Is $75,000 Really the Perfect Salary?

One of my favorite financial resources, The Wall Street Journal, published an article about the perfect salary. According to their research, $75,000 is a perfect blend of money and happiness. The full length article can be found here.
This study goes against everything we as Americans have been taught. We’re not taught to “settle.” We’re taught to strive for bigger and bigger salaries so we can buy bigger and better toys, cars and houses. This article basically tells us that what we’ve been taught is a bunch of non-sense and any more money over the $75,000 thresh-hold will not make a significant impact on one’s life.
Here are two quotes that I find fascinating:
“The magic income: $75,000 a year. As people earn more money, their day-to-day happiness rises. Until you hit $75,000. After that, it is just more stuff, with no gain in happiness.”
“Giving people more income beyond 75K is not going to do much for their daily mood… but it is going to make them feel they have a better life,”
I have my own opinion on this. This study makes no mention of location for salaries. I’m sure the people polled we’re from all over the country but I do know that $75k would not go that far in certain areas. Take me for example. I’m a single filer for taxes and live in San Diego. I make close to the $75k figure. With California taxes, high gas and food prices, and high rental costs, my salary does not give me the level of happiness this article is talking about. For example, I have to live with roommates to lessen my rent burden. I’ve talked with co-workers and some pay rent as high as $2,000 a month! I can’t imagine paying that, let alone, being happy paying that. I guess my point is that this study is abroad generalization and can’t be applied in every geographical location.
I do see how the level of happiness plateaus after a certain point. When this happens to me, I’ll let you know! In the mean time, I’m on the quest for that comfortable salary!
What are your thoughts on this article? Have you reached this stage? Do you agree or disagree with these findings? Comment below!