Everyone wants happiness in their lives. This is especially true for Americans who are promised, “Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” Here’s the rub: happiness can be an elusive emotion.
Here at Carver Financial, your happiness is of the utmost importance to us. It is impossible to separate all-around life satisfaction from good financial planning and security. That is why we go beyond the finances to figure out what is truly important to you and how you can lead a balanced, sustainable, and joyful life. We’re not here to simply help you reach your financial goals, we’re here to help you reach your life goals because we believe you cannot have one without the other.
We believe there are three basic pillars of happiness. We’ve formulated these pillars using a combination of anecdotal evidence, scientific studies, and peer-reviewed research. Keep in mind, though, happiness should be a goal, not a permanent state. Much like anger, sadness, fear, excitement, happiness is an emotion that elicits a lot of energy and often passes pending external factors or how you’re feeling.
It’s perfectly natural to desire happiness in your life. Who doesn’t want to feel more joyful throughout their days? We believe the following three focal points will help you access happiness in your life:
While the study of happiness is an ever-evolving field, there has been plenty of research on how money contributes to happiness. In short, the old saying, “Money can’t buy happiness” is only partially true. According to Matthew A. Killingsworth, a senior fellow at Wharton People Analytics in the Wharton School, “When you have more money, you have more choices about how to live your life…People living paycheck to paycheck who lose their job might need to take the first available job to stay afloat, even if it’s one they dislike. People with a financial cushion can wait for one that’s a better fit. Across decisions big and small, having more money gives a person more choices and a greater sense of autonomy.”
There are two reasons money, while beneficial to living a happy life, shouldn’t be the only factor in the equation. For one, studies have found that people who equated money and success tend to be less happy than those who do not relate the two. Additionally, having “more” or “enough” money means different things to different people in different parts of the country. You might be able to earn more money if you work longer hours, but then you’ll have less time to focus on relationships and hobbies, two things that also bring happiness to people’s lives. There isn’t a magic money number that unlocks happiness.
Humans are social creatures, we thrive on good conversations, connectivity, feeling like we matter in other people’s lives. In an interview with U.S. News, neuroscientist and happiness researcher Dean Burnett describes why happiness is linked to relationships, “Other people are such a big part of how we experience emotions…We’re a pair-bonding species, and we seek out partners…When we find the one person who we want to settle down with, it causes all manner of reactions in the brain. We’ve evolved to encourage us to maintain a link with one person.” There is neurological evidence that the neurological chemical oxytocin helps create meaningful connections between people. Your brain is literally telling you that developing relationships equates to happiness.
These relationships don’t necessarily have to be romantic, in fact, being a part of a community made up of people who share the same types of interests and values as you have shown to bring happiness into people’s lives. Individuals who feel that they matter in the sense that their actions are making a difference in the world and their life is significant, find a lot of meaning in their existence. Social connections are an important component to feeling like your life makes a difference in the world via your impact on others. This is just one of the reasons we host events and trips—so that you can connect with others who share common interests with you on a social level.
This one is obvious, but still crucial to maintaining a happy balance in your life. Living a life full of good habits, both emotional and physical, should be seen as an investment in your future. By incorporating light exercise, healthy eating, and regular check-ups, you will increase your chances of living a long and happy life.
Health, like happiness, is tied to both money and relationships. Leading a healthy lifestyle will generally decrease money spent on medical bills and alleviate strain on your relationships. Plus, health and happiness have a symbiotic relationship; happier people have a lower risk for cardiovascular disease, lower blood pressure, better sleep, better diet, and reduced stress, making them healthier people as well.
Conversely various studies have shown that wealthier individuals don’t only live longer, they also get 8 to 9 additional healthy years after 50 than lower income individuals in the United States and in England. The findings, published in The Journals of Gerontology: Series A, sought to look at the role socioeconomic factors play in how long people live healthy lives.
When looking at the future happiness can feel like a nebulous goal. You cannot simply focus on one of these categories in your life without considering the other two. In order to bring more happiness and joy into your life, you need a balance of all three: Financial Autonomy, Fulfilling Relationships, and a Healthy Lifestyle. These are far from the only factors that can make you happier, but they’re certainly some of the most important. It’s also helpful to remember that happiness looks different from person to person; a happy life could look different for you than it does for your children and your grandchildren.
At Carver Financial, we use these pillars to build a plan that compliments what’s truly important to you. We are a team of passionate professionals who work hard on creating a community that enhances happiness and overall satisfaction with life. Part of this is offering experiences like international trips and local presentations that not only educate and inspire, but also help you meet other individuals who have the same interests or are going through the same experiences as you.
As 2021 comes to an end, a lot of people are beginning to focus on how they want their upcoming year to look like. Often this includes financial planning that considers taxes, investments, and cash needs. I believe this is also a great time to take a larger view and think about what you really want your future to be like; how to bring balance to your life through smart decisions with regard to both wealth management and the experiences you want to have. The team at Carver Financial is here to help you define your vision and then navigate to the most fulfilling life possible. This truly is at the heart and soul of Personal Vision Planning®.
I founded Carver Financial Services in 1990 to help make peoples lives’ better. We use a uniquely designed program to achieve this goal. There are plenty of financial planning, brokerage and investment firms that focus solely on the money—we are not one of them. We are here to help a select group of people lead more fulfilling lives. While other firms focus on investments and the markets, our firm is dedicated to your Personal Vision Planning®, whatever your vision may be. If you have $500,000 (or more) in investible assets, please feel free to reach out to me personally, or to our team if we can be of service.
We are more than happy to review your existing planning to provide a second opinion or help create a new Personal Vision Plan for your future. There is neither a cost nor any obligation. You vision is our priority, and we are always here for you.
Randy Carver, CRPC®, CDFA®, is the president and founder of Carver Financial Services, Inc., and is also a registered principal with Raymond James Financial Services, Inc. Randy has more than 32 years of experience in the financial services business. Carver Financial Services, Inc. was established in 1990 and is one of the largest independent financial services offices in the country, managing $2.3 billion in assets for clients globally, as of October 2021. Randy and his team, work with individuals who are in financial transition as a result of divorce, retirement, or the sale of a business. You may reach Randy at email@example.com.