Wealth isn't determined by any fixed amount, but you certainly think it is.
Despite financial advisors' insistence that wealth should be a more flexible ideal, there's still a reluctance to see it as anything but a figure in a ledger. According to a survey from Charles Schwab, there are some investors who have a more abstract view of wealth. Some say wealth is enjoying life's experiences (24%); others view it as stress-free living and peace of mind. Even having loving relationships with friends and family (12%) can be considered "wealth."
That said, having lots of money (27%) and affording anything you want (22%) still factor heavily into how the average American assesses wealth. When asked to express how much is required to be considered "wealthy" in America, survey respondents say it's an average of $2.4 million, or nearly 30 times the actual median net worth of U.S. households, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Though 65% may say that wealth is more about having good physical health than having lots of money (35%) and 58% say that wealth is about having gratitude vs. having money (42%), their actions still indicate that they view any non-financial "wealth" as a consolation prize.
"Wealth is often thought of as a lofty, unattainable number that doesn't apply to most of us, but that's an old-fashioned notion that needs to be retired," says Terri Kallsen, executive vice president and head of Schwab Investor Services. "It doesn't matter whether you have a lot or a little—what matters is that you think about the money you have as your wealth, and that you pay attention to it. Being engaged is the only way to reach your personal goals."