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Here’s the Salary Americans Say They Need to Be Happy — It’s Over $100,000 in 17 States

Money can’t literally buy happiness. But it can buy safety, security and experiences that make life more joyful and less stressful. How much money do Americans need to be happy? The answer varies depending on where they live and what they value.

Key Takeaways

  • Americans say they need an average of $94,696 a year to be happy. This is the average salary that Americans say would make them happy, according to a new survey of over 1,200 people from Moneyzine.com. However, this number is not the same for everyone, as happiness depends on many factors besides money, such as health, relationships, hobbies, and the ability to get that fancy avocado toast once in a while. You know, the one with the perfectly poached egg on top that’s totally Instagram-worthy!
  • In 17 states, the average salary needed to be happy is over $100,000 a year. These are the states where the cost of living is higher than the national average, and where residents say they need more money to afford their basic needs and wants. It’s like trying to keep up with the Kardashians in New York ($288,543) or embracing the Aloha spirit in Hawaii ($200,978), which are also the most expensive states to live in. Living the high life comes at a price, apparently. But hey, at least you can enjoy those stunning city views from your swanky penthouse!
    1. New York

      Average salary needed to be happy: $288,543

      Median annual salary: $52,478

    2. Hawaii

      Average salary needed to be happy: $200,978

      Median annual salary: $48,568

    3. Maryland

      Average salary needed to be happy: $145,833

      Median annual salary: $51,418

    4. New Jersey

      Average salary needed to be happy: $139,286

      Median annual salary: $51,085

    5. Massachusetts

      Average salary needed to be happy: $139,167

      Median annual salary: $58,448

    6. Utah

      Average salary needed to be happy: $137,500

      Median annual salary: $44,470

    7. Washington

      Average salary needed to be happy: $128,125

      Median annual salary: $56,326

    8. California

      Average salary needed to be happy: $127,968

      Median annual salary: $49,733

    9. Illinois

      Average salary needed to be happy: $127,581

      Median annual salary: $47,486

    10. Idaho

      Average salary needed to be happy: $117,500

      Median annual salary: $40,061

    11. Colorado

      Average salary needed to be happy: $115,591

      Median annual salary: $50,253

    12. Florida

      Average salary needed to be happy: $113,898

      Median annual salary: $40,810

    13. Michigan

      Average salary needed to be happy: $111,037

      Median annual salary: $45,510

    14. Maine

      Average salary needed to be happy: $110,951

      Median annual salary: $45,427

    15. Oregon

      Average salary needed to be happy: $105,000

      Median annual salary: $47,778

    16. Arizona

      Average salary needed to be happy: $100,504

      Median annual salary: $45,282

    17. Virginia

      Average salary needed to be happy: $100,417

      Median annual salary: $48,298

  • In some states, the average salary needed to be happy is less than $100,000 a year. These are the states where the cost of living is lower than the national average, and where residents say they need less money to enjoy their lives. You can find financial bliss and breathe in the fresh air of New Hampshire ($42,000), which is also one of the cheapest states to live in. It’s like having your cake and eating it too, without breaking the bank. Plus, you’ll have more cash to spend on hiking gear and outdoor adventures!

In conclusion, money can influence happiness, but it is not the only factor. The amount of money that Americans say they need to be happy varies by state, depending on the cost of living and other factors. However, happiness is not a fixed goal that can be achieved by reaching a certain income level. Happiness is a subjective and dynamic state that can change over time and circumstances. Therefore, it is important to find balance and satisfaction in all aspects of life, not just money. So go ahead, chase those dreams, have a little fun, and remember to savor the small things that bring you joy – even if it’s just that perfect cup of coffee on a lazy Sunday morning. Life’s too short to not enjoy the little pleasures!


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