In the last few days, I’ve stumbled across the word “wealth” used in a variety of different ways. Each time, I stopped for a moment to think about the way the word was being used, and if I agreed with that usage. It has me thinking: what does wealth really mean? How might my definition differ from someone else’s definition? Most importantly, what does wealth mean to the people I’m working with?
: a large amount of money and possessions
: the value of all the property, possessions, and money that someone or something has
: a large amount or number
That’s actually not very helpful when discussing how the word works in individual lives. The word “large” is subjective, and this definition surely doesn’t even begin to touch on all the emotional aspects of the world. Wealth means very different things to different people, and without more specifics it is a relatively useless concept. A related phrase is “wealth building,” a phrase that seems to say so much and yet it says almost nothing. Without a clear definition for wealth, how can you define wealth building?
In my life, I prefer to use more specific ideas. Things such as income replacement, debt-free, and prepared give more clear picture of exactly what you are trying to say without going into numbers. They are also much less intimidating and less emotional. Who wants to be emotional about their money?
I think there are several other reasons to avoid using the word “wealth.” For those who have money, it can be used in a negative way. How often do you hear people talking about particular individuals are groups as being wealthy when complaining about something? For those who don’t have money, the concept of wealth can be frustrating and discouraging. Why bother paying down your credit card if you’ll never be wealthy? We don’t need any more ways to develop a defeatist attitude towards money.
I’m curious how you define wealth, and whether you think there are any emotional implications to the word.
Talk amongst yourselves.
Do you want to know more about your military pay and benefits?
Things change fast around here! Keep up-to-date with email alerts about the topics that are important to you!