How Wealthy Do You Feel?
Being well off is relative. If you don’t believe me, just answer this question:
Pretend you make $100,000 per year. Are you wealthy?
Chances are that your answer will depend in large part on where you live.
Where you live matters
- If you live in Manhattan, New York, you’re likely to say no.
- If you live in Clark Fork, Idaho, you’re likely to say yes.
- If you live in Phoenix, Arizona, your answer is going to depend (a lot) on the particular neighborhood you live in.
Whether or not someone else considers you to be well-off depends on that person’s perspective as well, but that perspective may not agree at all with your own.
In other words, more than anything, feeling wealthy is generally based on a comparison of how much we have with how much the people around us do or don’t have.
When we have a lot more in comparison to others, we’re wealthy. When we have a lot less in comparison to others around us (even if the people we’re comparing ourselves to would be considered wealthy by the vast majority of Americans) we’re not.
The flip side of this though is that it’s easier to feel wealthy (and content) if you don’t compare yourself with others, or especially if you compare yourself with a period in your past where you didn’t make or have much at all.
So how wealthy do you feel? Do you think that others around you would view you as wealthy?