How Americans Define Wealth
Americans are split on their definitions of wealth, according to the June 2017 Modern Wealth Index from US organisations Koski Research and the Schwab Center for Financial Research. Highlights include:
- Divided Definition: Twenty-seven per cent of Americans define wealth as having a lot of money, while 24% say it's enjoying life's experiences. In addition, 22% believe it's being able to afford anything they want, and 19% say it's living stress-free with peace of mind. "As Americans' definition of wealth evolves, the [finance] industry needs to modernise its approach to find new ways to deliver good value and a great experience to a broader population," said Terri Kallsen, head of Schwab Investor Services.
- Wellbeing Trumps Money: Around two-thirds (65%) of Americans equate wealth with good physical health, rather than lots of money (35%). Some 58% agree that wealth is more about having gratitude than earning heaps of cash (42%), while 56% believe it's about building community, rather than working on one's career (44%).
- Millennial Focus: Millennials (aged 23 to 36) display better financial habits than older generations. Some 34% have written a financial plan, compared to 21% of Gen X (aged 37 to 52) and 18% of boomers (aged 53 to 71). "Millennials will advance in their careers, start families and accumulate wealth – all factors that will lead to even more financial engagement," predicts Kallsen.
For more on shifting values and behaviours associated with wealth and luxury, see Basement Bourgeoisie.