Author Topic: Forum check: what forum is this?  (Read 40642 times)

dragoncar

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Forum check: what forum is this?
« on: December 07, 2015, 01:43:21 PM »
I was on a forum today where the members were insistent that a $200k salary is not really very much at all, and even $500k is nothing amazing:

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when someone who makes $200k or $500k a year acts as if they're a regular guy they may not be delusional but just have a different perspective on what income and wealth really means

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200k for a married couple is not as irregular as you think. It's not even top 5% of household income in most large cities like Atlanta, Dallas, Denver, etc.

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$200.000?  That's what two married public school teachers make here.

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a HH income of 200k is really not all that high



cawiau

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Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2015, 02:00:04 PM »
I am guessing DC Urban mom and dad forum!


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BarkyardBQ

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matchewed

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Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2015, 02:04:30 PM »
There's been a bit of high income gentrification of these here parts. I do find the irony that a topic of wealthy people being out of touch with what is normal has someone swinging in saying how normal $200k salaries are extremely amusing.

dragoncar

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Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2015, 02:29:50 PM »
There's been a bit of high income gentrification of these here parts. I do find the irony that a topic of wealthy people being out of touch with what is normal has someone swinging in saying how normal $200k salaries are extremely amusing.

I feel like we've always had people with high salaries-- it's the easiest way to enable a high savings rate (just maintain your college lifestyle while your income grows).  It seems what is changing is that people aren't realizing that wealth is different from spending.  The classic argument that $200k is middle class in NYC is that they can't afford to buy a small house or a jet or whatever.  But a $200k salary does allow you to retire in 5-10 years (likely to a low COL city).  That's the definition of luxury in my book.

matchewed

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Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2015, 02:34:27 PM »
Fair enough, substitute complainypants volcanicly wasteful spendy high income gentrification of these here parts instead. ;)

justajane

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Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2015, 02:37:56 PM »
I was on a forum today where the members were insistent that a $200k salary is not really very much at all, and even $500k is nothing amazing:

You mean a thread here - hence the confusion. Or am I overlooking the joke?

I agree that anyone who says 200K is a normal income is really clueless. Even in HCOL areas most households don't make anything close to that.

That type of talk deserves a call out, especially here.

Dollar Slice

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Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2015, 02:47:11 PM »
Those kind of comments drive me nuts. I've had people say that to me IRL too.

I'm living alone in a pretty nice part of Manhattan (no roommates/partner/etc) on a five-figure salary. Paying some of the highest local taxes in the nation. My rent is huge (more than half of take-home) because I have a nice (but compact) apartment. But I have a pretty awesome life, I go out all the time and do fun stuff, I can afford to travel once or twice a year, and still have a decent savings rate (not great for MMM but more than most people).

It blows my mind that people think they need to MORE THAN DOUBLE my take-home pay to be "middle class." I wouldn't even know what to do with that kind of money (other than save it). $200k is what, something like $350 to spend EVERY day after taxes? OK, if I add a guest room and go out to dinner and drinks every single night, and take a taxi home every single night... that would still not quite double my spending. And people think you need to be able to spend EVEN MORE THAN THAT just to be middle class here? Wow.

thepokercab

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Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2015, 03:00:30 PM »
There's been a bit of high income gentrification of these here parts. I do find the irony that a topic of wealthy people being out of touch with what is normal has someone swinging in saying how normal $200k salaries are extremely amusing.

I still love the forum, but this type of thinking has definitely crept in lately. Less face punches and more 'anyone know where I can get a cheaper iPhone 6s'?

cawiau

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Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
« Reply #9 on: December 07, 2015, 04:02:32 PM »

There's been a bit of high income gentrification of these here parts. I do find the irony that a topic of wealthy people being out of touch with what is normal has someone swinging in saying how normal $200k salaries are extremely amusing.

While I am not defending the comment and agree that 200k is more than barely middle class I will bring the argument that your reality/environment has a way to shape your perception of what is "normal".

I deal with this constantly because I am from what I would consider a modest background (dirt poor / working class) while my wife and her family
Is what most would consider upper middle class (income/profession wise) : lawyers, partners in law firm, doctors and 2 politicians etc.

Also we live in Boston and socializing on a daily basis with our peers whom tend to be on a similar level economically : 2 professionals, DINKS or just 1 kid, each earning high 5 figures to low 6 figures.

You deal with that on a regular, every day, that becomes your reality and what you know. Before you know it ; my wife is suggesting a $1,300 stroller because that is what our 3 friends that have kids have.

I like visiting my family in NJ because it is always a reminder that we are extremely blessed and what we take for our everyday normal is NOT. Spending $1,300 on a stroller is not normal, mortgage $3,000 or more is not normal, spending 5k on a vacation is not.

