Money

Here's how much money Americans think is enough to live comfortably

The Pearson family on NBC's "This Is Us"
NBCU

Americans say it takes an average net worth of $2.4 million to be considered "wealthy," according to a new survey from Charles Schwab. And to be "financially comfortable," survey respondents say you need an average net worth of $1.4 million.

Net worth means assets minus liabilities, so this is a picture of your total savings, including the value of your home, 401(k) and any other assets you may have, minus any debt. Since less than 10 percent of Americans have $1.4 million, by that standard, only the top tier of American households qualify as "comfortable."

This all begs the question, how much money really is enough?

The answer is complex and highly subjective but one that "Mad Money" host Jim Cramer took a shot at on an episode of Farnoosh Torabi's "So Money " podcast.

"How do you determine how much money you need?" Torabi asked Cramer. While it's different for everybody, Cramer offered a general rule of thumb: First, determine what expenses or extravagances are important to you. Next, aim for the income required to spend without guilt on those extravagances, and then be more restrained in other areas of your life.

"I am a big believer in finding something that you really like that's expensive," he told Torabi. "You can put your money on that, and then be frugal besides that."

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Cramer's splurges include box seats at the Philadelphia Eagles games and one nice vacation a year. "How much you need is totally dependent upon the extravagance," Cramer said.

While we can't all enjoy box seats to NFL games, anyone can use Cramer's rule. Start by determining what major expense is important to you — whether that be travel, a membership to a nice gym or box seats — and then focus on generating enough income where you can afford it without compromising your other savings goals.

How much money is enough for you? How much would you need to feel rich? Let us know what you think on Facebook.

Check back in a few days for the results of our informal reader survey.

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The Pearson family on NBC's "This Is Us"
NBCU
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