View Full Version : Define 'rich'.

20th Sep 2008, 09:29
I suspect that a large number of people simply believe that if they make more than X a month, they become 'rich'!

Others think that they qualify once they've squirrelled away a certain amount.

Heck, kids reckon that once they manage to secure a loan from the bank to buy whatever new grotesque, bespoilered, noisy little hatchback with the drainpipe exhaust is the latest must-have, they've arrived!

I've always thought that once house, cars, kids' education, and whatever toys one cannot live without are paid for and one has sufficient stashed away/invested/bringing in rental-income to sustain a very comfortable life-style without having to bother to actually work, ever again, one might be forgiven for thinking oneself as having arrived on the very bottom rung of 'rich'. (would help to achieve this prior to, say, 55, because the definition of rich loses punch if you only spend a year or two living within that definition, not so?)

...and then there's my boss :eek: but let's keep this realistic.

20th Sep 2008, 09:37
Simply, having more income than you can reasonably spend has to qualify as rich (as defined by Mr Micauber I believe).
Of course to some, several mansions maintained by huge staffs and the odd ocean-going 'yacht' and a private aircraft at one's beck and call (not to mention a significant collection of automobiles for transport and pleasure) all adds up.
I guess that being able to do exactly whatever you want without having to consider the cost yet not reducing your net worth is the way to go . . .

Lance Murdoch
20th Sep 2008, 09:38
Rich people have money, the truly wealthy have time and money.

20th Sep 2008, 09:57
Watching the sun setting after a surf at Watergate Bay, being on top of Mam Tor with ya' dog, making it to the top of that windy pass in the lake district in ya'eld astra, watching your kids grow up, finding the tents still standing after a night of howling gales.....

thats what I call being rich:)

Effluent Man
20th Sep 2008, 10:02
Depends on your situation.Someone on the minimum wage would probably look at someone earning 30k as rich.Personally I can live very comfortably on that and not want for anything.I had a spell in the mid/late eighties when I earned much more than I could spend.I got fat and bored.On holiday a couple of years ago we booked into a quite posh hotel for three nights,it was nice.When we used to do it as a matter of course for three weeks it lost the allure.Its the contrast that is enjoyable.

Latest research shows that what really gives people satisfaction is being richer than their peers,now that IS sad.

Farmer 1
20th Sep 2008, 10:07
There was an opinion poll held a few years ago as people were leaving the Labour party conference. The call had been to "Tax the rich!", so the question asked was, "How do you define rich?"

Some people gave a specific income per year. If asked as to what was special about that sum, the answer was, "That's more than I earn."

Every single person shown on the poll considered anyone who earned more than they did was rich, and should be taxed more.

20th Sep 2008, 10:09
It's not the big income that makes you rich, it's minimum expenses...

20th Sep 2008, 10:39
Tend to lean very much toward your view, Gingernut! Of course that new surfboard (or kiteboard, in my case) costs money, as does that tent, as do the kids. I know one or two truly wealthy individuals. They're around my age (not longer really young, but not yet old either) so they've wasted no time. They live very 'outdoorsy' lifestyles. The cost is high, in time! Time costs, as well as all the gumpf we need to live, which is where Mr Murdochs' wise view comes in! These gents don't come across as 'rich'. No flashy automobiles, ridiculous villas, etc. But they need never worry about the money ending before the month does.

Having the money for that surfboard, as well as the time for it, as well as knowing that it won't be catfood after retirement age.

Not easy.

20th Sep 2008, 11:02
Hard to define.

You will never become rich, working for someone. You maybe rich working for yourself

20th Sep 2008, 11:10
Define 'rich'.

Sure, just look in the dictionary.

The Oxford Dictionary Sums it up quite nicely

AskOxford: rich (http://www.askoxford.com/concise_oed/rich?view=uk)

20th Sep 2008, 11:21
I can remember 'Rich' being described to me as having enough money so that you could compare it to water in the tap, essential but always there, always available and no chance of running out, take as much or as little as you want. Sounds about right to me:)

20th Sep 2008, 11:44
True in most cases, Joehunt. However, one of the two people I was on about DID in fact become independantly wealthy as an employee, albeit a highly specialised one in a managerial position, bonuses, share options, offshore, what-have-you. Won't happen at Air Berlin though, true :E

Bearing in mind that to some people having access to 3000 euros a month ad infinitum is sufficient, others would need 30 000 to be independent!

