It's always interesting to ask about people's subjective definitions of "rich" and an interesting token of how class-stratified we've become as a society that so many people in the top twenty percent of the income distribution tend not to think of themselves as rich.

That said, annual family income is a pretty crude metric of people's financial situation. The bottom end of the income distribution chart includes a lot of retired people, who aren't necessarily poor in any intuitive sense. Down there at the bottom you've also got a certain number of students and people in apprentice-like jobs (entry-level positions at political magazines) that they're expected to quickly transition out of. As a result, while $88,000 a year is good enough to put you in the top twenty percent, it's not nearly good enough to put you in the top twenty percent of real grownups (say, people over 25) who have full-time jobs. And of course wealth matters here as well. There's a difference between someone earning $88,000 a year and someone who's the beneficiary of a trust fund that pays out $88,000 a year. There's also a difference between earning $88,000 a year free and clear and earning $88,000 a year while trying to pay off college and law school debts.