Defining the Good Life

Physician's Money Digest, April15 2004, Volume 11, Issue 7

Despite a roller coaster economy and the constantthreat of terrorism, 71% of Americans stillfeel optimistic about being able to live the good life,according to a survey by the market research firmRoperASW. That number is surprising, consideringthat 72% of Americans felt the same way back in1999, long before the stock market bust and theSept. 11 attacks.

However, the way we define the "good life" isever changing. According to RoperASW, 89% ofAmericans believe that the good life means owningyour own home. Other findings from the surveyinclude the following:

  • A healthy 87% of Americans believe that maintaininggood health equals a good life.
  • According to 57%, providing a college educationfor your children is a top priority for the good life.
  • For 48%, owning a vacation home is a goodlife staple, up from 35% in 1999.
  • More than half of those surveyed think that asecond car is key, up from 43% in 1999.
  • Around 81% say a happy marriage is a suresign of the good life.

Despite most respondents claiming that they possessedthe keys to their idea of the good life—a house,good health, a car, and children—only 9% said theyhad achieved good life status.