Personal Finance 

True Wealth Isn’t About Money

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Human beings, by nature, love to compete. When we’re young, we compete on the sports field, in the classroom, and in video games. As we grow older, we compete in our lives, trying to accumulate money, property, get better jobs, more responsibility, and more recognition and fame.

We measure more of our success by the material possessions we have because those are more visible. Keeping up with the Joneses is about having a bigger house, a nicer car, and a larger flatscreen TV.

Tiger Woods is a prime example. Before the news of his infidelity and the collapse of his marriage, he was arguably one of the most well respected sports personalities out there. He won plenty of championships, won a ton of prize money, and was paid handsomely to endorse a variety of products. He had a supermodel wife, a lovely family, and basically everything material that you could possibly want. He was, by all standard accounts, wealthy and scores of people would love to be in his shoes.

How about now? The only material difference between before and after the divorce is that his wealth was trimmed by about $750 million, which hurts but the man still makes over a hundred million dollars a year (this is after being dropped by several big name companies).

Would you want to be in his shoes?

Wealth isn’t about dollars or even material possessions, it’s about the things you can’t see and the things you can’t compare.

{ 20 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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20 Responses to “True Wealth Isn’t About Money”

  1. Well, it would depend on my circumstance. I would rather be lonely and wealthy than lonely and poor. It’s really easy to say wealth isn’t everything.

  2. I think wealth plays some factor in happiness, but not to the extent that most people think. Having the most ‘stuff’ wont make you happy, but it’ll be one part of an enjoyable life. The rest, is all about balance of friends and family and self fulfillment.

  3. Janie says:

    I don’t believe in accumulating “things”..Things NEVER brings happiness. (or at best only temporary happiness)

    But there is security factor involved with “dollars”. Ask any retiree over 65 who has to decide whether they will heat the house or pay the electric, whether money can “buy happiness”..

    Tiger Woods is a clear example of what happens when you live life “unconsciously”…maybe the money played part in that, but maybe not…(some people live unconsciously even with out money)

    You are certainly correct that [true] wealth isn’t about possessions, or even dollars, but there is an element of “security” in the dollars.

  4. Dylan says:

    Wealth is about being well, which is not about having more. It’s about not needing more.

  5. MB says:

    May I say yes and no? Yes, I’d love to have that money but no, I wouldn’t like to have the humiliation that he brought upon himself. In a perfect world, we’d be able to say we want to be the pre-scandal Tiger Woods, avoid the scandal and keep it all, rihgt?

  6. Mike says:

    It all depends. Even though some people here don’t think they are wealthy. To most people in the world, we are very well off.

  7. Shirley says:

    I think that you have “true wealth” when you finally get to the point where you are mentally and emotionally content with your life.
    The actual amount of money that you have is not important as long as you are physically comfortable (your needs are met), and you truly enjoy each day.

    I don’t think Tiger had achieved that contentedness to start with.

  8. saladdin says:


    1. The people who use cliches like “money doesn’t bring happiness” have never been poor. Trust me, money can bring happiness in the form of health insurance, 3 meals a day and a vehicle that doesn’t run on hope. That “stuff” makes you happy.

    2. Any one who says wealth is not important: Get off the finance blogs, you are a borderline hypocrite.


    • billsnider says:

      We use to say as kids “that money wasn’t everything, but everything else ran a far second”

      Bill Snider

    • says:

      I agree, yet too much money (like celebrities) can lead to all kinds of problems. Many get on drugs, etc. Tiger was a real scum bag like Jim Baker, J Swaggart and others incl. politicians; I have basically lost faith in mankind as a whole and you will too as you get older and read/see things like B. Madoff scandals. These guys never had enough (money/women, etc)

    • Biggysals says:

      Money brings you SECURITY in the form of health insurance, the three meals a day and a vehicle that runs. Plenty of people have these and are very unhappy. Security to me is the foundation to happiness though, so i’ll agree that without these i would not be happy.

    • Wilma says:

      Totally agree. Can still remember wearing hand-me-downs, food boxes from the church and the smell of spaghetti makes me ill. I will say this though…..a life time of not having has made me appreciate what I do have and prepared me for this economy. I’m comfortable and not feeling deprived like others. An over abundance of money doesn’t bring happiness but food on the table, a roof over your head, cloths on your back and a vehicle in good running order does.

  9. Biggysals says:

    It’s true that money doesn’t bring happiness but debt definitely brings misery. I think it was P.T. Barnum that said A happy man makes 20 dollars and only spends 19 and a miserable man makes 20 and spends 21.

  10. I think that true wealth is when you discover how to be content. Sure we all want more money, but if you can start living happily with what you have, you will have a more fulfilling life.

  11. Tim says:

    I’ve been fairly poor and modestly wealthy and now I’m right in the middle. Whether poor, rich, or somewhere in between, I think no level of financial security can provide comfort that would outweigh the discomfort I’d feel having even a whiff of scandal tainting my life. Living honestly, thoughtfully, and as generously as you can manage provide satisfaction that outweighs anything fame or fortune might give you.

  12. in my adult life, i’ve never had any real money struggles. it’s not because i’ve been wealthy, i happen to have cheap tastes and live pretty frugally. of course, i’ve never lived like tiger woods, either financially or morally.

    to me, my end goal, financially speaking, is to be able to do is spend more time with my family and work on projects that i want to work on (not that the “man” wants me to work on). that is something that tiger can well afford to do (though the family part, might be a bit tough).

    this is a very easy question to answer in the theoretical: i would not trade places with tiger, even though it would make those goals possible. of course, in the theoretical, in the absence of some actual person/wizard/paranormal entity/fantasy world that could make that swap actually happen, that’s an easy and quick answer.

    until you have everything that you want, i’d wager to say that most everyone has a price, myself included. honestly, if someone showed up at my doorstep promising to pay me $100,000,000 a year, i don’t know that i would be so quick in my reply.

  13. stuart says:

    tiger has acheived wealth because he dedicated his life to golf–changed the sport forever.

    you dont see the hours & hours practice he puts in to compete.

    obviously those in the know—knew much more about his personal life then the public,and its tragic he never changed once married.

    personaly id be rather be miserable rich than miserable poor.

    but to me a wealth that everyone can acheive—paid off mortgage/no debt gives you comfort

  14. jsbrendog says:

    money might not be able to buy happiness but it sure can be a major factor in preventing it from happening.

  15. I really wonder how much correlation there is between his wealth and the actions he took that brought on that embarrassment. I would wager that were he poor, he still would have acted in the same way… the only difference, is that he was famous, so we all heard about it.

    So, yes, I would take his wealth. 🙂

  16. James says:

    As far as I’m concerned, Tiger’s only mistake was getting married. Take away the marriage, and all the other issues are no longer issues.

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