How Much Does It Take for a Millionaire to Feel Wealthy?

Fidelity Investments' fourth Millionaire Outlook survey reveals 42% of millionaires do not feel wealthy, compared to 46% who said they didn’t feel wealthy in 2009.

Among those who classified themselves as not feeling wealthy, the investable asset level needed to begin to feel wealthy is $7.5 million. The 58% who say they feel wealthy (up slightly from 54% in 2009), report they began to feel so at $1.75 million in investable assets – consistent with 2009 and up from $1.5 million in 2008.   

Fidelity says four in 10 millionaires report that their most pressing financial concern is securing enough resources to support their lifestyle during retirement, yet 69% say they have a well-developed financial plan and 81% say they are careful about their spending.  

The survey found the majority of millionaires (64%) surveyed are either “extremely or very concerned” about the impact of potential tax changes on their investments and are preparing accordingly. The number one action millionaires have taken or are likely to take is to discuss their concerns with an adviser. Additionally, despite questions related to municipalities, 36% of millionaires plan to make greater use of tax-free investments.  

Tax considerations aside, millionaires indicate they plan to increase both their mutual fund holdings as well as IRA utilization. Thirty percent say they plan to invest more in IRAs over the next 12 months, up from 20% in 2009. Additionally, 38% of millionaires say they will increase their mutual fund holdings over the next 12 months, up from 25% in 2009.  

One-third (33%) respondents report they made back all the money they lost in the market from the Fall of 2008 through the first half of 2009. 

“Our survey reinforces that the feeling of wealth is relative, based on factors such as the current market environment, a person’s age, lifestyle, and so on,” said Michael R. Durbin, president, Fidelity Institutional Wealth Services, in the news release. “Regardless of what the market does, these factors are likely to change and, therefore, millionaires will continue to reassess what it really means to feel wealthy.”