With the Occupy Movement sweeping the country, a lot of attention has been given to the 99% vs. the 1%. The movement is really about attitudes, values and policy and not income. There are those in the 1% of money that identify with the movement and clearly many in the 99% that do not. However, occassionally we see a media emphasis on a "top 1%" in terms of money, which in this consumptive society usually means income. You may have heard the number $343,927 being used. According to this article, and many others, $343,927 is the 99th percentile for adjusted gross income (AGI) on a tax return, as of 2009.
However, before you compare your AGI to this number, I suggest that AGI is not the true measure of comparative monetary wealth. Net worth is. After all, the word millionaire specifically refers to someone with over $1 million in net worth. Net worth is highly misunderstood and largely uncalculated by the 99% (now using the term to mean top percentile of AGI). The 1% know theirs and use it as the true measure of comparative wealth.
While income is obviously important in terms of growing a net worth, the spending side of a ledger is very important as well. Books like "The Millionaire Next Door" and a recent read of mine, "Enough" by John Bogle speak to this.
So if your're comparing yourself this way, what is the threshold for top 1% net worth? This is harder to find! We are so geared to spending, not saving. Below are some nuggets from the internet. Naturally, some are in contradiction.
· America's richest 1%, as surveyed by U.S. Trust have an individual net worth greater than $3.75 million.
· The couple’s net worth of roughly $3.5 million places them in the top 2 percent of families in the United States
· Mr. Kremen estimated his net worth at $10 million. That puts him firmly in the top half of 1 percent among Americans
· Fewer than 1 percent of Americans are millionaires
· A household with $1 million net worth, excluding primary residence, is in the top 6%
· The number of American households with a net worth of $1 million or more… fell 27% to 6.7 million in 2008 (2007 estimate of households in the US: 111,162,259)