Even in the expensive Bay Area, the COVID-19 pandemic may have tempered expectations of wealth from previous years. But you still need millions of dollars to achieve financial happiness here, far more than in other major metropolitan areas in the United States, according to a new survey.

Respondents to the Modern Wealth Survey 2021 by Charles Schwab said it takes an average net worth of $ 3.8 million to be rich in the Bay Area, up from $ 4.5 million in 2020. If you’re only aiming for “financial happiness.” , it will cost $ 1.8 million in 2021, up from $ 2.1 million in 2020.

A mere $ 1.3 million is enough to put you “financially comfortable” in 2021, up from $ 1.5 million in 2020, according to survey responses.

According to a spokesperson for Charles Schwab, survey respondents were asked what level of personal net worth a person in their area would be considered wealthy. Although equity was not explicitly defined in the survey, it typically includes the value of all of a person’s assets, including their home, minus their liabilities, including their mortgage balance.

All three net worth values ​​in the Bay Area were significantly higher than the other large metropolitan areas listed in the survey. Seattle came in second for average “rich” net worth at $ 3.1 million, down $ 700,000 than the Bay Area. It was followed by Los Angeles at $ 3 million and New York and Washington, DC at $ 2.9 million.

To achieve financial happiness, one would need an average net worth of $ 1.6 million in the three cities just behind the Bay Area: Los Angeles, New York, and Washington, DC. To be financially comfortable, the average net worth is $ 1.2 million in second. ranked Los Angeles and $ 1.1 million in Boston.

The survey was conducted by Logica Research from February 2 to 19, interviewing 750 Bay Area residents aged 21 to 75 in Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara counties. and Solano.

Respondents were also asked about their spending and savings plans for 2021. Almost half of Bay Area residents (46%) plan to resume their lives as they did before the pandemic by traveling (53 %), socializing (36%) and eating in upscale restaurants (20%). But more than two-thirds (67%) of respondents saved money in 2020, and 82% plan to save more than spend in 2021.

More than half (56%) of respondents have been impacted financially in the past year, with 74% re-prioritizing them. Mental health leads with 69%, followed by relationships with 54% and financial health with 52%.

Kellie Hwang is a writer for the San Francisco Chronicle; Nami Sumida is a Chronicle data visualization developer. Email: [email protected], [email protected] Twitter: @kelliehwang, @namisumida