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Old 12-24-2014, 11:48 AM   #41
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I'm pretty sure that if you asked most politicians, they would say there are only two classes in this country.

The rich, meaning Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, and Larry Ellison

The middle class, meaning everyone else.
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Old 12-24-2014, 02:26 PM   #42
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If 35k is middle class you have to remember that the bottom 47% supposedly receive some type of government support. So, most under 35k have more, money or services provided my the top 53% taxes.

I really consider the wealthy to be those that live in expensive homes.....1m or more.....fly 1st class or fractional jets......eat at steak houses, costing around $100 per person.....buy their clothes at upper end stores.....not Target or Macy's.

What do they earn? I'd guess 75k or more and they are at or above the middle class in my opinion. this is hard to define......another thought......I'd consider middle class or wealthy to be those that LBYM.......they are the most secure in maintaining their way of life over the long term.
Doesn't pretty much 100% of the population get government support. Land their jets at the airports, drive their Lambourghinis on the roads, rely on police, fire, ambulance, and so on.
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Old 12-24-2014, 03:08 PM   #43
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So by income I'm middle class but by net worth I'm rich. So which is it.
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Old 12-24-2014, 03:12 PM   #44
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So by income I'm middle class but by net worth I'm rich. So which is it.
Whichever one you want it to be.
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Old 12-24-2014, 03:35 PM   #45
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Whichever one you want it to be.
Well if that's the case then its a useless endeavor.
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Old 12-24-2014, 05:40 PM   #46
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Most if not all here have unrealized gains.

If you try to liquidate it all at once, then you have about half after taxes?

So you can only redeem a few percent at a time, to last decades and to minimize taxes.

Your withdrawal rate defines you!
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Old 12-24-2014, 06:49 PM   #47
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It is difficult to quantify...you can make x amount of money to make it within a certain class of people. With that class of people you can expect certain things. I don't think it works out that way in the real world. Too many variables.

I think it all boils down to Quality of Life. Some make a lot of money, and lot goes out, too. Money has something to do with it to a point, but it really boils down to whether you are happy or not. That's why I can look around at other people and not feel superior or inferior. I have several friends making a bundle of money and rich beyond my dreams and there's no way I would want their life or lifestyle. And...I am younger than most of them still working, spending my time and life the way I want and pretty darn happy. Sometimes in the real world, the classes are reversed. I don't see it as a caste or class system. Maybe the wealthy feel like middle or a lower class because they are not really happy.
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Old 12-24-2014, 08:20 PM   #48
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So by income I'm middle class but by net worth I'm rich. So which is it.
Or how about expenses? An early retiree may have any income he wants by arranging his investments between before-tax and after-tax accounts, and to draw from his before-tax accounts or not. So, expenses define his lifestyle better than his income does.
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Old 12-24-2014, 08:30 PM   #49
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If you're not subject to federal estate tax you're not rich. If you are subject to it and not rich you probably own a farm or ranch.
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Old 12-24-2014, 08:36 PM   #50
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The idea of "classes" in modern America just doesn't have much utility. It serves to obscure and is emotionally-loaded without having any compensatory ability to make a complex issue easier to handle (the sign of a useful category label).

Political labels are much the same right now. "Conservative" means zero unless you know if the person is a "social conservative" or a "limited government conservative" (which, historically, would have been known as a "liberal).
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