Are you rich? Do you know what it takes to be considered rich where you live?
If you are trying to keep up with the Joneses (or you are them), what do you earn or have that puts you in the “rich” category?
One favorite determinant is accumulated wealth. If you own a million-dollar home free and clear and have millions in savings, you might qualify in your neighbors’ eyes as rich. When I was publisher of the daily newspaper in Sun City, Arizona, we had a story that the locals had much more accumulated wealth than areas considered ritzier. But they had savings, investments, and real estate, not so much income anymore.
How much money do you make?
Another method is how much you make. Of course, a high salary in Leland, Mississippi goes a lot farther than the same in pricey San Francisco.
Gobankingrates.com used income as the metering method and classified “rich” as those whose incomes put them in the top 5% of earners. Then they surveyed 5,000 some people to find out if people’s estimation of what it takes to get there matched reality where they lived.
In most cases, people surveyed greatly over-estimated what it took. In only one state – West Virginia – did people lowball what they considered the required salary to be in the 5% in that state.
Nevada, Arizona, California and other states
In Nevada, for example, you need to bring home $184,901 to reach the top 5%. But our fellow residents thought you had to $500,000 or more. In fact, more people picked that number than in any other state.
As you would expect, you need a lot – a LOT – more money to be rich (and to feel rich) in high tax and expensive housing states like New York, Massachusetts, and California. There, it takes a quarter million dollars a year to get to the top 5%. Residents in two of them, Massachusetts and California, pegged that number at a million (that’s per year).
As in many things, Arizona was a lot like Nevada. There, it takes $195,113 a year to hit the top 5%. But its residents put the number at $500,000.
Texas was higher that I would have thought, requiring $218,061 for “rich” status. People there picked $1 million as the number. Colorado was similar, with $228,672 needed and $1 million assumed.
So … do you feel any richer now?
To see all the states, click here.