The State of Ambitions In 2023

SoFi is on a mission to help Americans achieve financial independence to realize their ambitions, whatever they may be. As part of the latest brand campaign “All Your Ambitions, All In One App”, SoFi is setting out to change that narrative by showing its members how it’s possible to get your money right and that their ambitions are, in fact, within reach. 

SoFi recently surveyed over 2,000 Americans ages 18 to 75 to learn more about their financial, career, and personal ambitions and to understand how people are feeling about achieving their goals while also seeing what they may be willing to give up in order to achieve them.

The good news is– in 2023, almost three quarters of Americans (82%) believe it’s very or somewhat feasible to achieve your ambitions and two thirds (67%) are taking steps to achieve their ambitions today. People are also not holding back: two thirds (63%) are not scared of sharing their ambitions openly, even if it means they may not be able to achieve them. Over half of people (56%) are not waiting to pursue their passions or ambitions until retirement. When it comes to advice on how to best achieve their ambitions, Americans are turning to friends and family followed by online search engines like Google and then experts (i.e. career coaches, credentialed financial planners, etc.).

Here are more key findings from SoFi’s Ambition Survey below:

America’s Top Financial, Career and Personal Ambitions

One third of Americans (34%) like their career but say it’s not the biggest part of their life while just under one third (28%) say they find their career to be a valuable and purposeful part of their life and the remaining quarter (22%) say it’s just a job that they do for the money.

That said, when it comes to their top career ambitions right now, the majority of Americans rank the following in order of importance: landing a dream job, then making something creative, curing a disease, starting a company followed by getting a promotion.

For top financial ambitions, people rank creating or sustaining generational wealth, buying a house or owning property, buying a car, retiring early and sending kids to college as most important. 

Of the top personal ambitions, Americans rank travel, attaining a degree in higher education, solving world hunger, getting married, volunteering and starting a family top the list.

Almost half (44%) of those surveyed feel that due to their current finances they have to choose between affording a family and affording their other ambitions. And almost half (49%) do not feel financially able to have more than one child. 

America’s Short Term and Long Term Priorities 

The survey also examined people’s short and long-term priorities to better understand what is important to them. 

In the next six-months and twelve months, survey respondents rank their top priorities as:

1) Make more money

2) Live comfortably

3) Family quality time

4) Be a good parent

5) Health/wellness

These priorities also remain unchanged as Americans look to their five-year plan.

Survey respondents also rank friends and family as most important to them followed by their personal health followed by earning money then pursuing their passions.

What Do You Need to Achieve Ambition and be Successful?

Ambition and success can look different to everyone. Almost half of people (42%) feel that having more money would make them more able to achieve their ambitions followed by more self confidence (21%), followed by learning new skills (19%) and finally more support from friends and family (15%).

When asked about the markers of success when pursuing their ambitions, in order of importance those surveyed said:

1) Being able to live comfortably was most important (34%);

2) Being able to feed their families (27%);

3) Reaching a certain income bracket (13%)

4) Being seeing as successful (13%)

5) Having a high level title (6%)

6) Being famous (3%)

When asked what level of income people feel they need to achieve their ambitions they said:

•  21% answered $50,000 – $74,999

•  16% answered $100,000 – $149,000

•  16% answered $75,000 – $99,999

•  14% answered $300,00 to $1,000,000

•  13% answered “I’m not sure”

•  11% answered $150,000 – $199,000

•  8.5% answered $200,000 – $250,000

When asked where people are going to get information that shapes or inspires their ambitions those survey said the top three places they go are:

1) Seeing friends, family or colleagues’ ambitions

2) TikTok

3) Traditional media

Americans Will Go Great Lengths to Achieve Retirement and Home Ownership Ambitions

As retirement tops the financial list of ambitions, Americans are willing to give up a lot to get there and get there sooner.

Two-thirds (67%) would give up dining out for five years if it meant that they could retire by age 50. Similarly nearly two thirds (65%) would rather not have a wedding if it meant retiring five years sooner. When it comes to attending weddings, over half (61%) said they would forego weddings of close friends and family if it meant they could retire five years sooner. 

Americans would also make sacrifices to achieve their homeownership ambitions. Two thirds (65%) would give up attending weddings of close friends and family if it meant they could own a home. Almost three quarters (71%) would prefer to own a home than be able to retire by age 50.

When it comes to funding ambitions like travel, retirement, or owning a home, Americans are more likely to take a second job (55%) than opt to cut all their streaming services forever (44%).

Retirement Plans

When asked when they would like to retire, over one third (35%) of respondents answered age 60-69 and 37% agree that they are on track to retire by that age as well. The ideal way people plan to spend their retirement is travel, followed by spending time with family, and then pursuing a passion.

To begin achieving your financial ambitions today, whatever they may be, visit or download our iOS and Android apps. To create a financial plan with a credential financial planner that will help you achieve your financial goals, you can learn more here.


SoFi Bank, N.A., NMLS #696891. Member FDIC ©2023 Social Finance, Inc. All rights reserved.

The SoFi Ambition Survey findings are based on an online survey of 2,000+ consumers conducted by SoFi in the U.S. between August 21 through September 1, 2023.

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