http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/...per-rich/8419/Originally Posted by By Graeme Wood
The study is titled “The Joys and Dilemmas of Wealth,” but given that the joys tend to be self-evident, it focuses primarily on the dilemmas. The respondents turn out to be a generally dissatisfied lot, whose money has contributed to deep anxieties involving love, work, and family. Indeed, they are frequently dissatisfied even with their sizable fortunes. Most of them still do not consider themselves financially secure; for that, they say, they would require on average one-quarter more wealth than they currently possess. (Remember: this is a population with assets in the tens of millions of dollars and above.) One respondent, the heir to an enormous fortune, says that what matters most to him is his Christianity, and that his greatest aspiration is “to love the Lord, my family, and my friends.” He also reports that he wouldn’t feel financially secure until he had $1 billion in the bank.In early 2009, roughly 115,000 American households were warming or singeing their toes on fortunes of $25 million or more—a population that had increased more than threefold since 1989, according to the center’s Havens. The broadest distinction among this group is between those who primarily inherited their money and those who primarily earned it. The former are members of what Warren Buffett famously dubbed “the lucky sperm club.” These inheritors sometimes display the stereotypical arrogance of privilege—the fast cars and wanton lifestyles—but the more introspective among them contend with worries that they’ll lack the motivation to accomplish anything in life or to escape the shadows of their parents. This self-doubt is magnified by the knowledge that they’re unlikely to find sympathy from anyone other than their fellow inheritors.
Respondents who earned their wealth worry less about their self-worth. But unlike the inheritors, they have to contend with a major life transition, from the workaday world to a world where work is voluntary.Life is tough when you are rich!As they get older, many children of privilege take either too many risks, because they know the consequences of failure are minimal, or too few, because they feel assured in their financial well-being. Kenny says they, like their parents, can grow bored with one line of work and make consequence-free shifts to other jobs—until finally they reach middle age and discover that they have put together the résumé of a dabbler and haven’t made the impact that they had hoped. “They get to be 50 years old,” says Kenny, “and all of a sudden they say to me, both in their love life and in their work life, ‘I have to stop hitting that reset button.’”