Survey: Only 5% of Florida's wealthy grew up rich

Survey: Only 5% of Florida's wealthy grew up rich

Want a peek at the millionaires who live near us?

Only 5 percent say they grew up well off, according to a new survey of Florida millionaires. Most of those surveyed live in South Florida, Orlando and the St. Petersburg area.

The great majority -- 76 -- grew up in what they called "average" circumstances with two thirds of them saying they got at least some help from their parents,  the latest PNC Wealth Management Survey found.

Just under one out of five had a Horatio Alger experience, growing up poor and having to climb up to prosperity the hard way, the ninth annual survey found.


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Regardless of their backgrounds, three out of four Florida millionaires are family oriented, saying raising successful, hard-working children is their most important goal.

Indeed, the great majority have -- or expect to --help pay for their kids' higher education. Four out of five have helped their kids financially at some point and want to leave some wealth to them -- although 87 percent agree "that each generation should be responsible for creating its own wealth," the survey found.

That common sense approach of expecting kids at some point to fend for themselves is wise, said Steve Pappaterra, senior vice president and managing director of wealth planning for PNC Wealth Management.

"It is human to want your children to have a better life than you have had, but too much financial support might, at some point, have negative longer term consequences," Pappaterra said in a written statement. "It is important to communicate early and often with children and grandchildren about their goals and expectations, both in terms of financial and life achievements. Ultimately, parents want their children to make their own way in life.”

PNC Wealth Management has an office in Palm Beach and is among the nation’s top 10 bank-owned wealth management firms.

dgehrke@tribune.com or Twitter @donnagehrke