How much money would it take for you to "feel" wealthy?
July 25th, 2012
03:42 PM ET

How much money would it take for you to "feel" wealthy?

By CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Turns out $1 million still isn't enough money to make some people feel rich.

A new survey of millionaires finds more than one-quarter of them say they don't feel wealthy, but they would if they had an extra $5 million.

The Fidelity Investments Millionaire Outlook Report finds the average millionaire is about 60 years old and has at least $3 million in assets.

The survey also shows 14% of today's millionaires say they grew up wealthy while a whopping 86% describe themselves as "self-made."

And according to this report, millionaires' outlook on the future financial environment is the highest it has been in the survey's history. Let's hope they're right.

Meanwhile, there are a million different definitions for what being "wealthy" means.

I bet it's safe to say Mitt Romney's idea of wealthy is a far cry from your idea or mine. Wealth is relative in many ways. If you are free from financial worry, have enough set aside to secure your retirement and can afford a few luxuries such as vacations, maybe a second home or a fancy car, you may well consider yourself wealthy.

But for the Donald Trumps of the world, too much money is never enough. They are driven continually to amass more wealth, buy another company, make another deal. Sometimes not stopping to appreciate what they have. And the accumulation and management of that kind of money involve tremendous stress and energy.

The saying - "Money can't buy happiness" - is true, but it can buy peace of mind.

Here’s my question to you: How much money would it take for you to "feel" wealthy?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Tim in Hays, Kansas:
Jack, I think that depends on how one was raised. I was raised by a father who was a manager at a pizza parlor and a stepmom who didn't work. There were 5 of us and we lived on less than $18K a year. Even though I know I have to pay these student loans back... between the $16K in loan money, the tuition waiver for being a Graduate Assistant, and my $7,000 salary, I already feel rich – comparatively speaking.

Pat in Wyoming:
About $3 million would do it. Anyway, lots more than it used to be. Millionaires aren't so rare.

Jorja in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania:
I think about $35,000 would do it for me. All I would like to do is pay off everyone I owe and that would make me feel rich! I am 60 years old, worked since I was 15 and am now disabled. I get a whopping $847 a month.

Jim in Reno, Nevada:
Jack, It seemed like a million dollars in net worth was the magic number for a long time, but I don't think seven figures makes the grade anymore. It seems like you need to be worth several million just to be comfortable, live in a nice home, be able to take regular vacations, and be assured of a nice nest egg to leave to the kids. I think "wealthy" is now eight figures.

Bernadette on Facebook:
Not much. A full time job with health insurance would make me feel wealthy.

Good health at 70 years old make me feel wealthy.

Helen in Phoenix:
I never considered myself to be wealthy, but I don't buy anything I can not afford and I'm pretty content with my lifestyle. However, my relatives and children must think I'm rich because I'm the first person they come to when they need money.

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Filed under: Money
soundoff (132 Responses)
  1. Kirk (Apple Valley, MN)

    Just give me what Romney has hidden away in his offshore, tax free accounts and I'll feel very wealthy.

    July 25, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
  2. pat in michigan

    Honestly? one half of our income in the bank with a 30 year lifespan to carry us into our 90's. It would be less but our Congress vowing to leave us wihout healthcare and subject to medical corporate theft of our savings to line their own pockets forces us to want 75% of that calculation.

    July 25, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
  3. Pat, Iaho

    Just enough for my family to live comfy, not millions!!

    July 25, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
  4. manning

    Good health at 70 yrs make me feel wealthy.

    July 25, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
  5. Mel - Houston

    To me wealthy is an amount greater than what you would need for you and your family for life. For me a good round figure would be about 10 million dollars. This amount would depend on the number of toys that you have. If a person that has a G8 Gulfstream, 75 ft yacht and 5 houses that amount would be considerably higher. That person surely considered wealthy.

    July 25, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
  6. Gary H. Boyd

    $700,000 Jack which, at age 76. is my net worth. That plus social security allows for restful sleep.Oh, and then there's a $100,000 life insurance policy for division among the heirs upon my departure. Maybe not wealthy - just comfortable.

    Gary in Scottsdale, Arizona

    July 25, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
  7. Gary in San Jose, California

    Not much at all. We're financially secure now but my wife and I regularly discuss how happy we were when we had a little house with a little mortgage, a couple of cars with monthly payments, and a couple of babies. We felt like we were on top of the world and we had a net worth of about $50,000 and an annual income of about $50,000.

    July 25, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
  8. Richard Texas

    In this economy there is no amount of money that would make me feel wealthy. When you invest in stocks and the stock market crumbles you can be wiped out over night, millionaire or pauper. There certainly is no amount of money that makes me feel secure. Right now some in America feel wealthy just to be able to eat or buy gasoline. It all depends on where you are standing Jack and from where I am standing I am not seeing a future for America.

    July 25, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
  9. Martha Brooks

    Not a heck of a lot...am on Social Security (just over $900 a month) and food stamps ($130 a month).Actually, I'm not unhappy with that. I have enough to keep the wolf from the door, pay for the door and feed my 2 cats. Rather, I'd just like to feel "healthy." All relative.

