"So if they fall out, they're free, right?"

“So if they fall out, they’re free, right?”

It’s fun for me to imagine three billionaires going to Dairy Queen for some blizzards.

I like to dedicate a little time each day to thinking. It’s usually after I eat lunch, which I normally do at my desk because I’m addicted to workahol. I clean up my trash and start staring out into space, letting my mind wander. Sometimes I even get excited enough about my thoughts to write things down.

The other day I started thinking about how my definition of rich has changed over the years. When I was a youngin’ I thought getting to a million bucks would mean I’d be rich. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve changed the definition of rich to something like being wealthy enough to not have to worry about money any longer.

I thought it might be interesting to see how my definition of rich stacked up against some other definitions of the word. Here’s what a bunch of people had to say about it.

CNBC:

A new survey from UBS shows that most investors say “wealthy” means $5 million—with at least $1 million of that in cold, hard cash.

The UBS Investor Watch asked 4,450 investors if they consider themselves wealthy. Fully 60 percent of those worth $5 million or more said they’re wealthy, while only 28 percent of those worth $1 million to $5 million said they were wealthy (those were the only two categories given).

Half of the respondents said that, more broadly, being wealthy means having “no financial constraints on activities.” Only 16 percent said it meant “surpassing a certain asset threshold” and 10 percent said it means “not having to work again.”

Warren Buffett

I really knew I was rich when I had $10,000. I knew a long time ago I was going to be doing something I loved with with people I loved doing it with. In 1958 I had my dad take me out of the will as I knew I was going to be rich anyway. I let my two sisters have all the estate.

I bet we all in this room live about the same. We eat about the same and sleep about the same. We pretty much drive a car for 10 years. All this stuff doesn’t make it any different. I will watch the Super Bowl on a big screen television, just like you. We are living the same life. I have two luxuries — I get to do what I want to every day and I get to travel a lot faster than you.

Leo Welder (via Huffington Post)

Being “rich” is no longer solely defined by how much money you make. Today, freedom is valued nearly as much as income. For a growing part of the workforce, making hundreds of thousands of dollars a year while working 60-80 hours a week isn’t a worthy trade-off. In fact, many people turn to entrepreneurship for exactly this reason: they want the opportunity to make big bucks while maintaining control over their own schedules.

Washington Post

A majority of Americans — 54 percent, according to a Pew Research Center poll — favor raising taxes on the wealthy to expand programs for the poor. The problem with this, from a policy standpoint, is that nearly everybody thinks “rich people” are people who make more money than they do — no matter how much money they actually make.

Steve Jobs

Bottom line is, I didn’t return to Apple to make a fortune. I’ve been very lucky in my life and already have one. When I was 25, my net worth was $100 million or so. I decided then that I wasn’t going to let it ruin my life. There’s no way you could ever spend it all, and I don’t view wealth as something that validates my intelligence.

Richard Branson

For a successful entrepreneur it can mean extreme wealth. But with extreme wealth comes extreme responsibility. And the responsibility for me is to invest in creating new businesses, create jobs, employ people, and to put money aside to tackle issues where we can make a difference.

Vladimir Putin

I am the wealthiest man, not just in Europe, but in the whole world. I collect emotions. I am wealthy in that the people of Russia have twice entrusted me with the leadership of a great nation such as Russia – I believe that is my greatest wealth.

T. Boone Pickens

I knew I was rich when I had a dozen hunting dogs.

Feel free to add your definition of rich in the comments. Or not, like I care.

Tell everyone, yo!