20 Must-Have Status Symbols That Define Success Today

Whether you want to keep up with the Joneses or one-up them all together, you might want to know what current status symbols announce to the world that you’ve arrived. 

There was a time when a nice house with a white picket fence, a family, a well-paying job, and a fancy car were the epitomes of success. And, to be sure, those things are still valued by many pursuing the American Dream. Not all status symbols are worth it, but some still hold weight.

Keep reading to see 20 must-have status symbols that define success today. Check the list to see how many resonate with you and your definition of living the good life.

Custom Attire

Two smiling business partners going on business trip carrying suitcases while walking through airport passageway
Photo credit: Undrey / Shutterstock.com

Anyone can go to a retailer selling new or used clothing and buy something that fits. But going the extra mile means going to a seamstress or tailor for custom-made clothing. So, if you want something that fits like a glove, you must spend more on tailor-made apparel.

A Nice Ride

Mature Man Polishing Restored Classic Sports Car Outdoors At Home
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Another status symbol today is the car you drive. Few can afford rides in the price range of a Rolls-Royce Sweptail, Koenigsegg CC850, or Bugatti Centodieci. But you don’t need deep pockets to get a nice car — and you don’t have to buy something brand new either.

Whether the vehicle has an internal combustion engine, is all-electric, or is a hybrid, you can find something you’re proud of in your price range. It doesn’t have to cost a million bucks to look like a million bucks.

3. Quality Watch

Collection of Luxury Rolex watches on white background
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Many people look at their smartphones for the time. But wearing watches hasn’t gone out of style. If you love the finer things in life and are a fan of watches, get yourself a Rolex, Omega, Patek Philippe, Cartier, or some other high-end watch. 

If you choose well, the watch may increase in value over time and be a good investment. That’s not something you can say about a smartwatch. You’ll be lucky if it’s worth anything in a decade.

4. Cottage

cozy warm home interior of a chic country chalet
Image credit: Pinkystock / Shutterstock.com

A time-share can be great. But nothing yells success like having a cottage of your own — where you can go whenever you want. It’s the perfect option when everyone gets a break from school and work.  A cabin or cottage on a lot with acreage and privacy is a desirable status symbol.

Dream Job

Young business man reading paper in car
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Too many people spend tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars to earn a degree — only to find a job unrelated to their degree. If you have a job, be grateful. But if you have your dream job, cool co-workers, and a great boss, consider yourself blessed beyond measure.

Happy Family Life

Happy family on a road trip in their car. Dad, mom and daughter are traveling by the sea. Summer ride by automobile.
Image credit: Day Of Victory Studio / Shutterstock.com

While married life isn’t for everyone, there’s no denying strong families make for strong communities and countries. Consider yourself fortunate if you’ve found your soulmate and built a life and a family together. You can achieve this goal regardless of your socioeconomic status. It’s about choosing wisely and making the right decisions — and it’s a meaningful status symbol.

Membership in Exclusive Clubs 

private membership club
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Another status symbol is a membership to an exclusive club — like a private golf course or some other group. You’ll also have opportunities to network with other successful people.


Redhead girl holding a paper map on Market Square in Krakow. Traveling Europe in autumn. St. Marys Basilica
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Traveling the world — without having to worry about the cost — is another coveted status symbol. If you can take a cruise to Europe, go mountain climbing in the Canadian Rockies, or enjoy fun in the sun in the Caribbean whenever your heart desires, you’re more fortunate than most.

The Latest Tech

Couple shopping for tech products
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If you’re a tech fan or socialize with people who are, having the latest gadgets can be an important status symbol. It probably doesn’t make sense to sink money into upgrading your smartphone, tablet, or smartwatch every time a new version is available. But a techie has to have what a techie has to have.

Paid-Off Mortgage

Suburban McMansion style home
Image Credit: rSnapshotPhotos / Shutterstock.com

It’s one thing to have a beautiful home in a desirable neighborhood — but it’s another thing to pay off the mortgage. Owning your home outright and not having any mortgage payments means you’ll have more money to save, spend, and have fun.

Live in a Nice Neighborhood

Two women laughing in small town downtown America.
Image Credit: Laura Beach / Shutterstock.com

Do you live in a desirable area? What good is your dream home if you’re afraid to go outside after dark? A neighborhood where you can enjoy a sense of community is worth its weight in gold.

Good Kids

Addicted to technology overjoyed little mixed race kids sisters looking at mobile phone scree, using funny photo application, recording video for social networks or playing online games at home.
Image credit: fizkes / Shutterstock.com

Do you stare at the floor nervously whenever your friends boast about how well their kids do in school, sports, and other things? If you have good kids who work hard, do well in school, and make you proud, give yourself a pat on the back. You’ve hit the jackpot.

Good Friends

Group of Senior Retirement Friends Happiness Concept
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Many people across the country don’t even know the names of their neighbors — even neighbors they’ve had for years. If you have a core group of friends you know and respect — and who feel the same about you — you have something many people lack.

Financial Independence

Side view of middle-aged man on yacht
Image credit: sirtravelalot / Shutterstock.com

Having enough money to do whatever you want without worrying about money is nice. Financial independence that allows you to live life to the fullest without relying on a credit card and worrying when the first payment is due is worth striving toward.

Retire Early

elderly couple in foreign culture
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Have you heard of the FIRE movement? It stands for Financial Independence, Retire Early. Working hard, investing in stocks and bonds, and saving aggressively can help you build a financial nest egg that allows you to retire earlier than most people do.

Investment Property

Rear view at young successful businessman standing in office looking through full-length window at cityscape with skyscrapers, dreaming or resting, waiting for meeting or considering business offer
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Buying a home for you and yours is one thing. But owning a rental property, enjoying the passive income from tenants, and seeing the investment property value rise is another. Rental properties can help you build a strong financial foundation. 

Outdoor Kitchen

Open outdoor kitchen
Image credit: brizmaker / Shutterstock.com

Do you remember the stay-at-home orders during the pandemic? Of course, you do. Many people invested in improving their homes — including their outdoor living spaces. If they had to spend so much time at home, spending money to make their properties more comfortable made sense. An outdoor kitchen is the perfect addition to your home. It’ll make entertaining easier since there’ll be more space for family, friends, and neighbors.

Clean Living

Healthy senior woman smiling while holding some green juice in her kitchen. Mature woman serving herself wholesome vegan food at home. Woman taking care of her aging body with a plant-based diet.
Image Credit: Jacob Lund / Shutterstock.com

People are more health-conscious these days — and for good reason. It’s easy to take good health for granted. Many people do. But eating right, drinking plenty of water, getting enough sleep, and surrounding yourself with positive people will put you ahead of the pack.

Six-Figure Salary

hand taking money from a wallet
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Another status symbol that’s important to a lot of people is a six-figure salary. While your dream job might come with a five-figure wage, a six-figure salary is a goal for many.

Remote Work

woman working on laptop computer sitting at home with a dog pet
Image credit: MT-R / Shutterstock.com.

Many people work from home to avoid the tedious commute to and from work or have a better work-life balance. Even having the option of working remotely is a perk many workers covet.

Do You Agree With These Status Symbols? 

Portrait of caucasian middle-aged elderly mature businessman rich ceo boss wealthy millionaire wearing formal attire looking at camera with toothy smile isolated in white background
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Status symbols aren’t always about keeping up with or outdoing the Joneses. Sometimes they’re about setting goals, achieving them, and appreciating the results of hard work.

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