Here's how much money Americans have to make to feel rich, according to survey

A new survey reveals how much a person believes they need to earn to feel both financially secure and rich – and it’s higher than last year. 

Bankrate’s Financial Freedom Survey analyzed responses from more than 2,400 adults in the United States in May 2024. 

In the survey, the company found that Americans felt they needed to earn $520,000 a year to feel rich – an 8% increase from $483,000 in 2023. 

The salary needed to feel rich and financially free rose with generations. Baby boomers said they would need to earn an average of $556,000 per year, Gen Xers said they would need $574,000, millennials indicated $480,000 and Gen Zers noted $461,000.

How much Americans feel they need to feel comfortable

The company also found that Americans believed they would need to earn $186,000 per year to feel financially secure or comfortable. This is more than two times what the average full-time, year-round worker made in 2022 ($79,209), according to Census Bureau data. 

Based on their current personal financial situation, 75% of respondents said they were not completely financially secure, up from 72% in 2023. Older generations were more likely than younger generations to say they were not completely financially secure and likely never would be.

FILE: Guy sleeps while holding money. (Credit: Getty Images)

"Life always seems like it’d be better with just a little bit more money to spare. That’s even more true when the items Americans both need and want have been climbing in price. In the four years since the pandemic, comfort is no longer a commodity but a financial privilege, appearing to only be afforded to those wealthy enough to ‘eat’ the impact of inflation," Sarah Foster, a Bankrate analyst, said in a statement. 

Ongoing high inflation continues

The U.S. inflation rate hit a 40-year high following the COVID-19 pandemic and still continues to impact many Americans across the country. 

Experts say ongoing, high inflation has been raising the financial standards for many Americans. 

RELATED: These US cities have the biggest inflation problems, study finds

"Making more money is the secret to weathering inflation, but it’s also true that being a higher-income earner won’t automatically translate to being better at personal finance," added Foster. "Someone with a traditional middle-class salary who always tries to save for the future, no matter how small, is destined for financial success more than an ultra-wealthy earner who lives and spends beyond his or her means." 

This story was reported from Los Angeles.