I cannot fault my friend for thinking it is because when you live in a HCOLA and surrounded by people who do, you are kind of in your own "bubble" and daily life seems just that "daily normal life".  Just happened last week: two friends that are pharmacists (married to each other and making ~120k/each arguing with my wife and I how they were middle class and we were telling them they are not.

Lesson of the day: know your audience I guess!


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cawiau

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Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
« Reply #10 on: December 07, 2015, 04:30:09 PM »

I was on a forum today where the members were insistent that a $200k salary is not really very much at all, and even $500k is nothing amazing:

You mean a thread here - hence the confusion. Or am I overlooking the joke?


This is why I thought OP was referring to DC Urban Mom forums. The finance section is just crawling with people complaining about how expensive it is to live in DC on 200k-400k income.

While we know from personal experience how expensive DC is... Come on people!


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garth

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Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
« Reply #11 on: December 07, 2015, 04:48:17 PM »
I make close to $200k and my wife doesn't currently work. She truly believed we were middle class until I showed her that NYT "Am I the 1%" tool. In her defense, I think our consumption not far off of typical middle class consumption (except for our food and dining out expenses). Of course, I think the middle class tend to spend, uh, way more than their income should allow for.

Jack

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Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
« Reply #12 on: December 07, 2015, 05:10:07 PM »
The classic argument that $200k is middle class in NYC is that they can't afford to buy a small house or a jet or whatever.  But a $200k salary does allow you to retire in 5-10 years (likely to a low COL city).  That's the definition of luxury in my book.

More fundamentally, $200k is not middle class even in NYC because being able to live there at all is already a luxury! A studio apartment in Manhattan is not a low standard of living; it's a choice the person made in order to live in an excellent location. The actual middle-class people can't even do that; they're commuting in from the suburbs (or living and working in a less expensive metro area altogether).

Dollar Slice

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Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
« Reply #13 on: December 07, 2015, 05:18:38 PM »
Also we live in Boston and socializing on a daily basis with our peers whom tend to be on a similar level economically : 2 professionals, DINKS or just 1 kid, each earning high 5 figures to low 6 figures.

You deal with that on a regular, every day, that becomes your reality and what you know.

Only if you're not a thoughtful, observant person. I know you can't possibly live in a major city without ever spending time around lower-income people. Most people in most places make low-to-modest incomes, Boston and NYC included.

We supposedly live in an egalitarian society, but so many of the people around me seem to stick to spending time with people very similar to them (economically, socially, racially, culturally, etc.). Part of that is that our society is sort of ghettoized by nature but part of it is that most people would never consider the possibility that a software engineer or CEO could or should spend time with the secretary / electrician / hairdresser / bartender / nurse etc. I think part of the message here at MMM is that your work/career should not be what defines you.

trailrated

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Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
« Reply #14 on: December 07, 2015, 05:28:02 PM »
I am incredibly fortunate and for the first time will just hit the 100k mark this year. I live in an insane HCOL area and this is my breakdown.

100K Gross
18,000 goes to 401k which leaves ............................................$82,000 taxable
after taxes/medical gives me a take home of roughly...................... $54,120
Rent/utilities is roughly $2,000 a month .....................................$30,120
Child support/daycare is $1,400 a month ...................................$16,800 left for the year.

So I am not necessarily "balling" off of $1,400 a month for food, fun, investing, gas, and insurance.
While I realize I am making insanely good money, I have myself to blame for living in a HCOL area, and popping out a kid when I was not married or with someone (wouldn't change it for the world, best thing that has ever happened to me). Do people live a kick ass lifestyle off of less that that? Absolutely. Do I have any reason to complain about my amazing life and salary? Absolutely not. But I could understand someone expecting an overly extravagant life at that mark and being underwhelmed once they get there under certain circumstances.

midweststache

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Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
« Reply #15 on: December 07, 2015, 05:31:41 PM »
I like visiting my family in NJ because it is always a reminder that we are extremely blessed and what we take for our everyday normal is NOT. Spending $1,300 on a stroller is not normal, mortgage $3,000 or more is not normal, spending 5k on a vacation is not.

I cannot fault my friend for thinking it is because when you live in a HCOLA and surrounded by people who do, you are kind of in your own "bubble" and daily life seems just that "daily normal life".  Just happened last week: two friends that are pharmacists (married to each other and making ~120k/each arguing with my wife and I how they were middle class and we were telling them they are not.

Lesson of the day: know your audience I guess!

I had this happen recently. We were at a dinner party talking about economic identities, and someone asked how DH and I identify. I said that sociologically we were firmly middle-to-upper-middle-class (my M&D are a teacher and a banker; his M&D are a music teacher and doctor); from an income perspective we're upper-middle-class (annual income right around $100k); from a wealth perspective we're lower-middle-class (because of student debt, we're far behind the average wealth accumulation of other DINKS our age). My friend was surprised because her husband identified them as working class, although their income is higher than ours.