    Martha, Rew, PA

    July 25, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
  10. KB and JB central Florida

    Wealthy in dollars? Money coming in with no limit? Money that is secure and no chance of it stopping or the state of the economy/stock market/banks etc affecting adversely? Dream on. With the current administration 'in charge,' that's "impossible dream."

    I'd just feel wealthy of a sort to have no debts and be able to provide for family without the gut worry about enough money coming in to just survive. Wealth would come from "not worrying" and being able to help others.

    July 25, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
  11. Jim


    It seemed like a million dollars in net worth was the magic number for a long time, but I don't think seven figures makes the grade anymore. It seems like you need to be worth several million just to be comfortable, live in a nice home in a safe neighborhood, be able to take regular vacations, and be assured of a nice nest egg to leave to the kids. I think "wealthy" is now eight figures, so when my net worth reaches 10 million, I'll feel like I've made it. Of course, by then "wealthy" might have kicked up to nine figures.

    Reno, Nevada

    July 25, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
  12. Phyllis G

    How much money would it take for you to "feel" wealthy?

    It is not money that makes one feel wealthy because our parents grew us up as rich kids and when I left home
    I realized that they had very little, and the rich kids suffered from a lot of complexities.

    July 25, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
  13. Peter H in Minneapolis, MN

    If I have attained a good level of job security, a salary of $125,000/year would make me feel wealthy...I might even go down to $100 grand, depending on my circumstances.

    July 25, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
  14. Bob in Ohio

    Jack's and Wolf's salary combined.

    July 25, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
  15. George in PA

    When I had so much that I didn't know or care how much I had! To put it another way, when I felt sure I couldn't possibly outlive my money.

    July 25, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
  16. Cactus Pat in Wyoming

    About $3 million would do it. Anyway, lots more than it used to be. Millionaires
    aren't so rare.

    Remember the old tv show from the 1950's - The $64,000 Question? Before that the saying in American culture was "That's the $64 question." Inflation marches on.

    Good subjective, fantasy question, Jack.

    July 25, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
  17. DT - Saint Paul, MN

    Enough so the residual income made from investments could pay for a "fun" lifestyle without having to work.

    That being said, a couple million dollars.

    July 25, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
  18. Ezeoma Justin

    Just enough to get me building residential estates and mansions across the globe non-stop. I'm from Nigeria

    July 25, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
  19. Randy

    About 360000. I know some people like our current republican nominee thinks it's "not very much" but after taxes you're still clearing 10000 a month, which is more than enough to have a house, two nice cars, paid bills, retirement and college funds, and still have enough to keep disneyworld in business. I know that when someone starts buying things like car elevators, private jets, and dancing horses, someone else can't afford basic necessities for survival because something's wrong with the system.

    July 25, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
  20. Michael Bindner, Alexandria, VA

    It would take $300,000 just to feel not poor (after taxes). Wealthy is $5 million.

    July 25, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
  21. jorja spinelli

    From Bethlehem, Pa.
    I think about $35,000 would do it for me, all I would like to do is pay off everyone I owe and that would make me feel rich! I get so mad when I see how much money goverment employees, senate, house, big company CEO's and past and present big wigs make. I am 60 years old, worked since I was 15 and now disabled I get a whopping $847.00 a month, I would like to see any of the above mentioned people live on what I get!

    July 25, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
  22. John from Alabama

    Jack: Money will not make you happy or wealthy unless paying your bills makes you happy and wealthy. Wealth comes from the ability to feel free of the stresses that most people deal with every day. Wealthy people do not worry about food, shelter, and transportation, but the truly wealthy people measure their wealth by the ability to help others. Look at Bill and Melinda Gates, who get a great deal satisfaction of helping others in poor nations, and helping those in America. Many weathy people never show their wealth, or how they use it to improve the quality of life for others.

    July 25, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
  23. jk in MN

    Enough to pay my bills and to help out animal rescue and the food shelf, Jack; you know, what median income should be for families – 50,000 – 60,000 per year. I'm not greedy and do not want expensive cars, homes, jewelry, etc. There are more important things in life – in the GOP's eyes I'm probably a socialist. That's ok with me.

    July 25, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
  24. Doug Ericson

    A million isn't what it used to be, so I'd say you'd need 10 million. Nah, make it 30 million. Doug, Pepperell, MA.

    July 25, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
  25. Tim Northrup

    Jack, I think that depends on how one was raised. I was raised most of my teenage years by a father who was a manager at a pizza parlor and a step-mom who didn't work. There were 5 of us on less than $18K a year, and even though I know I have to pay these student loans back (thankfully all direct), between the $16K in loan money, the tuition waiver for being a Graduate Assistant, and my $7000 salary, I already feel rich, comparatively speaking. Hays, KS

    July 25, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
  26. Nick Hardy

    Nick Hardy from North Bend, Oregon – It's not about feeling "wealthy," it's about feeling secure that you and your family can live within their means. Who needs 4 cars, 15 rooms in a house, a plane, and celebrity status to feel wealthy? Not me, I shower myself in love from my friends and family. Campaign for Liberty!

