Plain Money ideas

That $1 million goal

How much money do you have to save up to be “rich”? Let’s try the nice round number of $1 million. That puts you in the top 10 percent of the wealth distribution. OK, that’s rich.

But a column in The New York Times says wait, $1 million isn’t enough to comfortably retire on. Whoa! Nine of ten Americans have less than enough! If this is really true, I suggest the problem lies in defining what is “enough,” not in any failure to accumulate wealth.

Or, to put it another way: If your definition of “enough” is so high that 90 percent of us can’t get there, you’re just assuming way too much spending, spending, spending to buy stuff, stuff, stuff. (Look it up: “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”)