(To be fair, his distinction was working vs. leisure class--a 99% vs. 1% argument--which was a far cry from the way I was defining economic identity, but this difference in definitions led to a pretty fun discussion about the multiplicities of economic identities and the nuances of what goes into a broad identifier like "class." Also, I have awesome friends who legitimately enjoy these kinds of discussions.)

Dollar Slice

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Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
« Reply #16 on: December 07, 2015, 06:04:47 PM »
So I am not necessarily "balling" off of $1,400 a month for food, fun, investing, gas, and insurance.
...
But I could understand someone expecting an overly extravagant life at that mark and being underwhelmed once they get there under certain circumstances.

You're saving $18k a year by choice, though. It's kind of hard to argue that someone saving that much doesn't have a lot of extra money. You have a ton of extra money, you're just choosing not to spend it. Think how extravagant you could be with another grand or more a month in your paycheck. That's how most people with your salary are living.

trailrated

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Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
« Reply #17 on: December 07, 2015, 06:12:04 PM »

So I am not necessarily "balling" off of $1,400 a month for food, fun, investing, gas, and insurance.
...
But I could understand someone expecting an overly extravagant life at that mark and being underwhelmed once they get there under certain circumstances.

You're saving $18k a year by choice, though. It's kind of hard to argue that someone saving that much doesn't have a lot of extra money. You have a ton of extra money, you're just choosing not to spend it. Think how extravagant you could be with another grand or more a month in your paycheck. That's how most people with your salary are living.

Excellent point and I have mustachians to thank for making me see the light :)

dragoncar

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Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
« Reply #18 on: December 07, 2015, 06:13:33 PM »

I was on a forum today where the members were insistent that a $200k salary is not really very much at all, and even $500k is nothing amazing:

You mean a thread here - hence the confusion. Or am I overlooking the joke?


This is why I thought OP was referring to DC Urban Mom forums. The finance section is just crawling with people complaining about how expensive it is to live in DC on 200k-400k income.

While we know from personal experience how expensive DC is... Come on people!


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The classic argument that $200k is middle class in NYC is that they can't afford to buy a small house or a jet or whatever.  But a $200k salary does allow you to retire in 5-10 years (likely to a low COL city).  That's the definition of luxury in my book.

More fundamentally, $200k is not middle class even in NYC because being able to live there at all is already a luxury! A studio apartment in Manhattan is not a low standard of living; it's a choice the person made in order to live in an excellent location. The actual middle-class people can't even do that; they're commuting in from the suburbs (or living and working in a less expensive metro area altogether).

Totally agree -- been saying this for years.  HCOL areas are by definition a luxury because they are desireable enough to raise the cost of living there.

So I am not necessarily "balling" off of $1,400 a month for food, fun, investing, gas, and insurance.
...
But I could understand someone expecting an overly extravagant life at that mark and being underwhelmed once they get there under certain circumstances.

You're saving $18k a year by choice, though. It's kind of hard to argue that someone saving that much doesn't have a lot of extra money. You have a ton of extra money, you're just choosing not to spend it. Think how extravagant you could be with another grand or more a month in your paycheck. That's how most people with your salary are living.

Yes, most middle class workers would consider the ability to save $18k/ year a luxury.

I like visiting my family in NJ because it is always a reminder that we are extremely blessed and what we take for our everyday normal is NOT. Spending $1,300 on a stroller is not normal, mortgage $3,000 or more is not normal, spending 5k on a vacation is not.

I cannot fault my friend for thinking it is because when you live in a HCOLA and surrounded by people who do, you are kind of in your own "bubble" and daily life seems just that "daily normal life".  Just happened last week: two friends that are pharmacists (married to each other and making ~120k/each arguing with my wife and I how they were middle class and we were telling them they are not.

Lesson of the day: know your audience I guess!

I had this happen recently. We were at a dinner party talking about economic identities, and someone asked how DH and I identify. I said that sociologically we were firmly middle-to-upper-middle-class (my M&D are a teacher and a banker; his M&D are a music teacher and doctor); from an income perspective we're upper-middle-class (annual income right around $100k); from a wealth perspective we're lower-middle-class (because of student debt, we're far behind the average wealth accumulation of other DINKS our age). My friend was surprised because her husband identified them as working class, although their income is higher than ours.

(To be fair, his distinction was working vs. leisure class--a 99% vs. 1% argument--which was a far cry from the way I was defining economic identity, but this difference in definitions led to a pretty fun discussion about the multiplicities of economic identities and the nuances of what goes into a broad identifier like "class." Also, I have awesome friends who legitimately enjoy these kinds of discussions.)

I find it hard to sympathize with these middle class pretenders, as I grew up in a family of doctors, am a lawyer, my wife is a doctor, and we live in the SF bay area.  We hang out with other lawyers and tech professionals.  If I can keep perspective on where this falls in the grand scheme of wealth, I think others should be able to as well.

