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究竟要赚多少钱才能快乐?

How rich are you, really?
究竟要赚多少钱才能快乐?

Imagine having a six-figure income, owning at least one home and sitting on a spare $1 million in investable assets. Surely a sign that you’ve “made it” and are, by global standards, incredibly rich?

试想,如果你有6位数的年薪,至少有一套房子,还有100万美元可投资资产。这显然表明你已经是"成功人士"。而且按照全球的标准来看,你也已经非常富有。不是吗?

Apparently not.

显然不是。
 

A recent survey of affluent US investors by global financial services firm UBS found 70% of people meeting these criteria don’t consider themselves wealthy. Only those with $5 million or more in assets thought they have enough set aside to feel secure about their future, while the majority of the rest feared a single setback could have a major effect on their lifestyle.

跨国金融服务公司瑞士银行最近对富裕的美国投资者进行的调查发现,在达到这一标准的人中,有70%不认为自己有钱。只有资产达到或超过500万美元的人才对未来怀有充分的安全感,而其他多数人仍然担心一次挫折就可能对自己的生活产生重大影响。

So, if millionaires don’t consider themselves wealthy, where does that leave the rest of us? If we’re unlikely to “feel” rich, no matter how much we earn, is it really worth aspiring to get there at all?

如果连百万富翁都觉得自己没钱,我们这些普通人又该如何是好?如果我们无论赚多少钱都不太可能"感觉"自己有钱,那又是否值得追求这一切?

Getting off the treadmill

停下脚步


Decades of psychological research has already disproven the idea that money can buy long-term happiness, with one study even suggesting that lottery winners ended up no more satisfied with their lives after a big win. And The New York Times reported in February about a boom in bespoke therapy for billionaires suffering personal struggles.

数十年来的心理学研究已经否认了"金钱能买来长期幸福"的说法,甚至有一项研究表明,彩票中奖者在获得大奖后最终并没有感觉更加满足。而《纽约时报》今年2月还报道了亿万富豪因为个人问题而接受定制治疗的情况大幅增加。

“As people get wealthier, they are more satisfied to start, but at some stage there is no additional increase in satisfaction,” explains Jolanda Jetten, a professor in social psychology at the University of Queensland in Australia and co-author of The Wealth Paradox.

"随着人们越来越富裕,他们最开始感觉满足感提升,但到了某个阶段,满足感就不再增加了。" 澳大利亚昆士兰大学社会心理学教授、《财富悖论》(The Wealth Paradox)的作者之一乔兰达·杰登(Jolanda Jetten)解释道。

She says plenty of high earners can’t get off the treadmill, even if they’re aware that their happiness or quality of life has flatlined, because they become too defined by their wealth.

她表示,有很多高收入人群无法停下脚步,即便当他们意识到自己的幸福和生活品质已经进入平台期之后同样如此,因为他们太过看重财富。

This, she explains, is because rich people, just as the less well-off, make upwards comparisons, rating their income, home, investments or possessions against those of even richer friends and colleagues, rather than the rest of the population.

她解释道,这是因为有钱人跟没钱人一样,总喜欢跟比自己强的人攀比,拿自己的收入、房子、投资或财产跟那些更加富裕的朋友和同事比较,而没有跟普通大众对比。

“The more money you make, the more you also have a need for more money – it’s like an addiction,” she says.

"你赚钱越多,就越想赚更多钱——就像上瘾一样。"她说。

It’s a pattern that’s all too familiar with life and career coaches like Pia Webb, who focuses on guiding top-tier managers in Europe. Even in her home country, Sweden, a social democracy famed for work-life balance rather than excess, she says many still fall victim to benchmarking themselves against those in higher income brackets.

皮亚·韦伯(Pia Webb)这样的生活和职场教练对这种情况十分熟悉,她专门为欧洲的顶尖管理者提供指导。即便是在她的祖国瑞典这种以生活和工作平衡而著称的国家,很多人仍然会因为跟高收入人群对比而感到失落。

“Nobody looks up to you because you work a lot in Sweden. But there is still a pressure to keep up with others, to show your wealth in other ways, like going on holidays with your family, having a boat, a summer house,” she says.

"瑞典没有人因为你工作时间长而仰慕你。但仍然有跟他人攀比的压力,他们会通过其他方式展现自己的财富,包括跟家人一起度假、买邮轮或者度假屋。"她说。

Webb asks her clients to reflect on the experiences or items they think they personally need to feel satisfied, rather than striving to keep earning more to match societal or peer-group expectations.

