Wednesday, September 13, 2017

A rich middle-aged man

I’ve made several fellow middle-aged men roar a belly laugh during conversations talking about money when calling them a “rich white guy.”

“GASP!” you privately ponder wondering of this chief executive blogger is a bigot.

Well, I’m not, I’ve learned in doing this little name-calling is its amazing ability to get middle-aged men thinking about who they are financially.

I’m also amazed how often my fellow middle-aged men I’ve name-called “rich” quickly reply they’re not rich but, rather, only comfortable.

So, whether you’re rich, poor or somewhere in the middle is a matter of your personal sense of who you are financially. Sitting in a room with middle-aged man Bill Gates, the rest of us are relatively speaking “poor.”  He’s a middle-aged man financial giant.

How about a frame of reference?  Let’s focus on a middle-class middle-aged man.

A study done in 2016 by the Pew Research Center found that the American middle class lost ground in many metropolitan areas from 2000 to 2014. Middle class, or middle-income, households are those with an income that’s two-thirds to double the U.S. median household income or, for 2014, income ranging from about $42,000 to $125,000.

The Merriam-Webster online dictionary defines rich as “having a lot of money and possessions.” Which begs an answer to the question of what’s a lot?

I told a fellow middle-aged man who has lots of money and possessions that he was rich, but he disputed this tag and replied he’s only comfortable.  My reply was that to a homeless person pushing a shopping cart past my office collecting cans to recycle and earn spending money, he’s “filthy rich.”

It’s all a matter of perspective.

The bigger picture is true wealth is broadly defined and financial wealth is just one component of true wealth. There are faith, family, fitness and health components in any comprehensive wealth equation. Take away any one of them and even the most financially-prosperous wealth monger will feel like a poor middle-aged man.

Hopefully, today’ blogflection will make you think about who you are financially and to put you on guard for the day I might call you a rich middle-aged man. 

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

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