Being obsessed with having enough money for a comfortable retirement seems like a national pastime. Almost daily, we are bombarded with worrisome messages about running out of money in our later years. From there, it's a short hop to living in unappealing senior housing, hoping our resentful children will keep paying our bills and occasionally visit.
While money is certainly important to personal security, the things it can buy are only part of a successful retirement, and often not the most important part. More money may give us a sense of satisfaction, especially as we compare our relative income to what other people make. But Daniel Kahneman, who won the Nobel Prize for his work on behavioral economics, says that after about $75,000 a year, additional income does not "buy" us any more happiness.