20th Sep 2008, 12:11

Sounds good.

Try convincing the 3 bil on this planet who are below the povety line and know how to survive without money because they are doing just that everyday.

20th Sep 2008, 12:12
You will never become rich, working for someone else. Bear Stearns CEO James Cayne ostensibly earned bonuses worth over $33 million in 2006...?! :confused: You may become rich working for yourself though Wondered how all those Wall St. folks 'made good' ostensibly working on behalf of their shareholders...?! Wink, wink, nudge, nudge etc. :uhoh:

Rich to me means:

Being very good-looking at age 20 (even better if you have a sportscar to go with).

Owning your own home without a mortgage by age 45, with the kids all grown up and having a fully-funded final salary pension plan.

Being able to still afford vet bills when you've retired.

Being a young lioness, a member of a large pride in say the Serengeti / Masai Mara wildlife reserves. It's July and the great migration has begun...

(I like the last one best).

20th Sep 2008, 12:28
Well, as I say, if you have a money shortage, actually you have a shortage of ideas!

20th Sep 2008, 13:07
Well, as I say, if you have a money shortage, actually you have a shortage of ideas! My initial reaction to that unqualified statement, is, what a generally narcisstic contribution...?! But it has merit. I was thinking of those poor families in Laos and Thailand. Who ostensibly sell off their 10 year old daughters into what they understand to be more or less a life of servitude as domestic servants, completely ignorant that they're intended for a very short life as prostitutes in brothels until they get HIV / AIDS.

I have to admit that my best ideas tend to come to me when I'm enjoying my early morning mug of tea and taking a dump. I'm not sure whether that's because the affects of all the Scotch one consumed the night before are beginning to wear off, consumption of PG Tips, or something to do with the sometimes pleasurable evacuation of the bowels. Whatever, it's when I finalise my plans for the day. If I ran a big Wall St. company, I think I'd insist that all my top executives coordinated their daily actions in what would be known as airship's early-morning brain-storming session (it would all obviously have to be video-conferenced with stenographers taking notes). Hey, Lehman could have had me as CEO for a fraction of what they had to pay Richard Fuld. It's too late for Lehman now though, but I'm open to offers from Goldman Sachs etc... ;)

20th Sep 2008, 13:15
Airship, only you could shoehorn takng a shit into a discussion on wealth.

20th Sep 2008, 13:18
One remembers watching a documentary a few years back about 'rich people' and the story followed the usual mix of those with well feathered nests in several countries. Alan Whicker might have been the interviewer ? Anyhoo, it was interesting and at the very end the question was asked to the last person, "what advantage does being rich give you ?" He thought about it and said "Time....." "I can divest myself of all the nonsense that occupies people on a daily basis and live my life doing things that motivate and interest me."

They used to say in the UK that you would need 8 million in the bank to be able to live a life without working and not eat into your capital, that is assuming that you wouldn't be so silly to get a biz-jet or motor-yacht ;)
Apparently after this point of wealth the persons became less contented, as the responsibilities of all the 'things' outweighed the pleasure.

Ultimately being rich, for me, is having enough to do the things that you want, having time for myself, my family, health of all I know and the wisdom to appreciate what I do have rather than the human tendency of being envious of what I don't.



20th Sep 2008, 14:17
Parapunter, I'll take that as a compliment. Call it my gut-instinct...

PS. Regular bowel movements of a certain consistency are a recognised sign of good (or ill-) health I'm told. If I stop having any, or they change in consistency etc. and I run out of ideas, I'll know I've finally joined the ranks of the billion or so really poor people...?! :sad:

20th Sep 2008, 14:57
Does 'richness' depend on entrepreneurial ability?
An interview with Duncan Bannatyne (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duncan_Bannatyne) (of BBC Dragons' Den fame) revealed that entrepreneures were all of similar 'types'.
Many had little or no formal education, some are dyslexic, quite a few are from 'humble' backgrounds.
One example quoted was 'where do you find 50,000 to start a business when the banks won't fund you?' - you take out five credit cards and borrow 10,000 from each of them . . .

How many people would do that?

