Professional Development

11 Signs You’ve “Made It” in America

Written by Peter Jones

Have you been plugging away nonstop, gunning for success, for years? Maybe you’ve been trying really hard to be the big shot you know you can be, but you just aren’t sure when you can take a moment to rest on your laurels and give yourself a pat on the back.

Here are a few signs that you’re well on your way to—if not already—living the new American Dream.

1. You have a job.

Don’t discount this accomplishment in today’s economy—particularly not if you’re still in your twenties. As long as you’re on that ladder somewhere, and can pay your bills and health insurance, rent your own space, and feed yourself decently healthy food, you’re well on your way. Being able to take care of your own basic needs is not to be undervalued.

2. People respect you.

You’ve gained respect the right way, by proving yourself to be trustworthy, decent, honest, and a good listener. More than that, people listen to you when you speak and value your opinions.

3. You have hobbies.

Hobbies mean you do more than just drink your paycheck and waste time with your friends. They mean you have enough leisure time in addition to your career to pursue other, non-work-related passions. Congrats, you’re becoming a whole person.

4. You can travel.

If you can afford to take a trip without breaking the bank—a real vacation, then you’ve made it. If you can take multiple trips per year, some abroad, then, well, you’re totally living the dream. And if you can fly first class?

5. You have goals.

Whether career, personal, or material, you’ve got end points and milestones in mind and are constantly working towards them.

6. You own stuff.

Do you own your apartment or house, or a car? Either way, no matter how fancy, you’ve really gotten to a majorly mature and successful place. Congrats!

7. You can afford stuff.

You’re not in a blind panic about how you’ll afford retirement or your kids’ private school or college education. You might not have it all sorted out, but you have a plan, and you’re saving away as much as possible.

8. You have money in your accounts.

It’s hard enough to live paycheck to paycheck in your twenties. It’s even harder to break out of that habit and carry a healthy balance month to month. If you have more than $7k in your checking account, you’re basically killing it. And if you have over $30k in your savings, you are doing extraordinarily well.

9. You have a second home.

If you have a holiday home, no matter how rustic, you’re already in the elite set of second-home owners. You own “luxury real estate!” That’s huge!

10. You can pay for stuff.

If a new gadget comes out, or you want to take a weekend trip, or pick up the tab for a group dinner out, you can do so without tons of hemming and hawing. You never have to go to the ladies’ room to check your bank balance on your phone—you just lay down that cash without cringing.

11. You shop at the fancy grocery store.

If you can do regular shops at Whole Paycheck, then you’re really doing well in this world. So buy yourself that eight dollar juice and walk smugly through the aisles. You’ve really made it.

About the author

Peter Jones