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Old 06-13-2016, 10:38 AM   #41
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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.
You have mentioned some of the things you feel you are lucky to afford, like multiple homes and trips. But what do you LIKE about your expenditures, other than being able to afford them? Does one or more of your homes have a terrific swimming pool, surfside view, easy access to the many shops and restaurants of a major city, ballroom for inviting hundreds of friends to a dance with live music, or what? Did you especially enjoy seeing the Parthenon or the Mexican pyramids or the black sand beaches of the Big Island? I get the sense that you just like *having* money but that really you aren't finding much satisfaction in spending it. I hope that is not the case.
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Old 06-13-2016, 10:52 AM   #42
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A story from Kurt Vonnegut:

True story, Word of Honor:
Joseph Heller, an important and funny writer
now dead,
and I were at a party given by a billionaire
on Shelter Island.
I said, "Joe, how does it make you feel
to know that our host only yesterday
may have made more money
than your novel 'Catch-22'
has earned in its entire history?"
And Joe said, "I've got something he can never have."
And I said, "What on earth could that be, Joe?"
And Joe said, "The knowledge that I've got enough."
Not bad! Rest in peace!

That, I believe, is key to a happy retirement. No need to chase more for the sake of having more.
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Old 06-13-2016, 10:55 AM   #43
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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.
What I was tongue in cheek attempting to convey is that there is no universal concept of "enough". One size does not fit all: even generally I suspect. I just happened to pick up on the boat analogy to make the point.

While it is true that "relative" (to the Jones) does play a role in this discussion, everyone (at least the fortunate with choices) has to find the balance that works internally for them. (Time v. Money.)

Me, early in my career came to the realization that Bill Gates had me beat on the richest guy in the world. Was liberating as I realized I could then focus on how much I needed...

All this being said I do, from time to time, find myself lusting for one of these:
https://www.fjordboats.com/en

Thus far I have maintained reason over desire (the universal struggle of life).
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Old 06-13-2016, 11:18 AM   #44
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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.
Reminds me of my two happiest days with a boat, day I bought it and day I sold it
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Old 06-13-2016, 11:37 AM   #45
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A woman on another forum used this as her sig;

"Money can't buy happiness, but it can buy chocolate and that's almost the same"

After I get the house done I'm going to buy another boat. It will be another ~30 year old beater with faded out gel coat and dings in the hull just another POS like all the others before it. But it will get me down the river and I will catch some fish. That's why I want the boat, to go down the river. I don't care what the boat looks like, but I love being on the river -
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Old 06-13-2016, 11:40 AM   #46
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Reminds me of my two happiest days with a boat, day I bought it and day I sold it
No truer words have been spoken. There are days when I miss the boat...but those days compared to the days of worry and angst were few and far between. AND...the same goes for airplane ownership. The convenience of owning an airplane was quite superb, but talk about a HUGE pain in the arse to manage!

I am quite happy to rent either an airplane OR a boat...much easier, and for the most part a LOT CHEAPER and much more peace of mind. Plus..people LOVE to judge you when you own either (especially an airplane). They figure if you own an airplane (never mind that it cost me much less than a 2 year old Honda to acquire) that you have endless amounts of cash to throw around.
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Old 06-13-2016, 11:48 AM   #47
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... Plus..people LOVE to judge you when you own either (especially an airplane). They figure if you own an airplane (never mind that it cost me much less than a 2 year old Honda to acquire) that you have endless amounts of cash to throw around.
Well, maybe... But then you bought the airplane!
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Old 06-13-2016, 12:51 PM   #48
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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.

Forbes Welcome
Yeah - but in that case you're still working. How can you possibly be happier than folks who have enough money to not work?
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Old 06-13-2016, 12:54 PM   #49
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Sounds like you should consider going back to work
No way. No financial need to work.

If our net worth keeps growing, I think that will probably make me happier.
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Old 06-13-2016, 12:59 PM   #50
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No, my point is that money does not buy happiness.

