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Old 02-12-2018, 11:25 PM   #161
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I always liked that song. A multi-millionaire singing about having nothing.

I guess we'll always want what we don't have.
"I'd like to live like a poor man with lots of money" -- Picasso

I do not know how Picasso lived, but John Lennon certainly did not live like a poor man.
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Old 02-12-2018, 11:52 PM   #162
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I'm just a poor boy, nobody loves me
He's just a poor boy from a poor family
Spare him his life from this monstrosity

"Queen"
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Old 02-13-2018, 01:01 AM   #163
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This type of thread comes up once in a while. IMO, words like "middle," "upper middle" lifestyle are relative. If I were to make a distinction of the two "classes,"



Middle : live comfortably with lifestyle they enjoy
Upper middle: all of Middle + they splurge at will on things the "middle class" can't/won't.

By this definition, I am firmly in the "middle class" and am pretty happy at that. Could you please pass me the grey poupon?
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Old 02-13-2018, 04:11 AM   #164
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Sorry this was so vague—it’s from John Lennon’s “Imagine”.
It was pretty clear ... to anybody who has heard the song.
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Old 02-13-2018, 05:31 AM   #165
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It was pretty clear ... to anybody who has heard the song.
It was also pretty clear, (well, to me anyway), that NW's response was a facetious reference to said song.
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Old 02-13-2018, 07:58 AM   #166
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I think these types of groups are hard to really nail down, because there are so many different definitions. You can break out middle versus upper-middle by income, wealth, lifestyle, and probably other factors as well. And, where you live is going to make a big difference as well.

If I make $100K per year, for example, there are some parts of the country where I could live like a king. But in some of the tonier areas, like Manhattan, Georgetown, etc, that's probably barely above minimum wage.

I just ran some numbers through various calculators. Income wise, I'm in roughly the top 18%. Wealth-wise, I'm in the top 7%. So, both of those would probably imply upper-middle class.

But, I also live in the DC suburbs. I'm only slightly above the median household income for my county, and well below the median for my zipcode. Now, I'm a single-earner, where a lot of those households are 2-income, or maybe even more than that.

As for wealth, I have no idea how to figure the median wealth in my area. But, I will say, there are a lot of Million $ houses, with Million $+ mortgages.

As for lifestyle? I'm driving a 15 year old Buick that I inherited when my Dad passed. I live in a 102 year old house with one bathroom, that's probably going to be a tear-down when I finally sell. I pack my lunch for work. "Eating fancy" is going to Burger King or Wendy's instead of McDonalds. I'm wearing a hand-me-down long sleeve shirt, jeans, and boots that are at least 10 years old. I haven't been on anything resembling an exotic vacation since late 2016, when i went to Aruba...but even that was on a bit of a budget. So, I don't know what you'd call my lifestyle. Blue collar?
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Old 02-13-2018, 08:36 AM   #167
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Class is all about the stairs, really!

https://youtu.be/r5dMlXentLw
Hilarious! Thanks.
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Old 02-13-2018, 08:37 AM   #168
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I liked the song "Imagine" when I was young, and still like the tune today.

But when I sat down and thought about it, one needs material to survive, and if my parents owned everything I needed, who would own what I need now? Big Brother?


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So, I don't know what you'd call my lifestyle. Blue collar?
LBYM?
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Old 02-13-2018, 08:43 AM   #169
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Some of you folks seem to be taking this too personally. I was just trying to establish what Net worth would be needed to enjoy a "reasonable" standard of living based on one's individual requirements. The "class" label was used merely as a example in this case.

OK someone with a NW of $10m will have a different opinion than one with a NW of $3m. But for my purposes, I was using the $800 - $2.7m NW demographic.
I think what you're trying to establish is not upper/middle/lower class living. Warren Buffet lives a middle class, possibly lower middle class lifestyle. He goes to McDonald's for the cheapest breakfast possible and drives a simple car. He lives in the same house he's lived in forever. Sam Walton was the same way. Drove an old pick up truck and lived in a simple ranch house. Bill Gates used to travel economy when he became a billionaire and wore old rumpled up suits.

Living lower or middle class has nothing to do with money. So putting a person/family in that category is not reality. This FIRE forum is filled with financially savoy, frugal people who have figured out how to live as close to stress
free and comfortable without being billionaires.

I threw up a little when my DH and I went on a drive to Palm Beach, FL. Drove by Mar a Lago and the rest of the .1% of the wealthy, yes my math is right. These people live in cathedrals, not houses. I guess the disgust and wastefulness of the landscaping and gates and walls and yachts and on and on turned my stomach, almost to the point of tears.
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Old 02-13-2018, 09:33 AM   #170
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Originally Posted by Rianne View Post

...Drove by Mar a Lago and the rest of the .1% of the wealthy, yes my math is right. These people live in cathedrals, not houses. I guess the disgust and wastefulness of the landscaping and gates and walls and yachts and on and on turned my stomach...
And yet we can't look away! Like train wrecks and fires and tsunamis, they seize our attention and won't let go.

For centuries, the architects of palaces knew exactly what they were doing: creating spectacles to convince ordinary folks like us that The Man lives here. Versailles wasn't built because Louis XIV felt cramped in his Paris bungalow. Its colossal scale screams "All hail The Sun King!"

