This is a figure based on a broad satisfaction with one’s life. For simpler, day-to-day happiness, the researches observed that $60,000 to $75,000 would likely be sufficient. Still somewhat concerning, given that the median household income in America in late 2018 was $61,372. Which means many people are a long way from hitting their peak happiness salary. But that doesn’t mean that a raise or two won’t help.
Perhaps not surprisingly, the study found that increases in happiness are relative to your current financial situation. Tebb gives the example of a $20,000 increase. When added to a $35,000 salary, it’s usually a life-changing improvement. But it brings much less change and excitement when tacked onto a $150,000 salary.
They also observed life satisfaction actually tends to decline if you start making more than the optimal amount. “After the optimal point of needs being met, people may be driven by desires such as pursuing more material gains and engaging in social comparisons, which could, ironically, lower well-being,” says Tebb. “The small decline puts one’s level of well-being closer to individuals who make slightly lower incomes, perhaps due to the costs that come with the highest incomes.”
The findings prove that money isn’t everything when it comes to happiness. Your finances are only a part of what makes a person truly happy, fulfilled and satisfied with their life. Is money an important part? Yes. But does it clearly have its limits? For sure. Which is why a man should take stock of his life every now and then and make sure that he’s finding significance in the things he chooses to do, both personally and professionally.