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So this is national financial planning week. G&M has a big section on it to fill the void of it's low news Monday business section. Lead story implies that people who plan are happier. Again I'm thinking correlation does not prove causation. Maybe happier people just plan more? Or happiness and the inclination to plan are caused by some extraneous 3rd factor such as education, intelligence, or wealth? These surveys really are flawed in most cases and this one is too. Thoughts?
 

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I know I feel good when I have a plan. And I know that I should plan more. I think it is correlation not causation.

I don't think planning is essential to happiness. But planning is an orderly way to deal with the unknown. So if your tolerance for uncertainty is higher then you don't need to plan as much but having important things planned is pretty important.

The Harvard study showed that people who had a plan when they graduated ended up in the top 25% of their class in career achievement 25 years later.
 

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I think it is all about control - feeling in control results in less stress and possibly more happiness. While I don't dispute the fact that these surveys are not exactly designed or implemented well, I don't think it's that steep of a slippery slope to come to their conclusions.
 

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So this is national financial planning week. G&M has a big section on it to fill the void of it's low news Monday business section. Lead story implies that people who plan are happier. Again I'm thinking correlation does not prove causation. Maybe happier people just plan more? Or happiness and the inclination to plan are caused by some extraneous 3rd factor such as education, intelligence, or wealth? These surveys really are flawed in most cases and this one is too. Thoughts?
IMHO it's a selective data filter, not cause & effect. Lack of money, or inability to manage the income you have, is a widespread cause of unhappiness. People who have a financial plan have taken the first big step to gaining financial control of their lives, so they are likely to be happier as a group. But you won't make either a spendthrift or a dirt-poor person happy by giving them a financial plan.
 

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The single biggest thing I've done for my happiness has nothing to do with finances. It was becoming self employed, which also allows me better family time (not neccessarily more, I work a lot of evenings, but it's better time). Refocusing my lifestyle on family and prioritizing finances *second* has made me far happier. I can always earn more money. I can't get back the memories of my son and I going camping and fishing for a weekend.
 

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The single biggest thing I've done for my happiness has nothing to do with finances. It was becoming self employed, which also allows me better family time (not neccessarily more, I work a lot of evenings, but it's better time). Refocusing my lifestyle on family and prioritizing finances *second* has made me far happier. I can always earn more money. I can't get back the memories of my son and I going camping and fishing for a weekend.
BINGO - we have a weiner!:D

bbt
 
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