’s important enough topic that I wanted to deep dive a little more in to.
When I was in 8th grade, we were asked to read and report on this book ‘Wealth of Nations’ (1776). Author of the now-famous book, Adam Smith, defined economics as follows: ‘Economics is the science of wealth’. In the ordinary language, by ‘wealth’, we mean money, but in economics, ‘wealth’ has a special meaning and refers to those goods which satisfy human wants. However, not all goods which satisfy human wants are wealth. For example, we cannot live without air and air is not regarded as wealth because it is available in abundance and unlimited in supply. Therefore we regard those goods which are relatively scarce as wealth.
If you were to ask 100 people about their definition of wealth, I would guarantee you will get almost 100 different responses based on their wants. Investment company, Charles Schwab recently asked 1,000 Americans in a survey and these are some interesting findings of what being wealthy meant for people:
1) Spending time with family (62%)
2) Having time to myself (55%)
3) Owning a home (49%)
4) Eating out or having meals delivered (41%)
5) Subscription services like movie/TV and music streaming (33%)
6) Other things that make people feel wealthy in their daily lives include owning the latest tech gadgets (27%), having a gym membership or personal trainer (17%), and using a home cleaning service (12%)
When asked to focus just on dollars, survey respondents believed it takes $1.4 million to be considered financially comfortable. To be considered truly “wealthy,” that number increases to $2.4 million. (Source: https://www.aboutschwab.com/modern-wealth-index-2018)
With financial planning, we may become wealthy, live well and achieve financial freedom (i.e. having money in excess of daily expenses and other financial goals). However, being wealthy can also mean being healthy enough to do the things we like to do (eg. traveling, golfing etc); being able to have quality time to spend with our loved ones; being able to learn enough knowledge and skills to help others in need or being able to have many good friends for emotional support to rid the bad experiences from our lives.
What is the point of having a million dollars sitting in the bank account when we have no family members/loved ones or health to enjoy our material wealth? Where is the joy if we have to worry about getting up to work every day and having the fear of getting fired or laid off despite we might have a high paying job? Do we really want a lifestyle which incurs high expenses and may result in bankruptcy in bad times?
In our relentless pursuit of material wealth (bigger house, faster car, etc), we should not forget that financial wealth is only one aspect of our lives. There are other wealth areas of our lives that we should be mindful of, such as mental wealth, physical wealth, emotional wealth, social wealth and spiritual wealth. By seeking a balance in all these aspects of life, we can achieve fulfillment and find joy in our daily living.
I can help…just ask!