Time is a similar lament for Ms. Galbut Perelman. “You’re sacrificing time with your friends, time with your loved ones, time with your own health,” she said. “If I’m working at my business 16 hours a day, how do I have a sense of wellness and also take care of my employees? Business owners aren’t getting that support in their community.”
For Mr. Aley, though, having more freedom now, at age 52, is worth any sacrifices he made earlier in his career. He now has better control of his time and how he spends it.
“Sometimes, it doesn’t always work out, but for me, but it’s invaluable,” he said. “It also means I can go to lunch with my wife and it doesn’t have to be confined to a Saturday, and I can see my kids’ games.”
The Boston Private survey found that business owners in particular felt the burdens of wealth more intensely than people who grew wealthy working at companies. These entrepreneurs said they felt pressure from other people’s expectations as well as judgments about their wealth.
But some people I talked to also mentioned the gratification they felt, even if it was tinged with regret.
Ms. Daly said she was pleased with how her wealth had allowed her to give back to a group of children in Puerto Rico, where her company managed a rail system. But how she thought about wealth and financial independence earlier in her career left her with one regret: She had neglected her personal life.
“I turned down a couple of proposals,” she said. “I didn’t have a family.”
Still, she remains fulfilled by nonprofit work with children that would not be possible without the money she made in business.
“I have more children than anyone I know,” she said. “There is so much joy in what I’m doing now.”