3 Ways Millionaires View Money Differently Than the Rest of Us

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Millionaires are not like everyone else. For starters, they are richer than the vast majority of Americans.

But a recent survey also finds that their financial priorities differ from those of their less well-heeled fellow citizens.

Ameriprise surveyed 580 Americans ages 27 to 77 who have at least $1 million in investable assets and asked them to describe their financial priorities.

Ameriprise then compared these priorities with those of nearly 3,000 other survey respondents who do not have $1 million.

Here are the differences in priorities that Ameriprise uncovered.

Priority No. 1: Protecting wealth vs. building it

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Following is the most commonly cited top financial priority in each group of survey participants:

  • Millionaires: “Protecting accumulated wealth” (cited by 62% of these participants)
  • Non-millionaires: “Saving for retirement” (cited by 49% of these participants)

Getting rich is usually a long-haul process of gradually building wealth year by year. Non-millionaires are still in the middle of that process.

However, once you have achieved the goal, it’s time to protect all that you have accumulated. If you have a stash of cash and want to keep it safe, check out “4 Tips to Protect Your Money in Uncertain Times.”

Priority No. 2: Saving vs. managing expenses

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Following is the second-most commonly cited financial priority in each group of survey participants:

  • Millionaires: “Saving for retirement” (cited by 43% of these participants)
  • Non-millionaires: “Managing day-to-day living expenses” (cited by 42% of these participants)

Even after accumulating $1 million, wealthy folks are unlikely to kick back and relax. That’s not how they got rich in the first place. For that reason, many continue to save and build an even bigger nest egg.

Meanwhile, the rest of us continue to try to simply keep pace with rising expenses. You can boost your odds of staying out of debt by using a budgeting tool such as YNAB (You Need A Budget).

Priority No. 3: Managing volatility vs. paying down debt

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Following is the third-most commonly cited financial priority in each group of survey participants:

  • Millionaires: “Managing market volatility” (cited by 32% of these participants)
  • Non-millionaires: “Increasing income” and “paying down debt” (tied; each cited by 35% of these participants)

For millionaires, watching the gyrations of the stock market can trigger a lot of angst.

The rest of us are more likely to focus on the fear of sliding deeper into debt. If you are in this latter category, learn more about the “12 Ways to Get Out of Debt.”

What are your financial priorities?

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Whether you are a millionaire or not, your financial priorities are likely unique. We all have different life circumstances, goals and dreams.

So, what are your financial priorities? If you haven’t entertained the question before, now is the time to do so. A great place to kickstart the thought process is by reading Money Talks News founder Stacy Johnson’s take on “The 10 Commandments of Wealth and Happiness.”

If you would like even more help in getting your financial priorities in order, stop by our Solutions Center and find a great financial adviser.

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