Here’s What It’s Really Like to Be Rich

by Jason Unger

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Most people want to be rich (however you define it).

Many people have thought about what they’d do if they suddenly won the lottery or got a big inheritance or landed their high-paying dream job.

It’d be exciting — for sure. Having plenty of money to save, spend and invest would certainly change your life.

As you can probably guess, however, being rich comes with a cost — one that isn’t always something you can just pay.

In the past, I’ve shared my responses to posts on Quora about money management and investing.

Today, I wanted to share some insights from an Anonymous Quora user when asked: Is getting rich worth it?

Here’s my answer: being rich is better than not being rich, but it’s not nearly as good as you imagine it is.

The answer why is a bit more complicated.

First, one of the only real things being rich gives you is that you don’t have to worry about money as much anymore. There will still be some expenses that you cannot afford (and you will wish you could), but most expenses can be made without thinking about what it costs. This is definitely better, without a doubt.

Being rich does come with some downsides, though. The first thing you are thinking reading that, is, “cry me a river”. That is one of the downsides. You are not allowed to complain about anything, ever. Since most people imagine being rich as nirvana, you are no longer allowed to have any human needs or frustrations in the public eye. Yet, you are still a human being, but most people don’t treat you like one.

There’s the second downside. Most people now want something out of you, and it can be harder to figure out whether someone is being nice to you because they like you, or they are being nice to you because of your money. If you aren’t married yet, good luck trying to figure out (and/or always having self doubt) about whether a partner is into you or your money.

There’s more to this response (which I encourage you to read). I want to highlight what I believe is the core of the answer and the main “consequence” of being rich:

When you have money, it’s no longer about money.

That may sound obvious, but I think it’s an important point to make. You don’t have to worry about paying your bills or saving for college — the fact that you have money allows you to do (almost) anything you want.

In a way, your money almost defines you, which means your personal and professional relationships may not be grounded in basic humanity. This user’s answer is screaming “TREAT ME LIKE A NORMAL PERSON,” which clearly people are not doing.

On the flip side — maybe they are treated like a normal person, but he/she doesn’t know if it’s real or just someone wanting to get access to his/her money.

That’s a sad existence.

Money can certainly help your life, but it can’t solve all your problems.

I think the Quora user explains it nicely to both rich and not-rich folks alike:

Whether you’re rich or not, make your life what you want it to be, and don’t use money as an excuse. Go out there, get involved, be active, pursue your passion, and make a difference.

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