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Keeping Up With The Trumps

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Think the wealthy are all smart, friendly, spendthrift, spoiled and privileged? You might be surprised by the real forces behind their success.

Here's secret #10:

"You worry about the Joneses.
I worry about keeping up with the Trumps."



Wealth may go a long way toward creating happiness, but the middle-class rich still can't afford the life of the billionaire next door, the guy who writes charity checks for $100,000 and retreats to his own private island.

"What makes people happy isn't how much they're making," says Glenn Firebaugh, a sociologist at Pennsylvania State University. "It's how much they're making relative to their peers."

Indeed, for all their riches, some 40% of millionaires fear that their standard of living will decline in retirement and that their money will run out before they die, according to Fidelity.

Of course, it may not help if their lifestyle is so lavish that they're barely squeaking by on hundreds of thousands a year.

"You can always be happier with more money," Stevenson says. "There's no satiation point." But that's the trouble with keeping up with the Trumps. "Millionaires are always looking up," Schiff says, "and think it's better up there."

Source: Smart Money

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