The definition of “rich”

A question from Yahoo! Answers:

At what income is an American considered “rich”?

Does anyone know of an “official” formula for determining whether someone could consider themselves monetarily rich? Of course, all things are relative to region and personal choices; for instance, $100K annual is not going to be the same in L.A. California as opposed to Gary Indiana. My question is more in regards to what seems like an endless barrage of accusations of wealth directed towards what I would consider to be middle-class. I typically shrug this off as populist newspeak, but it has gotten me to wondering where the line of middle-class ends and “rich” begins.

Being rich is not about income. It is about assets. Basically, you are rich if you have enough money to sustain at least an upper-middle-class living standard using only income from low-risk investments. Assuming that upper-middle-class living standard begins at $100,000 a year and real return on low-risk investments is 3%, you are rich if you have about $3,000,000 in investable funds.

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