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Study Proves Money Can't Buy Happiness

A new study from American Express proves that money can't buy happiness. Called the "Life Twist Study," its researchers discovered that money isn't a big factor when it comes to fulfillment.

According to the study, which was released earlier this month, Americans do not define success by the amount of money they make or have. Instead, their success is determined by their life's experiences. Out of 22 "successful life factors," money ranked in at No. 20.

How you spend your money is much more important than how you make it, say 81 percent of the study's participants. Another 72 percent said they would rather use their money to gain life experiences rather than purchasing a large house or luxury car.

"Today, Americans say that feeling successful is driven less by the amount of money they earn, and more by having a job they love, rewarding relationships and contributing to their communities," said Josh Silverman, president of consumer services at American Express.

Factors like good health (85 percent), making time for the important things (83 percent), and maintaining a good marriage or relationship (81 percent) were listed as priorities. Good spending habits (81 percent), having a balance between work and life (79 percent) and having a job you love (75 percent) also contribute to having a fulfilled life.

The report also took a look at what people have on their bucket lists. Money came in at No. 8 on the list, after things like traveling, having kids, volunteering and becoming a better cook.

What this all means is companies need to have a better understanding of what makes their employees happy, and they must provide benefits that facilitate that. For example, traveling is listed as the top item on the study's bucket list. That means that companies need to provide ample vacation time to employees.

"Businesses must recognize that employees are placing a greater premium on work life balance and are looking for ways to pursue their passions." the American Express report reads. "Implementing policies or programs that allow employees to make time for what's most important to them, whether at work or at home, may help attract and retain top talent."

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We want to hear from you! Where does money rank on your personal priority list? Share your thoughts on Twitter or in the comments!

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(Photo credit: © atoss - Fotolia.com)

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