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Photos: You know you're wealthy when...

People out and about in Southern California finish the sentence: "You know you're wealthy when..." All photos by Jolie Puidokas/Marketplace

"You know you're wealthy when you're happy," a teenager from Australia says. A retiree from Los Angeles says you know you're wealthy when you aren't worrying about what's in your checking account. For a musician and DJ living in Southern California, being wealthy means moving out of an old neighborhood and into a better place.

The Venice Beach boardwalk attracts all sorts, and we got all sorts of answers when we asked people to finish the sentence: You know you're wealthy when...

You know you're wealthy when...

“You know you’re wealthy when you change zip codes,” says Jerome Dyson, a DJ and musician who lives in Los Angeles. Dyson says that when you achieve wealth, you can move up – which means moving out of your old neighborhood. His current zip code is 90929, “but I moved from 90291. So I guess I made it.”

The simple life

“You know you’re wealthy when everything in life brings you joy,” says Vanessa Donatucci, a regional sales manager for a construction company in Pennsylvania. “To be wealthy isn’t necessarily about money. It’s more about living simply and taking pleasure in the small things you do daily.”

You've got it covered

“You know you’re wealthy when you don’t have to worry about your check bouncing,” says Melrose Sprague, a retired textbook coordinator for a public school district in Southern California. Sprague says she’s not worried about bouncing checks at this point in her life. “I do have a six-figure checking account, but it hasn’t changed me. I’m still the same Melrose.”

Doing what you want

Ronald Lentz, a Long Beach retiree, says that wealth is being able to do what you want to do. For Lentz, that means literally searching for wealth with a metal detector at various beaches in Southern California. “I go do what I want to do when I get up in the morning. So yeah, I’m wealthy.”

Safe and secure

Musician Robert “Robot” Knott says you know you’re wealthy when you feel secure. And that goes for money as well as one’s sense of self: “You could be insecure with yourself and I would say that’s not a wealthy person.”

Living happy

“You know you’re wealthy when you’re happy,” says Benjamin Boutros, a student from Sydney, Australia. “If you could choose between having nice things and not having nice things, I would choose to have nice things. But if I’ve got what I need and I’m happy, I’m happy with that.” Pictured: Mariano Meza, left, Boutros, center, and Taylor Maxfield, right.


What about you? Here are some responses we've gotten on Twitter and Facebook. Take to the comments below to finish this sentence: You know you're wealthy when...

And see more from our series to find out what Washingtonians had to say about wealth in the nation's capital and to hear from New Olreans residents about life in the Big Easy.

About the author

John Ketchum is an assistant producer for Marketplace’s wealth & poverty desk.
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You know you're wealthy when you don't need to check your bank account when you find out that your executive jet needs an engine overhaul.

"You know your're wealthy when the word foundation follows your name".

I know I will be wealthy. When I can plan to modestly travel where in the world where I want, and my husband does not respond by reminding me that we need to save to support ourselves in our old age in assisted living. Since he is 70 I am not sure I will ever get there but I am packing my bags anyhow.

You know you're wealthy when you don't have to put off paying bills until the next payday and balancing your checkbook is not a necessity.

John Ketchum(one of the contributors to the report). Would any of you mind voicing your comments on the air? If so contact me at jketchum@marketplace.org

You know you're wealthy when you can buy anything you want, whenever you want ... but, it still doesn't make you happy.

When House Republicans will fight tooth and nail to keep just one more dollar in your pocket...regardless of the detrimental effects to the rest of the nation they've sworn to serve.

... When you have a politician in your pocket.

We know we are wealthy when we have enough money to work for fun, not out of necessity, when we do not "have" to work.

I know I'm wealthy when I can move from just a sustaining member of my local NPR station, NHPR, and become a member of the leadership circle.

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