韦伯让她的客户列出他们认为能够给自己带来个人满足的体验或物品,而不要一门心思只想着为了满足社会和亲友的期望而多赚钱。

“When it comes to wealth, many people think money is the key. But you don't need much if you can be happy living in the moment,” she argues. Webb, who was much more focused on wealth before experiencing a burnout 10 years ago, now enjoys simple pleasures such as having a sauna, taking a walk in the forest or enjoying time with friends and relatives.

"具体到财富,很多人认为金钱是关键。但如果你现在就能快乐地生活,那就不需要太多钱。"她说。在10年前经历挫折之前,韦伯也十分看重财富,但她现在更享受洗桑拿、林间漫步、与亲友聚会这些简单的快乐。

Happy peasants and miserable millionaires

快乐的乡下人和痛苦的百万富翁


Jetten’s research suggests people living in poverty are already accustomed to finding ways to boost their life satisfaction and well-being, that go beyond money and material possessions. They are more likely to spend time with family and volunteer in the community, for instance.

杰登的研究表明,生活贫困的人已经习惯了寻找各种方式来提升生活满意度和幸福感,而不再局限于金钱和物欲。例如,他们更有可能花时间跟家人相处,或者参加社区志愿活动。

“Well-being is related quite strongly to the extent to which there is social capital in a country or society and the extent to which people feel connected to others around them,” she explains.

"与幸福感密切相关的是一个国家或社会的社会资本发达程度,以及人们与周围其他人相互联系的紧密程度。"她解释道。

“In developing nations, while much smaller amounts of money can make a huge difference to a person’s lifestyle – helping them move beyond very basic needs – those who don’t have much can also be much less frightened of what they’ve got to lose,” she adds.

"在发展中国家,虽然用不了多少钱就可以对一个人的生活方式产生巨大影响——帮助他们超脱最基本的需求——但没有多少钱的人也不会因为可能失去什么东西而太过担心。"她补充道。

Carol Graham, professor in the school of public policy at the University of Maryland, has described the paradox as the “happy peasant and miserable millionaire problem”.

马里兰大学公共政策学院教授卡罗尔·格雷厄姆(Carol Graham)曾经将这种悖论称作"快乐的乡下人和痛苦的百万富翁问题"。

“Wealthier countries are, on average, happier than destitute ones, but after that, the story becomes more complicated,” she wrote in a 2010 paper, with her research which suggesting people in Afghanistan enjoy a level of happiness on a par with Latin Americans.

"与贫穷国家相比,较为富裕的国家平均幸福感更强。但除此之外,这个问题并没有那么简单。"她在2010年的一篇论文中写道。她当时的研究表明,阿富汗人的幸福感与拉美持平。

“Freedom and democracy make people happy, but they matter less when these goods are less common. People can adapt to tremendous adversity and retain their natural cheerfulness, while they can also have virtually everything… and be miserable.”

"自由和民主使人快乐,但当这些东西不太普遍时,重要性就会降低。人们可以在灾祸中保持天然的快乐状态,但也可能在什么都不缺的情况下感觉痛苦。"

Of course, this doesn’t mean we should in any way conclude that it is better to live closer to the poverty line (in the UN’s latest World Happiness Report, richer countries still dominate the table). But, Graham’s research suggests wealthier people may be more adaptable to negative shifts in their income than they might think. And as Jetten argues, richer people who often to have more idealistic lifestyles, could have a lot to learn from the “banding together and connecting with others” that is more common in poorer groups and societies.

当然,这并不意味着应该就此认定越贫困越幸福(在联合国最新的《世界幸福指数报告》(World Happiness Report)中,富裕国家仍然占据主导)。但格雷厄姆的研究表明,较为富裕的人或许比他们想象得更能适应收入的负面变化。正如杰登所说,富人会经常设想更为理想的生活方式,他们可以通过"跟他人相处"学到很多东西,而这种相处方式在较为贫穷的社区和社会中更为普遍。

Krishna Prasad Timilsina, a mountain tour guide in Nepal, says he noted high levels of tenacity in the aftermath of the the worst earthquake in his country’s history in 2015. It cost 8,000 lives and left thousands more homeless. Yet by making downwards comparisons, many residents were able to count their blessings.

尼泊尔登山向导克里希那·普拉赛德·迪米希纳(Krishna Prasad Timilsina)发现,在2015年经历了该国历史上最严重的地震后,尼泊尔人的韧性加强了。那场地震造成8,000人死亡,成千上万人无家可归。但秉承着"比下有余"的心态,很多尼泊尔人还是感觉很幸福。

“In the earthquake a lot of things got destroyed but people were still happy because if they had not lost their family...it could have been a lot worse,” says the 36-year-old.

