Can Money Buy You Happiness

Can Money Buy You Happiness? That’s the headline for a recent Wall Street Journal article that explored the latest recent research into this provocative question. And it’s a topic that we at Wealth Impact Partners have focused on for many years.

The article certainly affirms the common sense observation that people with higher incomes generally are happier than those who struggle economically. But researchers have discovered that how people spend their money really matters – and that “giving money away makes people a lot happier than lavishing it on themselves.” And even when people do spend money on themselves, they are much happier when it’s used to create experiences, rather than to accumulate more material possessions.

For example, people who invest in memorable experiences – travel, theatre or concert performances, family vacations, etc. – find that the memories created through these shared moments provide greater happiness and more lasting value than material goods. That’s because memories have a powerful impact in our lives and we tend to adapt to material purchases which provide excitement when new but soon lose their novelty and appeal.

One researcher found that giving money away consistently made people happier in countries as different as Canada, South Africa, and Uganda – and at all income levels. And the greatest driver of happiness was the donor’s knowledge that the gift would have impact and make a difference in other people’s lives.

Many of the findings in this article resonated with me because it affirms the principles that guide our Life & Legacyplanning process. We encourage people to tap into their deepest passions and plan wisely to use their resources to fulfill those dreams. We help people recognize and release their excess wealth in support of the people, causes, and organizations that matter most to them. We’re thrilled when people experience the pure joy of knowing they have used their resources to make a positive and lasting impact in the world.

We’re now in the season of the year when the allure of consumerism is at its highest pitch. We’re promised that giving or receiving the latest electronic gadget or luxury item will guarantee happiness. It’s a good time to hit the pause button and express gratitude for the people, experiences, and possessions that surround us – a “count your blessings” strategy recommended in the WSJ article. Take a page from the experts: look around and resolve to find true happiness in pursuing your personal “more than matters.”


The material contained herein is for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual nor does it take into account the particular investment objectives, financial situation or needs of individual investors. Any tax advice contained herein is of a general nature and is not intended for public dissemination. Further, you should seek specific tax advice from your tax professional before pursuing any idea contemplated herein. This advice is being provided solely as an incidental service to our business as insurance professionals and investment advisors.

Neither Wealth Impact Partners, Valmark Securities nor its affiliates and/or its employees/agents/registered representatives offer legal or tax advice. Please seek independent advice, specific to your situation, from a qualified legal/tax professional.

Securities offered through Valmark Securities, Inc. Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advisory services offered through Valmark Advisers, Inc., a SEC Registered Investment Advisor. 130 Springside Drive, Suite 300 Akron, Ohio 44333. (800) 765-5201. Wealth Impact Partners is a separate entity from Valmark Securities, Inc. and Valmark Advisers, Inc. BSW Inner Circle and AES Nation LLC are separate entities from Valmark Securities and Valmark Advisors.

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