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Perhaps one of the greatest fibs ever told is that money can’t buy one happiness. While there may be truth to the statement in the literal sense, research proves it is absolutely fictitious in theory. According to a report released by the Pew Research Center, upper- and upper-middle class Americans describe themselves as happier, less stressed, and healthier than lower-middle class Americans.
The research found that stress closely correlated with financial hardship: While only 7% of upper-class adults say they struggled to pay their rent or mortgage in the last year, 45% of lower-class adults say they had trouble making housing payments. Lower-class respondents also report being much more likely to lose their jobs, with a quarter experiencing a layoff or job loss within the past year, compared to 7% of upper-class adults and 12% of middle-class adults. Around 1 in 3 upper-class Americans say they “frequently experience stress,” while a startling (approximate) 6 in 10 lower-class Americans report doing so.
The better health of wealthier Americans also appears to reflect their access to healthcare: 45% of lower-class respondents say they had difficulty accessing or affording medical care within the past year, compared to 11% of upper-class Americans. On the topic of retirement, wealthier Americans also feel more optimistic about their future financial security. Four in 10 are “very confident” that their savings will last through retirement, while just 1 in 10 lower-class respondents said so. The vast majority of upper-class Americans say they are “very satisfied” with their family lives; just 57% of lower-class Americans say the same. Upper-class Americans are also more likely to be content with their housing situation. One thing that all socio-economic respondents agreed upon is the widened gap between rich and poor.