Wealthy Americans Reset Values: Emphasize Living Within Their Means, Shift in Budgeting

A new survey from PNC aims to show how the wealthy have changed their values because of the recession. According to the survey, of more than 1,000 people with net worths of at least $500,000 in investible assets, 88 percent agreed with the statement that it is “more important than ever to live within my means.” Fully two thirds agreed with the statement that “I’ve developed greater appreciation for the non-material wealth in my life.” Half said that they “feel more centered because the recession has given me opportunity to re-evaluate my priorities.” In other words, the wealthy have been brought down to reality like the rest of the country. They’re humbled, repentent and newly frugal. Or not. The survey also found that only 18% said their salary or compensation had been reduced due to the recession. That’s remarkable in an age of 10% unemployment. Less than a third of those worth $1 million or more said the recession has an effect on their lifestyle. A minority — only 42% — said they have reduced expenditures because “it doesn’t feel right to spend in these economic times.”
By Robert Frank, Jan 11, 2010 WSJ

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