Money really does buy happiness

by AB04 Mar 2013

Money can’t buy happiness…or can it? A recent survey of 1,200 US investors found a direct link between increased income and increased reported happiness.

Millionaire Corner, who carried out the research, say the idea clashes with popular belief and offends even the richest citizens.

“Only one-in-five millionaires admit that money can buy happiness, yet wealthier adults report significantly higher levels of satisfaction in every aspect of their life, according to a survey of...We asked investors from a range of wealth levels to rate their overall level of happiness on a sliding scale, with ten signifying ‘very happy’ and one, ‘very unhappy’.”

Happiness rises steadily with net worth, according to the results and less than one-fourth of investors with a net worth of less than US$100,000 (the average Australian mortgage broker earns around US$62,000) rated their happiness as a nine or a ten, compared to 44% for millionaires with a net worth of US$5 million or more.

Millionaire Corner president, Catherine McBreen, says there’s a ‘real reluctance’ to associate money with happiness and love.

“But our data indicates that the wealthy feel significantly more satisfied with the lives they lead.”

According to the results, investors of all wealth levels agree that the most significant components of happiness are, in order of importance: a happy marriage or committed relationship, good health, the freedom to do things that are important to you and happy, healthy children. 

More than 70% of millionaires with $5 million or more rate their satisfaction with their marriage or committed relationship as a nine or ten. The share falls to 45% for investors with less than $100,000.

Furthermore, millionaires are significantly more likely than investors with less than $100,000 to report higher levels of satisfaction regarding their relationships with their children (59% vs. 52%), their social life (43% vs. 20%), fulfilling activities outside of work (47% vs. 20%), job fulfilment (53% vs. 21%) and their financial situation (67% vs. 11%).

Money may not be the entire secret to happiness, but it appears to be a significant component.