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Money and happiness just how correlated are they...
Old 06-19-2016, 05:11 PM   #1
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Money and happiness just how correlated are they...

Our thinking about money...My Father's Day gift was a sweet, well cushioned rattan out door rocker: cost $250. Since everything comes out of the same pot I sort of spent it on myself. $250 isn't a lot of money for us. Yet it isn't something we dont do often ...the last splurge was two new lightweight spinning outfits for my son and I under $200. In truth Fathers Day is usually it is some cologne and barbecued filets. (The cologone was Stetson we ate outside, perfect weather and the steaks were great this year)

We havent had any consumer debt since forever ..our mortgage was retired ages ago. I'm driving my Old CRV with 115,000 miles on it. It is a Joy because ever time it starts I feel like I'm winning their game (you know that TV driven consumerism thing) . Every now and then I get the urge to BMW / mercedes it but thankfully it passes.

I believe money can't buy happiness but it can contribute to serenity.. Serenity IMO being a big component in a happy life. Growing up day-to-day were of super high stress amplified by my Mom (she did her best)...

I guess that's why that simple chair, the steaks and the cologne tells me I have all I need. By the by I waxed the CRV yesterday... Ya think she do 200K?

No money can't buy happiness ... You have to find it- sometimes money can help with the search.

Money can on occasion bring ugliness and the evil that is greed.
Care to comment?
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Old 06-19-2016, 05:23 PM   #2
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money is important in happiness from 0 to where you have your basic need + maybe a bit. There are some people that beyond that is becomes a curse... they need everything. Money becomes a goal in itself or a means to compete with the jones'... who ever they are. I think that drive detracts from true happiness...
Just my warped view. I'm sure there will be many views.
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Old 06-19-2016, 05:30 PM   #3
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Ya think she do 200K?
My 2003 Jetta Diesel just turned 300K Friday night. And it is easily good for a lot more.
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Old 06-19-2016, 05:46 PM   #4
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No money can't buy happiness ... You have to find it- sometimes money can help with the search.
Well, it certainly does give you more options, but I keep reading/hearing that after a certain point it doesn't make one any happier, and naturally enough that point differs for different people. Some people believe they need $200+k/year or more, others are happy on $20K.

For example, I don't believe that owning a 'Benz is going to make me happier, but I really don't know because I've never owned one, or even ridden in one that I can remember, so maybe it's a case of I just don't know what I'm missing.

But at age 66 now, naturally enough my and DW's income has varied quite a bit and at this point we have more money than we've ever had before. But we're not noticeably happier. This is not a surprise since we have everything we've ever really wanted, and a 'Benz is not one of those things.
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Old 06-19-2016, 06:05 PM   #5
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My 2003 Jetta Diesel just turned 300K Friday night. And it is easily good for a lot more.

The great to here! of course diesels are known for their durability...


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Old 06-19-2016, 06:43 PM   #6
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I think it's the absence of money that destroys happiness. If you're scrambling for change under the couch cushions to buy groceries, pay rent/mortgage (to avoid eviction), or keep your car running, it's hard to be happy. That's true whether you're making $10,000 per year or $100,000 per year.

There was a thread here about a study that said happiness hits an inflection point around $40k to $75k per year where additional money doesn't improve happiness very much. I take that to mean once basic needs are met, a huge stress is lifted which can lead to more happiness-related pursuits higher up the hierarchy of needs.

Ray, we just dropped off our 16 year old Honda Accord we bought in college for our nephew (he's supposed to transfer the title on Monday). 167,000 miles. Bittersweet moment since it runs perfectly but we just don't need a second car right now. Driving it is a pleasure compared to our bulkier (more expensive) minivan. Simple pleasures!
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Old 06-19-2016, 06:55 PM   #7
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Money is not important... until you do not have any. Then, all you can think about is where and how to get some.

I like to have enough, so that I can clear my mind to think about something else. Like designing and building a DDS/PLL hybrid synthesizer, just for the heck of it. Can't be thinking about travel all the time, ya know?
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Old 06-19-2016, 06:56 PM   #8
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Very glad you got your rocker!
We had two little Saturns that both ran over 300,000 miles apiece, and usually buy cars that have around 100k on them, so yeah, you should get that out of yours, easy.
When I think back on how much fun we had in our 20s, just starting out, and making nothing, I really do wonder how much more money does for you after you get past the basics.
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Money and happiness just how correlated are they...
Old 06-19-2016, 07:09 PM   #9
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Money and happiness just how correlated are they...

To be clear my wife drives a very nice Toyota Highlander that we use for vacations. I gave my shinny red low milage RAV4 to the daughter.. She's got a summer job 3 hours away and I had my doubts about the old CRV. I drive the CRV 9.5 to miles to work 3 days a week. It's probably less conspicuous in da hood anyway.

Funny when we were kids we had very little - if you asked me then if I was happy I think I'd say heck yeah! The simple joy of a round rubber ball and a wall... Just don't lose.