"地震导致很多东西遭到破坏,但人们依然很幸福,因为如果他们没有失去家庭……情况可能会更加糟糕。"36岁的迪米希纳说。

In fact, while Nepal’s core industry, tourism, took a battering after the tragedy, the country climbed eight spots to be ranked 99 out of 155 nations on the World Happiness Index in 2017, ahead of South Africa, Egypt and even neighbouring India, one of the world’s fastest-growing economies.

事实上,虽然作为尼泊尔支柱产业的旅游业在地震之后遭受重创,该国在2017《世界幸福指数报告》中仍然上升8位,在155个国家中位列第99位,领先于南非、埃及,甚至邻国印度——这可是全球经济增速最快的经济体之一。

However Timilsina doesn’t believe his homeland is completely immune to the kind of upwards comparisons that appear to be stressing out the rest of us.

然而,迪米希纳并不认为他的国家可以完全不受攀比心态的影响——要知道,这种心态一直以来都在困扰着我们。

“In the city, more educated people are more worried about life. My parents have no money but they are more happy than me,” he laughs.

"在城市里,教育程度较高的人对生活反而更加担忧。我的父母没钱,但他们比我快乐。"他笑道。

The future of wealth

财富的未来


As research into income and wellbeing becomes increasingly nuanced, growing numbers of experts are also speculating that traditional symbols of wealth – such as owning a car or a house – are set to shift, as millennials in many countries become the first generation to earn relatively less than their parents and struggle to buy homes in tough property markets.

随着对收入和幸福感的研究越发细致,越来越多的专家也开始质疑传统的财富象征——例如有房有车——即将转变,因为很多国家的千禧一代变成了第一代收入低于父母的人,很难再靠自己的收入买房。

Though frustrating for millennials, “it may mean that this generation will show fewer of the negative effects of wealth such as selfishness, narcissism and a high sense of entitlement,” says Jetten.

尽管千禧一代颇感沮丧,"但可能也意味着这代人将会更少地展现财富所产生的负面效果,例如自私自利、自我陶醉和权利意识。"杰登说。

There are even signs that even high-earning young professionals who could choose to invest in stocks or property are instead becoming increasingly focused on making memories instead of money. In the US, since 1987, the share of consumer spending on live experiences and events relative to total consumer expenditure has risen by 70%, according to figures from the US Department of Commerce.

还有迹象表明,即便是可以选择投资股票或房产的高收入青年才俊,反而越来越多地投资于一份美好的回忆,而不再单纯关注金钱。根据美国商务部的统计,1987年以来,生活体验和娱乐活动的消费开支相较于总消费开支增长了70%。

Paris-based American fashion photographer Eileen Cho, 25, for example, grew up in an affluent neighbourhood in Seattle, but describes the idea of earning cash in order to save or invest it in property as “like a jail sentence”.

家住巴黎的25岁美国时尚摄影师艾琳·卓(Eileen Cho)在西雅图一个富裕的社区长大,但在她看来,为了攒钱或买房而赚钱"就像坐牢"。

Despite being offered financial help from her parents, who wanted to help her buy a home, she’s opted to share a 30-square metre rented apartment with her boyfriend instead.

尽管父母想向她提供财务援助,帮她买套房子,但她还是选择跟自己的男朋友一起租住在一套30平方米的公寓里。

“We pay 950 euro ($1030) a month [in rent] and still have enough for one international trip a month,” she explains.

"我们每个月房租是950欧元(1030美元),但仍然能有足够的钱每月出国旅行一次。"她解释道。

“For me it’s about experiencing things and being happy. Tomorrow I am off to Spain; my next trip is Marrakech.”

"对我来说,这是在感受世界,寻找快乐。我明天要去西班牙,下一站是马拉喀什。"

It’s an approach that coach Pia Webb supports, although she argues that young workers should be mindful to avoid travel and other experience-based adventures simply becoming the new norm against which they benchmark their “wealth”.

皮亚·韦伯教练也支持这种方式,尽管她认为,年轻职场人士应该多加小心,避免旅行和其他体验活动变成新的"财富"攀比标准。

“Travelling is a great way of learning about other cultures, getting to know yourself and finding your place in the world, but it can also become an addiction. You’re getting hit from experiencing new things - just like when people go shopping for example. But this can mean you’re not so rooted, or you miss out on quality time with family,” she says.

"旅行是好事,既能了解其他文化,还能认识自己,甚至可以在世界各地寻找属于自己的地方。但这也可能上瘾。她解释道。你会因为体验新东西而感觉刺激——就像购物一样。但这可能意味着你的根基松动,或者错过了跟家人一起欢度美好时光的机会。"她说。

“My best advice is that you need to work out what’s right for you as an individual and learn to be happy with the really small things in life, wherever you are”.

"我认为最好的建议是做适合你本人的事情,无论你身处何地,都要学会从生活点滴中寻找快乐。"
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