ST. CROIX INSIGHTS

Broke vs. Poor

BY BRETT ANDERSON/ST.CROIX ADVISORS, LLC

broke vs. poor

Frequently, we use the term “poor” to describe our financial situation when what we truly mean is “broke.” Why does it matter? These words signify two distinct circumstances, and using them interchangeably diminishes the very genuine experiences shared by millions of Americans.

Being Broke Is a Drag

Most individuals have experienced being broke at one time or another. I know I have. In my simple definition, “broke” means having a roof over your head, food in the fridge (even though you might think you never have anything good to eat in the house), clothes, shoes, and a car or bike—but your phone might be a few years old, you make your own coffee before you head to work, and you probably aren’t taking lavish vacations.

Broke signifies not having enough funds for the non-essentials we desire—like the latest iPhone, fancy meals, or designer clothing. It’s about getting by and hoping for better days ahead.

Being Poor Is a Crisis

On the other hand, poor means not having a roof over your head or knowing where your next meal is coming from. It means that a single surprise, accident, or medical issue would be catastrophic. It means hope is as hard to come by as a decent night’s sleep. Poor is a life-threatening condition that affects entire families across the country. I pray you and I never experience it.

While we may not all possess the latest car, trendiest gadgets, or high-end devices, you know what? That’s okay. Occasionally, we may gripe about not having what we desire, but it’s crucial to acknowledge the disparity between being broke and being poor so we don’t overlook the struggles faced by numerous Americans.

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Ask yourself- can my portfolio support my lifestyle in my retirement? 

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