Whoever said money can’t buy happiness clearly hasn’t seen this new study that has predicted exactly how much you need to earn for total emotional well-being.
A large analysis published in the journal Nature Human Behavior looked at a survey of more than 1.7 million people across 164 countries to find out exactly which income brackets are the happiest. Researchers working on the study found that, for daily emotional well-being, individuals earning $60,000 to $75,000 each year were better off than other income earners. The higher figure of $95,000 was the magic number for long-term happiness or “life evaluation,” which also ticks off long-term goals, peer comparisons, and other higher-level metrics. “This amount is for individuals and would likely be higher for families,” psychologist Andrew T. Jebb from Purdue University clarified in the study.
Probably one of the most surprising and interesting parts of the research is what it says about high-income earners. Apparently, more does not necessarily equal happier when it comes to how much cash you pocket at the end of each pay period. In fact, the researchers at Purdue University found that once people started earning above $95,000 their life satisfaction actually started to drop.
This probably has more to do with the sacrifices people make to earn that higher income bracket, rather than the fact they’re flush with cash. “Theoretically, it is presumably not the higher incomes themselves that drive reductions in [subjective well-being], but the costs associated with them,” the researchers write in the study. “High incomes are usually accompanied by high demands (time, workload, responsibility, and so on) that might also limit opportunities for positive experiences (for example, leisure activities).”
Basically, this means that earning $295,000 a year probably won’t make you any happier than earning $95,000 and that, beyond affording a comfortable life, money really doesn’t equal long-term happiness. With that in mind, you should probably look for some other ways to find happiness and satisfaction.