Examine the history of successful businessmen (and women?) and you will probably find signs of money-making schemes at early ages - usually when still at school.

Bannatyne admits that although he had effected schemes early, by age 30 he was nothing but a beach bum, and from that base he established what is now a multi-million empire. Of course there have been unsuccessful projects, but overall he has dusted himself down and started afresh.

Peter Jones (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Jones_(entrepreneur)) is another example from Dragons' Den.
His own website (http://www.peterjones.tv/) makes interesting reading IMO.
Duncan Bannatyne (http://www.duncanbannatyne.co.uk/)'s isn't so informative, but he is worth more than Peter Jones . . .

As one who never had the confidence to become self-employed (despite opportunities), and I'm certainly no 'photocopier salesman' (my definition of someone prepared to sell something that the customer probably doesn't want in return for little or no salary or even commision only), I admit that I'll never be rich through my own efforts.

I see folk running caravans in lay-bys selling cups of tea and kit-kat bars to truckers and wonder how they can over their costs (numbers of teas/hour x profit - 'depreciation' of the caravan . . . ). Obviously if your little business is a great success then the volume increases, but there must also be days when you are left with excessive stock?

What would be the most lucrative low-investment business to start with (excluding drugs or anything illegal of course)? Something akin to Amazon though without actually holding any stock until you received firm orders, but where do you start? Ice cream is dependant on weather . . .

20th Sep 2008, 15:06
A commonality amongst entrepreneurs is the loss of a father at an early age. That's not definitive by any means, but has been turned up by research a few times. The theory goes that the child matures into the man of the house at a precocious age & carries that ability into the world of work.

Lance Murdoch
20th Sep 2008, 15:06
G-CPTN don't know if this qualifies as a low capital start up business but I think the best thing that most people can do is to gain specialist knowledge in one field and then start a consultancy. In my line of work many of my co workers have done this in the past and done very well. Problem is to do this you need at least 20 preferably 30 years experience which rules me out as I hadnt even started school 30 years ago.

20th Sep 2008, 15:07
I wouldn't worry too much if I were you G-CPTN. Even as I speak, the apologists are rising to the defence and minimising the affects any band of lawless high-flying capitalists. 'The authorities' (ie. politicians of every shade) are preparing plans to save us all, but primarily their bed-fellows. Now, that's rich...

Two's in
20th Sep 2008, 15:36
Gingernut wins.

Richness has nothing to do with money or wealth. It's how you navigate the journey from womb to grave while remaining happy with your lot, maybe investing your wisdom in any offspring, coping with adversity, and enjoying whatever luxuries life throws at you.

You leave this world with exactly what you entered it with - nothing. Deriving joy from whatever you have along the way is paramount to fulfilment. Being rich is not even close to feeling fulfilled.

Of course money helps, of course it buys you time, but time to do what? Being able to instantly do something instead of saving, or waiting for your life circumstances may be great fun, but it teaches you nothing about character, or any sense of reward. I think you will find that boredom is often associated with wealth.

If you think rich people are happier than you, it's probably you who should adjust your own sense of achievement or worth.

20th Sep 2008, 15:52
If you think rich people are happier than you, it's probably you who should adjust your own sense of achievement or worth.

Sorry, I have to lump your contribution into the dustbin shared by this earlier post Well, as I say, if you have a money shortage, actually you have a shortage of ideas!

Reason: it's far too narcisstic. If there really were as many people who thought as you do, I'd say that we're already all doomed. Please try harder (or at least try again once your adreneline levels have descended to normal levels... ?!

20th Sep 2008, 15:52
In the very early days of my employment, overtime at weekends (8 and 8) meant a healthy pay packet - and no time to spend it, so it was (for a single young man) self-defeating.
I guess if you can generate sufficient income to fund a three-day week (and four day weekend) then that could be a compromise - unless, of course, your presence wasn't needed and then you have 'all the time in the world' . . .

20th Sep 2008, 16:57
What would be the most lucrative low-investment business to start with (excluding drugs or anything illegal of course)?

Selling indulgences on line?

Where we live there are many people who don't know where their food will be coming from tomorrow.

They think the rich ones are those who know they will eat tomorrow.

20th Sep 2008, 17:09
Rich is:


I guess some of those are helped along by money. But really if you are healthy and contented, what more do you need?

