Wednesday, December 5, 2007

So What is Good?

So Ningpo makes a good point, I never really discuss what I think "good" is vs. "great" So what is my definition of "good"?

First off, when doing this comparison, I'm going to talk strictly from a financial sense. There is not good or great without great friends, family, and if you are lucky enough, someone to share your life with. So that being said, this is what I consider to be a "good" life. A good life is a life where you are very comfortable, have all the things you need, and with a little bit of work, will continue this way indefinitely. This implies

  • Having no debt outside of your primary residence (bonus if you have none of this).

  • Having a job you like.

  • Having a job or income source that allows you to live an upper-middle class life and afford a few luxuries.

  • Having enough savings such that you could choose not to work for one or more years and still be OK.

  • Having a savings plan that,if continued, will allow you to comfortably retire at your current consumption level by the age of 60.

So what makes something great?  Having all the above, but not having to work at it anymore but taken to a whole new level.  You can quit your 9-5 job, and just enjoy doing whatever it is that you want to do, even if that is to work.  You can afford pretty much whatever reasonable luxury that you want i.e. you could afford the BMW but maybe not the Ferrari.  You are probably "good" if you are in the top 15% of the population in terms of income and wealth, you are probably great if you fall into the top 1%.

So what is your definition, from a financial perspective, of good vs great?


  1. well done, sounds indeed good and moving towards great. now some worldliness, the US standard of living has been / is eviable to most of the world and i believe a bit on the "too" (ie extreme side), so how can we be "good > great" and still not be 'decadent'? success, you are good with words, i wish i had that gift.

  2. You make a great point Ningpo.I am most definitely taking a very US centric look at it. If I were to take a worldwide view of it, I would most definitely fall in the "great" category. I am very thankful for what I have and my position in the world. Thanks for bringing some perspective to the situation.

    Thanks for the compliment too. I hope my writing is of benefit to you and that you enjoy it.

  3. i'm humbled by your comment, thanks. it does help, although you won't see it in my short and stream of consciousness style of writing. here's a wake-up, diesel (which is what my bus runs on) costs $6.00 per gallon here!!