The Secret for Those Who Retire at 30

By Hal M. Bundrick

NEW YORK ( MainStreet) -- Ah yes, the life of a millionaire. Lazy days at the country club. Perhaps a bit of travel overseas before returning to your posh vacation home and spending hours cruising the lake in your boat. No doubt, you're picturing a frolicking, handsome, white-haired senior couple straight out of a Levitra ad, right? The truth is, the reality of this scenario would better fit a vibrant, young-adult couple in their mid-30s, according to new research from Fidelity.

The study of Gen X/Y millionaires under the age of 48, with an average age of 37, finds they are more optimistic, more likely than their Boomer peers to take an overseas vacation (flying first class) and also have that country club membership, vacation home and boat.

Many of these rich young adults inherited their wealth, but are far from squandering it. Averaging 30 trades per month, they are active investors, personally engaged in further building their wealth. And while more likely to enjoy their wealth, they also tend to be more generous with their time and money than wealthy Boomers.

"Gen X/Y millionaires are taking a dramatically different approach to their wealth than the older generations, signaling a new era of wealthy investors," says Bob Oros, an executive vice president with Fidelity. "These next generation millionaires, who have already surpassed their older counterparts in total assets, are likely to drive significant change among the investors who want to emulate them, the advisors who serve them and the financial services industry that supports them."

Even though the study found that 71% of Gen X/Y millionaires said they feel knowledgeable about investing, a vast majority (92%) work with a financial advisor. And while older millionaires are maintaining consistent investing strategies (43% didn't add any asset classes in the last year), Gen X/Y millionaires are more likely to adjust their portfolios, adding sophisticated investments like foreign currency, international individual securities, venture capital and derivatives.

Most (61%) make their own investment decisions, but look to a financial advisor for a second opinion -- only 6% delegate their decisions entirely.

"Financial advisors should be prepared to deal with Gen X/Y clients who are knowledgeable and who like to be involved in their investments," continued Oros. "These new millionaires are collaborators, looking for a validator to partner with on their investments."

In addition to validation, the study found that Gen X/Y millionaires were relying on financial advisors for longer-term planning and were not as dependent as their older counterparts for investment strategies. While 73% of the Boomers+ group currently receives general investment/portfolio management from their advisors, only 48% of Gen X/Y millionaires do. The Gen X/Y group was more likely to be interested in longer-term services, such as estate planning/gifting, charitable giving and planning and retirement strategies.

And despite the "me" generation stereotype, Gen X/Y millionaires are generous, averaging $54,000 in donations to charity each year -- and are also more likely to volunteer or serve on the board of a charity (82% vs. 49% for Boomers+).

--Written by Hal M. Bundrick for MainStreet

More from Personal Finance

When Is the FAFSA Deadline and What Are the Application Requirements?

When Is the FAFSA Deadline and What Are the Application Requirements?

This Should Be Your Retirement Savings Plan When the Stock Market Crashes

This Should Be Your Retirement Savings Plan When the Stock Market Crashes

Former General Electric CEO Jack Welch Has 4 Tips to Getting a Promotion

Former General Electric CEO Jack Welch Has 4 Tips to Getting a Promotion

What Is Neymar's Net Worth?

What Is Neymar's Net Worth?

How to Make a Fortune Like Microsoft Billionaire Founder Bill Gates

How to Make a Fortune Like Microsoft Billionaire Founder Bill Gates