20th Sep 2008, 17:09
Where we live there are many people who don't know where their food will be coming from tomorrow.
How on Earth do you resolve that without constantly giving hand-outs from your own resources?
There are people (on here) that devote themselves to feeding stray cats . . .

20th Sep 2008, 17:11
Being able to live well on the interest on the interest!!!

20th Sep 2008, 17:21
Define rich'.
easy, it's when you supply more fuel than required for an optimal air/fuel ratio.

20th Sep 2008, 17:32
You leave this world with exactly what you entered it with - nothing. Deriving joy from whatever you have along the way is paramount to fulfilment. Being rich is not even close to feeling fulfilled.

And therein lies the secret and the challenge, how do you live your life to feel fulfilled ? It is often said that tis better to be rich and unhappy than poor and unhappy, however, with the former there comes, in general terms more responsibilities and therefore perhaps less happiness. Contentment is the poor man's bank and all that...

I always found that as soon as we became used to a certain level of living, it became second nature and a taking for granted was apparent. I believe that it's just human nature and those of us to whom a second chance comes are thankful each and every day (I'm still waiting for mine :}).

What of all the young heroes of today who have graduated into adulthood in the last 10 years or so and have never experienced times that we might be well about to endure ? I'll wager that they didn't appreciate the fair weather that they had been sailing in compared to those who had been around longer. They will now, that's for sure.

As LooseRivets wrote a few posts back, most of us don't really do anything that makes the world a better place whilst working (me included), so we can only act so privately in our dealings with others on a daily basis.

Many wealthy individuals that I have had dealings with were VERY driven and never satisfied, because there was always someone else to possibly snatch away the desired 'thing' that they were striving for, always that haunting feeling that it could be gone. Ironically the outside image was of the elegant swan, whilst the reality was furious paddling of the feet underwater and a killer instinct to any other sentient being daring to go for the breadcrumbs.

This classic personality type has the advantage of accumulating a big pile of (whatever) compared to others, but the things lost along the way, are to my mind greater and often irretrievable once the opportunity has passed it's natural time. There ARE those who live a wonderous balanced life in all ways and are truely wealthy, and if that is you sir/madam I doff my cap.



20th Sep 2008, 18:02
My observation that those who say money isn't everything are those that are quite well off!

20th Sep 2008, 18:06
How on Earth do you resolve that without constantly giving hand-outs from your own resources

You quite simply cannot resolve it. :(

We help where we can by trying to be fair employers and by sponsoring some kids through college. Also do some very small business start ups.

My exsperience is that - if you give hand-outs - you make people dependent on them and they will cease trying to improve their lot.

There are people (on here) that devote themselves to feeding stray cats .

Don't get a lot of them or dogs for that matter. Good protein source dontcha know.:eek:

20th Sep 2008, 18:21
Latterly, I think of "rich" as being those people that are truly content in their life as a whole, to the extent of never questioning it. Never gauging themselves by others, nor feeling inferior to anyone or by their own measures in any realm. Total content in their own skin. They might wonder why anyone would even discuss as in this thread, even if they themsleves are monetarily wealthy.

Are they happy in their work, in the right business/job? They don't explain to you; they never think that way, it's all just, natural. These people are rare, but I know several. I wish I was one of them.

blue up
20th Sep 2008, 19:31
I don't know if this helps with the answer.

My Grandfather used to ocassionally say that he was 'having a celebration today' because he had woken up in the morning. Never used to make a lot of sense until after the morning when he didn't wake up.

Very rich man. Of his Parachute Regiment unit, he was one of the richest men alive, although I'm sure that a lot of his pals had been richer than him prior to 00:12 on 6t June 1944, but not many after.

Want the answer to the question "how much do I need?" Visit Ranville cemetry in Normandy.

My 2 cents. Sorry. Long week.

20th Sep 2008, 20:55
Rich is difficult to pin down in terms of monetary wealth.
However, to my mind there are just three things you need in life to be happy.

A dry bed to sleep in every night.
A good meal to round off the day, with a modicum of good wine to settle the days end.
Someone to share the one and two with.

Rich, yes I would say I am.
Money.....not much.

20th Sep 2008, 21:15
There is no single answer to this question.

