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JLeslie's avatar

A fb friend wrote "you need a net worth of $2.4 million in the US to be considered rich" what do you think?

Asked by JLeslie (61540points) June 28th, 2017 from iPhone

Do you agree?


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25 Answers

elbanditoroso's avatar

I’ll never be rich, then.

It’s an arbitrary number. Not really meaningful. So much depends on your age and your needs and tastes. I don’t need a mansion and a fast car and a country club membership. Some people do.

In fact, the more I think about the question, the more simplistic it appears to be. Like money can buy satisfaction….

canidmajor's avatar

Even speaking from a purely monetary standpoint, location is a huge factor. The $2.4M will go a lot farther in some parts of the country than others. What it gets you in New York City is a lot less than what it gets you in rural Minnesota.

PullMyFinger's avatar

I think that depends on who is doing the ‘considering’.

As (I think) David Lee Roth once said….

“It’s true that money can’t buy happiness…..but it will buy a boat big enough to sail right up next to happiness….”

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

I would say that is in the ballpark of wealthy. “Net worth” is often including assets that are tied up like your home. Out in California that’s a big chunk of that 2.5 mil here in Tennessee not so much. You could sell a million dollar home there, move here and buy 10 rental properties at $1000/month income per unit.

zenvelo's avatar

Seems pretty low to be considered “rich”. Where I live (Northern California) that would be called “comfortable”.

“Rich” would be more like $10 million.Enough to do what most people reasonably want with eating into the capital.

gondwanalon's avatar

I think that that is a very poor definition of rich.

I think that rich people live in large mansions with wonderful views with maids, butlers, landscape maintenance people and have luxury cars driven by their chauffeurs.

A measly $2.4 million won’t do it. Perhaps $240 million will come close.

But $2.4 Million might get you into the lower bourgeoisie class.

PullMyFinger's avatar

I’m still waiting for Bill Gates to respond, but so far…....nothing…..

stanleybmanly's avatar

that is VERY dependent on where you live in the United States. In my mind “rich” is defined as the freedom to live as you please wlithout worrying about paying for it.

ucme's avatar

I don’t like the word “rich” in the context of someone’s wealth.
Fruit can be rich in vitamins, but a person is rich in money…sounds clumsy & just wrong.
Besides, your earnings don’t necessarily depict your wealth, disposable income is the key.

CWOTUS's avatar

I can’t help but think this might be a line that Fitzgerald cut from The Great Gatsby as being just too facile, too trite, too simplistic and arbitrary… and too wrong.

Don’t get me wrong: a certain amount of established (and disposable) wealth in the form of cash, cash equivalents and fairly liquid investment is necessary (I was going to say “valuable”, but that’s a tautology I want to avoid), but… not enough.

If one doesn’t have a reason to live – outside of one’s own natural desire to eat and breathe, that is – or the skills – emotional coping skills as well as some physical aptitude and adaptability with technology and tools and working with others (even when not “working”), and an ability to communicate, then one can hardly ever be considered “rich”.

Without those things, I can’t imagine any amount of money being able to make one “wealthy” in any more than a very vulgar and basic way. It’s like saying that someone who lives in a refrigerator could be “well fed” just because there’s a lot of food in there.

And I know several folks who have the emotional, intellectual and physical capabilities that I mentioned, but only a fraction of the cash value, and I would never consider them as “not rich”.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

It’s all a matter of POV. My 75 thou per year was rich to a 35 year old working a minimum wage job. In Texas, they measure wealth in what they call “units”. One unit is 100 million dollars. 2.4 mil is what their wives spend shopping on a slow month.

rojo's avatar

Anyone bringing in over 150k per year and having a million in assets is rich.

janbb's avatar

I don’t quite understand why some people are bringing happiness or values into the equation since rich is a term related to money only in this instance. I agree with those who say the qualification may be relative to where you live in the country. However, a bit of Googling turned up the following table:

If you look at the table, someone with assets of over two million dollars would be in the 95 percentile for wealth in this country so I think we would have to say that is rich, although having over 30 million and being in the top 1% is a whole different kettle of fish.

