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News: Wealth Is up for Interpretation -

Is wealth all about cash value or your state of mind? Well, according to new research from Charles Schwab, American's are split on exactly what it means to be wealthy, with some saying it's all about how they feel, and for others, wealth is directly related to how much money they have in the bank.

The study aptly called Cents and Sensibility queried 1,000 people, finding that there is a wide range of perspectives when it comes to what being wealthy is all about, including:

  • Having a lot of cash (27%)
  • Being able to enjoy life (24%)
  • Having the ability to buy anything they want (22%)
  • Experiencing peace of mind and living a stress-free life (19%)
  • Having loving relationships (12%)

The cash value of wealth

When they asked people how much money it would take to be considered “wealthy” in the U.S. people settled on $2.4 million. Interestingly enough according to the U.S. Census Bureau, this amount is just about 30 times the average net worth of households in the U.S.

But being grateful for what you have and growing it may be one of the keys to financial success. “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,” said 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, he said.”

Life is about more than money

Yet on a more personal level when money is not part of the equation, people tend to focus on things that have little or nothing to do with money or career. When asked to choose between having lots of money and something else – the something else tends to take the top spot.

For instance, 65% went with having good health, rather than having lots of money (35%), while 58% chose "having gratitude" rather than having lots of money (42%), and for 56% building community was more important that putting in time building their career (44%).

The study was carried out by Koski Research between April 12 and 20, 2017. They interviewed 1,000 Americans from 21 to 75.