.How Much Money Do You Need To Feel Wealthy?

How Much Money Do You Need To Feel Wealthy?


Last time, I asked – Can YOU become a millionaire? Incredibly, 95% of voters picked yes. That’s awesome, I love it! It really isn’t that hard to become a millionaire in the U.S. if you make at least a median household income of $60,000/year. You just have to commit to saving and you’ll get there.

The point of the previous post was for you to pick yes. Unfortunately, a million dollars doesn’t go as far as it used to. Most people don’t even consider a million dollars wealthy anymore. So how much money do you need to feel wealthy? Let’s check it out.

*This post was originally written in 2013. I’ve updated and expanded it with the latest info. I hope you enjoy this one.

How much money do you need to feel wealthy?

$3 million+                (28%, 555 Votes)

$5 million+               (26%, 529 Votes)

$10 million+             (29%, 579 Votes)

$100 million!!!         (7%, 147 Votes)

2-3 times what you have now (3%, 69 Votes)

Total Voters: 2,007

Wealth Isn’t All About Money

Of course, wealth isn’t all about money. Health, relationships, freedom, and happiness are all integral parts of wealth. Money won’t make you feel wealthy if you’re missing some of these. When asked about wealth in Charles Schwab’s 2018 Modern Wealth Index survey, two of the top three answers weren’t related to money.


Wealth Not All About Money

Those things are more difficult to measure, though because they are all subjective. We all have different definitions of happiness. My happiness doesn’t necessarily match yours.  

In fact, I think the pursuit of happiness is misguided. We can’t measure those other things, so we’ll just focus on the money today. It’s way easier to figure out net worth than happiness.

When asked to focus on just the money, respondents said it takes $2.4 million to be considered wealthy.

I Don’t Feel Wealthy

Really, $2.4 million? That seems a tad low to me. Our net worth is over that line and I don’t feel rich at all. The problem is the survey is meant to be representative of the US population.

That means most of those surveyed are not millionaires. $2.4 million sounds like a lot of money to regular people, but millionaires don’t consider that wealthy.

Being wealthy is actually a moving target. It turns out most people need twice or more of their current net worth to feel wealthy. If someone is worth $5 million, they would say wealthy means $10 million. That’s pretty funny, isn’t it?

The 2x wealth corollary is pretty much spot on for me. When I wrote this in 2013, our net worth was about $1.5 million. I thought we’d feel wealthy when our net worth reaches $3 million.

Today, I think $3 million is merely comfortable, not wealthy. Like I said, it’s a moving target. However, I’m pretty sure I’ll feel wealthy when we hit $5 million…

UBS Wealth Study

To back up my $5 million = wealthy theory, here is a wealth study from UBS in 2013. It’s a bit older, but investors agreed that wealth isn’t just about having a certain amount of money.

The majority of investors define wealth as having no financial constraints on what they do. But when asked to assign a dollar amount to being wealthy, they say it takes $5 million.

This study targeted investors so the results skewed a bit higher. Investors surveyed were older than 25 years old and have at least $250,000 in investable assets; half have at least $1 million in investable assets. This group is doing a lot better than the average American household.

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