Ben Woodhead Deputy editor - digital

Ben Woodhead is deputy editor - digital at the Financial Review Group. He writes on business, technology, politics and the economy and can be found on BRW, The Australian Financial Review and Smart Investor.

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Can’t buy me love? Maybe, but money can buy happiness, and a better marriage

Published 28 February 2013 10:02, Updated 28 February 2013 10:10

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Can’t buy me love? Maybe, but money can buy happiness, and a better marriage

That’s what I want ... wealth seems to bring both happiness and a better marriage, a survey of 1200 US investors by website Millionaire Corner has found. Photo: Rolls-Royce

It’s true, money can buy happiness. That’s the finding of a survey of 1200 US investors by website Millionaire Corner, which quizzed participants of varying wealth on just how happy they felt.

According the responses, 44 per cent of investors with a net worth of $US5 million or more (excluding their primary residence) described themselves as “very happy” compared to less than 25 per cent of investors with a net worth of less than $US100,000.

What’s more, Millionaire Corner’s survey suggests the wealthy enjoy happier marriages, with 70 per cent of respondents worth $US5 million or more rating satisfaction with their marriage or committed relationship as a nine or a 10. At the sub-$US100,000 level relationship satisfaction dropped to 45 per cent.

The survey used a sliding scale from one (very unhappy) to 10 (very happy) to poll investors in wealth brackets of less than $US100,000, $US100,000 to $US500,000, $US500,000 to $US1 million, $US1 million to $US5 million and $US5 million or more.

Each time wealth stepped up a notch, so did the percentage of respondents describing themselves as “very happy”. However, while happiness appears to rise with wealth, only 20 per cent of investors survey by Millionaire Corner were prepared to say that money can buy happiness.

“Americans express very complex and contradicting attitudes toward wealth,” Millionaire Corner president Catherine McBreen said. “There’s a real reluctance to associate money with happiness and love, but our data indicate that the wealth feel significantly more satisfied with the lives they lead.”

Among other survey findings, millionaires are more likely than investors with wealth of less than $US100,000 to report higher satisfaction with:

  • relationships with their children (59 per cent versus 52 per cent);
  • heir social life (43 per cent versus 20 per cent);
  • activities outside work (47 per cent versus 20 per cent); and,
  • job fulfilment (53 per cent vs 21 per cent).

This story first appeared on The Australian Financial Review

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