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March 18, 2022

You need $7.5M to 'feel' wealthy, rich people say

We know you’re tired of Charlie Sheen references, but if we’ve learned anything over the past month, it’s that money doesn’t buy you a whole lot of self-awareness.

687606_vanderbilt_mansion_rhode_island Indeed, the former Two and a Half Men  star, while super rich, doesn’t appear to have a firm grip on reality – yet, maybe he’s not alone among his affluent brethren.

According to a new Fidelity Investments poll, millionaires don’t know what to think about their riches these days. Some think they’re loaded, others don’t, and no one can quite agree on how much money you need in the bank to make you “feel” wealthy.

Surely, the definition of “wealthy” is tough to nail down, and the recession has certainly re-shuffled our perceptions of money. But of a thousand millionaires surveyed by Fidelity recently, the range of how much cash it takes to make you feel wealthy is surprisingly vast.

Of the poll’s respondents – all of whom had at least $1 million in investible assets, excluding retirement accounts and real estate – 42 per cent said they don’t “feel” wealthy with their current financial standing. Fifty-eight per cent said they do.

Fidelity’s most interesting results, though, may be these: of the 58 per cent that said they do feel wealthy, respondents said, on average, they only need about $1.75 million in the bank to feel this way. The other 42 per cent, who said they don't  feel wealthy? They’d need about $7.5 million in net worth to finally feel like they belong at the country club.

What’s to blame for this discrepancy? Fidelity exec Mike Durbin said the group that felt “not wealthy” tended to be older, so they have less time to get richer and meet their presumed needs for retirement. By contrast, the group that felt “wealthy” is younger, so they appear quite content with their small fortunes at an early age.

Of course, who needs family, job security and health in a conversation like this?

How much do you think you’d need in the bank to feel truly “wealthy”?

By Jason Buckland, MSN Money



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...