But having resources does not exclude happiness either.
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Old 06-13-2016, 01:16 PM   #51
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The more money the better because money DOES buy happiness at least according to this study:

"...Relying on worldwide data from Gallup and other sources, Stevenson and Wolfers determine that the wealthier people are, the more satisfied they are with their lives, at least when you look at nationwide figures. They also find, contrary to what many economists believe, that there is not a point of wealth satiation beyond which happiness levels off..."

Forbes Welcome
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Old 06-13-2016, 01:29 PM   #52
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Every time someone says "money can't buy happiness", I think to myself that it can't buy misery either.

Money gives you the freedom to do what you want to do and that makes me happy -
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Old 06-13-2016, 01:30 PM   #53
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But having resources does not exclude happiness either.
Exactly!
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Old 06-13-2016, 01:55 PM   #54
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Having money means having resources, which while not directly linked to happiness provides peace of mind. And peace of mind is equally important as happiness in my book.


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Old 06-13-2016, 02:16 PM   #55
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Exactly. Comparing to others doesn't make my life better. I have more than enough. That is enough for me.
From one perspective I agree; you handle your circumstances regardless of what's happening around you.

However, from another angle, it seems a number of things are dependent on demographics and the percentages of population that get categorized into different income levels, namely government decisions on benefits, taxation, etc.
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Old 06-13-2016, 02:19 PM   #56
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Plus..people LOVE to judge you when you own either (especially an airplane). They figure if you own an airplane (never mind that it cost me much less than a 2 year old Honda to acquire) that you have endless amounts of cash to throw around.
That was what I found out when I owned an airplane for two years. Free shuttle to their business from the airport based on the assumption that I was wealthy or high income. What they didn't know was that I was definitely not either and in fact at one time during that period I ate one hot dog for dinner instead of two so the package would last the rest of the week.

But I was single, my decisions affected only me, and I was thoroughly enjoying that airplane so to me at the time it was worth the sacrifices I made to have it.
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Old 06-13-2016, 02:34 PM   #57
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But having resources does not exclude happiness either.
Sure, but if you are comfortable and have more than enough, is more going to make you significantly happier with your life? Maybe there are some on here that are not satisfied with what they have and want more and that would make them happier, but I'm well past that point.
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Old 06-13-2016, 02:34 PM   #58
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No, my point is that money does not buy happiness.
I've actually heard of a study that indicated that money does buy happiness. I have to see if I can dig up that article.

Thinking back on a motivational theory I've come across over the years, there are core things people require (food, shelter, safety, etc) which can be bought with money but in the absence of would likely make people unhappy. But as you secure core needs, the motivating items are more difficult if not impossible to buy with money.
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Old 06-13-2016, 02:34 PM   #59
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I know there are varying research results on income levels for happiness. Part of it may have to do with other factors like local cost of living as well as smart spending. Some people are going to be broke on $75K a year and still stressed about money and some happy as a clam.

Regardless of income, most studies I have read about find that excessive materialism does not bring happiness, and I can believe that. According to some researchers, one way to be happy is to simply want less. There are some interesting slides on the subject at this link:

This psychologist's impressive presentation shows how materialism is eroding our happiness

"The term "hedonic treadmill" describes the human tendency to get used to what we have, no matter how nice it is, and strive for more. Getting more, then, doesn't sustain our happiness levels."
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Old 06-13-2016, 06:16 PM   #60
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Sure, but if you are comfortable and have more than enough, is more going to make you significantly happier with your life? Maybe there are some on here that are not satisfied with what they have and want more and that would make them happier, but I'm well past that point.
Sure, but if you are comfortable and have more than enough, is more going to make you less happy with your life?

IMO it's a non-sequitur.

Having more doesn't mean you are going to be less happy.

Wanting more and not having it - now that seems likely to make someone less happy. But it has nothing to do with actually having more.
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