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Wealth and You: It’s All Relative

One of the funny things about personal finance is that your constantly gauging your current financial circumstances and looking for improvement. Often times when you break down just how long it will take to repay a loan or the number of years before your mortgage is paid off, you get a little down on yourself. The numbers are massive and the tasks are daunting, and you may end up wondering why you’re even trying at all. During these times it’s important to take a step back and realize that things are simply not that bad.  It may be hard, but no financial obstacle is insurmountable, and it certainly shouldn’t keep you from being happy in your daily life.

In that vein if you’re looking for a bit of a pick-me-up, I recently came across in article on Yahoo! Finance that shows us that we are a whole lot richer than we think.  Here are a few tidbits to take away:

For example, if you make $52,000 a year (the median American household income for 2009), you are the 58,252,719 richest person in the world (or in the top 0.97 percentile of all moneymakers).


Someone who makes half of that ($26,000 a year) is still in the top 10%, ranked 569,942,529 on the Global Rich List.

$26,000 a year here in the United States is certainly viewed as the lower end of the wealth pool, and yet you are still well above the vast majority of earth’s inhabitants. I understand this is of little comfort when the bills are piling up and some jerk is driving past you in his Corvette, but it’s important to keep your perspective when examining your own financial circumstances.

So go ahead and reach for the stars, try to break into that 0.97 percentile if you want. If you work hard enough you’ll get there before you know it, but also remember to be thankful you are as prosperous as you are, and that many others don’t get the same opportunity.

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