How Much Money Would It Take To Live A Perfect Life?

What is the monetary threshold for living an "absolutely ideal life"? According to a recent study conducted by university psychologists, for most people, the answer is $10 million.

That's not the case with Americans, who routinely demand $100 billion and claim to require at least $100 million.

Contrary to the popular belief that everyone wants to be as wealthy as possible, researchers at the universities of Bath, Bath Spa, and Exeter have discovered that most people claim they would be content with a few million dollars.

A study of almost 8,000 people worldwide found that in 86% of countries the majority of people thought they could live an ideal life with $10m or less.

In Argentina, India, and Russia, more than 50% of respondents said they would like a million dollars or less. However, in the US, most people said they would need at least $ 100 million or more to lead what they would call an ideal life, with 31.7% (the most popular answer) saying they would like to a little over $100 billion.

Americans Need More Money To Be Happy

In the UK, the most popular answer (26%) was $1 million, and most people said $10 million or less would be appropriate. 13% said they would like $100 billion or more.

"A founding economic principle that everyone is motivated by ‘unlimited wants’, stuck on a consumerist treadmill and striving to accumulate as much wealth as they can, is untrue," the study published in Nature Sustainability said.

"The belief in this principle has also had dire consequences for the health of the planet. Striving to continually increase individual wealth, and pursuing unending economic growth, has come at a heavy cost. As wealth has increased, so too has resource use and pollution."

Dr. Paul Bain, the lead researcher and a reader at the department of psychology at the University of Bath, said that while the figures in the typical responses sound like a lot of money, "when considered that they represent a person’s ideal wealth across their whole life they are relatively moderate".

"The ideology of unlimited wants, when portrayed as human nature, can create social pressure for people to buy more than they actually want,” he said. “Discovering that most people’s ideal lives are actually quite moderate could make it socially easier for people to behave in ways that are more aligned with what makes them genuinely happy and to support stronger policies to help safeguard the planet," the expert added.

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