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

(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.

story continues below

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." (Read more money stories.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.