Author Topic: Too rich for happiness  (Read 3524 times)

kaypinkHH

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Too rich for happiness
« on: August 01, 2017, 06:36:27 AM »
This may have already been shared, but I read it today and it just made me sad.

http://www.macleans.ca/news/rich-vancouver-neighbourhood-proves-money-cant-buy-happy-kids/

I wonder how many other cities/neighbourhoods face this problem?

talltexan

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Re: Too rich for happiness
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2017, 10:00:28 AM »
The article presents evidence that children living in these opulent homes are struggling, but that doesn't mean they wouldn't be struggling if they lived in less expensive homes.

Letj

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Re: Too rich for happiness
« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2017, 01:37:15 PM »
 That explains why people in the developing world are happy despite not having the full trappings of material wealth. They have strong organic connections to those around them.

Laura33

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Re: Too rich for happiness
« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2017, 02:40:45 PM »
Interesting.  Although it also shows the author's unconscious bias:  the article is all about how a lot of money might make you unhappy, but the entire story is built on the assumption that this "top" neighborhood represents What One Does With Money:  one buys a giant gated toy palace, so that every possible form of entertainment is at one's fingertips, and thus one never needs to leave and be forced to interact with other humans (all of whom are, presumably, lesser, because they have not been as financially successful).  That sounds like a recipe for misery at any income level. 

Wonder what would happen if those people used that money to buy their freedom instead of mansions and toys?  Would all of those who have already FIREd be less happy if their bank accounts suddenly had another zero or two on the end of it?

Of course money doesn't buy happiness; all you need to do is watch any episode of Real Housewives of Anywhere to know that.  But it also doesn't make you unhappy.  Money is just a tool, and a damn good one; it's up to you to use it appropriately.  And you know what they say, a good craftsman never blames his tools. 

Chaplin

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Re: Too rich for happiness
« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2017, 08:43:52 PM »
....What One Does With Money...

Laura33 is right on here. It's what these families have chosen to do with their money that's causing the problem.

By definition, stealth wealth makes it hard to tell what everyone with lots of money is doing, but it sure seems like the vast majority follow the script in the article. If that's true, it seems fair to point to the fact that just like middle-class aspirational spending is the cultural norm, there are norms for the wealthy. I think it's also fair to point out that that might be even more true for the wealthy among Canada's first-generation immigrants. Add in the confusion between "an investment" and "a home," and it seems even more likely to play out the way the article describes.

I have run through that area a number of times. There are few sidewalks, and it's a long way to any amenities, so it's very car dependent. Unlike a more middle-class car-dependent suburb, it doesn't even have room for some road hockey, or for kids to walk to a friend's house, or even a park.

kaypinkHH

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Re: Too rich for happiness
« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2017, 05:44:35 AM »
Good points all, I guess what made me sad about this wasn't so much the amount of money these people had (I would take it and RUN TO FIRE and never look back), or even how they chose to spend it, but the lack of community. They need some fancy mansion meetups in their lives!

When I was a kid my family and I used to drive through "rich" neighbourhoods and ogle the houses, and in my head I said "wouldn't it be cool to live there", now though, quite happy in my old little house in a pretty diverse (culturally, socially, economically) neighbourhood.

TheGrimSqueaker

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Re: Too rich for happiness
« Reply #6 on: August 02, 2017, 06:31:29 AM »
I have run through that area a number of times. There are few sidewalks, and it's a long way to any amenities, so it's very car dependent. Unlike a more middle-class car-dependent suburb, it doesn't even have room for some road hockey, or for kids to walk to a friend's house, or even a park.

That's true. In wealthy neighborhoods the kids can't go Trick-Or-Treating to meet their neighbours (no sidewalks), nor is there anything resembling summer employment within walking or biking distance. The people who live behind those gates are too self-absorbed and tight-fisted to consider that other people might need sidewalks or public transit (their staff, for example) and the result is something so insulated from anything like a community that the kid grows up in a bubble, genuinely unaware that there's a bigger reality out there.

CargoBiker

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Re: Too rich for happiness
« Reply #7 on: August 02, 2017, 09:23:41 AM »
Money buys happiness up to the point that you don't have to worry about bills and how you're going to survive.  After that, it does nothing.

However, excess money can by time and freedom.


Time and freedom bring happiness.



If you have lots of money, but keep working 60 hours a week to get more and sustain your rich lifestyle... well yeah, you don't have the time to invest in your kids and other social relationships.

StockBeard

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Re: Too rich for happiness
« Reply #8 on: August 03, 2017, 03:48:26 AM »
"new research suggests that a preoccupation with wealth can actually diminish one’s happiness. "

This part applies to some of us on this forum, honestly. I know I'm much more preoccupied about money now that I understand my financial situation, than when I didn't. Sometimes, at the cost of my general well-being

BTDretire

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Re: Too rich for happiness
« Reply #9 on: August 04, 2017, 09:39:37 AM »
Here's an uplifting story of the have and have-nots.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f76asCz-ZwY

WhiteTrashCash

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Re: Too rich for happiness
« Reply #10 on: August 04, 2017, 09:52:39 AM »
I come from an impoverished background but my wife grew up in a neighborhood similar to the one described in the article. I tell her stories about pick-up baseball games at our town park and she tells me stories of wandering with her sister to play in the vacant lots before people built more McMansions. She said there were almost no other children in the neighborhood and everyone was afraid to let their kids run off to play by themselves. That was really strange to me, because the kids in my town were pretty much on their own all day to play and then we'd come home when the streetlights turned on in the evening.

A comment above pointing out the lack of sidewalks makes an excellent point. My wife's family still lives in that neighborhood and when we visit them I'm struck by the lack of walkability since there are no sidewalks. We'll go on multi-mile walks when we are there to get some exercise and we constantly have to step onto curbs with high fences when cars come by. It's unnatural.