If you are living at the poverty line you will be happy for every
extra dollar that comes your way.
But once you are in the higher income brackets the connection between every extra dollar and happiness starts to diminish proportionally.
The economist Thomas Straubhaar said it perfectly:
“Money loses its appeal after a certain amount of income.
Having a lot of money then just produces a lot of fear and anxiety about losing the money.”
I had never before understood why many of very wealthy people go to such great lengths to accumulate more and more wealth.
How many millions do you need to have a good life?
The need to accumulate mountains of money appears to be
anxiety-based and fear-driven for many people and the prestige
and standing in the societal strata of the rich is to a large degree
also tied to individual wealth.
So losing money can change social status.
In my profession as a realtor I often experience that people who have higher income brackets tend to worry much more when they purchase a home.
They worry about losing their jobs, the fluctuations of the real estate market and having enough money to pay for their mortgages.
So where is the sweet spot between money and happiness for us?
The World Happiness Report shows Finland, Norway, Denmark and Iceland to be the top 4 countries in Ranking of Happiness Report.
Germany is 15th and the USA is 18th, 2 spots in front of the United Arab Emirates.
This is what the high-ranking Scandinavian countries have in common:
People earn a lot, but not exorbitant amounts of money.
There are great social protections and security and great individual freedom at the same time.
They pay higher taxes but they profit from them.
People count and are valued and education is a high priority.
Ideas to contemplate.