This is what success looks like to the average American

What does success mean to you?

  • By Shawn Langlois,
  • MarketWatch
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What does "making it" mean to you? A sweet new car? A gratifying job? A house in the 'burbs filled with a spouse, a dog and a couple of kids? Or how about just a hammock and enough free time to enjoy it?

In an effort to get an idea of what success means to the average American, ThermoSoft polled 2,000 people and put together this visual to illustrate the findings:

As you can see, it's not all about having more money, though that was a common thread among about half the respondents. The average income of those polled came in at $57,426, while $147,104 is the target for having "made it." Respondents also consider a home value of $461,000 as the mark to shoot for, up from $248,000 now.

Interestingly, 77% said they wouldn't want more than $1 million in annual income, even if it was offered. More money, more problems?

Freedom and work/life balance are up there, as well. More than two-thirds consider working from home a success, while just 31% currently pull it off. Cutting average commute times from 17 minutes to 10 minutes and almost doubling the amount of vacation are also considered signs of having arrived.

Family-wise, getting married is on the checklist; so is having kids, with four out of five saying they are part of their success story.

Travel, of course, is one of the goals, along with varying views on where someone who's "made it" might want to live after hitting their success milestones.

"While the term 'making it' doesn't have a concrete definition," the ThermoSoft blogger wrote, "people seem to want the same general things: More money, less responsibility and more time to focus on personal goals and relationships."

Hard to argue with that.

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