By now, most of us know that money can’t buy happiness. It can buy peace of mind, and a certain amount of financial security, but once your basic needs are met, earning a lot of money isn’t going to make you happier.
A recent article on Yahoo! Finance reiterates this view. The American Dream Poll from CNN Money found that 51 percent of Americans believe that they can be happy, even if they make less than six figures. A full quarter of those who were polled think that they can be happy earning between $50,000 and $74,999 per year, squaring up with a Princeton study from a few years ago claiming that $75,000 was the point at which making more doesn’t increase happiness.
Only 23 percent of respondents thought that an annual income of between $100,000 and $199,999 would make them happy, and 10 percent said that they could be happy on less than $30,000 per year.
The poll also asked what it takes to feel “rich.” Many Americans think that it takes six figures a year to be considered rich, even as many of them insisted that they didn’t need to be “rich” in order to be happy with their lives.
It seems as though priorities have a lot to do with happiness. If you have enough money to meet your goals and live as you wish, it doesn’t matter how much that is. And, according to this poll, it looks as though most Americans are fairly modest in their wants, since they think they can afford them for less than $200,000 per year.