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Old 01-05-2012, 05:12 PM   #21
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it all depends. There's a lot written about what people think is rich.
For somebody living on minimum wage, 100K may be rich.
For someone making 1M a year, it maybe 5M a year.
For somebody with 50K in the bank, 1M may be rich.
For somebody with 1M, they may think 10M is definitely rich.

We also have to distinguish lifestyle VS actual liquid asset.

A lot of folks look rich but in their eyeball in debts. Few folks who drives mercedes are actually millionaires. The most common vehicle driven by
mllionaires is Ford Taurus and F150 pickups.(According to an article I read).

I have met many people in business whose families have inherited money in trust funds. Most of these people then went on to become well educated high income professionals. It still amazes me to see what type of cars these people drive. Usually very ordinary cars with an emphasis on high gas mileage. Some of the cars, half of the posters on this board probably wouldn't even be seen in.
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Old 01-05-2012, 05:39 PM   #22
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I have met many people in business whose families have inherited money in trust funds. Most of these people then went on to become well educated high income professionals. It still amazes me to see what type of cars these people drive. Usually very ordinary cars with an emphasis on high gas mileage. Some of the cars, half of the posters on this board probably wouldn't even be seen in.
I'm a happy camper if I get 15mpg in my '96 Land Cruiser. A high-mileage city car couldn't even get down our county road.
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Old 01-05-2012, 05:48 PM   #23
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I think there are two facets of being rich: how much you have, and how much you need/want to be satisfied. If you have enough money and income to buy anything you need/want for the rest of your life, you are rich no matter how much or how little that is.

One person might be rich with $1,000,000 if his wants are few and he is a happy, contented person. He only spends $25K out of his $40K/year SWR and can't think of a single thing that he wants and doesn't have.

Another person with the same $1,000,000 might not be rich at all, because he has developed a taste for big houses and expensive cars (boats, private planes, high maintenance women, etc) and feels deprived without them.

"My greatest skill in life has been to want but little” ― Henry David Thoreau, Walden
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Old 01-05-2012, 06:04 PM   #24
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Hmmmmmmm.... what if I legally change my name to Rich?

It's all relative to one's values & needs. In college (late 80's), I though it was great getting $8 bucks an hour, then full time work at $22k.
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Old 01-05-2012, 07:01 PM   #25
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Remember the TV show "The Millionaire". People were given a million dollars by an unknown benefactor. At that time (the 1950's) the standard thinking was that one was set for life. No more financial problems. Today, a million just ain't worth what it was. One can easily go through million dollars in 10-20 years of middle class living. Hey, a million here and a million there... pretty soon you are talking real money.
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Old 01-05-2012, 08:13 PM   #26
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I've always thought of "rich" as a comparative term, not an absolute one.

Rich = (1) sufficient financial resources to sustain one's desired standard of living indefinitely without getting out of bed in the morning or (2) more money than the in-laws.
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Old 01-05-2012, 08:36 PM   #27
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I tell my son I am rich. I am satisfied with what I have, even with LBYM maybe have too much stuff. He looks at me and sort of gets it, at least for me. But I think he would prefer a higher financial contribution from me.
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Old 01-05-2012, 09:20 PM   #28
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i think there are two facets of being rich: How much you have, and how much you need/want to be satisfied. If you have enough money and income to buy anything you need/want for the rest of your life, you are rich no matter how much or how little that is.

One person might be rich with $1,000,000 if his wants are few and he is a happy, contented person. He only spends $25k out of his $40k/year swr and can't think of a single thing that he wants and doesn't have.

Another person with the same $1,000,000 might not be rich at all, because he has developed a taste for big houses and expensive cars (boats, private planes, high maintenance women, etc) and feels deprived without them.

"my greatest skill in life has been to want but little” ― henry david thoreau, walden
+1 w2r2....
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Old 01-05-2012, 10:33 PM   #29
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Two ways to be rich; Earn more or desire less.
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Old 01-05-2012, 10:42 PM   #30
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Another person with the same $1,000,000 might not be rich at all, because he has developed a taste for big houses and expensive cars (boats, private planes, high maintenance women, etc) and feels deprived without them.
I would agree if this person only has $1M without other source of income. If income exceeds expenses by a significant margin, this person is "rich".
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Old 01-06-2012, 07:05 AM   #31
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The world is not enough. It all depends on a person's desire.