    July 25, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
  27. Pete in Florida

    A few years ago, when we were fairly "well-off", Bush and the Republicans destroyed our economy, our 401k's, our IRA's, our home's value, and our jobs. Now, four years later, we have recouped some of our losses, relocated to the Florida Gulf Cost, and consider ourselves "wealthy" in our family, friends, surroundings, and stress-free life style. We learned an important lesson in the true value of living, versus the false value of money. Money no longer determines our happiness, and more of it would not change one bit how we now live. Want to be happy? Enjoy what you have, remove the stressors from your lives, ignore partisan politics and its shills, and treat EVERY politician like a dirty diaper – full of crap and needs VERY frequent changing. And if you live in LA, MS, AL or GA, consider moving to a state where folks are a little more educated, worldly and open-minded. Ignore politics and politicians – they're poison to the mind and soul.

    July 25, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
  28. james in greenville, nc

    Jack, I really can't think of a number because someone else may come up with a larger number. I guess the safest answer would be to say I wanted all the money. Then everyone would have to come to me for everything like I have to do with my wife now. One man's wealthy is another man's poverty. I feel wealthy just having you read this. How's that for a cheap thrill?

    July 25, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
  29. Dave, Orlando, FL

    If I had enough to money to be able to live in comfort with a reasonable assortment of amenities, feed my family well with something other than “frankenfood” from the supermarket, wear decent clothing, be able to protect my privacy and have enough security to be safe, and not have to worry about my job being at the mercy of politics or an idiot boss, I’d feel as wealthy as any gazillionaire in the country.

    July 25, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
  30. David of Alexandria VA

    I'd say that when I can see how to maintain my standard of living, more or less in perpetuity or until some reasonable life expectancy. That says that if I have about 25 or 30 times my income (less social security) in the bank, I'd feel wealthy. If I had paid off my mortgage, I'd feel positively flush. Now the hard fact - if you make $$50K, you had better have a million or two in the bank by the time you retire to feel that kind of wealthy. Truth is, a million dollars just ain't what it used to be.

    July 25, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
  31. Brian Samuels (Chicago)

    I think there is a difference between wealthy and rich Jack. Rich means the person themselves are "Rich". Like some actors, journalist, and professional athletes. You are rich Jack! I think families are wealthy. They are the owners of the basketball teams. Where the whole family is wealthy, and everyone around you are wealthy. I think we should make that distinction between the two. No amount of money can make me wealthy. I am not wealthy until my children are wealthy, and my grandchildren are wealthy, and my family owns things that will pass on to their children..... That is wealth.

    July 25, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
  32. Tom in Desoto, TX

    If i worked on Wall Street I'd need all the money to feel wealthy. Fortunately, I'm retired with a home with no mortgage.and no car payments. It surprising how inexpensive living actually can be when you don't try and out do everyone else including the Jones'

    July 25, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
  33. Frank Poynton from Los Angeles

    Combine Romneys pocket change with Sheldon Adlesons "walk around money" and I'd feel wealthy, that is until I met someone with even more money.

    July 25, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
  34. chris

    in reality 20,000 or more in dreaming 100,000 more a year i am not greedy just want a little more

    July 25, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
  35. jen seattle wa

    a Billion dollars..A million wouldnt buy you a house away from the traffic and the faa flight pattern and give a reprieve from the desperate speculations required to make themoney back

    July 25, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
  36. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    We already feel wealthy. We have a job, a home, food to eat and enough money to save for a rainy day. We're blessed but we don't measure wealth in dollars like most Americans, we measure it in happiness with who we are on the inside and especially that we are free.

    July 25, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
  37. Mark, Oklahoma City, OK

    Jack, I think I speak for a lot of Americans right now when I say that I would feel pretty "wealthy" if I just had a decent paying full time job with benefits.

    July 25, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
  38. LMW

    How much money to feel Wealthy? Wow, I'm not near having any money to feel what we may perceive as a feeling when we're to be wealthy. I feel wealthy, rich with "thoughts" such as the idea to create to receive the benefits of those thoughts that get us to the road of wealth. Its in our mind that holds the uniqueness of creation and if we feel wealthy, everyday stands on this same platform for Life!

    July 25, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
  39. Riley ODay

    Its a hard life. You drive 68 hrs in 6 days. Your mandatory day off is spent in the parking lot of a truck stop. You wait unpaid hrs or days to load or unload. You sit in traffic earning 40 cents a mile. You drive unpaid to your next pickup.You pay high prices for bad food. There is nothing good about it. Men on the road say " you hate it or love it. Most hate it.

    July 25, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
  40. LMW

    Our president mentions a top down vs bottom up about our lives for connectivity. I have a concern that what bottom and what's top? I feel like this makes me feel like a seamount and governments are in the exosphere. We're in need to be follow the natural patterns life holds for us and if we wish to find and fix top down, digging deep always holds some simplicity to all our lives and hopefulness for much needed basic instincts.

