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Rich pay a high price for success

Earning enough money to pay for their beer may be the key motivator for getting most of the IT department out of bed on a Monday morning, but those who are driven by the need to be successful and build a career may be paying a high price, writes Nathalie Towner.

One in three successful professionals in the UK have sacrificed marriage, personal relationships and time with their families in the pursuit of money, according to a report by Lloyds TSB Private Banking.

UK Wealth Watch, a report exploring the attitudes of the wealthy and the general public towards money, reveals that while the rich generally feel happy, successful and content with their wealth, affluence comes at a price. As well as sacrificing personal relationships, 12% say their health has suffered because of work.

Men do not seem to pay as high a price for financial success as women, with only a third of men, compared to nearly half of the women questioned, saying they have sacrificed their leisure pursuits for work.

In comparison, when asked what they would give up for money, 13% of the general public say they would forgo time spent with their family, and 8% are prepared to sacrifice personal relationships and their marriage. Thirty two per cent are willing to give up their leisure pursuits for their career.

That's rich: the UK's wealthiest 5% say money buys happiness
  • 74% of the UK's wealthiest people became rich through their career, job or business success and 28% through savings and investments. Inheritance remains an important source of wealth, but of those interviewed, only 24% have become wealthy through family money being passed down

  • 43% of the richest 5% of the population do not consider themselves to be wealthy

  • Wealthy people in the UK are inclined to conceal their wealth. Even though 70% say they are comfortable with people knowing they are rich, 62% deliberately play down their wealth. Men, in particular, are keen to avoid any outward manifestation of their money

  • Only 43% of the general public believe money brings happiness, but 66% of the rich take this view

  • 79% of the wealthy feel they have reached their "definition of success", compared to only 55% of the general public. The majority, regardless of their wealth, think that to be happy is to be successful

  • 75% of wealthy people say their social circle includes poorer folk as well as affluent people.


UK Wealth Watch, Lloyds TSB Private Banking

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