Americans Say Money Can Buy Happiness...Here's How Much!

The age old question, “Can money buy happiness?” has been answered in new research. A survey from Empower, a financial services firm, asked 2,034 Americans over age 18 if happiness has a price and the answer is yes, for 59%. But most will need a big raise and a large bank balance to achieve it.

The average household income in the U.S. is around $74-thousand a year, but to be happy, respondents say they’d need to make about $284-thousand annually. They’d also need to have $1.2-million in the bank to feel content and financially happy.

Key findings from the survey include:

  • Nearly three-quarters (71%) think “having more money would solve most of my problems.”
  • While 59% say money can buy happiness, only 17% say financial happiness comes from having a specific net worth.
  • More associate happiness with paying bills on time (67%), being debt-free (65%) and having a good work/life balance (44%).
  • The amount millennials think they’d need to make every year to be happy is $525-thousand, which is significantly higher than the overall average. For Gen Z, it’s $128-thousand, for Gen X, it’s $130-thousand and Boomers say it’s $124-thousand.
  • Despite the economy, 68% of Americans say they’re content and satisfied at work, 72% are satisfied with their relationships and 58% are satisfied with their overall wealth.
  • If money wasn’t a concern, 64% of Americans would quit their job tomorrow.
  • Respondents define being content as not having to rely on anyone else financially (87%), being able to handle unexpected expenses (87%), and being able to financially take care of loved ones (84%).
  • Almost three-quarters (73%) would give up social media if it gave them financial happiness.
  • Having financial happiness would make people healthier in all aspects of life (79%), including being more productive and creative at work (77%), help build generational wealth (84%), and inspire people to pay it forward (78%).

Source: Empower

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