Would you rather be happy or rich? Most people in the region would be happy, according to a recent study.
However ‘millions are in danger of not achieving their life goals and being unhappy’.
Almost seven out of ten people in the South East think being happy is the real benchmark of success, according to research by accounting firm Mazars which looked at what people consider success to be.
Of those polled across the South East, about one in six said being a millionaire defines you as ‘successful’, compared to the one in four who said being charitable is an indicator you are doing well in life.
Whilst more than half of those surveyed said that both being debt free and financially secure were among the top indicators of success, these ranked below the most common indicators: being happy and being healthy.
Also in the top indicators was achieving career aspirations, and more than three out of ten cited a happy marriage as a true sign of success.
Being a millionaire was much lower on the list for those in the region, ranking at 18.
Yet just three in ten adults in the South East have a plan in place to achieve their aspirations and goals.
Ian Pickford, partner in Mazars’ private client team, said: “Our research shows that people define success in lots of different ways.
“Having enough money is important but it’s really interesting to see ‘being a millionaire’ and other materialistic definitions of success are way down the list.”
Treating people fairly, acting ethically and feeling fulfilled in life also featured in the top fifteen indicators of success, while having a personalised number plate, a gym instructor and eating in top restaurants, appeared much further down the list of things people consider to be a sign of success.
“The results suggest people have a good idea of what they consider success to be, or not be, but most of us have little or no idea how we will get what we really want out of life,” Mr Pickford added.
“With only three in ten people in the South East having a plan in place to achieve their aims, millions are in danger of not achieving their life goals and being unhappy or unfulfilled because of their failure to plan.
“Research shows the simple act of formulating a life or financial plan and writing it down makes it much more likely to happen.”
South East’s top fifteen signs of success according
1) Being happy
2) Being healthy
3) Being financially secure
4) Being debt free
5) Feeling fulfilled in life
6) Achieving your career aspirations
7) Being able to retire early
8) Having a happy marriage
9) Having a balanced work/family life
10) Treating people fairly and with respect
11) Being charitable
12) Owning your own home outright
13) Acting ethically in your day to day life
14) Having polite, well-behaved children you are proud of
15) Having interests outside of work
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