What money can’t buy? Nothing. In fact, even happiness.
According to a research conducted by experts at Perdue University, the average amount of annual income a person needs to be generally satisfied with life is $95,000. The researchers also claim that we only need $60,000 to $75,000 to achieve emotional well-being.
“That might be surprising as what we see on TV and what advertisers tell us we need would indicate that there is no ceiling when it comes to how much money is needed for happiness,” Andrew Jebb, the study’s co-author, told the Perdue University News. “But we now see there are some thresholds.”
The researchers gathered data from the Gallup World Poll that surveyed 1.7 million people from 164 countries. The poll asked the subjects about life and well-being, including their subjective view of happiness, and discovered that the average dollar amount of money to attain “income satiation” is about $95,000.
“This amount is for individuals and would likely be higher for families,” Jebb said.
However, the price of happiness varies, depending on the country’s relative wealth. According to a study published in Nature Human Behavior, $125,000 is needed to feel satisfied with life in Australia, but only $35,000 in Latin America. In North America, $105,000 is the price tag for life satisfaction, while $100,000 in Europe, $70,000 in Southeast Asia and $45,000 in Eastern Europe.
The same study also suggests that people might want to reconsider limiting their annual earnings to the mentioned amounts, as data showed that excessive wealth may reduce the quality of well-being and happiness. Researchers claim that it doesn’t necessarily mean that a higher wage means a higher satisfaction in life, nor a higher salary means a less satisfying life. Rather, they associate greater demands with making more money.
“High incomes are usually accompanied by high demands (time, workload, responsibility, and so on),” the researchers wrote, “that might also limit opportunities for positive experiences (for example, leisure activities).”
Have a look at this video that explores the subject of happiness in greater detail: