Poll: Money helps buy happiness

April 17, 2012 at 5:16 PM
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POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y., April 17 (UPI) -- A survey conducted by Marist College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., found that money is, after all, a critical factor in personal satisfaction with life.

"According to a new Marist poll money really does matter," the college said in a news release.

In a survey conducted for Home Instead Senior Care by the Marist Institute for Public Opinion, researchers found the general cut-off point for happiness involved a household income of $50,000.

That means, essentially, that 93 million households in the country fall below the threshold for general happiness, which was based, in the survey, on 10 "indicators of satisfaction," including family, neighborhood safety, housing, spiritual life, health, social life, recreation, community involvement, finances and work.

Members of households with less than $50,000 in annual income "are more likely to say they are not very happy and are more worried about becoming a burden to their families," the college said in a statement.

"Money may not directly buy happiness, but our study clearly shows that it is an important factor in satisfaction with quality of life," said Paul Hogan, chairman and founder of Home Instead Senior Care.

The survey also found the last 12 months have been hard for many households. In the past 12 months, 64 percent of respondents indicated they had experienced at least one financial hardship while 57 percent indicated they had cut back on household spending.

More than a quarter indicated they considered delaying retirement while 17 percent indicated they were having difficulties paying medical bills.

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