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Old 03-19-2011, 10:32 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by ItDontMeanAThing View Post
He gave some reasons


And the other reasons are too obvious to mention, but I'll list them anyway. Intelligence, job-related knowledge, creativity, ability to learn quickly, ability to understand the politics of an organization and it's situations, and motivation to put it all to use efficiently and consistently are all human characteristics that have bell shaped curves. One has to fall at the upper end of most, if not all, of these curves in order to get into the top 3% of wage earners.

I spent most of my two careers one step down from the '125 k professionals' discussed here. Didn't understand the politics most of the time, couldn't stomach them when I did. But I knew married couples where both fit the category. They were as middle class as the people they managed.
you made my point, it isnt all that easy and it isnt all dependant on personal decisions. most people just cant do it.
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Old 03-19-2011, 10:39 PM   #62
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Originally Posted by LOL! View Post
The budget has ridiculous amounts for utilities and phone service (more than 4 times what we pay and we live in comparable location with comparable home size), plus may double count taxes on gasoline and phone.

Food (at home, at work, and eating out) was more than $22,000 a year or about $61 a day. What's up with that?

Someone must've written a serious rebuttal to these numbers and published them. Anyone have a link?
I don't know. I pay over $5,000 a year for electric (3 heat pumps), water and garbage and that is with turning off the heat pumps ..zoning them ...when I can. My city buys their electricity from Dominion and basically resells it to us. The electric department makes 3 million a year on the deal. City Council attaches it and routes it to the General Fund every year.
Adding water and garbage to the bill and all the surcharges increases it quite a bit. I am lucky if I see months under $400. I often see months over $500.

For 1 landline and 1 cell phone(450 minutes - just reduced it again), Basic and Expanded Basic cable T.V (no movie channels, etc) and cable Internet access..... I am paying roughly $2,400 a year and that is with being diligent about calling for promotions and when that does not work asking for the customer retention department.. (about $100 to the phone company for the land line and cell phone and $100 to the cable company for T.V. and Internet). I could do this a bit cheaper if I bundled all services...but...in my area to do that...I would have to use DSL and Dish or Direct T.V. I've tried DSL and it is horrible here. Dish or Direct T.V. is not any cheaper when I include the 3 T.V.s.
So those buckets in the budget break out in the article...sound more than reasonable to me. No...I don't live anywhere near Arlington Va.
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Old 03-19-2011, 10:41 PM   #63
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And you are gonna tell me that everybody needs iPhones? LOL! LOL! LOL! A cell phone for the kid is $25 a month ($9.99 extra phone on family plan + $9.99 unlimited texting + taxes).
I do not think anyone needs iPhones. Well, my firm reimburses me for the monthly cost of mine so they certainly think I need a smartphone. As for the kids, I do not pay the cost of the iPhone. They have chosen to use their money to pay for it which is their choice. I include it as my expense because it is on my husband's account.

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Our landline+DSL internet is $30 a month which includes all taxes.
Well our landline + DSL internet is over $60 a month. The landline is a metered service we never use (we don't even have a phone for it) but the internet is cheaper as part of the bundle.

Regardless, you seem to be disagreeing that those expenditures were accurate. Based upon what our expenditures were, when we had that level of income and knowing what the people I worked with spent money on, I think it is accurate. That doesn't mean that I think I "need" those things. I have an iPad now which I enjoy but it is certainly a want and not a need.

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Did you pay $420 a month for cleaning? We pay $120 a month today.
Is that clothes or house cleaning? We spent about $125 a month for dry cleaning. If it is house cleaning, when we were earning that income we did our own house cleaning (those adolescents come in handy there). When we listed our house for sale we used a cleaning service. It was $146 a week to clean a 4500 sf house.

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We have teen-age drivers, 2 cars and our car insurance is less than half the value quoted.
When our oldest son began driving our auto insurance (3 cars) went up about $1500. Then he had a not very bad accident but it was at fault and our insurance skyrocketed and was about $4500 a year. Our umbrella coverage also went up several hundred dollars. Currently with him not on our policy we pay about $1400 a year (2 cars now).

