Author Topic: Becoming Wealthy - What is the magic number?  (Read 2691 times)

Enigma

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Becoming Wealthy - What is the magic number?
« on: May 15, 2019, 10:40:02 AM »
Somone on one of the earlier discussions threw out that to be be wealthy $2.4M was the mark they were shooting for.  For whatever reason that has stuck in my mind for the past month or so.  According to the article "...the [current] median net worth, or those at the 50th percentile... that’s $97,300."

“wealthy” is "$2.27 million", "that’s according to Charles Schwab’s 2019 Modern Wealth Survey"


https://www.cnbc.com/2019/05/13/how-much-money-americans-think-you-need-to-be-considered-wealthy.html

Is there a magic number everyone is contemplating that would be considered wealthy?  I am still shooting for the 2.4M myself.  But I have a long way to go to get there.

InterfaceLeader

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Re: Becoming Wealthy - What is the magic number?
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2019, 10:46:18 AM »
Isn't the answer always "a little bit more than I have now"?

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Re: Becoming Wealthy - What is the magic number?
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2019, 10:48:57 AM »
The real downer is once I hit that number, inflation will have weathered it down and the new number will be higher.  I can see that happening by the time I am a millionaire it will barely be noticeable.

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Re: Becoming Wealthy - What is the magic number?
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2019, 11:03:54 AM »
I've always kinda thought of "wealthy" as having enough assets to be able to live off at a lifestyle one is comfortable with and without requiring anymore earned income, and then "rich" as making a lot more income in an absolute sense. 

I have about $3M saved and the $10k/mth I can somewhat reliably draw off of it definitely makes me wealthy in my opinion as that's definitely enough for my fam of 5.  Maybe twice that amount would make me rich and wealthy?  Though thats where I'm sure my answer may always be twice what I've got ;-)

Psychstache

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Re: Becoming Wealthy - What is the magic number?
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2019, 11:58:22 AM »
I liked Chris Rock's thought on the matter from one of his comedy specials:

"Shaq is rich, the dude that signs Shaq's paycheck is wealthy"

kei te pai

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Re: Becoming Wealthy - What is the magic number?
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2019, 01:39:43 PM »
I know this thread is focused on $$$, but in my mind wealth is having all my needs for shelter, food ,warmth met. Reliable electricity, hot and cold water out of the tap. Public health care. Insurance. Freedom from war. Clean air, sunshine, unpolluted rivers and soil. Good neighbours, good friends, and enough extra to help those I love if they need it.
And civil social discourse, political leaders to be proud of, societal norms of compassion and acceptance and inclusion.
How many dollars do you need to replace these things?

Pennycounter

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Re: Becoming Wealthy - What is the magic number?
« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2019, 01:52:12 PM »
Isn't the answer always "a little bit more than I have now"?

Yes! Well a little bit or a lot more than I have now.

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Re: Becoming Wealthy - What is the magic number?
« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2019, 02:45:38 PM »
If you can

- go to a place where you can just take food you didn't grow and clothes you didn't weave
- turn a knob and magically get water
- turn another knob and get magically heated water
- get a house you didn't have to build
- have a device that magically keeps that house at the perfect temperature for you
- own a contraption that allows your legs to quadruple your speed over walking
- get injected with an elixir that magically protects you from terrible plagues

then you are rich.

If you can do all that without having to work for it, you're wealthy. 

That exact number varies, but it's not that much for folks from developed countries.

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Re: Becoming Wealthy - What is the magic number?
« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2019, 03:21:23 PM »
I've always kinda thought of "wealthy" as having enough assets to be able to live off at a lifestyle one is comfortable with and without requiring anymore earned income, and then "rich" as making a lot more income in an absolute sense. 

I have about $3M saved and the $10k/mth I can somewhat reliably draw off of it definitely makes me wealthy in my opinion as that's definitely enough for my fam of 5.  Maybe twice that amount would make me rich and wealthy?  Though thats where I'm sure my answer may always be twice what I've got ;-)

I'm in the same boat and would give the same answer.. Even though I know that answer sounds ridiculous to the 96% of the US population that don't have what we do.

doggyfizzle

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Re: Becoming Wealthy - What is the magic number?
« Reply #9 on: May 15, 2019, 03:25:34 PM »
Based on my experience from growing up in an affluent area: if you are part of a professional-class family (doctor/lawyer/engineer/management) you are likely rich - net worth above $500k.  Wealthy is being able to enjoy a lifestyle of the professional class (or even more exclusive with private planes etc) without having to work anymore if you don’t want to - net worth above $10m.

