“Enough” is not in the financial vocabulary of many well-off investors, UBS Wealth Management Americas reported Tuesday.
U.S. millionaires in a survey said they felt compelled to strive for more, even as they recognized their good fortune.
They were ambitious, they wanted to protect their lifestyle and, not least, they feared losing everything.
UBS surveyed 2,215 U.S. millionaires in mid-March, and conducted follow-up interviews with 90 of them. Investors surveyed had at least $1 million in net worth, and 610 had at least $5 million in net worth.
According to the report, 77% of millionaires said they had grown up middle class or below, and many had aspired to become wealthy.
Sixty-one percent said they had consciously aimed to become millionaires, and 65% considered reaching the $1 million mark are milestone in their lives.
Three-quarters felt they had succeeded, and most attributed this to their hard work. Indeed, 44% said hard work was the linchpin for becoming a millionaire.
The report found that net worth influenced overall life satisfaction. Seventy-three percent of respondents with $1 million to $2 million were “highly satisfied” with their life, compared with 78% with $2 million to $5 million and 85% of those with more than $5 million.
Millionaires in the study recognized the implications of their wealth: 37% with $1 million to $5 million said their riches allowed them to live in relative luxury, compared with 62% of those with more than $5 million who said this.
At the same time, the survey found, expectations increased as respondents amassed wealth. Fifty-eight percent of millionaires surveyed reported feeling higher expectations for their standard of living over the last 10 years.
As a result, they kept striving for more.
“But enough never seems to be enough—even the wealthiest continue on the treadmill to achieve a better life,” Paula Polito, client strategy officer at UBS Wealth Management Americas, said in a statement.
The Wages of Success
Because of increased expectations, millionaires feel stress around their ability to maintain their lifestyle. Fifty-two percent of those with children at home said they felt they were on a treadmill, unable to get off without compromising the life they had built.