A friend of mine here in Nigeria got me thinking about whether or not I want to be wealthy, and what that means.
My initial response was--I want to pay off my debt (thanks Ivy League!), and have enough to pay my bills, eat good food (I love food) and travel.
His response that 'It's good to start humble, but what are your ten and twenty year goals?'
Well, I don't really know. I have to admit that sometimes I'm jealous of my brother's financial stability (he didn't go to two private schools and has a steady career path, where as I went to 2 expensive schools AND usually work for non-profits, so..I don't profit :).
How rich is rich enough? I don't want to be as rich as the Nigerian elite. I don't need BMWs, rivers of champagne, etc. I want to live in a place where the kitchen lights work, and there aren't giant holes in the wall. So, I'd happily trade the champagne for a few more functional items.
I'd like to have enough money that I can travel when and where I want. I'd like to be able to afford to give people gifts without worrying about breaking the bank. I want enough money to have a very nice kitchen (yes, Alena does have a domestic side), hardwood floors and a place to store all my books.
As I may have mentioned, I really love food. I love to eat out, I love to cook and so I want to be able to afford those things. I made the best swordfish steak I've ever had, for less than $20. So, I can do fancy food for less :).
As a third culture kid, and the child of a pair of white hippie Buddhists, I collect experiences and memories, friends and adventures...and I was raised to want to create value and improve the world we're in. Great relationships, some card games, good conversation, more stamps in my passport.
I'd like to have jobs that I'm good at, where I feel like I'm making a positive impact, and get to push myself to grow and improve, jobs that promote kosen-rufu.
How much money does that cost? I don't know.
I don't really want to own a TV or a car. I do sort of want a motorcycle :).
I don't know if I want property--maybe one day an apartment in New York, Beijing, London, Paris or Tokyo...or Baghdad? :)
So I guess I don't really have a long term financial plan. Any thoughts? What should I aim for?