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Scientists have finally shredded the old saw about money and happiness...
Old 02-02-2011, 05:38 AM   #1
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Scientists have finally shredded the old saw about money and happiness...

The results of this research are surprising to me... The comments from other readers on that website make interesting reading too...

Life Inc. - Does money make you happy? Absolutely-
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Old 02-02-2011, 05:59 AM   #2
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....other research showed that money only made you happier up to a certain point. Once your basic needs were met, additional money didn't make you any happier.
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Old 02-02-2011, 06:02 AM   #3
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I do agree that as standards of living go up, social unrest is likely to go down....Maslow's hierarchy of needs and all that if I remember correctly from sociology 101 (a hundred years ago, or so it seems).
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Old 02-02-2011, 06:44 AM   #4
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People with 10 million dollars are no happier that people with 9 million dollars. Therefore, money doesn't buy you happiness. (Although it can rent it for an hour or so.)
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Old 02-02-2011, 07:41 AM   #5
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People with 10 million dollars are no happier that people with 9 million dollars. Therefore, money doesn't buy you happiness. (Although it can rent it for an hour or so.)
Those 10 million $$$ folks should give me 1 mil. Won't affect their happiness, but I sure will be.
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Old 02-02-2011, 08:04 AM   #6
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While having money in and of itself does not insure happiness it sure helps in the pursuit of happiness.
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Old 02-02-2011, 08:09 AM   #7
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Has any scientist discovered that just having lots of money to count can be enough to bring happiness, meaning one needs not spend it?

And can one spend it and still have it too?
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Old 02-02-2011, 09:22 AM   #8
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ABSTRACT

We explore the relationships between subjective well-being and income, as seen across individuals
within a given country, between countries in a given year, and as a country grows through time.

We show that richer individuals in a given country are more satisfied with their lives than are poorer individuals,
and establish that this relationship is similar in most countries around the world.

Turning to the relationship
between countries, we show that average life satisfaction is higher in countries with greater GDP per
capita. The magnitude of the satisfaction-income gradient is roughly the same whether we compare
individuals or countries, suggesting that absolute income plays an important role in influencing wellbeing.

Finally, studying changes in satisfaction over time, we find that as countries experience economic
growth, their citizensí life satisfaction typically grows, and that those countries experiencing more
rapid economic growth also tend to experience more rapid growth in life satisfaction.
So they find the trifecta -
1) You're happier if you have more than your neighbors, and
2) You're happier if you have more on an absolute level, and
3) You're happier if you have more than you did some years ago.

Who wudda guessed?

http://bpp.wharton.upenn.edu/jwolfer...omicGrowth.pdf

In the US, total income has gone up much faster than median income. So the median worker is losing ground in (1) and not getting any (much?) benefit from (3). No surprise we're kind of bummed out.
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Old 02-02-2011, 09:37 AM   #9
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So they find the trifecta -
1) You're happier if you have more than your neighbors, and
2) You're happier if you have more on an absolute level, and
3) You're happier if you have more than you did some years ago.
1) Millionaire-next-door types know this. They do not move up and stay in their long-time neighborhood. Years go by, they slowly have more than their neighbors.
2) Being here in a developed nation gave us a headstart on that.
3) Keep spending low, keep investing and rebalancing, and be patient. That seems to help me.

PS. If one is as Scroogey like me, he would keep his SWR low, so his stash can grow even in retirement.
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Old 02-02-2011, 09:44 AM   #10
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People with 10 million dollars are no happier that people with 9 million dollars. Therefore, money doesn't buy you happiness. (Although it can rent it for an hour or so.)

Since both have plenty of money... not a comparison....


To me, another problem is the definition of happiness... what makes one person happy can make another sad.. or mad... or just pissed off...


I think we all gravitate to what makes us happy... as an example... the guy with the golden voice is much happier with his drinking and drugs... he got a lot of help to move him away from his lifestyle, but enjoyed it more than what others thought he should have...
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Old 02-02-2011, 10:21 AM   #11
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It boggles the mind that someone would be surprised that having more money, on average, makes one happier. It is like being surprised that men like looking at attactive women, and women at attractive men.

Big shock!

Ha
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Old 02-02-2011, 11:40 AM   #12
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While having money in and of itself does not insure happiness it sure helps in the pursuit of happiness.
That's an excellent summary!
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Old 02-02-2011, 12:25 PM   #13
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Quite by coincidence, I was reading up on exactly this subject yesterday as part of my preparation for an interview for the course that I want to follow if I return to college.
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Old 02-02-2011, 12:38 PM   #14
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People with 10 million dollars are no happier that people with 9 million dollars. Therefore, money doesn't buy you happiness. (Although it can rent it for an hour or so.)
The first million is always the hardest happiest...
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Old 02-02-2011, 12:52 PM   #15
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So they find the trifecta -
1) You're happier if you have more than your neighbors, and
2) You're happier if you have more on an absolute level, and
3) You're happier if you have more than you did some years ago.
Guess I'm the odd man out. It's taken me a lifetime to understand it's an illusion, but I don't buy #1 at all and I thought many others on this forum agreed. #1 is based on a misguided understanding of what happiness is, it's become so pervasive in our culture that it's considered a given, though false. It's like starting from the premise that playing basketball makes you tall. People spend their entire lives pursuing money, possessions, social position, etc. and happiness is fleeting and ever just out of reach. Some are lucky enough to figure it out before they're dead, some never do.

And #3 doesn't work for me either. I remember a thread here just a little while ago in which people confessed they were happier in their 20's than they are now later in life, and I agreed with that sentiment. I have much more now, but life is considerably more complicated.

Guess I'm out in left field again...
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Old 02-02-2011, 12:57 PM   #16
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Guess I'm the odd man out. It's taken me a lifetime to understand it's an illusion, but I don't buy #1 at all and I thought many others on this forum agreed. #1 is based on a misguided understanding of what happiness is, it's become so pervasive in our culture that it's considered a given, though false. It's like starting from the premise that playing basketball makes you tall. People spend their entire lives pursuing money, possessions, social position, etc. and happiness is fleeting and ever just out of reach. Some are lucky enough to figure it out before they're dead, some never do.

And #3 doesn't work for me either. I remember a thread here just a little while ago in which people confessed they were happier in their 20's than they are now later in life, and I agreed with that sentiment. I have much more now, but life is considerably more complicated.

Guess I'm out in left field again...
+1

I don't really see it either. As long as I have the basics I'm pretty happy. Like others here I am not spending all of my SWR because I am perfectly content spending less.
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Old 02-02-2011, 12:59 PM   #17
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My recollection is that recent studies have shown that the correlation between money and happiness is limited, i.e., the correlation is stongest at the lowest income levels and weaker as one grows more prosperous. As I recall, some researchers have found that after about $60K per year, you reach a point of diminishing returns. That makes sense to me as having more than "enough" seldom brings much satisfaction.
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Old 02-02-2011, 01:28 PM   #18
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I'm pretty sure I would be happier with $10M than $9M.
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Old 02-02-2011, 01:49 PM   #19
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I'm pretty sure I would be happier with $10M than $9M.
I'm not sure, but would volunteer for the study.
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Old 02-02-2011, 02:15 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by BTravlin View Post
While having money in and of itself does not insure happiness it sure helps in the pursuit of happiness.
Allow me to give you my version:

While having money in and of itself does not ensure happiness it sure helps in the pursuit of pleasure.
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