We’ve all heard the old saying money doesn’t buy happiness, but the truth is we all know that a certain amount of income and wealth does make life easier. So that leaves many financial experts asking the question, “How much wealth or income brings the optimal level of happiness?”
Happiness how much income is enough?
In a recent study last year the amount was determined to be around $75,000. According to the study, more money did produce greater happiness until you reached a certain point- approximately $75,000- then income after that had diminishing returns with “more income leading to little or no gain in real happiness.”
This seems to make sense. If you have an income of $75,000 in America you could meet the basic needs of food, clothing and shelter with little struggle. But researchers now argue that happiness and contentment may also vary by peer group, geography and other external factors. For instance, when I was a teenager living in middle class suburbia it didn’t seem to matter that I was driving a Ford Fairmont without air conditioning or F.M. radio. I was just glad to have a car and so was everyone else in my peer group. But would I have been as content if all my peers had sports cars?
Different countries…Different Incomes
More studies have been done in other countries and it seems maybe geography does play a role in the amount of income citizens believe they need to be happy. For instance, Skandia International’s Wealth Sentiment Monitor recently did a survey and expanded their research globally. According to their research, the happiness income needed globally was closer to $161,000 for 13 countries surveyed.
What country needed the most money to feel happy? Dubai residents with an estimated income of $276,150. Singapore came in second place, with $227,553, followed by Hong Kong, with $197,702. The Germans seemed to be the most content with the least, claiming they could be happy on $85,781.
The survey also differentiated between wealth and income. Although income needed to feel happy in most countries was generally around $100,000 per year, the average individual admitted that they would not feel wealthy with less than one million dollars.
Why would Dubai residents need so much income to feel happy?
As mentioned before, Dubai is wealthy and there are many oligarchs and oil barons driving luxurious cars and living in nice houses. People naturally want what they don’t have or what they see others getting; maybe the amount of money people think they need to be happy isn’t an absolute number, but is relative to their peers and surroundings
We’ve also all heard the story about Powerball jackpot winners who win millions of dollars only to either lose it or lose all their friends. Many past winners will tell you winning the money was the worst thing that ever happened to them; it didn’t make things better, it made them worse.
Although there is nothing wrong with having money, the LOVE of money is said to be the root of all evil. So if you have your basic necessities met, how much more money do you need to be happy? My guess is if it’s too much then you won’t be happy no matter how much you have.
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