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Old 04-20-2016, 07:13 AM   #1
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Great profiles of 4 men on Esquire

I've just found this and it was very interesting to me:

4 Men with 4 Very Different Incomes Open Up About the Lives They Can Afford
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Old 04-20-2016, 07:15 AM   #2
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From the link
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The poverty line for a family of three is $20,090 a year. The median household income in America is $53,657 ... And the true starting point of real wealth remains a cool $1,000,000. We asked four more or less typical men, each of whom earns one of these incomes, to tell us about the lives they can afford.
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Old 04-20-2016, 08:00 AM   #3
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Michael, that's just a byline, but it was interesting to read those interviews (for me at least). I thought it tells about people in general of these very different economical 'statuses'.

There's no politician featured, but it was interesting to learn that tidbit. No wonder there are so many pigs fighting to get to the trough in DC.
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Old 04-20-2016, 08:10 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by aida2003 View Post
Michael, that's just a byline, but it was interesting to read those interviews (for me at least). I thought it tells about people in general of these very different economical 'statuses'.

There's no politician featured, but it was interesting to learn that tidbit. No wonder there are so many pigs fighting to get to the trough in DC.
I was just looking to add a little more background so people know what the article is about. The byline comment on politicians was unhelpful so I edited my post and removed it.
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Old 04-20-2016, 08:12 AM   #5
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I was just looking to add a little more background so people know what the article is about.
"Hey, put some clothes on that naked link!"
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Old 04-20-2016, 09:02 AM   #6
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I think it's interesting how, no matter how much they have, it seems like they want more. Guy at the top, with "north of $5M" saved up, plus a $1M house free and clear, has a goal of $150-200M, and says he'd need at least $25M to live the life he wanted.

Then the next guy, who makes about $250K per year, but didn't answer how much he'd already amassed. Said his goal was $1.5M per year, but he'd need at least $600K per year to live the life he wanted.

Next up, the guy making $53K per year think he'd be happy with $200-250K. And finally, the guy making $7/hr plus tips thinks he'd be happy with $50-60K per year.

It would be interesting to check up on these people a few years down the road, and see if their attitudes have changed. I have a feeling that, even if they got to those financial goals, they'd all end up wanting more. Except, maybe, the guy at the very top.

Personally, if I had $5M saved up, and a free-and-clear $1M house, I think I'd be ready to call it quits right now!
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Old 04-20-2016, 10:25 AM   #7
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I thought the comments on taxes were interesting. The guys at the top were not complaining, the lower income guys said they were too high. The poverty level gentleman should not be paying income tax, but he was complaining. Perhaps the payroll tax. Also, sales tax in Chicago is pretty high (over 10% for general merchandise) and very punitive for a low income individual.
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Old 04-20-2016, 10:30 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Andre1969 View Post
I think it's interesting how, no matter how much they have, it seems like they want more. Guy at the top, with "north of $5M" saved up, plus a $1M house free and clear, has a goal of $150-200M, and says he'd need at least $25M to live the life he wanted.

Then the next guy, who makes about $250K per year, but didn't answer how much he'd already amassed. Said his goal was $1.5M per year, but he'd need at least $600K per year to live the life he wanted.

Next up, the guy making $53K per year think he'd be happy with $200-250K. And finally, the guy making $7/hr plus tips thinks he'd be happy with $50-60K per year.

It would be interesting to check up on these people a few years down the road, and see if their attitudes have changed. I have a feeling that, even if they got to those financial goals, they'd all end up wanting more. Except, maybe, the guy at the very top.

Personally, if I had $5M saved up, and a free-and-clear $1M house, I think I'd be ready to call it quits right now!

My knee jerk reaction to the top two guys were that their expectations for retirement net worth/income were wildly optimistic given their current situation.


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Old 04-20-2016, 10:54 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Andre1969 View Post
I think it's interesting how, no matter how much they have, it seems like they want more. Guy at the top, with "north of $5M" saved up, plus a $1M house free and clear, has a goal of $150-200M, and says he'd need at least $25M to live the life he wanted.
<snipped for berevity>...
Exactly, I see that here on ER.org every day. I read about folks asking 'do I have enough' and when I click on their thread they have 5M+ (I move on to other threads at that point lol) vs. others who would love to have one-fifth of that. Then there are those who are in between that. The owner of my mega-corp just plunked down $12M on his second house. His first one is worth at least $10M, yet I know several people working here making $50k a year, kinda crazy when you think about it- but in a way it makes sense because it's just how it works.
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Old 04-20-2016, 11:16 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Andre1969 View Post
I think it's interesting how, no matter how much they have, it seems like they want more. Guy at the top, with "north of $5M" saved up, plus a $1M house free and clear, has a goal of $150-200M, and says he'd need at least $25M to live the life he wanted.

Then the next guy, who makes about $250K per year, but didn't answer how much he'd already amassed. Said his goal was $1.5M per year, but he'd need at least $600K per year to live the life he wanted.

Next up, the guy making $53K per year think he'd be happy with $200-250K. And finally, the guy making $7/hr plus tips thinks he'd be happy with $50-60K per year.

It would be interesting to check up on these people a few years down the road, and see if their attitudes have changed. I have a feeling that, even if they got to those financial goals, they'd all end up wanting more. Except, maybe, the guy at the very top.

Personally, if I had $5M saved up, and a free-and-clear $1M house, I think I'd be ready to call it quits right now!
This has been studied by academics. Evidently no matter the income level, everyone feels that they need about 60 percent more income to live "The Good Life".

