I think a misconception that “poor” people have about “rich” or “well-off” people is that it’s all about the money and rich people are constantly checking their bank accounts or obsessing about how to get more money continuously. I’m certainly not rich, but I do have enough money to live a comfortable life and for me, it’s not all about the money. I only check my stock brokerage account around once a month, and when I actually check my bank account here in Korea (maybe once or twice a month), I’m usually surprised at the amount of money that’s in there because it’s usually more than I think.
It’s really not all about the money, but I instead like to think of it in terms of freedom-it’s what usually is occupying my thoughts to a greater degree. I like the idea of freedom to have choices. Poor people often have very few choices because their lives become about the short-term struggles: paying for an unexpected car repair or medical bill, figuring out how to feed their family the next week, wondering about if they can afford to move to a different city for a better job, or not.
I now have enough money that I could probably live for the next 20 years quite easily without working a single day, so I’m not worried about the short-term at all. This gives me lots of choices and freedom to do almost anything that I want to. If I start to hate my job, I’ll just quit. If I get tired of Korea, I’ll just leave. If I have a terrible new neighbor at my apartment complex, I’ll just look for a new place to live. If I feel tired and weary, I’ll take a vacation to somewhere amazing. If I feel lonely, I’ll visit an old friend, wherever they might be in the world. If me or one of my cats gets sick, I’ll just pay cash for the bill and not even consider whether to get the treatment, or not.
Freedom is actually my ultimate goal, and although it is money that enables me to have it, it really isn’t all about the money in my life.