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Peace of Mind and Happiness Trump Your Clients' Material Wealth Goals

By Alex Padalka June 13, 2018

People strive to achieve affluence for various reasons but chief among them are happiness and peace of mind, according to a recent report from wealth management firm Boston Private. Nonetheless, this pursuit also often comes with a high emotional cost in the form of regret about not spending that time with family, the company found.

Sixty-five percent of Americans ranked peace of mind and 54% ranked happiness as the top two measures of wealth, according to Boston Private’s survey of 300 respondents over the age of 25 with $1 million to $20 million in investable assets, conducted during February and March. Members of Generation X and baby boomers are more prone to associate affluence with peace of mind, while millennials and business owners look to wealth as a way to happiness, Boston Private found.

But there are other motivating factors to pursue wealth too, which vary demographically. Forty-four percent of men, for example, value success in life in their definition of wealth, compared to 34% of women, according to the survey.

Meanwhile, 28% of men value the power and influence that wealth brings, while 26% value affluence, compared to 20% and 15% for women, respectively, Boston Private found. And 49% of people who own businesses are attracted to the idea of success in life that wealth brings, compared to 33% of non-business owners, according to the survey. Likewise, 40% attach importance to wealth’s ability to bring them power and influence, compared to just 14% of non-business owners, Boston Private found.

But while 59% of respondents say wealth gives them a feeling of satisfaction and 54% say it causes them to feel gratitude, wealth comes at a cost, according to the survey.

Forty-two percent of those surveyed say the top thing they would have done differently is spend more time with family, Boston Private found. These regrets are even higher among business owners, 55% of whom say that lost family time is their top regret, according to the survey.