Top reasons that make human beings happy

Money or kindness?

New research by Skoda reveals the nation’s views on what leads to a rich and happy life; comparing the views and experiences of young adults (18 – 30s) to an older generation (over 60s).

The research shows, when it comes to looking at the things in life that we most value, opinions of millennials and baby boomers are similar - with both stating family (78 per cent / 81 per cent), good health (49 per cent / 74 per cent) and friends (45 per cent / 48 per cent) among the main necessities needed to lead a rich and fulfilling life.  

However, when it comes to regrets and worries, opinions differ. Money worries top the troubles of younger people – with two fifths (42 per cent) saying their biggest regret is not saving enough, followed by worrying too much about their appearance (25 per cent). In contrast, the over 60’s most regret not having travelled enough (26 per cent), followed by not spending enough time with loved ones (16 per cent).

“We set out to uncover the importance and value of wealth across different generations.  Interestingly, we found that the perception of value isn’t universal; money is more of an influencing factor for millennials, while baby boomers place greater value on life experiences”, said Kirsten Stagg, Head of Marketing for Skoda UK. 

“What is also apparent is that as we get older, rarely do we look back and think ‘I wish I’d spent more money’ on something - it’s spending time with the people we love that fulfils us”, Stagg continued.

Nearly a quarter (24 per cent) of young people say money is what makes them happiest in life, compared to just 9 per cent of those aged 60 and over.

When it comes to what the baby boomers say make them happy, it’s having family (65 per cent), love (36 per cent) and travelling (31 per cent).

Both generations wish they spent more time with their loved ones. The majority of young people wish they spent more time with their mums (33 per cent) and friends (30 per cent), while the majority of the elderly wish they spent it with their children (32 per cent) and dads (29 per cent).

The research from Skoda coincides with the brand’s launch of its Alternative Rich List, which celebrates people who are rich in ways other than monetary wealth.


What people most regret in lifeMeanYoungerElderly
Not saving enough money31 per cent42 per cent21 per cent
Not travelling enough25 per cent25 per cent26 per cent
Not leading a healthy life style18 per cent22 per cent15 per cent
Worrying too much about my weight / appearance17 per cent25 per cent10 per cent
I don’t have any regrets in life16 per cent7 per cent24 per cent
Not spending enough time with my loved ones14 per cent13 per cent16 per cent
Not pursing my goals12 per cent17 per cent7 per cent
Not winning the lottery12 per cent12 per cent12 per cent
Never learning a foreign language11 per cent7 per cent14 per cent
Not finishing my education10 per cent13 per cent8 per cent
Staying in a job I hated10 per cent11 per cent10 per cent
Staying in an unhappy relationship10 per cent10 per cent10 per cent
Not being true to myself10 per cent10 per cent9 per cent
Not going to uni7 per cent6 per cent8 per cent
Not having children4 per cent3 per cent5 per cent
Going to uni2 per cent4 per cent1 per cent
Having children1 per cent1 per cent1 per cent
Not getting plastic surgery1 per cent2 per cent1 per cent
Getting plastic surgery1 per cent2 per cent1 per cent
What creates a happy lifeMeanYoungerElderly
Family80 per cent78 per cent81 per cent
Good health62 per cent49 per cent75 per cent
Friends47 per cent46 per cent48 per cent
Money26 per cent29 per cent22 per cent
Romantic Love23 per cent27 per cent18 per cent
Good career20 per cent27 per cent14 per cent
I am not sure what creates a happy life3 per cent3 per cent3 per cent
Material possessions2 per cent3 per cent1 per cent
Popularity2 per cent1 per cent2 per cent
Good looks1 per cent2 per cent1 per cent
Large social following1 per cent1 per cent1 per cent


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