Money + Happiness + City

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Complete BS. You can work 2 days a week and make 50k a year and be happy in any city. You can work 80 hours a week and m... (more)

unnamedny (May. 04, 2012 @ 6:21p) |

NYK number is no surprise. But why is Honolulu so expensive? I didn't know defense and agriculture pay so well. Given t... (more)

nycll (May. 04, 2012 @ 7:17p) |

Honolulu is expensive because it's on an island. Housing is expensive. Lots of things have to be shipped in specially, a... (more)

arktc (May. 04, 2012 @ 7:23p) |

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Thx op, now I have something to blame my sadness on

This just confirms my sadness

I only made half of average salary, so I am half sad.

This just confirms why I should move!

Interestingly enough, I just went from 2/3rds of the happiness salary to about 90% of the happiness salary for my area. I really don't find myself any happier than I was before except for the slight joy of seeing an ever increasing bank balance.

honestly i don't feel the difference going from mid 5 figures to mid 6. guess that's what happens when you drive a beater civic and live in a small home.

I would say the additional happiness I have embraced is the fact I can travel more freely and not think about the cost but state side meh playing in the yard with dog or shooting hoops at the gym i'm happy enough.

kloakndaggers said:   honestly i don't feel the difference going from mid 5 figures to mid 6. guess that's what happens when you drive a beater civic and live in a small home.

If you're not feeling the difference with an extra 450k /year, (500k - 50k), i think you're spending your money the wrong way.

"Mo money Mo problems"

The $ amount is based on single income

no wonder depression is such a popular issue with Americans

Damn. I went from almost happy to halfway happy. Thanks a lot, OP. D:<

I live in Long Beach, FML.

foeplay said:   I live in Long Beach, FML.

At least you don't live in Orange County... those cities arent even listed ... the index is probably closer to 175 for Irvine/Laguna/Newport.

This just reconfirms I'm above average in both areas.

Looks like a bunch of randomly picked and assigned numbers. I call journalistic BS.

I live in NYC/NJ and I knew that life sucks for the non-millionaires but, always thought Hawaii cost even more than NY. I vacation there every year for about a month and feel that basic costs such as utilities and grocery items are all more expensive.

mwa423 said:   Interestingly enough, I just went from 2/3rds of the happiness salary to about 90% of the happiness salary for my area. I really don't find myself any happier than I was before except for the slight joy of seeing an ever increasing bank balance.

If growing your bank account only makes you slightly more happy, try spending some of that money and see what that gets you. I work to earn money that can be used buy me lifes necessities and pleasures. I don't work to horde my money like scrooge mcduck.

There are lots of cities on that list where I wouldn't be happy no matter how much money I made.

Does this normalize for decrease in happiness due to marriage/kids?

samiam68 said:   Looks like a bunch of randomly picked and assigned numbers. I call journalistic BS.

I tend to agree. There's no way my ridiculously impoverished hometown (in PA) has the same index as my northern CA college town.

samiam68 said:   Looks like a bunch of randomly picked and assigned numbers. I call journalistic BS.

How so? There are various cost of living indices available. If you don't like the specific one they picked, what do you suggest is better?

Note that they used Census defined metro-areas, so it's not as granular as it could be.

arktc said:   samiam68 said:   Looks like a bunch of randomly picked and assigned numbers. I call journalistic BS.

How so? There are various cost of living indices available. If you don't like the specific one they picked, what do you suggest is better?

Note that they used Census defined metro-areas, so it's not as granular as it could be.


- The numbers are all suspiciously rounded.
- What do these dollar amounts mean? Houselhold income? Individual income?
- Is a single person in NY suburbia making $163K just as happy as a family of 5 living in the heart of the city and making the same amount?
- How exactly are these amounts calculated?
- What is defined as "happiness"? I am in the NYC metro area and personally know many people who make a ton of money and are miserable, angry, and unhappy. I also know people who make 50-60K and are perfectly happy and enjoy their lives.

90% of everything you read in financial publications is pure BS. Most of these useless studies are BS as well. People publish stuff just to publish stuff.

samiam68 said:   arktc said:   samiam68 said:   Looks like a bunch of randomly picked and assigned numbers. I call journalistic BS.

How so? There are various cost of living indices available. If you don't like the specific one they picked, what do you suggest is better?

Note that they used Census defined metro-areas, so it's not as granular as it could be.


- The numbers are all suspiciously rounded.
- What do these dollar amounts mean? Houselhold income? Individual income?
- Is a single person in NY suburbia making $163K just as happy as a family of 5 living in the heart of the city and making the same amount?
- How exactly are these amounts calculated?
- What is defined as "happiness"? I am in the NYC metro area and personally know many people who make a ton of money and are miserable, angry, and unhappy. I also know people who make 50-60K and are perfectly happy and enjoy their lives.

