Weekend Reading: The Better You Are at Math, the More Money Seems to Influence Your Satisfaction

This article appears as part of Casey Weade's Weekend Reading for Retirees series. Every Friday, Casey highlights four hand-picked articles on trending retirement topics and delivers them straight to your email inbox. Get on the list here.
Weekend reading math life satisfaction Weekend reading math life satisfaction
Weekend Reading

Were you a math pro in school? If so, new research shows it could benefit you more than you might realize.


The power of numbers: Based on results from a 2021 study, individuals who are better at math tend to make more money and feel more satisfied with their lives, versus those who aren’t as excelled mathematically. At the same time, however, math-skilled individuals are also more focused on income delivering happiness, and the better they are at crunching numbers, the more they care about how much money they make.

Does money buy happiness? The findings relay that for those who don’t excel at math, income – whether low or high – doesn’t relate nearly as much to life satisfaction. These individuals might even reach what is referred to as “income satiation”, where once they reach a certain income threshold ($93,000 based on research), money in general begins to lose its happiness factor. On the other hand, this particular study showed income satiation didn’t occur for math-focused people, as they continued developing happiness the more their income increased.

Bottom line: Math-oriented people might make more, but when life satisfaction is based around dollars, it can help to take the non-math-oriented person’s perspective and look beyond the numbers for more joy and purpose. On the other hand, this is also your cue to teach your kids and grandkids the importance of mathematics. It may just be the most important gift you give them for their financial future.