The idea of what was once considered “rich” is rapidly changing, as is the profile of the wealthy themselves.
Here are ten secrets you probably didn’t know about millionaires.
1. They don’t see themselves as rich
Millionaires are wealthier than 90% of U.S. households, and they make an average of $366,000 per year.
Now, the millionaire club isn’t as exclusive as it used to be—10 million America households now have a net worth of more than a million dollars, which is double the number in 2002.
2. They shop at Wal-Mart, too
Millionaires might not be buying the off-brand soda pop, but they understand the importance of being frugal and do so consistently.
Most millionaires come from middle-class households, and over 80% of millionaires report shopping with a middle-class mindset. That means they’re not above looking for bargains.
3. I didn’t become wealthy by cutting back on lattes
To join the millionaire club, you could invest in the stock market, buy real estate, or take the most popular path: starting your own business. About half of all millionaires made their money that way.
4. I have a concierge service
A personal concierge service is the modern-day equivalent of a butler. They work on retainers ranging from $25/hr to six figures annually.
A concierge will help you get restaurant reservations, good tee times at golf clubs, or go to great lengths to find whatever you need. Some concierge services now even include personal physicians.
5. You don’t become wealthy by being nice
One author who wrote a book about millionaires says that they openly admit to being “bastards in business.” But, when it comes to the homestead, they share values with middle-income people. Spending time with family is very important to them.
6. Find ways to avoid taxes
Because millionaires earn most of their money from dividends and capital gains, which are taxed at lower rates than wages, they can get away with paying less of a tax burden than they theoretically should.
The biggest savings come from owning a business and deducting expenses to minimize the tax burden.
7. I was an OK student
The median college GPA for millionaires is a modest 2.9, and the average SAT score is 1190. Indeed, 59% of millionaires attended a state university or college.
Most millionaires agree their ability to work hard mattered more than their education.
8. My Ferrari is a rental
More and more businesses are offering “fractional ownership” programs for jets, cars, designer handbags, and more. You pay a fraction of the cost to show off the car or product for a few weekends or months of the year.
9. Actually, money does buy happiness
Money buys freedom, and studies show that higher incomes correlate with a higher level of life satisfaction.
10. They’re trying to keep up with the Trumps, not the Jones
What makes people happy about having money is how much they’re making relative to their peers, so millionaires are always looking across the fence where the grass is greener.