Jul 19, 2021

Cory Diary : How much is enough before Happiness increases become marginal ?


In Singapore context, what is enough ? First of all we need to view it from personal experience perspective. If you have yet seen S$500 lunch on a daily basis, this aren't going to be your baseline of reference but if you are going to challenge that this is unrealistic, sorry to say you are not in that league yet to even hear about it. So where should we start with ? I think social norm or median average maybe a good starting point. And then we put a plus one or two over it.

Bucket List

Condo maybe the one. Why ? Well, 80% of Singaporeans probably lives in HDB. Don't get me wrong, HDB is really nice and comfortable flat and many are proud of it. However with so many Condo around in every town, is not uncommon to know someone or friends who stay in them. It has it's own facilities and atas feel of being in the "Inner Circle" kind of thing. Pardon my analogy because there are always inner of inner circles (iterations). The fact is Condo is much more expensive on average speaks volume. Will one be happy ? That's depend how affordable is it to you. If you slave for it, then maybe not. However if you able to manage it wisely to give you just enough in cashflow, that may work.

Car ya lah. Damn expensive but how come everywhere can see them. Carpark is usually quite full by late evening. So despite the cost and financial logic, many owns them. Is a lifestyle ok. The freedom and convenience are more important. Well, there are different class of cars and Tesla will be on the road soon. So much it will set you back ? Decade ? forget about it. You aren't earning the amount yet probably. However the time saving can be quite significant if one could afford especially for family.

Holiday lor. Hey I am not talking about Thailand Beach or Malaysia picking (plucking ) durian ok. The real thing like Climbing the Paris Tower or taking Thames River Cruise in London. To be shiok throw in 2 weeks on semi-annual basis will be Perfect ! Wah lao .... . The essence that able to get away to cool cool place, new perspective and out from routine and experiences makes life meaningful.

Family a Must. I say this because I already have one with 2 toddlers. Able to form a family and seeing your children grow certainly has some level of satisfaction and happiness. Of course if you like being Single this does not apply. I aren't going to stir the Hornet Nest which is an ever-growing in today world. Financially, this will definitely speed you up. Maybe that's the main reason why we are in this. But the number one devil is loneliness. Not easy to overcome.

Parental Allowance for those who are in sandwiched class. Able to take care of our old folks give happiness when we can afford. I heard of many stories. If life is hard for you, how about them ? Every family different and is not for us to judge. At least at minimum return what they have onto you. Inflation and Opportunity cost adjusted !

Medical Insurance could be critical for many. One never know what will happen the next day. If we are to worry day-in day-out due to medical cost, able to afford a good coverage is probably necessary insurance or mitigation. Never really believe one should use insurance as an investment tool. This only adds complication that clouds what is really needed. Being focus on Medical, and Life Insurance on the early part of our career helps family. Buying too much of it or wrong insurance products maybe detrimental to one investment finances and cause regrets.

Passive Income obviously needed for most people unless one has significant saving. For Cory case is dividend investing where we continuously compound the returns plus capital injection to grow the passive income annually. Ideally if we can hit a return at age 50 that is near to our salary income of Age 50 this should be very attractive. Yeah, not easy since is a moving target. Maybe a level where we can cover all the other points in the bucket list is a good target and be really happy. Anything more may become good to have. Interestingly there are people who keeps arguing many stuff such as this aren't really truly Passive Income. Dude ! It doesn't has to be. So stop wasting time on pointless argument  and get on with it.


For the Article Title, if we ask a 10 year old, maybe singing and no money is Happiness. For 20 year old yolo is Happiness. And each country could be different due to Education, Tax/Benefits and Culture. This are really multi-facets. However, enough Money can HELP.

From the Bucket List, Happiness level will taper off as checklists are met for specific individual. Looks like there are still much room for Happiness to Grow in this study.


Articles in this Blog is personal take and educational purposes only. Reader should seek their own professional help when making financial decision and be responsible for their decision.


  1. The previous 2010 Princeton Uni study about US$75K being a ceiling for happiness has been debunked. Newer studies & surveys show that happiness keeps going up as more $$$$$ rolls in, just not at the same velocity or trajectory.

    2018 Purdue Uni study shows US$105K annual salary before happiness slows down (but still rises at a slower pace). That's about S$143K.

    If we talk about being able to generate a consistent 4% dividend yield, then that will require S$3.575M in income-producing assets.

    And this is for 1 person. Maybe 60%-70% more for 2 persons. (Or use leverage but may cause sadness during times of market stress)

    And don't forget to add inflation in the last 3 years, as well as going forward.

    This is obviously FAT FIRE.

    Most people work until the day they die also won't be able to achieve this.

    1. Looks like we have similar conclusion. The amount needed is much higher before Happiness starts tapering. Fortunately, it doesn't mean we will be sad not hitting the upper section of the steepest gradient of Happiness.

      Within a normal simple life, one can still enjoy a lot of Happiness. Ignorance can be Bliss. And I say it with the bottom of my heart. When there aren't much craving, life can be simple and blissful. However the world is not so simple today. Scam everywhere. Stress everywhere. It takes an enlightened mind to remain serene.

      Jealousy probably the cause of anger and sadness. When we see someone rich, happy, promoted, achieved, passed, ... not many people will cheer you in the bottom of their heart. On surface maybe. That's why many people refuse to share their personal stuffs to avoid trouble. And when you do they will say you are arrogant, wrong or even deceitful. Likewise if you don't as well. Either way ... LOL