How Much Money Do You Need to Be Happy? [11-05-2012]
Can money buy happiness? According to a new survey, the answer is yes. And, it might not cost as much as you think. An annual household income of $50,000 is enough to increase the likelihood of people feeling happy and satisfied in life.

Researchers at Marist College in New York surveyed 1,235 Americans last month. They asked people to rate their level of satisfaction in the following areas: family, neighborhood safety, housing, spiritual life, health, friends, work, free time, finances, and community involvement. They also asked them to identify their annual household income.

They found that households with annual incomes of less than $50,000 were less happy than those who earned more than $50,000. People who earned more than $50,000 were more satisfied with their housing, relationship with friends, and life in general.

“Money may not directly buy happiness, but our study clearly shows that it is an important factor in satisfaction with quality of life,” said Paul Hogan, who led the survey.

Then who were the least happy people? The saddest Americans were the unemployed, followed by people who were recently separated but not divorced.