What screams I'm upper class in Spain
A wealth researcher explains when you are rich
Who in our society is rich? The billionaire, the Porsche driver or the one who can eat in a restaurant every day? Business Insider asked wealth researcher Wolfgang Lauterbach. The professor at the University of Potsdam says: "99 percent of rich people in Germany are entrepreneurs".
Because: It is not income that determines who is rich, but wealth. “Everyone wants to build up wealth,” says Lauterbach. “Assets create security and independence. It can be inherited and helps to protect against life risks ”. A job with a high income can be gone quickly. The wealth that entrepreneurs in particular have is more permanent.
A wealthy person doesn't have to own a villa and drive a limousine. You are rich if you can live on the interest and income of your wealth alone - that is, you do not have to work.
Rich with 35,000 euros per year
Lauterbach brings the following example: someone receives 60,000 euros in interest per year from their assets. After deducting taxes, he has 35,000 euros to live on. Not much, but: "This person is rich in freedom, he can do what he wants," says Lauterbach.
If the banks have their way, however, this person is not necessarily rich. You define the so-called "high-net-worth individuals" as rich - people with financial assets of one million dollars (940,000 euros). Anyone who has this amount available quickly, for example as cash in the account or as an investment in shares, is considered rich by credit institutions. But not who has invested the amount in real estate, for example; then he cannot quickly convert the wealth into money.
The federal government has chosen for itself who is poor and wealthy. In Germany, anyone who has less than 1000 euros net per month as an individual is at the poverty line. This value corresponds to 60 percent of the median-weighted net income per capita. Wealthy people are those who earn twice the median-weighted net income per capita: 3500 euros net per month. This includes, among others, many doctors.
"There is no limit to the top"
The government defines poverty and prosperity in terms of income, but not wealth. “There is no upper limit,” says Lauterbach.
There are 120 billionaires living in Germany. TSG Hoffenheim owner Dietmar Hopp is worth around 9 billion euros. But compared to Bill Gates, his fortune is also small - the Microsoft founder posted nine times as much with around 82 billion euros. Then maybe there is a definition of wealth. Lauterbach says: “You are rich if you don't have to work”.
This article was published by Business Insider in April 2017. It has now been reviewed and updated.
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