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In today’s article we will discuss how much net worth you need to be considered wealthy in the United States. In the recent past, various studies / surveys have been conducted to ascertain the actual figures of how much people are making in the United States and whether they are satisfied with their earnings, aiming to address the question of what is need to be considered wealth. However, two recent studies / surveys conducted by Charles Schwab and Federal Reserve covered whole aspects thoroughly. Below is detailed information on the topic / these studies:

What is net worth?

Net worth is simply the value of your assets, excluding your liabilities. For example, if you own a home, a car, or have money in your bank account, your net worth is the value of these things, excluding the value of your liabilities. So, net worth is simply your assets minus your liabilities. In simpler terms, it is a way of figuring out how much you would have if you sold everything you own and paid off your debts, such as mortgages, credit card debts or car payments. It is important to note that there is big difference between a single net worth and of a household.   

What is household?

A household is basically a group of people who live together and share different things like a home, meals etc. under one roof. It is pertinent to added that these people can be related or unrelated, but all have common interests. 

What net worth is considered wealthy in the United States?

According to two recent studies, conducted by Charles Schwab and Federal Reserve, respectively, covered the very specific question of how much net worth you need to have to be considered wealthy in the United States. Details about both studies is as follows: 

Charles Schwab study / survey

The first study / survey done by Charles Schwab (an American investor and financial executive), involved asking a thousand households about what net worth they believe is needed to be considered wealthy? In the follow up question, they asked, ‘do you personally feel wealthy?’ And if so, what’s the net worth of your household?

In the said study, they found out that average respondent felt they need to have a $2.2 million to be considered wealthy. As far as the second question of do you personally feel wealthy is concerned, almost half, 48% answered yes to this question.

According to some financial experts, this study was very encouraging, particularly given that the average net worth for the people that answered yes was $560,000. So, a far cry from the $2.2 million that they would say that people need to have to be considered wealthy.

Federal Reserve Board Survey

In the second study that is called shed study/survey, conducted by Federal Reserve Board. Shed study stands for Household Economics and Decisionmaking (SHED). This study/survey measured the economic well-being of U.S. households by identifying potential risk factors to their finances. The study finds that over the last decade, people tend to feel more comfortable in their financial security. 

In the said survey, almost three to four people report feeling comfortable with their financial security. It is important to note that it is down from 2021 and it almost reached 80%, which is great. It is pertinent to mention here that as of 2022 it is almost 73%.

This data that reflects the fact that it is getting harder day by day as expenses are higher, but wages have not kept up with inflation. But still some financial experts think it is great as three to four percent of people were financially comfortable. According to these experts it is still great because if we compare it with rest of the world, there are many people in the different countries who do not feel financially comfortable. According to them, much of the world even does not have a retirement plan, so people in the United States are so fortunate and are in a position that they are saving up money.

It is important to add that second part of this study/survey by Federal Reserve is called Survey of Consumer Finance, where they actually looked at the actual net worth for people in retirement and at the age groups. And then they also looked at median net worth. It is important to note that there is a big difference between average and median average net worth by a couple high earners. For example, let’s say you in a family with five siblings and you are in the middle i.e. number three. And you and three of your siblings each make $50,000 a year. So, the average is $50,000, but the median half above, half below is also $50,000.

Now, for example, your brother named John comes in and he has worth $800,000. So, now your median half above half below and you are the middle child, so you and three of your siblings make $50,000. So, in this case the median has not changed. But due to your brother, the average has jumped up to $200,000 each as he makes $800,000. Your other, you and your three siblings make $50,000, totals to a million divided by five 200,000, so it is a big difference.

Now, in this part of article, we are going to discuss about the median net worth in the United States. The following is a breakdown of different age groups and their average net worth:

  • For ages 20 to 24 is $10,800.
  • For 25 to 29, it is a little over $30,000.
  • For 30 to 34, it is a little under $90,000.
  • For 35 to 39, it jumps quite a bit, $141,200.
  • For 40 to 44, it is 134,730.
  • For 45 to 49, it’s 212,800.
  • For 50 to 54, it is 272,800.
  • For 50 to 59, it is $320,700.
  • For 60 to 64, it is 394,000. Just a little under three over 394,000.
  • For 65 to 69, it is a little under $400,000. Median net worth $394,300.
  • 76 to 74, it is $433,100.
  • While for 75 to 80, the median net worth is $316,000.

Most of the people say that they do not think they have enough money to retire, so this shows that the median net worth for 75 to 80 is over $300,000. So, if you are not comfortable to claim your retirement due to these fears, then you should wait till 70, so you are in the last bracket of people having lot of money if we compare them with other group of people. 

Next, I want to discuss another study done by broader groups for people under 35. In this study they focused on that what does it take to actually be wealthy in the United States. In this group, the median net worth is just under $40,000. It is important to note that this median net worth is for households. So, if you and your spouse live in the same household, it would be considered the two of you. But if you are single, it would be considered your net worth. Breakdown for other different ages is as follows:

  • For 45 to 54 is a little under 250,000.
  • For 55 to 64 is 364,000.
  • For 65 to 74 is 410,000.
  • While for 75 plus is 335,000.

But now let’s look at what does it take to be in the top quartile and then the top 10%. So, if you are in the 75th percentile, then you are above 75% of the people. And again, this is median net worth by household and less than 35 years old is a little over 150,000, 35 to 44, it’s a little over 400,000, 45 to 54, it’s a little over 800,000. 55 to 64 is a little over $1.1 million. 65 to 74 goes up just a little bit closer to $1.2 million. And then 75 plus is just a little less than a million dollars, $975,000. So that’s to be in the upper quartile.

So, this is what the numbers would tell you actually need to have to be in the upper quartile. But it is less than that Schwab report that I discussed above, where people said they needed to have $2.2 million. And there, I think they were really thinking more about the top 10%. So, for the top 10%, then household net worth, net worth is just all of your assets minus your liabilities. This is more consistent with the Schwab number. So, under 35, if you’ve got a little over $370,000 of net worth, then you are in the top 10%.

And the survey of consumer finance, 35 to 44, it is a little over a million dollars, $1,050,000. 45 to 54 is just under $2 million, $1.974 million. You can see pretty close to that $2.2 million that the Schwab survey said. 55 to 64, to be in the top 10%, you need to have the net worth of almost $3 million, $2.96 million. While 65 to 74 is just a under $3 million. It does go up from their younger cohorts, 55 to 64, $2.997 million. And then people start spending their money. And so that median for people 75 and older is just a smidge under $2.7 million, $2.699 million.


In today’s article, we discussed different surveys / studies, particularly those conducted by Charles Schwab and Federal Reserve, aimed at ascertaining the actual net worth to be considered wealthy in the United States. If you have any further on the topic or any other related to Social Security in the United States, please feel free to leave me the same in comment section and I will respond to you as soon as I could.  

Thanks for reading my article and stay connected for more such valuable information in the future.


Q. What is net worth?

A. Net worth is simply the value of your assets, excluding your liabilities.

Q. What income is considered wealth in the United States?

A. According to survey conducted by Charles Schwab, Americans said it takes an average net worth of $2.2 million to qualify an individual as being wealthy.  

Q. What is the difference between assets and liabilities?

A. Assets are resources of things of value owned by an individual or entity, such as cash, property or investments, while liabilities, on the other hand, are debts that the individual entity owes to others.

Q. Is loan an asset or liability?

A. Typically, a loan is considered a liability, not an asset.

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