You might be taking strategic steps to build your wealth. But at what point would you consider yourself wealthy? If you had $100,000? $1 million? $10 million? Or is wealth a state of mind rather than a number in your bank account?
Being rich means different things to different people, according to the findings of a new GOBankingRates’ survey of 545 people. The poll asked respondents what best fits their definition of wealthy, whether people considered themselves to be rich, if they expect to be rich someday and what steps they’ve taken to achieve their definition of rich.
Click through to see what it means to be rich in America.
Half of Americans Say Relationships, a Happy Life Make a Person Rich
It turns out that many Americans don’t think that being rich has little to do with money. When asked what best fits their definition of “rich” or “wealthy,” the top response among respondents was “being able to afford the life you want” — with 37 percent choosing this answer.
What’s more, 49 percent chose responses that had nothing to do with financial wealth. According to the survey, 30 percent of Americans believe that being rich means living a happy life no matter how much money you earn. And 19 percent define wealth as having meaningful relationships with friends and family.
Just 10 percent of respondents think you need to have a large nest egg to be rich. And only 4 percent believe that the definition of wealth is earning a lot of money through a job.
Men Are More Likely to Associate Wealth With Money
The survey found that the most popular definition of wealth among men is “being able to afford the life you want” — with 40 percent choosing this response. This also was the most popular definition of wealth for women, with 34 percent choosing this answer. Additionally, more men chose “earning a lot of money through your job” as their definition of rich, at 5 percent compared to 4 percent of women.
However, an almost equal percentage of women — 32 percent — said being rich means living a happy life no matter how much money you earn, whereas 28 percent of men chose this definition.
Older Americans Most Likely to Say Being Rich Isn’t About Money
Older adults were more likely than millennials to define rich as a living a happy life or having meaningful relationships. Americans ages 45 to 54 actually were the most likely to say being rich isn’t about money. A majority of this age group — 61 percent — said being rich meant either having meaningful relationships or living a happy life no matter how much you earn.
Millennials, on the other hand, had the highest percentage of respondents who defined rich as being able to afford the life you want — with 46 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds and 45 percent of 25- to 34-year-olds choosing this response.
But a Majority of Americans Don’t Believe They’re Rich
The survey found that the majority of Americans don’t consider themselves rich. When asked whether they have achieved their own definition of wealth, 61 percent of respondents answered “No.” Men were slightly more likely to say they weren’t rich than women — 63 percent versus 59 percent.
Millennials Less Likely to Consider Themselves Rich
Millennials and younger adults were the most likely of any age group not to consider themselves rich, with 68 percent of adults ages 25 to 34 saying they didn’t meet their personal definition of wealth. Adults 65 and older, on the other hand, had the largest percentage of respondents who said they consider themselves rich — 43 percent.
But millennials are shaking things up. Click to see what millennials consider to be the new American dream.
25% of Americans Say It’s Very Likely They’ll Be Rich
Many Americans are optimistic that they’ll be rich one day. When asked to rate on a scale of 1 to 5 — with 5 being the most likely — how confident they are that they will be their definition of “rich” or “wealthy” one day, 25 percent of respondents said it was very likely they would, and 19 percent rated their chances of being wealthy a 4 out of 5.
Millennials Are More Hopeful They’ll Be Rich One Day
Millennials ages 25 to 34 were most likely to rate their chances of becoming rich someday a 4 or 5 out of 5. The survey found that 28 percent of older millennials think it’s very likely they’ll be rich, and 26 percent said it’s likely. And 50 percent of younger millennials ages 18 to 24 said it’s likely or very likely they’ll be wealthy one day.
1 in 4 Americans Don’t Think They Will Ever Be Rich
Although 25 percent of Americans think it’s very likely they’ll be rich, an equal percentage said it was highly unlikely. Another 11 percent rated their chances of being rich a 2 out of 5, meaning their chances are unlikely.
Older Adults More Likely to Think They Won’t Achieve Wealth
Older adults were much more likely than younger generations to say they wouldn’t ever be rich — likely because they have less time to reach their definition of wealth. According to the survey, 37 percent of adults 65 and older and 31 percent of adults 55 to 64 rated their chances of becoming rich a 1 out of 5.
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Many Americans Not Taking Steps to Be Rich
The survey points to a reason why 1 in 4 Americans don’t think they’ll ever be wealthy. When asked what steps they’ve taken to achieve their definition of “rich,” 26 percent said they haven’t taken any steps. Older adults were more likely to say they haven’t done anything to become rich — with 33 percent of adults 65 and older choosing this response.
Among those who are taking steps to achieve their definition of rich, 22 percent said they are focusing on building relationships with friends and family. The next most popular thing respondents said they have taken to be rich is paying off debt — with 20 percent choosing this step. And the survey found that nearly a quarter of respondents have taken steps to actually build wealth, with 13 percent saying they’re making savings goals more of a priority and 11 percent saying that they are investing.
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More on Wealth
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Methodology: GOBankingRates asked the following questions to 545 people: 1) What was your total household income before taxes for the year of 2017? 2) Of the following, which best fits your definition of “rich” or “wealthy?” 3) Do you consider “rich” or “wealthy,” according to your personal definition? 4) On a scale of 1-5, how confident are you that you will be your definition of “rich” or “wealthy” one day? 5) Briefly explain your level of confidence about reaching your definition of “rich” or “wealthy.” 6) Of the following, which steps have you taken to achieve your definition of “rich?” Responses were collected through a Survata online survey from July 26, 2018, to Aug.2, 2018.