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(Lifehacker)   Emotional well-being also rises with income, but there is no further progress beyond an annual income of $75,000   (lifehacker.com) divider line 241
    More: Unlikely, emotional well-being, Gallup Organization, Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, incomes  
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6932 clicks; posted to Main » on 18 Jun 2012 at 5:48 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-06-18 06:35:50 PM

ladyfortuna: Salmon: That's the wage of a Tim Horton's clerk in Northern Alberta and they don't look so happy

shiat, for that kind of money (assuming the exchange rate is about the same as it is now) I'd go work for TH in Alberta. Could buy some good geothermal heating for the cabin with that kinda cash...


I don't think you would
 
2012-06-18 06:36:32 PM
I'm pretty sure that the figure is regionally subjective. In the Midwest and South, $75k is a well-off salary. In Los Angeles, it's barely breaking into middle-class.
 
2012-06-18 06:36:52 PM
I can vouch for that.

The more I make, the happier and more secure I feel.

Got a nice raise this year. 6 years ago I was making 22K, now, almost 3 times that amount (60K). I can finally do a lot of the things I was worried I would never be able to do.
 
2012-06-18 06:38:25 PM

JonnyBGoode: I'm pretty sure that the figure is regionally subjective. In the Midwest and South, $75k is a well-off salary. In Los Angeles, it's barely breaking into middle-class.


::shrug:: I've worked for right around that in downtown San Francisco, and paid San Francisco rent. I wasn't one of the startup roulette winners, but I wanted for nothing, and I was very happy indeed.
 
2012-06-18 06:40:04 PM
www.youdontsay.org
 
2012-06-18 06:40:05 PM

Jubeebee: caramba421: Yeah, money can't buy happiness, but broke can't buy shiat.

I've heard it a different way:

Money doesn't buy happiness, but debt sure does buy grief.


Well, we're done here.;
 
2012-06-18 06:41:41 PM
so people generally just want to be safe and secure, and beyond that most people are content to have general comfort? It's only a tiny percentage of the population who think that they have to have all the money in order to be happy? and possibly that population is hoarding a disproportionate amount of resources forcing everyone else to struggle?

you don't say.
 
2012-06-18 06:41:41 PM

Snakeophelia: Beleaguered: Son of Thunder: "Unlikely", subby? This is well-established in psychological research. These studies have been going on for decades, and the basic findings remains the same: Poverty sucks, so increasing income increases happiness until a certain freedom from suffering is attained. Above that point, the curve levels off and money stops buying happiness. This is not a controversial finding.

Take a family of four and introduce them to a metropolitan area. I'm sure $75k/yr is the limit to just how happy that family can be due to income.

...or maybe we should introduce these researchers to economists and the wide world of "Cost of Living."

Agreed. Given the amount of measurement error around constructs such as "happiness", it's very odd that the value could remain so consistent. I'm not saying the finding itself is odd or controversial. But the dollar amount seems silly, epecially to those of us in areas with a high cost of living, and a little too consistent across these studies.

What's more, not only does it seem like the dollar amount is wrong, it seems like even a value corrected for cost of living or inflation shouldn't apply to everyone of different age and experience levels. I mean, across almost any field, a person would be happy with $75K as a starting salary, and in some fields that's a mid-level salary. In my particular field, anyone in their 40's and/or more than 10 years out of grad school would be extremely unhappy with that salary, because it's not what they're worth, and they would know that. And even if you have enough money to pay the bills, I would think that being aware that you're worth more than you're being paid would make you, well, unhappy.

/speaking from personal experience
//money bought the house that made me happy
///but I first met my husband when I was poor, so it all balances out


I'm sure you guys both actually read the study, the methodologies and the conclusion. I'm sure just taking that number and simple claim at face value is exactly what the point of the study was. I'm sure you guys are both correct in interpreting that location, family size, cost of living are not factored into the study. I'm just sure of it.
 
2012-06-18 06:41:50 PM

the_vicious_fez: JonnyBGoode: I'm pretty sure that the figure is regionally subjective. In the Midwest and South, $75k is a well-off salary. In Los Angeles, it's barely breaking into middle-class.

::shrug:: I've worked for right around that in downtown San Francisco, and paid San Francisco rent. I wasn't one of the startup roulette winners, but I wanted for nothing, and I was very happy indeed.


It obviously depends on age, circumstances, etc. as well. $65k for single person, even in SF can be a good time, IF you don't have kids/big student loans/consumer credit/car payment, etc.
 
