A new poll released by Ameriprise Financial has revealed that the majority of American millionaires consider themselves part of the middle class. The results also addressed the meaning of wealth and the means of maintaining wealth, crediting good investments for a feeling of financial security. This comes after a poll conducted by Bloomberg showed many highly paid professionals consider themselves poor.

580 Americans between the ages of 27-77 with at least one million dollars in investable assets were surveyed by The Ameriprise Financial poll. The upper middle class made up 60% of participants, with 31% claiming to be a part of the middle class. Of those who participated in the poll, just 8% consider themselves to be wealthy.

The study also included statistics for comparison among Americans who possess $25,000-$999,000 in investable assets. Of this group, 25% consider themselves to be a part of the upper middle class, 58% report being middle class, and merely 2% view identify as wealthy.

The survey then asked individuals who are millionaires what they consider to be wealth. The majority, 85%, stated that wealth signifies a feeling of security while 66% mentioned it involves being able to support their family and 58% emphasized the importance of having the freedom to spend money without restrictions. When these participants were questioned about how they acquired their assets 80% attributed it to “financial planning and investing ” whereas 69% credited it to “living within my means.”

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Only a small percentage, 13%, of millionaire respondents believed that “luck” played a role in their wealth accumulation. In another question when asked about their priority, 62% of millionaires stated that protecting their accumulated wealth was paramount.

In contrast, non-millionaire respondents listed “saving for retirement” (43%) and managing living expenses (42%) as their primary financial concerns.

For comparison purposes, a different survey conducted by Bloomberg in the summer of 2023 targeted Americans with incomes of $175,000 or more. In this poll, 25% of respondents classified themselves as either “very poor,” “poor,” or “getting by, but things are tight.” To a lesser degree, some respondents with incomes as high as $500,000 and $1,000,000 per year gave the same answers. In a survey published by Bankrate on July 6, the average income required by respondent Americans to feel “secure” is $233,000 per year, and they would require $483,000 to “be rich and achieve financial freedom.” Census Bureau data from 2021 placed the average earning of a full-time American worker at $75,000.

These various statistics suggest that the average American population tends to prioritize retirement savings and day-to-day expenditures but still experiences insecurity. Interestingly, many millionaires in America share this sentiment and place importance on safeguarding their wealth.

The Ameriprise Financial survey was undertaken between January and February of 2023 by the Artemis Strategy Group on their behalf. The respondents included Americans aged between 27 and 77 years old. The results were adjusted for factors such as region, age group, gender, ethnicity assets held, and income levels based on data from the Federal Reserves 2021 Survey of Household Economics and Decision Making. Although Ameriprise Financial collected this information, for their financial planning services business purposes only they chose to publish it for awareness.