Wealth Blog

Finance Blogs » Wealth Blog » 4 ways to know you’re rich

4 ways to know you’re rich

By Judy Martel · Bankrate.com
Sunday, May 1, 2011
Posted: 1 pm ET

For purposes of taxation, President Barack Obama has defined the wealthy as those couples earning at least $250,000 per year. But there are plenty who have disagreed with that assessment,  especially residents in high-rent districts like Manhattan and Los Angeles, where a quarter of a million doesn't go as far as it would in, say, Wichita, Kan.

It would seem to take a lot more money than you'd think to feel rich. Of the 457 individuals surveyed by Phoenix Marketing International for U.S. Trust, 40 percent say they don't think of themselves as wealthy, despite having at least $3 million in liquid assets.

Here's what the rich say would make them believe they are wealthy:

  1. They can buy anything they want without looking at the price tag. That's according to 56 percent of the respondents.
  2. When they reach a specific asset level. Of the 36 percent who use this benchmark, 23 percent of them set $1 million to $2 million as the threshold; 28 percent say $2 million to $4 million; 15 percent say $5 million to $10 million, and 4 percent say $10 million or more.
  3. When they can adequately support their family. Of course, this is relative, but 18 percent say it's how they know they're rich.
  4. When they can pursue their interest or passion. Once again, it's subjective, but 14 percent consider this to be the mark of wealth, and let's face it, there are some pretty expensive hobbies and passions out there, from yachts and jets to wine collections.

Tied for fifth are the 9 percent who say they know they're rich when they buy a home in a certain neighborhood, and those who say it's when they compare themselves to other wealthy people.

But when all is said and done, the two most important measures of personal success and self worth are quality of relationships with family and friends and success of children, according to the survey. Seventy percent of respondents say they value the relationships with family and friends most, while 60 percent say the success of their children is paramount.

What would it take for you to feel rich?

Keep up with your wealth and follow me on Twitter.

Get more news, money-saving tips and expert advice by signing up for a free Bankrate newsletter.

Bankrate wants to hear from you and encourages comments. We ask that you stay on topic, respect other people's opinions, and avoid profanity, offensive statements, and illegal content. Please keep in mind that we reserve the right to (but are not obligated to) edit or delete your comments. Please avoid posting private or confidential information, and also keep in mind that anything you post may be disclosed, published, transmitted or reused.

By submitting a post, you agree to be bound by Bankrate's terms of use. Please refer to Bankrate's privacy policy for more information regarding Bankrate's privacy practices.
May 03, 2011 at 6:00 pm

I would like to respond to Julie. Me and husband married at 17 and 18 yrs old. Put ourselves thru vocational school, got jobs and SAVED enough to start a business. Fast forward 25 yrs. Husband still works from 5:00am to 7 - 8:00 at night + almost all weekends to make sure the 20 or so people we provide jobs for have something to do. Our assets are now at around 10 Million and we take a wage of $5000.00 per week. $3500.00 of that goes to pay federal taxes + fica and ss taxes take home is about $1000.00.
Though our yearly taxable income is fairly high - almost half of it (about 40 - 45% with democrats in office) goes to federal taxes. So please - tell me how we don't pay our fair share.

Are you rich in family?
May 03, 2011 at 5:57 pm

People should not look at how much money{items included} they have, they should look at their love that is toward them, and their love for other people. Yes, I agree that the the rich should porbably pay more taxes, but is that really an argument people need to have in this economy. I'm just saying that you should be focusing on helping yourself, not other random people.

May 03, 2011 at 5:32 pm

Agree with Anon above.

May 03, 2011 at 5:16 pm

well while friends and family are important try telling that to the phone company, the electric company and the mortgage company when the bills are due

May 03, 2011 at 5:15 pm

The rich should pay more taxes than the rest of us cuz they have waymore money =/ Instead WE gotta may a lot cuz the rich r probably barely paying a penny and laughing at those who need to pay a lot and can barely afford to, like the ppl without jobs

May 03, 2011 at 4:46 pm

Our daughter was born with cerebral palsy. We were told she would never walk. Through lots of therapy and prayer she did. The day she started walking I felt as if we had won the lottery. consider the one with an incurable disease. ex: CANCER
You can have all the wealth in the world, but if you dont have your health what do you really have?

May 03, 2011 at 4:11 pm

Your rich if you have a waarm dry safe place to sleep, clean cloths and enough food and clean water to keep your full and healthy. All the rest is extra and will remain after you are gone from this earth. We forg4et we come into this world with nothing and we leave with nothing. Perhaps if we all tink about that we will relixe wealth is the good and kindness you share with others it is what endures long after the body is laid to rest. Think kindness endures, wealth only rots but a good kind spirit endures in the hearts of all who have been touched

May 02, 2011 at 2:35 pm

You are rich if you are happy with what you have.

May 02, 2011 at 2:14 pm

you know your rich when you say that you should be paying more taxes

The guilt trip for those that say that must be "priceless"

May 02, 2011 at 1:16 pm

EZ question - you are financially rich, when you have enough $ to live on the rest of your life - without actively working for it. OR another way to look at it - how long can you sustain your lifestlyle if you all of a sudden do not have income from your job?

keep in mind - sitting at a table of 100 people - - 2 people get steak , shrimp, wine , and all the works - -- 98 people get rice or less. (Now I ask you - are you rich!) (can you afford to eat? then according to 98% of the WORLD U R RICH Beyond Belief)