Ever wondered what the wealthiest Americans—those with a net worth of $25 million or more—think about life, values, family, and money? Understanding their perspectives could be beneficial to you, whether you’re already among this elite group or aspiring to join them.

Let’s delve into the key traits, attributes, and opinions of the ultra-wealthy according to research by CEG Insights. From their emphasis on meaningful relationships and philanthropy to their strategic financial practices and health priorities, the insights we uncover can inform your actions and decisions. Explore how the wealthiest individuals balance their pursuit of success with personal fulfillment and discover the valuable lessons they can offer for your own journey towards prosperity and happiness.

Living Your Best Life: Insights from the Ultra-Wealthy

It’s easy to assume that people with great wealth have goals that are purely financial in nature. Not so. The ultra-wealthy care a great deal about living their “best life”—a life aligned with their values and filled with fulfilling relationships. According to research, 66.5% of respondents define their best life as one that aligns with their values, and 54.6% emphasize having fulfilling relationships with family and friends.

Living your best life, as defined by the ultra-wealthy, includes maintaining good physical and mental health, being financially stable and secure, pursuing passions that bring joy, and continuously learning and growing as a person. Surprisingly, fewer than half consider financial stability a top priority, and only a quarter included early retirement in their definition, despite many being relatively young millennials.

Action Steps: Consider doing a check-in with yourself and important people in your life about the goals that really matter to you—individually and collectively. Even if your net worth is far less than $25 million, prioritize goals that constitute a great life for many: living your values, spending time with family and friends, staying healthy, and doing meaningful work.

Concerns and Fears of the Ultra-Wealthy

Like everyone, the ultra-wealthy have their share of worries and concerns, many of which may look familiar to you. A significant number are deeply concerned about preserving and protecting their wealth. For instance, 84% worry about rising interest rates, 77.8% are anxious about maintaining their current financial position, and 74% are concerned about stock market performance. As wealth increases, these financial concerns become even more pronounced.

In terms of family-related issues, 65.8% of the ultra-wealthy are concerned about funding their children’s or grandchildren’s education. Leaving a legacy for their heirs follows closely at 65.6%, and 63.9% emphasize passing down key values to the next generation. Additionally, 47.8% worry about divorce, likely due to the potential financial impact of separation.

Despite their wealth, the ultra-affluent are also concerned about health. The research shows that health worries increase with net worth. For example, 82.2% of those with a net worth of $125 million or more are worried about their health, compared to 70.3% overall. These concerns extend to the health of their spouse and family, spending their final years in a care facility, having a caretaker in old age, and taking responsibility for aging parents.

Action Steps: From a financial perspective, ensure your plan addresses key concerns such as education financing, wealth transfer, and values transmission. Have candid discussions about health-related concerns, preparing financially for potential health issues and the costs of healthcare and long-term care. Seek advice on adequate health insurance coverage, long-term care insurance, and life insurance. Plan for potential disability and future care needs, which could involve setting up powers of attorney, living wills, trusts, and other estate planning tools. Discuss health and finances with your family to ensure everyone is prepared for potential health catastrophes.

Insights into Wealth Management and Spending Habits of the Ultra-Wealthy

Given their substantial wealth, it’s unsurprising that the ultra-wealthy have strong convictions about managing their finances. Nearly four out of five attribute their happiness to their accumulated wealth, with almost 85% deriving greater satisfaction from saving and investing rather than spending. This inclination towards saving and investing is evident in their asset allocation, where investable assets make up around 73.5% of their total household assets, with nearly 9% invested in real estate.

Despite their substantial wealth, the vast majority prefer to be actively involved in managing their investments, with 79% enjoying the process and unwilling to relinquish control to professionals. Interestingly, their spending habits defy stereotypes. While some abstain entirely from spending on typical luxury items, charitable donations rank as a significant expense, with over half donating at least $25,000 annually, and vacation and home improvement expenses also featuring prominently. Despite concerns about education funding, a significant portion allocate no funds towards college tuition or private prep schools.

Action Steps: Review your approach to wealth management. Assess whether you are as engaged as you desire and consider if a more hands-on or collaborative approach aligns with your preferences. Evaluate your spending habits to ensure they reflect your values and contribute to your overall well-being. Consider prioritizing experiential purchases and prosocial spending, which research suggests can enhance happiness and satisfaction.

Final Thoughts

There’s much we can learn from each other, regardless of our wealth status. Understanding the perspectives and actions of the ultra-wealthy can provide valuable insights into living our best lives, making wise spending choices, and addressing important concerns. Their experiences and decisions can serve as a roadmap for our own decision-making processes, guiding us towards greater fulfillment, financial prudence, and overall well-being.

The information in this material is for general information only and is not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. Integrated Financial Partners does not provide legal/tax/mortgage advice or services. Please consult your legal/tax advisor regarding your specific situation. This report is intended to be used for educational purposes only and does not constitute a solicitation to purchase any security or advisory service. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. An investment in any security involves significant risks and any investment may lose value. Refer to all risk disclosures related to each security product carefully before investing. Investment advice offered through Integrated Financial Partners, doing business as Konvergent Wealth Partners, a registered investment advisor.