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Wealthy Clients Are Pessimistic About Longevity and Healthcare Costs

By Alex Padalka April 20, 2018

Financial advisors may want to talk to their wealthy clients about aligning their life goals better and preparing for older age. Wealthy Americans, compared to their counterparts in the rest of the world, are less optimistic about how long they’ll live, have a harder time unplugging from work and fret more about the cost of healthcare, according to a recent UBS survey of high net worth individuals around the world.

Half of U.S. wealthy investors want to live to 100 — but only 30% believe they will, compared to 53% of investors worldwide who think they can live to 100, according to UBS’s survey of 5,000 investors with at least $1 million in liquid assets around the world.

Meanwhile, 91% of American high net worth investors (and 92% worldwide) believe their wealth will help them live a healthier life, and the wealthiest tend to believe they’ll live the longest, according to the survey. But investors are also willing to part with their wealth for the right cause: U.S. respondents say they’d be willing to give up 27% of their wealth, on average, to get an extra 10 years of healthy living, UBS found. That rises to 35% for investors worldwide, according to the survey. But healthcare cost concerns are far higher for the U.S. wealthy. Sixty-nine percent say it’s their primary financial concern, compared to 52% globally, UBS found.

Most high net worth individuals also link work with health, although that’s less of a correlation for Americans. While 77% of investors worldwide believe working longer is good for their health, only 52% of U.S. investors think so, UBS found. Paradoxically, however, U.S. investors find it harder to unplug: only 39% of them no longer work weekends, compared to 62% globally, according to the survey.