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Old 06-13-2016, 08:18 AM   #21
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No, my point is that money does not buy happiness.
It sounded like you thought a lot of money made people less happy.

I guess it depends on what you mean by "sweet spot" and "exclude".
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Old 06-13-2016, 08:23 AM   #22
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Well, darn it all, I guess I don't quite make the 0.1%-ile.
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Old 06-13-2016, 08:38 AM   #23
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It sounded like you thought a lot of money made people less happy.

I guess it depends on what you mean by "sweet spot" and "exclude".
Just a simple comment that I thought wouldn't need much explanation, but if you insist, I suspect the happiness quotient sweet spot would be between 1% and 10%, and again, I doubt more money buys one more happiness, unless you are struggling to make ends meet. So would having more $ increase your happiness?
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Old 06-13-2016, 08:39 AM   #24
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No, my point is that money does not buy happiness.
Right, I think there may be general agreement on this. But I can assure you that having money doesn't necessarily make you unhappy either. If it did people would not try so hard to get money or would give it away once they got money.

I could make a case that being FI (however defined by an individual) makes that individual happier than not being FI? Money doesn't buy a lot of things such as love, respect, intelligence, sensitivity, wisdom. Why would we expect it would buy happiness which is probably the most individual ,subjective ,characteristic of them all?

Does being wealthy make you happy? Not sure. But I am very happy that I am wealthy and FI. In any event this topic has been discussed many times before without concensus. I also think most people would put the "sweet spot for happiness" if there is such a thing, right where they are. I would guess you are in the top 10%-1% range.
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Old 06-13-2016, 08:46 AM   #25
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If, like me, you grew up with some amount of financial insecurity, you tend to worry more about having "enough." I'm wired to worry, so my net happiness (positive things minus worry and aggravation) is higher with a larger cushion. Being in the one percent would substantially increase my net happiness by reducing the worry and aggravation.
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Old 06-13-2016, 08:51 AM   #26
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Just a simple comment that I thought wouldn't need much explanation, but if you insist, I suspect the happiness quotient sweet spot would be between 1% and 10%, and again, I doubt more money buys one more happiness, unless you are struggling to make ends meet. So would having more $ increase your happiness?
It might.
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Old 06-13-2016, 08:59 AM   #27
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No, my point is that money does not buy happiness.
But it can buy me a boat and a truck to pull it...


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Is this chart per person or per family?
It appears to be 'family' data. I suspect that means household. From 2013.

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Distinct possibility. I have seen several articles that cite research that about 60K a year is the top of the bell curve for happiness. I haven't seen similar articles in relation to total net worth, however.

Being retired, my income has gone down quite a bit, but my happiness has definitely gone up!
It is actually $75K. At least in 2010 it was.
The Perfect Salary for Happiness: $75,000 - The Wealth Report - WSJ


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The magic income: $75,000 a year. As people earn more money, their day-to-day happiness rises. Until you hit $75,000. After that, it is just more stuff, with no gain in happiness.
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Old 06-13-2016, 09:00 AM   #28
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It might.
I would be happier having more wealth rather than less wealth. But I think happiness might be a comparable rather than absolute thing. So many other things come into play like health, love, relationships, etc. Hard to isolate one absolute factor.
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Old 06-13-2016, 09:03 AM   #29
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It is actually $75K. At least in 2010 it was.
The Perfect Salary for Happiness: $75,000 - The Wealth Report - WSJ
Or between 50K and 75K. Like most other things, it depends on the source of the 'research' (this from a 2012 article):

So it seems the sweet spot is somewhere between $50,000 and $75,000. If you make under $50,000, you might be stressed about your financial situation. If you make over $75,000, the additional returns on working longer hours might not be worth it anymore. But itís nice to know that a $75,000 salary isnít necessary to be happy. Itís just a perk.

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Old 06-13-2016, 09:04 AM   #30
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I would guess you are in the top 10%-1% range.
Between 1% and 5%, but if I had more $s doubt it would make me happier. We are quite comfortable, have good relationships with friends and family, and reasonably good health and are enjoying retirement.
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Old 06-13-2016, 09:07 AM   #31
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It might.
Sounds like you should consider going back to work
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Old 06-13-2016, 09:12 AM   #32
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Distinct possibility. I have seen several articles that cite research that about 60K a year is the top of the bell curve for happiness. I haven't seen similar articles in relation to total net worth, however.

Being retired, my income has gone down quite a bit, but my happiness has definitely gone up!

