New confidence: Affluents are thriving — and traveling

Recent good news on the U.S. economy: unemployment is down with 288,000 jobs created in April and consumer confidence generally rising.

The jobs report comes as data discussed at last month’s Luxury Summit reveals that “quality of life” is increasingly important for affluent Americans. This quality of life has only three simple components — and one of them is travel.

The research, released by Time Inc. and YouGov at the summit, says wealthy U.S. consumers are striving for good health, quality time with family and traveling and seeing more of the world. The importance of these factors has grown since 2013, and the goal is to enjoy them without undue burden of stress or complexity.

Those surveyed said they now feel optimistic, positive and fulfilled. While the memory of fear brought on by the recession runs deep, confidence in “me” runs high. Disciplined savings, feelings of resourcefulness and self-reliance have created an attitude of invulnerability to forces beyond their control.

The positive outlook is a result of high-net-worth consumers saving and building up cash. In the survey, wealthy Americans said they were saving 23% of their income. The United States currently accounts for 30% of the world’s wealth and includes more than 13 million millionaires.

The boom in global personal wealth is at an all-time high, up 5% since 2012 and up 68% since 2003. The thriving index that measures whether respondents are happy, successful and optimistic has 65% of U.S. affluents thriving.

At the close of the summit, media group president and author Arianna Huffington echoed this redefinition of success saying that in addition to wealth and power, one must have a third metric — “the good life” or a sense of well-being. Otherwise, success loses its meaning.

So with better employment numbers, signs of affluent growth and new optimism trending, the United States is well poised to take advantage of hospitality.

What do you think? Let’s keep the conversation going.