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What Does Wealth Actually Mean?

We all define wealth and success differently. Some define wealth as having a lot of money in the bank, having a high income, or making a lot of money from investments. However, for many, more money comes with more problems. A recent headline from the Wall Street Journal reads “Suddenly Wealthy From Markets, Some Millennials are Stressed.” Millennials generally haven’t had it easy financially, so many of them worry that they will mess up their chance at financial stability when they acquire wealth.

Some define wealth as having a lot of money in the bank, having a high income, or making a lot of money from investments.

Another headline from MarketWatch reads “I’m 49, my wife is 34, we have 4 kids and $2.3 million saved. I earn $300K a year but ‘lose a lot of sleep worrying about tomorrow’ — when can I retire?” Despite having more money saved than most people, this person is losing sleep over financial stress. Another quote from the article reads:

“I have had a good career in technology and make about $300,000 a year. We max out all retirement vehicles and we have zero debt aside from our primary residence. We also have approximately eight rental income residential properties that net us about $6,000 per month after all mortgages and expenses. Passive income, if you will. Our monthly target expenses are about $10,000 to $12,000 on the high end.”

There will always be something to worry about when it comes to wealth

With eight rental properties and 2.3 million saved, you’d think this person wouldn’t have a care in the world. And yes, it’s possible that they could mess things up and lose all their money – that’s possible with anyone. However, that would be extremely unlikely. While it’s true that there will always be something to worry about when it comes to wealth, especially if you have a family to support, you’ll drive yourself crazy if you’re constantly worrying.

At the end of the day, If you spend less than what you make, if you’re not living paycheck to paycheck, and if you’re saving for retirement and planning ahead, then you’re on the right track. And while there’s nothing wrong with shooting for the stars and trying to make as much money as possible, sometimes you just need to relax and realize that you’re doing enough already.

Wealth is about more than having a lot of money in the bank, or making passive income off rental properties. A part of wealth is about living (mostly) stress-free, so someone who makes $100,000 a year may end up being more wealthy than someone who makes $300,000 a year if they are more content and at peace with their life.

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