A new study recently released by GOBankingRates determined the minimum salary needed to be happy in America’s largest cities. They adjusted the cost-of-living based on various income satiation levels, identified by Purdue University researchers.
Rob Poindexter with GoBankingRates.com said in Houston, the salary needed to be "happy" is just north of $110,000.
"In order to achieve emotional well being, it's a range of $62,000 to $78,000," said Poindexter. "For life evaluation, which is that tipping point between you worrying about fulfilling your day to day necessities if you're happy, is shifting to other focuses is $99,560."
He explained life evaluation happens when concerns shift from daily expenses to other priorities like career advancement or family.
For the purpose of this study, emotional well-being means reaching the point where money issues are not constantly consuming ones thoughts, or keeping one up at night. You can at least feel less pressure even if you haven't hit the life evaluation stage where you're comfortable enough so money is no longer directly correlated to your level of happiness.
In North America, the income satiation level is $105,000 for life evaluation, according to Purdue, and this benchmark was used to determine the “salary you need to be happy” in the study. For “emotional well-being” it’s between $60,000-$75,000 and $95,000 for “life evaluation.”
In San Francisco, people need to make $319,000 a year to be happy.