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Weird question for partners: does your $1m+/ year salary make you happy?

An expensive home, fine foods, luxury accommodations, etc. Is it a "grass is greener" feeling as a lowly consultant?

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I would say it’s a double edged sword—I have kids (one just started college), so the financial security and ability to help them that comes w my income level is definitely a positive.

On the other hand...there is an enormous amount of pressure that comes w the role. We are paid as we are to grow the business, and the challenge of keeping the growth going month to month somewhat offsets the feelings of security. I worry about things that never crossed my mind as a senior, or even as a director.

One final point: I grew up lower middle class and really do appreciate my good fortune every day...and I don’t really live any differently than I did as a director.

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I think if the $1million is coming from your own business where you travel as much as you want, work when and where you want and run your life how you want, then absolutely it makes you happy. But I think if you are in golden handcuffs and as soon as you quit “the job” the money goes away, no I don’t think you are happy. I know I’m not, I make $100k and would rather make $50k running a business then doing what I’m doing now. I have no desire to climb the ladder here or anywhere. It took me some time to figure out why I was so unhappy all of the time, and it’s not because I don’t make enough, it’s because I don’t control my time and I really could care less about anything Accenture is doing or any other firm, just doesn’t interest me anymore.

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Short answer is always yes. There are no problems/good things that can’t be made better with money. True love? Rich means you get to spoil him or her beyond their wildest dreams and can even quit you job and spend all day at home. Got cheated on? Whole family died? I guarantee you adding “and you’re poor” to the end of that sentence only makes it better. People who don’t understand this are honestly delusional. Crying is crying but as someone who grew up dirt poor, Jesus Christ my bank account now would’ve solved virtually every problem I had growing up

likesmart

Having money won’t make you happy, but not having it will certainly make you unhappy

Can an actual partner answer this question

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Just what I was about to write haha

I would rather have rich problems than poor problems.

likesmart

Oh what the hell...can only speak for myself but overall I enjoy my job and the people I work with and the $ certainly has its perks. I’m fortunate enough not to have to worry about day-to-day financial struggles and while I wish I had more time with the family, I do enjoy giving them opportunities to see the world. Growing up my family rarely left the Midwest, so being able to take my wife and children to different locations is very enjoyable to me.

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Most partners won’t make $1M in salary consistently . Median is somewhere around 700K . That said - after you cross a few hundred thousands , money by itself stops being a source of happiness for most execs . You find fulfillment via other things - mentoring , hobbies etc

likeuplifting

Average is pretty well defined. And in context I’m guessing it was what was meant.

I’m fairly happy, and no doubt the money makes a lot of things better - whether that’s in terms of lifestyle, flexibility, or even just avoiding feelings of inadequacy/resentment in social comparisons (not to say that I’m the richest of my friends - but there’s nothing the richest of my friends can afford that makes me envious). But money still isn’t the primary determinant of my happiness. Enjoying what I do and the people I spend my time with make much more impact there.

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$ doesn’t result in happiness - it introduces different challenges and problems - happiness is an inside-out thing, not an outside-in one.

likesmartfunny

I know people making way more than that - short answer is not necessarily.

likehelpful

Same here. I like the money and the lifestyle it buys but also like the control of how/where I work. I genuinely do enjoy aspects of the role not just the paycheck.

I see plenty of colleagues who max out spending and then live in constant stress about having a bad year/getting fired etc. So money doesn’t fix everything

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This thread has been surprisingly insightful - honestly thought it was just going to be another piss match type convo.

Thanks to everyone who has contributed to the discussion. Really enjoy hearing your perspectives.

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I’d say it depends what you’re sacrificing for that money. Once you have a family you realize there are things more important than more money. Kids are expensive so the drive to make more is still there but it’s about balance as opposed to the dollar above everything else.

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Echo what AP1 said. Money helps, for sure, but it goes quick. Half of it goes to education expenses (private school, college and EMBA), the other half pays for house and retirement savings. The real happiness comes from taking care of the ones you love, and having time to spend with friends (and that’s pretty much what the $$$ are for). The flip side is that you need to constantly look for new business, managing existing clients and relationships, taking care of the team, and often feels like you are a one-man-band and you have to take care of everything. A lot tougher than my role before becoming a partner, if you ask me.

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Absolutely causal? No. Strong and positive correlation? Yes.

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I think the answer to this depends on how they felt growing up. Did they feel like there was always enough at home? Probably are going to be more satisfied with a lower income level, but still want a certain pay to match life style, which is vicious. Never felt like there was enough? There is going to bed hungry and then there's going to bed without food. These are entirely different things. I didn't grow up poor at all, upper middle class, but studied abroad on scholarship in hs with some host parents that were charades of human beings and didn't feed me or care about providing me meals. I didn't have any of my own money and fuck no I wasn't asking my parents and making them freak out. It bred a type of second hunger, if you will, a type of obsession that translates to this feeling of money as security. I'm not a partner, but the answer to this will depend immensely on the partner.

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I make ~200 and yes it makes me happy. I’ll take 1m thanks.

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I don’t “feel” particularly richer than I did at any other stage of my career to be honest. This job pays young people pretty well and keeps paying pretty well up the line. Always felt like I could do what I wanted to do when I wanted to do it, be it clubs, sporting events concerts, shows, whatever. I don’t feel any more like that because I make more money now.

And that feeling doesn’t really come from the money. It comes from the job. I haven’t been all around the world cause I get paid a lot. It’s because I’m a million miler on two airlines and am a lifetime Globalist and Titanium whateverthehell they’re calling it this week. I probably spend less and have more fabulous vacations than most people. Ironically, those are the times I feel most fortunate, but in reality, I’m spending Jack!

But there’s a different cost to that, as others have pointed out, and it’s a heavy cost.

The amount of threads and questions here about Partner money is astounding. It’s really not that interesting, and for Big 4 at least, there so much forced savings that at best you feel upper middle class. This may be different at strategy firms that pay the same regardless of geo, so you may be balling out in Kansas City, but nobody on here has a jet, guys. Partner value isn’t in the money.

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Their original question was does the additional comp make me happier. My answer is my conditions have changed, but I don’t really feel happier. I was happy before. The gig isn’t about the comp.

I know lots of miserable partners.

That said... money usually doesn’t hurt until you get a divorce or have to pay for ridiculous stuff. I know lots of miserable rich people but none would turn over their bank account for another option

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If you buy into the constant barrage of advertising messages meant to enslave you as a consumer, then yes, money will buy you happiness. If you subscribe to other ways of thinking - then it will make you comfortable to a point and not add much incrementally after another. This point varies depending on if you have a family, where you live, etc. it’s not 75K... 75K is a joke

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The old adage that money does not buy happiness is true. But it sure does ease the pain

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