Millionaires Differ Generationally More than by Gender

There are approximately 20 million millionaires, split nearly in half between males and females.  New research from the Shullman Research Center indicates how millionaire Millennials differ from Gen Xers and Boomers, as well as if these three generations plan to buy the same products and services in the near future. Affluent

The millionaire differences by generation are in most respects much greater than the differences by gender.  First, there are about the same number of millionaire men and women — about 10 million of each — but the number of millionaires by generation differs substantially. The largest segment is the Boomers, of whom there are about 10 million, while there are almost 5 million Millennial millionaires and about 4 million GenX’er millionaires. The Silent Generation (the 65-​plus age generation), who make up the remainder and who are not profiled in this column, number about one million.

The three generations that are detailed have very different viewpoints regarding the economy, with 77% of Millennials being optimistic looking forward, compared with 58% of Gen Xers and only 32% of Boomers. And their top financial goals again vary dramatically by generation. Notably, the Millennials are concerned about becoming financially independent (27% of the Millennials cite this as their key goal) while Gen Xers are heavily focused on three issues: having enough income for retirement (18%), having enough money for daily living expenses (16%), and having control over their assets (14%). The Boomers, as might be expected, are primarily focused on having enough income for retirement (33% cited this as their #1 goal out of 21 potential goals).

When the millionaire generations were asked what they are planning to buy in the near future, the vast majority of Millennials (82%) stated they are planning to buy one or more luxuries during the next 12 months, compared with about half of the Gen Xers and Boomers (47% and 49% respectively). A deeper look into millionaire buying plans by generation reveals that the #1 luxury buying plan is to take a vacation: 44% of Millennials are planning to spend on luxury vacations compared with 27% of Gen Xers and 29% of Boomers.

Another significant aspect that differentiates the millionaire generations is their attitudes toward their lives. The Boomers focus on their families (95% state that their families are a top priority) while the Gen Xers focus on being happy individuals (95% state they are happy) while the Millennials focus on buying quality, as they are in their acquisition phase of their lives (84% are more interested in quality than in price).

It’s evident that all wealthy people are not alike, and that generational issues play a key role in understanding how to market to them. The marketers who truly understand these generational differences are more likely to succeed.

To learn more about ultra affluent consumers, check out the AudienceSCAN report available on the Research Store at ad​-ology​.com.

[Source:  "Millionaires Have Their Own Generation Gap."  Shullman Research Group.  5 Mar. 2014.  Web.  7 Mar. 2014.]