Exflyboy

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Re: Becoming Wealthy - What is the magic number?
« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2019, 03:41:20 PM »
Based on my experience from growing up in an affluent area: if you are part of a professional-class family (doctor/lawyer/engineer/management) you are likely rich - net worth above $500k.  Wealthy is being able to enjoy a lifestyle of the professional class (or even more exclusive with private planes etc) without having to work anymore if you don’t want to - net worth above $10m.

Wait no private planes if you don't have $10M?.. Oops!..;)

bluebelle

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Re: Becoming Wealthy - What is the magic number?
« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2019, 04:08:18 PM »
Isn't the answer always "a little bit more than I have now"?
isn't the answer "a lot more than I have now"?

It's always felt like a never ending cycle to me.....if the median net worth is less than $100K, maybe half a million seems like a lot, if you have half a million maybe you think you need a million....and it probably depends on what makes up your net worth.  I live in the second most expensive city in Canada, and bought my house 20 years ago, that house is worth 3-4 times what I paid for it, that's a lot of net worth.

My husband I talk about this occasionally.....he doesn't even consider us middle class, but based on both net worth and household income we're easily 'up there'.  (I don't trust alot of sources because they don't give me adequate background, is it average or median, are you including salaries of 16 year olds, is it joint or individual?  Does it include the family home?  I want data!)   But I think he bases our 'class' by our spend.   We spend about a 1/4 of or combined gross income (excluding taxes.....I pay a shit ton of taxes - someone has to pay for our 'free' healthcare).....

I guess this is my long winded way of saying I don't feel wealthy.  We have a household net worth of more than $3.5 million, more if I included the commuted value of his defined benefit pension, but $1.5m of that is real estate, 10 years ago, I would have thought a $2 million net worth as wealthy, but now that I have spreadsheets up the ying yang, and know how much I need for 45-50 years of retirement, it's not such a big number (I'm conservative, with a 3.5% WR and 4% return and assume a tax rate of 17% {which is high - but, hey, government thieves } ).  In my mind wealthy are the very few that really don't need know the price before they buy, that couldn't spend their billions in 10 lifetimes.   

doggyfizzle

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Re: Becoming Wealthy - What is the magic number?
« Reply #12 on: May 15, 2019, 05:02:33 PM »
Based on my experience from growing up in an affluent area: if you are part of a professional-class family (doctor/lawyer/engineer/management) you are likely rich - net worth above $500k.  Wealthy is being able to enjoy a lifestyle of the professional class (or even more exclusive with private planes etc) without having to work anymore if you don’t want to - net worth above $10m.

Wait no private planes if you don't have $10M?.. Oops!..;)

From what my wife described NetJets fees costing some of her former clients, $5k/hour minimum might be a bit much for the standard “rich” person.  And then if you actually own a plane, that’s an entirely different level of wealth (and convenience).

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Re: Becoming Wealthy - What is the magic number?
« Reply #13 on: May 15, 2019, 06:11:55 PM »
I've never been worried that I couldn't get enough food tomorrow.  I've never been unable to put a roof over my head.  My parents love me, I was never abused and I was born and got through childhood with no serious health problems.  I was given a good education by my community and I've never had to worry that a random missile or angry hoard would abruptly end my life. When I call the police or fire department they respond quickyl and professionally. I have free access to millions of books from my library and I can stroll through the park whenever I want.  My closet is embarrassingly full. I have fallen in love multiple times, and been loved in return, and now I have a spouse and a child that seem to share as much fortune as I have had.

Fuck yeah, I've been wealthy since the day I was born.

Parizade

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Re: Becoming Wealthy - What is the magic number?
« Reply #14 on: May 15, 2019, 06:42:46 PM »
(I don't trust alot of sources because they don't give me adequate background, is it average or median, are you including salaries of 16 year olds, is it joint or individual?  Does it include the family home?  I want data!)

I thought this page was pretty good, though it's USA not Canada. Itk breaks net worth down by average and median, and by age with or without including a house.

Net Worth By Age Percentile

According to this, $2.3M puts you in the top 1%, but only if you are 35-39 years old. By the time you are in your 50s you need closer to $16M to be a one-percenter.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2019, 06:53:06 PM by Parizade »

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Re: Becoming Wealthy - What is the magic number?
« Reply #15 on: May 15, 2019, 10:25:33 PM »
Based on my experience from growing up in an affluent area: if you are part of a professional-class family (doctor/lawyer/engineer/management) you are likely rich - net worth above $500k.  Wealthy is being able to enjoy a lifestyle of the professional class (or even more exclusive with private planes etc) without having to work anymore if you don’t want to - net worth above $10m.

