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Parents of Millionaires: 89% Not Divorced

By Thomas J. Stanley on Mar 10th, 2011 in Current Events

In a recent blog, I stated that “wealth and life expectancy are significantly correlated. Even among millionaires, those with multiple millions tend to live longer than those with just one million.  My surveys and estate data from the IRS consistently show that rich people live longer than those in the general population.”


Then I asked the question, “Why is it that the rich live longer?  Genetics, possibly; that’s not my area of expertise. However, I do know  from my research that most millionaires are physically active, have a wide variety of interests, are part of a loving family and are not overweight, etc.”


Not only are they part of a loving family today, they are four times more likely than not to agree with the following statement:  I was raised in an atmosphere filled with love and harmony.  Also, in my national study of 944 millionaires detailed in Stop Acting Rich, 89% reported that their parents were not divorced or separated during the time they were growing up [defined as younger than 18]. 


The correlates of longevity were also the topic of a  book summary by Laura Landro of The Longevity Project.


Parental divorce during childhood emerged as the single strongest predictor of early death in adulthood.  The grown children of divorced parents died almost five years earlier, on average, than children from intact families.  . . . causes . . . from accidents . . . violence to cancer, heart attack and stroke.  Parental break-ups remain, the authors say, among the most traumatic and harmful events for children.

7 responses to “Parents of Millionaires: 89% Not Divorced”

  1. Heather says:

    The first question that comes to mind is whether or not that 89% of millionaires learned better decision making skills from parents who were wise in deciding who to marry? Such skills would also assist in other areas such as health.

  2. chris allman says:

    the decision to remain married, I believe, is one that most couples have to make at some point of their union. I believe you would be able to find no greater display of the will to succeed than in those couples who go through a storm yet find a way to continue loving each other. Anybody can love in the good times. It takes a strong will and determined heart to love in the bad times.

  3. Dalina says:

    Millionaires live longer because they can afford healthier food. They have less stress because they are not in debt and have a security fund in place. They are most likely not to divorce because it would cost them too much (at least 50% of their wealth).

  4. Phillip Harris says:

    Actually the average “millionaire” does not necessarily eat “healthier” just smarter. less dine outs, fast foods etc. Please read the Milionaire Next Door, and the Mind of a Millionaire for more info.
    They are most likely not divorced because they have strong family values and a drive for success in all areas of life.

  5. Christine Carter says:

    I believe the milionaires have better self control in all areas of life,, from what they eat, where they eat, what they buy to what they read. They make better decisions in most aspects in their life including their marriages.They have a strong belief system that we can all learn from and tend to attract like minded people in their lives

  6. Heather S. says:

    Thank God for the 11%…there is still hope for the rest of us who did not grow up in a perfect family. These obstacles can be overcome, just like everything else…I know lots of people who grew up in nuclear, well adjusted families and are not millionaires…and I know people who are from divorced families that have done well for themselves…very well. I realize that Dr Stanley is looking at averages, not exceptions, but as one of those exceptions, I have to focus on what I do have going for me, and not what is lacking in my background. If anything, I like a challenge…there is no greater story than those who beat the odds.

  7. Jason says:

    In your book “Stop Acting Rich”, you write about how so many people don’t actually acheive wealth because they are so busy trying to imitate the “Glittering” rich. I wonder if maybe that explains the high divorce rate in our county today. Professional athletes and hollywood actors get married and divorced very frequently. Perhaps people, without realizing it are emulating them.

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