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According to this article on CNN if you make more than $34,000 per year after taxes you are. This is per person, a family of four will need to make $136,000 per year for the entire household. This isn’t difficult in the United States considering entry-level with an Associate degree is between $30,000 and $45,000 and between $40,000 and $55,000 with a Baccalaureate. Additionally, if you make less than $40,000 a year you will probably have all the taxes you paid returned to you at the end of the year and you might even qualify for some type of government assistance.

The article explains that 1/2 of the world’s richest 1% live in the United States, the rest of the richest 1% live in Germany, France, Italy, Great Britain, Canada, Korea, Japan, and Brazil (in that order). According to the article, 29 million United States residents make up 1/2 of that population. Considering the US population is approximately 300 million, that means that 10% of United States resident’s are part of the global population’s 1% richest.

If making $34,000 per year makes you part of the world’s richest, how much more money do  you need before money stops making you happy? According to a study out of Princeton, that number is around $75,000 per year. After an individual meets that threshold life circumstances and individual temperament have a greater impact on people’s happiness .

I find it sad that even being part of the richest 1%, people still need to make more money to meet all there needs. Both of these articles point to a problem with our society if the entry-level 1% richest need to  more than double their earnings in order for money to stop being a condition of their happiness.

Without going into specific numbers, I have been making more than the $34,000 threshold since 2006. Personally, I felt more stress and liked my life when I had less. Last year I did a major downsizing and now have about two weeks worth of clothes and take public transportation. I’m still above the threshold, but personally, I have a higher level of satisfaction that I didn’t have when I was participating in consumerism. My money also goes a lot further as I’ve cut my annual spending to about $20,000 a year. $1,000 a month for rent, and $500 a month for food, transportation, utilities, and entertainment. Having enough to meet your needs is great, but you’ll be a lot happier if you figure out who you are and what makes you happy regardless of how much money you have.

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