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GDV Study: Money Makes People Happier

GDV Study: Money Makes People Happier

For example, the survey evaluation showed that people with higher incomes are happier in old age. Not only do they better assess their financial situation, but they are also happier in other areas of life than people with lower incomes. During the survey, satisfaction of people over the age of 60 was assessed in six categories: friends, entertainment, health, financial status, residential status, family, and partnership.


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Among respondents with a per capita monthly income of less than 1,000 euros, only one in five respondents is either very satisfied or very satisfied with the financial situation. In the category of income above € 3,000, highly satisfied respondents are around 80%. There are also significant differences in evaluating health, recreation, or partnership. While in the lower income group, about 30% of respondents are very satisfied or very satisfied with their health, in the higher income group this percentage is roughly 70%.

Elmar Brahler, lead author of the study and emeritus professor of medical psychology and medical sociology at the University of Leipzig, said income is a key factor for happiness in old age. Its impact is said to exceed financial satisfaction. Brahler adds that financial resources facilitate participation in society; They allow, for example, the use of cultural offerings, holiday financing and hobbies. In addition, the health prevention that is performed on the basis of fringe benefits also depends on income.


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However, the study results also reflect other contexts. Those who are critically ill in their youth find it relatively difficult to work in a profession, and then, according to Berthler, they are more at risk of poverty. Studies also show that people with lower incomes smoke more and their diet is less healthy. Thus the gap in health satisfaction can also be explained by different lifestyles. GDV CEO Jörg Asmussen emphasized that many of the preconditions for a happy and healthy life in old age were established early on. For example, the consequences of an unhealthy lifestyle cannot be compensated in the long term. He also proved that he is the true believer when he pointed out that the same applies to omissions in matters of old-age security.


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The relationship between happiness and physical security is clearly evident in the housing situation assessment. The study shows that, for all income groups, people over the age of 60 are more satisfied with their residential real estate than those who live in rent. Brähler believes that owning residential property means financial relief in old age. This expands the game space for other things and is said to have a positive effect on satisfaction in an appropriate manner. It is also important that residential property owners as tenants do not have to worry that they will be “moved” out of the apartment.

On the other hand, satisfaction with friends and acquaintances is not dependent on income. In the group with an income of less than 1,000 euros per month, 7 out of 10 participants were very satisfied with their social connections. In the highest income group, 8 out of 10 respondents expressed this satisfaction.

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