Millionaires Don't Know When to Quit

Millionaires Don't Know When to Quit

Enough never seems to be enough for U.S. millionaires, according to a new report from UBS. Many wealthy investors keep working long after they need because of the continual shift in objectives and the need to maintain financial security.

Millionaires continue to strive for more, even though 52 percent feel like they are stuck on a treadmill and unable to slow down, according to the latest UBS Investor Watch. The quarterly report is generated through a survey conducted in March with 2,215 U.S. investors who have over $1 million in net worth.

Although three quarters of millionaires feel like they’ve made it, the goalposts keep shifting. About 58 percent said their expectations for their standard of living have increased within the past 10 years.

“The majority of millionaires say they have worked hard to earn their wealth and appreciate the lifestyle it affords them and their families. But enough never seems to be enough,” said Paula Polito, client strategy officer at UBS Wealth Management Americas.

Interestingly, many millionaires still relate more to the middle class than the proverbial 1 percent. That may be because 42 percent of millionaire investors grew up as part of the middle class, while 35 percent grew up as part of working class families or poverty.

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Only 10 percent of millionaires self-identify as upper class, despite Pew Research Center released in December research showing the median wealth among upper-income families came to $639,400 as of 2013.  Pew’s research found that the median wealth of middle-income families was about $96,500.

The shifting goalposts also mean that millionaires are less than totally confident in their ability to withstand setbacks. Less than half of investors with $1 to $5 million feel completely secure. About a third of investors with more than $5 million still felt that they didn’t have enough to withstand a setback.

Investors still working with children at home are even less confident. About 63 percent of those with families, who have between $1 to $5 million in assets still feel one wrong move would have a major impact on their lifestyle.

“If I could get down to part-time that would be nice. But I would lose a big chunk of my paycheck. It wouldn’t be feasible. I want my kids to go to the best colleges possible,” according to a 42-year-old female investor surveyed with between $1 and $2 million in assets.

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