Can money buy happiness? Maybe. For example, people who have financial strategies are typically happier because they feel more in control. On the other hand, people who lack financial resources report varying degrees of stress and a less than optimal life satisfaction.1 Some say money only buys you happiness to a point – that once you reach a certain income level, your happiness level stabilizes.
Certainly, how you spend your money has a great impact on the enjoyment and satisfaction you feel. Here are six tips on ways to spend for happiness before and during retirement.
Pay for experiences not stuff – Experiences often provide more happiness than material goods because they are more likely to make us feel connected to others.
Make it rare – Seek out the unusual experience or item. Humans tend to become apathetic the more we are exposed to the same thing.
Buy time – It’s a no-brainer. Spending quality time with family and friends greatly increases our happiness. Too much time spent working/paying bills/commuting has the opposite effect.
Treat yourself (sometimes) – Steering a steady financial course is the best approach with occasional splurges to reward yourself or loved ones. Avoid indulging too frequently as it may derail your expectations and happiness.
Give it away – Spending money on others can do more to boost happiness than spending it on your own needs and wants.
Help Reduce Financial Stress – Freedom from worry may be the biggest gift you can give yourself and your loved ones. Consider buying a whole life insurance policy or other solutions that can provide financial confidence.
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1 From Concerned to Confident, The Guardian Study of Financial
and Emotional Confidence, White Paper, November 2016.