The Berkley study I saw indicated "on average" $70k is the happiness curve. It based it on the amount of "additional happiness" you got by having more money.. Same theory when you have one scoop of ice cream makes you happy, two makes you very happy, three makes you a little more happy, four maybe somewhat or same happiness, five.. umm yeh same happiness..or maybe a little less depending on how much you like ice cream. ie most people don't actually have more true happiness because they bought a 7 series BMW vs. a 3 series BMW.

But up to $70k, you bet happiness is a factor for most people because it usually means they are doing without something. Kids limited in their sports, smaller vacations, older vehicles, not enough in the kids college fund, etc.

Thus when planning a "happy" retirement, most will target that $70k range (plus or minus based on COLA and family situations)..and you won't need to be in the top 95% if you factor in SS and potentially pensions and side income.
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Old 06-13-2016, 09:14 AM   #33
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I think Groucho Marx said:
I"ve been rich and I've been poor....rich is better"
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Old 06-13-2016, 09:23 AM   #34
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But it can buy me a boat and a truck to pull it...


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And this is what makes happiness so darn subjective. For me, if it can be pulled behind a truck it ain't near big enough.
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Old 06-13-2016, 09:52 AM   #35
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Money doesn't buy happiness.

Lack of money does buy a fair bit of misery.
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Old 06-13-2016, 09:56 AM   #36
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And this is what makes happiness so darn subjective. For me, if it can be pulled behind a truck it ain't near big enough.
Well and the fact I'm not sure if the Berkeley study took into account what it would take to buy such a nice boat (or I assume you mean yacht).. ie the hours of work and time away from family/friends, stress, etc that it takes to usually achieve that level of success... ie things that would thus typically decrease ones happiness.. thus it is a balance and some people thrive on the stress so it makes them even more happy, while I believe the majority of people find the added stress, hours, etc decreasing their overall happiness..thus net happiness doesn't increase nearly as fast.
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Old 06-13-2016, 10:09 AM   #37
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Just a simple comment that I thought wouldn't need much explanation, but if you insist, I suspect the happiness quotient sweet spot would be between 1% and 10%, and again, I doubt more money buys one more happiness, unless you are struggling to make ends meet. So would having more $ increase your happiness?
I agree completely.

Honestly, I have enough. Not only do I have enough, I am not insatiable (that is a misery in itself).

Honestly? I'd really rather not win the lottery. Having a huge amount of extra $$$ dumped on me would disrupt my happy life. I'd have to interview, choose, and spend time with lawyers, tax accountants, security firms, donation requests, various assistants and so on. I don't want to do any of that!

Instead, I just want to get up in the morning after a good 9 hours' sleep, get a couple of cups of my favorite coffee, sit in my comfy easy chair, check the weather, and post on the forum at my leisure. Luckily, this is exactly how this morning is evolving. That makes me happy.
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Money doesn't buy happiness.

Lack of money does buy a fair bit of misery.
+1
Having less money than is needed to pay for the necessities like food and shelter does buy misery, that's for sure. Been there, done that, got the t-shirt, never again.
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Old 06-13-2016, 10:27 AM   #38
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And this is what makes happiness so darn subjective. For me, if it can be pulled behind a truck it ain't near big enough.
Here's what I suspect:
I think there's a certain spot where you can be happy with what you have and have what you need.

But maybe you can cross a certain threshold where, if your resources are sufficient, you can end up with "more" which then involves a step function of costs.

A house/car/2nd home that's twice a big doesn't cost 2X to run, it might cost 3X or 4X to run. Speaking from experience I know that boats go like that; a 30 footer might cost 4X to keep floating than a 25 footer.

So, once you get there, you end up back on the treadmill scrambling to get the upkeep paid for and then the financial misery returns.
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Old 06-13-2016, 10:30 AM   #39
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Between 1% and 5%, but if I had more $s doubt it would make me happier. We are quite comfortable, have good relationships with friends and family, and reasonably good health and are enjoying retirement.
Likewise but isn't it peculiar that most people (above a certain amount probably) think their wealth level is in "the sweet spot"? I am much higher ranked than most and recognize how lucky I am to have what I do. I recognize, however, that what is perhaps a "sweet spot" for me is simply the natural tendency to be satisfied with our lot in life lest we make ourselves unhappy and envious. My wealth would very likely make a billionaire less happy.
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Old 06-13-2016, 10:32 AM   #40
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One of my light bulb moments on how much was enough for us was reading an article about billionaire venture capitalists, who live in stress and fear of missing the next Google or Facebook. I don't know if the cutoff is $75K or whatever, but I realized at some point of income, being happy and secure was 100% mental and no longer a balance sheet issue, and these VCs were in the top one tenth of 1% but more money was never going to make them happy. The only one that had slowed down had a serious illness.
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