Are You Wealthy? The Net Worth You Need To Be Considered Poor, Middle-Class And Wealthy In America (2024)

Jeannine Mancini

·3 min read

In the United States, a person's net worth is a barometer of their financial standing, particularly as they approach retirement. This figure, calculated by subtracting liabilities from assets, varies considerably across the population, shaping the retirement lifestyle and economic security of millions.

Finance expert and author Geoff Schmidt evaluates retiree wealth using the most recent data from the Federal Reserve Board’s Survey of Consumer Finances.

Don't Miss:

Poor: Households in the 20th percentile, with a net worth of around $10,000, are categorized as poor. This group likely doesn’t own a home and focuses financial resources on necessities​​.

Middle class: The middle class is in the 50th percentile, with a median household net worth of $281,000 for Americans aged 65 and up. This typically includes home equity, savings and a 401(k) account​​​​.

Wealthy: To be considered well off, a person must be in the 90th percentile, possessing a household net worth of $1.9 million. This level of wealth affords trips, charity donations and college funds for children. The 95th percentile, with a net worth of $3.2 million, is considered wealthy, facilitating estate planning and possibly owning multiple homes. The top 1%, or the 99th percentile, has a net worth of $16.7 million and represents the very wealthy, who enjoy considerable financial freedom and luxury​​.

Average And Median Net Worth By Age

Based on Zippia data for 2023:

  • Americans aged 55-64: This group has an estimated average net worth of $1.18 million. This figure is significant as it represents people who are typically nearing the end of their working years and are at the peak of their wealth accumulation phase​​​​​​.

  • Americans aged 65-74: This group has a higher average net worth than the 55-64 age group, at $1.22 million. The increase in average net worth for this age group is likely because of continued asset growth and possibly the beginning of drawing down retirement accounts​​​​​​.

  • 75 and older: This demographic has an average net worth of $977,600, which is lower than the younger age groups. This decrease can be attributed to the fact that people in this age group are further into their retirement and may be drawing down their assets more significantly​

Wealth Perception In America

According to Schwab's 2023 Modern Wealth Survey, Americans perceive an average net worth of $2.2 million as wealthy​​​​.

Knight Frank’s research indicates that a net worth of $4.4 million is required to be in the top 1% in America, a figure much higher than in countries like Japan, the U.K. and Australia​​.

Economic Class Net Worth

A growing number of Americans are entering retirement with debt. The proportion of households led by people aged 65 and older with debt increased from 38% in 1989 to 61% in 2016. CNBC reports debt among those aged 70 and up surged by 614% from 1999 to 2021, with mortgages constituting the majority of the debt​​.

The Importance Of Financial Planning

Net worth at retirement age in the U.S. varies considerably and is shaped by elements such as homeownership, savings and debt. While the middle class and wealthy often experience financial security, a notable segment of the population confronts economic difficulties. This disparity underscores the critical role of financial planning and management, including the valuable assistance of financial advisers, in ensuring a stable financial future throughout life.

"ACTIVE INVESTORS' SECRET WEAPON" Supercharge Your Stock Market Game with the #1 "news & everything else" trading tool: Benzinga Pro - Click here to start Your 14-Day Trial Now!

Get the latest stock analysis from Benzinga?

This article Are You Wealthy? The Net Worth You Need To Be Considered Poor, Middle-Class And Wealthy In America originally appeared on

© 2023 Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

Are You Wealthy? The Net Worth You Need To Be Considered Poor, Middle-Class And Wealthy In America (2024)


What net worth is considered wealthy in America? ›

In the United States, the concept of being rich is often a subject of discussion, curiosity and, sometimes, aspiration. Charles Schwab's 2023 Modern Wealth Survey provides insights into this topic, revealing that the average American equates being wealthy with a net worth of approximately $2.2 million.

What net worth is considered poor in America? ›

Poor: Households in the 20th percentile, with a net worth of around $10,000, are categorized as poor. This group likely doesn't own a home and focuses financial resources on necessities​​.

What net worth do you need to be upper middle class? ›

Some sources define the upper middle class as anyone making a lot of money but haven't crossed the threshold to become truly wealthy. These individuals often have a net worth of at least $500,000 to $2 million.

Can you have a high net worth and still be poor? ›

Contrary to popular belief, high net worth does not always go hand in hand with high income. In fact, there is a fascinating subset of people who have accumulated high total assets, but maintain a relatively low annual income.