2012-06-18 06:47:02 PM
There was a BBC article a while back about a study into happiness and wages. People earning £50,000 ($75,000) are happier than those earning £100,000 a year.

Why? Because there's plenty of 9-5 jobs where you can earn £50,000 a year. Almost all £100,000 jobs are high stress and long hours. £50,000 a year gives you enough money to not have to worry and also gives you enough free time to enjoy it.
 
2012-06-18 06:48:05 PM

CruJones: Huh, well I certainly feel much more comfortable and happy than when I made 75k. Money may not buy happiness, but it buys things that make me happy.

Plus it's nice not having zero dollars in my savings account. As always, your mileage may vary.


That's wonderful, but a good example of why anecdotal evidence is worthless.
There may be unrelated factors at work in your one, individual case. Other things may have changed in your life that make you happier.
What the people who did the study are saying (and I'm not saying the study is accurate) is that if you look at "X" number of people, on the mean they will be no happier having enjoyed the same improvement in their economic fortunes.
In other words, more money may have entered your life at the same time more happiness did, but there is no demographic, statistical evidence that the two are related.
 
2012-06-18 06:49:43 PM

CruJones: Huh, well I certainly feel much more comfortable and happy than when I made 75k. Money may not buy happiness, but it buys things that make me happy.

Plus it's nice not having zero dollars in my savings account. As always, your mileage may vary.


In 2011 I made $76k in salary (I made quite a bit more with bonus, but I gave the entire bonus to charity). I managed to put $14k into my savings account and contributed $15k towards my 401(k) that year. I didn't have zero dollars in my savings account back when I was making $40k.

If you have no dependents, you can easily put away a good amount of money when you're making $75k.
 
2012-06-18 06:50:55 PM
Economics 101: the declining margin of return on money, wealth and income.

You need water. Once you have about a litre or two to drink each day, you can't drink any more without health risks. A few litres more for cooking, and you don't need to worry about starving or getting really sick from raw food, or losing your teeth to stone grit and hard roots. 150 litres for a bath, once a week, and you'll be reasonably clean as well as never go thirsty.

You need sleep. Once you can sleep for eight hours a night, you'll do just fine. You'll never need more than your biological set level of sleep unless you are sick or traumatized.

You need food, but you'll get used to whatever diet you can afford and after a while, even the most expensive dainties cloy or make you obese.

And so it goes. All the basic necessities of life are cheap to somebody with $77,000, except maybe housing, and that depends on where you choose to live, so it's part necessity and part luxury, part snobbishness, part extravangance and rivalry with richer people. Keeping up with the Jones and the Smiths doesn't necessarily make you an iota happier, although it will always cost more and more and more.

When a poor country hits about $3,000 per capita, it starts to demand health care and education and other "luxuries". The UK went through this stage in the late 1700s-early 1800s. The USA was well into this stage by the 1830s-1850s. Countries like China have progressed past $3,000 per capita in two stages: the Mao stage where they concentrated on equality, education, extending life expectancy and health care, and the It's Glorious to Get Rich stage where a reasonable level of health and longevity is possible for the majority and the powers that be are concentrating on wealth production, consumer goods and services, and also new luxuries such as shutting down the dirtiest coal plants and building massive solar and wind power facilities.

As individuals you might think you need more than $77,000 because you are used to it, but there's scarcely a country on Earth where that is the median income. Luxembourg is one. It may be the only one. The US median family is well below that still.

It's easier to acquire new tastes and "needs" than to lose them. It's easier to buy more stuff until you run out of room than to figure out what you can do without. It's easier to eat too much than to eat well and stop before you are full.

But this is basic economics because everything that grows in this universe goes through a stage of rapid growth and then slacks off eventually. Everything but cancer. And who wants to be a cancer?

It's the S-shaped curve in various forms--declining marginal utility, population growth, energy consumption, wealth creation, and so on.

The children of the founders are not interested in more money--they have too much. They want more power, prestige, leisure, display, travel. The children of the second generation may not be interested in even those. They may give up social climbing and snob display for more laid-back leisure or for the arts, music or charity work. They may become socialists and take an interest in spreading around money that both embarasses them and hassels them with lawyers and accountants and bailiffs and estate agents and so forth.

A few old families will strike a balance between getting and spending that enables them to go on for several centuries, but in the end, once you have an aristocratic title, it is often no necessary to have a lot of money--the title is solid--it is the highest form of situational good--it's something you have that nobody can get because you have to be born with it.

