Will $75K Make You Happy?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Robert Frank, wealth reporter for the Wall Street Journal and author of Richistantalks about a recent study that says our happiness increases as we make more money, until we hit a happy plateau at $75,000.


Robert Frank

Comments [16]

Matt from NYC

Money isn't the key to happiness. Security is the key to happiness. The problem is, without money, you can't be secure. At 75k you can have a home and not worry about eating or paying your bills. You can save for your old age and afford to get sick once in a while. You can fix your car or your tv or your leaky pipes. Once those basics are no longer a source of constant stress, happiness comes from the people around and the experiences which enrich your life, be they travel, love, or raising a family.

Owning a yacht isn't what makes people happy. It's the sailing and the ocean that does that. (It's just easier to sail if you own the boat.)

Sep. 19 2010 05:58 PM
Croix from Staten Island

This was the most enlightening and stress relieving shows I have heard in a while. My W-2s indicate that Im making about 1/8 of what the adjusted amount of $163,000 for NYC, and I was getting really depressed that I couldn't make ends meet, with commuting costs, energy costs etc.

At least now Im not feeling quite like a failure, but more like Im swimming against an incoming tide.

And I agree with most callers, I'd feel like a millionaire with 75K coming in!!!

Sep. 17 2010 10:43 AM
Eugenia Renskoff from Brooklyn

From my comment on The Brian Lehrer Show:
Hi, Andrea, I have always felt that money does bring happiness on an important level. If you have money to live on and pay your bills and take a vacation, you are not stressed out and you don’t get sick. You don’t have something like ulcers. Personally, $75,000 a year right now would suit me fine because I have nowhere near that amount. And if I had that money, I wouldn’t feel homeless. I lost my condo in GA due to mortgage fraud and foreclosure. That experience has given me a sense of insecurity that I had not experienced before. Eugenia Renskoff

Sep. 15 2010 01:09 PM
Gary from Bronx

Just to be clear, the findings don't propose that people with $75,000 aren't at the same level of emotional-happiness--does it? It only proposes that there is no change in one's emotional-happiness beyond $75,000--right?

Sep. 15 2010 11:12 AM
Anonymous from Brooklyn

My husband I make more than $100K combined, and we are barely paying our bills. I recently had to tell my son that I had stop his $120/month karate lessons. It broke my heart. Where does that figure in to this happiness quotient?

Sep. 15 2010 10:59 AM
The Truth from Becky

Not sure but, I would like to give it a shot but it has to be after tax and after monthly bills, just sitting in the bank at my disposal.

Sep. 15 2010 10:58 AM
Bob Brady

And in 1968, Fortune Magazine reported that the number was $25,000 per year. We have come soooo far.

Sep. 15 2010 10:57 AM
blossom from NYC

Are there differentials for 1) location?
2) single cf married ?
3) college/grad school loans?

Sep. 15 2010 10:56 AM
AJ from NYC

With 2 kids and both parents that work full time, you need to make at least $200,000 to cover costs (rent, babysitter, food, etc.) and start saving a little.

Sep. 15 2010 10:56 AM

Are you talking about individual or household income? Makes a big difference.

Sep. 15 2010 10:54 AM
susy from Manhattan

I used to work for a design studio and my salary was exactly 75k.

I was more miserable at that time in my life than I am now.

Now I work for myself, and I definitely make less. But I am MUCH happier.

Like so many studies, I can't say this one is worth keeping in mind.

Sep. 15 2010 10:54 AM
gaetano catelli from greenpoint, brooklyn

'psychologists' are so deep.

Sep. 15 2010 10:54 AM
desdemona finch from Brooklyn

75K buys a lot of toys everywhere but NYC. All I want is my own apartment and money to buy food. That's still a pipe dream for some.

Sep. 15 2010 10:52 AM
Paul Gray from Princeton

As long as you make enough to pay the rent, feed the family, have enough money to have fun with and put some away for savings.

Yes, money does buy happiness.


Sep. 15 2010 10:52 AM
DarkSymbolist from NYC!

Personally, I don't care what the Jones' have or how big their car is, I would just like to be comfortable and not worry about money, I don't need to be rich.

Sep. 15 2010 10:52 AM

aren't there any poor people in india that are happy?
I guess if we are just talking about americans, we staters are consumers. it's in our DNA. we just can't be happy if the jones have a bigger car, nicer clothes or more toys. 75K does buy a lot of toys.

Sep. 15 2010 09:33 AM

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