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As for dental, sure you can spend $4000 every few years or so, but I doubt one needs to spend $4000 year-in-year-out on dental work.
Probably not. But when you have 3 adolescent children it doesn't seem all that unusual either.
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Old 03-19-2011, 11:01 PM   #64
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Regardless, you seem to be disagreeing that those expenditures were accurate. Based upon what our expenditures were, when we had that level of income and knowing what the people I worked with spent money on, I think it is accurate. That doesn't mean that I think I "need" those things. I have an iPad now which I enjoy but it is certainly a want and not a need.
i think the point that should be made here (and i think it already has been) is that a household with income of $250k or greater is only scraping by because they choose to not live within their means (with the possible exception of someone who has endured large medical bills). and if they are only scraping by they deserve no pity or press since it is their own fault. i think articles like this are an insult to all the households with lesser incomes which is 97% of the households in the US.
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Old 03-19-2011, 11:09 PM   #65
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i think the point that should be made here (and i think it already has been) is that a household with income of $250k or greater is only scraping by because they choose to not live within their means (with the possible exception of someone who has endured large medical bills). and if they are only scraping by they deserve no pity or press since it is their own fault. i think articles like this are an insult to all the households with lesser incomes which is 97% of the households in the US.
Basically I don't disagree with this. We did have a son who attended an expensive therapeutic school and our other kids had some special needs that really did result in some quite large medical bills which really did eat into the income. That said, we did save for retirement and we weren't scraping by so I do agree that with rare exceptions if people spend all of a $250k income without saving anything, for example, that is purely a choice being made. My post was not meant to convey that those expenditures are "necessary" but to say that I think they are not unusual for people with that level of income.

I would think that for some people with that level of income those expenditures would be accurate in some categories but not others.

When we had that income, we spent more in some categories, roughly the same in some, and less in others (for example, we spent probably under $50 a year for parking and much less for after school activities).
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Old 03-19-2011, 11:18 PM   #66
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i think the point that should be made here (and i think it already has been) is that a household with income of $250k or greater is only scraping by because they choose to not live within their means (with the possible exception of someone who has endured large medical bills). and if they are only scraping by they deserve no pity or press since it is their own fault. i think articles like this are an insult to all the households with lesser incomes which is 97% of the households in the US.
I don't think this is necessarily what the article showed. If memory serves me correctly $30k went into retirement vehicles. So I don't think they are living "above their means" at all.

An alternative thought to yours...is that the family is simply living "at their means" while paying all their bills and responsibilities ...including planning for retirement. In other words...a lifestyle...they have chosen.
It's an insult I say...Live and Let Live.

Personally I don' like what this rhetoric has done to our country as a whole. Everything..the last few years has been so divisive!!
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Old 03-19-2011, 11:29 PM   #67
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Give it a rest people. To say that no one needs more than $250,000 is like saying no one needs sex more than 3x/week. How the hell do you know? Are you omniscient? Truth is, some do, and some don't.

I know some people can get by on less; I do. (Money and sex, unfortunately) But I don't consider it any great virtue, it's just dealing with reality.

These type threads are frequent, and they are among the most annoying ones on the forums.

Ha
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Old 03-19-2011, 11:45 PM   #68
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Great post Ha! But i hope you're not saying that income is directly proportional to sex frequency. I'd hate to have to increase work hours.
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Old 03-20-2011, 12:49 AM   #69
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I don't think this is necessarily what the article showed.
with a title of "Down and Out on $250,000 a Year" and statements like "Even with an additional $3,000 in investment income, they end up in the red" what point/impression do you think the author is trying to make? go back and reread what i wrote. in essence i said that at the $250k level of income if you are "scraping by" (maybe i should have said instead "down and out"), you arent living within your means and it is (most likely) your fault. how is that statement incorrect? and if you think i am so wrong about the impression imparted by the author how do you explain all the comments on the article that imply that those readers also thought the article was off base or insulting?



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I don't think this is necessarily what the article showed. If memory serves me correctly $30k went into retirement vehicles. So I don't think they are living "above their means" at all. "they" are because after all spending (including retirement vehicles) they are, in 7 of the 8 locations, in the red, which is the definition of living above their means.

An alternative thought to yours...is that the family is simply living "at their means" if this is true why are they "in the red"? while paying all their bills and responsibilities ...including planning for retirement. In other words...a lifestyle...they have chosen which means it is their choice and therefore they are responsible.
It's an insult I say...Live and Let Live. if they want to live like that it is up to them however i dont want to be the 1 bailing them out when they need to be. all i did was make an observation that if their annual cash flow was negative then they have chosen to not live within their means and then point out that in my opinion articles giving the impression that households with $250k of income but have a negative cash flow should be pitied are insulting to people that make less. these articles also make a poor example to everyone not choosing to live within their means, it kind of justifies that behavior, implying that if someone who makes $250K cant live within their means how can anyone making less.

