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How much for happiness? $50,000 a year should do it

April 20, 2012|By David Lazarus

Money can't buy love, they say. But how much for happiness? The answer: $50,000.

A couple of years ago, researchers at Princeton University determined that people making at least $75,000 a year are happy. Moreover, more income doesn't mean more happiness. As long as you're pocketing $75,000, you're as happy as someone pulling down $175,000.

Times have changed. Now the Marist Institute for Public Opinion says you can achieve happiness with an annual paycheck of just $50,000. People making less: not so happy. People making 50K: happy.

Marist looked at various aspects of people's lives, including satisfaction with neighborhood safety as well as health, employment, spiritual life and community involvement. Those earning $50,000 were generally more satisfied. Those earning less tended to be gloomier about, well, everything.

Me, I'd like to put this to the test by seeing how happy I could be with, I don't know, $50 million a year. I'm sure it wouldn't make any difference at all to my sense of well-being.

But, man, I'd sure be living better.



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