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Health is the new wealth: UK’s wealthiest invest in wellbeing over luxury items

By LLM Reporters  |  August 20, 2021
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The UK’s well off are prioritising their health in the wake of the pandemic, as they plan to spend more on wellbeing than luxury items, tech and travel.

Findings from new ultra-premium ‘lifecare’ service, Private Client by Bupa, reveals that health and wellbeing spending amongst HNWIs has increased by 20 per cent over the period. Vitamin therapies, food preparation services and mindfulness retreats now attract the highest expenditures, with HNWIs spending more than £6,000 on each of these every year.

The young and wealthy (high net worth individuals aged 18-35) are particularly committed to good health, two thirds (64%) increasing their spending over the last 12 months.

Preventative health measures have become more of a priority across the board, with 62 per cent of HNWIs reporting that they’re more interested in preventing poor physical health now than they were before the pandemic. 

Vitamin therapies, food preparation services and mindfulness retreats now attract the highest expenditures, with HNWIs spending more than £6,000 on each of these every year

A similar number (67%) are more interested in maintaining their overall wellbeing now, and there’s growing appetite for alternative treatments and therapies too. Nearly two thirds (60%) have become more open to new and emerging treatments, such as cryotherapy, collagen treatments and Chinese medicine.

But time remains an issue for HNWIs: work commitments continue to dominate their time, followed by sleep, time spent on catching up on current affairs, further education and family time.

In fact, just over half (52%) of the cash-rich and time poor now prioritise their overall wellbeing but lack the capacity to do so, with a similar number (64%) claiming they’d benefit from having one-to-one assistance to organise health appointments and treatments.

To meet the shift in priorities of its high net worth customers Bupa Global has created a new proposition, Private Client by Bupa, defining a new luxury lifecare category in the insurance market.

The super rich are investing more in sleep consultants

Sheldon Kenton, managing director for Bupa Global, says: “Private Client by Bupa was created in response to customer demand, when it became apparent that our clientele were seeking holistic wellbeing through a wellness partner when it came to managing their health.”

This shift in attitudes is likely to be seen in future generations, as the affluent cohort extend their preventive health to their children. Nearly a third of HNWIs have invested in private medical insurance (27%), sports hobbies (29%), nutritionists (26%) and sleep consultants (22%).

And holistic wellbeing is a priority too, with 21 per cent investing in mindfulness sessions, life coaching (19%) and CBD treatments (15%).

Private Client by Bupa customers are appointed named lifecare concierge managers to curate a complete service for the mind, body and being, with plans that are designed to be used. It provides them with access to some of the best health professionals and services that meet their health priorities, with a focus on prevention and holistic wellbeing.

26% of HNWIs surveyed have invested in a nutritionist to improve their food choices

After an initial consultation, the lifecare concierge manager handles all aspects of the customer’s health plan, taking time to understand their lifestyle, medical conditions and health preferences. They also help customers book appointments with specialist doctors around the world with minimum forms and no fuss.

The Ultimate Health Plan, which includes the lifecare concierge service and an annual health check from day one, has been designed with doctors and includes a truly private wellness journey: from private GPs for routine care to direct access to private specialists and hospitals without the need for a referral.

Kenton continues: “For 50 years, Bupa Global has specialised in premium healthcare solutions via our range of health plans. As the needs of our clients grow and change, so has our offering. Our newest service, Private Client by Bupa, offers an exceptional range of cover and benefits, designed to meet the specific needs of UNHWIs, as they shift towards prioritising prevention and holistic wellbeing in a post-pandemic world.”

Bupa Global commissioned Censuswide to 252 UK HNWIs with assets / income £1M + between 13 and 21 July 2021.