    July 25, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
  41. Mycroft Lake Travis Texas

    Right Now Jack, I feel pretty good about having fifty grand in the bank, which I don't. In case some blogger fan of mine would like to make a contribution to make me feel wealthy, please don't hesitate. I would be very proud of the detective work that enabled you to find me and would wisely purchase items badly needed for a long while. My friendship and thanks, sincerely .

    July 25, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
  42. Helen Burland

    I never considered myself to be wealthy but I don't buy anything I can not afford and I'm pretty content with my life style. However, my relatives and children must think I'm rich because I'm the first person they come to when they need money. When they ask if they can borrow money, it's all I can do not to laugh. Doesn't borrow denote I'll get paid back. Most of the time I'm grateful I can help.
    Helen in Phoenix, Az.

    July 25, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
  43. Larry in Houston

    How much money would it take for you to "feel" wealthy?

    Short Answer : Since I'm not in the "regular" workforce now days – It would take about two thousand dollars a week to live comfortably, but as far as "feeling" wealthy – well, I guess it would take 5 times that.

    Long Answer : Don't know if I would have used the word "wealthy" – but I remember when I was in the workforce not too long ago – (y'know -before the factory shut down, & moved overseas) I thought I was "rich" when I was working in the factory for 28 yrs, a member in good standing w/ the AFL – CIO – Thought I was "rich" when I had enough money to raise 2 kids, feed them, clothe them, buy their books & send them to school, (incl. college) had 1 car in the garage, another vehicle in the carport, and 1 other vehicle for "tinkering" purposes. btw – all of the vehicles were never new. (The newest was a demo) But the republicans don't seem to like people who will work and make a modest income. Nope, they don't seem to like your average everyday american working person, who is trying to raise a family with 1 or 2 incomes – to have the american dream. They would rather send your Job overseas – to people that doesn't have a car / a boat / a house / or have kids & send them to school.

    Vote – Democrat – 2012 ( for the middle "working class" people)

    July 25, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
  44. Name*hank

    enough to live off without being in debt .but these days for a working person 50,000 is just enough to get by on if you budget and stay at home.

    July 25, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
  45. Kim, Dodge City

    I would only need the money back that the Bush/Wall Street scam stole. My wife and I were doing fine until Bush and his banker buddies crashed the economy.

    July 25, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
  46. Sandstone

    "Around 'five-hundred thousand' , would be more than enough for me, but then I suppose an extra two-hundred thousand wouldn't hurt, that way I'de be able to spend a few dollars on others! After all, Jack. You can't take it with you, and what good would it do anyways? Wherever you finish up, there's bound to be a tax-system!"

    July 25, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
  47. JAB in Missouri

    Jack, I'm not rich, bu I feel blessed and wealthy now. Especially in light of all the unemployed in this nation and in light of what is happening in places like Syria.

    July 25, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
  48. Paul in NC

    No one can put a dollar figure on it. Wealthy is never having to ask "Can I afford it?"

    July 25, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
  49. Roger from Albion PA

    Half the poor people I've met are happy. Half the rich people I've met are happy. Half the in-betweeners I've met are happy. Money and happiness are two seperate subjects..

    July 25, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
  50. Barry, Ontario

    I'm just retired, Jack, with a reasonable pension, which allows me a comfortable (not a rich) lifestyle including maybe some occasional travel abroad or to places like Maui. House paid off, no credit card debt, and a modest investment kitty. Single but a good family and a third great niece or nephew coming. In these days, that makes me pretty wealthy compared to many boomers of the same age. But, of course, I wouldn't mind a little top-up from a lottery, LOL.

    July 25, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
  51. Jennifer M in Winnipeg

    I AM wealthy. I have a loving husband, three children, four grandchildren, and 2 great grandchildren. We are both retired and are living comfortably on our Old Age Pension and a government pension. A milti-million dollar lotto win could not make us any happier than we are now.

    July 25, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
  52. Wilhelm in Las Vegas

    my wife and I are retired on social security and I have a PBGC governmet pension because of a phony bankrupcy by the airline I flew for for 20+ years. even though we have just over 1 million in liquid assets, we don't feel either wealthy OR secure because IF the Republicans take power and institute that Paul Ryan budget, one major medical problem could put us in the poor house after they privatize (aka STEAL) our medicare.

    July 25, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
  53. Steve Edna, KS

    Another $100,000 W,e don't need much, we are retired, home paid for. But another $100,999 will pay our present health insurance for the next 10 years.

    July 25, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
  54. Renee, Illinois

    I have lived near or under the poverty level my entire adult life. Anyone with a million dollars who doesn't feel wealthy needs to live my life for a year. As for money buying peace of mind that depends on your definition. How many millionaires can honestly say they can face God with a clear conscience after they die? In a lot of ways I'll bet I feel wealthier than Trump, spiritually I don't have nearly as much to answer for.

    July 25, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
  55. Alex from California

    No amount of money can make me feel "wealthy." My first job will probably be more about income than money because I will still be in college, and money is important to have in today's complex, global economy. However, as I make enough money later in life for a decent family home, what will ultimately matter more are my loved ones, other good people and that I am making a living by pursuing my passions.