Would you rather be an English Duke with $77,000 a year in interest and dividend income or a nouveau riche vulgarian with $77,000,000? And who is the the guy with $777,000,000 or $7 billion going to want to invite to dinner--the Duke or the vulgarian? IIRC, there are about 26 English Dukes in the world, counting the Royal Dukes (who don't really count for the hereditary peers) but there are hundreds of billionaires and many of them are white trash or worse.

Money can't buy some things, and the happiness of a peasant with his health and many children or a king with the longest pedigree in Europe, are two different kinds of things that money can't buy.

Even for the very, very rich, there are still a lot of things money can't buy or they'd all die of boredom and despair.

We define ourselves in many ways. Money is always a way of keeping score and shuffling goods around, it is not happiness.
 
2012-06-18 06:51:58 PM

mzkitty901: So to be happy I need to make more than double what I make now. Got it.


No, because you are a woman you have to be happy with 75% of that for the same amount of work.
 
2012-06-18 06:52:56 PM
Like BHO said, "at some point you've made enough money." So I guess seventy-five grand is that number.
 
2012-06-18 06:54:28 PM

BuckTurgidson: 3. Buy many small pleasures instead of few big ones

[sharedlog_ai.s3.amazonaws.com image 400x269]

Every day, once a day, give yourself a present. Don't plan it. Don't wait for it. Just let it happen. It could be a new shirt at the men's store, a catnap in your office chair, or two cups of good, hot black coffee.


Yeah, this was exactly what came to my mind when reading TFA. It doesn't happen to me every day but this is definitely on of the best advices that improved my life.
 
2012-06-18 06:56:21 PM
I make over 75K and I barely make enough to pay off my student loans and still eat human food. I hate hearing crap like this. First of all averages mean nothing to the individual unless you are in the tiny percent that actually make up the average so blanket statements about what makes people happy are retarded.

Money alone will not make anyone happy obviously. Happiness is knowing how to enjoy what you have. That said, having more stuff to enjoy and more time to enjoy it should damn well make you happier or you are doing it wrong.
 
2012-06-18 06:56:40 PM
I've been very happy on a lot less than that, but I have a more than adequate savings account and no kids.
 
2012-06-18 06:59:16 PM
My emotional well being may flatline but I'll be able to afford enough hookers and blow where I wouldn't really care
 
2012-06-18 06:59:49 PM

brantgoose: Economics 101: the declining margin of return on money, wealth and income.

...


Well, that was a pleasant little read.
 
2012-06-18 07:02:24 PM
Well, yeah. Past that point, you are paranoid about how the "libs" are out to get your money
 
2012-06-18 07:03:29 PM

tonygotskilz: I make over 75K and I barely make enough to pay off my student loans and still eat human food. I hate hearing crap like this. First of all averages mean nothing to the individual unless you are in the tiny percent that actually make up the average so blanket statements about what makes people happy are retarded.

Money alone will not make anyone happy obviously. Happiness is knowing how to enjoy what you have. That said, having more stuff to enjoy and more time to enjoy it should damn well make you happier or you are doing it wrong.


That sounds like it should be true, sadly it hasn't been my experience. With more stuff comes more maintenance. Eventually, you don't own things you like, things you like own you.

/don't know how polygamists do it
//I like girls, but don't need more than 1
 
2012-06-18 07:06:27 PM
Damn. We made $74,800 last year. I was two hundred dollars away from happiness. Well, 6,000,000 yen actually. When I started the job it was only like $50,000. I guess I just kept getting happier as the dollar declined.

I try to explain to my now-fellow Tennesseeans why $75K in Osaka is nothing, and they can't relate. I'd be pretty happy here with the same money, but I had nothing there.

For me money isn't about stuff. It's about security. I lie awake in bed at night literally shaking in fear that I won't be able to feed myself this time next year, or that I'll get sick or hurt and have to decide between ruining my finances and credit going to a doctor or just letting it go and accepting the pain. If my car breaks down, I just don't get to drive any more. Phone breaks? Don't call me again, because there won't be an answer.

What's it like to be free of that fear? Is that happiness? I'm not sad now. I'm just kind of twitchy.
 
2012-06-18 07:08:41 PM
Different things will make different people happy. Money can make it easier to be happy since you don't have to worry about financial survival as much or at all, but that is certainly not all there is to life.

Generally it seems to be a combination of financial security, a stable trusting relationship, a loving family, close loyal friends, goals in life, hobbies that interest you, having a job that you love, feeling like you're making contributions in some way to the world, etc. will make most people happy.
 
2012-06-18 07:08:47 PM

LargeCanine: Perhaps income rises with emotional well-being.


Stop with yer critical thinkin'!!!
 
