“Income” and “wealth” have incorrectly become synonymous in American culture. While the two concepts often go hand in hand, using the terms interchangeably is misleading. America’s most wealthy individuals don’t necessarily draw the highest levels of income.
For example, while professional athletes, top executives, doctors, and lawyers have reputations for high salaries, their obligations can make accumulating significant wealth very difficult. Many wealthy individuals, on the other hand, have never earned an exceptionally large paycheck.
Income vs. Wealth – Different Definitions
I like to think of income as the amount of money someone receives on a regular basis, while wealth is the length of time that person (or family) could maintain their current lifestyle without receiving compensation for performing additional work.