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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

Guests:

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.

More:

  • 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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No campaigners celebrate as results come in at the Scottish independence referendum count at the Royal Highland Centre in Edinburgh,Scotland,Friday, Sept. 19, 2014. Scottish voters have rejected independence and decided that Scotland will remain part of the United Kingdom. The result announced early Friday was the one favored by Britain's political leaders, who had campaigned hard in recent weeks to convince Scottish voters to stay. It dashed many Scots' hopes of breaking free and building their own nation. (AP Photo/David Cheskin)

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