What is wealth?
How do we define wealth?
According to the dictionary wealth is defined as:
1a. An abundance of valuable material possessions or resources; riches.
1b. The state of being rich; affluence.
2. All goods and resources having value in terms of exchange or use.
3. A great amount; a profusion: a wealth of advice.
The above is a very one dimensional tangible view of what wealth is though it is the most commonly accepted. When most people think of wealth they think of money or material possessions. Is this the best definition?
As a child my mother always used to say to me “your health is your wealth” – I believe this was a means to coerce us into eating our greens at the time. Whilst I never really took any heed of this at the time the expression has stayed with me and over the years how I define wealth has broadened to include such things as your health. As a financial planner over the last 10 years I have helped many clients to accumulate savings to fund their goals. I have seen too many times however that whilst the financial means to achieve these goals may be available when someone becomes sick through illness or incapacity and their health deteriorates that all the money in the world cannot restore their health to what it was and enable them to fulfil their dreams. Whilst this is a harsh reality it has emphasised to me that life is for enjoying for the here and now. Yes we should plan for our longer term goals and dreams though we can also be very wealthy by living life to it fullest.
In my opinion wealth would be better defined as being something that we value. If we think about wealth in terms of this we can realise that we can be incredibly wealthy people by having good health a loving family, friendship and community none of which require an abundance of money or possessions.
We define wealth as something that is as much intangible as tangible. Wealth is what ever you hold dear – what you value. This will be different for everyone as we all have different values.
How do you define wealth?