The Lives Of The Super Wealthy

The secret fears of the super rich, on money, anxiety, and isolation.

With 11,500 horsepower and a top speed of 73 mph, Gentry Eagle is one of the world's fastest, most luxurious mega yachts. (AP)

With 11,500 horsepower and a top speed of 73 mph, Gentry Eagle is one of the world's fastest, most luxurious mega yachts. (AP)

It’s the new Gilded Age in America — we all know it.

A hundred-thousand-plus households with fortunes of $25 million or more. Often much, much more, into billions. What’s it like to live with all that dough?

A big new survey gives some surprising answers. Yes, the rich and super-rich have sweet freedom from crushing concerns about jobs and making ends meet. But many still worry – obsess – about money. And about alienation, isolation, purpose in life… when they don’t have to do anything.

This hour On Point: the real lives and fears of the rich and super-rich in America.

- Tom Ashbrook


Paul Schervish, professor of sociology and director of the Center on Wealth and Philanthropy at Boston College. For four years he has been working on a study on the meaning of money in the lives of the super-rich. The research was supported by The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, The John Templeton Foundation and Wells Fargo.

Robert Kenny, partner, North Bridge Advisory Group, which provides psychological counseling to wealthy clients working through money-related issues. He is associate director and visiting scholar at Boston College’s Center on Wealth and Philanthropy.


  • Graeme Wood highlighted Paul Schervish and Robert Kenny’s work in an April article in “The Atlantic” titled “Secret Fears of the Super-Rich.”
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