JLeslie's avatar

I don’t see why people bring up some cities are more expensive than others. I think everyone knows that. This is an average of what people perceive as rich.

I think even in expensive NYC and San Fran, having $2.4 million in net worth is a lot. Even if you make $300k a year, if you have to spend half of it just on your mortgage, that’s $150 gone, not counted in your net worth. If food and taxes are expensive, also gone. Owning a house for $1 million only counts as $1 million if you own the house outright. You can only count the equity you actually have in the house.

Still, I do agree expensive cities are different than really cheap ones, but why think about the extremes? Why not consider the larger middle here in the US?

Net wealth isn’t income.

I guess this $2.4 million is like the new million. Having a million isn’t what it used to be obviously. I see it as the new threshold maybe for being rich. Although, I would say I think $3.5 million is more the number I would pick.

I think a lot of people in the US feel having $500k in wealth is rich. Many people don’t own any property, they owe money on a car, and lucky if they have $10k in the bank.

Probably, the average middle class person age 35 owns $150k of their house, assuming a house that is $400k. Is even or upside down in at least one car they own (meaning no wealth associated with that car). Might have $150k in retirement savings if they have been fairly diligent since a young age. Plus, I’m thinking $50k – $100k in savings. That’s my guess. That’s $400k of wealth on the high side. That’s all me guessing by people who I know. I know people with much more and much less. Do those numbers sound reasonable? What if the house is $700k and they own half of it? That just adds another $200k of wealth.

canidmajor's avatar

I brought it up, @JLeslie, because your details were so sparse as to invite the comparison.
If you perhaps would define “rich”, as it applies to dollar amounts, we could narrow the parameters of this discussion.
Where did that friend come up with the figure of $2.4M? Can we assume that the assets are useful (for example, rentable and/or livable, vs property that has high “value” but for some reason can’t be utilized).
Wealth is, obviously, relative, so we need you to give us a scale to measure it by.

JLeslie's avatar

@canidmajor I’m asking how jellies define rich. I have no idea. I have been accused of being rich. According to this $2.4 million number, I’m not. Lol.

I’m wondering about a dollar amount. What people define as rich. Not the answers like feeling rich when one has extra money after affording the basics, or that people don’t like to put a monetary number on such things.

When do people throw around the word rich? How much does the person have to have for other to perceive them as rich? The media talks about the rich. I hear people call others rich.

I’m just curious what’s the number? People see someone in a big house, nice car, and might call them rich, but does that “rich” person really have any wealth/net worth? Some do some don’t.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Wish I was “accused” of being rich!

JLeslie's avatar

^^Well, it wasn’t nice. It was a jelly who was being a bitch at the time. I don’t mind if to some people they see what I have as being rich by their definition, but I do mind when it’s said to me in a way that implies I’m a spoiled brat and that I have no problems. I’m the first one to say having money in the bank makes life easier, and I point out to people who say money doesn’t make you happy that studies show generally people who have money are happier. That’s a fantasy that just getting by is where the happiest people are. Money problems are incredibly stressful, and society today in America you need money just to feel safe and have healthcare.

But, plenty of people are middle class, in an overall good financial situation, and not rich. I’m wondering where the tipping point is.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I’ll let you know when I get there!

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Give me 2.4 million here and I’ll be comfortably set for life. My retirement goal is about 1.5 million and a paid for house, zero debt. Typical middle class around here.

JLeslie's avatar

^^How much is the house worth? Are you over 65?

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

A typical middle class house here ranges from ~150–300k with the average single family home selling for ~175k.
I’m 40. My house falls in that range. With 2.4 million I could easily pay off that house, set up 6 or 7 rental properties, quit my job and still have a million and a half sitting in reserve.

JLeslie's avatar

^^I’m 49, and I don’t quite feel like I can do that yet even if I had $2.4 million. If I were 60 I wouldn’t think twice about it.

PullMyFinger's avatar

@JLeslie You are going to be 60 in about 15 minutes….

JLeslie's avatar

So true.

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