That said, I would still call myself "upper middle class" because "upper class" just sounds like we are talking about people with servants or something (although I guess I could afford a servant or two).  I hope to be in the leisure class soon, but I recognize that I'm not in the "fabulous wealth" class.  Part of the problem is that the vocabulary for this stuff is not pinned down...

But at the end of the day I recognize that my income allows me to very easily save enough, in just a few years, so as to passively earn the median US household income through investments.  How is that not "rich"?
« Last Edit: December 07, 2015, 06:24:54 PM by dragoncar »

Cathy

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Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
« Reply #19 on: December 07, 2015, 06:23:25 PM »
I've seen countless threads on this forum where people are complacent about their income level, whether it is $50,000 or $100,000 or $200,000. Complacency ensures that you won't try to raise your income, which in turn prolongs your working career. If you instead adopt the attitude that $200,000 is not a lot of money, then it encourages you to continue to find ways to earn more money, which will allow you to retire faster. For that reason, I think taking the attitude that $200,000 is a modest salary is consistent with MMM principles because it will help foster a mindset that will allow you to retire faster. This mindset has nothing to do with being a spendthrift. It also doesn't mean that the author is "out of touch"; it's just a mental tool to drive oneself to an earlier retirement.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2015, 06:26:34 PM by Cathy »

LeRainDrop

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Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
« Reply #20 on: December 07, 2015, 08:23:27 PM »
I've seen countless threads on this forum where people are complacent about their income level, whether it is $50,000 or $100,000 or $200,000. Complacency ensures that you won't try to raise your income, which in turn prolongs your working career. If you instead adopt the attitude that $200,000 is not a lot of money, then it encourages you to continue to find ways to earn more money, which will allow you to retire faster. For that reason, I think taking the attitude that $200,000 is a modest salary is consistent with MMM principles because it will help foster a mindset that will allow you to retire faster. This mindset has nothing to do with being a spendthrift. It also doesn't mean that the author is "out of touch"; it's just a mental tool to drive oneself to an earlier retirement.

I agree with Cathy.  Moreover, the genesis of this thread is not exactly the way our OP dragoncar framed it.  Rather, what slacker_dude actually wrote was:

I know everyone wants to jump in and bash the guy, but this is relative to an extent. The more you move up in terms of income, job, people you hang around, etc. the more likely you are to see what the level above looks like. . . .

So when someone who makes $200k or $500k a year acts as if they're a regular guy they may not be delusional but just have a different perspective on what income and wealth really means.

I think he has a fair point.  It's not that $200k or $500k is actually middle class, but rather someone who is working for that income would still feel regular due to the tendency to surround yourself with similarly-situated people, and also probably "act regular" because while that's a very high income, it's also still at the level where you need to be cognizant of your spending and saving to make sure that your future is well-planned.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2015, 08:27:18 PM by LeRainDrop »

dragoncar

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Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
« Reply #21 on: December 07, 2015, 08:47:53 PM »
I've seen countless threads on this forum where people are complacent about their income level, whether it is $50,000 or $100,000 or $200,000. Complacency ensures that you won't try to raise your income, which in turn prolongs your working career. If you instead adopt the attitude that $200,000 is not a lot of money, then it encourages you to continue to find ways to earn more money, which will allow you to retire faster. For that reason, I think taking the attitude that $200,000 is a modest salary is consistent with MMM principles because it will help foster a mindset that will allow you to retire faster. This mindset has nothing to do with being a spendthrift. It also doesn't mean that the author is "out of touch"; it's just a mental tool to drive oneself to an earlier retirement.

I agree with Cathy.  Moreover, the genesis of this thread is not exactly the way our OP dragoncar framed it.  Rather, what slacker_dude actually wrote was:

I know everyone wants to jump in and bash the guy, but this is relative to an extent. The more you move up in terms of income, job, people you hang around, etc. the more likely you are to see what the level above looks like. . . .

So when someone who makes $200k or $500k a year acts as if they're a regular guy they may not be delusional but just have a different perspective on what income and wealth really means.

I think he has a fair point.  It's not that $200k or $500k is actually middle class, but rather someone who is working for that income would still feel regular due to the tendency to surround yourself with similarly-situated people, and also probably "act regular" because while that's a very high income, it's also still at the level where you need to be cognizant of your spending and saving to make sure that your future is well-planned.

I actually quoted that exact section.  Your argument is tantamount to saying "It's not that someone who thinks black people are inferior isn't a racist, but rather someone who lives in the deep south would still feel regular due to the tendancy to surround yourself with KKK members."

I'm sorry, it's not a "matter of perspective" that $200k/year is not "regular" or "middle class."

