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The money-and-happiness correlation
Old 08-29-2006, 03:14 PM   #1
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The money-and-happiness correlation

I found this somewhat interesting and surprisingly good article on Bankrate.* It's not typically the place I turn to for quality articles, but this isn't bad and it's certainly on-topic for the early retirement crowd.* See what you think:

http://www.bankrate.com/brm/news/advice/20060822a1.asp
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Re: The money-and-happiness correlation
Old 08-29-2006, 03:24 PM   #2
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Re: The money-and-happiness correlation

The first million may be the hardest, but it's probably also the most enjoyable. After that... well... what are we working so hard for?
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Re: The money-and-happiness correlation
Old 08-29-2006, 03:25 PM   #3
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Re: The money-and-happiness correlation

Money doesn't make you happy unless you are in poverty and really in need of some money. Stuff doesn't make you happy.

- Yet lots of people live miserable lives in the pursuit of money.

- Skip the stuff and live your life on your terms.

The article remineded me of Your Money or Your Life (by Dominguez and Robbins).
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Re: The money-and-happiness correlation
Old 08-29-2006, 03:43 PM   #4
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Re: The money-and-happiness correlation

The snapshot from the Feb 2006 Survey:

Among its findings:
• Republicans are happier than Democrats.
• Married people are happier than unmarried.
• Churchgoers are happier than nonchurchgoers.
• Sunbelt residents are happier than those living elsewhere.
Contrary to expectations, however:
• Retirees are no happier than workers.
• Pet owners are no happier than those without pets.


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Re: The money-and-happiness correlation
Old 08-29-2006, 04:15 PM   #5
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Re: The money-and-happiness correlation

Quote:
Originally Posted by mclesters
• Married people are happier than unmarried.
I wonder who were surveyed?* All females, or a mix of females and deluded males.* :
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Re: The money-and-happiness correlation
Old 08-29-2006, 04:27 PM   #6
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Re: The money-and-happiness correlation

More money might not make you happy, but not having any money most certainly won't.
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Re: The money-and-happiness correlation
Old 08-29-2006, 05:12 PM   #7
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Re: The money-and-happiness correlation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam
I wonder who were surveyed?* All females, or a mix of females and deluded males.* :
They were husbands asked the question in the presence of their wives. Of course they said they were happier.
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Re: The money-and-happiness correlation
Old 08-29-2006, 06:16 PM   #8
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Re: The money-and-happiness correlation

I recently read a book called Satisfaction by psychiatrist and neuro- scientist Gregory Berns. He posits that satisfaction, which is related to but not identical with happiness, is caused by stimulation in the striatum of the brain. In life as in the laboratory, much of this satisfying stimulation seems to be caused by novelty.

Don't know how this might reconcile with married people being happier than unmarrieds, unless they are stoking somebody’s furnace elsewhere. But I can easily see how money makes it easier to gain novelty in day to day life. Provided you use it to gain novelty, rather than waste it on more stuff, to which you quickly become habituated.

If retired people have the money and wit to seek novelty, they should get more satisfaction than a run of the mill worker, but perhaps not more than a scientist or a trail lawyer or maybe a detective. OTOH, if a retiree watches a lot of TV and turns into a turnip, he probably is not going to feel particularly satisfied.

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Re: The money-and-happiness correlation
Old 08-29-2006, 06:41 PM   #9
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Re: The money-and-happiness correlation

Quote:
"People with above-average income are relatively satisfied with their lives but are barely happier than others in moment-to-moment experience, tend to be more tense and do not spend more time in particularly enjoyable activities."
This is an important distinction in the study.* When rich people stop to think about it, they generally report higher levels of happiness or satisfaction then average.* But when asked at a given moment "are you happy right now?" they tend to report average or even below average levels of happiness.* The lack of moment to moment happiness seems attributable to the stress and aggravation of earning above-average incomes.* But wealth does seem to add to an overall sense of happiness or satisfaction.* However, if one were to accumulate some wealth and then quit the aggravation-inducing pursuit of wealth to spend time doing more enjoyable things . . .*
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Re: The money-and-happiness correlation
Old 08-29-2006, 06:46 PM   #10
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Re: The money-and-happiness correlation

The article explains why socializing and just kicking back contribute much to life's pleasures. That would explain why people spend endless hours posting on this forum.

The article also goes on to say that your emotions are "...your brain's way of telling you when you're doing the right thing or the wrong thing. That's why you get a positive emotional reaction when you approach a naked woman but not a bear." This would explain why strip clubs are able to stay in business but zoos have to ask for government subsidies just to keep their doors open.

Now if you can combine this forum with the features of a strip club, then a lot of people will be happier.


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Re: The money-and-happiness correlation
Old 08-29-2006, 06:48 PM   #11
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Re: The money-and-happiness correlation

Quote:
Originally Posted by 3 Yrs to Go
However, if one were to accumulate some wealth and then quit the aggravation-inducing pursuit of wealth to spend time doing more enjoyable things . . .
Yah, that's the ticket!
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Re: The money-and-happiness correlation
Old 08-29-2006, 06:49 PM   #12
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Re: The money-and-happiness correlation

Fake boobs, bad music, and expensive beer?

Not that I have anything against fake boobs... *
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Re: The money-and-happiness correlation
Old 08-29-2006, 09:27 PM   #13
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Re: The money-and-happiness correlation

The article is misleading and flawed because its entitled "money and happiness....", but tries to compare how they are related by examing incomes of various people.*

I could have a 200K/year income, but if i was 50 with a net worth of 0 (due to being loaded with debt), you bet your ass I wouldnt be happy.

But if i was 50, but had a net worth north of 1.5 million, i'm gonna be pretty happy.

So, if I was comparing how much "money" someone has, i'd want to know their net worth instead of their income.* *As we all know, its not what you make, its what you keep.

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Re: The money-and-happiness correlation
Old 08-30-2006, 12:48 AM   #14
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Re: The money-and-happiness correlation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Azanon
So, if I was comparing how much "money" someone has, i'd want to know their net worth instead of their income.* *As we all know, its not what you make, its what you keep.
Azanon
This is one of the things emphasized by Berns. Money unspent is power. Power for choice. One spent, the choice is gone. And just knowing that we have choices gives us a sense of well being.

Ha
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Re: The money-and-happiness correlation
Old 08-30-2006, 01:23 AM   #15
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Re: The money-and-happiness correlation

Unlike CFB, I do not believe that all surveys and studies are BS. However, this one is.

The study looks at the relationship between income (not wealth) and "moment-to-moment happiness" -- a term that is not defined in the article.

Statements like "experts agree . . ." and "a Harvard psychology professor . . . says . . ." are used as proof of the article thesis. It is not.

Assertions such as "we get it (happiness) from our money divided by our neighbor's money" are offered without any justification at all.

. . .

The thesis may or may not be true, but this article offers virtually nothing to convince me one way or the other. :P
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Re: The money-and-happiness correlation
Old 08-30-2006, 03:56 AM   #16
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Re: The money-and-happiness correlation

money seems to make misery much more palatable though
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Re: The money-and-happiness correlation
Old 08-30-2006, 10:41 AM   #17
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Re: The money-and-happiness correlation

Having money saved while working was comforting, but I was often not happy because of all the BS I was putting up with. Now that my saved money is supporting me....I find that I am happy, I sometimes catch myself chuckling - damn this feels good/right. But, I am fortunate in having the right people in my life, without that......money would not be enough.
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