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Re: What is a Moderate Income?
Old 11-05-2006, 01:56 PM   #21
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Re: What is a Moderate Income?

Sometimes the responses here by this community amazes me. What % of the country lives in home 500K and up? Looking just at that segment of the population who would call that part of the moderate class? People with the means/desire to do so are driven to live in the areas with the best weather and ocean views and will pay for good location. People without the means to do so live elsewhere or rent in less desirable locations.

Consider that 22% of retirees only have Social Security paying $869 per month. I think in that context it is hard to call 100K income "moderate". Moderate income for most of what I have seen in this country begins and $2,000 per month and ends around $4,000 per month. Beyond those income levels your available options for life really expand exponentially. Where to live, take vacations and lifestyle results in a matter of personal choice.
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Re: What is a Moderate Income?
Old 11-05-2006, 02:46 PM   #22
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Re: What is a Moderate Income?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kjpliny
Considering first-year rookie cops make $100k+ ...... supposedly "average" professions, at least they're living nicely.
Just to show the variance in "Moderate Income"......Out here in the cornfields in NorthCentral Illinois, in our city (pop. ~20k) the starting salary is 38000 for a "rookie". Surounding towns of approximately the same size, maybe slightly smaller, starting wage for rookies is ~31k - 35k, give or take a little.

Of course cost of living is less, crime rate is lower, and all the rest of what goes along with being in the boonies!!!

I would venture to guess that at least 1/2 to 2/3 of our local officers moved here from other towns to cash in on these higher wages. And we've had several who have moved from our department, to larger metro areas to cash in on the high wages there. Some have RE'd from here, and taken positions in other cities that pay into a different pension plan, and are now working on a 2nd police pension!!!

So I guess "moderate income", is in some ways, in the eye of the beholder. (IMHO)

I am currently employed in Public Works (only 5 months left ) and make ~50K/year. My comrades in the other cities around here make FAR less for the exact same job. Our starting rate is ~33K, which is still higher than many of those comrades! However, we all (or mostly all) consider our wages as "moderate". 8)
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Re: What is a Moderate Income?
Old 11-05-2006, 04:21 PM   #23
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Re: What is a Moderate Income?

Quote:
Originally Posted by InTheFlow
What is considered a moderate income these days? I've heard a lot of folks talking about "moderate incomes" but no one has defined it. Does a moderate income mean you are in the middle class? If not, what income level is considered middle class?
This is an excellent question. I too want to know because I know many people making around $100K and it's tough to have a fairly decent standard of living (nice well-furnished house in a middle class neighborhood, nice cars and at least a nice vacation every year). Could $100K do this?
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Re: What is a Moderate Income?
Old 11-05-2006, 04:23 PM   #24
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Re: What is a Moderate Income?

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Re: What is a Moderate Income?
Old 11-05-2006, 04:46 PM   #25
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Re: What is a Moderate Income?

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Originally Posted by youbet


The key for them living a wealthy lifestyle has been long term high paying careers followed by generous, cola'd pensions rather than accumulating wealth. Most of us don't have that, thus LBYM and savings to accumulate wealth gets us to where we want to be.

where do you think the "generous cola'd pension" came from? Hint--part of it is provided by the employer, part the employee. In Alaska, it is 8.75% of a teacher's salary that is put into the pension. That's just the employee part. So, in a sense, paying into the cola'd pension is a part of wealth accumulation.

Teacher's don't get (nor pay into) social security.

I'm not a teacher, nor did I ever want to be. But the last time I checked, working as a teacher required the same level of education and (at least for the good ones) dedication as, say, an engineer, architect, accountant, or other professional. Is there some reason they shouldn't be paid comparably?
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Re: What is a Moderate Income?
Old 11-05-2006, 05:00 PM   #26
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Re: What is a Moderate Income?

Only certain teachers in certain states do not pay FICA and are not eligible for SS. My DW teacher in MN will receive a COLA'd pension and SS.
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Re: What is a Moderate Income?
Old 11-05-2006, 05:06 PM   #27
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Re: What is a Moderate Income?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bosco
Is there some reason they shouldn't be paid comparably?
Because they only have to work about 1100 hours per year as compared to most people who have to work 2000...
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Re: What is a Moderate Income?
Old 11-05-2006, 05:16 PM   #28
 
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Re: What is a Moderate Income?

I have always been a big supporter of teachers. Lately teachers have made great strides into being a great paid profession. Not because they have received huge raises, mostly because all other workers in the middle class have been screwed every year for the last 20 years. Reduced medical benefits, eliminated pensions, raises that don't keep up with inflation, increased work hours etc. etc.

The teaching gig looks pretty good today. - I know a lot of teachers that are retired at age 55. They drive Porsches, eat in the best restuarants, Travel Worldwide. They have a very good life. Did not have to save too much when teaching because they have a COLA pension, medical care. - Have had summers off since I've known them for over 25 years.
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Re: What is a Moderate Income?
Old 11-05-2006, 05:18 PM   #29
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Re: What is a Moderate Income?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ADJ
This is an excellent question. I too want to know because I know many people making around $100K and it's tough to have a fairly decent standard of living (nice well-furnished house in a middle class neighborhood, nice cars and at least a nice vacation every year). Could $100K do this?

Absolutely. Especially if you are in your 50's and have planned and saved for many years.
DW and I are just reaching this point. Years of living modestly, saving diligently and
realizing that you can't have it all.

We drive 10 year old Toyotas, live in a very comfortable home (but avg for the area),
and take a couple of nice trips a year.

But, probably the biggest factor is that we have had 25 years of continuous employment.


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Re: What is a Moderate Income?
Old 11-05-2006, 05:21 PM   #30
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Re: What is a Moderate Income?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bosco
I'm not a teacher, nor did I ever want to be. But the last time I checked, working as a teacher required the same level of education and (at least for the good ones) dedication as, say, an engineer, architect, accountant, or other professional. Is there some reason they shouldn't be paid comparably?
Please go back to whatever you were smoking.

The level of commitment and academics required to achieve any one of the professions you mentioned far exceed what is required to get a degree in elementary education or certified to teach any high school subject. Having put 3 kids through college (one in Education) I can say that there isn't a valid comparison. Now if you wanted to throw in most liberal arts degrees and "pure" science/math BS degrees, I'll agree. There is generally a glut of teacher candidates in most areas (other than inner cities for "other" reasons) of the country for most subjects. The only "shortage" is in science and math because there people with the right skills have better paying options. Try suggesting paying these areas more money and watch the teacher union firestorm.

In my "between jobs period" recently, I had a long term substitute assignment in a high school. It was easy and was generally a low stress job. It paid much less than I was getting but I was out of work and it was the best I could get at the time. I could have become a full time math teacher with "emergency" certification but I got a job back in my area for a lot more money.

CT's comments are interesting because certain states (he's in a good liberal state that loves to kiss up to all unions) pay teachers very well. This creates an even bigger glut of teachers with students looking at the big dollars if they can just be hired. I have two siblings that are educational types in Washington State. They both say that there is a big push to replace experienced teachers (seniority with higher pay) with new grads. My stupid brother quit his job before officially getting a new one (that fell through) and can't get hired because (he thinks) his seniority would require a higher pay. My sister who is a working teacher confirms this. She says there are regular attempts to "encourage" high seniority teachers to leave.
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Re: What is a Moderate Income?
Old 11-05-2006, 11:37 PM   #31
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Re: What is a Moderate Income?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2B
She says there are regular attempts to "encourage" high seniority teachers to leave.
The "encouragement" is cash buyout packages or the addition of years to your age and seniority in the pension calculation, such as the recent Illinois 5 + 5 offer which encouraged many senior teachers to leave.
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Re: What is a Moderate Income?
Old 11-05-2006, 11:45 PM   #32
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Re: What is a Moderate Income?

Thanks for all the input! Within the past two years I have just learned the many positives of living below our means. The thing is; now that my wife and I have tasted what we consider to be 'the good life', we don't want to go back!

Over all I'd say that is a good thing. However, when it comes to buying a home that does not cost higher than what we are currently paying for rent, it becomes challenging to even find one in our area. I will say though that due to the buyers market going on right now, we are at least finding homes within the price range we like.
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Re: What is a Moderate Income?
Old 11-06-2006, 12:00 AM   #33
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Re: What is a Moderate Income?