The Hedonic treadmill is a real phenomenon.
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Old 04-20-2016, 11:22 AM   #11
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This has been studied by academics. Evidently no matter the income level, everyone feels that they need about 60 percent more income to live "The Good Life"...
... until he retires early, lives off his investments, has no more earned income, and recognizes that it is not realistic to expect the market or stock dividends to go up 60% any time soon.

Hence, I have slowly accepted my current living standard as being good enough. That beach-front home on Bainbridge Island stopped being my goal long ago, despite my frequent joke about it.
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Old 04-20-2016, 11:33 AM   #12
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In this vain, I'm going to stop watching DYI or HGTV networks. I watch these shows and suddenly feel I need to drop $75k for the latest "open floor plan with plenty of light" or something. That means I need to work OMY. Etc. Always more.

My house is fine. I did my own little decorating and functional refresh a few years ago for less than $5k. It needed something, since it was 30 years old.

But do I really need to knock out that wall, which will require a lam-beam and engineering study? Do I need the new style range hood, which will never fit in my house. (That's why I need to knock down walls!)

No I don't. It will bring little joy to me. And I'm not trying to sell the house anytime soon. Any work I do will be obsolete when I need to sell anyway.

But man, the power of want, the power of keeping up. It can intoxicate you.
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Old 04-20-2016, 01:48 PM   #13
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I think a major difference between the average member here and the average person, is that we know when we have enough and are happy with it.
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Old 04-20-2016, 04:31 PM   #14
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I'm very content living off around $28k per year. Maybe that's because I threw my TV away about 20 years ago.

I was in college and something pissed me off, probably the "news". I took my TV down a few flights of stairs out to the dumpster and tossed it in the metal waste bin outside apt complex.

I would still rent DVDs back then and play them on my PC. Now I have Netflix and Amazon Prime which I watch on my PC. Has worked out great. No ads, no "news", and I'm very careful to read up on a movie/tv show before I watch it to make sure its not something that will piss me off.

I actually do have a TV now but its been sitting upstairs unplugged for years. I bought an xbox a few years ago and got a tv for it. Ended up hardly ever playing it. PC games are better.

Not watching tv advertisements is wonderful. I also use ad block plus and other things on my PC which blocks 99% web ads.
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Old 04-20-2016, 06:05 PM   #15
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This has been studied by academics. Evidently no matter the income level, everyone feels that they need about 60 percent more income to live "The Good Life".

The Hedonic treadmill is a real phenomenon.
Seems like a good spot for this clip from one of my favorite movies - Key Largo.

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Old 04-20-2016, 06:08 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by MasterBlaster View Post
This has been studied by academics. Evidently no matter the income level, everyone feels that they need about 60 percent more income to live "The Good Life".

The Hedonic treadmill is a real phenomenon.

Ever read that study saying that beyond $75,000/year, marginal happiness declines for the average person? Hmmmm. Isn't that level roughly in the ballpark of 60% more than:

"The median household income in America is $53,657."

http://content.time.com/time/magazin...019628,00.html
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Old 04-20-2016, 06:13 PM   #17
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In this vain, I'm going to stop watching DYI or HGTV networks. I watch these shows and suddenly feel I need to drop $75k for the latest "open floor plan with plenty of light" or something. That means I need to work OMY. Etc. Always more.

My house is fine. I did my own little decorating and functional refresh a few years ago for less than $5k. It needed something, since it was 30 years old.

But do I really need to knock out that wall, which will require a lam-beam and engineering study? Do I need the new style range hood, which will never fit in my house. (That's why I need to knock down walls!)

No I don't. It will bring little joy to me. And I'm not trying to sell the house anytime soon. Any work I do will be obsolete when I need to sell anyway.

But man, the power of want, the power of keeping up. It can intoxicate you.
Exactly !!! Back in the day it was keeping up with the Jones's. Now it's on steroids. As for me, I'm happy/
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Old 04-20-2016, 06:32 PM   #18
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Ever read that study saying that beyond $75,000/year, marginal happiness declines for the average person? Hmmmm. Isn't that level roughly in the ballpark of 60% more than:

"The median household income in America is $53,657."

Study: Money Buys Happiness When Income Is $75,000 - TIME
The studies I have read about suggest that above some modest threshold like $75k then happiness only increases modestly. There was no report of it going down with increased income.

The threshold is location dependent and was for a 2008 timeframe that needs to be adjusted for inflation.

Basically the (2008) income of $75k pays for most necessities and a few luxuries. Beyond that there was only small gains in happiness.

Quote:
The study, which analyzed Gallup surveys of 450,000 Americans in 2008 and 2009, suggested that there were two forms of happiness: day-to-day contentment (emotional well-being) and overall “life assessment,” which means broader satisfaction with one’s place in the world. While a higher income didn’t have much impact on day-to-day contentment, it did boost people’s “life assessment.”
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Old 04-20-2016, 07:28 PM   #19
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If $75k is the soft-cap I guess I hit peak happiness then. W-2 is around $60k, investment return around $30k-$40k. I live on $28k.
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Old 04-20-2016, 08:06 PM   #20
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There was no report of it going down with increased income.
I meant that every additional dollar brings declining marginal utility, not decreased happiness. Came out incorrectly. Oh well. I'm now going to analyze the marginal utility of the second glass of (box) wine for the evening.
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