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October 09, 2010



Rich is freedom. Freedom from HAVING to work. If you had £25K per year from an external source (investments or whatnot), even if you couldn't touch the capital the income was derived from, you'd be rich, because you had the freedom to do as you wished. Not get up everyday to work to ensure you had enought to survive. You'd probably work anyway, but it would be your choice, not a neccessity. Hence the old saying -the idle rich.


I agree with Jim above - if you have independent means to support yourself to the lifestyle which you desire then you are rich

I terms of lifestyle entitlement that is something I see I virtually all of my indegenous British Friends (I came here as an immigrant at the age of ten). People in the UK think that they are owed a living hence the bleating about child benefit.

This attitude is particularly prevelent in people from upper-middle class backgrounds who cannot to match their parent's lifestyles and houses.

There is also a great deal of keeping up with the Joneses (well keeping up with the Beckhams really) within my peer group with friends of mine having £200K plus mortagages, yachts etc. While I am content with my modest house (all paid off).

People in Britain can seem odd to an outsider

Tom Addison

Surely you’re free as well if you genuinely enjoy your job, even if you have to do it to earn a living to stay alive. If a teacher loves being a teacher and truthfully looks forward to each day, then they must feel that they are free. But I’d also agree that, in order to feel free/rich, you need to be able to have most things you want when you want them, so of course whether you feel rich depends on what you desire. Me and my sister have roughly the same income, yet she’s always whinging about being broke because she has/wants about three holidays a year, whereas I couldn’t give a monkeys about going on holiday. Manchester has everything except a beach.

James Hamilton

I don't know about no.1 in your list, Chris: my old consulting room used to be full of self-made millionaires who'd started life - as you say - worrying about the electricity meter in a council flat - and who thought there must be something wrong with them because wealth hadn't lifted them into a better emotional plane. Good on you for dodging that one.

But this whole squeezed middle stuff is irritating. Sometimes I wonder if the country divides, not along class, colour or sex, but between those who have and those who haven't had a sustained period constant, serious money worries of the default/eviction/hungry variety. Quite another thing from "not feeling rich".

John Meredith

You left out ...

6. I worked for years in a well paid job in the city that allowed me to save thousands of pounds and buy a London property that doubled in value.


All the time I'm only three pay cheques away from being in the financial poo, I'll never feel rich.


Shorter bien pensant lefty in the Times: "Tax the rich! Oh, no, but, hang on, the rich start about £5k above what I'm earning... obviously."


Rich is entirely in the mind. Being 3 pay cheques away from penury means you are spending too much to start with. Being married and having children is, as you say Chris, extremely expensive, and requires more than most people actually earn - hence the huge debts that have been built up.
But if you don't spend lots of money on unneccesary things ( two packets of fags and a latte every day for example cost about £1250 after tax per year)you can be quite comfortably off.

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