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Old 06-11-2014, 05:16 PM   #41
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As reported in another thread, I found out that while the median income is higher in the US than in Italy, the Italian household wealth is higher than that in the US. Some suggested that it was due to American propensity to spend. Duh! If you do not save, you are not going to accumulate wealth.

Then, I thought of another possible reason. The US has a young and growing population and with influx of immigrants, most come empty-handed. Old-world countries may have an older and shrinking population. The inheritance of family estates will cause the latter to have more wealth. However, lack of business opportunities means that there will be a lot fewer super-rich people there than in the US.

So, a flatter wealth distribution may not mean much if young people have problems finding work, or have low incomes. And the cause may have a lot to do with demographics.

Just a thought...
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Old 06-11-2014, 06:23 PM   #42
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This also reminds me that I have been wondering how to figure our "real" assets (the amount of $$ we could lay our hands on if we sold investments), given state and Federal taxes.

Our pensions are fully taxed. Most of our investable assets are in taxable accounts, or tax-deferred accounts where proceeds will be taxed on withdrawal. In other words, we don't possess as much money as the account statements indicate.

But what would be the reduction factor? It doesn't seem to make sense to use effective tax rates, unless one needed to liquidate everything in the same year.

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Old 06-13-2014, 08:55 AM   #43
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98% - but I don't feel that way
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Old 06-13-2014, 09:11 AM   #44
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98% - but I don't feel that way
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Old 06-13-2014, 09:32 AM   #45
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The next menu says it all:

How would you tax wealth, it asks. Maximum threshold below which no tax is due is $1M .. I want it to be at $3M, and include pension benefits, SS benefits and real estate in the calculation. Yes my friends, that is also wealth, especially when it's COLA'd.

I am all for fairness and redistributing above a certain level, but not willing to give up my own money because others were wasteful and unable to balance a checkbook while I was living quite frugal.

I don't see any fairness in taking from those who have worked hard and risked their time, talents, and treasures to give to those who have chosen other paths. I am all for providing a safety net to those who are in need; but, my accumulated wealth has already been taxed as income (or will be) . So called "wealth taxes" are really a tax on saving.

JMHO
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Old 06-13-2014, 10:16 AM   #46
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Originally Posted by NW-Bound View Post
As reported in another thread, I found out that while the median income is higher in the US than in Italy, the Italian household wealth is higher than that in the US. Some suggested that it was due to American propensity to spend. Duh! If you do not save, you are not going to accumulate wealth.

Then, I thought of another possible reason. The US has a young and growing population and with influx of immigrants, most come empty-handed. Old-world countries may have an older and shrinking population. The inheritance of family estates will cause the latter to have more wealth. However, lack of business opportunities means that there will be a lot fewer super-rich people there than in the US.

So, a flatter wealth distribution may not mean much if young people have problems finding work, or have low incomes. And the cause may have a lot to do with demographics.

Just a thought...
+1
It is nice to look at to make us feel better. But I don't think it means much if age is not included. I started out with near zero assets, as are my kids, and I suspect many/most of those here. To average a 60 year old with a 20 year old doesn't make any sense at all to me. Wow, I got more money than I did when I was 20, yea, but I got less years.
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Old 06-13-2014, 10:22 AM   #47
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Old 06-13-2014, 10:37 AM   #48
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I don't see any fairness in taking from those who have worked hard and risked their time, talents, and treasures to give to those who have chosen other paths. I am all for providing a safety net to those who are in need; but, my accumulated wealth has already been taxed as income (or will be). So called "wealth taxes" are really a tax on saving.
For the most part I think 'wealth taxes' will be politically difficult to bring about, which as a soon-to-be ER I hope is true. Another method of extracting revenue from those who have accumulated savings I fear is increasing sales taxes, or shifting the tax burden towards consumption and away from income. Selling it as reducing taxes on income might be well received by a majority in their working years, but creeping up taxes on consumption could be a double whammy on the ER uber-savers.
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Old 06-13-2014, 10:47 PM   #49
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94. Single, and a long way from being FIRE'd. Being in the top 6% sure sounds good but in reality it means very little beyond an internal "hey, I guess I'm not doing so bad". Considering where I am financially it just makes me worry about the future of the majority of folks because I really can't see myself as being better off than almost 95% of the country. It just doesn't compute.
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Old 06-13-2014, 11:12 PM   #50
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87% with 2 kids in college counted. 93rd not counting the kids.
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Old 06-14-2014, 05:36 AM   #51
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98% for family of 2.
6 more year to work
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Old 06-14-2014, 07:39 AM   #52
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Originally Posted by Totoro View Post
The next menu says it all:

How would you tax wealth, it asks. Maximum threshold below which no tax is due is $1M .. I want it to be at $3M, and include pension benefits, SS benefits and real estate in the calculation. Yes my friends, that is also wealth, especially when it's COLA'd.

I am all for fairness and redistributing above a certain level, but not willing to give up my own money because others were wasteful and unable to balance a checkbook while I was living quite frugal.
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Originally Posted by robertf57 View Post
I don't see any fairness in taking from those who have worked hard and risked their time, talents, and treasures to give to those who have chosen other paths. I am all for providing a safety net to those who are in need; but, my accumulated wealth has already been taxed as income (or will be) . So called "wealth taxes" are really a tax on saving.

JMHO
+1

I think you're conflating redistribution with fairness. They are very different things.
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Old 06-14-2014, 09:42 AM   #53
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I think you're conflating redistribution with fairness. They are very different things.
But that's the problem, no? At least if you are on the 'from' side of redistribution.

-ERD50
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Old 06-14-2014, 09:58 AM   #54
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96%+ on the wealthmeter, only a little above average in income. I guess that's typical for a lifelong plodder.
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Old 06-14-2014, 10:20 AM   #55
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My wealthometer went to 100% when 2nd child was born. xx + yy = 100%.
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Old 06-14-2014, 10:48 AM   #56
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98% with one person and no pension. I would consider myself comfortably Middle Class.
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Old 06-14-2014, 11:18 AM   #57
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This wealthometer doesn't work for me. I get no results, just a lot of blanks. Oh well. BFD
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Old 06-14-2014, 11:49 AM   #58
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98% (no pensions). Not bad for a couple of 40 year olds. But as DW puts it "really".
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Old 06-14-2014, 11:55 AM   #59
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But that's the problem, no? At least if you are on the 'from' side of redistribution.

-ERD50
Yup.
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Old 06-15-2014, 08:21 AM   #60
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Two person household in their mid-30's... Guessed at 99%, came in a 98%. I was close!
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