Detroit: You Know You're Wealthy When...

How do you know you're wealthy?

You probably don't consider selling off your belongings to pay back a debt. You also aren't likely to ask  a bankruptcy lawyer for advise.

Unfortunately, that's exactly the position the city of Detroit finds itself in these days. Last week, emergency manager Kevin Orr asked for an appraisal of some of the city's best artwork. As he struggles to pay down the city's $15 billion debt, selling could be an option he considers.

But how much are the city's financial woes actually affecting its residents?

To find out, we took to the streets and asked people to finish this sentence: 

You know you're wealthy, when...

"You know you're wealthy when you feel comfortable living day-to-day, and you can continue to do what makes you happy," says Stephanie Silk. "I just think everyone perceives wealth differently, and sometimes it's not in the form of money," she explains. "So, you're wealthy when you're happy and comfortable."

Max Kendall says you know you're wealthy "when you get paid to NOT show up at work."

You know you're wealthy when getting a pizza isn't a luxury, according to Liz Vanhorn. "I was trying to figure out what I was going to do for dinner tonight," she explains, "but the $20 I would need for carryout is a little much."

"You know you're wealthy when you're surrounded by love," says Lisa Naz.

"I'm waiting for the day, when I'm not worrying about my bills anymore," says Lana Mini.  She thinks you know you're wealthy when you don't lay awake at night worrying about them.

Jerry Hampton thinks you know you're wealthy "when you do not even have to think about it." It being money, he says.

Dave Rayford thinks you're wealthy "when you have health, love, and enough money to afford all needs and most desires."


Check out other photos from around the globe in the interactive map above. And see more from our series to find out what Washington, D.C., residents had to say about wealth in the nation's capital and to hear from Southern Californians we encountered along the boardwalk in Venice Beach.

And let us know how you would answer that question on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter -- use the hashtag #YouAreWealthyWhen.

About the author

Sarah Cwiek is a reporter who joined Michigan Radio in October 2009.

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