    July 25, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
  56. Gigi Oregon

    Money will honestly never buy happiness. I was 51 years old and lost my restaurant and my husband (an electrician) and I had to start over. And that we did. The feeling of happiness came about 4 years later and out of debt. Built back our credit rating and built a new house for our retirement (down sized). Retired debt free except for our home. We still live debt free except for a small (4%) mortgage. We can travel, and enjoy life like never before. When we realized how much borrowed money cost, we have never borrowed/charged since then. Debt free brings health, life and happiness. We truly give thanks for the years we lived in (the stability of the USA 1955-1998) for our children and grandchildren have not had that privilege.

    July 25, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
  57. Ruth in Indianapolis

    To me, it isn't really about money. It's more a question of viewpoint. I worked all my life (no choice about that). I'm now retired. After having paid into social security for 46 years, I depend on it. I have some other retirement and savings, but the bulk of my monthly income is from social security. I never thought much about great wealth but I figured I was doing OK. What bothers me now is the people that rant and rave about "entitlements" as if it were a 4-letter word. When I hear this and remember the years I paid into it, I become very depressed and I feel so very poor that no amount of money would matter.

    July 25, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
  58. DP SMH

    I will feel comfortable with 80 to 90, 000 and not in finanical debt. Living comfortablely. I don't need a mansion and really expensive fancy cars to justify my wealth. My wealth will show through people I help and children I mentor.

    July 25, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
  59. TomInRochNY

    I'd feel wealthy if I could pay off all my debt and start to rack up a deficit again. Wait. That sounds strangely familiar . . .

    Tom, Rochester, NY

    July 25, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
  60. Deb in MT

    I don't want to be 'wealthy': most of the 'wealthy' people I've known have a very skewed values system. However, I'd be delighted to have enough to pay our medical bills and still have $100-&200.00 left over at the end of the month for new shoes, new glasses, maybe saving toward a real vacation one of these years.

    And, I'd be irrationally exhuberant if my son earned enough to go back to college and finish his degree, and if my son-in-law didn't have to work 80+ hours a week, and my daughter could earn more than the cost of daycare + groceries at her job. That'd be nice. (At least, they have jobs for now, but a "President" Romney would probably send their jobs to China.)

    July 25, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
  61. Nancy, Tennessee

    I don't know about wealth. Some of the older generation defined wealth as having enough money to burn a wet mule. I assume the mule died of old age and you need to destroy it before it stinks. Anyway a wet mule would take a lot of paper rolled up to burn it.

    July 25, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
  62. David - Augusta, Georgia

    Well the day I win one of those 300 million dollar lottery jackpots, buy a mansion, have a hot wife, retire, and never work a day again in my life, then i will be wealthy.

    July 25, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
  63. Bill Kahn of Minneapolis, MN

    A buck or two more than what I need to live on.

    July 25, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
  64. Tom In AZ

    If the essence of wealth is the Love of God, imagine how many poor people are rich beyond imagination and how many rich folks are indeed bankrupt!?

    July 25, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
  65. Bill

    If money is all you can have, I think 20 million maybe.

    July 25, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
  66. Ron Balouville CT

    Jack I am not Greedy. if i had 100k or could bring home 5K a month i would feel wealthy. And for millionaires saying they need 5 million more to feel wealthy... welp explitive deleted!

    July 25, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
  67. Michael, from Smiths, Alabama

    Short answer: 300 million.
    Shorter answer: 10 grand.
    Were you expecting a long answer?

    July 25, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
  68. Linda

    Wealthy? I don't know. But guarantee Social Security and Medicare, I would feel secure.

    July 25, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
  69. galvosaur

    jack I live check to check, and I never know when my next check is going to come in, but I love what I do for a living, so illustrating keeps me feeling wealthy. the cosmos always provide.

    July 25, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
  70. Lydia

    100K in my account would make me feel wealthy. I have debt to pay off, but it would give me time and quality of life to pay them off, and live.

    July 25, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
  71. Scott- Rochester NY

    The day I feel weathy, is the day that I have enough money to take care of my son, put him through school and give him
    the best life and chance to succeed. For me, it's not about a dollar amount.

    July 25, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
  72. Shawn East

    I'd feel wealthy if I had enough money for rent, food, my children's daycare and bills without putting one over the other every month and playing catch up. The peace of mind is enough wealth for my family and I

    July 25, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
  73. Jamey Kirby

    I would say five million after taxes making a safe 3% to 5% would give me piece of mind. I think wealthy, in the general sense, would be around twenty million. I do not need to be wealthy, but piece of mind would be nice.

    July 25, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
  74. Barbara

    Just enough to live comfort and my good heath is my weathy

    July 25, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
  75. Frank from Corona, NY

    If I have enough money to eat, cloth myself, enjoy shelter and a hot shower everyday, and internet access and access to a television to watch CNN, I consider myself wealthy and privileged in the highest regards.

    July 25, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
  76. Cee.La

    At my age $500,000 thousand would be good..