LeRainDrop

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Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
« Reply #22 on: December 07, 2015, 09:03:01 PM »
I've seen countless threads on this forum where people are complacent about their income level, whether it is $50,000 or $100,000 or $200,000. Complacency ensures that you won't try to raise your income, which in turn prolongs your working career. If you instead adopt the attitude that $200,000 is not a lot of money, then it encourages you to continue to find ways to earn more money, which will allow you to retire faster. For that reason, I think taking the attitude that $200,000 is a modest salary is consistent with MMM principles because it will help foster a mindset that will allow you to retire faster. This mindset has nothing to do with being a spendthrift. It also doesn't mean that the author is "out of touch"; it's just a mental tool to drive oneself to an earlier retirement.

I agree with Cathy.  Moreover, the genesis of this thread is not exactly the way our OP dragoncar framed it.  Rather, what slacker_dude actually wrote was:

I know everyone wants to jump in and bash the guy, but this is relative to an extent. The more you move up in terms of income, job, people you hang around, etc. the more likely you are to see what the level above looks like. . . .

So when someone who makes $200k or $500k a year acts as if they're a regular guy they may not be delusional but just have a different perspective on what income and wealth really means.

I think he has a fair point.  It's not that $200k or $500k is actually middle class, but rather someone who is working for that income would still feel regular due to the tendency to surround yourself with similarly-situated people, and also probably "act regular" because while that's a very high income, it's also still at the level where you need to be cognizant of your spending and saving to make sure that your future is well-planned.

I actually quoted that exact section.  Your argument is tantamount to saying "It's not that someone who thinks black people are inferior isn't a racist, but rather someone who lives in the deep south would still feel regular due to the tendancy to surround yourself with KKK members."

I'm sorry, it's not a "matter of perspective" that $200k/year is not "regular" or "middle class."

Woah, not at all!  That's a fallacious jump!  What the OP said is that a $200-500k guy may "act[] as if they're a regular guy."  First, the word "regular" modifies the noun "guy."  It does not say that is a "regular income," nor that it is a "middle class income."  It just says that someone on that salary range may think they are regular and make fairly regular spending/saving decisions than someone who is out-of-the-park wealthy.  If I'm in the $200-500k range, I wouldn't want to be spending stacks and stacks of cash, but rather keep my expenditures down like any (the admittedly vague term) "regular" person would/should/could.  Second, the phrase "as if" actually acknowledges your point that that person is NOT a regular guy, but is just acting as if he were a regular guy.  In the end, I just don't think dragoncar's original summary of the other thread ("members were insistent that a $200k salary is not really very much at all") is equivalent to what was said over there.

dragoncar

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Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
« Reply #23 on: December 07, 2015, 09:11:43 PM »
I've seen countless threads on this forum where people are complacent about their income level, whether it is $50,000 or $100,000 or $200,000. Complacency ensures that you won't try to raise your income, which in turn prolongs your working career. If you instead adopt the attitude that $200,000 is not a lot of money, then it encourages you to continue to find ways to earn more money, which will allow you to retire faster. For that reason, I think taking the attitude that $200,000 is a modest salary is consistent with MMM principles because it will help foster a mindset that will allow you to retire faster. This mindset has nothing to do with being a spendthrift. It also doesn't mean that the author is "out of touch"; it's just a mental tool to drive oneself to an earlier retirement.

I agree with Cathy.  Moreover, the genesis of this thread is not exactly the way our OP dragoncar framed it.  Rather, what slacker_dude actually wrote was:

I know everyone wants to jump in and bash the guy, but this is relative to an extent. The more you move up in terms of income, job, people you hang around, etc. the more likely you are to see what the level above looks like. . . .

So when someone who makes $200k or $500k a year acts as if they're a regular guy they may not be delusional but just have a different perspective on what income and wealth really means.

I think he has a fair point.  It's not that $200k or $500k is actually middle class, but rather someone who is working for that income would still feel regular due to the tendency to surround yourself with similarly-situated people, and also probably "act regular" because while that's a very high income, it's also still at the level where you need to be cognizant of your spending and saving to make sure that your future is well-planned.

I actually quoted that exact section.  Your argument is tantamount to saying "It's not that someone who thinks black people are inferior isn't a racist, but rather someone who lives in the deep south would still feel regular due to the tendency to surround yourself with KKK members."

I'm sorry, it's not a "matter of perspective" that $200k/year is not "regular" or "middle class."

Woah, not at all!  That's a fallacious jump!  What the OP said is that a $200-500k guy may "act[] as if they're a regular guy."  First, the word "regular" modifies the noun "guy."  It does not say that is a "regular income," nor that it is a "middle class income."  It just says that someone on that salary range may think they are regular and make fairly regular spending/saving decisions than someone who is out-of-the-park wealthy.  If I'm in the $200-500k range, I wouldn't want to be spending stacks and stacks of cash, but rather keep my expenditures down like any (the admittedly vague term) "regular" person would/should/could.  Second, the phrase "as if" actually acknowledges your point that that person is NOT a regular guy, but is just acting as if he were a regular guy.  In the end, I just don't think dragoncar's original summary of the other thread ("members were insistent that a $200k salary is not really very much at all") is equivalent to what was said over there.

