Rich is the New Poor

By Maria L Gaycheck
(06/07/2008)

The new definition of wealthy: After you pay your mortgage, put money into your 401k (or like), car payment, utilities, food, clothing, other monthly debt and still have enough left over for any investment (including savings, stocks, other funds). . . you are the new wealthy.

That doesn’t mean you get to sit and eat with Oprah or become a financial powerhouse to sway elections or start shopping at Barneys. It just means you are wealthy.

So, what about those who are the top 10% of Americans that are the Richest in our nation, aren’t they wealthy?

According the Taipei Times article titled “Poor Little Rich Things” the rich are just trying to keep up the pretense of being rich.

Divorce lawyer are crammed with clients due to the lack of money to smooth over the rough patches. It is hard to keep that trophy wife when you no longer can maintain a high maintenance woman.

“. . .One of her clients recently confessed that his net worth had decreased to US$8 million from more than US$20 million, and he thinks that his wife will leave him. He has hidden their fall in fortune by taking on debt to pay for her extravagant clothes and vacations. . .”

After watching the documentary “Born RIch” it seems that the more money your have the less you will have money in a conversation. Unlike my humble family, money is always a topic open for discussion. I always knew when things were tough, like six months of nothing but bread and soup or instead of the usual 6 bags of groceries (3 btothers) there is only 2 or 3.

I also knew the value of money, the true value. I remember my job as a bus girl (15) my step-dad would take 1/4 of my paychecks once a week. He always said, “your future home, bills and living expenses should only take 1/2 of your paycheck, 1/4 for mortgage”, which is a constant in my budget to this day.

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