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Social Status of Early Retirees
Old 05-14-2005, 09:37 PM   #1
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Social Status of Early Retirees

The New York Times has an interesting article on "Class in America" in Sunday's paper.

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/05/15/na...IEW-FINAL.html

The article includes an online calculator you can use to see where you fit in based on four variables; Occupation, Level of Education, Annual Earnings, and Net Worth.

http://www.nytimes.com/packages/html.../index_01.html

Poll question: What's your overall class rank in percentile based on the NYTimes calculator?

http://www.retireearlyhomepage.com/classpoll.html

(Note: For occupation, use your occupation before you retired.)

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Re: Social Status of Early Retirees
Old 05-14-2005, 11:06 PM   #2
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Re: Social Status of Early Retirees

Average: 93rd


Occupation: 83rd
Education: 99th
Income: 94th
Wealth: 98th


I wonder this is bogus.
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Re: Social Status of Early Retirees
Old 05-15-2005, 12:24 AM   #3
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Re: Social Status of Early Retirees

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spanky
Average: 93rd


Occupation: 83rd
Education: 99th
Income: 94th
Wealth: 98th


I wonder this is bogus.
I think occupation is the parameter where there is the most chance of disagreement. The other three seem reasonable to me.

Here's some of the occupations listed and their rank

Physician --* 99
Lawyer -- 84
Architect -- 80
Chemical Engr -- 82
Civil Engr -- 76
Mech Engr -- 70
Electrical Engr -- 70
Pharmacists -- 75
Accountants -- 71
High School Teachers -- 71
Registered Nurse -- 72
CEO -- 69
Actors -- 61
Librarians -- 56
Firefighter -- 54
Real Estate Broker -- 49
Furnace Repairman -- 39
Oil Field Roughneck -- 38
Dog Catcher -- 34
Barbers --31

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Re: Social Status of Early Retirees
Old 05-15-2005, 06:19 AM   #4
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Re: Social Status of Early Retirees

Interesting - my average was 89, but I don't think there is much value to the individual. I think a better number would be to compute the numbers based upon the family in which you were raised. That is a more insightful number as to what advantages you were given, and how you perceive the world and your place in it.

I attempted to compute my family's number - the average came out to be 39. That is more indicative of who I am.

It is also interesting that a great influence in this article is focused on job and money - both earn and have - 3 out of 4 of the measurement.

A final thought; the location in the USA would greatly influence what class you would be in. You could have lower numbers but be in a higher class for that location.
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Re: Social Status of Early Retirees
Old 05-15-2005, 07:23 AM   #5
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Re: Social Status of Early Retirees

I'm with Dex - mentally I'm a SW Washington, blue collar,union card, PUD, co-op, lunch bucket Democrat - like my parents. College degree, income, thirty years of suits and ties don't count for spit.
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Re: Social Status of Early Retirees
Old 05-15-2005, 09:11 AM   #6
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Re: Social Status of Early Retirees

Do dog catchers really exist? I've never actually seen one.
Or have they now morphed into "animal control specialists"; like
garbage men are now sanitation engineers?

JG
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Re: Social Status of Early Retirees
Old 05-15-2005, 10:24 AM   #7
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Re: Social Status of Early Retirees

Dang, barbers are on the lowest rung of the ladder.
Many years ago, for about 15 years, I used to get my hair cut done by an old time "proper" Italian barber. He made it the most relaxing time of the week which included a hot facial towel and neck massage. He continued to operate his one man "by appointment" shop until he passed away in his mid eighties. He loved his work and would have disagreed about the rating.
I had almost forgotten about "Tommy" RIP. Thanks

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Re: Social Status of Early Retirees
Old 05-15-2005, 10:34 AM   #8
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Re: Social Status of Early Retirees

Quote:
Originally Posted by MRGALT2U
Do dog catchers really exist?* I've never actually seen one.
Or have they now morphed into "animal control specialists";* like
garbage men are now sanitation engineers?

JG
The NY Times called them "animal control specialists". I substitutued the more familiar term.

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Re: Social Status of Early Retirees
Old 05-15-2005, 10:39 AM   #9
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Re: Social Status of Early Retirees

Well, lets see.....For those of us with kids or grand kids running around the house, I suggest the term "Child Development Enhancement Coordinator" rather than parent or grand parent would apply.*
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Re: Social Status of Early Retirees
Old 05-15-2005, 12:20 PM   #10
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Re: Social Status of Early Retirees

Completely arbitrary and subjective on occupation, and they should retitle "education" as "formal education".

Occupation 63
Education 48
Income 99
Wealth 98
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Re: Social Status of Early Retirees
Old 05-15-2005, 12:21 PM   #11
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Re: Social Status of Early Retirees

Occupation 81
Education 69
Income 93
Wealth 85

Really only the last item matters. Can't take your social status out of the bank to retire on.
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Re: Social Status of Early Retirees
Old 05-15-2005, 12:24 PM   #12
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Re: Social Status of Early Retirees

No, but you can be a dirty, unwashed, uneducated retired person with more money than 1% of the rest of the world.

