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Money Buys Happiness

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Think the wealthy are all smart, friendly, spendthrift, spoiled and privileged? You might be surprised by the real forces behind their success.

Here's secret #9:

"Turns out money can buy happiness."


It may not be comforting to folks who aren't minting cash, but the rich really are different. "There's no group in America that's happier than the wealthy," says Taylor, of the Harrison Group.

Roughly 70% of millionaires say that money "created" more happiness for them, he says. Higher income also correlates with higher ratings in life satisfaction, according to a new study by economists at the Wharton School of Business. But it's not necessarily the Bentley or Manolo Blahniks that lead to bliss.

"It's the freedom that money buys," says Betsey Stevenson, a co-author of the Wharton study.

Concomitantly, rates of depression are lower among the wealthy, according to the Wharton study, and the rich tend to have better health than the rest of the population, says James Smith, senior labor economist at the Rand Corporation. In fact, health and happiness are as closely correlated as wealth and happiness, Smith says.

The wealthy even seem to smile and laugh more often, according to the Wharton study, to say nothing of getting treated with more respect and eating better food.

"People experience their day very differently when they have a lot of money," Stevenson says.

Source: Smart Money

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