Did you read the other quotes?  The context in the other thread is not whether someone who earns a lot can "act" like a regular joe.  It's whether they can believe they are a regular joe.  In this context, "act as if" does not refer to actions such as spending only $25k/year, it refers to actions like calling himself middle class.

No Name Guy

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Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
« Reply #24 on: December 07, 2015, 09:37:10 PM »
Well, at least in Seattle, a 200+k / year household income from a two earner family is hardly unusual.  With 10,000+ Boeing engineers, and thousands more Microsoft types its cake.  Oh, and then there are the top grade rivet pounders at Boeing (IAM folks top out in about 10 years) as well....many tens of thousands more, that with a bit of OT and a shift differential can hit 6 figures.  And we aren't even talking about the thousands of laywers, bean counters or doctors.  Nor mid career tenure professors at the UW.  Nor the tens of thousands of mid career or later government workers.  A couple of 35 year olds, one bucking rivets and the other as say a metro purchasing agent....yeah, throw in a bit of OT and combined they're pushing 200k a year.  With jobs like that they're hardly upper class.  Hell, the rivet Bucker is clearly working class....although they earn a wage consummate with the skill and effort required.

Here's at tale on relative:  ANYONE who flies is fucking rich in the absolute sense.  A 30k a year schmuck can save up, find a cheap promo seat at jet off to where ever.  You're a fucking king compared to the literal dirt poor in bumfuck nowhere.  But you don't feel rich, since just up there you see those bastards in PREMIUM economy.  Bastards can actually recline and have 6" more leg room.  How rich did they have to be to afford the $1,100 ticket when king paid $400?  Or course Mr and Mrs Lord Rich Pants there in premium economy feel the same.....since they catch glimpses of the Business Class cabin just in front of them.  And wonder how rich you have to be to afford the $4,500 ticket there.  Damn that lay flat seat would be nice for the 10 hour flight to London from Seattle.  And those bastards in B Class get free drinks and no line at the lavatory. 

Of course, B Class Ass is there knowing there is a pod seat in First Class.  They don't even have to talk wih the person next to them.....since there isn't one.  Yeah....there is that wonder of how rich you have to be to afford dropping $10,000 a seat.

Then again, our out of touch First Class Dickhead thinks it sucks.  After all, they had to put up with the TSA bullshit just like cheap seat back in steerage.  First Class Dickhead laments how poor he is relative to those Bizjet hopping across.  Yeah, it would suck to have to fuel stop in Iceland....but then again, come and go on Yur own schedule and skip the TSA.  But Entry Biz Jet Jerk longs for and feels inadequate seeing his jet parked next to G650 or BBJ guy at the FBO in London.

And meanwhile, there is a person scratching out a living, somewhere, looming up at a contrail of the jet with 30k a year guy, the same one on this thread bitching about 200k a year mid career couple, and thinks - fuck you, you envious ass.  Just once I would like to be able to grow enough to be sure I had a full belly every night, and here you are, sitting in the lap of your 30k a year luxury life, FLYING! And you have the fucking nerve to bitch about it.  Go fuck yourself.


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Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
« Reply #25 on: December 07, 2015, 10:27:33 PM »
I had this happen recently. We were at a dinner party talking about economic identities, and someone asked how DH and I identify. I said that sociologically we were firmly middle-to-upper-middle-class (my M&D are a teacher and a banker; his M&D are a music teacher and doctor); from an income perspective we're upper-middle-class (annual income right around $100k); from a wealth perspective we're lower-middle-class (because of student debt, we're far behind the average wealth accumulation of other DINKS our age). My friend was surprised because her husband identified them as working class, although their income is higher than ours.

(To be fair, his distinction was working vs. leisure class--a 99% vs. 1% argument--which was a far cry from the way I was defining economic identity, but this difference in definitions led to a pretty fun discussion about the multiplicities of economic identities and the nuances of what goes into a broad identifier like "class." Also, I have awesome friends who legitimately enjoy these kinds of discussions.)

Normally class distinctions refer to social class, which doesn't always correlate exactly with earnings.

A self-employed plumber who brings home $250K/year is obviously doing well financially, but normally he would be referred to as working class. Whereas, a teacher making only $50K/year is clearly middle class.

A person who grows up middle class, but then after college starts a business which earns him $100K/month doesn't automatically become upper class. He would be considered upper middle class because of his high income.