Personally I don' like what this rhetoric has done to our country as a whole. on this i agree Everything..the last few years has been so divisive!!
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Old 03-20-2011, 09:02 AM   #70
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with a title of "Down and Out on $250,000 a Year" and statements like "Even with an additional $3,000 in investment income, they end up in the red" what point/impression do you think the author is trying to make? go back and reread what i wrote. in essence i said that at the $250k level of income if you are "scraping by" (maybe i should have said instead "down and out"), you arent living within your means and it is (most likely) your fault. how is that statement incorrect? and if you think i am so wrong about the impression imparted by the author how do you explain all the comments on the article that imply that those readers also thought the article was off base or insulting?
In some ways I was agreeing with you. Yes...the title does say "scraping by. What I was referring to....is that within their budget....there is some "fat" so with a few tweaks...it could be brought back into the black. Any person with deductive reasoning ...would discount the "title"to some degree. Right? I determined the content of the article didn't necessarily support the title. However, the authors point was well taken..in that he/she showed how easy it is to spend the $250K (if you have it).
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Old 03-20-2011, 09:08 AM   #71
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Give it a rest people. To say that no one needs more than $250,000 is like saying no one needs sex more than 3x/week. How the hell do you know? Are you omniscient? Truth is, some do, and some don't.

These type threads are frequent, and they are among the most annoying ones on the forums.

Ha
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Old 03-20-2011, 09:23 AM   #72
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Give it a rest people. To say that no one needs more than $250,000 is like saying no one needs sex more than 3x/week. How the hell do you know? Are you omniscient? Truth is, some do, and some don't.

I know some people can get by on less; I do. (Money and sex, unfortunately) But I don't consider it any great virtue, it's just dealing with reality.

These type threads are frequent, and they are among the most annoying ones on the forums.

Ha
Great post. I totally agree. There have been a few of these wealth/income/expense threads recently and they have brought out the worst in us. Seems like "an opinion for every bias" to me. Different approaches to life cause different perspectives. We should at least try to respect other approaches.
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Old 03-20-2011, 11:14 AM   #73
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Great post Ha! But i hope you're not saying that income is directly proportional to sex frequency. I'd hate to have to increase work hours.
If your DW is like some woman posters here, it does not have to be work outside the home. More than one female poster has said a man doing housechores turns her on.

Unless you are thinking of working extra to finance a mistress ...
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Old 03-20-2011, 11:18 AM   #74
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I see what's causing the discrepancy. I'm thinking 250k household income or 125k for one half of a couple. Not 1 salary at $250k which is much harder to reach. I think 125K is mark that is hittable by many professions with a BA (e.g., engineers, accountants, business grads, programmers, consultants, nurses), grad degree (e.g., scientists, MBA, doctor, lawyer, dentist) and professions that don't require college degrees (fireman, police officer, self-employed, etc.).

Of course not everybody in those professions will hit 125k, but it is doable especially if you live in a high cost of living area (greater salaries to compensate), have greater work experience, are willing to climb to corporate ladder (put in long hours to move up the pyramid at a partnership, take jobs that are less interesting but with greater remuneration, etc.).
Yes, I haven't been plain on whether it's one $250k salary or two at @$125 each. Making it to $250 on a single salary is harder. Are you saying that "almost anybody" can get to $125k purely on hard work, but $250k requires hard work plus lots of good luck?

I'll agree that some engineers, accountants, MBAs, IT professionals, consultants, and possibly nurses can get to $125k. That's well above average for those occupations. (Median annual wages of wage and salary accountants and auditors were $59,430 in May 2008. The middle half of the occupation earned between $45,900 and $78,210. The bottom 10 percent earned less than $36,720, and the top 10 percent earned more than $102,380.Accountants and Auditors) Those that are able to get from $60k to $125k probably work harder than the others, but they probably have other gifts too (eg better people skills).

The important thing to me is that the great majority (like 80%) of HS kids don't have the brainpower to do any of these jobs, certainly not to reach the higher end which is required for the $125k. It's not just a matter of hard work and good decisions, it's also a matter of winning the coin flip on some important things that you can't control.

Regarding firefighters and police officers, I've been looking around the web and I can't find anything about $125k salaries for "typical" or even "somewhat better than average" ff & po. I suppose there must be some people up in the management ranks that get there, but again I think it takes a lot more than just hard work to make it to the top.
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Old 03-20-2011, 12:13 PM   #75
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I think getting to 125k is not going to be easy for many people, but I believe it is achievable by those with average (to above average) intelligence with lots of hard work, sacrifices, and the right decisions.

