How We Define "Rich" Depends on How Much Money We Make

No matter who you are, chances are you don't see yourself as rich. That's because the more money you make, the more money you think you need to become truly well-off.

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No matter who you are, chances are you don't see yourself as rich. That's because the more money you make, the more money you think you need to become truly well-off. In a recent survey of 1,000 Americans, nearly three-fourths said they were unlikely to become rich. "Living in the city rather than the country was associated with increasing expectations about becoming rich. Among city-dwellers, 28 percent thought there was at least a small chance they might one day become rich, while 18 percent of people who lived in the suburbs felt this way, and only 5 percent of those who live in rural areas."

What's the Big Idea?

Survey respondents with an annual income under $25,000 considered $293,000 the mark beyond which one achieves true wealth. For those earning between $30,000 and $60,000, the magic number was closer to $394,000. For the top 15 percent of incomes ($120,000 and up), the average number was $501,000. Our tendency not to consider ourselves rich has become an important political tool. When politicians are vague about their tax policies, promising simply to increases taxes on the rich, most people assume the politician couldn't possibly be talking about them, and so support the effort...until their own tax burden rises.

Read more at the New York Times

Photo credit: Robert Crum/Shutterstock

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