People want to be rich. Want proof?
Go to your local gas station and observe the cash register for five minutes.
I bet at least one person bought a lottery ticket with dreams of hitting the jackpot and getting rich.
But why do people want to be rich? What type of rich person would you be?
Being Rich Means Different Things To Different People
The idea of being wealthy means different things to different people.
One person may view wealth as the means to buy everything they have ever wanted but could never afford.
Another person may view being rich as the ability to quit a job they’re chained to for an income to support their family.
Let’s explore 7 different types of theoretical rich people. Which would you be?
The Poor Rich Person
The poor rich person wants to be rich because they figure money will solve all of their life’s problems. Essentially, the poor rich want to buy all of the things they’ve always wanted but could never afford.
Poor rich is not determined by a person’s financial status before they became rich, but rather how they treat their money after they become rich.
Sadly, poor rich people don’t know how to handle money and will likely blow through their good fortune before they know it. They want to buy fancy mansions, sexy cars and every gadget you could ever imagine. Poor rich people often buy items just because they are status symbols, not because they really want them.
While it would be fun to be a poor rich person for a short while, once the money ran out they’d be right back where they started with almost nothing to their name. This could lead to an even unhappier life than if they were never rich at all.
The Financially Independent Rich Person
In contrast to the poor rich person, the financially independent rich person has a detailed plan for their money. While they enjoy the idea of being rich, they don’t blow their money left and right on wants that are unsustainable in the long term.
They generally follow a strict investing strategy and withdrawal strategy to ensure their money will last them for the rest of their lives. The financially independent person values the freedom that their investments afford them.
While they may still work and earn money, they are no longer forced to earn money in ways that conflict with their life goals because they never need to earn another dollar. Of course, this assumes their investment strategy is sound and future returns are in line with the long term averages of their investments.
The Slacker Rich Person
While the financially independent rich person has a purpose in their life, the slacker rich person just wants to lay around and enjoy life without worrying about being productive.
They may have a plan to make sure they hopefully won’t run out of money, but the main focus of the slacker rich person is the fact that they would rather relax at home or hit up the golf course a few times a week than work in any form at all.
There is nothing wrong with being a slacker rich person if that’s what you want out of life, but the slacker rich person won’t do much to enrich the world beyond what affects them personally.
The Traveling Rich Person
The traveling rich person has one and only goal. They want to see the world. You could be a traveling rich person by slowly moving from country to country, spending months in each location or you could be a jet setting traveler that explores the world one week at a time then returning to your home base to recharge.
Either way, the traveling rich person finds a way to make their money last so they can continue living the explorer lifestyle they love. Sometimes, this even means setting up their home base in a much more affordable foreign country that allows their money to stretch even further than it would in their home country.
The Entrepreneurial Rich Person
The entrepreneurial rich person wants to change the world through their business ideas. They love the process of building a business or a product up from nothing.
The money they have accumulated in the past could easily disappear on one bad business venture or it could multiply many times over with each new successful business.
For most entrepreneurial rich people, money is not the object, but rather a method of keeping score. Entrepreneurs want to be the best and that often means growing businesses simply to continue to gain wealth or some other metric of business growth.
Others simply want to help make the world a better place and could not care less about the money their ventures earn them.
The Giving Rich Person
The giving rich person wants to solve everyone’s problems with money. Sadly, there is never enough money to solve the whole world’s problems.
Giving rich people often pay off their friends’ car loans or mortgages. They donate money to every charity that asks. They truly want to help the world, but they don’t realize that sometimes the best way to help is to say no.
Charities and friends will grow dependent on the giving and when the giving rich person runs out of money, they abandon them. Realistically, if the giving rich person had been more modest with their gifts, they could have continued giving gifts for their entire life.
However, most get so caught up in giving that they give until their money runs out. Unfortunately, no one will be left to help the giving rich person once they are penniless in most cases.
The Hoarding Rich Person
The hoarding rich person has one sole goal when it comes to their money. The hoarding rich want to keep their money and continue to accumulate more. They never want to see their bank and investment account balances begin to decline.
The hoarding rich person may have $10 million in the bank, but won’t spend more than $50,000 a year because they would prefer to have $11 million next year then spend $200,000 and only have $10,850,000.
The hoarding rich may be extremely frugal, or even cheap, to make sure they have an abundance of money to live the rest of their life with.
These people may have irrational fears about the economy ending or may simply worry about a future medical event, accident or lawsuit draining them of their precious money. They may continue to clip coupons to save $0.10 at the grocery store rather than focus on big picture items that could produce even more wealth.
The hoarding rich people will die with massive wealth in the bank, owe a good chuck in taxes and pass what is left on to their heirs which will likely blow the money faster than the hoarding rich avoid spending it.
Which Type Of Rich Person I Would Be
Honestly, for the first year I’d probably be a hoarding rich person until I learned to accept my new found wealth. A large some of money suddenly landing in my account would take a while to get used to and I wouldn’t want to squander the opportunity with stupid decisions.
After the first year, I’d probably move more to the financially independent rich person camp. I doubt I could just sit around and do nothing like the lazy rich person. However, at the same time I doubt I’d be working 40+ hour weeks either.
I’d probably have a tad of the entrepreneurial rich person in me as well because I’d like to try my hand in local real estate or figure out a way to be involved by starting a small business that caters to the tourists and locals here at Panama City Beach.
The difference is I wouldn’t be looking to get even richer in the process but rather just make a few bucks to subsidize my living costs.
What Type Of Rich Person Do You Want To Be?
I think we all deep down know what type of rich person we would be if we happened to magically wake up with $100 million sitting in our bank or investment account. At the same time, I think we all know what type of rich person we would want to be in an ideal world.
While none of us will become rich overnight unless we hit the lottery or sell a business, dreaming about being rich isn’t useless. It allows us to see what we want to do when money is no longer an object.
Use that future vision to motivate you to get your finances in order today. Start paying off your debt. Start investing more for your retirement. Start your rental property empire. Do what you need to do to plan for that rich future today.
It may take less money than you think.
The real question is, which type of rich person would you be? Would it be worth it to be rich? Or would you rather continue living your current lifestyle?
Lance Cothern, CPA holds a CPA license in Indiana. He’s a personal finance, debt and credit expert that writes professionally for top-tier publications including U.S. News & World Report, Forbes, Investopedia, Credit Karma, Business Insider and more.
Additionally, his expertise has been featured on Yahoo, MSN, USA Today, Reader’s Digest, The Huffington Post, Fast Company, Kiplinger, Reuters, CNBC and more.
Lance is the founder of Money Manifesto. He started writing about money and helping people solve their financial problems in 2012. You can read more about him and find links to his other work and media mentions here.