Here's what I think are the decisions that need to be made:

(1) The choice of school program. For example, instead of physics enroll in engineering, instead of english take accounting, instead of biology do nursing.

(2) Move to the big city where salaries are higher. I would guess that in silicon valley, salaries might be double what they'd be compared to low cost of living areas like the midwest. Obviously varies by occupation.

(3) Choice of employer. Work for a consulting firm that rewards performance (aka 50-60+ work weeks) instead of a government job. If you have a math degree don't go into teaching but instead work for the man in a corporate job. Be willing to be a road warrior.

Regarding intelligence levels

IQ Ranges of Occupations - Careers - | LearnHub

which I believe is taken from

http://www.ssc.wisc.edu/cde/cdewp/98-07.pdf

suggests that even for highly competitive occupations like MD the range of IQs (105-130) allows for people with average intelligence (median should be 100 with 15 pts for +/- one std dev.). (Note I am unsure of the quality of this paper as I didn't have time to do more than skim it and this is not my field).

With respect to police officers, the base pay in San Jose is 108K and with overtime many hit 125K. I think San Jose pays more than most, but I'm guessing you will get similar salaries at other high cost of living areas. The city publishes salaries at:

Employees Salaries Lookup

As an aside the police chief made $525K in 2010!!! The top police sargent was at 263K, top police officer at 224K. I suspect there's a lot of pension spiking going on, but if you select the Police dept and scroll down a few pages, you can see POs who get most of their pay from base + overtime.

I think we don't see more people at $125K because folks don't want to make these choices. Which is a perfectly reasonable thing to do. I would never recommend to a high school student to take engineering/accounting solely because of the pay.
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Old 03-20-2011, 12:27 PM   #76
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I had an interesting conversation last evening that in a way supports either side of this debate. I was returning from Harborview Hospital where I went to visit a friend, and I sat down on a bus stop bench. A black man about 5-10 years younger than I sat down beside me. We got to talking a little, and he told me he was once a patient at Harborview because his ex-wife, whom he still loves dearly "shot me three times". He went on to say that up until the gunshots, she was in the right, as she popped him leaving his girlfriend's house. He said she eventually married another guy, moved to LA and they both are in great shape with good government jobs while he is not so well off. But he said that on his street there is a building for rich people, and a building for poor people. (Income limited senior housing.) I said, well I guess they aren't getting much for the extra money, and he said that yes they were. Their apartments are bigger, their lobby is nicer and they have real kitchens while he has only a small frig and a microwave and electric skillet. But they are "no warmer and no drier than I am, so I'm happy- but I would rather live in their building. "

I have been having interesting and revealing bus stop encounters lately. Late Friday night I was waiting for a bus to go home from my GFs, and a woman sat down and identified herself as a Berber who was cooking at bar & grill in the neighborhood. One thing I have learned is that women from various cultures are really different, and some of them very outgoing with strangers relative to a typical American woman, or man for that matter. After we got on the bus, a mile or so down the street another Berber, a young man in white desert robes and headdress got on. She struck up a conversation (in Berber I suppose) and before long they were trading goods- CDs, bottled water, etc. It was after midnight, she was not young, she had been working since the dinner hour, and still she was outgoing and happy and ready to trade.

Really fascinating, and a good antidote to developing a lot of uninformed notions.

Ha
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Old 03-20-2011, 03:42 PM   #77
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Know what you mean...

Before leaving the US I lived in VA and commuted to DC. Bus, metro or gas and parking - either way is very costly.

Simply can't feel sorry for someone making 250K, however, I don't begrudge them for wanting more...just don't whine, please. I'm now living on 17K/year and am happier than had been in a long time. Gas is approx. $8/gal. and since I've moved to the country I use the car to go everywhere. In the city it was public transportation that went from $17 for a monthly pass when I arrived to $50 currently.

Must thank God for the luck in timing as I was able to pay for a 1000 sq ft one bedroom, high ceiling flat in city center just about the end of the wave when it was still affordable. Maintenance fees did go from $50/month then to $125 within 10 years and at this rate I may be whining within the next 5 years - BUT... I keep thinking of what my daughter had said when we came back from her stint with the UN in the Sudan. She spent 5 years with people who have NOTHING and who were always gentle and smiling.

