Actually, You Only Need $50K Per Year to Be Happy New poll finds those who make less aren't as satisfied By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff Posted Apr 19, 2012 12:30 PM CDT 19 comments Comments This guy must make at least $50,000 a year. (Shutterstock) (Newser) – Good news for those of you not quite making $75,000 per year: A new study finds that an annual income of just $50,000 is enough to inspire happiness. A previous study put the magic happiness number at $75,000, finding that even Americans making significantly more than that weren't any happier. The new study isn't quite the same: It didn't measure what happens to happiness after the $50,000 mark, it just found that those making less than $50,000 weren't as satisfied with their lives. The new poll by the Marist Institute for Public Opinion found that those making at least $50,000 per year were more satisfied in every area surveyed, including housing, relationships, neighborhood safety, health, employment, spirituality, community involvement, retirement prospects, finances, and general life direction. Respondents who made less than that were more likely to consider their best days behind them, and were less likely to refer to themselves as very happy, Time reports.