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Old 03-21-2014, 07:03 AM   #61
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Lower Fairfield County is known as The Gold Coast for good reason.Gold Coast (Connecticut) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
That was the preferred location for the people I worked with when we moved back to NY in '97. Even then, outside of Stamford, the properties were all >$1M. DW and I chose a less costly part of Westchester simply because we had previously lived there and were more familiar with the area. It was my first experience with executive peer pressure.

My sense is there is more conspicuous consumption in Southern California, especially LA, followed by South Florida, including Ft Lauderdale and Miami, than the Tri-State area, even though there is probably more wealth and income in NY.
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Old 03-21-2014, 10:23 AM   #62
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No I'm talking about going to Safeways or Trader Joe's, not some mega mall. It's not bumper to bumper but you can hit every light after 10 AM on weekends because everyone is out and about.
Everyone has a preferred living style. Whatever experience or lack of experience your opinions about city life reflect, it may be not at all typical. Trader Joe is 5 blocks from me, Safeway one or two more. Even recovering from my surgery it is easy to walk to get my groceries, and also to walk to specialty stores nearby. It is certainly possible to live in the city far from services, but few with any choices would choose this.

I've spent much of my life in urban areas of large cities, and I have never experienced the situation you describe- though I am sure it can be found. I think it is all about choice.

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Old 03-21-2014, 10:59 AM   #63
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Number of millionaires in U.S. reaches a new high - latimes.com

I too felt most people have more money these days than I remember in the past but thought it was may be because I hang out on sites like ER and I live in SoCal? I don't see any old cars on the roads anymore. My upper middle class neighborhood has mostly BMWs/Mercedes and every house has at least 2 cars plus toys (RVs, dirt bikes, SeaDoos etc). The lines at Starbucks are longer than I ever remember. Should I be worried that the trend will make inflation higher and my $1M target for ER won't suffice? Or are the two unrelated? Or is this nothing new because every generation has had similar trends
MarketWatch just published a story that Two-thirds of those who live paycheck to paycheck aren't poor. The gist is that two-thirds of the 38 million American households who consume all their disposable income every pay period aren't "poor," but earn about $50k/year and have "substantial" real estate holdings on the order of $50k worth. (I realize that if you live in LA and make only $50k, you are relatively poor for that area.)

I am highlighting this article, because I don't believe that all the people you see spending money really have a lot of money. They are having fun spending their money, but I bet their savings are not as much as you might assume.

Don't get caught up in what the Joneses are doing. Most of them are probably broke.
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Old 03-21-2014, 11:27 AM   #64
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Nobody goes there any more, it's too crowded.

Ha
Touché!

What I saw with relatives and friends that I visited was that they were so pooped from fighting traffic during their daily commute that they spent most of their weekends at home to recuperate.

Perhaps once they retire, they will be able to enjoy amenities that their locales have to offer.
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Old 03-21-2014, 11:52 AM   #65
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Number of millionaires in U.S. reaches a new high - latimes.com

I too felt most people have more money these days than I remember in the past but thought it was may be because I hang out on sites like ER and I live in SoCal? I don't see any old cars on the roads anymore. My upper middle class neighborhood has mostly BMWs/Mercedes and every house has at least 2 cars plus toys (RVs, dirt bikes, SeaDoos etc). The lines at Starbucks are longer than I ever remember. Should I be worried that the trend will make inflation higher and my $1M target for ER won't suffice? Or are the two unrelated? Or is this nothing new because every generation has had similar trends
I assume that you are single. If not, and you don't expect a high pension do not pass go. If you are single, and your preferred neighborhood is full of German luxury cars, I'd be unsatisfied with a $1mm retirement target.

Last evening I was checking out some new restaurants that have opened on my street. The places were quite busy, the prices posted on the window. A couple might get out for $300, with only one 1/2 bottle of moderate wine and a typical entrée. With no beverage, a couple meals, tip and tax about $225-$250

This is very different from the past. 15 years ago the only food for sale here world have been fried chicken or barbecue. I have never had to avoid any but the top restaurants before in my life, but I now I couldn't afford much eating out right where I live. And my city is the cheapest of any city I have lived in. And this isn't because I am running out of money, because I am not. t's just social reality.

Some people on the ER boards may say, Oh, they are all broke, but I think that is not fact based. There is a huge amount of wealth around anymore. These young people are not stupid losers, they have corporate savings plans and plenty more. I know some of them.

BTW, to the poster who said those living hand to mouth are not poor, many of them make $50,000 pa- that is poor, for a family with a few kids in an area offering good employment opportunities, decent schools for their kids, etc. Not welfare poor, but very stretched considering all the calls on the family budget.

Ha
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Old 03-21-2014, 11:53 AM   #66
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MarketWatch just published a story that Two-thirds of those who live paycheck to paycheck aren't poor. The gist is that two-thirds of the 38 million American households who consume all their disposable income every pay period aren't "poor," but earn about $50k/year and have "substantial" real estate holdings on the order of $50k worth. (I realize that if you live in LA and make only $50k, you are relatively poor for that area.)

I am highlighting this article, because I don't believe that all the people you see spending money really have a lot of money. They are having fun spending their money, but I bet their savings are not as much as you might assume.

