How would you explain the relatively similar levels of happiness reported between people who make largely disparate annual salaries (50 thousand dollars versus 50 million)? Why do you think happiness plateaus at around $50,000 per year? What, if anything, will you personally take away from this research about the relationship between money and happiness?
The explanation that I would offer for this observed trend would be that beyond a certain point, money fails to contribute to an individual’s happiness and well-being. Money is essential only to the degree that it meets and secures one’s basic needs and allowing individuals certain comforts. When this threshold is exceeded, money becomes simply a means by which one can purchase material excesses that are completely unrelated to one’s well-being. I believe that this research offers powerful insight about the relationship between money and happiness and would be especially helpful to those individuals seeking the attainment of money over and above other important aspects of life.
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