If I had seen this article in New York Magazine before today, I would have mentioned some of this in yesterday's post. It seems that this whole it-doesn't-take-money-to-be-happy business, extends way beyond just the lives of retirees. It also has some application to that other group, that is, everybody else.
- Volunteerism is booming,
- Enrollments at divinity schools are way up (and not just among the laid off),
- Violent crime has gone down in almost every category,
- Apartments (and real estate) are becoming more affordable, enabling people previously priced out of the city to be able to move back in, and
- people are even getting thinner (presumably due to eating in rather than out. Also it's cheaper to join the gym.)
" 'During the boom, people were by and large chasing the wrong stuff, because they were chasing stuff.' Psychologists like him have a term for our misplaced and unending hunger for more and more stuff: the hedonic treadmill."
"Schwartz hardly regards this recession as a welcome development. But he hopes it will at least make people begin to recognize the value of experience over material accumulation. 'There's good evidence people get more pleasure from experiences than possessions,' he explains. 'So constraining people materially might make them more satisfied with their lives.' "
And isn't that what we all want, retired or not?