Balancing the Benefit and the Burden of Wealth

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So much for that old saw that money can’t buy happiness. A new survey of people who have built significant wealth on their own found that money has actually bought them a lot of happiness.

The majority of those surveyed — 300 people with assets of $1 million to $20 million — said they equated wealth first and foremost with peace of mind. Happiness came in second, with more than half of the respondents citing it.

But life with money is not all Champagne and caviar. The respondents said that their wealth made them feel satisfied and grateful, but it also gave them a greater sense of responsibility. Many cherished the way their wealth had allowed them to spend time with their families, but some regretted losing the family time they had sacrificed in the pursuit of financial freedom.

Such inherent tension between freedom and obligation ran, to varying degrees, through all age groups in the survey, which was conducted by CoreData Research in February and March.

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