iStock money rains on buisinessman

Got a charge out of a recent Money Magazine report on a Harvard Business School study that surveyed 4,000 millionaires to determine how happy they are on a one-to-10 scale.

Turns out, as the old adage says, money doesn't necessarily bring happiness.

Nevertheless, the rich folks who are worth at least $8 million are happier than those with $7.9 million or less, the researchers found. But that comes with a caveat. All of them said to be perfectly happy they'd need to increase their wealth — by a lot.

Grant Donnelly, one of the researchers, is quoted saying, "What seems to be happening is even a marginal increase in wealth can increase happiness. But they predict they would need so much more."

Guess that's why CEOs keep asking for higher and higher pay.

This latest research comes on the heels of a study in 2010 that explored the emotional well-being of average earners. Happiness, that study found, rises with income, but only up to a certain point. Anything above $75,000 didn't seem to raise the happiness scale.

The research on the ultra-wealthy, however, showed that unlike average folks, the millionaires proclaimed, "The more, the better."

In order to get a perfect 10 on the happiness scale, Money reported, 27 percent said they'd need a 1,000 percent increase in wealth while another 25 percent said they'd need at least 500 percent more.

Only 13 percent said they could achieve perfect happiness with the amount of money they already have.

Interestingly, the Harvard Business School folks also asked the respondents what percentage of their wealth was "earned" as opposed to being inherited or obtained through marriage. Those who had made it on their own turned out to be much happier about themselves, the report concluded.

Donnelly added this sage advice: "If inheriting wealth makes you less happy, perhaps you shouldn't give it to your kids."

Dave Zweifel is editor emeritus of The Capital Times. and on Twitter @DaveZweifel. 

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