Millionaires Feel Like They're Just Middle Class These Days

Only 8% of those with at least $1M consider themselves wealthy, per new survey
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 13, 2023 1:52 PM CST
Poll: A Third of Millionaires Say They're Middle Class
Stock photo.   (Getty Images/mirza kadic)

A million dollars just doesn't stretch the way it used to. So say all the millionaires who now place themselves squarely in the "middle class" category, according to a new poll from Ameriprise Financial. In the survey of more than 3,000 US adults, nearly 600 were found to have $1 million or more in investable assets—but only 8% of those consider themselves wealthy. A majority of that millionaire group (60%) say they consider themselves to be upper middle class; another 31% say they're simply middle class.

When asked what it means to be "wealthy," 85% of the millionaires said it meant feeling financially secure, with 66% noting that being wealthy means "the ability to provide for myself and my family," and 58% agreeing that the term translates to the "freedom to do what I want." "Financial planning and investing" was cited as the top reason (80% of the millionaires group) for their relatively good fortune, followed by "making a good income" (71%), "living within my means" (69%), and, finally, "luck" (a mere 13%).

A separate poll conducted by Bloomberg over the summer found that about 25% of highly paid professionals (think doctors, lawyers, etc.) who make at least $175,000 per year actually considered themselves "very poor," "poor," or "getting by but things are tight." So why do so many seemingly affluent people feel like they're not perched on one of the higher socioeconomic rungs? CNBC cites such factors as high inflation and interest rates, as well as economic murkiness in general, as being contributors. (More millionaires stories.)

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