In 2009, it only your household income had to be 343,927$ to be in the top 1% of America. Now does being in the top 1% actually equate to having the highest standard of living? The answer depends on where you live. Most of these 1%ers work in New York on Wall Street. Of course if you work on Wall Street you are only cool if you live in Manhattan and if you live anywhere else you will get mugged , but Manhattan is a very expensive place to reside though. In order to keep your cool investor rep up you have to dress up in nice expensive clothes so your clients feel like they can trust you with their money. The cost of living is also much higher than most places! So just because you live in the top 1% doesn't mean your the upper class of anyone.