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Originally Posted by Birchwood View Post
The most common vehicle driven by
mllionaires is Ford Taurus and F150 pickups.(According to an article I read).
Real rich people don't want to show off their wealth for two reasons: [1] they don't want to be targeted for their wealth; stay below the radar. [2] material wealth is no longer important to them, they're already financially secure, so they don't need to show off.

Who knows, maybe they even have push reel mowers in their garages.
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Old 01-06-2012, 08:22 AM   #32
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Plus it's tacky to show off and it looks foolish to other rich people.
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Old 01-06-2012, 09:33 AM   #33
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Don't know about the rest of you but I'm really getting tired of the "rich" mantra and of articles trying to carve, slice and report percentages...etc. Kind of like "see...you have too much money" because your income or net worth is in the top 20% or 10% or 5% ...so "we will tax you and take more" or "give it to the rest of the people" or "you should share with the rest...even though you worked your butt off for it, didn't make stupid decisions, saved and lived below your means for 30 plus years"....etc.

I think some have taken advantage of the system...some of those in the top 0.5% and the corporations and large investment banks but those are few and far between. Most of the so called "millionaires" came by it honestly in my humble opinion.
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Old 01-06-2012, 09:49 AM   #34
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“Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pound ought and six, result misery.”
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Old 01-06-2012, 12:10 PM   #35
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... or "you should share with the rest...even though you worked your butt off for it, didn't make stupid decisions, saved and lived below your means for 30 plus years"....etc.
Or yes, maybe they *did* win the birth lottery; maybe they *were* born on third base and act like they hit a triple to get there...
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Old 01-06-2012, 12:43 PM   #36
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Well, $150K per year of household income and/or a net worth of $1M is a lot more than most people have, so I can understand how it would seem like "rich" to them. But, I have a feeling that if they ever got to that income/asset level, they'd come to the realization that it doesn't feel as "rich" as they once thought it did.
Not only does it not feel rich, it does not even provide a secure, comfortable living in many areas of the US.
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Old 01-06-2012, 12:45 PM   #37
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As everyone has stated, you cannot define rich by income alone.

However, if I was posed the survey question and had to give an answer. I would assume that the person/family are in their 20's, no significant assests, will reach a high standard of living in the SF bay Area ($1.5M house, luxury items and plenty of spending money) in a short time frame and be able to save and invest to reach financial independance in 20 to 25 years.

My answer is: $450,000 per year
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Old 01-06-2012, 12:47 PM   #38
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It turns out Newt Gingrich's 2.6M/year doesn't qualify him as rich either.

What I'm seeing in the thread is an aversion to calling yourself rich. - Rich is perpetually other people. But it all depends on who you're comparing yourself to.

I lived for 4 months in central China surrounded by poverty. In striking contrast, less than a year after I returned to the US I got a job making well over $100k while still in my early 20's. I think it would be an incredible insult to my Chinese friends I left behind to not consider myself rich. "Yeah, I make more in a month than you make in 10 years, but I'm not rich, you should hear about this other guy I know who makes every month what I make in 10 years, now he's the rich one."

Of course if you compare yourself to billionaires you're not going to consider yourself rich.

But if I compare myself to everyone I've ever met in my life, even people I've just bumped elbows with, I'd have to estimate I have more assets and income than about 95% of them. I've thought of myself as rich ever since I was a teenager. Even though my parents never would have dreamed of putting that label on themselves.
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Old 01-06-2012, 12:58 PM   #39
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There's an interesting contradiction between the income number and net worth in that I'd only be comfortable taking $40k or maybe $30k income a year given a net worth of $1M. When I ER I expect to have $1M in investments, but my income will be $30k. I suppose I'll be capital rich but income poor.
Nun, we are the exact polar opposite. Thanks to an improvement in late in my career, I have a generous pension, but modest assets. Which is " better"? I have no idea, but I suspect my daughter would prefer me to be in your shoes, since the pension dies with me.
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Old 01-06-2012, 01:09 PM   #40
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What I'm seeing in the thread is an aversion to calling yourself rich. - Rich is perpetually other people. But it all depends on who you're comparing yourself to.
Part of this is because "the rich" is a term often used somewhat pejoratively in terms of perceived greed, selfishness and gluttony... so some people who are quite affluent don't want to "own" the label and feel like one of "them".
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