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The New Rich
Old 12-09-2013, 07:34 AM   #1
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The New Rich

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It's not just the wealthiest 1 percent.
Fully 20 percent of U.S. adults become rich for parts of their lives, wielding outsize influence on America's economy and politics. This little-known group may pose the biggest barrier to reducing the nation's income inequality.
The growing numbers of the U.S. poor have been well documented, but survey data provided to The Associated Press detail the flip side of the record income gap - the rise of the "new rich."
Made up largely of older professionals, working married couples and more educated singles, the new rich are those with household income of $250,000 or more at some point during their working lives. That puts them, if sometimes temporarily, in the top 2 percent of earners.

Even outside periods of unusual wealth, members of this group generally hover in the $100,000-plus income range, keeping them in the top 20 percent of earners.
My Way News - Rising riches: 1 in 5 in US reaches affluence

The article goes on to discuss the lifestyles of the "affluent" which it defines as those in the top 20% of income.
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Old 12-09-2013, 07:44 AM   #2
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Soooo... working hard, having 2 household incomes, and making some career path plans early in life can lead to a nice ending career? Who would have thought!
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Old 12-09-2013, 08:25 AM   #3
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I find this quote very interesting....
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New research suggests that affluent Americans are more numerous than government data depict, encompassing 21 percent of working-age adults for at least a year by the time they turn 60. That proportion has more than doubled since 1979.
more than double the number of people will be considered "rich" in their lifetime now compared to 1979.

It is always interesting that people think of the top "2%" as a singular group when in reality people move in and out of that group all the time. The thing is, once you get there you always want to get back and that colors your thinking.
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Old 12-09-2013, 08:50 AM   #4
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Did the 1%ers pay for this study, to show that they are not so special after all?
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Old 12-09-2013, 08:57 AM   #5
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Soooo... working hard, having 2 household incomes, and making some career path plans early in life can lead to a nice ending career? Who would have thought!
The nerve of those people! Don't they realize they are just making others feel bad? They need to knock off this hard work, planning, and education stuff - it just leads to inequality, and we can't have that!

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Old 12-09-2013, 08:59 AM   #6
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Being in the top 20 percentile does not mean affluence. Keep in mind that the numbers always must add up to 100. At one time you were affluent if in this category, but the growing disparity between segments is something to consider.
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Old 12-09-2013, 09:21 AM   #7
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Adding more fuel to the fire, here's an article that says all the fuss over the growth in income inequality is overblown and that a better measure of equality/inequality may be individual ("consumer unit" ) spending :

Quote:
On a per-person basis, households in the top fifth of the income distribution spent 2.5 times the amount spent by the bottom quintile. That was about the same as 25 years ago. There is no increase in inequality. In addition, the overall level of inequality is remarkably small. A person moving from the bottom quintile to the top quintile can expect to increase spending by only 146%.
The income-inequality problem is overblown - Diana Furchtgott-Roth - MarketWatch
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Old 12-09-2013, 09:22 AM   #8
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The people in this story are not "rich". They are upper middle class.
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Old 12-09-2013, 09:28 AM   #9
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Any bubble or downward economic cycle that comes around which would threaten the wealthiest Americans causes the government to step in to protect their tax base. It's gotten worse over the past six years so it's not a party specific scheme.
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Old 12-09-2013, 09:35 AM   #10
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The people in this story are not "rich". They are upper middle class.
+1, also if it takes 2 working incomes to hit $250K, that is far from being rich in my mind
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Old 12-09-2013, 10:01 AM   #11
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This type of topic, ie who are "rich", how many there are, how they got there, etc always is good for a lively discussion. Do you think maybe we(I certainly include myself)are a little obsessed with this kind of thing?
Anyway, income inequality is a serious issue in the US, however you define it. Social stability(which is very good for the rich) depends on the least wealthy accepting their status. Historically, this acceptance was based on a sense of "anybody can make it big" with hard work,etc. not the case so much anymore, I think.
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Old 12-09-2013, 10:02 AM   #12
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Well, the households making $250k on two incomes certainly live in an entirely different world than the ones making $40k on two incomes.

The scale of the wealth above them tends to obscure that fact though. It's hard to feel rich when you interact with people that make orders of magnitude more money than you do.