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Old 06-20-2016, 07:32 AM   #10
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Concur with most of the posts to this point. It's such a personal thing. Being FI can contribute to happiness I think. If not why do we treat it like the "Holy Grail". However, people are generally pretty good at being satisfied with their financial position once retired. To be otherwise would probably reduce their happiness. This contributes to a feeling of "I wouldn't know what to do with more money". Also, once we get to retirement we get petty set in our ways, including spending levels.

I'd rather have 10% more than 10% less, but it wouldn't make much difference, either way.
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Old 06-20-2016, 07:42 AM   #11
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And an article whereby in the U.S. "about $75,000" annual income is where you find your most happiness. Just passing it on:

Here Is The Income Level At Which Money Won't Make You Any Happier In Each State

Rich
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Old 06-20-2016, 07:54 AM   #12
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And an article whereby in the U.S. "about $75,000" annual income is where you find your most happiness. Just passing it on:

Here Is The Income Level At Which Money Won't Make You Any Happier In Each State

Rich
Yes, the oft quoted study. Other studies have reached differing conclusions, ie that "happiness" continues to increase after $75k but at a slower pace. This latter conclusion makes more sense to me. It is a personal thing and averages are always suspect. I would be very unhappy to have my income reduced to $75,000 but I am sure others would have different views.
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Old 06-20-2016, 08:09 AM   #13
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And an article whereby in the U.S. "about $75,000" annual income is where you find your most happiness. Just passing it on:

Here Is The Income Level At Which Money Won't Make You Any Happier In Each State

Rich
That $75,000 was in 2010, so we need to adjust it for inflation.

Also, the Doug Short piece you linked adjusted for cost of living by state, because you know $75K doesn't buy you the same quality of life everywhere in the US. For example, fo Hawaii he mentions that you would need $122K.

As long as I was working, making $75K would not have made me nearly as happy as being able to quit working, yet still have at least that income. FI was an enormous happiness boost.
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Old 06-20-2016, 08:24 AM   #14
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Not too many people mention the opposite correlation. For a very many of us (at least me), retirement has resulted in a LOSS of income (w*rk or otherwise). Depending on what one does in retirement, your expenses may be higher or lower. Nonetheless, in my case, there has been a distinct reduction in my income, but my happiness has definitely increased exponentially. I imagine there is some study (or many!) that has a retirement version of "how much is enough for happiness" but I am not curious enough to seek it out.

It's Monday AM...my favorite day of the week. Time to go sit on the deck, enjoy some coffee and see what the birds are up to!
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Old 06-20-2016, 08:28 AM   #15
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I think it's more "true" that the lack of money brings unhappiness. But it's all relative, of course.

For example, I make a very good living, by any standards. And I am content. But if my income were to be cut in half, no doubt I would be quite unhappy, even though I still would be above the median income in the US. And if that condition persisted for any length of time, I imagine I would adjust and settle into a new level of "content."

Oddly enough, I think the same transition would happen if my income were to double --content to elated to content.
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Old 06-20-2016, 08:30 AM   #16
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I pause to comment for fear of being accused of "reverse snobbery." Any way I do not feel happiness is a function of being able to buy more if you are already living comfortably.
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Old 06-20-2016, 08:36 AM   #17
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For example, I don't believe that owning a 'Benz is going to make me happier, but I really don't know because I've never owned one, or even ridden in one that I can remember, so maybe it's a case of I just don't know what I'm missing.
I see lots of newer, nicer cars out there, but I am very happy with my 90K mile 2009 Infiniti. It looks like it's new and rides that way too. I quite enjoy my "old car" and hope that I get to ride around in it for many, many more. The thought of having a BRAND new car gives me the chills...waiting for that first ding or carpet stain is quite bothersome to me!
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Old 06-20-2016, 08:39 AM   #18
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In my personal experience, being able to upgrade an experience, even if already comfortable, usually makes me enjoy it more which makes me a little happier.

I am always on the lookout for ripoffs, but there are plenty of things that spending a little more makes the experience more pleasurable.

So it seems that this aspect of more money=increased happiness is a highly personal one.
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Old 06-20-2016, 08:40 AM   #19
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Buying stuff does not make us happy. Having the means to pay the bills and handle the unexpected expenses is very comforting...
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Old 06-20-2016, 08:49 AM   #20
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I see lots of newer, nicer cars out there, but I am very happy with my 90K mile 2009 Infiniti. It looks like it's new and rides that way too. I quite enjoy my "old car" and hope that I get to ride around in it for many, many more. The thought of having a BRAND new car gives me the chills...waiting for that first ding or carpet stain is quite bothersome to me!
Heck, your car is a lot newer than mine. What do I need a new car for? My 2003 SUV still has only 27K miles on the odometer, and still looks shiny due to being kept in the garage.

That said, I still like to have more money. It would bring me happiness in the following sense, even if I might not spend much more.

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