SURVEY SAYS: Happier Than a Year Ago

Last week, I revived an old SURVEY SAYS question asked by my former boss in 2010.

I asked NewsDash readers “Are you happier and/or better off than you were a year ago?”

The good news is one-third (33.3%) of responding readers said yes to both. Nearly 9% are happier, but not better off, and 6.4% are better off, but not happier. Nineteen percent indicated they are happier and better off in some ways and not others, while 7.7% indicated they are not happier and better off in some ways but not others.

Nearly 13% reported they are the same as a year ago, and sadly, 10.3% are less happy and worse off.

Some responding readers who left comments explained their mixed situations, and others shared where they were a year ago and where they are now. A few gave some constructive feedback about happiness, and quite a few said they were happier because they are one year closer to retirement. Editor’s Choice goes to the reader who said, “I find that the older I get the less it takes to make me happy.”

Thank you to all who participated in the survey!


NO! - Heck, I'm older and getting more decrepit. Old age isn't for sissies! YES! - Still alive and kicking with lots to look forward to.

At this time last year, I was halfway through chemotherapy. Today I continue to count my blessings: I am employed, insured, one year closer to retirement, and - most importantly - happily cancer-free!

Job satisfaction is lower. Marital satisfaction is great and grows each year. I have identified and addressed health problems that were in existence a year ago, I just didn't know it then. Overall, life throws curveballs and it's best to just enjoy each day as it comes!

I WILL be happier when I leave for vacation in a couple of weeks!!

When I told my financial adviser that my goal was 6 more years, instead of the 10 I had been telling him for the last 15 years, I think he was as happy about the prospect as I am. Yippee! Goal in sight!

I'm the same as a year ago, but since I'm both happy and well-off, that's a good thing. One observation: Although my personal assets continue to grow through contributions and investment returns, I have a tendency to feel less well-off as I approach retirement age and wonder whether it will be enough. That is, in objective terms I'm doing better each year, but in subjective terms, it feels increasingly inadequate as I realize I have fewer earning years until retirement.

I find that the older I get the less it takes to make me happy.

Every year gets better and that makes me happier. Better off, as the house is now paid off & my husband is semi-retired so it's cleaner too!

Lots of changes since this time last year- my old job moved out of state and I did not go with it. I have a new job that pays less, has a shorter commute and significantly less stress. Not better off because of lower salary, but much happier and better off because of more satisfying work, more balance at home, and a greater effort to take care of myself.

I was happier 2 weeks ago. Frontier Communications took over for Verizon on April 1st. Since then, my internet has slowed and I've lost phone service. This after nearly 12 years of good service with Verizon.

I try to keep a positive outlook on life by enjoying the things I can and ignoring the things that I can't change anyway. Life is too short not to enjoy it.

Verbatim (cont.) 

1 year closer to retirement!

And not because of anything the government did!

I'm one year closer to retirement, so I guess that makes me happier and I've saved during the year, so I guess I'm better off too!

I'm only happier because I'm one year closer to retirement.

2016 is off to a rocky start with ailing in-laws, passing of my dog, and the expected death of a co-worker. And it's only April!

I'm happier because a friend recommended that I start taking Natrol 5HtP for my depression. I added it to my multi-drug anti-depressant prescription drugs and it has evened me out so I feel better than I have in years. I don't think I've taken but one or two Lorazepams since I started on the 5HTP. Please don't think I'm writing a commercial here. When you've suffered from severe recurring depression for years and find something that really works for you, it's like a miracle.

Things change, youngest moved out- expenses dropped but it looks like he may be back. Car's paid off and not being replaced. Cutting back to make ends meet. Happier, maybe. Better off, not sure.

Last year included a lot change and change related stress. This year those changes have settled but I am dealing with the health effects of the stress -- which in itself is both good and bad.

New job with a larger and better firm and family remains in good health

I have been lucky to "have enough" (income, social network, good health) for a number of years, so I am pretty happy from year to year. So, being "better off" financially doesn't really have much effect on my happiness at this point. Right now, we are planning our summer vacation and that is always a happy time!

A year ago I would have said yes to both, but after a major management change at work, I have to say I'm definitely not happier. Working here used to be fun, but all of the things that made it fun are gone. Oddly, management talks up how much fun we're having, even changing the name of the Wellness Committee to the Wellness/Fun Committee. Can I have an eye roll please?

Happiness is a state of mind, not a measure of your external world.

Verbatim (cont.) 

Earning more and liking my new job much better! Just hate the aging part.

I am watching the primaries as entertainment. If I watch them as the options for our president... I am watching the primaries as entertainment!

Happier? Maybe not. Our family has gone through a lot in the past year and the stress certainly has taken its toll. I'd say more appreciative which leads to equal or more happiness.

Last year I left my job after working at the company for over 12 years. I joined a smaller firm and couldn't be happier. It's like a dream come true.

Life is good. I'm not happy about the investment returns of the past 18 months, but I'm comfortable that I'm still on track to retire early.

As I'm now one year closer to retirement, who wouldn't be happier?

Happy that I'm better, Better that I'm happy, I'm happy, better, I'm better, happy.

I have a job, a husband who has a job, 2 cars and a house, so yes, I'm pretty happy.

Happier in life, less happy at work as financial pressures on the company trickle down. Finding time each day to exercise and add to my gratefulness list keeps me happy no matter what the work stress is. Oh yeah and kisses from my dog help too!

My reason is I have extended family living with me and family circumstances have not changed over the year.

Last spring I was diagnosed w/cancer. I was in the middle of surgeries and really scared about starting chemo. Now I am thru all treatments and feeling much better and the future is looking very good for me. So I am definitely happier and better off than last year. Also, my company was very supportive of me and I had great health insurance. Not something you really know until you use it.

There are definitely some bumps—and some awfully big potholes—in the road we call life, but the past year has been a good one. Living in a good place, working at something I feel good at, and believe in, getting more positive affirmations for the work I do, and family all healthy, happy, and doing well. Besides, a year ago I was dealing with a busted ankle... hard not to be better than THAT. Hope you're doing well.... your old boss...


NOTE: Responses reflect the opinions of individual readers and not necessarily the stance of Asset International or its affiliates.