John Metcalfe was CityLab’s Bay Area bureau chief, covering climate change and the science of cities.
You need at least $6 million to be counted among the Bay Area’s wealthy, according to Charles Schwab.
Sorry, Bay Area millionaires—all your money doesn’t mean you’re rich. The lower limit to be considered “wealthy” in these parts means having an average net worth of $6.3 million, according to research from Charles Schwab.
The brokerage/banking institution arrived at this monocle-dislodging conclusion after surveying 1,001 residents of San Francisco, Marin, and other counties around the Bay. Aside from the $6.3 million definition of rich, residents also opined that $1.4 million in net worth is the cut-off point for being “financially comfortable.” So if you’re only pulling in $500,000 a year, it’s practically as if you’re living under a bridge in a barrel suit, in many folks’ mind.
The company that performed the survey for Schwab also asked residents what it means to be “wealthy” and “financially comfortable” in other parts of the nation. The answer: $2.5 million and $842,000, respectively. Here are a few other interesting nuggets, as reported by SFGate’s Katie Dowd:
Unsurprisingly, the survey also found that locals are shocked by the cost of living here. Eighty-six percent said the cost of living is “unreasonable” and 55-percent said living in the Bay Area makes it “difficult to reach their financial goals.” Only two percent agreed strongly that the cost of living in the Bay Area is reasonable. Who these people are, exactly, remains a question.
Off-setting those depressing statistics are upbeat outlooks on job opportunities. Eighty percent believe the region is a great place for career growth, 88 percent say it’s a prime place for innovation and 70 percent say the Bay Area’s economy is better than the national one.