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You may have heard $75,000 is the 'magic' income number. Find out the story behind it.

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TD Ameritrade

You may have heard $75,000 is the magic household income for happiness.

But what, exactly, does that mean?

In a landmark study a few years ago, Princeton University researchers Angus Deaton and Daniel Kahneman set out to definitively answer the question of whether money buys happiness. If anyone is equipped to answer that question, it's these two. Both have won the Nobel Prize in economic sciences: Kahneman in 2002 and Deaton just last year in October 2015.


In their study, they analyzed over 450,000 responses from people across America about their annual income and overall happiness to get at the relationship between the two. They broke down their findings using two metrics: emotional well-being and life evaluation.

Emotional well-being is basically how you feel your life is going on a daily basis — your everyday happiness or joy, or, conversely, stress or sadness. ("How are you today?")

GIF from "The Simpsons."

Whereas life evaluation is an overview of your entire life and how you see it going — how pleased you are with where you're at. ("How's life treating you?")


GIF from "Nacho Libre."

Deaton and Kahneman found that low income is associated with low emotional well-being.

Poverty makes it so that misfortunes such as getting sick, divorce, and being alone are felt even more. As income rose, though, emotional well-being rose consistently alongside it.

The thing is, happiness through emotional well-being didn't change too much beyond $75,000. Once that point was reached, people were basically just, "I'm good."

GIF from "Episodes."

In the discussion section of the study, the researchers offer a possible explanation: "Perhaps $75,000 is a threshold beyond which further increasesin income no longer improve individuals' ability to do what mattersmost to their emotional well-being, such as spending time withpeople they like, avoiding pain and disease, and enjoying leisure."

Life evaluation, on the other hand, just kept rising with the income.

So if we're talking about satisfaction, sure, more money leads to more. (I mean, if you make a million bucks a year, you can probably conclude that life is treating you PRETTY GOOD.)

GIF from "30 Rock."

But the thing is, when talking about happiness, what really matters in life are the good times you have with friends and family.

Let me leave you with some food for thought.

The Census shows that in 2014, 63.8% of U.S. households earned less than $75,000. More shocking is that although the average household income historically is right around that $75,000-happiness mark, the median household income is just around $54,000 — which indicates most households in the U.S. fall almost $20,000 short of the magic number.

Now that doesn't necessarily mean that all those households are chronically unhappy, but what it does mean is that a large amount of Americans may not have the level of income necessary to spend time with loved ones, avoid pain and disease, and have enough leisure time.

America is still one of the richest countries in the world, yet so many continue to fight for these basic needs. Maybe it's time we close the gap between so few having so much and so many having so little. In fact, this incredible CEO is already doing his part.

Because if the $75,000 threshold has taught us anything, it's that life shouldn't be about the exorbitant amount of money you could be making. But rather, how happily we could all be living.

"The Carol Burnett Show" had one of the funniest outtakes in TV history.

"The Carol Burnett Show" ran from 1967 to 1978 and has been touted as one of the best television series of all time. The cast and guest stars of the show included comedic greats such as Tim Conway, Betty White, Steve Martin, Vicki Lawrence, Dick Van Dyke, Lyle Waggoner, Harvey Korman and others who went on to have long, successful comedy careers.

One firm rule Carol Burnett had on her show was that the actors stay in character. She felt it was especially important not to break character during the "Family" scenes, in which the characters Ed and Eunice Higgins (a married couple) and Mama (Eunice's mother) would play host to various colorful characters in their home.

"I never wanted to stop and do a retake, because I like our show to be ‘live,’" she wrote in her memoir, as reported by Showbiz Cheat Sheet. "So when the ‘Family’ sketches came along, I was adamant that we never break up in those scenes, because Eunice, Ed, and Mama were, in an odd way, sacred to me. They were real people in real situations, some of which were as sad and pitiful as they were funny, and I didn’t want any of us to break the fourth wall and be out of character.”

It was a noble goal, and one that went right out the window—with Burnett leading the way—in a "Family" sketch during the show's final season that ended with the entire cast rolling with laughter.

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Family

More parents are taking 'teen-ternity leave' from work to support their teenage kids

Parenting through the teen years takes a lot more time and energy than people expect.

