What it's like to be a millionaire in America today

Alan Crowhurst/Getty ImagesThere are 32 million millionaires in the US.
  • American millionaires lead a life that’s hard to fathom for the average American.
  • There are around 32 million millionaires in the US, according to a report by Coldwell Banker and WealthEngine.
  • The report looked at the life of the average American millionaire, from how old they are to where they live to what they spend their money on.

There are a lot of things people get wrong about American millionaires – that’s why millionaires always make for such an interesting study. For the average American, it’s hard to fathom what a seven- or eight-figure life is like.

According to a new report by Coldwell Banker, there are around 32 million millionaires in the US – and that number is only expected to increase. Such growth has made the country’s millionaire population more diverse than ever, resulting in various trends and preferences.

The Coldwell Banker Global Luxury program worked with WealthEngine to research the life of the US millionaire, defined as a person with a minimum net worth of $US1 million, from wealth creation and property investments to luxury spending trends.

Below, see what life is really like for the average American millionaire, based on highlights from the report.


Millionaires today are incredibly diverse — some prefer experiences and travel, while some like to buy and collect. Others are eco-conscious, while others still are status-conscious.

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Today’s millionaires are typically aged 50 to 80. Specifically, 28% are aged 60 to 70, 24% are aged 70 to 80, and 6.74% are aged 40 to 50.

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While older millionaires have more wealth and higher spending power, younger millionaires have spending potential that will have a long-term effect on growth, according to Coldwell Banker vice president of luxury Craig Hogan.

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Millionaires have always held property in coastal states like California and New York and tax-free states like Texas and Florida, but now they have expanded into Massachusetts, Washington, Illinois, Virginia, and Maryland.

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Moving to Virginia and Maryland indicates that an increasing number of millionaires want to be near Washington, DC for government-related work.

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The most popular zip codes for millionaires are all over: Montgomery County, Maryland (20854); Fremont, California (94539); Cupertino, California (95014); New York, New York (10023); Ocean County, New Jersey (08759); Laguna Niguel, California (92677).


There are also millionaire enclaves in 92130 (Carmel Valley, California), 90275 (Palos Verdes, California), and 37027 (Brentwood, Tennessee). Beverly Hills 90210 no longer ranks in the top 20.

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There are also many millionaires in retirement hubs, such as The Villages, Florida, and Sun City, Arizona, evidence of the link between age and wealth.

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Many millionaires are growing their real estate portfolios and own two homes — 19% own three or more homes. They typically stay in their home for at least eight years.

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The majority of properties owned by millionaires are more than 3,999 square feet, and the most valuable property in their portfolio is worth $US953,917.

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The most popular carmaker among millionaires is BMW, and the 3 series is the favourite model.

BMW

They also have an affinity for Mercedes-Benz, particularly the E class, and the Lexus RX350, indicating preferences for premium quality, aesthetics, reliability, and function.

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