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Secrets of the Rich and the Chinese by Chinkee Tan (Part 2)

What is this whole business of making money about? How much money do you really need? 

The answers to these questions depends on your lifestyle and what your material needs are. It is often said that money is not the most important thing in the world. For many people, however, it is right up there next to air in importance. These are not necessarily overly-materialistic people. Rather, they simply understand the true value of money. Money, in and of itself, is not very spectacular. What money can do for you is what is really important.

Money gives you freedom and choices. You can decide where and how you want to live when you have a good income or financial resources. On the other hand, when you do not have much money, choice may be something that you cannot afford. The choices available to you may not really be choices at all.

Obviously, you need money to cover your basic expenses: food and shelter. Beyond that, how much money you need will be determined by what kind of life you want for yourself. Most people want a middle class lifestyle. What it means to be middle class varies from source to source though. The general consensus is that families with an annual income of roughly $50,000 belong to the middle class. This places these families between the wealthy and the so-called “working” or lower class. Those in the middle class typically have adequate access to education as well as goods and services. Also, middle class people generally can afford to own property and have a fair amount of discretionary income. That is, they have disposable income or money that is not allocated solely to satisfying basic needs.

So, how do you get money? The best way to achieve your financial and lifestyle goals is to prepare yourself for a good career. And, the best way to do that, in general, is to get a good education. Data shows that college-educated people earn almost twice as much as those without a degree. Your decision about what career path to take should not be solely driven by money, however. Ideally, your career should involve work you find interesting and which you can identify with. Working just for a paycheck is to have a job, not a career.

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