News & Politics

This Is The Insane Amount of Money it Takes To Be Considered “Wealthy” in DC

Photo by Jeff Elkins

Ever get the feeling that no matter how much further you climb the financial ladder, the top will be just out of reach? Well apparently that feeling is stretched to a much greater degree for residents of Washington, DC, because a recent study conducted by Koski Research for Charles Schwab indicates that the dollar amount of net worth it takes to be considered “financially comfortable” or “wealthy” is vastly out of whack with the rest of the United States. In the rest of the U.S., the average amount needed to be considered comfortable is $620,000; in DC that amount is $720,000, about $100,000 higher. To be considered rich the leap is even greater: the average for the rest of the U.S. is a net worth of $1.8 million. In D.C. you need $800,000 more to fit into that bracket, with a net worth of $2.6 million.

Courtesy of Charles Schwab.

The findings—which are from a 1,000 person study conducted throughout the entire metropolitan region—indicate the biggest barrier to economic stability for most Washingtonians is the real estate market. So while 58% of participants indicated that the DC economy performs better than the rest of the U.S. (and 35% say it performs the same) the study was strewn with anxieties and hesitancies about the DC area’s wildly overpriced homes.

The number one barrier that prevents Washingtonians from living in a preferred neighborhood? You guessed right. It’s $$$. As for our cost of living, 62% of respondents found DC to be “one of the worst” cities in the country. Sixty-three percent also found housing costs here inflated enough to include us as “one of the worst” cities. The inability to save money was listed as the number one reason participants aren’t homeowners.

Courtesy of Charles Schwab.

(On a WHAT? note: One hundred percent of the 46% of respondents who indicated that our metro transit system is “one of the best” in the country are clearly delusional and require immediate medical attention.)

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Hillary writes about interiors, real estate, arts, and culture. She is the former digital media editor of The New Republic, and her work has also been published in Glamour, The New York Times Book Review, and The Washington Post, among others. You can follow her on Instagram @hillarylouisekelly or on Pinterest @hlkelly.