How much money do you need to be rich in 2023?

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Show them the money!

Americans now consider themselves wealthy if they have a whopping average of $2.2 million in assets, new data from Charles Schwab’s 2023 Modern Wealth survey suggests.

The survey polled 1,000 Americans aged 21 through 75  —Gen Z; Millennials; Gen X and Boomers — about how they think about saving, spending, investing and wealth.

Despite recent inflation, the eye-watering dollar amount is significantly lower than than pre-pandemic — in early 2020, respondents to the same Schwab survey found $2.6 million to be the magic number.

Increasingly, many participants, particularly of the younger generations, are saying money alone doesn’t always equal wealth. Experiences, relationships and career carry just as much currency.

Nearly half of Americans (48%) polled said they already feel wealthy, despite having an average net worth of around $560,000.


Woman paying with credit.
Nearly half of Americans (48%) polled said they already feel wealthy, despite having an average net worth of around $560,000.
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When asked to define wealth in their own words, 40% of Americans mentioned well-being, followed by money (32%) and assets. But nearly 62% said healthy relationships with loved ones is the true definition of wealth — twice the number that mentioned money.

Regardless of inflation and financial troubles plaguing younger generations  – from student loan debt to inability to afford first-time home-buying and the rising cost of household goods — millennials and Gen Z revealed they feel wealthy, with 57% and 46% saying they feel rich.

That’s compared to 41% of Gen X and 40% of baby boomers. 

“We asked 1,000 Americans what wealth means to them and we found that they’re not measuring wealth in terms of dollars — it’s things like having fulfilling relationships and experiences with their family and friends, good health, and even career flexibility. All these things matter more to people than having a lot of money or owning nice things,” Abel Oonnoonny, vice president and senior financial consultant at Charles Schwab’s Midtown branch in New York told The Post. 

“There’s a disconnect between how people define wealth for themselves versus how they define it for others,”  Oonnoonny said. “We saw a shift toward personal values in the way each generation thinks about their money and investments. It’s not just about accumulation; it’s about how they want to live their lives,” he added.

Simply being to afford a lifestyle similar to a friend’s made Gen Z (61%) and Millennials (61%) feel wealthy, compared to 39% of Gen X and 31% of Baby Boomers.


Woman paying with credit card.
Millennials and Gen Z revealed they feel wealthy, with 57% and 46% saying they feel rich. That’s compared to 41% of Gen X and 40% of baby boomers. 
Getty Images

Social media was also influential for young people and how they measure wealth, with 54% of Gen Z and 47% of Millennials saying they compare their lifestyles to others they follow on social media (compared with 31% and 13% of Gen X and Baby Boomers).

Younger consumers are also more motivated to spend money based on what they see scrolling through Instagram and TikTok with 55% and 46% of Gen Z and Millennials saying social media influencers drive their financial decisions.

Collectively, a thriving work-life balance made 7 in 10 surveyed feel richer than bulking up on earnings, the survey showed.

And peace of mind when it comes to money saved is also a luxury — seven in 10 say wealth is more about not having to stress over money rather than saving more of it. 

To have this, Oonnoonny suggests creating a financial plan.

“Starting with small steps and a positive mindset can make the planning process less daunting and allow investors to look at their financial situation more holistically while setting them on the path for long-term success,” he said.

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