Spending and Saving Priorities: Schwab Modern Wealth Study

The Motley Fool, CNBC, Forbes, BizWomen, and The New York Times recently covered Charles Schwab’s Modern Wealth Study with Logica Research. This study was conducted to reveal Americans’ changing priorities on spending, saving and mental health.


What is Considered “Wealthy”

As cited in an article by The Motley Fool, Americans think it takes an average net worth of $1.9 million to be considered wealthy. That’s a decline from 2020 data from this ongoing study, when the public thought $2.6 million was what it took to be wealthy. The article also goes on to say that $624,000 average net worth is what it takes to maintain a decent lifestyle without being held back by financial stress. CNBC’s coverage of the study talks about what the net worth each generation says you need to be considered wealthy in 2021: 

  • Millennials (ages 24 to 39): $1.4 million
  • Gen X (ages 40 to 55): $1.9 million
  • Baby Boomers (ages 56 to 74): $2.5 million

Re-Evaluating Wealth

The New York Times also writes that about 60 percent of respondents said the pandemic had caused them to re-evaluate their perception of wealth, but there is a huge generational disparity: 78 percent of Millennials and 73 percent of Generation X respondents said the pandemic had changed how they planned to use their wealth in the future, but only 26 percent of Boomers and the same percent of the Silent Generation said the same thing.


Spending Habit Changes

An article by Forbes covers the study, saying that 24% of Americans plan to splurge on a vacation, 21% plan to dine out at a fancy restaurant and 15% expect to host a party soon. Americans are starting to splurge, and it’s showing in spending habits and financial plans. A quarter of the 1,000 respondents in the survey, which was released in May, planned to splurge on big purchases, according to an article in The New York Times.


Women Are Focusing on Financial Health

As the pandemic slowly fades, nearly 6 in 10 women said their financial health is a bigger priority going forward, Schwab found. More than one-third said they’re focused on cutting spending and tracking their finances, writes BizWomen. They go on to say that in 2020, fewer than 60% of women considered themselves savers. Coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic, that figure has jumped to more than 80%. 


To find out more information, you can read articles by
The Motley Fool, CNBC, Forbes, BizWomen, and The New York Times.


Background:
Logica Research conducted an online survey for Charles Schwab from February 1 through February 19, 2021. among a national sample of 1,000 Americans aged 21 to 75 and an augment sample of 200 investors who began investing in 2020 for comparison. Quotas were set to balance the national sample on key demographic variables. In addition, this study was conducted in 12 markets to provide localized data. The U.S. markets were: Chicago, Dallas, Washington D.C., Los Angeles/Orange County, San Francisco Bay Area, Boston, Denver, Houston, New York City, Phoenix, Seattle, and Naples/Sarasota. A total of 8,450 respondents were surveyed.


You can find more information on the Modern Wealth Study
here.

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