Sian Jones was working in a high-pressure job in The Lord of the Rings. He gave that up and moved to remote Golden Bay; Here she is photographed in 2020 with, from left, her stepson Rowan Jones, her husband Clayton Jones, and her son Jules Jones.
It’s a pearl of wisdom, so solid money expert Mary Holm slapped it on the opening pages of her bright yellow personal finance book Rich enough?
“Yes”, catch 22 Author Joseph Heller acknowledged this when his friend Kurt Vonnegut pointed to the billionaire party host and said the hedge fund manager had made more money in a single day than Heller had made from his satirical war novel.
“But I have something he can never have,” Heller said.
So not surprisingly for a long time Weekend Reporter The columnist went ho-hum when told that a study by Purdue University in the US had found that you need to earn more than $193,000 a year to find happiness in New Zealand.
“That’s ridiculously high, right?”
Particularly, Holm said, because while we all need a place to live—for example—what we currently pay for this basic human need can range from zero to income-burning, depending on what stage of homeownership you’re at. or if you are renting.
“I don’t like how they associate income with happiness… because it’s so diverse. And second, when [the number] “A level that high will make people unhappy with studying because they’re not getting that much.”
So, beyond the obvious disadvantages of not earning enough to meet your basic needs, what is actually enough in a country where the median household income is $117,126 in 2022?
Londoner Sian Jones calls a house truck home in Nelson county’s remote Tākaka Hill, and when her part-time job ended recently, the lump sum arriving in her bank account briefly felt like a Lotto win.
“But then I couldn’t think of anything I’d actually want to go out and buy. “I am very happy with what I have and family is the most valuable thing.”
Jones had previously said that after working 12- to 15-hour, six-day weeks behind the scenes on the Lord of the Rings film trilogy, along with a few other jobs and some travel, he settled on a piece of land overlooking the Golden Bay on Tākaka Hill. .
The Brit worked as a publicist in the film industry for 20 years before a summer holiday at the Tākaka Hill estate co-owned by her future husband was ruined by a crisis involving visa extension wrangles for Lord of the Rings staff.
“[This] It took away my much needed holiday break. There is a dark cloud over everything.”
In addition to raising two children, the youngest of whom is now 16, he also worked long hours, four days a week, to provide enough time to parent and develop his land, including an orchard and vegetable garden.
The only extra thing he wants, and feels denied ocean-bound Kiwis, is the ability to enjoy the benefits of travel like those in Europe, at little cost.
“It’s sad for New Zealand that you have to spend so much money to experience another culture.”
Jones said the cost of living has been a little tougher this year, and during his last visit to the town he was shocked to see kumara prices exceeding $20 per kg.
But she will do each new job on her own terms, doing projects she feels emotionally connected to, and hoping she can work independently with her husband, who has a background in sound for music festivals.
The 58-year-old said how much money they make comes second to projects that match their values.
“As you get older, you realize what you really want.”
Former Whanganui health and life coach Steph Brunt said there were people struggling to get to this point among those coming to her for help.
“The majority of the work I did with my clients was around purpose and connection. “People who feel lost or trapped aren’t sure why they got out of bed because they didn’t know what their purpose was, what their values were.”
Brunt, who returned to corporate communications this year, counted among her clients people whose high incomes did not bring them happiness; These include mothers trying to balance their careers and manage the household.
“And that’s why they [putting themselves] At the bottom of the list.”
One client had “incredible” money but was working long hours, felt guilty about not being around his children, couldn’t find time for exercise and felt incompetent at his job, “as opposed to a reflection of where the organization was.” ” said Brunt.
“So yes, he was making a great salary, but he was far from happy.”
Even reaching the $193,727 annual income that researchers at Purdue University think is necessary for happiness in New Zealand would be the first hurdle for most of us.
Employment and careers consultant Frontline Recruitment Group said the figure, calculated by looking at the relationship between income and quality of life and using a sample of 1.7 million people around the world to create a global league table, was “quite a high figure”. tea reporter.
“[It] “It may not be accessible to many people.”
The roles where Kiwis are most likely to earn the ambitious $200,000 are senior management and executive roles, the consultant said.
“Like managers of department heads, general managers or C-Suites. Working with an expert recruiter is often the best way to land these types of jobs.”
But like Holm, the recruiting agency knew from its own research that happiness was about much more than dollars and cents.
A survey of more than 600 Kiwi workers this year delved into what inspires those who love their jobs so much they don’t want to leave.
What made the difference was the flexibility, professional growth and development opportunities.
“[And] “I am proud of the impact they have made in their roles.”
Cherie Howie is an Auckland-based reporter who joined the Herald in 2011. She has been a journalist for over 20 years and specializes in general news and features.