Those who know us well here at bdb will have heard our often-repeated mantra that true wealth is measured in time, relationships and experiences.
This viewpoint is formed from many years of working with materially successful couples where we observe relatively high levels of income and accumulated capital wealth often coupled with low levels of happiness and satisfaction. It stands to reason that a high-flying senior executive may have incredible earning power but very little time to attribute to building what we would call true wealth.
This week, an interesting article published by Nature brought the weight of science to bear on this subject.
Obviously additional wealth must improve life quality for those on the breadline, however in his study, author Andrew T Jebb analysed the data from 1.7m individuals from 164 countries to see at what point additional income stops improving subjective wellbeing.
Jebb and his team found that globally this number is $95,000 and more locally $100,000 for those in Western Europe. Furthermore, for those with incomes even higher than this there were slight decreases in wellbeing for additional amounts. This rings true from our experience, high earners being often time poor with health, family and wellbeing the areas that suffer.
The 2018 world happiness report attributes six key variables to supporting wellbeing with income being only one. The others are healthy life expectancy, social support, freedom, trust and generosity. To see countries such as Costa Rica (13th) happier than the UK (19th) despite a much lower GDP per capita adds further weight in my view to the argument that being rich doesn’t necessarily make you happy.
bdb exists to help people address these important imbalances and we have been able to deliver spectacular life changing results. Lorraine’s story is a great example if you would be interested to hear more. What is often needed is to take that first step to planning a truly successful life and moving up your personal happiness scale. Our combination of life planning, strategic financial planning and evidence-based approach to investment is the most powerful way to enable the best and most important life changes you will ever make.
After all none of us were born to work, pay bills and die.