Upper class normally refers to people who have had money in their families for generations, not people who have recently become wealthy. A long time ago my grandmother's brother introduced me to one of his friends at a party. Later, my great uncle told me that his friend belonged to a very wealthy family. To describe the scale of money his friend came from, he told me she could easily spend $50K/day, every day for the rest of her life, and she'd still die with more money in the bank than she had at the time. So, in comparison to wealth like that, no $100K or $200K or even $500K/year is not all that much money, and just because somebody has a high salary doesn't make him upper class. 

cawiau

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Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
« Reply #26 on: December 07, 2015, 10:46:54 PM »

I had this happen recently. We were at a dinner party talking about economic identities, and someone asked how DH and I identify. I said that sociologically we were firmly middle-to-upper-middle-class (my M&D are a teacher and a banker; his M&D are a music teacher and doctor); from an income perspective we're upper-middle-class (annual income right around $100k); from a wealth perspective we're lower-middle-class (because of student debt, we're far behind the average wealth accumulation of other DINKS our age). My friend was surprised because her husband identified them as working class, although their income is higher than ours.

(To be fair, his distinction was working vs. leisure class--a 99% vs. 1% argument--which was a far cry from the way I was defining economic identity, but this difference in definitions led to a pretty fun discussion about the multiplicities of economic identities and the nuances of what goes into a broad identifier like "class." Also, I have awesome friends who legitimately enjoy these kinds of discussions.)

Normally class distinctions refer to social class, which doesn't always correlate exactly with earnings.

A self-employed plumber who brings home $250K/year is obviously doing well financially, but normally he would be referred to as working class. Whereas, a teacher making only $50K/year is clearly middle class.

A person who grows up middle class, but then after college starts a business which earns him $100K/month doesn't automatically become upper class. He would be considered upper middle class because of his high income.

Upper class normally refers to people who have had money in their families for generations, not people who have recently become wealthy. A long time ago my grandmother's brother introduced me to one of his friends at a party. Later, my great uncle told me that his friend belonged to a very wealthy family. To describe the scale of money his friend came from, he told me she could easily spend $50K/day, every day for the rest of her life, and she'd still die with more money in the bank than she had at the time. So, in comparison to wealth like that, no $100K or $200K or even $500K/year is not all that much money, and just because somebody has a high salary doesn't make him upper class.

My mentor put it for me simply when I called him wealthy/rich because he just purchased a 1.5Million dollar place right outside of Boston (compared to my 320k home it sure does seem like he was).

He said simply:

Upper middle class : still needing a Job/career/profession or business to support your lifestyle.

Upper class / wealthy: being able to maintain the same lifestyle without none of the above.

And he is right, his wife and him still needed their income to support their lifestyle, just like my wife and I. But the CEO of our company or his uncle the chairman of the Board do not need their job to maintain their lifestyle (3rd and 4th generation owners, private jet, vacation home on Nantucket etc).


----------------

And back to a matter of perception, my wife and I have been together since we were in high school and been married 7 years (12 together). We went through the broke college stage together or starting out at 30k... We thought when we made 100k combined we would be living the dream; we left that behind a long time ago and it is far from it.

And while it is easy to say move to a LCOLA area... My wife field is so specialized that most of the jobs within her field are located in major metro areas (DC, NYC, Boston, etc). We cannot just relocate anywhere just because the cost of living is lower...


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Pooperman

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Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
« Reply #27 on: December 08, 2015, 06:03:39 AM »
I'll contrast my parents with my wife's. They both earn roughly the same (mid 6 figures). My mother is a lawyer. Her parents own a hardware store. My mother is upper middle class, her parents are definitely middle class.

Me? I'm just a lawnmower. You can tell by the way I walk.

justajane

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Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
« Reply #28 on: December 08, 2015, 06:44:20 AM »
I wish people would stop equivocating and discussing perceptions of class rather than the reality. If your household income is 200K a year, you make more than 95% of Americans.

I don't care what your perceptions are based on who you hang out with. You have a skewed view of economic reality and your place among those you cross paths with every day, even if you live in a HCOL bubble. Last I checked, expensive bubbles still have people who make coffee, clean toilets, wash windows, deliver mail, answer phones, sell retail, teach preschool, work at non-profits, etc.

There's no way to change the fact that you make a shit-ton of money compared to the average.

matchewed

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Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
« Reply #29 on: December 08, 2015, 06:54:17 AM »
I wish people would stop equivocating and discussing perceptions of class rather than the reality. If your household income is 200K a year, you make more than 95% of Americans.

I don't care what your perceptions are based on who you hang out with. You have a skewed view of economic reality and your place among those you cross paths with every day, even if you live in a HCOL bubble. Last I checked, expensive bubbles still have people who make coffee, clean toilets, wash windows, deliver mail, answer phones, sell retail, teach preschool, work at non-profits, etc.

There's no way to change the fact that you make a shit-ton of money compared to the average.

