Can Money Buy Happiness? 4,000 Millionaires Weigh In On The Amount It Truly Takes

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Can money buy happiness? It's an age-old question that, at one point or another, everyone has probably asked themselves. After all, who knows how much money is needed to truly live within their own means. Where a person can buy a house (or three), get the car they want to, afford having a significant other and family and, well, for lack of a better phrase: how much does it cost to live the dream?

We know all too well that people will go to great lengths to try and figure out the answer to that — with billions of dollars being wasted on lottery tickets every week. But, even if a person is to get lucky and win the an absurd amount in the Powerball or Mega Millions, can money buy happiness?


To help get an idea of the correlation between money and happiness, a new study from Harvard surveyed 4,000 millionaires, wondering exactly what the necessary amount is for them to be happy. And, based on the replies, hot damn, for these millionaires to be at the pinnacle of happiness, it takes a lot of coin, per Money:

Researchers from Harvard Business School recently asked more than 4,000 millionaires to rate how happy they were on a scale of 1 to 10. Respondents with at least $8 million scored higher than sad sacks with $7.9 million or less, but there’s a catch: the majority of all millionaires said that to be perfectly happy, they’d need to grow their wealth immensely.

That big existential question of whether or not money can buy happiness was also met with a shrug. Only at high levels of wealth ($8 million or more) were respondents found to be “happier” than those with lower levels of wealth, and the differences were modest; less than half a point on a 10-point scale.

Researchers aren’t exactly sure why $8 million is the tipping point. Maybe that’s the magic number that puts high net worth individuals ahead of their peers, boosting their perceptions of self-worth. Or maybe $8 million is the threshold where millionaires feel their money is secure enough to spend freely on things like charity and big gifts.

Yep, you read that right, guys. Even for those "sad sacks" who made "just" $7.9 million or less — but were still millionaires — didn't think that it was enough. If you're depressed my this news, don't be alone, because I'm currently wondering how I've been the happiest in my life and not (yet?) be a millionaire.

However, maybe these millionaires are onto something? That's because, just last week, we wrote an article about how far one million dollars truly goes these days. Based off of that info, it's not nearly enough.

Still, to suggest that someone would need to make at least $8 million to reach true happiness is a little insane. So, can money buy happiness? No one can ever get enough of it — just ask the richest person in the world, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, or any of his other fellow billionaires, who can't seem to give away their insane fortunes. So, yes, money can lead to, but not buy, happiness; at least in my opinion.


Lead image via Getty.

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