Does Money Buy Happiness?.... it Depends

Adversarial Collaboration sounds like an oxymoron, but it’s really a useful tool, especially in those hard-to-solve problems posed by the human condition. The technique was used by two well-known experts in the fields of psychology, decision-making and economics.

Daniel Khaneman, one of my favorite authors on the subject, Matthew Killingworth and Barbra Mellers also experts on the same subjects, have recently published the results of an in-depth study on the subject of how personal income contributes to an individual’s overall happiness.

A lot went into the study but, at a rudimentary level, it indicates that the unhappiest people become happier with increased income until they reach a level of around $75K to $100K annual income. Then they plateau and increases don’t contribute to happiness. Those who start out relatively happy do not tend to reach a noticeable plateau up through an income of $400K.

Here’s an abstract of the published study:

“You can’t buy happiness, but you can rent it for a few hours.”

Wealth cannot buy you happiness, but it can buy you freedom to an extent.

As an acquaintance told me, money may not buy you happiness but it can sure buy peace and quiet. This was shortly after a divorce.