I’d rather be wealthy and smart – than rich. Why?
Because “rich” is just high income. And “wealthy” is more of a lifestyle choice.
I mean, who cares about your big salary if you are in a home you can barely afford, driving a car you can barely afford, and carrying around a bunch of credit card debt and still lingering student loans.
I’d rather be the kind of person that makes $50,000 per year but only spends $35,000 – a person that tips well and gives a tenth of my income to charity.
The kind of person that had a few million dollars in investments, but no one had a clue.
If you think about it, all of this issue is about people trying to buy status or find happiness in acquiring stuff.
Wealthy was different from being rich. Rich was a number, and as we saw in the Great Recession, one that did not equate to being financially secure. Wealthy could be a successful corporate attorney; it could also be a teacher who lived on her pension and savings. Rich was the guy in my town who drove the red Mercedes SL500 roadster, lived in a heavily mortgaged eighty- five- hundred- square- foot home, and had about a month to find a job before he— or his second wife— blew through what little savings he had.
-Paul Sullivan, The Thin Green Line