What have we to complain about? To me the greatest luxury now is that I never have to hurry. Do things when I feel like it...or not do anything at all. I've yet to get bored - just very thankful!

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If living in NY is such as a burden, they should consider living elsewhere. Their income is 72% higher than our income, but their federal & state taxes are only 33% higher than ours. Their take-home pay (after federal +state taxes) are almost 2x of our net take-home pay. We have one child attending college and another doing the same soon. Our expenses are very manageable, and our savings continue to grow. We are grateful with our income and very satisfied with our quality of life in a major metropolitan area in the Midwest.
My 2-cents worth: This article represents another futile attempt to convince us that a high income (top 2.9 percent in U.S.) is not that great while more than 97% making less in the U.S. and a lot higher than the rest of the population on other parts of the world -- give me a break!!!!!!!
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Old 03-20-2011, 04:01 PM   #78
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i think articles like this are an insult to all the households with lesser incomes which is 97% of the households in the US.
So, you've now made it abundantly clear on several threads that you loathe anyone who meets your self-imposed definition of "rich". What's your solution to this "problem" ?

Or better yet....

Dear Citizen jdw_fire:
Congratulations! The Compensation Committee has reviewed your dissatisfaction with your economic classification status, and you are being moved to the 98th percentile, effective immediately. Note that you do not need to do anything to earn this increase, this adjustment will be reflected in your next paycheck. You are now "rich" in the eyes of 97% of your fellow citizens, please act accordingly.
Sincerely,
The People Who Decide Who Gets What.

So, what do you do now?
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Old 03-20-2011, 04:32 PM   #79
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So, you've now made it abundantly clear on several threads that you fervently loathe anyone who meets your self-imposed definition of "rich". What's your solution to this "problem" ?
not so, i dont "fervently loathe" (or anything close to that) people who are rich. what i am saying here is if they are just scraping by, it is their fault and they shouldnt complain about it. and i dont think writers should write about them in a way that justifies their living above their means or seeks pity for them. people earning alot less are not just scraping by, so people with incomes in the top 3% of the country shouldnt have to be just scraping by.

on another thread i disagreed with what some were calling necessary expenses. even after they said they were wants, which in essence showed they were agreeing with me, they still reverted to calling them necessary.

and the problem i see here is you people who feel compelled to misquote, misrepresent, even lie about what i wrote. this has even happened where the person doing the misrepresentation admitted that he hadnt even read my whole post.
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Old 03-21-2011, 10:40 AM   #80
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Give it a rest people. To say that no one needs more than $250,000 is like saying no one needs sex more than 3x/week. How the hell do you know? Are you omniscient? Truth is, some do, and some don't.

I know some people can get by on less; I do. (Money and sex, unfortunately) But I don't consider it any great virtue, it's just dealing with reality.

These type threads are frequent, and they are among the most annoying ones on the forums.

Ha
Great post, ha! I have been thinking the same thing.

Here's how I see it:

I probably make more than some on this forum. Apparently that make me a rich, evil, fat cat in the eyes of more than a few of our members.

I am also certain that some on this forum make considerably more than me. Personally, I'm fine with that, and don't care how they made their money, as long as it wasn't illegal. I am glad they were smart enough, industrious enough, and took the career risks to get them there. If they "just inherited it", that's fine, too- Someone earned it in the first place, and was fiscally responsible in planning for their heirs. I also believe they don't need to justify their wealth to me nor do I think they should be forced to share it with with me just because they have more. I'm beginning to think I'm in the minority on this view.

We have had a a lot of polarized discussions about how much money people "need", and how any one who makes/spends/"needs" more than "that" is insulting to those who believe they be spending less. WTFO? Some of the posts have been pretty comical, ("anyone who wears a watch is a spendthrift" is the example that comes to mind) but there is an increasingly ominous undertone to many posts when it comes to those who have done well for themselves, irrespective of how they got there. ("Anyone in that 97th percentile had to have been born on third base, the average guy can't get there. etc...")

Someone is always going to be in that 97th percentile, that's the way statistics work. Some on this forum will get there through any combination of personal choices and circumstances, hard work, risk-taking, ass-kissing, investing, LBYM, dumb luck, birth, marriage, divorce, death. whatever... Others won't. Get over it, that's they way society works; everyone aspiring to the lowest common denominator isn't an option.


PS... Ha, you should see if there is an entitlement program out there that will help you get all the sex you deserve, (though it will probably have to come from someone else's allotment)......
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$250k a year, income, lbym, spending


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