Business Insider has recently released the outcome of a set of interviews conducted in New York. The subjects, who were different ages and were from different backgrounds, were asked what it meant to be rich. This question seemed to garner two types of responses. Some stated that emotional fulfillment and support from one’s loved ones make one truly rich, while others focused on financial stability and the responsibility that comes with daily expenses.

A woman in her early fifties gave a very telling response. She stated:

To be rich is to basically be financially stable where you can do pretty much anything and everything that you want and … just overall have access to assets and wealth.”

As this woman’s answer demonstrates, many subjects expressed that they often feel stress due to their financial expenses. Many subjects also stated that being rich would allow them more stability.

One man notably stated:

“[Being rich is] to have more than you need.”

Intriguingly enough, some subjects in their fifties and sixties were also concerned with achieving this release from pressure and responsibility. One middle-aged subject stated:

I think you should be able to buy whatever you like, you should be able to retire whenever you want, and you shouldn’t have an enormous amount of debt behind you.”

On the other hand, younger subjects were more prone to relate wealth with emotional fulfillment as well as with their influence on other people. A young man in his early twenties responded to the question by saying:

My definition of rich is the knowledge, the personality, the joy you have, and joy to spread with people, so that comes with wisdom and the people around you. If they feel like they’re gaining something just by simply by being with you, being in your company, so that’s one form of richness.”

This subject’s response demonstrates a growing desire among young people to gain influence. Most likely, younger subjects did not feel the same financial pressures as did older subjects.

Many young subjects also equated a feeling of accomplishment with wealth.

A woman in her early thirties stated:

For me it would be about being rich in life, absolutely. About having the people you love, about feeling successful in what you feel, and feeling fulfilled as if you’re living a wholehearted life.”

The full responses from the study can be read here:


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