There is something you should know about the rich: They are very much like the rest of us. They worry. They worry about health and making ends meet and inflation and having funds for retirement.
You might have thought this wasn't so, but the rich themselves say it is so, and they must know. They are worried that inflation will rob them during their retirement years. Sixty-five percent of them worry about that.And they should. Do you realize how difficult it is to be a real millionaire these days - that it takes $5 million today to have the purchasing power of only $1 million in 1965? Isn't that something to worry about?.
Inflation is right at the top the things the rich worry about, as you would expect, but they worry about lots more, just as you do, and a survey confirms it. So much for the notion that wealth is an antidote to worry.
At least half worry that in their retirement years taxes will rise steeply, and nearly as many worry that Social Security will run out of money before they collect everything due to them. Just like other people.
The rich might not easily talk about such fears, of course, since being rich imposes a certain decorum, but under the protection of anonymity they spilled it all out to a research firm working for U.S. Trust Co.
U.S. Trust is an investment management company, and it is very much interested in the rich since, for example, provides fiduciary and private banking services for which it receives fees. It manages $49 billion.
Though it's been plying its trade since 1853 - right at the beginning of America's industrial revolution, when great fortunes were being amassed - it believes, as most people do, that there's still much to learn about the rich.
And so, for the past 10 years it has sponsored surveys of the top 1 percent of the wealthiest Americans, based on adjusted gross income of more than $200,000 a year or net worth greater than $3 million.
The latest survey concerned itself with how the affluent are planning for their retirement, and the finding is that many of them aren't putting enough aside for the lifestyle to which they aspire. Like you, perhaps?
Like the ordinary millions, the rich are worried sick about the cost of things, and well they should. Jeffrey Maurer, U.S. Trust president, figures they have to plan on future inflation of 4 percent to 5 percent a year.
Over the past 30 years the average has been 5 percent, so figure on it for the future.
This creates a problem for the rich, who hold a third of retirement funds in domestic stocks, a quarter in domestic bonds, and 18 percent in cash equivalents - all terribly vulnerable to inflation. Talk about insecurity!