26 March 2004
HAMBURG – Money does make you happier, according to a federally funded study in Germany. But wealthy people spend less time at home than the rest of us – since they are out tending to money-making affairs.
The study by the German Institute for Economic Resears (DIW), commissioned by the German federal government, reveals that high-income Germans display “above-average satisfaction with their homes and their standard of living”.
They also tend to be healthier, tend to live in “stable relationships” and to have more children than less well-off Germans.
Nine out of 10 well-to-do Germans are computer literate, and nearly 80 percent of them pay someone to keep their house clean.
But over half of the wealthy respondents in the DIW survey said they willingly relinquish a good deal of their leisure time in favour of work responsibilities.
No pain, no gain.
The survey of 1,225 German households representing 2,671 respondents was restricted to households with an net income of EUR 46,000 euros a year or more.
The DIW survey defined as particularly affluent households with a net income of more than EUR 60,000 – less than 3 percent of private households in Germany.
Part of what makes these Germans happy is the knowledge – according to their responses to DIW survey questions – that they are socking away about 20 percent of their annual income for a rainy day.
In addition, “Households with a high income are also above average as recipients of inheritances and monetary bequests,” the survey found.
But more money means less leisure time.
“That is the voluntary price the rich pay,” says DIW survey head Juergen Schupp.
“Is is not so much that these people are afraid of losing money if they work less, but rather more the simple fact that they get a high out of working. They’re workaholics,” he says.
Subject: German news