Sunday, March 20, 2011

How Much is Enough?


Ambrose Bierce, in his Devil's Dictionary, defined enough as "too much."

And it's true. We tend to measure "enough" at the upper boundary, rather than the lower.

Apparently, this is also true for the very wealthy. In the April edition of The Atlantic, a survey of households with more than twenty-five million dollars (that's right, $25,000,000) revealed that most don't feel financially secure.

In fact, the cutoff for fiscal confidence appears to be a cool billion dollars.

As I read through the article, which focused on the many ways that vast wealth fails to make people happy, it occurred to me how fortunate I am.

  • I have a job.

  • Old Dog has a job.

  • We're both healthy.

  • Our mortgage pays off in a few years.

  • We've got a little tucked away for retirement.


All of that could change tomorrow. One (or both) of us could get sick, we could lose our jobs, and God knows the retirement account has been a real roller coaster ride over the past few years.

But, for today, we're okay. Although we'll never see even one million dollars, we have enough.

Which makes us richer than most of the 115,000 wealthiest households in America.

How about you? Do you have enough?

11 comments:

Judy said...

Still working on 'enough' mainly because of the state of the economy...can't live without a job at the moment...

Amelia said...

Finacially, no, we are struggling and doing without. But we have enough food. We have a house, and most important we have each other. So that's really close to enough.

HumorSmith said...

No, I don't. I got nothin', fiscally speaking. In fact, I am the least fiscally fit of my friends. However, I have friends, health, food, shelter, and a cat, so Duh! Winning.

Quoting Charlie Sheen may have lost me a couple "winning" points, but you know what I meant, right?

Steven G said...

The marketing media is the true blood that feeds us in this world. It tells us we will NEVER have enough. That's why we are envious of those richer.

I'll be happy to get a few more perks along the way, and stay out of a nursing home.

Even if I'm broke, I would rather go out with dignity like my Uncle Jim. He died peacefully in his sleep, not screaming and yelling like his passengers.

Chef E said...

Minus I only work when I get contract jobs, we are in the same boat, and hubby does not feel secure. I would love to have that much tucked way, why do they complain, because they are living lifestyles of the rich and stupid.

I grew up poor, so I can live with being poor, however I will buy my avocados no matter what price :)

Chef E said...

PS- they need to stop paying people like Charlie Sheen 1.5 million dollars per episode of shows I do not watch! Talk about over indulging...and don't get me started on media hype...see he was smart, they are asking him back now...rich and stupid I say :)

Pauline Persing said...

Interesting that it takes some people a billion to feel secure financially. Interesting, too, that most of us don't have a million stashed away and most of us appear to be. Amelia is right. Food, a home and our friends and family are what really give us security. Faith is also a good item to have.

Pauline Persing said...

Interesting that it takes some people a billion to feel secure financially. Interesting, too, that most of us don't have a million stashed away and most of us appear to be. Amelia is right. Food, a home and our friends and family are what really give us security. Faith is also a good item to have.

K said...

If something happened so my husband couldn't work- I would be frantically looking for full time employment. As long as he remains employed by the government - we have enough. We don't eat out much and we have to watch the budget, but we have what matters.

Debbie said...

Hmmm. Honestly, I'd have to say that I don't feel like we have "enough" even though we are incredibly blessed. I think part of that has to do with having 2 in college and 2 more still to go and at the same time, needing to help my mom out financially. Realistically, I know we are fine. But "enough" is a tough word!

Ocean Girl said...

Alhamdulillah..all praise is to God. That is the typical answer.

I remember when I started my first job, single, had a small car and living in an apartment with 9 others, I didn't have any extra at all, it was just enough to live. I could not give to my parents or my younger sibling like I intended to. I thought I could do all that once I graduated and started work.

If it was enough then, any extra since then, was more. That is what I tried to remind myself from time to time.

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