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Wealthiest Arizonans to boost donations, increase spending during holiday season

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz — A survey released by BMO Private Bank shows Arizona’s wealthiest individuals plan to boost their charitable giving during the holiday season while spending over $4,000 on themselves and their families.

According to the study, Arizonans with investible assets of $1 million or more plan to donate an average of $6,259 to charitable causes this year, 28 percent of which will occur near the holiday season.

Most affluent Arizonans are planning to donate about the same amount to charity as they did in 2013. For those giving during the holiday season, 73 percent will give clothing, 66 percent will give cash, 61 percent will provide food and 44 percent will provide household goods.

In addition, 32 percent of affluent Arizonans plan to volunteer with a charitable organization, and another 22 percent plan to attend an event where proceeds are donated to a charitable cause.

Nationally, high-net-worth Americans will donate an average of $12,394 this year, with 29 percent coming during the holidays.

Wealthy Arizonans are planning to spend an average of $4,254 on themselves and their families during the holiday season, including $2,599 for trips and travel, $1,196 on gifts and $329 on entertainment.

Twenty-two percent of high-net-worth Arizonans plan to spend more during the holidays than they did prior to the 2008 recession, while 68 percent plan to spend the same. More than half (56 percent) are expecting to buy gifts for five or more people, with an average of $233 spent on each gift.

“It’s encouraging to see Arizonans spending more during the holiday season,” said Ashely Ober, managing director for BMO Private Bank, Western U.S. “It’s yet another sign that the economy is improving and consumers are funneling more money into key industries such as retail, hospitality and tourism.”

The survey, which was conducted from Oct. 15-28, included 493 Americans aged 18 or older who have at least $1 million in investible assets.