Money can't buy you happiness

WASHINGTON - YOUR parents were right. Money can't buy you happiness.

That was the message from the Federal Reserve chairman on Saturday to graduates of the University of South Carolina.

'We all know that getting a better-paying job is one of the main reasons to go to college. ... But if you are ever tempted to go into a field or take a job only because the pay is high and for no other reason, be careful!' Ben Bernanke said in his commencement address.

'Having a larger income is exciting at first, but as you get used to your new standard of living and as you associate with other people in your new income bracket, the thrill quickly wears off,' he said.

The Fed released his prepared remarks before he gave the speech. Studies found that just six months after winning a large lottery prize - even in the million of dollars - people reported being not much happier than they were before winning, Mr Bernanke said.

His advice blended what economics and social science have to say about personal happiness. When you boil down all the studies and fancy formulas, it sounds a lot like what your parents told you. -- AP


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