While money itself cannot manufacture happiness, contentment or success, it can facilitate a lifestyle that makes satisfaction more likely. "Aside from the intangible emotional and psychological benefits, people view wealth as an enabler — it enables them to have freedom, a happy family life and to pursue social and leisure activities they enjoy," the survey reports.
When asked what their wealth enables them to do, 70 percent of survey respondents report that it permits them financial independence and freedom. Half of respondents say that it allows for a happy family life and 44 percent say that it grants them the ability to travel extensively.
For some, wealth means the ability to be your own boss. That's the case for Tom Aley, an entrepreneur whose affluence allowed him to leave a high-paying job and start his own business. "The whole guiding principle was, I liked to be independent. I could do more things. I didn't have to be beholden to anyone," Aley tells The New York Times.
For others, money means being able to be a force for good. Elizabeth Galbut Perelman chose to use her resources to start a company that invests in women-run businesses. "For me, at an early age, wealth was about being able to create the change you wish to see in the world," the 29-year-old tells the Times.