Wealthy Say Charitable Giving, Volunteerism and Caring for Loved Ones are Key Priorities, Wells Fargo Study Shows
San Francisco — December 5, 2007
Wells Fargo Private Bank today released the findings of its Wealth Lifecycle study, which measures the attitudes and views of U.S. high net worth (HNW) individuals toward a wide range of life’s most important issues, including money, family, work and values. A notable finding in regard to money revealed that even though HNW individuals are focused on planning for retirement, planning for their health care and minimizing taxes, they also place great importance on giving, volunteerism and caring for loved ones. About three-quarters (74%) of respondents indicated that they are generous with their money, and the majority said that making a difference in the world (65%) and volunteering in their community (57%) are important to their overall happiness. “It’s clear from these results that high net worth individuals are focused on making a difference in the world, in their communities, and in their families. Not all high net worth individuals manage their lifestyles and money the same way, but most are focused on balancing their personal, professional and financial goals with their desire to make a difference through philanthropy or helping loved ones,” said Christine Deakin, Executive Vice President and Head of Client Solutions, Strategy and Marketing for Wells Fargo Private Bank. The study findings also indicate that:
- Values : Relationships trumps money in importance. Fewer than one in three HNW individuals (29%) say “achieving considerable wealth” is very important or absolutely essential to their happiness. Far more important contributors to happiness are “having a long-lasting committed relationship with a partner (77%)” and “socializing with friends (46%).”
- Family : Nearly three in five HNW adults (57%) say that leaving an estate or financial legacy to heirs is an important financial goal.
- Work : Of those currently working, two-thirds (64%) would keep working even if they didn’t have to. Fully 89% of those who work report that they enjoy working, while just 38% say work is a main source of stress in their life. At the same time, six in 10 (60%) would rather have more money than more free time (40%).
- Money : Most HNW individuals are big believers in personal financial responsibility: 90% agree that “everyone is responsible for their own financial security,” and it’s no surprise that retirement planning is their most important financial activity, as 75% say this is “absolutely essential” or “very important.”
- In their Building stage, individuals are career driven and are the youngest of the four segments (45 is the average age). They believe that the power of wealth can change lives for the better and are willing to work for it.
- In their Managing stage, individuals believe that wealth leads to having the freedom to do what they want, are focused on the financial security of their family (i.e. more focused on saving for their children’s education than other groups) and emphasize improving their cash flow and minimizing their taxes.
- In their Preserving stage, individuals are primarily focused on protecting their current wealth, and are driven to save for retirement and less concentrated on making charitable contributions. They are the least likely to want to give the appearance of wealth.
- In their Transferring stage, individuals are focused on sharing their money, particularly for philanthropic purposes. People in this stage – the most senior of the four segments, with an average age of 64 – are less likely than their counterparts in other wealth stages to equate money with success.
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