Q: What’s the difference between a millionaire and a billionaire?
A: Three zeroes and a comma.
It might be a bad joke, but it is accurate. While those three extra zeroes might look attractive, there are several ways in which millionaires have it better even before you start thinking about taxes.
See also: How to Become a Millionaire
Millionaires stay more grounded
Although millionaires still go out and buy private jets and huge houses with a spare bedroom for each pet, in the long run they’re better at remember how the real world works; they’ll identify successful start-ups and get involved in ways they can generate more value. They understand that their role is to be a part of the economy and the world, and in turn people treat them like people and not cash machines.
Billionaires, on the other hand, have so much money that they get the idea that the world is "tangibly fungible", or that everything is replaceable. They’re more interested in throwing their money at things to change them and using their worth as leverage; this makes them seem like they think they’re above everyone else, including millionaires.
Fewer zeroes, less awkwardness
Millionaires still remember that life should be as much about making money as it is about taking the time to actually enjoy it. They stop working at weekends in order to have fun and socialize, which in turns helps them connect to others and become more empathetic and inspiring.
Billionaires get so caught up in the idea that money has to keep being made that they end up working 24/7 and becoming outcasts who only "socialize" if it’s in the pursuit of making more money. You might dream of getting onto a Richest People list, but think of the work that goes into getting on it, and staying on it. Are you inspired by what they do, or simply jealous of what they have?
It’s less life-changing (in a good way)
When it comes to money, there can be too much of a good thing; the more you have, the more you have to be wary of everyone and your life can become a self-made prison where you’re shuttled around in armoured cars by armed guards. Is the extra money really worth your freedom?
The more you have, the more likely you are to need Kidnap and Ransom Insurance. It’s a real thing with really high premiums, and not only is it expensive, it’s complicated; it’s best if the insured doesn’t know they’re insured, you have to decide whether or not it’s safe to report the kidnapping, and the insurer may try to avoid paying out.
Your child comes home from school and announces "I made a new friend!" Millionaires might be wary, but billionaires are even more likely to immediately have to conduct a background check to make sure the new friend isn’t someone sent to infiltrate their lives. They can say goodbye to inviting a new friend round for a coffee sometime, too. Would you rather have money or (genuine) friends?
Millionaires still have limits
Billionaires can buy and do whatever they like, whenever they like (as long as their security personnel doesn’t forbid it.) Once they’ve succeeded in all their "before I die" goals in a year or two, what are they supposed to do with the rest of their lives? Even Tony Stark got bored and became a superhero.
Millionaires may also have more freedom than you, but they have to be a little more cautious about it. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing when it means they’re forced to slow down and they get to enjoy their wealth for longer.
See also: Top 10 Ways to Become Rich
Do you think you would be happier as a millionaire or billionaire? Do you know any millionaires or billionaires? Do you think there’s such a thing as too much money? Let us know in the comments section below.