A: Power Elite

The wealthiest households in the US, living in the most exclusive neighborhoods, and enjoying all that life has to offer

6.63% of households and 9.05% of population

Who We Are

  • Aged 51-65
  • Household income $250,000+
  • 2 person household
  • Homeowner
  • High level of technology adoption

Key Features

  • Wealthy
  • Highly educated
  • Politically conservative
  • Well-invested
  • Charitable giving
  • Active and fit

Types

Description

America’s wealthiest households belong to Power Elite, a group of six types living in the nation’s most prestigious areas. Many of the Power Elite have risen to the top thanks to advanced educations and lucrative careers as lawyers, doctors and corporate leaders. Today, these middle-aged and older executives (about half are empty-nesting couples) enjoy lives of luxury in the nation’s most fashionable and exclusive ZIP codes.

With their deep pockets, they own property in some of America’s most sought-after addresses—from the contemporary mansions of Beverly Hills, Calif. to the sprawling waterfront estates of Old Greenwich, Conn. Many paid more than a million dollars for their dream-homes. While many have settled in the greener-belt suburbs of big cities, significant numbers also enjoy private in-town residences, with their homes protected by iron gates and well-tended shrubbery, the backyards dominated by swimming pools.

With over half the adults holding college degrees, Power Elite reflect a society of white-collar and entrepreneurial types as well as dual-earners who have worked their way to the top. They’re over twice as likely as average Americans to have jobs in business, law, science and technology. Over a third of this group’s households earn more than $250,000 annually and they have the highest annual discretionary spends of all US consumers; over $32,000.

As consumers, the Power Elite have regal tastes. They’re philanthropic supporters of the arts who go to plays, live theatre performances, music concerts, and museums. With many of their kids grown up, they’re free to go out to dinner, watch a movie or take in another evening event. Weekends are reserved for trying to catch up with life, with such activities as cooking for fun, church events, reading books, or heading to the beach or lake. These are also health-conscious households who set aside regular time to exercise at a health club or with a private trainer. And they have more golf, swimming and tennis enthusiasts than almost every other group.

Power Elite have the highest level of investments (stocks, bonds and mutual funds), buying real estate and carrying credit cards—typically of the gold and platinum varieties. As the nation’s strongest market for luxury goods, many drive luxury imports. They stay current with the latest fashion, buying designer labels at high-end retailers and boutiques, and they are adopters of the latest and greatest in technology. They purchase products in every channel—in the store, online retailers and e-tailers, online bid sites like eBay and even online discount sites.

To satisfy their curiosity about the world, they travel widely in the US and abroad, visiting virtually every country that can be reached by plane, train or cruise ship. They travel in style whether it involves hitting ski slopes, wandering island beaches or teeing-off at exclusive golf courses. These Americans can afford to sport the envied glow of a natural winter tan. All this discretionary spend does not only go toward indulging themselves, however. The Power Elite also give away a lot of money to charitable causes. They support education, the arts, health and religious charities to name a few. For many, their engagement calendars are studded with philanthropic dinners, fundraisers and charity balls.

Power Elite make a strong media audience. They have above-average interest in learning about brands through streaming TV, and reading magazines, especially business, travel and news titles. They are not particularly receptive to radio and traditional newspapers but everything else is fair game.

As for their political leanings, these active voters are mostly right-of-center. 45 percent consider themselves “Mild Republicans” and only about 15 percent are the far-right-leaning “Ultra Conservatives”.