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Happiest place on earth

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Research shows that the happiest place on earth isn’t Disneyland, it’s India, and Australia is a long way behind.


Money doesn’t buy happiness


In recent years, the field of positive psychology has challenged common thinking on the causes of happiness and what we should be striving for.  It turns out that our circumstances (for example, where we live, and the car we drive) aren’t strong predictors of our day-to-day happiness and life satisfaction.


A recent study, conducted by Australian research boutique MYMAVINS, measured and compared the quality of life of people living in 15 different countries; across Asia and the Pacific, the Americas, Europe and Africa. This quantitative study was the biggest of its kind in recent history and involved more than 15,000 respondents.


Indians perceive themselves as happy


The study asked respondents how satisfied they were with their lives on a scale from one to 10, with one being miserable and 10 being blissfully satisfied. The average score was 7.3.


But when we look at the results by country, an interesting story emerges. The country with the most satisfied residents was India, with a score of 8.2. Incidentally, Australia ranked 10th out of 15 with a score of 7.0, behind countries like Taiwan, Malaysia and China.


So, why are people in India so life satisfied?


Community and purpose are important


The majority (seven in 10) of people living in India feel strongly connected to an inner circle family and friends.  In Western cultures like the US, the UK, and Australia, that number is closer to one in two. 


People living in India also have a strong sense of purpose when compared to other countries. Four in five Indians say that their involvement in life often or always provides them with a sense of purpose.  In Australia, the figure is much lower at just three in five.


Implications for Australian retirees 


So, what can we learn from people living in India, the happiest place on earth?  Well, that community and purpose are building blocks to our life satisfaction and happiness.


At When Financial Solutions, we are independent financial advisers who have helped hundreds of retirees just like you plan their retirement.  We know that how you spend your time in retirement matters.    In our experience, successful retirees spend their time with the people they care most about and contribute to the causes they feel most passionate about.  It’s not a matter of ‘if’, but ‘when’.


This article is general and does not consider your personal circumstances so it may not be appropriate to you.  If you would like advice specific to you, please let us know.

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