What Does A Million Dollar Net Worth Mean These Days?


By Ryan Velez

Being a millionaire seems like everyone’s first financial dream, but Black Enterprise calls into question whether this is the milestone that it used to be.

To understand this, one needs to first look at what exactly it takes to carry the millionaire title. This generally means having a net worth, not an income, of $1 million or more. Here are some fast facts about the millionaire class from the Spectrem Group:

• There are more millionaires in the United States today than ever before

• There are nearly 11 million millionaires nationwide

• Just over 9.5 million have a net worth between $1 million and $5 million

• Just about 1.5 million have a net worth between $5 million and $25 million

• 150,000 have a net worth of over $25 million

In addition, the definition of wealth is changing. A recent study from Charles Schwab reveals that Americans are split on exactly what being “wealthy” means in America today, with only 27% referring to some sort of savings or financial goal being associated with wealth. The other 70% reported that wealth was more tied to non-financial related status such as having quality relationships, good health, peace of mind, and good life experiences. The report also highlights how many Americans believe that it would take someone reaching at least $2.4 million in net worth to be truly considered “wealthy”.

One thing that bears noting is that the millionaire lifestyle is more difficult to sustain in some places rather than others. Someone in Troy, Michigan, currently making $100,000 would need to make nearly $220,000 in Manhattan to enjoy the same type of lifestyle and class status.

Being a millionaire generally is the domain of white people over Black people due to the wealth gap, with 80% white millionaires versus 8% Black billionaires. Racial discrimination, lack of generational wealth, and other systemic issues bleed into this area as well.

So, is being a millionaire all it is cracked up to be? Somewhat. As the wealth gap grows, your money would count for less, especially in some of the more competitive parts of the country as rent and costs of living grow. However, if you are a Black person in this bracket, you are a lucky rarity, so count your blessing for the time being.



Personal Finance