The American Dream is a shifty creature. We've got decades of national conversation about what it really means. Your favorite Great American Novel might have its own spin on the question, but broadly, the consensus is that it all involves acquiring wealth.
That too seems fairly straightforward, until you actually start asking people about it. The investment firm Charles Schwab has done just that, and the results are in from its 2019 Modern Wealth Survey. Americans have a pretty solid idea of what it means to finally achieve wealth, and it's… a net worth of $2.3 million.
For a nation struggling with some pretty systemic economic and financial woes, we're pretty optimistic that we'll get there ourselves. About 40 percent of Americans think they'll be wealthy within a decade, though interestingly, the people who already feel wealthy aren't millionaires. Their net worth is closer to $700,000.
If that's stressing you out, worry not. Money helps with happiness, though it can't buy it. We've all got different versions of happiness, but we're also pretty satisfied with about three-quarters of a good thing. Certain salaries can help you hit emotional wellbeing at not-outrageous thresholds, and none of them are six figures. That said, if you're looking to beef up your bottom line the old-fashioned way (asking for a raise at work), it's worth knowing how much your labor and expertise are worth to your boss. Hold your head up high — if you know what wealthy means to you, it's way easier to make a plan to reach it.