Wait no private planes if you don't have $10M?.. Oops!..;)

From what my wife described NetJets fees costing some of her former clients, $5k/hour minimum might be a bit much for the standard “rich” person.  And then if you actually own a plane, that’s an entirely different level of wealth (and convenience).

Depends on the plane.. a doggy old Cessna that can't fly in instrument conditions (clouds) can be had for $20k  or less.

A high performance instrument piston driven airplane that you build yourself.. Well mine cost about $90k to build. To buy the same thing.. Nearer $300 to 500K.

A very light jet.. $1 to 2M

Business jets start around $10M

Like most things.. There is a spend level for every budget..:)

dragoncar

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Re: Becoming Wealthy - What is the magic number?
« Reply #16 on: May 16, 2019, 12:07:34 AM »
I didn't read the article, but it's not that far off from this methodology:

How much money do you need to spend to be happy?  One study suggests that the ideal income is $95,000 a year for life satisfaction.  At a 4% SWR, that requires $2.375 million.

Pretty close to the Schwab figure

soccerluvof4

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Re: Becoming Wealthy - What is the magic number?
« Reply #17 on: May 16, 2019, 03:38:58 AM »
I didn't read the article, but it's not that far off from this methodology:

How much money do you need to spend to be happy?  One study suggests that the ideal income is $95,000 a year for life satisfaction.  At a 4% SWR, that requires $2.375 million.

Pretty close to the Schwab figure


That was pretty much where I felt I needed to be (2.5M) when I fired 4 years ago. And this kinda says it all, one of my favorites!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eikbQPldhPY 
« Last Edit: May 16, 2019, 03:51:12 AM by soccerluvof4 »

Malkynn

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Re: Becoming Wealthy - What is the magic number?
« Reply #18 on: May 16, 2019, 03:50:47 AM »
In my mind wealthy are the very few that really don't need know the price before they buy, that couldn't spend their billions in 10 lifetimes.

Funny. All of the very wealthy people I know are the people the most concerned with the cost of things, it's how they ended up wealthy.

I've only ever seen the children of wealthy people not care about cost.

snogirl

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Re: Becoming Wealthy - What is the magic number?
« Reply #19 on: May 21, 2019, 01:45:06 PM »
I am FIRE'd and far from wealthy.
My quality of LIFE is Rich and meaningful. My definition aligns with what matters to me and it's not about money. 

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spartana

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Re: Becoming Wealthy - What is the magic number?
« Reply #20 on: May 21, 2019, 02:27:51 PM »
I am FIRE'd and far from wealthy.
My quality of LIFE is Rich and meaningful. My definition aligns with what matters to me and it's not about money. 

Sent from my moto g(7) using Tapatalk
Agreed. I thought the whole point of the MMM blog was to have "enough" not to amass wealth. But if someone needs 4% of $2.4 million to fund their stoic badass lifestyle to be happy and fulfilled then that's what they need I guess and would be willing to work years longer for that.

Parizade

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Re: Becoming Wealthy - What is the magic number?
« Reply #21 on: May 21, 2019, 03:06:33 PM »
I am FIRE'd and far from wealthy.
My quality of LIFE is Rich and meaningful. My definition aligns with what matters to me and it's not about money. 

Sent from my moto g(7) using Tapatalk
Agreed. I thought the whole point of the MMM blog was to have "enough" not to amass wealth. But if someone needs 4% of $2.4 million to fund their stoic badass lifestyle to be happy and fulfilled then that's what they need I guess and would be willing to work years longer for that.

+1, having a rich and meaningful quality of life that aligns with my values is my goal, and I need significantly less than $2.3M to achieve it. I'm already in the richest 10% of the world, that's enough for me.

A net worth of $93,170 U.S. is enough to make you richer than 90 percent of people around the world, Credit Suisse reports. The institute defines net worth, or “wealth,” as “the value of financial assets plus real assets (principally housing) owned by households, minus their debts.”


How much money you need to be among the richest 10 percent of people worldwide

John Galt incarnate!

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Re: Becoming Wealthy - What is the magic number?
« Reply #22 on: May 21, 2019, 03:48:05 PM »
Somone on one of the earlier discussions threw out that to be be wealthy $2.4M was the mark they were shooting for.  For whatever reason that has stuck in my mind for the past month or so.  According to the article "...the [current] median net worth, or those at the 50th percentile... that’s $97,300."