90% of everything you read in financial publications is pure BS. Most of these useless studies are BS as well. People publish stuff just to publish stuff.


Someone's cranky, you must be below the happiness threshold.

treasurebeacon said:   The $ amount is based on single income

no wonder depression is such a popular issue with Americans


First world problems.

jd2010 said:   samiam68 said:   arktc said:   samiam68 said:   Looks like a bunch of randomly picked and assigned numbers. I call journalistic BS.

How so? There are various cost of living indices available. If you don't like the specific one they picked, what do you suggest is better?

Note that they used Census defined metro-areas, so it's not as granular as it could be.


- The numbers are all suspiciously rounded.
- What do these dollar amounts mean? Houselhold income? Individual income?
- Is a single person in NY suburbia making $163K just as happy as a family of 5 living in the heart of the city and making the same amount?
- How exactly are these amounts calculated?
- What is defined as "happiness"? I am in the NYC metro area and personally know many people who make a ton of money and are miserable, angry, and unhappy. I also know people who make 50-60K and are perfectly happy and enjoy their lives.

90% of everything you read in financial publications is pure BS. Most of these useless studies are BS as well. People publish stuff just to publish stuff.


Someone's cranky, you must be below the happiness threshold.

Just another data point to prove how useless this data is.

qcumber98 said:   This just reconfirms I'm above average in both areas.

But below average in the qcumber area?

hhmmmmmm per headcount or per family?

nickk said:   "Mo money Mo problems"

+1000

beatme said:   qcumber98 said:   This just reconfirms I'm above average in both areas.

But below average in the qcumber area?
How dare you?

samiam68 said:   
- The numbers are all suspiciously rounded.


No they are not suspiciously rounded. They started with $75,000 as base and adjusted due to the cost of living index.
Its in 1% increments of 75k so they will all vary by increments of $750.
e.g. If COL is 88 then they muliply $75,000 by 88% to get $66,000 or COL 89 would be $66,750.

samiam68 said:   
- The numbers are all suspiciously rounded.
- What do these dollar amounts mean? Houselhold income? Individual income?
- Is a single person in NY suburbia making $163K just as happy as a family of 5 living in the heart of the city and making the same amount?
- How exactly are these amounts calculated?
- What is defined as "happiness"? I am in the NYC metro area and personally know many people who make a ton of money and are miserable, angry, and unhappy. I also know people who make 50-60K and are perfectly happy and enjoy their lives.

90% of everything you read in financial publications is pure BS. Most of these useless studies are BS as well. People publish stuff just to publish stuff.


I agree that 90% of what you read in financial publications is pure BS, but you also can't take these numbers for more than they are. Again, the assumptions are stated, and the numbers are fine based on what the methodology is. They aren't suspiciously rounded because they are using whole percentages and starting with $75K.

When displaying data, you always make compromises. I believe the same source published a "how much money does it take to be 'rich' in your city?" and they gave two columns, one for couples and one for families of 4, and it was based on being in the top 5% of household income for that family type in each city. Obviously, this doesn't absolutely tell us what means "rich" to someone with 8 kids in Kalispell, MT, but the idea is that you can relatively compare different cities and get a rough idea. It's never meant to be an absolute metric and shouldn't be thought of as one.

And obviously some people are in the top 5% and want to keep up with the Joneses, while others are happy where they are. Again, don't take this for more than what it is.

Wall streetization of life as we know it. They will have a futures contract based on happiness soon enough.

Ok...... Equally happy living at the same $75K salary in Ann Arbor, Detroit, or Flint, Michigan, eh? Hmmmmm Can I buy some of what they're smoking, and is it going to get me arrested?

The article is almost 2 years old

$163k in NYC is far too low.

This article is BS !

Claymore said:   Ok...... Equally happy living at the same $75K salary in Ann Arbor, Detroit, or Flint, Michigan, eh? Hmmmmm Can I buy some of what they're smoking, and is it going to get me arrested?

Nah thats accurate... youre in %&*#$ing michigan no matter how much you make

" The Art of Happiness " ( HH The 14th Dalai Lama

BS. I've lived in several cities listed and I completely disagree with the order they are in. Also, they lump MASSIVE metroplexes into one pot- depending on where you live/work in a massive city like Houston, you could make X and live in squalor or live in a mcmansion.

Skipping 11 Messages...
nycll said:   NYK number is no surprise. But why is Honolulu so expensive? I didn't know defense and agriculture pay so well. Given the climate people there should be happier with the same money.

Honolulu is expensive because it's on an island. Housing is expensive. Lots of things have to be shipped in specially, and some of those containers have to go back empty. Guam is similarly expensive (and has always had a higher Fannie/Freddie limit like Alaska and Hawaii). Same thing for French Polynesia and other places. Also, there are lots of tourists, which tends to raise prices because tourists will pay them.



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