The financial planner Empower conducted a study on financial happiness in America, and the results were quite surprising. While 59% of Americans believe that money can buy happiness, it’s worth noting that this belief comes with a hefty price tag: around $1.2 million. Two-thirds of respondents equate financial happiness with being debt-free and making on-time bill payments, while only 17% say net worth is the key to achieving financial happiness.
The survey polled 2,034 Americans aged 18 and above between Aug. 7 and 14, with an overall margin of error of just over 2%. When asked about what comes to mind when they think about financial happiness, respondents listed “freedom,” “security,” and “relief” as their top answers.
In terms of salary, the average American said they would need $284,167 per year to feel financially happy. Men had a significantly higher price point at $381,000, compared to an average of $183,000 for women. There was also a significant generational divide when it came to salary requirements: Millennials listed the highest salary at $525,000, while Generation Z said they needed only $128,000 to achieve financial happiness. Generation X said they needed $130,000 per year to feel financially content. Boomers reported feeling satisfied with an average salary of $124,000 per year.
More than seven in ten respondents said that having more money would solve most of their problems. Almost one-third (32%) said gaining just $15,000 would make a meaningful impact on their lives; meanwhile, nearly half (42%) said that a gain of $25