Don't get caught up in what the Joneses are doing. Most of them are probably broke.
That's a very good point and I certainly don't think all those living it up are truly wealthy. However, I've come to find out about a few people (that I've known a long time) that they're worth at least $1+M, and interestingly enough they don't drive super fancy cars or live in mcmansions but they dress well, travel and live quite comfortably. These are what Robert Kiyosaki(?) called the millionaires next door. I believe there are quite a few of them around us...according to the survey almost 10% of the population. Hoping to be in those ranks one day.
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Old 03-21-2014, 12:04 PM   #67
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Some people on the ER boards may say, Oh, they are all broke, but I think that is sour grapes. There is a huge amount of wealth around anymore. These young people are not stupid losers, they have corporate savings plans and plenty more. I know some of them.
x2

And I'm not even talking about the 2nd generation dot com mega-entrepreneurs here who are rolling in the dough. I hear about those guys from magazines like Fast Company etc. I'm talking about the younger guys and girls (25-35) that are well compensated, everyone from software developers to marketing executives. In fact, I've had more people ask me 'what would you do if you had $150k sitting in a bank account?' recently than I ever heard my whole life.

BTW, I am single (divorced) and my neighborhood is pretty avg (middle to upper middle class) for SoCal, I don't live in Beverly Hills or Newport Beach or Mogran Hills or Pacific Heights etc.
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LA Times: Number of millionaires in US reaches a new high
Old 03-21-2014, 12:52 PM   #68
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LA Times: Number of millionaires in US reaches a new high

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Old 03-21-2014, 01:07 PM   #69
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Not everyone living in LA or SF is a well-paid high-tech worker or entrepreneur. In fact, the difference between the have and have-not may be more obvious than in other places. But of course it is the same at large cities like NYC, Paris, London, etc...

What I find alarming is the envy of the have-not, as evidenced by the blockage and vandalism against the Google employee buses.

See: Google bus vandalized - NY Times and Google shuttle bus vandalized in Oakland - San Jose Mercury News.
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Old 03-21-2014, 01:42 PM   #70
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Not everyone living in LA or SF is a well-paid high-tech worker or entrepreneur. In fact, the difference between the have and have-not may be more obvious than in other places. But of course it is the same at large cities like NYC, Paris, London, etc...

What I find alarming is the envy of the have-not, as evidenced by the blockage and vandalism against the Google employee buses.

See: Google bus vandalized - NY Times and Google shuttle bus vandalized in Oakland - San Jose Mercury News.
It has nothing to do with envy, and everything to do with displacement. I think it was on Business Insider yesterday that I saw a graphic of how dramatically rents in SF have jumped in the last year, as high as 40% in some areas of the city. Same thing happening in LA. Additionally, the boorish tech snobbery behavior, like the unconcious behavior of those in entertainment in LA, is not lost on those who either can't or choose not to participate in it.

With respect to the OP, it seems to me ER types, by definition, but pay attention to money, if for no other reason than they've made a deal with the devil by retiring early. What I've picked up on in most threads, however, is the refreshing manner in which money is viewed by early retirees, regardless of how little or how much they have. It seems they view it more with respect, with a sense of stewardship, versus using it for crass, conspicious consumption.

It has become more and more apparent to me that I do not belong in any place with the mentality of a San Francisco or Los Angeles. To that end, I've only recently begun to think of myself feeling more at home somewhere in the Pacific Northwest. The thought of such a new adventure is exciting.
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Old 03-21-2014, 01:45 PM   #71
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Not everyone living in LA or SF is a well-paid high-tech worker or entrepreneur. In fact, the difference between the have and have-not may be more obvious than in other places. But of course it is the same at large cities like NYC, Paris, London, etc...

What I find alarming is the envy of the have-not, as evidenced by the blockage and vandalism against the Google employee buses.

See: Google bus vandalized - NY Times and Google shuttle bus vandalized in Oakland - San Jose Mercury News.
While on a societal level, I can understand how extremes in incomes can breed unrest, on a personal level, I don't get it at all. My outlook has always been that everything in life is a process, beginning with the important first step of identifying what it is that you want. That's the hardest part because all you need do after that is figure out what you need to do in order to get it. The rest is simple execution. As long as the desire stays with you, it will give you the drive to execute.

Why be upset because others have more than you? Would it not be more constructive to decide that you'd like a bigger slice of the pie, and start doing the things necessary in order to get it?
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Old 03-21-2014, 02:59 PM   #72
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When people perceive that they too have the opportunity to attain the standard of living they desire, there is little resentment. If people perceive that the wealth of others blocks that opportunity, there is resentment. As long as negative perceptions sell, resentment will grow.
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Old 03-21-2014, 05:46 PM   #73
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What I saw with relatives and friends that I visited was that they were so pooped from fighting traffic during their daily commute that they spent most of their weekends at home to recuperate.

Perhaps once they retire, they will be able to enjoy amenities that their locales have to offer.
I was one of them in the Washington, DC area. Which is why when I retired July 1, 2002 by September 18th we were residents of West Virginia. We don't regret it for a minute.
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Old 03-21-2014, 10:01 PM   #74
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It has nothing to do with envy, and everything to do with displacement. I think it was on Business Insider yesterday that I saw a graphic of how dramatically rents in SF have jumped in the last year, as high as 40% in some areas of the city.
It might be worth noting that many of the same people and organizations protesting against the 'tech invasion' in San Francisco are also the ones protesting various attempts to construct new housing within city limits. San Francisco has a severe shortage of housing units.

Apparently there is some sort of connection between the short supply of housing and the high rent or sales price of that housing. It's probably some sort of massive conspiracy...
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Old 03-21-2014, 10:06 PM   #75
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Apparently there is some sort of connection between the short supply of housing and the high rent or sales price of that housing. It's probably some sort of massive conspiracy...
Could it be the same thing that was called "supply-and-demand" that was taught in ECON101, I wonder?

Anyway, I am not sure what the Google bus blockers and vandals were protesting about, but a Web commentator I ran across was talking about Google's employees getting "preferential treatment" with the company buses, and that more money (from Google?) was needed to upgrade public transit for everybody.
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