    July 25, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
  77. Kimberly

    40 million is a good start.

    July 25, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
  78. Steve

    Whealth is nothing without love and family, so I'm welthier than Bill Gates, as long as we are confortable and a future of confort, dollar amounts are not the paramount issue. those who fight to get anothger billion or two for nothing but greed without the love of their family are the poorest and most miserable people on earth.

    July 25, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
  79. Eileen

    We're talking financial wealth – I own my home so I feel wealthy since there are people out there much worse off than I am. But to be "wealthy" and feel free of financial obligations, I need just enough to pay off outstanding bills and be able to go somewhere or buy something at the time the opportunity presents itself. Those unhappy "millionaires" need to be grateful for what they have.

    July 25, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
  80. Spencer Green

    One dollar more than I need................

    July 25, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
  81. RickFromDetroit

    One per cent of what the wealthiest person on the planet is worth. $65,000,000,000 x .01 = $650,000,000.

    July 25, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
  82. Oscar Gayer

    For me the answer is always been wealth is really not about money, but about substance. Do i have have the ability to be a success? yes and that always comes with hard work and money is a by product.
    do i have family and close friends to share my experiences? yes again money cant buy happiness.
    Lastly, i would wager that if i paid off all my debts i would be happpier, but not wealthier.
    btw jack i really think you are the voice of reason on TV

    July 25, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
  83. Richard

    I have to agree with you Jack, wealth differs from person to person. My wife and I have about $400 in a 401k, my military retirement and (hopefully) Social Security in 7 years. We BOTH plan on working AT LEAST another 10 years, then I may finish my novel and play golf every day. One can only hope!

    July 25, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
  84. Deborah Sparrow

    a newer mobile home that is not falling apart around me, on my own piece of land with a fence....and about 50,000 in the bank and I would be thrilled beyond belief.

    July 25, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  85. Barbara in Encino, CA

    Considering that when I lived in Las Vegas, the MegaBucks slot machine saw my money on a regular basis, as I attempted to win whatever jackpot was going (i.e., $12Million to sometimes more than $100 million), and now I just play the Califonria lottery for a fraction of those amounts, I am not sure it's a number, per se. I'd like the following: a bill comes in, I write a check and pay for it; I get a flat tire, I can buy a new one, or four new ones, for that matter, instead of patching it. I'd say a million is certainly not too little, if invested properly...give me $500,000 for a house in Malibu and a fully-stocked wine cellar...I'll invest the other $500K and hope to live on the interest...but my husband will keep his job just in case...me? I'll be at the beach!

    July 25, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  86. Daniel

    enough to pay for food, shelter, my childs college.

    July 25, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  87. Christopher, Okmulgee OK

    That's a loaded question Jack. It's all a matter of perspective. Reading the other responses it's clear that I have a much different view of it. I don't have to be wealthy, I'd be happy with rich. You see, in MY eyes, Shaquille O'Neal, Derek Jeter and Brett Favre are RICH......the guy that signs their paychecks, he's WEALTHY.

    July 25, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  88. Mike in Minneapolis

    I would feel wealthy if no one could hold anything over my head. If an insurance company dropped me for getting sick and it wouldn't matter, if the bank wouldn't dare illegally foreclose on me or raise my credit card interest rate three months retroactively because they screwed up and needed the money, and if my life wasn't dependent on my employer's business acumen, I'd feel wealthy.

    July 25, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  89. Carol, Washington

    Give me the Publisher's Clearinghouse $5000 a week for perpetuity, and I would feel wealthy!

    July 25, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  90. Bob

    Jack, lets face it if you make 250,000 a year and don't go out and buy a million dollar house, a 70,000 car and spend like a fool you are wealthy. No matter how much you have if you have to take from the poor, old, middle class, teaches, public safety, education, etc then you are poor and will never have enough.

    July 25, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  91. Bic

    I'd say if you're in the top 5% of income earners in the nation (US), you're probably wealthy. I think that is around $200,000 a year annual income before taxes are taken out. I'll probably never make that much but don't really care. I'm content with where I'm at. Or does that mean that I am wealthy? Eh, whatever, I'm not gonna start discussing semantics on a CNN website.

    July 25, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  92. WR Jones

    I am a retiree living on a pension in Florida. I get enough income to have a roof over my head, keep clothes on my back, eat out a few times a month and drive a car that allows me to maintain my lifestyle... I'd say I'm wealthy, I want for nothing, I dream of no riches beyond what allows me to live happy.

    July 25, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  93. Liz

    My husband and I have a net worth of about $500,000 and railroad retirement & sure don't feel wealthy. I think about two million would droit for us. By the way can I interest you in a bridge I have? All I want is $1,500,000.

    July 25, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  94. Phil, georgia

    A couple of million would make me feel wealthy. As long as a couple of things could happen to me like; medical bills, lost of house, car or investments and still have close to 1 or 2 million, then i would feel wealthy.

    July 25, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  95. Carol Simon

    To be completely out of debt.

