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Article on Finance -- Harder to become rich?

August 24th, 2017 at 08:05 pm

In our newspaper this week in the business section was an article stating that people are finding it harder to become rich.

One thing that bothers me about an article like this is they don't define what "rich" is. If it means being a multi-millionaire, or someone who had a decent savings and retirement.

I read it and grumbled to DH. Most of the people we know would agree with this article. The article basically said most folks don't have any savings, little retirement, and carry a large credit card debt. I wanted to say this is old news.

Anyway, I don't know what rich is. I'm sure to someone who is making minimum wage, I'm rich. We own our home, we have savings, we have retirement, and the only thing we have besides our monthly bills that we owe on is our newer vehicle which we financed so our credit scores would quit plummeting. We could pay it off right now.

One of the ladies I worked with commented that she couldn't afford to save. Yet, she was going out and partying, bought lots of new clothes and shoes, and when she decided to get married, had the big church wedding and fancy reception. The reception was a sit down meal at a pretty nice place. She had, in fact, invited more people than she had places to seat them. She was complaining to me that one paycheck a month was going to student loan debt. She wanted to know when I paid mine off. I told her I didn't have them because between scholarships and working before college and all during college and doing without a lot of things, I graduated debt free. My parents didn't have the money to send me to college. So, I did the best I could. She admitted she used her student loans for stuff over and above her degree.

Barely a year later she is already filing for divorce. She had been living in a condo her parents owned before she married because she couldn't afford rent. She married a guy and they immediately bought a big house. I imagine things will get hairy as they work out the divorce settlement.

So, on the surface she probably looks OK, with a newer car, nice clothes, and having fun. But I bet she doesn't have squat as far as savings. So, is it harder to become rich? For her, she would say yes, but I think for a lot of people like her, it is her own fault. It is different if someone is underemployed and can't find something else or has a horrible accident or illness. I'm talking generally that so many people don't want to do without and must have instant gratification and get stuff without saving up. As for retirement and regular savings, well they claim they can't afford it, even some who would have matching funds for 401K.

So, what do you say, is it harder to become rich?

6 Responses to “Article on Finance -- Harder to become rich?”

  1. creditcardfree Says:

    No because there really isn't anything standing in anyone's way. Go build a business from the ground up, it's legal to do so, unlike some countries! Is it easy no, but it absolutely can be done.

  2. PatientSaver Says:

    Yes, I think it is harder to become rich than it used to be.

    Residential real estate has become so expensive. When I bought my house 21 years ago, I paid $209K for it. I think young people today would be hard pressed to find a decent place in the Northeast for that amount.

    Healthcare insurance is incredibly expensive if you don't have an employer-funded health plan. Healthcare costs have risen much faster than other living expenses and the general cost of living over the years.

    And even though most people would feel I am at least fairly affluent and middle class, if not "rich," I don't feel I can afford to sit back and relax about my finances.

  3. snafu Says:

    I recall reading you needed $ 1.9 million in net worth not including primary residence, to be considered 'rich.' [sorry, I couldn't find the article] I'm sure there are a lot of SA participants who meet that criteria

  4. ThriftoRama Says:

    Yes, I do think it's harder. Everything important in life-- education, housing, health insurance-- prices have skyrocketed. Raises have not kept up. To start your own business, the consequences of failure are huge. America has a paper thin safety net, not enough to even catch most people. Even if you wanted to start a business, the cost and quality of health insurance during start up might deter you.

  5. PatientSaver Says:

    Well said, ThriftoRama.

  6. terri77 Says:

    It is definitely harder to become rich than it was in the past. we can not deny the growing wealth gap, it is well documented. But it is not impossible to become rich. I think a lot of people have just grown accustomed to necessities that are not really essential.

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