Money Doesn’t Buy Happiness – But Love Can

Happiness and financial satisfaction go hand-in-hand with being married, a global survey of over 50s has revealed.

Married partners reported they are not only happier but financially better off than those who have divorced or separated.

The World Values Survey looked at political and sociocultural change in over 54 countries worldwide to come up with the conclusions.

In general, in most countries, over 50s who had split from their partners felt worse about their finances than married couples or those would have been widowed.

Eight of the 10 nations where the happiest over 50s live were also in the top 10 for financial satisfaction.

Happiest and saddest places

Those in a happy place were living in New Zealand and Sweden – voted top by 97% of over 50s.

Switzerland felt most content with their finances (87%), followed by Norway, Sweden, Finland and Canada.

The survey also revealed former communist nations clustered around the bottom of the ratings.

Financial malcontents were Russia, Rwanda, Moldova, Bulgaria and Georgia, who took the 50th to 54th placings.

Moldova was voted the least happy nation – achieving just 33% of the vote from the over 50s.

Britain came in seventh for financial satisfaction and 10th for happiness.

Nevertheless, money does not necessarily buy happiness.

The study showed older people without financial worries are more likely to be happy, but the over 80s were more likely to be happy regardless of their financial well-being than those just entering their 50s.

Britain ranks well

Unemployment and education also affected happiness and financial satisfaction, said the report.

Researchers found over 50s thinking they were lower-class were three times as likely to be unhappy and five times more likely to have financial concerns compared to those seeing themselves as upper class.

Older people who had spent their savings were almost three times less happy and almost five times more unsatisfied with their finances than those with savings.

David Hayes, author of the research, said: “This look at the wellbeing of the over 50s around the world comes at a time when personal finances in Britain are under close scrutiny. The research shows that despite what we believe, Britain is not too bad a place to live compared with many places.

“In most surveys like this, Scandinavian countries fare well, while those that were behind the former Iron Curtain still have some way to go to get on an equal footing.”

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