Millionaires: To Be Wealthy You Need At Least $5 Million, They Say

Millionaires aren’t wealthy unless they have at least $5 million — and preferably more. That’s the findings of a new survey on financial attitudes among wealthy investors released for the upcoming third quarter of 2013 by financial services company UBS.

In their new poll of mostly wealthy millionaires, UBS takes a look at what wealth is and how you know when you’ve really made it.

As UBS sums it up, “Investors are telling us that wealth isn’t just about having a certain amount of money. The majority of investors define wealth as having no financial constraints on what they do.

“But when asked to assign a dollar amount to being wealthy, they say it takes $5 million.”

In their poll of millionaires, only 28 percent considered themselves wealthy if they had between one to five million. However, 60 percent of the millionaires with over $5 million thought they were wealthy.

UBS pointed out that the problem is that four out of five millionaires they polled are providing support to either adult children or their own parents.

So you can see what’s happening right there. There’s no way that a pea-pickin’ $1 million is enough these days to support two households — especially if the second household is at a five figure a month nursing home or if the kid has an expensive addiction that keeps him off the job market.

Apparently, the one to five million group has enough money for everybody to put their hands out — but not really enough money to be able to support all these extra people.

UBS noted that if a financial plan addressed the concerns of providing for their low-earning children and aging parents, then the investor’s confidence skyrocketed and 85 percent of them then felt rich enough to do the things they wanted to do.

I can’t say that I find these results particularly shocking. Sure, we all have a number. I had one. Get it, retire, and live high off the hog jet-setting around the world.

I’m here to tell you that the money goes faster than you’d ever believe when you’re still in the category that thinks a million dollars is real money.

Hey, I’m back to work, right?

But some observers found the findings a tad odd. Think Progress thought the results represented “[t]he inflation of how much the rich thinks it takes to be rich.”

They noted the irony of wealthy millionaires saying it takes $5 million to be rich when most Americans have no hope of honestly earning that kind of money through work. Bryce Covert stated:

“The country’s CEOs now make 273 times what their workers do, while incomes for the wealthiest 20 percent are eight times greater than those in the bottom 20 percent.”

What’s your take? In my opinion, the wealthy millionaires are just being real when they admit that you need at least $5 million to do as you please.

[man with money photo by Sergei Primakov via Shutterstock]