4 Financial Factors That Can Boost Your Happy

4 Financial Factors That Can Boost Your Happy

It's crossed everyone's mind before: if only you had a higher income. Then you'd finally be happy.

But while it's true to some extent that money can buy happiness, bringing home a big paycheck isn't the only way to score smiles.

In fact, Civic Science's extensive new study, "Profiling Happy," reveals that a number of key financial factors might actually be more important.

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Curious what habits most correlate with happiness? We decided to share four mood-boosting money moves from the survey's findings:

1. Focus on Your Retirement Plan

The study found that those who were smart nest-egg savers also tended to have sunnier dispositions. In fact, people who socked away between 11% and 20% of their earnings—as well as managed their 401(k)s or IRAs on a quarterly basis—were 14 times more likely to be happy.

Need further proof that a healthy nest egg can net you some joy? Respondents who were retired at the time of the survey were 13 times more likely to be happy than unhappy.

2. Invest in Experiences, Not Things

Not all splurges are created equal, the study found. It turns out that you'll likely score more happy for your dollar by shelling out for experiences rather than material objects. For example, dining out at upscale restaurants multiple times a week, as well as traveling, were found to be some of the top indicators of happiness.

3. Donate to Charity

When it comes to your hard-earned dollars, directing some of it to a charitable organization might be just as good for your happiness as it is for your karma. According to survey results, those who annually donate around $500 to $1,000 to environment and animal non-profits were 14 times more likely to be happy.

4. Earn More—to an Extent

You might think that having endless income would make you a happy camper, but according to Civic Science's findings, the higher-income-to-happiness ratio really only holds true to a certain degree.

While the amount of happy people does generally increase as you move up the pay scale, it peaks when you hit the $100,000 to $125,000 income group.

In fact, those with paychecks over $150,000 actually had the same level of happiness as those bringing home between $25,000 to $30,000!

RELATED: The World's Happiest Countries: What They Have That We Don't

LearnVest Planning Services is a registered investment adviser and subsidiary of LearnVest, Inc., that provides financial plans for its clients. Information shown is for illustrative purposes only and is not intended as investment, legal or tax planning advice. Please consult a financial adviser, attorney or tax specialist for advice specific to your financial situation. Unless specifically identified as such, the individuals interviewed or quoted in this piece are neither clients, employees nor affiliates of LearnVest Planning Services, and the views expressed are their own. LearnVest Planning Services and any third parties listed, linked to or otherwise appearing in this message are separate and unaffiliated and are not responsible for each other’s products, services or policies.

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