What’s Wealthy? 72 Percent of Millionaires Say They Aren’t

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How rich do you have to be to feel it? A survey of investors found $1 million isn't enough for most folks.

To feel wealthy, does one have to:

A. Have $1 million in assets?

B. Have $5 million in assets?

C. Take a daily swim in a vault of gold à la Scrooge McDuck?

D. Have personal gardeners, housekeepers, assistants and chefs?

Is that your final answer?

According to a new investor survey released by UBS, the correct answer is B.

“Most millionaires do not consider themselves to be wealthy. Having $5 million in investable assets seems to be the key threshold, as 60 percent of these investors feel wealthy,” the report says.

The survey also gives a little insight into why investors feel that way. Asked to define wealth, most said it’s not about a number. Half of participants said wealth means “no financial constraints on activities,” while 16 percent said it means passing a certain (unspecified) asset threshold. Smaller groups said it meant never having to work or that they are able to ensure a comfortable lifestyle for their kids.

Apparently having a pile of money doesn’t necessarily mean you’re great at planning what to do with it. “The top two personal concerns for investors are long-term care and the financial situation of children and grandchildren,” the survey says. Yet only a third felt they were highly prepared for long-term care. While 57 percent felt they should plan financial support for their adult children, only 41 percent had.

The survey included 4,450 adults with at least $250,000 in assets. Half of participants were millionaires.

What’s your definition of wealth? Share your thoughts on our Facebook page.

Stacy Johnson

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