The perception of wealth is shaped by being able to afford a certain lifestyle, according to a recent survey by Schwab.
- 48% of Americans surveyed felt very or somewhat wealthy. Younger generations, such as Gen Z and millennials, felt wealthy when they could afford their friends’ lifestyle. The survey also revealed that wealth is often associated with relationships and experiences.
- The survey highlighted some trends in how perceptions of wealth are formed. Gen Z and millennials were more likely to feel wealthy if they could afford a similar lifestyle as their friends. They also compared their lifestyle with their friends’ and family’s on social media. Social media influenced the views of wealth for more than half of Gen Z and millennial respondents.
- Financial challenges, such as housing and student debt, contribute to the economic anxiety felt by millennials and Gen Z. However, the superficial portrayal of success and wealth on social media can exacerbate these feelings, creating a false impression that others have more money.
- Interestingly, the survey found that respondents considered an average net worth of $2.2 million as the mark of wealth, which is higher than reality. The average American family had a net worth of about $750,000 in 2019.
- When asked to choose between different statements about wealth, the majority of respondents prioritized a joyful, balanced life with great relationships over maximizing money and material possessions. Having a fulfilling personal life, not stressing over money, and enjoying healthy relationships were considered more important than having a lot of money or being wealthier than others.
In conclusion, obsessing over social media portrayals of wealth can distort one’s sense of financial well-being. Instead, focusing on experiences and quality time with loved ones can enhance the feeling of wealth.