How Much Money Do You Need To Be Happy? $75,000/Year

MoneyTreesIf you live in New York City it’s going to be considerably more than that! From the Los Angeles Times:

Does happiness rise with income? In one of the more scientific attempts to answer that question, researchers from Princeton have put a price on happiness. It’s about $75,000 in income a year.

They found that not having enough money definitely causes emotional pain and unhappiness. But, after reaching an income of about $75,000 per year, money can’t buy happiness. More money can, however, help people view their lives as successful or better.

In the study, researchers tried to evaluate the effect of money in two ways: One was on how people think about their lives and the other was on the feelings they have as they experience life. Responses from more than 450,000 Americans, gathered in 2008 and 2009, were evaluated.

The study found that people’s evaluations of their lives improved steadily with annual income. But the quality of their everyday experiences — their feelings — did not improve above an income of $75,000 a year. As income decreased from $75,000, people reported decreasing happiness and increasing sadness, as well as stress. The study found that being divorced, being sick and other painful experiences have worse effects on a poor person than on a wealthier one.

“More money does not necessarily buy more happiness, but less money is associated with emotional pain,” the authors wrote. “Perhaps $75,000 is a threshold beyond which further increases in income no longer improve individuals’ ability to do what matters most to their emotional well-being, such as spending time with people they like, avoiding pain and disease, and enjoying leisure.”…

[continues in the Los Angeles Times]


Majestic is gadfly emeritus.

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4 Comments on "How Much Money Do You Need To Be Happy? $75,000/Year"

  1. So many articles on the money/happiness relationship. Always drawing the easy equation.

    Is it really ‘happiness’ that people are feeling…or is it contentment and security that come with reduced stress? After a certain point, earning large sums is a stressful undertaking that can diminish happiness just as effectively as grinding poverty. I gave up a corporate gig and higher pay after 6 years because I wanted to never experience another ulcer from being the guy to choose who gets a pink slip. I’m a hell of a lot happier painting houses and having a social life even if I am poorer in terms of cash. I can see where people without a good network of friends and family would be doubly miserable if faced with financial stress…but absence of stress and happiness are still two very different things.

  2. Ironaddict06 | Sep 7, 2010 at 2:59 pm |

    I for one would rather face the problems of life with millions of $ than being poor and facing the same problems.

  3. Gemmarama | Sep 7, 2010 at 6:04 pm |

    i’ve never made more than the equivalent of $25,000 and i can tell you, i’m blissfully happy…

  4. Anonymous | Sep 8, 2010 at 2:40 pm |

    Money may not buy happiness, but it make a nice down payment.

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