As a city kid, the above phrase is one I'm very familiar with... as a professional, I hear too it very often. Many people I meet with not only want to go over their own financial standing, but as how they compare with others. Whether the comparison question is to be meant against others their age, their profession, geographic location, or other factors, many people are fascinated with how they measure on the bar of success. In a quick answer... life is not a contest, but a slow and steady progress report toward meeting your goals.
How you are doing is dependent on what your income is, your expenses are, your short and long term goals, your saving habits, your dedication to setting and achieving your goals, and an infinite number of other ever-changing factors. For example, we have clients who can live very comfortably on (just as an example) $50,000 per year of income, and some who can't live with less than $250.000. In order to achieve a future goal, it takes present commitment. Planning, preparation and time is the key to achieving goals. Those that I find are the most successful in fulfilling their long term goals such as retirement, a second home or other major objective are planned long in advance of the actual event- usually in the 5-10 year area. Retirement is the exception, which for most takes a lifetime of preparation as the amount of funds and income sources takes for the most part a lifetime to arrange and accumulate. Every time you decided to put off a years' worth of contributions toward any goal is a year that cannot be reclaimed. It's not only the lost contribution, but the potential gains that lost year may accumulate. I cannot express how important it is to make sure you construct a plan, pay yourself first, and make sure you measure the progress to your goals is on track on a regular basis. Once you get behind, catching up is exponentially harder to achieve success. It may be hard sometimes to put off a joy for today for a joy for tomorrow but trust me: from my experience of working with people who successfully met their goals the feeling is fantastic!