What Money Really Buys You

freeAs we start the week holding our stomachs, worried about whether our 401(k) plans are safe from these rocky markets, let’s spend a few moments talking about money.

Many of us spend our lives trying to make lots of money. For those who already have tons of it, money is a surprising disappointment. That’s why I loved the tweets from Markus Persson, the creator of the online game Minecraft, over the weekend. As you may recall, Persson sold his company to Microsoft for $2.5 billion last year, making him an instant billionaire–though not necessarily a happy one.

In one tweet, he writes: “Hanging out in ibiza [sic] with a bunch of friends and partying with famous people, able to do whatever I want, and I’ve never felt more isolated.”

Research backs Persson up. According to one oft-cited 2010 Princeton University study, researchers found that people’s well-being did not go up much beyond an income of $75,000. And according to the Happy Planet Index (yes, there is one), the Costa Ricans, Vietnamese, and Jamaicans are far more happy than good ol’ Americans, who unfortunately rank 104th out of 151 countries. Tell that to Kimmy Schmidt.

Or tell it to Dan Price, the chief executive of Gravity Payments, who took the Princeton study to heart and decided to pay each of his employees a minimum of $75,000 a year, which resulted in a loss of some key staffers, a lawsuit, and the departure of some clients. Turns out, you can?t really buy happiness. (Price came on Bloomberg TV to talk about the backlash. Watch our interview here.)

But there is one thing money can buy and to some, it may be just as important as happiness. Money can buy you freedom.

Read more at?INC.