New Study: Americans Say Road to Success Now Paved More with Fulfillment Than Wealth

  New Study: Americans Say Road to Success Now Paved More with Fulfillment
  Than Wealth

      New Advertising Expresses the Value of American Express Membership

Business Wire

NEW YORK -- May 15, 2013

Today, American Express released a new study on American views towards
success: The American Express LifeTwist study. The study, conducted by the
Futures Company, confirmed that most Americans believe success is no longer
rooted in a sense of “arrival,” but defined primarily by the experiences they
accumulate, detours they embrace and passions they pursue throughout their
lifetime. The study dubbed the 52% of American consumers who most exemplify
this new sentiment “LifeTwisters.”

View and Download: The LifeTwist Study

Supporting this change in sentiment, American Express launched today TV and
online advertising to appeal to range of customers by showcasing the value
that membership offers through a variety of products and services.

A Redefined Relationship Between Success and Wealth

Today, Americans say they define success by what they do more than by what
they have. Dozens of the study’s findings reflect this notion of success, but
perhaps none more starkly than the sentiment that Americans ranked “having a
lot of money” 20^th on the list of 22 contributors to having a successful
life. Further, the rankings showed that the vast majority of Americans (81%)
believe that knowing how to spend your money well is a far greater indicator
of leading a successful life, than simply having money in the first place. In
addition, the vast majority of Americans (72%) say they’d rather spend money
on experiences than material things.

“American Express has been synonymous with success for much of our 163-year
history,” said Josh Silverman, President Consumer Services, American Express.
“Today, Americans say that feeling successfulis driven less by the amount of
money they earn, and more by having a job they love, rewarding relationships
and contributing to their communities. Our products have changed over time to
reflect these views, while continuing to stand for trust, security and service
– which never goes out of style.”

Americans ranked their top contributors to leading a successful life:

1.Being in good health (85%)
2.Finding time for the important things in life (83%)
3.Having a good marriage/relationship (81%)
4.Knowing how to spend money well (81%)
5.Having a good work/personal life balance (79%)
6.Having a job you love (75%)
7.Making time to pursue passions and interest (69%)
8.Being physically fit (66%)
9.Always trying to learn and do new things (65%)
10.Embracing new experiences/changes (65%)


America is a country where people disagree on everything from pizza toppings
to the designated hitter rule. Yet in one of the survey’s most telling
findings, 95% of respondents – from all income levels, genders and age ranges
– agree that the road to success is likely to involve detours and unexpected
changes. In fact, an overwhelming 83% of Americans, including 79% of Boomers,
still consider themselves to be “a work in progress.”

Today’s digital world has accelerated the rate of change, making it a more
frequent and expected occurrence for a greater number of people. As a result,
a majority of Americans say they are willing to take any number of roads less
traveled to achieve their goals. When consumers were asked about their life
paths, the most heavily populated group (52%) was composed of “LifeTwisters” –
those who have a distinct life path in mind but are open to occasionally
veering off that path to embrace the changes life throws their way.

Closely related to LifeTwisters, “Reinventionists” made up an additional 11%
of Americans. This group is much more proactive than LifeTwisters in
precipitating change -- with the specific goal of reinventing themselves again
and again.


Today, 58% of Americans say they’re more willing to try new things now than
they were five years ago. When asked why, 55% said they have a better
understanding today of what makes them feel fulfilled, while 43% said they
desired more variety in their lives.

In pursuit of novelty and trying new things, many Americans have a ‘Bucket
List’ of accomplishments they would like to achieve. The top five “Bucket
List” items include:

1.Traveling to new places (88%)
2.Having children (76%)
3.Pursuing passions as a hobby or career (75%)
4.Volunteering time for a cause you believe in (70%)
5.Doing something with your hands (60%)

A majority of Americans (57%) still have aspirations to become rich, but when
prioritized among items like the opportunity to travel and having a rewarding
family life, it ranked #8 on America’s bucket list – right below learning how
to be a better cook.

The American Express LifeTwist Study Methodology research was completed online
among a random sample of 2,184 U.S. adults 18+. Interviewing was conducted by
Research Now between April 3 and April 12, 2013. Data analysis was conducted
by the Futures Company.

About American Express

American Express is a global services company, providing customers with access
to products, insights and experiences that enrich lives and build business
success.Learn more at and connect with us on,,,, and

Key links to products and services: charge and credit cards, business credit
cards, travel services, gift cards

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American Express
Melanie Backs, 212-640-2164
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