Being rich to me is knowing I can do exactly what I want when I want and that I can probably continue to do so until I pop me clogs without having to worry about paying for it without ever having to work again.

Now how much you need to achieve that is a matter of individual choice and personal need..

On that basis therefore I am rich but to others I am probably poor.

Barnes Wallis once said to me " The most important thing you can achieve in life is contentment".

If you value contentment by monitary value alone unless you are the 'richest ' person in the World there will always be someone wealthier than you so will you ever be truly happy??

20th Sep 2008, 22:45
Whoa Groundhog, I support Gingernut, as stated earlier. I'm in no danger of qualifying as 'rich' by any definition, however I've been assumed to be financially independent by an nosy neighbour who sees me galavanting off to work every two weeks. Needless to say whenever he meets me I'm not working, and he thinks I'm off for even more 'holidays' elsewhere! :p I do not experience the burning desire to regale my neighbourhood with exactly what I do. However the psychology and the politics of envy, however ill-placed, are interesting, hence the light-hearted question posed at the beginning of the thread.

Interesting thing though that has surfaced via a few posts here is that some react quite vehemently to the very IDEA of accumulating wealth. As if this is somehow abhorrent. How come? Surely one aspect of leading a balanced life may include sound financial planning? Be nice to know there's something in the kitty for old age - rest assured our governments will not be caring for us!

20th Sep 2008, 23:32
I agree too - actually an interesting question - had a boss many years ago who left with 4.5 million and wasn't poor before that. For him that wasn't enough to retire on - aged mid forties. Would've done me!

21st Sep 2008, 00:19
-- the freedom to take risks and prosper if successful, or survive for another try if not
-- the health to enjoy each moment of existence, or ignore it, without a sense of need or loss
-- the wits to remember where you've been and to ponder where you might next choose to go
-- handy access to something warm and furry for hugs when the mood strikes
-- the ability to materially help others without being diminished oneself in the process
-- enough money or resources to feel, most times, that one has enough
-- access to many fine things, while owning as few of them as possible

22nd Sep 2008, 03:07
My old scottish granny used to say....

"When your money works for you instead of you working for your money";)

22nd Sep 2008, 03:25
After reading this thread, I feel richer already.

Flying Binghi
22nd Sep 2008, 13:01
Define 'rich'

...having a life long passion

22nd Sep 2008, 13:05
I remember seeing some rich bloke interviewed and one comment caught my eye. It was along the lines of, "Whenever I want an Italian meal, I fly to Rome."

22nd Sep 2008, 13:28
arcniz sums up 'being rich' nicely as far as I'm concerned especially this:-

enough money or resources to feel, most times, that one has enough

to me that equates to having peace of mind,............ most important.
Though as some posters have said, really being rich is having things money can't buy.

22nd Sep 2008, 13:57
Rich is - telling the little woman she can do whatever she wants. (So long as your tea's on the table when you get in).

BBC NEWS | Health | Men with sexist views 'earn more' (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/7625173.stm)

Rwy in Sight
22nd Sep 2008, 15:56
Isn't wealth associated with alternate/options? When a problem appears you just think about the solutions having removed the monetary constraints? You are looking for a place to live and you can choose from where do you want to live rather than where you can afford.

Rwy in Sight

22nd Sep 2008, 18:33
Health: Having it.

Wealth: Being able to live at one's chosen standard of living, whatever that is, without having to trade one's labour. Simple really.

Happiness: The love and devotion of a good woman who takes joy from all aspects of a conjugal relationship.

Captain Stable
22nd Sep 2008, 18:41
A mate of mine is Rich. He prefers it to either "Richard" or "Dick".

22nd Sep 2008, 19:25
I remember my old granddad's definition of a real millionaire:

'Someone who can spend a million and still have a million.'

Mind you that was circa 1970, so better make that 10 million today.;)

22nd Sep 2008, 21:49
Wingswingers' got it!

"Health: Having it.

Wealth: Being able to live at one's chosen standard of living, whatever that is, without having to trade one's labour. Simple really.

Happiness: The love and devotion of a good woman who takes joy from all aspects of a conjugal relationship."


Howard Hughes
23rd Sep 2008, 07:18
Being rich (in financial terms anyway) means never having to ask yourself, can I afford it?:ok: