Rich vs Wealthy (Such a Big Difference?)

➤ Rich or Wealthy?

So, what’s the real difference?

Ever wondered about the difference between being rich and being wealthy? It’s not just about having lots of zeros in your bank account. Financial advisors say that there’s more to it than you might think. Let’s dive into it and keep it simple.

Are you rich? What defines richness?

When you think of being rich, you probably think about money and assets like real estate. Sure, it’s important to grow your assets, but here’s the real deal: no one really cares how much money you have.

Harvard did a fascinating study that followed 724 teenagers since 1938, tracking them into retirement.

What did they find?

The happiest retirees had something in common, and it wasn’t their bank balance. It was their mindset and their connections, especially with friends and family. They missed those relationships more than their jobs or money.

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So, being rich isn’t all about the zeros; it’s about the connections you make.

Retirement’s about Pleasures (Not Net Worth)

Have you ever visited anyone in a retirement community? Nobody there is discussing their careers or net worth. While residing in a retirement community does require a certain level of financial comfort, that’s not what they focus on.

Instead, they chat about their hobbies, share stories about their grandkids, and rave about the things that brought them joy.

This, my friends, is the essence of the rich-versus-wealthy distinction. Being rich often involves adding more zeros to your bank account. But true wealth? It’s about leading a life with zero regrets, zero jealousy, and a laser focus on what makes you happy.

In my experience, the happiest people I’ve known are the truly wealthy ones, and it has nothing to do with their bank balance.

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One of my all-time favorite sayings is “money is a catalyst.” Once your income reaches a point where you’re living comfortably, money is just money.

If you’re content and joyful with an annual income of $100,000, then an extra $500,000 won’t drastically change your happiness. The reverse is also true – if you’re unhappy at $100,000, half a million won’t magically make your life cheerful.

Of course, this rings true when your income already covers your basic needs.

➤ Money Alone Won’t Bring Happiness

I’ve known some seriously wealthy individuals with massive bank balances who are also profoundly unhappy. Money alone won’t bring happiness.

If you’re a happy person earning a modest income, chances are you’d still be happy if you struck it rich. And conversely, if you’re a miserable person, you’d likely remain miserable whether you’re middle-income or wealthy.

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The bottom line is, happiness doesn’t hinge on how many zeros are in your bank account. It’s all about shifting your mindset, discovering what truly brings you joy, and then making choices that reflect those priorities.

The real riches may lie in retirement, where you can wholeheartedly embrace the social connections that the Harvard study revealed are crucial for lifelong happiness.

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〝Don’t wait to buy real estate. Buy real estate and wait.〞

— Will Rogers
Pavlos Written by:

Hey — It’s Pavlos. Just another human sharing my thoughts on all things money. Nothing more, nothing less.