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By Stephen Pederson

What’s Your Definition of Rich?

 They just don’t make them like the used to – rich is in the eye of the beholder.  

The way everyone is talking about taxing the rich these days you would think that there were thousands of roaming herds of billionaires spread over the bald praries of the globe – just waiting for the taxman to cometh.   But there really are not quite as many as we might be lead to believe.  In fact, even the term “rich” is hard to define because it really comes down to the truism that ”it is really all relative“.

A Pile of Money

Courtesy of Penywise –

Anyone who makes more than you is rich by defintion, right?  So, what makes someone “rich”  and just how much does a person have to make to be considered “monied” compared to the average joe?

In America, you are a 1%’er if your family income/year is over $521K.  And you are a top 20% if your family income/year is over$107K.   So, what’s that tell you?  Well according to the Wall Street Journal, not a lot:


In Danville, the threshold for the top 1% of earners kicked in at $179,000, while it took $588,000 to reach the top 1% in New York City and northern New Jersey, according to an analysis by The Wall Street Journal of U.S. Census Bureau data from 2007 to 2009 collected by the University of Minnesota Population Center.


In other words, it depends on where you live as the cost of living by region varies drastically.   So how do you tell if you are rich or not?  Well, our friends at the WSJ have an idea about that too:



A common threshold (is) defining “ultrahigh-net worth.” With variations, it is used by institutions such as Barclays, Merrill Lynch’s Private Banking & Investments Group and Morgan Stanley Wealth Management. Even retail giant Vanguard Group has a special category for “relationships with $10 million and more.”


Then by that definition being rich or having $10 million in net worth only applies to 6/100ths of one percent of the individuals in America, if you believe what is reported by Forbes magazine.

So that would mean that over 90% of the one percenters are posers?

For more information about what makes you rich in the USA, read the article at the link below.


Image by Penywise of

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