How do you define prosperity? In the past, as far back as the economic theory of John Locke, wealth was measured by land ownership. The term “real estate” came into use because land was regarded as more valuable than merchant estates, which consisted primarily of currency. 

Even in modern times, land ownership and home ownership have traditionally been the standard for measuring wealth. But that’s changing.

The Journal of Accountancy reports that a new AICPA survey shows the ability to afford a comfortable retirement is now a higher-ranking measure of financial success. 28% of respondents indicated that being able to retire comfortably meant that someone had “made it” financially, while only 11% marked home/land ownership. (23% chose being able to provide a debt-free education for their children as the top sign, and 11% marked being better off than their parents.)