I’ll get to the punch line quickly on this one. Several surveys show the wealthiest Americans have one thing most in common. They are married or cohabiting and have been for more than 20 years. In fact, over 96% are in such relationships. Living with a partner is so correlative to wealth creation that one can assume it is the one factor that most affects whether or not someone can become wealthy in the first place. Why is this true? Simple. Economies of scale.
Surveys conducted by U.S. Trust of affluent Americans, which for the purposes of these surveys are those with investable assets of $3 million or more, found over 60% of wealthy households have two income earners. In nearly all those cases, both parties contribute to the households expenses and savings, despite any disparity in their incomes. For those Americans who are mere millionaires with $1 million in net worth including home equity, 74% have two income earners.
These figures refer to households that are already wealthy though. Not surprisingly, the survey respondents that indicated that only one spouse or partner worked, were not always a single income home. Over 93% of households who eventually reached millionaire status had two-income earners, both contributing to household expenses and investments, prior to becoming wealthy. It wasn’t until they reached wealthy status, which usually takes over 20 years and isn’t attained to 57 years old or more, that one party left the workforce.
Thus, the single greatest determining factor in whether or not you will become wealthy is, if you partner with someone who is also working and the two of you join economic forces when it comes to expenses and savings. And you must do this over decades. Again, simple.