How Much Money Americans Think You Need To Be Considered Financially Comfortable

woman sleeping on money

When you dream about financial comfort what do you see for yourself? Millions? Tens of millions? Billions!?! Well, according to a recent Modern Wealth Survey from Schwab, Americans need a lot less to be financially comfortable than we could have imagined. And the number is a lot lower than what the survey revealed in 2020.

How could that be, you ask? Good question. If anything, one might assume that the number would have gone up. After all, you have to consider how many people were financially destroyed over the last year.

According to Schwab:

While refocusing their priorities, Americans have also revised their perspectives on what it takes to be wealthy.” And Schwab’s survey reveals Americans believe it takes an average $1.9 million in personal net worth to be considered “wealthy” in 2021. While that’s still more than double the actual average net worth of U.S. households, it’s $700,000 below the bar set for wealth in Schwab’s 2020 survey, which was fielded before the pandemic outbreak.

In 2020, Americans thought almost $1 million was required to be financially stable, but it’s amazing what a little perspective can do.

How Much Money Americans Think You Need To Be Considered Financially Comfortable, By Generation

Millennials (ages 24 to 39): $618,000

Gen X (ages 40 to 55): $717,000

Baby boomers (ages 56 to 74): $609,000

The bar for financial stability wasn’t the only money milestone that was lowered in a year’s time. The amount people think you need to be wealthy or to achieve “financial happiness” has gone down significantly as well.

financially stable
Charles Schwab


A survey conducted by GOBankingRates in 2019 found that 67% of Americans think that having $1 million in savings is the threshold for being considered financially comfortable, while others believe that a comfortable lifestyle can be achieved with a lower net worth.

It’s worth noting that having a certain amount of money does not guarantee financial comfort, as comfort level is subjective and can depend on one’s spending habits, lifestyle, and other factors. Additionally, having a comfortable level of savings, a good credit score, a steady income, and a plan for the future can play an important role in being considered financially comfortable.

On top of that, another pandemic or financial disaster could be right around the corner. It’s best to be prepared.

[Chart image via Schwab]

C. James

C. James is the managing editor at Wealth Gang. He has a degree in finance and a passion for creating passive income streams and wealth management.