“wealthy” is "$2.27 million", "that’s according to Charles Schwab’s 2019 Modern Wealth Survey"


https://www.cnbc.com/2019/05/13/how-much-money-americans-think-you-need-to-be-considered-wealthy.html

Is there a magic number everyone is contemplating that would be considered wealthy?  I am still shooting for the 2.4M myself.  But I have a long way to go to get there.

1.You are 50 or younger.

2. Your investments are such that you can spend ~$500,000 per year every year for the rest of your life and never run out of money.

^

This is my  definition of "wealthy."
« Last Edit: May 21, 2019, 03:52:19 PM by John Galt incarnate! »

Enigma

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Re: Becoming Wealthy - What is the magic number?
« Reply #23 on: May 22, 2019, 07:43:33 AM »

1.You are 50 or younger.
2. Your investments are such that you can spend ~$500,000 per year every year for the rest of your life and never run out of money.

^

This is my  definition of "wealthy."
Using the idea of 4% safe withdrawal rate...  I would guess that would mean a person would need $12.5M (500k/yr) by 50.  Wow

Car Jack

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Re: Becoming Wealthy - What is the magic number?
« Reply #24 on: May 22, 2019, 11:44:20 AM »
Truly wealthy?  Well, I'm a true car guy, so just like cost to put my kids through college (DS#1 currently at a well equipped Lamborghini Huracan), I'll put it this way.  Wealthy means that one can afford to lease a new Pagani Huayra.  Their leases are typically more lease to buy, but you CAN just return the car at any point in the lease and be done with it, with no more payments.  How's that lease work?

$800k down
$35k per month for 39 months
$1.2M residual to buy at the end of the lease

To be comfortable doing this....I'd say an 8 figure portfolio of investable assets.  Not your house value....that doesn't count.

I scoff at the $2.4M number.  Even I have that much.  And I'm stretching the life of my 09 Fusion.

Heck.....I sold 2 $25 tradelines today!

Exflyboy

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Re: Becoming Wealthy - What is the magic number?
« Reply #25 on: May 22, 2019, 12:26:36 PM »
I think my $5M invested makes sense to me in terms of it providing $200k spending money.

What would this give?

1) Travel to wherever and whenever I want.
2) Business class tickets, not even shopping around for the best deal
3) Stay in nice hotels
4) Buy very decent cars and change them when I get bored.
5) Hire a landscape company and household help.


Thats still not living a very different life to what we have, it would still be in the same modest house. But I could see that cost $200k/year.

stoaX

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Re: Becoming Wealthy - What is the magic number?
« Reply #26 on: May 22, 2019, 12:57:01 PM »
I've never been worried that I couldn't get enough food tomorrow.  I've never been unable to put a roof over my head.  My parents love me, I was never abused and I was born and got through childhood with no serious health problems.  I was given a good education by my community and I've never had to worry that a random missile or angry hoard would abruptly end my life. When I call the police or fire department they respond quickyl and professionally. I have free access to millions of books from my library and I can stroll through the park whenever I want.  My closet is embarrassingly full. I have fallen in love multiple times, and been loved in return, and now I have a spouse and a child that seem to share as much fortune as I have had.

Fuck yeah, I've been wealthy since the day I was born.

Amen!

tryingtosave

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Re: Becoming Wealthy - What is the magic number?
« Reply #27 on: May 22, 2019, 01:16:54 PM »
To me, to be wealthy, at least $10M plus. To be able to live comfortably, $2.4M maybe ok for today. Not in future times.

Villanelle

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Re: Becoming Wealthy - What is the magic number?
« Reply #28 on: May 22, 2019, 01:23:17 PM »
I'd say about $2.5m net worth is probably about right for me, but I guess it might depend on how much of that is liquid.

That said, being financially (as opposed to emotionally, intellectually, etc.) wealthy is not really a goal for me.  I want to be FIRE, I want to be secure, I want to not have to worry about money, and to be able to afford thoughtful, considered luxuries on occasion.  I don't need to be wealthy to do any of those things.

mistymoney

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Re: Becoming Wealthy - What is the magic number?
« Reply #29 on: May 24, 2019, 10:30:22 AM »
What I find most interesting in these comments is the some people think rich > wealthy, and others that wealthy is > rich.

to me, wealthy conjures up visions of the truly well-heeled, not just money, but class and sophistication across generations, old money if you will.

Why - idk!

Rich is anyone with alot of cash to sling around.

