What’s Important to Millionaires?
Money may be able to buy good health care, but it can’t guarantee good health. It can accommodate a large family’s desires, but it can’t ensure there won’t be squabbles. It can enable financial security — but that doesn’t mean the wealthiest people make the best financial decisions.
It’s for all of these reasons that the responses to the 2015 annual survey of millionaires from U.S. Trust are a bit surprising. In fact, the things that are important to most people — health, family and financial security — are also the most important to high net worth households. Which goes to show you can’t take these things for granted, no matter how much money you have.
About 70 percent of the survey’s respondents said their health isn’t where they’d like it to be. What is particularly interesting is that only half said they feel prepared for a health crisis, and those who earn the highest incomes report they feel the least prepared.1
Given these health concerns, it’s interesting that 50 percent of respondents plan to rely on family members or private caregivers while aging at home. Unfortunately, some debilitating conditions could render private caregiving to be tremendously expensive, potentially depleting family wealth for future generations. Although about a quarter of respondents said they expect to live their final years in a high-end assisted living facility, only 40 percent have made financial preparations for either option. 2
Another finding from the survey: While the vast majority of millionaires surveyed considered themselves to be financially secure, the wealthier they are, the less secure they feel.3 Perhaps that’s because the more you have, the more you have to lose.
1 FoxBusines.com. May 20, 2016. “Top Priorities of Millionaires.” http://www.foxbusiness.com/features/2016/05/20/top-priorities-millionaires.html. Accessed July 6, 2016.2 Ibid.3 Ibid.