The stratification of wealth and income in this country has reached truly amazing levels. I just look at people I know and it boggles my mind.

My brother makes x. My other brother makes 2x. I make 6x. My dad makes 18x. My Dad is friends with a local business owner that has an order of magnitude more wealth than him, and that business owner has a friend that has an order of magnitude more weath than he has.

Both my Dad and my brother would probably say they are middle class, but they live in entirely different worlds.


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+1, also if it takes 2 working incomes to hit $250K, that is far from being rich in my mind
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Old 12-09-2013, 10:13 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by imoldernu View Post
My Way News - Rising riches: 1 in 5 in US reaches affluence

The article goes on to discuss the lifestyles of the "affluent" which it defines as those in the top 20% of income.
Why can't this can be simplified by just having 2 categories 'Haves' and 'Have-nots'. For instance, when I go to an NHL game, at the prices of a sporting event, everyone there is basically a 'have'. It doesn't matter the stratification of wealth represented by the Suites, club level, or nose-bleed seats. If a person can afford to be in the arena, they would be a 'Have'.
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Old 12-09-2013, 10:14 AM   #14
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Well, the households making $250k on two incomes certainly live in an entirely different world than the ones making $40k on two incomes.

The scale of the wealth above them tends to obscure that fact though. It's hard to feel rich when you interact with people that make orders of magnitude more money than you do.
Of course! But I guess most of us on here would probably equate the true measure of being rich in terms of happiness vs $s. But on the monetary scale, $250K aint much.
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Old 12-09-2013, 10:19 AM   #15
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It looks like this is another one of those articles that focuses more on income rather than assets to determine "wealth", and that just doesn't seem right to me.

For instance, I have a friend who lives in Washington DC, who makes about twice what I do. Yet, I have more equity in my house than he does in his condo. He has no car; I have several. And, I also have about 2.5X more in investments/retirement than he does. So, financially speaking, who's really "wealthier"?

And, I consider myself anything BUT wealthy. When I look around and see the situation of others who are not as well off as me, I consider myself lucky, fortunate, grateful, etc. But not wealthy. I'm also nowhere near $250K in annual income, and probably never will be in my lifetime.
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Old 12-09-2013, 10:22 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by timo2 View Post
Why can't this can be simplified by just having 2 categories 'Haves' and 'Have-nots'. For instance, when I go to an NHL game, at the prices of a sporting event, everyone there is basically a 'have'. It doesn't matter the stratification of wealth represented by the Suites, club level, or nose-bleed seats. If a person can afford to be in the arena, they would be a 'Have'.

I agree with this concept. I also believe that those who have, get. While those that don't have, don't get. Wealth brings wealth.
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Old 12-09-2013, 10:32 AM   #17
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It's very interesting. Of course a lot of people have some success, but then either blow it, or retire on it. It's funny though, the government will help you out more if you blow it, than if you're responsible with it.

I've had the crazy idea of at least part of your taxes to be based on LIFETIME earnings, and not just a yearly slice of it. Young kids starting out should pay less taxes (even with a six figure salary) than those who've been making six figures for decades. I know that investments and things should push the later higher, but not for those that blow their entire salary.
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Old 12-09-2013, 11:34 AM   #18
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Sometimes I wonder ... why we like to rank ourselves in the herd? Why does it matter so much?
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Old 12-09-2013, 11:34 AM   #19
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Generally, I believe that a household income of $250K is upper middle class with sufficient income to make a good financial plan.

However, the level of wealth is highly dependent on location, age and situation. For example, a couple in their early 60's located in a low cost area with no debt, kids grown up, large pension looming and retirement savings full, a $250k yearly income could be rich. On the other hand, a couple in their early 40's living in San Francisco with two kids approaching college age, no future pension and haven't begun saving for retirement, would probably be considered middle class.
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Old 12-09-2013, 11:45 AM   #20
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Sometimes I wonder ... why we like to rank ourselves in the herd? Why does it matter so much?
And especially, why we like to rank ourselves in terms of dollars income! I consider myself to be rich, in a sense, but my idea of what it takes to be rich has almost nothing to do with income. Having oceans of free time, more than the bare necessities, and feeling completely content with every aspect of life is where it's at IMO. I have that, and let the Donald Trumps of the world eat their hearts out.

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