Photo by Eye for Ebony on Unsplash

Raising kids through adolescence is not for the faint of heart.

When you have a baby, it's expected that you'll take some maternity or paternity leave from work. When you have a teen, it's expected that you'll be in the peak of your career, but some parents are finding the need to take a "teen-ternity leave" from work to support their adolescent kids.

It's a flip from what has become the traditional trajectory for modern parents. Despite the fact that the U.S. is the only developed nation in the world to not have mandated paid parental leave, most parents take at least some time off when a baby is born to recover physically from pregnancy and birth and to settle into life with their tiny new human. Many parents then opt to have one parent stay home full-time during their children's younger years, as full-time childcare is often cost prohibitive, and raising babies and toddlers requires an enormous amount of time, attention and energy.

Parents often return to work when their kids are in school full-time, and many feel a bit of a respite from the relentlessness of parenting as their kids become more independent and capable of doing things on their own. It's not that older kids don't need their parents, but their needs are different. Physical parenting gives way to more complex emotional parenting as kids get older, and for a while, those emotional challenges are somewhat simple.

Then the tween years come along. Then the teens. And for some parents, a realization hits that parenting kids through puberty takes almost as much time, attention and energy, as toddlers do. Only now, those needs are much more complicated and consequential.

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Image from Pixabay.

Under the sea...

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The Wilderness Society


You're probably familiar with the literary classic "Moby-Dick."

But in case you're not, here's the gist: Moby Dick is the name of a huge albino sperm whale.

(Get your mind outta the gutter.)

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Family

People are debating the merits of a 24-hour daycare and the discussion is eye-opening

There seems to be a lot of misunderstanding about the need for this.

StableDiffusion

Are 24-hour daycares a good idea?

Millions of American parents utilize daycare centers while they work. Since most people work during the day, most daycare center hours fall somewhere between 7:30am and 5:30pm. It's rare to find a daycare that's open after normal working hours.

But one "24-hour" daycare in Houston captured people's attention—and sparked a debate—when a mom posted about it on TikTok.

Adventure Kids Playcare in Houston isn't actually open 24 hours a day but it does offer childcare up to 10:00pm during the week and until midnight on Friday and Saturday nights. In the video, the mom drops her daughter off and we hear the employee tell her they close at midnight. The mom later says she picked her daughter up at 11:55pm.

Reactions to the video rand the gamut from "24-hour daycares are a brilliant idea for parents who work odd shifts" to "Moms shouldn't be leaving their kids at a daycare late at night just so they can go out," sparking a fascinating and eye-opening discussion.

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A dad is looking for a little more respect at home.

The title of dad or father is a sweet and respectful way to acknowledge a child's special bond with their male parent. It signifies love and respect and shows appreciation for his role in their life. But the title works both ways. The term dad reminds fathers of the responsibility to guide and protect their kids.

The importance of the unique role dads play in their kids’ lives is why a father named Steve was upset with his wife for repeatedly using his first name when referring to him with their preteen children.

The father vented about the situation and asked if he was wrong in a Reddit post with over 10,000 responses.

“My wife recently started using my first name when referring to me to our preteen kids, as in ‘Steve's gonna pick you up from school tomorrow,’” the father wrote on Reddit’s AITA forum. “I asked her not to when I first heard it, saying I don't really like when you use my first name to the kids. Can you say ‘your dad’ or ‘dad’?”

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Husband's portrait of wife is so bad that she nearly stops breathing

They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder but what if what your eyes behold is objectively...not good? In what appears to be a creative way to spend quality time together for a married couple, things go hilariously wrong. Ted Slaughter, uploaded a video to his TikTok page of an activity he and his wife did together.

Slaughter's wife seems to be holding the phone so you can clearly see what appears to be a painting of Slaughter, who is sitting at the other end of the table in front of an easel. The text overlay on the video says, "husband and wife paint portraits of each other (gone wrong). But what could possibly be wrong, sure his wife's attempt isn't art gallery ready just yet but it's not bad.

Based on the critiques the man had of his wife's painting, surely his looks much closer to professional level work. Right?...Right?

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