Want a Beautiful Retirement? Invest in these 5 Things...

August 12, 2017

What should you invest in to have a happy life and retirement? Quentin Fottrell over at MarketWatch makes a compelling case for what you could spend your money on to buy the most happiness in life.

Of course, a happy retirement is heavily dependent on financial security, and in these unstable times of debt and escalating conflict, what could be more important to your stability than gold?

But besides gold, what are the best ways to invest in your happiness?

1. Happiness is a warm puppy (or fluffy cat)

A pet will cost you $1,270 to own in the first year alone, according to the animal-welfare nonprofit American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, but it’s money well spent: Pets provide you with social support that’s critical for psychological and physical well-being, studies found.

A 2011 study in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology showed that pet owners had greater self-esteem and got more exercise than non-pet owners, and were less likely to shy away from relationships for fear of being hurt.

In the first part of that study, pet owners had greater self-esteem and more exercise — and also experienced improved conscientiousness and less fearful attachment, a psychological term that describes the desire to stay away from relationships for fear of being hurt. “The support that pets provided complemented rather than competed with human sources,” they found. Finally, pet owners “demonstrated the ability of pets to stave off negativity caused by social rejection.”

Happiness is, indeed, a warm puppy. That could be why some people feed their dogs avocado and kale. And so I’m searching for another dog to adopt. I have been scrolling through PetFinder and Animal Haven for rescued animals like it’s Doggy Tinder. Sadly, Howell, a stoic Scottish Terrier, went to his forever home — that is, he was adopted — an hour before I called the pound. (Oddly, a similar thing kept happening on OKCupid too.)

2. Even spending $5 on others improves happiness

The struggling middle class is giving less to charity. While our instinct may be to pile up money in our savings accounts to ensure our future happiness, spare some to help others. Spending money on other people works more magic — or “predicts greater happiness,” to use the academic term — than spending it on oneself.

Participants who were randomly assigned to spend money on others experienced greater happiness than those assigned to spend money on themselves, researchers at University of British Columbia and Harvard Business School concluded in a 2008 study published in the academic journal Science. But very minor alterations in spending allocations — as little as $5 — may be sufficient to produce non-trivial gains in happiness on a given day,” it found.

Read the full article at MarketWatch here.


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