This is what it takes to be counted among the wealthy in America

  • By Shawn Langlois,
  • MarketWatch
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Millionaire status ain’t what it used to be.

In fact, according to Charles Schwab’s 2019 Modern Wealth Survey, you’d need a lot more than a mere seven figures to be viewed as wealthy these days.

That’s right, the annual survey of 1,000 adults asked how much their net worth would have to be for them to earn such elite status, and they came up with $2.27 million, on average. Considering the median net worth of the average U.S. household is less than $100,000, that’s a pretty lofty number.

Here are median and average net worth figures by age across the country, per the Federal Reserve’s Survey of Consumer Finances:

Under 35: $11,100 ($76,200)

  • 35-44: $59,800 ($288,700)
  • 45-54: $124,200 ($727,500)
  • 55-64: $187,300 ($1,167,400)
  • 65-74: $224,100 ($1,066,000)
  • 75+: $264,800 ($1,067,000)

Perhaps the reason so few have actually attained “wealthy” status lies in the answers that Schwab got when it asked what they would do if they suddenly came into a $1 million windfall.

Here’s how they responded:

For millennials, in particular, their financial troubles could have something to do with the fact they spend more time (and more FOMO-induced money) surfing their social-media accounts than older generations. “Social media has become the millennials’ financial Achilles Heel,” Kelly LaVigne, vice president of Consumer Insights for Allianz Life, said regarding a survey released last year.

But it’s not all about the money. The vast majority (72%) in the Schwab poll said wealth’s more about how they live their life, not some dollar amount.

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