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Who Wants to be a Millionaire!

Nov 2, 2012, 11:49 a.m.

Sunbelt Millionaires

By 2020, the Deloitte Center study estimates Arizona will be home to 434,000 millionaires—growing at a rate greater than the national average. In another report, by the Spectrem Group, a research and consulting firm catering to the wealth and retirement industry, the average age of U.S. millionaires, currently 63, is expected to escalate as the Baby Boom generation moves into retirement.

While many of Arizona’s new pool of millionaires will be homegrown, there will also be well-off retirees from other states moving their money to the more affordable sunbelt. Love ’em or hate ’em, it appears those in the 99 percent will simply have to get used to having more of the super rich around.

This can prove difficult for the middle class striver trying to keep up with the ever more successful Joneses. Experts say some of the most insufferable millionaires are the ones up in debt to their eyeballs trying to live way beyond their means.

“I think it’s easy to get caught up in unrealistic lifestyle expectations,” says Schaefer. “But you have to ask yourself, where is that coming from? Sometimes if we associate with people who are on a different economic plateau than we are, that can make us feel that we’ve done a bad job with our own lives.”

Schaefer’s advice? Depending on what you think of today’s millionaires, it’ll either sound like sage advice or class warfare.

“Maybe you need to change who your friends are and associate with people of more modest means,” he offers. “You’ll say, ‘You know what? I’ve done OK,’ and stop thinking about what you don’t have and start enjoying what you do.”

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