The idea of living a century was once confined to science fiction. But no longer. For Italy’s wealthy, living a 100-year life is not an outcome they consider a mere possibility. It’s one they expect.
In this first global issue of UBS Investor Watch—and the largest survey of wealthy investors in the world—we explore the interplay among wealth, health and longevity. Nearly 5,000 investors in Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Mexico, Singapore, Switzerland, Taiwan, the U.S., U.K. and UAE shared their views with us. This included over 400 in Italy.
We found that two thirds of Italian investors expect to live 100 years. Regardless of how long they expect to live though, health is of paramount importance to nearly everyone. In fact, most Italian investors consider their health to be more important than their wealth.
Given this importance, it should be no surprise that they are willing to invest significant sums to maintain their health.
While confidence is high about living long lives, many investors are anxious about the financial implications of this. Healthcare costs are the top concern. They also worry about having to work longer to maintain their lifestyle or changing their spending habits to preserve wealth.
In the face of these concerns, many have already started to adjust their financial holdings. Many of Italy’s wealthy are choosing more long-term investments. Equities remain a powerful place to invest long-term, but confidence is not as high as elsewhere in Europe on this asset class.
A more conservative approach is also evident as faith in bonds is higher than elsewhere, while a surprisingly high proportion see value long-term in cash.
Inheritance planning is changing too. The majority of Italy's wealthy plan to give more of their assets away while they are still alive.