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldMcDonald
Because they only have to work about 1100 hours per year as compared to most people who have to work 2000...
clearly you've never spent much time with a teacher. Or at least a good one.
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Re: What is a Moderate Income?
Old 11-06-2006, 12:06 AM   #34
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Re: What is a Moderate Income?

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The only "shortage" is in science and math because there people with the right skills have better paying options.
There are shortages other than science and math. Special Ed teachers with certifications in behavior disorders and various learning disorders are in demand. Also, various therapists such as speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, etc. are in short supply within the public school systems.

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Re: What is a Moderate Income?
Old 11-06-2006, 12:08 AM   #35
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Re: What is a Moderate Income?

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What is a Moderate Income?
Less than a high income but more than a low income.

Does that help?



If that isn't specific enough, any poster on the board is invited to send me recent tax returns and I will evaluate them and let you know whether your income is moderate or not. This service will cost only $19.95 per person or family.

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Re: What is a Moderate Income?
Old 11-06-2006, 04:46 AM   #36
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Re: What is a Moderate Income?

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There are shortages other than science and math. Special Ed teachers with certifications in behavior disorders and various learning disorders are in demand. Also, various therapists such as speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, etc. are in short supply within the public school systems.
From my stint as a long term sub, I saw a turnover in Special Ed by either quitting for a non-teaching job or getting certified in some other subject and teaching that. I was told that special ed is the easiest certification to get but that most people burn out in 3 years or less. I didn't see any 40+ year olds doing it. As for the other things you listed, I don't consider them teachers but "other professions" that happen to work for a school district. My SIL is a speech therapist. You are correct that they get teacher benefits.
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Re: What is a Moderate Income?
Old 11-06-2006, 06:38 AM   #37
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Re: What is a Moderate Income?

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clearly you've never spent much time with a teacher. Or at least a good one.
Actually I have...being the chairperson of the regional school committee in which I live gives me plenty of time with teachers and the school system...(and because I've seen the school system close up I homeschool all my children)...1100 hours per year would be the MAX most teachers would work...there is only 180 school days, about 6 hours work per school day, ALL the teachers take every single one of their sick/personal days they have coming, and if you want them to do 5 extra minutes work beyond what the contract requires...in comes the union. Don't tell me I haven't spent much time with teachers...I've spent plenty (and thus the homeschooling).

Schools are run for the benefit of the teachers first and foremost...most teachers will do right by the kids ONLY AFTER they get what they want...when push comes to shove if its a choice between doing whats right for the kids, or right for the teachers, the teachers and their unions will ALWAYS put their priorities first and screw the kids - I've got plenty of exampes.
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Re: What is a Moderate Income?
Old 11-06-2006, 06:55 AM   #38
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Re: What is a Moderate Income?

Old Mac:Schools are run for the benefit of the teachers first and foremost...most teachers will do right by the kids ONLY AFTER they get what they want...when push comes to shove if its a choice between doing whats right for the kids, or right for the teachers, the teachers and their unions will ALWAYS put their priorities first and screw the kids - I've got plenty of exampes.
[/quote]



This is overgeneralized BS. I watched my wife leave every morning at 8:30 am and return home at 5:30 pm (half hour commute). MUch evening and weekend work. Over 25 tears, thousands of our money spent on materials. You are an angry, misinformed person who seems to hate the profession for actual reasons you don't specify. Yes, there are some crappy teachers but, on the average, I saw more productivity from them than I see in much of the corporate sector.
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Re: What is a Moderate Income?
Old 11-06-2006, 07:05 AM   #39
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Re: What is a Moderate Income?

Any possibility you think being married to a teacher makes you more than a little biased? I'd say my position on the school committee, who sits in contract negotiations and see what really goes on gives me a much better and objective view of how schools are run then someone married to a teacher.
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Re: What is a Moderate Income?
Old 11-06-2006, 07:25 AM   #40
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Re: What is a Moderate Income?

Fight nice you two, or you're both going to the principal's office....and you'll miss your milk & cookies, too!!
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