I looked up poverty. It’s a condition where one is unable to provide for one’s needs or basic comforts. Then I looked up wealth. It’s an abundance of material goods. Interesting. Nothing to do with money at all. He who dies with the most toys wins.
The more money you make, the more material possessions you have, and the more valuable the possessions. And, as a rule, this means a bigger house. Which means a bigger mortgage. Probably more or nicer cars and possibly boats/motorcycles/RVs, etc. So the richer you are, the more debt you have, and in most cases, the higher the negative net worth you have.
Now consider a homeless person, who has almost no basic comforts much less luxuries. Who also has no debt.
It’s interesting how the ubiquity of debt in our society has shaped our definitions of rich and poor. Net worth means nothing, disposable income – or perhaps more correctly, the ability to leverage assets for the acquisition of goods and services – means everything.