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What it means to be wealthy

San Diegans have modest ideas

Oceanside Pier.
Oceanside Pier.

How much money does one need in order to be considered wealthy? According to a new survey from the investment advisory firm Charles Schwab, the average San Diegan's answer is about $2.7 million.

That's more than 30 times the actual median net worth of households across the country, however. And nearly two-thirds of poll respondents believe that accumulating such a fortune in their lifetime is entirely out of reach, with housing costs and low wages hampering savings efforts.

Instead of chasing after cash, locals are choosing to define wealth in different ways. While "having lots of money" topped the list of ways people think of being wealthy, "enjoying life's experiences" (25 percent), "living stress-free and having peace of mind" (19 percent), and "having loving relationships with family and friends" (13 percent) were among the ways San Diego respondents described wealthy lifestyles.

Even the 36 percent of local respondents who say they're already millionaires or expect to become rich aren't doing well on many of the fundamentals the company uses in compiling its Modern Wealth Index.

"San Diegans are a bit behind average Americans when it comes to managing and engaging with their wealth," says Randy Schechter, a Schwab branch manager in La Jolla.

"Our findings show setting goals and having a written plan are critical," Schechter. Continues. "Those who put pen to paper with written financial plans are more confident, more engaged with their wealth and demonstrate more positive saving and investing behaviors, so that’s where San Diego area residents should focus most."

San Diegans, the report observes, fall behind the national average in goal-setting (only one in five residents has a financial plan in place), saving and investing, and staying on track to meet their goals. Still, the region's residents show an above-average confidence level that they'll achieve their goals despite the obvious setbacks.

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Oceanside Pier.
Oceanside Pier.

How much money does one need in order to be considered wealthy? According to a new survey from the investment advisory firm Charles Schwab, the average San Diegan's answer is about $2.7 million.

That's more than 30 times the actual median net worth of households across the country, however. And nearly two-thirds of poll respondents believe that accumulating such a fortune in their lifetime is entirely out of reach, with housing costs and low wages hampering savings efforts.

Instead of chasing after cash, locals are choosing to define wealth in different ways. While "having lots of money" topped the list of ways people think of being wealthy, "enjoying life's experiences" (25 percent), "living stress-free and having peace of mind" (19 percent), and "having loving relationships with family and friends" (13 percent) were among the ways San Diego respondents described wealthy lifestyles.

Even the 36 percent of local respondents who say they're already millionaires or expect to become rich aren't doing well on many of the fundamentals the company uses in compiling its Modern Wealth Index.

"San Diegans are a bit behind average Americans when it comes to managing and engaging with their wealth," says Randy Schechter, a Schwab branch manager in La Jolla.

"Our findings show setting goals and having a written plan are critical," Schechter. Continues. "Those who put pen to paper with written financial plans are more confident, more engaged with their wealth and demonstrate more positive saving and investing behaviors, so that’s where San Diego area residents should focus most."

San Diegans, the report observes, fall behind the national average in goal-setting (only one in five residents has a financial plan in place), saving and investing, and staying on track to meet their goals. Still, the region's residents show an above-average confidence level that they'll achieve their goals despite the obvious setbacks.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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