Friday, December 19, 2014 · 11:26 p.m.

Survey finds most Americans measure success at $70,000 a year or less

Local residents say money doesn't buy happiness

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According to a recent survey, most Americans said they don't need six figures to feel successful. (Photo: MGNOnline)

According to a recent survey, American workers don't need to make hundreds of thousands a year to feel successful. Most would feel satisfied with $70,000 or less a year. 

The Huffington Post reported that a survey conducted by CareerBuilder found that 28 percent of respondents would feel successful bringing home $50,000 to $70,000 a year. 

Twenty-three percent said they would feel successful with less than $50,000 a year. 

Can't buy happiness? 

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Several Chattanooga-area residents who responded about the article via Twitter said that money doesn't equal success. 

Success and happiness come from loving work and the people in life, they said.

But, if talking strictly money, local resident Heather Wilson said she'd like to make enough to live comfortably and also be able to donate to charities. 

Chattanooga resident Alice Turner—who now works for the city after being unemployed for some time and who said she is technically just above poverty level—said she decided long ago that her happiness wouldn't be based on money. 

She always thought that having stable relationships with family and friends and making enough to take care of herself was enough, although in recent times, even that seemed like a "lofty goal," she said.

She is content driving an older car that she can work on herself and living in a smaller house that doesn't take a long time to clean, she said. 

"I really just want to enjoy my life and get the most out of it I can," she said. "The American dream isn't a real thing anymore, and it's ridiculous to even strive for something like that these days."

Some local residents said that making $70,000 a year working in a job they hated would be worse than making less in a job they loved. 

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the median household income between 2006 and 2010 was $51,914 a year, and 13.8 percent of the population lived below the poverty level during that time. 

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