What price happiness? Apparently it’s $75,000

Cash RulesJust the other day, via LinkedIn, I happened upon another one of those studies. You know, the ones that correlate income and happiness.

And just like most others, this analysis once again reinforced that the relationship between money and happiness is very reminiscent of that movie with Meryl Streep and Alec Baldwin,

It’s complicated.

Before getting to the refreshing–and perhaps just a little bit complex–twist that resulted from this particular research, let’s revisit a position that all these surveys arrive at. And that position is this: while more money might make you more happy, it only does so up to a certain limit.

And that limit is, apparently, $75,000. According to the folks who did the research, earning more than $75-large might make you wealthier, but it won’t make you any happier. Hard to believe, perhaps, but consistent, nonetheless, with every other study that I’ve read.

So why bother? Why bother earning more than $75K? Well, it appears that earnings above that bracket might bring you something else. Something I found intriguing, not to mention something that’s a little more nuanced, a little more complex.

It appears that while you won’t be any happier from a salary above $75,000, you might, however, from an intellectual perspective, feel better about your life.
And the study calls that intellectual assessment “life evaluation.”
Which is not to be confused with happiness or, as the authors call it, “emotional well-being.”

And so, the choice is yours.
Do you want an intellectual evaluation of your life? (Hey I’ve done well. I’ve got status, I’ve got net worth, I’ve got stuff).
Or do you prefer an emotional assessment? (I feel happy. I feel fulfilled.)

If it’s the former, then run your income up as hight as you can.
If it’s the latter, well, put the brakes on once you reach $75.000. Cause going above that won’t leave you more fulfilled.

If you’d like to learn more, here’s a link to the full research paper



Leave a comment