Survey finds that the average salary people say they'd need to be happy in Dubai is US$276,150.
The price of happiness is an average of US$161,810, according to four out of five individuals across 13 territories, who identified the amounts they would need to earn each year to “make them feel really happy”.
This works out to be more than 15 times the global average for an individual’s income, according to the latest Wealth Sentiment Survey commissioned by Skandia International, part of Old Mutual Wealth. However, the disparity between the actual amounts that people wanted to earn in different parts of the world was marked.
Dubai came out top as people there said they would need to earn an average of US$276,150 a year to meet their earnings aspirations. Singapore and Hong Kong were not far behind, where the desired annual income was US$227,563 and US$197,702 respectively.
However, us Europeans seem to have less lofty aims when it comes to earnings and happiness, with Germans asking for an average of just US$85,781. But in the UK we need US$133,010, second in Europe (Chicago Options: ^REURUSD - news) behind only Italy, where residents would want US$175,825 to feel really happy.
Phil Oxenham, marketing manager at Skandia International said: “There are many more things in life that can make people happy but there is no doubt that money can help. It is fascinating to see the regional differences in levels of income and capital that people think they need to feel happy and wealthy. These figures are, of course, aspirational and for most of us the important thing is to have a financial plan and make sure that we are saving as much as we can to give us financial security.
“Interestingly, in some territories women reported having higher ambitions than men in order to feel content. For example, in Hong Kong, Italy and Brazil women say they desire 13pc (US$207,924), 11pc (US$187,036) and as much as 55pc (US$192,929) per annum respectively, in excess of the amounts quoted by men in order to feel happy.”
Globally only three in 20 people regarded themselves as wealthy. The average number of assets required to be “wealthy” was US$1.76m in disposable assets, but there were again distinct regional variations.
Mr Oxenham added: “In Singapore, the average figure quoted was an ambitious US$2.9m, while Dubai and Hong Kong cited the next highest levels at US$2.5 and US$2.46 respectively. Europe, on the other hand, reported relatively modest requirements needed for somebody to be considered wealthy. People living in Austria and Germany stated they would need just US$0.9m and US$1m to call themselves wealthy.”
In fact, people in Germany and Austria were more likely than people anywhere else in Europe to consider themselves wealthy, with more than one in five saying this was the case. The highest wealth sentiment however was in Brazil, where over a quarter of those surveyed said they felt affluent.