What is a good net worth by age USA? ›

Average net worth by age
Age by decadeAverage net worthMedian net worth
4 more rows

How many people have $3,000,000 in savings in usa? ›

1,821,745 Households in the United States Have Investment Portfolios Worth $3,000,000 or More.

What income puts you at the poverty line? ›

Federal Poverty Level (FPL)
Family size2023 income numbers2024 income numbers
For a family of 4$30,000$31,200
For a family of 5$35,140$36,580
For a family of 6$40,280$41,960
For a family of 7$45,420$47,340
5 more rows

Does net worth include home? ›

Your net worth is what you own minus what you owe. It's the total value of all your assets—including your house, cars, investments and cash—minus your liabilities (things like credit card debt, student loans, and what you still owe on your mortgage).

What income is upper class? ›

Upper middle class: Anyone with earnings in the 60th to 80th percentile would be considered upper middle class. Those in the upper middle class have incomes between $89,745 and $149,131. Upper class: Finally, the upper class is the top 20% of earners and they have incomes of $149,132 or higher.

What are the 5 income classes? ›

Where you rank by income
  • Lower class: less than or equal to $30,000.
  • Lower-middle class: $30,001 – $58,020.
  • Middle class: $58,021 – $94,000.
  • Upper-middle class: $94,001 – $153,000.
  • Upper class: greater than $153,000.
Feb 3, 2024

What is the new middle class income? ›

Middle Class Income in 2024

But data from the U.S. Census Bureau cites a different number as the average salary: just under $75,000. What does this all mean? By the Census data, it means that if you earn between $50,000 and $150,000 a year, you are considered middle class.

What is considered wealthy in 2024? ›

The report found that breaking into the world's top-one-percent club is getting more difficult every year. In the U.S. in 2023, individuals needed a net worth of $5.1 million to be considered in the richest echelons of society. By 2024 this figure rose to more than $5.8 million, an increase of approximately 14%.

What is Taylor Swift's estimated net worth? ›

She also owns numerous pricey properties across the U.S. Both Bloomberg and Forbes pin her net worth at an estimated $1.1 billion on the low end, based on analyses of her fortune.

What is considered wealthy in retirement? ›

$1 million, $5 million, $10 million

However, if you have $1m, are retired and are living an expensive lifestyle, you might go from wealthy to poor in a relatively short period of time. The Schwab survey found that overall, Americans say they need: $1.9 million to be wealthy in 2021 (down from $2.6 million in 2020)

What is a bad net worth? ›

If your assets are more than your liabilities, you have a "positive" net worth. If your liabilities are greater than your assets, you have a "negative" net worth. If you have a negative net worth, it's probably not the right time to start investing.

What percentage of Americans have a net worth of over $1000000? ›

Additionally, statistics show that the top 2% of the United States population has a net worth of about $2.4 million. On the other hand, the top 5% wealthiest Americans have a net worth of just over $1 million. Therefore, about 2% of the population possesses enough wealth to meet the current definition of being rich.

What is rich vs wealthy net worth? ›

Whether a millionaire is wealthy depends on how much money they have and how they use it. Someone who has a million-dollar net worth but spends much of what they earn buying things might be rich but not wealthy, compared to someone who has a $100 million net worth and no debt.

How many Americans have a net worth over $1000000? ›

The number of adults with assets of more than $1 million fell from 62.9 million at the end of 2021 to 59.4 million at the end of 2022, according to the UBS's annual wealth report—and it's the sharpest fall since the 2008 financial crash.

What percentage of retirees have $3 million dollars? ›

According to EBRI estimates based on the latest Federal Reserve Survey of Consumer Finances, 3.2% of retirees have over $1 million in their retirement accounts, while just 0.1% have $5 million or more.

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Kerri Lueilwitz

Last Updated:

Views: 5718

Rating: 4.7 / 5 (47 voted)

Reviews: 94% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Kerri Lueilwitz

Birthday: 1992-10-31

Address: Suite 878 3699 Chantelle Roads, Colebury, NC 68599

Phone: +6111989609516

Job: Chief Farming Manager

Hobby: Mycology, Stone skipping, Dowsing, Whittling, Taxidermy, Sand art, Roller skating

Introduction: My name is Kerri Lueilwitz, I am a courageous, gentle, quaint, thankful, outstanding, brave, vast person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.