TNS Finance ‘Getting Rich’ Survey shows happiness more important than wealth for many
London, UK. 1 August 2007 – The desire to get rich – symbolised by the 80s yuppies of the Thatcher era – seems to have gone, according to the online TNS Finance ‘Getting Rich’ study. Just 13 per cent of people think that getting rich is ‘very important’, with 40 per cent saying being rich is ‘not at all important’ or ‘not really important’ to them.
The findings come despite rising costs of living and the apparently ever-increasing appeal of ‘celebrity lifestyle’ in our modern society. Over a quarter (27 per cent) of people claim that they are happy as they are and wouldn’t make any dramatic changes to their lifestyles, even if they came into lots of money.
Quality of life appears to be a more important driver than wealth. When asked what they would do if they became rich, 45 per cent would quit their job, retire or go travelling. Just 21 per cent would put their money to good use in their career – setting up their own business or moving to their ‘dream’ job.
The study also explored whether we are risk-takers or risk-averse. Just a small minority of Brits are prepared to dabble in stocks and shares to make money, with only 14 percent of people thinking that investing in the stock market will make them rich – a far cry from the share-owning democracy Margaret Thatcher pledged to introduce. And although the number of millionaires and million-pound houses continues to rise throughout Great Britain, the majority of people (57 per cent) would define ‘financially rich’ at the surprisingly low level of just £1million or less. Meanwhile, expectations of future wealth are low, with 80% believing their eventual net worth at the end of their life will not exceed the £1million level.
As with so much in society, there is a gender divide. Men remain more aspirational, with five per cent of men expecting to be worth more than £5million at the end of their life compared with just 1 per cent of women – perhaps a reflection of the continuing pay gap between the sexes which shows men paid an average 12.6 per cent more than women*.
A mere 9 per cent of women think it ‘very important’ that they get rich, a figure which rises to 16 per cent for men. And in an age where the term ‘WAG’ has entered into the English Dictionary, marrying for money hasn’t caught on. Only 1 in 25 women – 4 per cent – hope to get rich quick by marrying into wealth.
Sharon Rees, UK Head of TNS Finance, says: “Our country has continued to get richer in the past 20 years, but people don’t see becoming rich as a priority for themselves as individuals. For many, money doesn’t make the world go around – a rewarding, satisfying life is more important. The attitudes of Brown’s Bairns seem strikingly different to those of the stereotypical Thatcher’s Children.”
Other highlights from the TNS Finance ‘Getting Rich’ study are:
- The number of men expecting to be worth £1 million or more (13 per cent) is higher
than the number of women (6 per cent).
- Men are more willing to take risks on the stock market than women, with 21 per cent
of men expecting to get rich by investing in the stock market compared to just 7 per
cent of women.