Do High Earning Americans Actually Hate Their jobs?

April 17, 2023

Is it true that millionaire and generally unhappy people? In this highlight, Bo and Brian discuss if millionaire truly are unhappy and what the data shows surrounding this topic.


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The first thing we notice about millionaires that are unhappy is that they’re not satisfied, they hate their jobs. Yeah, you know, obviously I mean, we love our job, but there are a lot of people, and I often wonder, like the doctor who said, you know, or the student that wants to be a doctor not because they’re trying to save lives but because, man, I hear doctors and these other things if you know. This falls into what is stress anxiety. We live in a society now that seems like it is loaded up with this stuff.

The research shows 68% of high-income individuals making over two hundred and fifty thousand dollars report feeling stressed out at work regularly, and you can compare this to only 38% of those who make between fifty thousand and seventy-five thousand that say they regularly feel stressed, and 47% under 50,000 of income that say they feel stressed. Now don’t mishear me. I would argue, right, like I’m stressed sometimes. I mean, I love what I do, but sometimes it gets stressful. And so you may be saying, “Okay, well hey, if you make under 250 or over 250,000, you’re probably in a job where you have more burden, more responsibility, more.” But it’s something you ought to be mindful of if you find yourself having the Sunday scaries every week where you’re like, “Oh my gosh, I just can’t wait for the weekend, I gotta get out of this.”

It’s not uncommon for that level of stress to bleed into all the other financial areas of your life to where you really do begin to resent and hate the thing that is bringing the dollars in your house. Well, I think stress because I’ll be self-reflective on this is that it also creates bad lifestyle decisions because money is just one facet of your life, your physical health is another level of wealth that you can have, and I like last week or I think I’ve shared on the show, we practice the intermittent fast where, you know, we have the periods where we’re eating, we have the periods we’re not eating, and it works really great, you know, we have our black coffee, is kind of the one loophole, but if I have like a bad morning where the kid, you know, my daughter didn’t get to out to school easily, me and my wife aren’t connecting, I pull into the Sonic, yep, and I load up on all the carbs of the tater tots and everything, and that’s that stress is making me make bad decisions or it’s influencing me. It also impacts your sleep. So if you don’t have stress under control, even though you have all the fruits of success, it can lead to negative physical things as well. You’re not alone in that 46% of people say that because of stress, they either overeat or eat unhealthily due to that, 29% of folks say that they either started drinking or started drinking more because of stress, 77% of people experienced stress that ends up affecting their physical health, so now we’re talking about actual manifestations in your body, in your health from stress, and 48% of folks say that they have trouble sleeping due to stress. So even if you are one of these Americans in these higher-paying jobs or maybe you’re just in a lower-paying job, but you are constantly stressed to the max because of that, recognize there are some unintended consequences and some ramifications of that down the road that even though you may be driven, and even though you may be pushing towards these financial goals, you really have to sit back and measure, okay, at what cost?

What is the pursuit of this costing me? And ultimately, is it really worth it? Well, that leads to because I think a lot of us, when we think about success and wealth, we think about the C-suite executives. It’s so interesting to me when I saw this stat that CEOs struggle with actual treatable depression at two times the rate of the general population. You can’t tell me that doesn’t fall back to that stress. I mean, these are people that you would think would be top of the food chain, feeling really good because they’re probably flying on the private jets and living the lifestyle that we all aspire to. Then you find out that they have double the rates of depression. Then you find out that the kids, because rich kids are more depressed and have more anxiety than middle or lower-income peers. You see this with countries; some of the lower-income countries actually have more happiness than what’s considered high-wealth, high-income countries. There is something to pay attention to: money does not equate to happiness, and jobs that are super successful do not equate to it. So, pay attention to what is creating this.

Let’s talk about some things specifically with your vocation where you can do this better, where you can be on not the dark side of this American millionaire equation, and here’s the first thing, and it seems so simple but it’s worth kind of really drinking in: love what you do. Love the job that you do or find a way to be very satisfied in your work. I have a lot of friends, like, “Hey, I’m an auditor, right? I go and I audit cat litter, and that’s what I do.” And I don’t know that I love cat litter; I know that I love counting palettes. But if you can find satisfaction in doing your job well and knowing that at the end of the day, what you did had purpose and you did it in an excellent fashion, I think you’ll find that you can flip some of that stress to not being a negative, but an expert. You know what? That’s pretty good. Today was a good day. I was happy with the way today turned out.

Well, I think about all the career changes. I mean, we have a number of career changes that work for us, but also, we work with FIRE clients, and I notice how many of them, when they are part of the FIRE community, they do leave these high-paying jobs to transition into something completely different. It could be education; it could be social media, where they start a podcast or do other things. It is definitely one of those things where you have to ask yourself, “I can see it. It’s the unspoken part out loud. I’m just going to share it with you guys,” is that they’re trying to find something that they can do or they wake up in the morning and they feel like, in their own way, they’re making the world a better place. They have purpose, and they wake up, and even though you can have a great income, if you wake up and you’re, as Beau put earlier, you have those Sunday dreads where you’re chewing on your fingernails, there has to be a better way. So, you need to not only have the goal of building wealth, having a good income, a job that creates that with a big shovel, you also need to have something that makes you feel happy, fulfilled, and purposeful because you might find that the money that you’re making is actually draining you from the core if you don’t have all those things aligned.

Another thing when it comes to your work, and this one is something that just means so much to us here in our ecosystem, is to love the people that you work with. You can do all kinds of studies, and you recognize that the human beings with whom you spend the most amount of time throughout your life are likely your colleagues and co-workers. You go to work every day, you spend time with these people, and you want to make sure that you surround yourself with people who you enjoy, people that you like. Again, if you have those Sunday scariest like, “Oh man, I’ve got to see so and so at the office,” or “Oh man, I just don’t want to go sit next to so and so tomorrow for another week,” that’s naturally going to change you and tend to drive you to not like what it is that you’re doing. So, find a way to find a job, find a position, find a department where you can surround and appreciate the people with whom you are working.

I also think it’s a balance thing because you talk about relationships, you talk about feeling purpose or satisfied. I also think you just have to make sure that the balance aligns with where you want to be in life. I think a lot of us don’t ask the question of enough, you know? Because that’s the part of, maybe the job you need that actually aligns to what you physically and emotionally want pays a little bit less. Sure, so you just need to have that balance of what do you need financially, what actually brings you purpose, and see if there’s kind of a marriage that you can create there. I love it.

Now, we would be remiss if we’re talking about loving the people you work with and finding a culture that really aligns well. That’s one of the things we feel like we’ve done incredibly well here. I think if you look at all the folks who work with these, these are 30 of our best friends in the entire world. We love spending time with these people, we love hanging out with those people. If you’re someone looking for an environment like that, we’re hiring. That’s right, this is a shameless plug to let you know we’re actually growing the Money Guy team. So, you can go to moneyguy.com/careers. We have a number of different job postings. If you’re someone who says, “Man, I love what I do, but I don’t love where I’m doing it, or I don’t love what I do, I wish I was doing something else, or I don’t love the people I’m with, I want to surround myself with people that I do love,” go check that out. Who knows, maybe you might be the next member of the Money Guy team. That part was for free, but I’d feel I’d be remiss if I didn’t say it. This is on the social media side, we also always encourage you to go to aboundwealth.com/careers. We always have jobs also on the financial advising side. So, pay attention. I think that’s important. I mean, we really do try to practice what we preach, we eat our own cooking as we like to say. So, go check it out.



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