    July 25, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  96. Alfi- Houston

    At least 5 Million just to be comfortable...my wife and I are both new Doctors and have nearly $500,000 in student loan debt. Considering we make a healthy amount/year most of it goes towards repaying loans and the rest goes to Uncle Sam. We are taxed over 30% of our income and millionaires like Romney are only taxed 15% of their income...something is terribly wrong.
    Student load debt is crippling and just because we are doctors doesnt mean we are rich.

    July 25, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  97. Frank LaDuca

    The amount of money I would need to feel wealthy is the amount I would need for my family to love me, and for my friends to offer me companionship. The answer is that the amount of money I would need is the amount I already have at any given time.
    St George, UT

    July 25, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  98. Ed C

    Jack here's my check list:

    A house with a elevator for my cars
    Swiss bank account
    Holdings in the Cayman Islands
    Income from Capital Gains or other investments ONLY
    Ability to pay zero taxes

    July 25, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  99. Ken in Pinon Hills, California

    Just enough to give me peace of mind.

    July 25, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  100. JustPicky

    $100 million dollars would make me feel wealthy .......it's a magic amount ....There's many family member who , I would help financially . Just live comfortable , live in something simple like I'm doing now and be debt free ....
    One thing , we would go to hawaii , We been married 30 years and never had a honeymoon .

    July 25, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  101. Charles - San Antonio

    Enough money to buy as congressman, senator, and a president or just your average republican.

    July 25, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  102. Scott ,Eastham,Ma

    I am retired with auto worker pension which gets me by.I have my health.I live on the outer cape(cape cod).I enjoy every day.My only problem is I can only be in one place at a time.I am very,very rich.Mitt with all his millions can keep his life.I'll keep mine. All his money and he has no idea what a good time is.He's too worried about his money and power.

    July 25, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  103. I'm a Rose

    I'm not sure but I would hope that I didn't let it go to my head like the Romney's have. I hate smuginess snobs. They like to hold it over everyone and when people get enough of them then they bring Ann out and talk about her illiness. We all have those kinf of things to put up with. Please don't use illness for people to feel sorry for you and then try to put us in place by looking down your nose at us. I personally don't like wealthy people.

    July 25, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  104. mark olier

    I'd feel rich when my rent, food and utilities are square and I have enough to help someone else a little.

    July 25, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  105. Joe

    Enough money to have the power to put every Republican and Tea Partier -whether rich or poor, on labor prison ships and send them to the most uncomfortable place on earth, after stripping them of their US citizenship – until they remembered what being an American citizen is supposed to be about. If they got some integrity and honesty, then they could get back at the end of the line behind every other immigrant who wants to become an American citizen, but would first have to pass tests on US and world history, civics and ethics. The non-stop lying, hypocrisy and greed of the Repubs/Tea Party is sickening and an insult to this country.

    July 25, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  106. Winston Yen

    Health is the greatest gift, CONTENTMENT is the greatest WEALTH.

    July 25, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  107. Ted

    Give me what a government employee makes , and all those benefits they get that taxpayers are paying for.

    July 25, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  108. Foxie Brown

    Jack, I would feel wealthy if my community and country were able to treat the sick, feed the hungry, educate our youth, house the homeless, care for our veterans, treat all our citizens with respect & equality, and actually separate church and state. I guess I shouldn't hold my breath.

    July 25, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  109. Dee Dawning (Duane Daum)

    Funny, I had roughly 3 million, I planned to retire with and write. 2008 took care of that. I lost everything and had to file bankruptcy. Well, I'm writing, sans my millions. I doubt I'll ever get my three million again, but @ 71 I'm having so much fun, I no longer care. I make a hundred grand a year and growing. As long as I can keep writing and not become homeless, I'm fine.

    July 25, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  110. kevin Dunay

    Being wealthey is a state of mind not a bottom line. At least that is how I look at like I make $20,00 a year in ss retirement have 50K in savings 2 cars that are 2006 years and own small home and ZERO DEBT I consider myself rich enough since I vacation alot and still able to save money each month all of my expences total less that $900 a month

    July 25, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  111. Danielle Parris

    If I had $100,000 I would feel wealthy! I am a twenty-five year old mother of three, my husband and myself are STILL unable to find work, we are swamped in debt, living with relatives, and still have not experienced a home of our own (and fear we never will). The money that most unappreciative wealthy drop on a daily basis could help pay off the college debt my husband and I have, the car that is falling apart beneath us, medical bills obtained because of lack of insurance, and who knows, maybe a place to call home...

    July 25, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  112. phil o from Florida

    As someone that worked in union construction most of my life, I've been a little more fortunate than some blue collar guys that dont. The attitude that unions are killing this country's competitive ability is ridicules, at least from my stand point. My retirement accounts are safe and warm and protected by the conservative aproach to investment, that we've been able to come through the crash without a single member loosing a dime. I am working on a pension that if I took it today would pay me 1800 per month, and I have about 7 years to go to grow it some more. I also have an annuity that is guarantied to grow and while it has been slowed down since the crash, i am in the 280,000 ballpark now and still again have 7 years to go. Rich, no i'll never be rich, however comfortable, yes, I still believe in my american dream. So don't tell me about unions being a bad thing, I've earned every dime!!!

