Not a huge amount of “tax news” these days … we’re watching Congressional movement on tax reform, Obamacare, etc. but right now, it’s all mostly just talk.
But that’s politics, I suppose. Which is a good argument for not diving too deeply into it.
Now … moving to things far more immediately relevant: I’ve written before about the surprising disconnect between significant means and deeper joy. That is to say, that one doesn’t always bring the other.
And wouldn’t you know, apparently it’s science.
I thought you’d be interested in the research I recently came across, because it’s more than just an “ooh, that’s interesting” kind of finding — but I believe that it can actually be applied to your daily life in order to maximize joy. Some of my tax clients with significant means may already be aware of what we’re talking about today, but in my opinion, this reality is true regardless of how many zeroes are in your bank account.
So, as we work with you to consider how we are able to best preserve your wealth from the grasping hands of the IRS and various state authorities, I think it it would be worthwhile for you and your spouse or partner to consider these dynamics.
How To Buy Happiness Where you Live
“A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner, so if one’s life is cold and bare he can blame none but himself.” -Louis L’Amour
It turns out that the conventional wisdom is wrong: it is possible to buy happiness — when you spend your money on others. Researchers at the University of British Columbia and Harvard University have found that people who buy gifts for others and make charitable donations report being happier than people who spend their money primarily on themselves.
Here are the details of the study they conducted…
The scientists studied 630 Americans and asked them to rate their general happiness, their annual income, and their monthly spending — including bills, gifts for themselves, gifts for others, and charitable contributions. Researchers also measured the rates of happiness for people who received profit-sharing bonuses from their employers of $3,000–$8,000.
Again, the researchers found that it was not how much money the participants received that predicted happiness levels, but rather how the recipients spent the money. Those who donated more of their bonuses to charity or used it for gifts for others rated themselves as happier than those who did not.
In a third look at this phenomenon, the researchers gave participants a $5 or a $20 bill and asked them to spend it before 5 p.m. on the same day. Half were given the
instruction to spend the money on themselves, half to spend it on others. The half who spent their money on others reported feeling better at the end of the day than those who didn’t. And this was regardless of the amount.
The researchers say that even spending a small amount on someone during the day can significantly improve our feelings of happiness.
So I ask you — what will you do with this information?