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Dr. Helen

A new study shows that penta-millionaires are happier than the merely rich:

The study found that 53 percent of those worth $5 million or more were “very satisfied” with their job or previous job. That compares with only 21 percent for those worth $100,000 or less.

The multi-millionaires are also twice as satisfied with their social life, presumably since the wealthy have no shortage of friends and invitations.

Nearly three quarters of the penta-millionaires are very satisfied with their marriage or “committed relationship” – far more than the 45 percent reported for the merely affluent. Millionaires are also significantly more likely to report higher levels of satisfaction regarding their relationships with their children (59 percent vs. 52 percent).

The findings on relationships and kids are perhaps the most surprising, since we tend to think of large wealth leaving behind a trail of broken marriages, alienated offspring and artificial friendships. The survey shows that, in fact, solid family relationships may not only accompany large wealth – they may in fact be one of the causes.

This news is not surprising. Thomas Stanley’s book, The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America’s Wealthy, first written years ago, points out this “surprising” finding. Those who amass millions usually do so over time methodically, and steadily. The traits needed to save this way are often the same traits of reliability and loyalty one has to family and friends. Our culture wants to demonize all people with money as unhappy, greedy  types who prey on others, but it’s generally the people who envy them who have more of these traits.

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