2012-06-18 07:10:50 PM

thisisyourbrainonFark: [www.youdontsay.org image 640x426]


Bullshiat
 
2012-06-18 07:11:20 PM
If you're a good person, money makes life easier. That's all.
 
2012-06-18 07:12:33 PM

brantgoose: As individuals you might think you need more than $77,000 because you are used to it, but there's scarcely a country on Earth where that is the median income. Luxembourg is one. It may be the only one. The US median family is well below that still.

...

Would you rather be an English Duke with $77,000 a year in interest and dividend income or a nouveau riche vulgarian with $77,000,000? And who is the the guy with $777,000,000 or $7 billion going to want to invite to dinner--the Duke or the vulgarian? IIRC, there are about 26 English Dukes in the world, counting the Royal Dukes (who don't really count for the hereditary peers) but there are hundreds of billionaires and many of them are white trash or worse.


1. The average American family is in a really shiatty position, and is almost certainly not happy.

2. I'll take the money. I wouldn't want to hang out with English Dukes for any price. I suspect more people than you think would say the same.
 
2012-06-18 07:18:24 PM
So 75K will be Obama's new definition of a millionaire?
 
2012-06-18 07:19:49 PM
clatl.com

A man of my caliber couldn't possibly be satisfied with anything less than six figures a year.
 
2012-06-18 07:20:09 PM

liverpoolumd: thisisyourbrainonFark: [www.youdontsay.org image 640x426]

Bullshiat


Rich. You can tell by the pixels. The many, many pixels.
 
2012-06-18 07:21:33 PM
Countries in which there is a social safety net and Universal health care are statistically happier than Americans.
 
2012-06-18 07:23:45 PM

Lt. Cheese Weasel: I make more than 75K Doubling my salary would make me twice as happy as I am now.

Stupid article is stupid.


This. 75k will only make you happy in bumfark.
 
2012-06-18 07:24:27 PM

ladyfortuna: Lt. Cheese Weasel: I make more than 75K Doubling my salary would make me twice as happy as I am now.

Stupid article is stupid.

Just out of curiosity, but do you have several kids or something? Cuz I could totally see the financial happiness being less if you have kids that you have to spend more on (not that I'm [entirely] anti-other-people's-kids, just that you have less for fun stuff).


I did, all growed up and flown the nest. Well, they're always here for Sunday dinner anyway....
 
2012-06-18 07:25:05 PM

CruJones: Money may not buy happiness, but it buys things that make me happy.



that isn't happiness. It's just temporary relief while you search for something else to give you that quick fix.
 
2012-06-18 07:26:28 PM

Lt. Cheese Weasel: I make more than 75K Doubling my salary would make me twice as happy as I am now.

Stupid article is stupid.



Scientific research surrenders to your arrogance and ignorance.
 
2012-06-18 07:27:41 PM
Wow what a load of crap! Maybe money can't buy you happiness, but if you have enough you can rent it forever!
 
2012-06-18 07:28:03 PM

BuckTurgidson: 3. Buy many small pleasures instead of few big ones

[sharedlog_ai.s3.amazonaws.com image 400x269]

Every day, once a day, give yourself a present. Don't plan it. Don't wait for it. Just let it happen. It could be a new shirt at the men's store, a catnap in your office chair, or two cups of good, hot black coffee.


I can't imagine a worse list for advice, this being the top thing. I have dated way to many women that are financially screwed up because someone, sometime told them they should do this. After a while, it was ingrained that when they were depressed, they should go shopping and buy something. And right after they looked at the credit card bills each month, they would shop even more. Horrible cycle of doom if it ever gets out of control, and tying happiness to material thingie gratification is not the right path IMO. That is why rich born kids are usually a**holes.
 
2012-06-18 07:29:17 PM

Polyhazard: Paging Maslow....

After your basic needs are taken care of and secure, no amount of cash is going to buy you "self actualization."


I read that as "self ejaculation"

Purses lips...
 
2012-06-18 07:29:47 PM
Now I know why I am not happy, a $75k in annual income is the stuff of dreams for me.

It never pays to look at what those ahead of you on the bell curve have, people forget that almost always you can simply turn around and see plenty who have less than you.
 
2012-06-18 07:30:01 PM

Beleaguered: Son of Thunder: "Unlikely", subby? This is well-established in psychological research. These studies have been going on for decades, and the basic findings remains the same: Poverty sucks, so increasing income increases happiness until a certain freedom from suffering is attained. Above that point, the curve levels off and money stops buying happiness. This is not a controversial finding.