Malkynn

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Re: Becoming Wealthy - What is the magic number?
« Reply #30 on: May 24, 2019, 10:40:25 AM »
What I find most interesting in these comments is the some people think rich > wealthy, and others that wealthy is > rich.

to me, wealthy conjures up visions of the truly well-heeled, not just money, but class and sophistication across generations, old money if you will.

Why - idk!

Rich is anyone with alot of cash to sling around.

The distinction is literally whatever anyone wants it to be, if they choose to distinguish them at all. To me, they're synonyms.

2sk22

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Re: Becoming Wealthy - What is the magic number?
« Reply #31 on: May 24, 2019, 12:38:57 PM »
Truly wealthy?  Well, I'm a true car guy, so just like cost to put my kids through college (DS#1 currently at a well equipped Lamborghini Huracan), I'll put it this way.  Wealthy means that one can afford to lease a new Pagani Huayra.  Their leases are typically more lease to buy, but you CAN just return the car at any point in the lease and be done with it, with no more payments.  How's that lease work?

$800k down
$35k per month for 39 months
$1.2M residual to buy at the end of the lease

To be comfortable doing this....I'd say an 8 figure portfolio of investable assets.  Not your house value....that doesn't count.

I scoff at the $2.4M number.  Even I have that much.  And I'm stretching the life of my 09 Fusion.

Heck.....I sold 2 $25 tradelines today!

There's a Lamborghini dealership across the road from the Trader Joe's I shop at.
I'm happy knowing I could buy any car there for cash. Not that I would ever do so however,
since my car preferences are vey mustachian :-)

jengod

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Re: Becoming Wealthy - What is the magic number?
« Reply #32 on: May 26, 2019, 06:04:14 PM »
I have these three statements pasted at the bottom of a household finance document. I think at various times I scraped them out of finance message boards like this one.

I'm not sure I adhere to any one of them exactly but collectively they are interesting:

(1)

Over $5 million: you are rich, you can live quite well without worrying too much.

About $2 million to $5 million: you are affluent, well-off, but you still have to watch your spending and try to grow your wealth.

About $500K to $2 million: you are middle class, you can have a decent retirement but you'll have to work to make your money last.

Under $500K: don't quit your day job.

(2)

At retirement; $2,000,000 plus a house you have paid off. Never got there. It used to be $1,000,000 but things ain't what they used to be.

(3)

I'd like to have at least 3 mil in retirement savings and 1 mil in cash and no mortgage before I even think of retiring.

FIREstache

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Re: Becoming Wealthy - What is the magic number?
« Reply #33 on: May 26, 2019, 06:40:34 PM »

The number that makes one wealthy will depend on various things including your location, cost of living, age, whether you still have income, pension, SS income, debt, whether you're married, have kids, whether your home is paid for, etc etc.

I've been told I'm wealthy as a single childless person in a LCOL area with a paid off home, a $100K/yr income, and a $1.4M stash.  I don't think of myself as wealthy - would probably feel more that way if my stash was over $3M, especially at $5M+.

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Re: Becoming Wealthy - What is the magic number?
« Reply #34 on: May 26, 2019, 06:44:20 PM »
I'd say about $2.5m net worth is probably about right for me, but I guess it might depend on how much of that is liquid.

That said, being financially (as opposed to emotionally, intellectually, etc.) wealthy is not really a goal for me.  I want to be FIRE, I want to be secure, I want to not have to worry about money, and to be able to afford thoughtful, considered luxuries on occasion.  I don't need to be wealthy to do any of those things.

Concerning the detriment of worry, our attitudes are the same.

If I lacked the  $ to provide a secure retirement I would worry which would foreclose my happiness.

Bateaux

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Re: Becoming Wealthy - What is the magic number?
« Reply #35 on: May 27, 2019, 08:46:58 AM »
I'd place the bottom rung of wealthy at 5 million dollars of income producing assets.   At that level, you do mostly normal things, but you do them without much consideration of cost.  I'd place the bottom rung of affluent at 2.5 million.  At that level, you do most things you want but, cost considering.   Below 2 million, you're middle class unless you're still working.  The 4% rule will land you at levels of spending among middle class workers.

SwordGuy

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Re: Becoming Wealthy - What is the magic number?
« Reply #36 on: May 27, 2019, 10:03:12 AM »
I think it's important to put things in perspective based upon factual information instead of just feelings.

Based on 2016 data, you are in the top 10% of wealth in the USA if you and yours have a net worth of >= $1,165,900.00.

You're in the top 5% of wealth with a net worth of about $2,300,000.

With a net worth of $10,000,000 you're in the top 1.03%.

https://www.shnugi.com/networth-percentile-calculator/