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Types of Wealth

I recently came across a quote talking about the four types of wealth.  The quote is: 

There are 4 types of wealth:

  1. Financial (wealth)
  2. Social (status)
  3. Time (freedom)
  4. Physical (health)

Be wary of jobs that lure you with 1 and 2, but rob you of 3 and 4. 

For some reason, this quote really resonated with me.  Maybe it is because I now am my own boss after working for other people for so long.   Or maybe because I was having this conversation with a friend recently.  Let’s take a deeper dive into these different types of wealth.

Financial is rather straight-forward, right.  I mean it simply refers to how much money/monetary assets you have.  Most of us remember the show Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.  That led the thought of what you could have and do if you had lots of money.  Reality may be a bit different as a recent study showed Americans become happier as their incomes approach $75,000 a year.   However, after that the impact of rising income on your overall happiness flattens out. 

Presently, I think of social wealth as how many connections and followers one may have on the various social media platforms.  I guess this also extends to how many “likes” one may get.  Odds are if you have paparazzi following your every move you have attained a social status above just about everyone else.  Of course, I read recently if you belong to a group that meets monthly this will produce as much happiness as doubling your income.   And, just being married has been quantified to be worth $100,000 in terms of annual emotional gains.  I’ll let you decide which you prefer, but I will take the latter over the paparazzi. 

We all know the person who has a great job, but it seems they are constantly working.  Heck, I have plenty of clients that fall into this description as well.  I often have conversations about carving out personal time and taking a vacation or two.   I usually get the look that means – “you work for yourself, so you control your schedule.”  This is true and it may be the biggest benefit from becoming my own boss.  However, I have been careful to structure my practice so I have the freedom to go to my sons’ meets as Einstein proved time moves in one direction and I am fully aware time is something I cannot get back. 

We also all have the people we know who waited until they had the time (aka -retirement) to enjoy themselves but their health was too poor to do much of anything.  And their jobs directly impacted their long-term health, whether it was a retired floor nurse, coal miner, or professional football player.   There really isn’t much to add beyond the point of what good is wealth if our jobs harmed our long-term health?   

My point with all of this is when thinking about wealth it is important to reflect on personal goals and to make sure if we are seeking wealth we realize there may be trade-offs.   And that the trade-offs are worth it.