I can't guarantee that if I had billions I wouldn't build a sweet castle, too. Being a history geek, my tastes run toward drawbridges and moats and towers festooned with gargoyles. Unfortunately, or perhaps very fortunately, I don't have billions so that dream won't happen.

Maybe it's just as well; I read that Mar a Lago has 58 bedrooms. Fifty eight! I'd never be able to turn away freeloading relatives by using the excuse that I didn't have the space.
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Old 02-13-2018, 10:05 AM   #171
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I think the stratification of income and wealth is now at such an extreme that we need a lot more categories to really describe people's financial state.

My wife and I make a combined income of about 200k in the Minneapolis Metro area. We have a net worth of over $2 million. That makes us very well off by any objective measure, compared to most people. I'm not sure we can really be called middle-class anymore. You could call us upper, upper middle-class, or lower upper-class. We just don't have similar financial concerns to couples making 70k per year that have small amounts of savings, much less my younger brothers who are getting by on 30-40k per year. And they are better off than a huge chunk of the country.

However, we recently moved into a neighborhood where we are probably on the lower end of the financial spectrum. Some of my neighbors enough wealth that any income from working for salary is no longer really relevant. If I were to guess, I would suspect that a number of people on my street have 10-20 million net worths. They seem rich to me, and they really don't have the same kind of financial concerns that my wife and I have anymore.

Here's the funny thing though. They are pretty small fry themselves compared to the people living on Medicine Lake. And the people living on Medicine Lake are small fry compared to the people living on Lake Minnetonka. And those people are small fry to the hedge fund folks.

It boggles the mind.
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Old 02-13-2018, 10:07 AM   #172
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No; you'd have your PA's PA's PA turn them away In between posting on the forum under your avatar!

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A
Maybe it's just as well; I read that Mar a Lago has 58 bedrooms. Fifty eight! I'd never be able to turn away freeloading relatives by using the excuse that I didn't have the space.
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Old 02-13-2018, 10:11 AM   #173
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Exactly right. Putting labels on people and classifying them just leads to biases and other problems, IMO.

What would you do with this info?
Relax, folks. Sometimes it's nice to just keep your own personal score without any nefarious motivation.
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Old 02-13-2018, 10:27 AM   #174
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Living lower or middle class has nothing to do with money. So putting a person/family in that category is not reality. This FIRE forum is filled with financially savoy, frugal people who have figured out how to live as close to stress free and comfortable without being billionaires. ..
Splendid! I have some friends who made a lot of money but they have not changed their class. They might have some expensive possessions. But they are still soldly in the class they started in.

I started in working class but moved to middle class after graduating University and getting a well-paying job in technology. Long after passing the 2 commas in net worth, I am still middle class. The taxes I pay would classify me as upper middle. But class is not about income.
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Old 02-13-2018, 10:28 AM   #175
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Again, a meaningless exercise with no point. Just so someone can say I am higher class than you. Jr. High stuff.
It has generated a lot of discussions & views, however.
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Old 02-13-2018, 10:34 AM   #176
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It has generated a lot of discussions & views, however.
Yes, but only among the hoi polloi.
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Old 02-13-2018, 10:45 AM   #177
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I think what you're trying to establish is not upper/middle/lower class living. Warren Buffet lives a middle class, possibly lower middle class lifestyle. He goes to McDonald's for the cheapest breakfast possible and drives a simple car. He lives in the same house he's lived in forever. Sam Walton was the same way. Drove an old pick up truck and lived in a simple ranch house. Bill Gates used to travel economy when he became a billionaire and wore old rumpled up suits.

Living lower or middle class has nothing to do with money. So putting a person/family in that category is not reality. This FIRE forum is filled with financially savoy, frugal people who have figured out how to live as close to stress
free and comfortable without being billionaires.

I threw up a little when my DH and I went on a drive to Palm Beach, FL. Drove by Mar a Lago and the rest of the .1% of the wealthy, yes my math is right. These people live in cathedrals, not houses. I guess the disgust and wastefulness of the landscaping and gates and walls and yachts and on and on turned my stomach, almost to the point of tears.
I'm a pretty conservative guy and have always been of the opinion that if one has the resources, then why not a mansion and a yacht. Now that I'm FIRE'd and living happily below my means and see the needs of others around me, I too become uneasy when I witness the over the top practice of affluence. Hey buddy, just how big of a lake house do you need? You are only there a couple weeks a year. Don't you know there are kids in your own county going hungry?
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Old 02-13-2018, 11:01 AM   #178
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Here's the funny thing though. They are pretty small fry themselves compared to the people living on Medicine Lake. And the people living on Medicine Lake are small fry compared to the people living on Lake Minnetonka.
Plymouth is a great location within 30 minutes of downtown Minneapolis and the lake is a lot quieter than Lake Minnetonka, which is crowded by big boats and farther to downtown.
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Old 02-13-2018, 02:07 PM   #179
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I was teasing my friend Nemo. Like one would say "he has no class"....
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Oh, I'm sure that way more than one person would say that!
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I will admit that DW has said that to me on more than one occasion.
Your DW said to you that Nemo2 has no class? And she said it more than once?
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Old 02-13-2018, 02:11 PM   #180
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Your DW said to you that Nemo2 has no class? And she said it more than once?
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