Determining the cost of a particular lifestyle is straightforward, but figuring out what will make individuals happy is, of course, more complex. Robert Kenny, co-founder of the consulting company North Bridge Advisory Group and former associate director of the Boston College Center on Wealth and Philanthropy, has studied the habits of the ultra-rich for more than three decades. Along the way he has become an expert in things that make his clients unhappy.
He divides his subjects into three types: “Those who are still in the hunt and focusing on making more money; the post–liquidity event crowd who have sold a business and are adjusting to a new life; and those who have inherited from their parents or grandparents or great-grandparents.” For the first group, happiness, for better or worse, is often tied to the act of making money. For the latter two, achieving a sense of well-being can be more complicated.
Purpose: At a certain level of wealth, common themes crop up, Kenny says. “Whether they have $25 million or $200 million,