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This Amount of Income Linked to Happiness Featured

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happy-young-woman-with-yenMany happiness studies have tried to determine the financial price of happiness. Some studies look at wealth (savings while other happiness studies look at income.

One well-publicized happiness study in 2011 put the optimal income for happiness at around $75,000. According to the study rising income, it turns out, produces greater happiness until you get to around $75,000. After that, there are diminishing returns, with more income leading to little or no gain in real happiness.

Happiness Not Easily Defined

“Happiness” itself is not easily defined, and money doesn't always guarantee it. And the financial requirements for happiness usually depend on geography, peer groups and other external factors.

International Happiness Income Study

The latest happiness study to weigh in on what is the perfect income for happiness is Skandia International’s Wealth Sentiment Monitor. The international happiness study found that the global average “happiness income” is around $161,000 for 13 countries surveyed. The United States wasn’t specifically measured.

But there was a wide range of answers as to what is the perfect income for happiness depending on the country. As expected, Dubai residents need the most income to feel wealthy;  $276,150 to be happy. Suprisngly, Singapore residents came in second place, with $227,553, followed by Hong Kong, with $197,702.

The region with the most modest income needs for happiness is Europe. Germans only need $85,781 to be happy, while the French need $114,000, and the British need $133,000 to be happy.

Wealth and Happiness

The survey doesn’t ask about total wealth (which includes other assets, like savings, stocks, homes) needed to feel happy. But it does ask about the amount of wealth needed to feel “wealthy.” Globally, the average amount needed to feel wealthy was $1.8 million.

Singaporeans took the lead on the “wealth” needs, with $2.91 million needed to feel wealthy. Dubai ranked second with $2.5 million, followed by Hong Kong with $2.46 million.

What Income and Wealth Americans Need to be Happy

Surveys show that among Americans, most say they need $1 million or more to feel wealthy.

Bottom Line on Income, Wealth and Happiness

All of this shows that wealth and financial happiness is not an absolute number, but is relative to your peers and surroundings. Living in Dubai, with oil rich billionaires, the finnacial needs are higher. In Germany, where wealth is more evenly distributed, the finacial needs to be happy are not as high.

Last modified on Monday, 14 January 2013 06:49
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