Is Being a Millionaire That Big of a Deal?

millionaireIt used to be that being a millionaire was a huge deal – I mean, you were considered rich.  But now, is having a million dollars that big of a deal?

I’m not there yet (no where near there), but I feel like it really doesn’t have the “wow factor” that it used to.  In fact, there are over 5,000,000 millionaires in the United States right now, or about 1.6% of the general population.  There are now even 1,210 billionaires in the world today – crazy!


So, yes it is still rare, is it that big of a deal anymore?  What is a big deal?  A $100 million?  A billion dollars?

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  • Jason

    I’d say having 10 million is a fairly big deal. $1M is still really impressive and I’d think it was a big deal when I got there.

    Saying all that, isn’t it interesting to think that everybody will eventually be millionaires in the US? Inflation sure has a way of changing things.

    • Robert

      I was thinking the same thing – do you think 100 years ago being a thousandaire was a big deal?

  • W at Off-Road Finance

    It doesn’t have the connotation of extreme wealth from when the term was coined, but it’s still a pretty big deal. One way to think about it is that the average household will earn about $2M over the course of the parents’ lives. So $1M represents half an average life’s work for a family.

    • Robert

      I’ve never heard that statistic before but that is interesting. What role will inflation play in that I wonder?

  • TB at BlueCollarWorkman

    Yeah, when I was a kid, being a millionaire was like “WOW!” But now it seems like the WOW factor comes in when someone’s a billionaire, not a millionaire. So when my kids grow up will someone have to be a trillionaire for people to go “WOW!” ??

    • Robert

      Good point- a trillion dollars would be amazing!

  • Money Beagle

    If someone who has a million dollars doesn’t think it’s a big deal, then they’re more than free to give it to me :)

    • Robert


  • Emily @ evolvingPF

    I think it depends on your age. If I met someone under 30 who was a millionaire I’d be really impressed. 5M$ or 10M$ for a person closer to retirement would be a big deal. I’m still well under even 100k$ though so I’d be excited to get to that net worth.

    • Robert

      I never thought about it from the age thing – I guess making it yourself at a young age is pretty amazing, but it is more expected as you age. I wonder what the age breakdown is of the millionaires in the US?

  • PK

    50 is the new 40 and Billionaire is the new Millionaire!

    Toss in a dash of inflation and in 30 years we’ll see our first Trillionaire. You read it here first.

    • Robert

      I totally agree that we will see a trillionaire in our lifetimes.

  • funancials

    A lot depends on where you live, but generally speaking I think 10 MM is the new “millionaire.”

    • Robert

      I never thought about location, but I do agree. I think where you live allows you to get different opportunities, which in turn allows for more wealth

  • Gillian @ Money After Graduation

    I would say $1 million is not what it used to be. Although it is a great accomplishment, and I cannot wait until I can put that much away for retirement. Having $1 million in assets that you actually own and don’t owe debt on is pretty impressive as well.

    • Robert

      I agree it’s like a milestone – while not the same as it used to be, it is still a cool milestone.

  • Jacob @ iheartbudgets

    I love talking with my grandpa (age 80) about buying things when he was young. His dad bought a house for like $2,000 for their family of 5, cars were like $100. It’s crazy how times change. I think by the time I’m a millionaire, it really won’t be a big deal. $10 million would be a great number to shoot for, I think.

    • Robert

      I love hearing those stories too! My grandfather always talks about houses he bought for $1,000s, and it just seems crazy because those same houses exist today and sell for $1 million+.

  • Andy Hough

    It would be a big deal to me. Since I live in a fairly poor area I think it would still be a big deal to most people here.

  • Julie @ Freedom 48

    1 million is still a nice goal to have. I wouldn’t retire with just a million bucks – but I firmly believe that the first million is the hardest to save. It’s certainly something worth celebrating!