BUSINESS

U.S. Millionaires Feel 'Stuck On A Treadmill,' UBS Study Finds

05/07/2015 12:10 EDT | Updated 05/07/2015 12:59 EDT

It turns out middle class families aren't the only ones feeling financial pressure these days — millionaires are worried they don't have enough money to feel secure.

“Enough is not enough for many millionaires to be fully satisfied, because lifestyle expectations rise along with net worth,” according to a new UBS Investor Watch survey of U.S. millionaires.

The report found that just over half of millionaires said they felt “stuck on a treadmill” they can’t get off without giving up their lifestyles. And more than six-in-10 said one major setback, such as a job loss or market crash, would put a massive dent in their lives.

“Millionaires have worked hard to achieve their success, but few are satisfied or secure enough to stop striving for more,” the report said.

“Many millionaires, particularly those with children at home, feel pressure to keep working hard to improve or just maintain their family’s lifestyle.”

Two-thirds of the millionaires said achieving financial security is the point of working to build wealth, yet only the very wealthy — those with $5 million or more — said they felt they had enough to be secure.

A majority said they felt they earned their wealth, citing “hard work” as the top reason for where they are today and 77 per cent believe they work harder than the average person.

And it appears the American dream of climbing the income ladder is alive and well, based on the survey results. Three-quarters of respondents reported they grew up “middle class” or below, though no definition of the slippery term “middle class” was provided.

About twice as many millionaires consider themselves to be middle class now than those who define themselves as members of the upper class. A strong majority, 65 per cent, said they are “upper middle class.”

Still, millionaires are worried that the American dream of upward mobility is in danger. Three out of four millionaires said they identify more with the so-called 99 per cent than the elite one per cent — even those that are technically part of the upper one per cent of income earners. And 63 per cent said they are concerned about growing income inequality.

UBS surveyed 2,214 Americans with at least $1 million in net worth between March 11 and 19.

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