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Earning Less Than $60k and Depressed? Get Married. Science Says You’ll Feel Better.

Topics: Data & Research
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There has been a lot of press around the magic number of $75,000 a year when it comes to your salary impacting happiness. Once you’re making that salary, as explained by Money, “the influence that earnings have on happiness — that is, the emotions you experience on a day-to-day basis — peters out.” So, according to the scientists, even if you make more than $75,000, you won’t really feel any happier.

But there seem to be factors that can improve happiness levels and mental health if you’re making less than the magic $75k. One of them appears to be getting married.

According to a study co-authored by a Georgia State University researcher, people who are married and earning less than $60,000 a year in total household income have fewer symptoms of depression than comparable earning unmarried people.

“We looked at the interrelationships between marriage, income and depression, and what we found is that the benefit of marriage on depression is really for people with average or lower levels of income,” said Dr. Ben Lennox Kail, assistant professor of sociology at Georgia State.

But if you’re making more than $60,000 a year, “marriage is not associated with the same kind of reduction in symptoms of depression.”

Said Kali, “For people who are earning above $60,000, they don’t get this bump because they already have enough resources. About 50 percent of the benefit these households earning less than $60,000 per year get from marriage is an increased sense of financial security and self-efficacy, which is probably from the pooling of resources.”

The study also found that for workers making the “highest levels of income,” never marrying results in a greater level of happiness and mental health; i.e., rich people are happier if they never marry.

According to Science Daily:

“This study, among only a few to investigate whether psychological well-being in marriage varies by socioeconomic status, supports a theory called the marital resource model, which suggests the health benefits of marriage include the pooling of resources, such as finances and social support.”

It’s important to note that this report focuses on “subclinical levels of depression, meaning the disease is not severe enough to be clinically referred to as depression, but can nevertheless impact your health and happiness,” said Kali.

The takeaway from this report seems to be, if you make less than $60,000 a year, you’ll be happier if you get married. But if you’re rich, you’ll be happiest if you sit back and enjoy the bachelor/bachelorette lifestyle.

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only works if you are a woman, if you are a man then it gets worse.

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