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Can money buy happiness? Most Americans say yes

A survey by Empower, a retirement planning company, shows a generational divide on the topic of income.
Can money buy happiness? Most Americans say yes
Posted at 11:08 AM, Nov 21, 2023

Most Americans, 59%, believe money can buy happiness, but the exact dollar figure needed depends on who you ask, according to a survey by Empower, a retirement planning company. 

The survey also shows a major generational divide on the topic of income. 

Millennials say an annual income of $525,000 would bring them happiness. That's much higher than other generations, including Gen Z, Gen X and Baby Boomers, who each say they would need around $125,000 a year to be happy. 

In addition to a generational divide, men and women think very differently about money. The survey shows men would need to earn $381,000 a year to be happy, while women say $183,000 annually would bring them happiness. 

SEE MORE: Which way is the US economy going?

For most people, achieving financial happiness isn't about being able to go on luxury vacations and shopping sprees. The people surveyed are more focused on addressing everyday milestones. About 65% of people said they just want to be able to pay their bills on time and live debt-free. 

People were asked what they would give up to achieve financial happiness. Nearly 75% said they would give up social media and big-ticket events for that peace of mind. However, money isn't everything for most people. Only about 20% of people would be willing to give up love or their pets for financial happiness. 


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