America's wealthiest don't tell their kids how much they're worth

NYT's Paul Sullivan Maps Out The Difference Between Being Wealthy & Rich

Morgan Stanley Managing Director Glenn Kurlander told theThe Atlantic that once hehad an uber-rich client walk into his office worriedly and say:

"Glenn, my kids have no idea how much I'm worth; I've kept them totally in the dark."

To which Kurlander recalled replying: "You live in a 25,000 square foot house, and your kids have never been on a commercial plane — they're always on your private jet. I think they've figured it out."

For children, money is the mysterious force behind the new soccer ball, birthday bash or theme park trip. It is everywhere — from their clothes, to the new paint on the walls, to the burger they'll have that night.

But kids of affluent parents rarely understand how much exactly they have because most parents prefer not to tell.

17% of high-income parents intend to tell their children about their income by the time they're 18. Another 18% of parents never, ever, plan on showing their kids the balance books.

According to the New York Times, Spectrum Millionaire Corner, a website with users that have at minimum $100,000 a year, conducted a survey asking 1,000 participants if they would disclose their worth to offspring under 18.

The answer was overwhelmingly, "it's none of their business."

Reasons for hiding the family's worth ranged from "they might share with their friends" (9% of respondents) to anxieties about how disclosure could affect their children (13%).

Affluent respondents who did inform their children of their worth wanted their children to learn about savings and budgeting, but mostly in case of emergencies.

"Of course it's part of their business," said Spectrem's Cathy McBreen to the New York Times. "When the parents pass away, the children are going to have to walk into their house and figure it out."

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