Take a family of four and introduce them to a metropolitan area. I'm sure $75k/yr is the limit to just how happy that family can be due to income.

...or maybe we should introduce these researchers to economists and the wide world of "Cost of Living."


Why? You are talking about details that are easily understood, and have no impact on the overall point of the article, and will have been dealt with a number of times in the original studies if you really are that anal. The point is the rapidly degrading benefits of increasing income for certain types of outcome, not the exact dollar amount the transition takes place in certain different geographic locations.
 
2012-06-18 07:30:07 PM

Polyhazard: Paging Maslow....

After your basic needs are taken care of and secure, no amount of cash is going to buy you "self actualization."


I disagree. Sure, you can't just buy it... but you can buy trainers, equipment, and most importantly the TIME it takes to train. If I didn't have to work, I could easily "master my full potential" by spending 40 hours a week training, learning and whatever else.

Yeah, you can't just fork over a check and instantly be self-actualized... but as with anything money helps you achieve your goals. The problem with most rich people is that their goal was always just to obtain more money... not to obtain more money to help them do the things they would really enjoy. Money is a tool. You still have to know how to use it.
 
2012-06-18 07:30:45 PM

BummerDuck: BuckTurgidson: 3. Buy many small pleasures instead of few big ones

[sharedlog_ai.s3.amazonaws.com image 400x269]

Every day, once a day, give yourself a present. Don't plan it. Don't wait for it. Just let it happen. It could be a new shirt at the men's store, a catnap in your office chair, or two cups of good, hot black coffee.

I can't imagine a worse list for advice, this being the top thing. I have dated way to many women that are financially screwed up because someone, sometime told them they should do this. After a while, it was ingrained that when they were depressed, they should go shopping and buy something. And right after they looked at the credit card bills each month, they would shop even more. Horrible cycle of doom if it ever gets out of control, and tying happiness to material thingie gratification is not the right path IMO. That is why rich born kids are usually a**holes.


There is a difference between "Go buy a shiatload of stuff" and "Get a candy bar on occasion."
 
2012-06-18 07:32:00 PM
Study sponsored by The Walt Disney Company©?
 
2012-06-18 07:33:49 PM

Snarfangel: GoodOmens: 75K in DC = about 40~50k in no where America.

So yea - where is this 75k number from?

Originally from Indian mathematicians, with the system transmitted to Europe in the Middle Ages by Arabs. But that's not important right now.


1.bp.blogspot.com
 
2012-06-18 07:35:51 PM

brantgoose: And so it goes. All the basic necessities of life are cheap to somebody with $77,000, except maybe housing, and that depends on where you choose to live, so it's part necessity and part luxury, part snobbishness, part extravangance and rivalry with richer people..


Location can factor into it for other reasons. About 4 years ago, I got a lucrative job with a company that was headquartered about 90 miles from where I lived at the time, and the typical cost of renting in the area was about double what I was paying at my old apartment. However, since I wanted the job and didn't want to spend 4 hours commuting on a good day (could be 6 hours on a bad day), I ended up moving closer to work despite the higher cost of living.

As it turned out, my total cost of living was lower than it would have been if I had accepted the long commute, because although my rent went up by about $900/month, driving 180 miles every weekday would have cost even more (probably about $1,200/month at 2008 gas prices).
 
2012-06-18 07:37:28 PM
In the New Economical Order, money is means only not ends.

75k is plenty of stack.

;)
 
2012-06-18 07:38:50 PM
Money doesn't buy happiness, but it will give you security. Some of our best times were when we were just getting by. All money did for me was buying DeWalt instead of Black & Decker.
 
2012-06-18 07:41:01 PM

Snakeophelia: In my particular field, anyone in their 40's and/or more than 10 years out of grad school would be extremely unhappy with that salary, because it's not what they're worth, and they would know that. And even if you have enough money to pay the bill


Snort! Grad school... That usually makes a person less valuable in the computer industry.
 
2012-06-18 07:41:31 PM

CapnBlues: so people generally just want to be safe and secure, and beyond that most people are content to have general comfort? It's only a tiny percentage of the population who think that they have to have all the money in order to be happy? and possibly that population is hoarding a disproportionate amount of resources forcing everyone else to struggle?

you don't say.


Seems more applicable to the situation then trying to associate greed with what- the other 1% maybe.

"And when I'm old and I've had my fun, I'll sell my inventions so that *everyone* can have powers. *Everyone* can be super! And when everyone's super...
[chuckles evilly] - no one will be." Syndrome from The Incredibles
 
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