What comes to mind when you reflect on what it means to be rich in America? Do you think Kardashian or George Baily (whose friends make him the richest man in Bedford Falls in “It’s a Wonderful Life”)?
What comes to mind when you reflect on what it means to be rich in America? Do you think Kardashian or George Baily (whose friends make him the richest man in Bedford Falls in “It’s a Wonderful Life”)? Do you think billionaire Bill Gates, who lost his “richest man in America” title because he donated billions to philanthropic causes, or do you think MC Hammer before he infamously frittered away a staggering $33 million?
For a significant majority of Affluent households, being rich in America means having greater security, an attitude shared by 84 percent of respondents, according to a 2013 survey conducted by Millionaire Corner. Just over one-third (34 percent) equate being rich in America with more happiness, while a near-equal percentage take a more clear-eyed view. They state it means more responsibility.
Nearly three-in-ten (27 percent) believe being rich in America means you have more fun, while 22 percent believe it means having a more complicated life.
Nearly three-fourths (73 percent) of Affluent respondents define being rich in America by wealth level. Interestingly, less than two-thirds (60 percent) of Millionaires (with a net worth between $1 million and $4.9 million, not including primary residence) consider themselves to be rich, according to a wealth level study conducted earlier this year by Spectrem’s Millionaire Corner. Meanwhile, more than one-fourth (27 percent) of respondents to our “rich in America” survey said that $1 million was the benchmark by which they consider someone to be rich.
As to the minimum annual household income it would take to be considered rich in America, the highest percentage (38 percent) of Affluent respondents said at least $450,000. Nineteen percent, the second-highest percentage, said $250,000.
When asked how they envision the lifestyle of one who is rich in America, the highest percentage of respondents said someone who:
· Owns three to four cars
· Owns a second/vacation home
· Has so much money they don’t need to work
· Takes four or more vacations a year
· Is “carefree”
Donald Liebenson writes news and features for Millionaire Corner. He has been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, Fiscal Times, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, and other outlets. He has also served as a marketing writer for Chicago-based Questar Entertainment and distributor Baker & Taylor.
A graduate of the University of Southern California, he is married with a college-age son. He also writes extensively about entertainment.