Works for me.
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Re: Social Status of Early Retirees
Old 05-15-2005, 12:44 PM   #13
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Re: Social Status of Early Retirees

I come in at 93 on this scale but think the scale is largely irrelevant. I just don't see "position in society" as being fixed or static or even worthy of evaluation. Maybe was 100 years ago but not now.
We know and socialize with many different types. Common thread is that all are solid types, but other than that no such thing as "position in society".
Must have been a slow day for news at the Times.
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Re: Social Status of Early Retirees
Old 05-15-2005, 12:45 PM   #14
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Re: Social Status of Early Retirees

Its ironic that many have lost their way towards an ER by worrying more about social status than having enough cash to buy their way off the tread mill. *Given the choice, I would rather be financially independent at a basic living standard than be the country club set's favorite son. (I was above 95, and the only value that number has to me is that I get to watch my neighbor drive past my house wearing a nice suit on his way to work Monday morning while I am wearing jeans and a sport shirt returning from my dawn stroll with my dog).* I just love to wave as he passes by.*He's most likely ranked at a 100, but I doubt that would be high enough for him.* "There but for the grace of God, a realisitic ego and a decent budget go I...'
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Re: Social Status of Early Retirees
Old 05-15-2005, 01:46 PM   #15
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Re: Social Status of Early Retirees

Quote:
I was above 95, and the only value that number has to me is that I get to watch my neighbor drive past my house wearing a nice suit on his way to work Monday morning while I am wearing jeans and a sport shirt returning from my dawn stroll with my dog
Does he know? I see folks doing this on my way in (to work) too, but just assume they carry later work hours.
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Re: Social Status of Early Retirees
Old 05-15-2005, 01:51 PM   #16
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Re: Social Status of Early Retirees

I'd have to dream about people on their way to work, as most commuters are heading in about 3 hours before my usual wake-up time
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Re: Social Status of Early Retirees
Old 05-15-2005, 02:44 PM   #17
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Re: Social Status of Early Retirees

Well said Lex, I think many people never give a thought to what they are doing or why. Just put one foot in front of the other and keep buying shiny stuff on credit to impress people they don't know.
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Re: Social Status of Early Retirees
Old 05-15-2005, 03:35 PM   #18
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Re: Social Status of Early Retirees

Azanon and compatriot "Invisible ER's":

Our neighborhood has a lot size limit of having to be at least two acres, and its in the desert hills (Phoenix area). The nice element about this is that most neignbors are friendly but also fairly detached.* I have two neighbors I have seen less than twice over ten years or so. Thats why folks live here, desert mountain privacy.* I live in a house that most realtors term a "tear down" since the lot has a nice view and the trend has been to buy these solid 1960's vintage houses on large lots and build oversized monuments to debt and consumption.* The only reason I see the one guy is that the trail from my home to the adjacent park parallels the access road into our area.* I have no doubt he's a nice guy, and I expect he probably pulls in at least 500K/year, since he drives a new >75K set of wheels that he updates each year, sometimes more often. I suppose if the neighbors knew how cheap I am, and could do so, they would vote me out of the neighborhood like some reality show.* However, I have no mortgage, and I would bet they have large ones!* Maybe I can buy them out, but who cares anyway...

He just symbolizes all the ego tripping that keeps good folks from living a life that truly belongs to themselves....cadillac escalade, hummer H2, and red motorsports toys and all. Maybe they had a less than adequate childhood and need to compensate.* As for me I drive out on the same road to go shopping* on the week days with my white 94 Ford Pick up and I strongly suspect any of my neighbors who see me must figure that I must be just another house maintenace contractor lost in the poorly marked side streets.
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Re: Social Status of Early Retirees
Old 05-15-2005, 09:28 PM   #19
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Re: Social Status of Early Retirees

Lex,
Hilarious post -- recognize the neighborhood (visited a friend in one of those Phoenix hillside suburbs once--gorgeous area) and having neighbors with hummers and McMonuments to debt and consumption.

The Times article was intriguing but ultimately flawed I felt because it didn't get to the heart of what 'arriving' or class is in America. Does anyone else feel that someone stuck in full-time consume/debt/work mode is in some ways lower on the status scale than someone who does not have to work, just due to their time not being their own? Being able to consume leisure is a huge status thing, in my view. One bit of supporting evidence is to see how high status families who can afford it opt to have Mom (usually it is the Mom) stop paid work and become a fulltime homemaker. (1/3 of women with MBAs do not work full time), This gives credence to the view that leisure as a form of status is valid beyond just a bunch of ERs feeling we are at the top of the heap. (Thorstein Veblen talked about this explicitly, too, in Theory of the Leisure Class, 100 years ago, claiming that consuming leisure as a sign of high status was valid back to the bushmen.)

In a perfect world none of us would care about status, but we are also wired up as social beings and it gives me comfort as an ER to think of somehow having status without having to work all those hours for it. 8)



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Re: Social Status of Early Retirees
Old 05-15-2005, 09:54 PM   #20
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Re: Social Status of Early Retirees

Occupation 65
Education 91
Income 84
Wealth 85

Well! It looks like the Education didn't help the occupation too much! We computer dudes are still getting the shaft in status from the "old money" occupations.

The last number is all that counts to me!
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