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You may think I'm rich... but

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Think the wealthy are all smart, friendly, spendthrift, spoiled and privileged? You might be surprised by the real forces behind their success.

Here's secret #1:

"You may think I'm rich, but I don't."


A million dollars may sound like a fortune to most people, and folks with that much cash can't complain. They're richer than 90% of U.S. households and earn $366,000 a year, on average, putting them in the top 1% of taxpayers.

But the club isn't so exclusive anymore. Now 10 million households have a net worth above $1 million, excluding home equity, almost double the number in 2002. Moreover, a recent survey by Fidelity found just 8% of millionaires think they're "very" or "extremely" wealthy, while 19% don't feel rich at all.

"They're worried about health care, retirement and how they'll sustain their lifestyle," says Gail Graham, a wealth-management executive at Fidelity.

Indeed, many millionaires still don't have enough for exclusive luxuries like membership at an elite golf club, which can top $300,000 a year.

While $1 million was a tidy sum three decades ago, you'd need $3.6 million for the same purchasing power today. And half of all millionaires have a net worth of $2.5 million or less, according to research firm TNS. So what does it take to feel truly rich? The magic number is $23 million, according to Fidelity.

Source: Smart Money

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