It's no surprise that the highest wage earners express the most satisfaction with their lives, but does that come at a personal cost?
Is a high-paying job the secret to happiness? Recent research from Spectrem’s Millionaire Corner finds that high income earners express the highest amount of satisfaction with most aspects of their lives. But this happiness may come at a personal cost.
Income earners across all levels believe that the secret to happiness is tied to a happy marriage or committed relationship as well as good health. The highest earners—those who make at least $200,000—are more likely than those who earn under $100,000 to put the highest stock in a loving relationship (42 percent vs. 35 percent). Conversely, those who earn under $100,000 put a higher premium on the health than the highest earners, perhaps because they do not have the financial wherewithal to not take their health for granted.
Not surprisingly, the highest wage earners are on the whole the happiest with their lives. On a 10-point sliding scale with one indicating the highest unhappiness or dissatisfaction and 10 the most, more than three-fourths of those earning at least $200,000 rate their happiness an 8 or better, compared with 68 percent of those who earn less than $100,000.
In what other areas do the highest wage earners think they have found the secret to happiness?
· Job satisfaction: One-fourth of those earning at least $200,000 rate satisfaction with their job (or previous job) a 10, vs. 15 percent of those who earn under $100,000.
· Social Life: If you call a high-earning acquaintance on a Saturday night, chance are they will be out. Just over two-thirds (67 percent) rate their satisfaction with their social life at least an 8, vs. 52 percent of those who earn less than $100,000.
· Financial Situation: Here’s a shocker: More than twice as many of the highest wage earners as those who earn less than $100,000 rate happiness with their financial situation a 10.
· Leisure Activities: Money does not seem to be a factor in finding fulfilling activities outside of work. Sixteen percent of the highest wage earners rate satisfaction with their leisure activities a 10, compared with 13 percent of those who earn less than $100,000.
· Relationships with Children: Here is another, but more crucial area where money is not necessarily the secret to happiness. Sixty percent of those who earn less than $100,000 rated satisfaction with their relationships with their children at least a 9, compared with 54 percent of the highest wage earners.
Donald Liebenson writes news and features for Millionaire Corner. He has been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, Fiscal Times, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, and other outlets. He has also served as a marketing writer for Chicago-based Questar Entertainment and distributor Baker & Taylor.
A graduate of the University of Southern California, he is married with a college-age son. He also writes extensively about entertainment.