Defining, and Aspiring to Attain, the Threshold of Wealth

BY STEVE DINNEN

Where does wealthy start? Try $2.3 million, according to those quizzed by Charles Schwab & Co. as part of its Modern Wealth Survey.

The Schwab report pegged the amount that is 20 times the actual median net worth of a U.S. household. But hope springs eternal, as more than 50% of respondents indicated they intend to reach that milestone at some point in their lives.

Eight percent of the respondents said they already are wealthy. Interestingly, the net worth for that group is just $700,000. Nearly three-quarters of respondents said that wealth is not tied so much to money in the bank but the way they live their lives.

And what might happen to these folks if they suddenly got $1 million dropped onto their lap? Fifty-four percent said they would spend it, either on a house, a car or travel. (Is that the best way to get to $2.3 million?)

A quarter of respondents said they would pay down debt. About as many people said they would invest it, while 21% said they would save it. These last two responses are probably better choices if you’re serious about joining the wealthy.

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