There's a saying that "money doesn't buy happiness," but two relatively recent surveys may cause some to question that thought process.
In September of 2023, Consumer Affairs ran the numbers to see how much money a family of four would need in each state to still be considered "middle class."
The study found that the idea of a "middle class" may be shifting.
"...we’re now seeing the middle class capturing a lower share of income than in the 60s, 70s and 80s. In the two decades since the mid-2000s, it has shrunk from roughly 60%..."
This article will look at what income a family needs to be both "middle class" and "happy" in Florida based on two different surveys.
What The Consumer Affairs Survey Identified As A "Middle Class" Income in Florida?: In order to determine who is in the current middle class, Consumer Affairs used an inflation calculator provided by The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
After crunching the numbers, Consumer Reports found that Floridians with a family of 4 who earn a household income of $67,835 were considered middle class.
That figure is a bit higher than ZipRecruiter's average salary for Floridians at $48,620. However, a household with two earners would obviously earn more.
Incidentally, the median home price in Florida is currently around $392,000. According to the Mortage Reports, you need to earn around $75,000 per year in order to comfortably afford a home costing $300,000.
The Amount You Need To "Be Happy" in Florida is Significantly More Than What You Need To Be Middle Class: In mid-2022, Purdue University and Go Banking Rates conducted a survey to determine how much money it takes to be "happy" in Florida.
To come up with a figure, the sites considered the cost of living, the unemployment rate, plus property and crime rates.
In the end, the sites found that one needs to earn a minimum annual salary of $105,315 to be "happy" in the Sunshine State, although feeling a sense of "well-being" could be done on less.
Notations within the survey said, in part:
"While you do need to make a bit more than $105,000 to be happy here, well-being is possible at $60,180..."
Recent research conducted by a Nobel Prize-winning economist suggested that money does contribute to happiness - and as much money as $500,000 per year.
This contradicts previous research from 2010 which suggested that an income of $75,000 did increase happiness but incomes above that figure did not move the happiness needle all that much.