Happiness Can Bring You ... Money
Those who are happier at 18 tend to make more money at 30: study
By Kate Seamons, Newser Staff
Posted Nov 25, 2012 3:25 PM CST
Be happy!   (©)

(Newser) – As the saying goes, money can't buy you happiness. But it looks like the reverse is true: Researchers have found that those who are happiest as teens end up out-earning their peers by the time they are 30, making about 10% more than the average. But those who were unhappiest at the ages of 16 and 18 earned 30% less, reports the Guardian. If you weren't so chipper at 16, all is not immediately lost. The analysis of 10,000 people showed that at age 22, a one-point increase on a life-satisfaction scale translated into a bump of about $2,000 in yearly earnings by age 29.

Among the reasons why this is so: The researchers speculate that happiness could lead to optimism, which they posit boosts one's persistence and one's chances of going to college; happy teens may also develop a broader network and find more opportunities presented to them. Says one of the researchers, "If I were to find a person who was very dissatisfied with their life at 20 or 21 and compared them to a person who was very satisfied with their life at that age, the statistical prediction would then be that there's a $10,000 difference between their later earnings."

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Showing 3 of 9 comments
Grokthat
Nov 26, 2012 5:58 AM CST
If happiness and optimism lead to more earnings, why isn't the wealthiest segment of our society willing to pay a larger pecentage in taxes - for surely more money is coming their way. Ignorance is bliss and that may lead to wealth as well. What research missed here is that true happiness can only be measured by counting all your blessings.
finkster
Nov 25, 2012 6:48 PM CST
Well that's just depressing to me I think I'll just hide in my mansion and sulk about what has happened in my life....:-(
No-Left-Turn
Nov 25, 2012 6:20 PM CST
I, and I assume most others, tried to hire happy, well-adjusted people, all other things being equal. Happy, optimistic people are also preferred by customers. Seems pretty obvious to me why they outperform.