Max, parked for the night in Una National Park, Bosnia & Herzegovina.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Una National Park, Bosnia & Herzegovina.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? South towards Montenegro.

Monday, August 24, 2020

Are we rich? No, but perhaps we are wealthy...

Of course it's easy to think that the two words are interchangeable. The dictionary definitions are certainly similar... essentially both words mean "the abundance of valuable financial assets or physical possessions which can be converted into a form that can be used for transactions."

But I read about a new book coming out next month called "The Psychology of Money" where the author makes a definite distinction between the two. I've only read previews of the book of course, but it seems that one can be rich... without being wealthy. And the other way around.

When we were in Namibia, Africa back in 2013 we went and visited the Himba tribe. The nomadic people still live as they did centuries ago. Topless women in grass skirts, kids running around barefoot, living in mud huts with not enough food to eat. The men tending to the cattle in the hills while the women look after the village.

Ruth, visiting with the Himba women.

Through a translator, we asked the matriarch of the clan if the people considered themselves poor.

She laughed, and with a firm statement, she said "The Himba are the richest people in Africa!"

Now, the translator could have got it wrong because I think she meant that the Himba are the wealthiest people in Africa!

The author of the book states that "Many rich people aren’t wealthy, because they feel the need to spend a lot of money to show others how rich they are. Wealth involves caring less about what others think about you and more about using your money to control how you spend your time."

You know the old saying that time is money?

Well, he goes on to explain that real wealth is "the ability to do what you want, when you want, with whom you want, for as long as you want to,  and that ability pays the highest dividend that exists."

We would agree with that. We have sufficient funds to do what we want, when we want, and with whom we want and... within reason... as long as we want to.

So by that description, we are definitely wealthy!


And in Canada...


  1. Sort of like you, I have always considered "wealthy" or perhaps more accurately, "Comfortable" is knowing I have enough combined savings and income to last for the rest of my life, covering all my "needs" and all of my important "wants".

    If people like Jeff Bezos were down to their last Billion I am sure they would consider themselves "poor" and conversely. if the African in her mud hut had a hundred dollars, she would probably consider herself "rich". The terms seem to have a different meaning to everyone.

    1. For us it is more the the knowledge that we have gained from our travels about culture, understanding of nature, the people we meet and the memories from all of this.

      You are totally correct though that the term does have a different meaning to different people.

  2. I always believed there was a distinct difference between “rich” and “ wealthy “.... and that author describes it best. Although, every other person may have their own take on it depending on their experience and circumstances.

    1. Yes, everyone is definitely going to have their own take on the difference between rich and wealthy depending on their circumstances.

      We think that book is going to make for some interesting reading.

  3. As a Money Coach I spend a lot of time with my clients helping them figure out how much is "enough". Sometimes I send them the link to your blog :) Looking forward to that book as well. Cheers, Judi

    1. Yes, everyone's idea of what is enough to retire on is all dependent on how they what to live their retirement years. We are proof that you really don't need very much money in order to live a good and happy life provided you are willing to give up some of the comforts and extra extravangances many are used to, such as eating out and doing some of the high priced touristy things. For us and the way we live our life we really didn't find ourselves to be uncomfortable at all but obviously many people would. We really never missed eating out because even when we owned our house it was something that we rarely did. Our entertainment was just spending lots of time outdoors exploring, hiking, biking, and wandering around.

      Thanks for passing along the link to our blog. :-)


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