High Price for Happiness: Priorities of American Values

A recent study by financial planner Empower sheds light on the American perception of money and happiness. According to the study, 59% of Americans believe that money can buy happiness, and they estimate that it costs around $1.2 million to achieve this level of financial happiness. Two-thirds of respondents equate financial happiness with being debt-free and paying bills on time, while just 17% said net worth defines financial happiness.

The survey was conducted among 2,034 Americans aged 18 and above between August 7th and August 14th, with an overall margin of error of 2.9 percentage points. When asked about their definition of financial happiness, respondents mentioned “freedom,” “security,” and “relief” as their top three words.

On average, Americans said they would need a salary of $284,167 per year to be happy financially. However, men’s salary requirements were significantly higher at $381,000 compared to the average female salary requirement of $183,000. There was also a significant generational divide in terms of salary requirements for financial happiness. Millennials listed the highest salary requirement at $525,000 followed by Generation Z at $128,000 while Generation X required an average salary of $130,000 and Boomers requested an average salary of $124,000.

Overall, more than seven in ten respondents stated that having more money would solve most of their problems. Nearly a third (32%) believed gaining $15,

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