Having a higher income doesn’t mean you also have enough of the other things that make you feel truly happy and wealthy (relationships, hobbies, time).

The age-old question of whether money can buy happiness has perplexed philosophers and economists for centuries. While conventional wisdom states that money, beyond basic needs, cannot purchase a person’s search for happiness, the research paints a more nuanced picture.

I grew up frequently hearing the biblical phrase, “The love of money is the root of all evil.” This warns that prioritizing money above all else corrodes the soul because money becomes one’s god. However, now that I’m in my 60s, after raising five boys and accumulating 15 grandchildren, I believe the greater danger lies in worshipping money by surrendering your autonomy to its lure and becoming enslaved to the growth of money over the pursuit of wealth (happiness).

In this context, “money” is an object or commodity, something to be controlled, whereas “wealth” is having enough: enough love, friends, hobbies, time and money. Therefore, money is a subset of wealth, not the other way around.