You made it! You’re a millionaire! Not as big a deal as you might think. You’re in a crowded arena. There are 4,400,000 (4.4 million) millionaires in the United States. (Boy did I take a wrong turn along the way. Maybe more than one.)
The real big deal is the 400 Club, headed up by the likes of Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffett and Mark Zuckerberg – the 400 wealthiest Americans, according to Fortune Magazine, which creates the list every year. The average member is worth $6,000,000,000 (that’s six billion dollars in plain language, but I like to write it out to see just how many zeros it takes to make a billion). It almost, but not quite, makes you feel sorry for the poor guy at the bottom of the pile; he’s only worth a mere $1.7 billion.
There are a lot of wannabes, who hope to join the ranks of the 400 club someday, 156,000, to be specific, who have assets worth $25 million or more, piker’s by comparison, but way ahead of everyone I know. None of them worry about paying off a college loan, making a monthly house payment, and probably aren’t on the budget plan with their local utility company. Even so, I can’t help but think that they are missing a great adventure in life, making a go of it in the lower 99 percentile. They never experience the glee of making that last car payment, burning the mortgage or seeing their credit score finally begin to climb.
Many members in the 400 Club are generous with their wealth. They dole out millions, to well deserving individuals and organizations. It makes life better for many people. Even the “poorest” member in the 400 Club can afford to be generous. If he hands out a million dollars a month for 100 years he’ll still have several hundred million to get him through a rainy day, even a monsoon and a hurricane season or two. And, why not share the pie? Other than bragging rights, what good is having more money than you can spend in a lifetime, or in several lifetimes?
If this message touches one of you in the 400 Club with a soft spot for old coots, my checking account number is 3895674217 and the bank routing number is 066000078, or you can just contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll come over and pick up the check!