    July 25, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
  113. Tom in Nebr.

    I'm 64 and as with most things, it depends. If you have good health you are wealthy. Without good health no amount of money will make you feel wealthy. I will put a number on what would make me very comfortable assuming I live another 25 years. $2.5 Million. Anyone who complains that $250,000 a year income is insufficient to give them a nice lifestyle should try and live at the poverty level for 6 months to see if they still feel that way.

    July 25, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
  114. Sandy

    My husband and I live on his annual pension of $27,000 and a minimum wage job he works to suppliment that. I guess I would feel wealthy if our income was between 75 to 100 thousand a year....we could live very comfortable on that and be able to get out of debt. The debt is what kills us...you can't make any headway on what we make. I don't want millions....just enough to be comfortable.

    July 25, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
  115. Steven V

    How much would it take to "feel" wealthy?

    everyone has their own answer/response to this posit. mine is thus:

    # $200M+ (CAD) in offshore acct.'s in East Asia. Canadian Dollars I prefer b/c USD is just about flat-lined in value
    # several real estate properties – 1 floating house in Vancouver, Canada; a 3-level house in Rosarito Beach, Mexico; 1 city condo in Seoul, Korea; sub-let the properties I wasn't using for add'l money
    # 2 vehicles – 1 '12 Jeep SRT8 for Vancouver; 1 '12 Nissan GT-R for use in Mexico
    # global health coverage

    July 25, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  116. lucian316

    If I can get all of my dreams and goals finished before I die, I'd consider myself really wealthy. Sure, most of the stuff I want to do is starting companies and requires money and will make money if they are successful, but getting money is just a byproduct of my wealth. Besides that, I have friends and family. I think I'm pretty wealthy already.

    July 25, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
  117. Doug - Dallas

    Enough to pay the bills with a little left over to do some fishing.

    July 25, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
  118. Jane (Bishop Hill IL)

    I would feel 'wealthy' if I had enough income for monthly living expenses. That's a modest $1,200.00. Doesn't sound like much, but my only source of income is Social Security Disability. Thanks to a family member I am not homeless.

    July 25, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
  119. Adrian

    Feeling wealthy for me is synonomous with being wealthy...it is more than just having enough to live on, it's wealth that can be passed on where future generations don't necessarily have to worry about bills, tuition, mortgage payments on multiple homes, and other every day concerns most Americans have. Feeling wealthy is all about having enough wealth to live off the interest alone, never touching the principal and only worry about PRESERVING the wealth (safe, low risk investments). He who makes it doesn't win...he who keeps it does! I'd say at least $75M-$100M is a good starting point.

    July 25, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
  120. James Williams

    Mr. Cafferty I am a SGT in United States Army Infantry I live pay check to pay check because of the Great pay we receive as Soldiers. I think that $20,000 in my account would make me feel wealthy! hahah.... But that isn't the real answer it is my Family and my friends that make me feel wealthy, as well as the my thoughts of what I have done for my country.
    Thank you Sir.

    July 25, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
  121. Dave in alabama

    Those who say money can't buy happiness already have too much money.

    July 25, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
  122. Mark in Houston

    I would feel quite wealthy if I had enough to ensure that none of my relatives and some close friends would never have to worry about finances..

    July 25, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
  123. Jeff In Minnesota

    Winning the PowerBall tonight for $40M would do just fine for me.

    July 25, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
  124. Holly in San Diego

    I'd be okay with your 5 Million-dollar figure, Jack, but since I'm living in Taxifornia you'd better double that to 10 Million.

    July 25, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
  125. Hoosier Hillbilly IN

    double or nothing-how much is nothing doubled?

    July 25, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
  126. Carl in Warrenton, VA

    Jack, I'd be okay with a couple of million, But I live in the Northern VA area and the cost of living is higher than most, so double that and pay off the house. I'd be okay with that.

    July 25, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
  127. robin

    When our congress stop cutting the benifits of those in need and lead by example. Congress needs to ask of themselves what they would force uppon us. Congress needs to take small steps to set things right. They could start with cutting congrational spending, pay, benifits, pperks and tax suppported staffing by the same amount they expect of us.

    July 25, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
  128. Jim in PA

    I am wealthy, 2 beautiful daughters, great son-in-laws and 7 wonderful grand children, money is not alwasy the answer.

    July 25, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
  129. Ralph Nelson

    I'm a disabled Vet and $50,000 would do it. As Jesus said: A rich man has as much chance of going to Heaven as a camel passing through the head of a pin. Who wants to go to Hell?

    July 25, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
  130. John Sachko

    Alas, too many people associate wealth only with money

    July 25, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
  131. David in Fresno

    Just a little bit more.

    July 25, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
  132. Erie

    I would like enough to take care of my disabled son,and his 3 children, my mother (she is 92) and send my daughter back to school (she wants to be a nurse)
    How much it that?

    July 25, 2012 at 4:52 pm |