B-b-b-but my perceptions make me think it's normal so it's normal right? ;)

HairyUpperLip

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Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
« Reply #30 on: December 08, 2015, 07:30:47 AM »
Just happened last week: two friends that are pharmacists (married to each other and making ~120k/each arguing with my wife and I how they were middle class and we were telling them they are not.

2 people making $120k each = middle class? = $240,000 per year is middle class?

my wife and her family Is what most would consider upper middle class (income/profession wise) : lawyers, partners in law firm, doctors and 2 politicians etc.

A family of doctor's and politicians = middle class, but 2 pharmacists are above this....

Honestly, I don't even think you agree with yourself.



Lesson of the day: know your audience I guess!

After reading your post, I agree.

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Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
« Reply #31 on: December 08, 2015, 07:32:25 AM »
If this thread has accomplished anything, it's to illuminate the vast disparity in how seemingly clear/simple terms are applied. Secondary achievement: exposing how sensitive even Mustachians can be about labels.

The squeamishness of upper-income Americans about identifying themselves as anything other than "middle class" has been well established elsewhere. I believe it's partly explained by lifestyle creep, especially in HCOL areas where 200k or 500k only gives people in some circles what they'd consider the basic necessities (due to their skewed socioeconomic frame of reference). I think another big part of it is a simple subconscious desire to avoid differentiating oneself in that way. A lot of us are taught to avoid class distinctions and thus avoid defining any of our professional success or financial achievement in such a way as to constitute a class change.

With high savers, the picture gets even more complicated, because we deliberately choose to separate our income rate and spending rate enough to actually constitute a class shift by some standards. DW and I live on less than the average local family despite earning 2x as much. NW rivals that of our old neighbors in a pretentious neighborhood, but we moved to (and are much happier in) a mostly blue-collar street - ironically ensuring our wealth will rapidly outstrip theirs even as we find happiness without the luxuries they take for granted.

So who's middle class, upper-middle, upper? I'll be an ass and answer that question with another question: isn't the point of Mustachianism to march to your own drummer and do what makes you happy in life, despite what anyone else calls it?

Regardless of what you call it, having above average income and thinking you're average because you lack the vision to grasp basic facts and use them to your advantage is about as far from MMM as it gets.

matchewed

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Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
« Reply #32 on: December 08, 2015, 07:37:10 AM »

I had this happen recently. We were at a dinner party talking about economic identities, and someone asked how DH and I identify. I said that sociologically we were firmly middle-to-upper-middle-class (my M&D are a teacher and a banker; his M&D are a music teacher and doctor); from an income perspective we're upper-middle-class (annual income right around $100k); from a wealth perspective we're lower-middle-class (because of student debt, we're far behind the average wealth accumulation of other DINKS our age). My friend was surprised because her husband identified them as working class, although their income is higher than ours.

(To be fair, his distinction was working vs. leisure class--a 99% vs. 1% argument--which was a far cry from the way I was defining economic identity, but this difference in definitions led to a pretty fun discussion about the multiplicities of economic identities and the nuances of what goes into a broad identifier like "class." Also, I have awesome friends who legitimately enjoy these kinds of discussions.)

Normally class distinctions refer to social class, which doesn't always correlate exactly with earnings.

A self-employed plumber who brings home $250K/year is obviously doing well financially, but normally he would be referred to as working class. Whereas, a teacher making only $50K/year is clearly middle class.

A person who grows up middle class, but then after college starts a business which earns him $100K/month doesn't automatically become upper class. He would be considered upper middle class because of his high income.

Upper class normally refers to people who have had money in their families for generations, not people who have recently become wealthy. A long time ago my grandmother's brother introduced me to one of his friends at a party. Later, my great uncle told me that his friend belonged to a very wealthy family. To describe the scale of money his friend came from, he told me she could easily spend $50K/day, every day for the rest of her life, and she'd still die with more money in the bank than she had at the time. So, in comparison to wealth like that, no $100K or $200K or even $500K/year is not all that much money, and just because somebody has a high salary doesn't make him upper class.

My mentor put it for me simply when I called him wealthy/rich because he just purchased a 1.5Million dollar place right outside of Boston (compared to my 320k home it sure does seem like he was).

He said simply:

Upper middle class : still needing a Job/career/profession or business to support your lifestyle.

Upper class / wealthy: being able to maintain the same lifestyle without none of the above.

And he is right, his wife and him still needed their income to support their lifestyle, just like my wife and I. But the CEO of our company or his uncle the chairman of the Board do not need their job to maintain their lifestyle (3rd and 4th generation owners, private jet, vacation home on Nantucket etc).


----------------

And back to a matter of perception, my wife and I have been together since we were in high school and been married 7 years (12 together). We went through the broke college stage together or starting out at 30k... We thought when we made 100k combined we would be living the dream; we left that behind a long time ago and it is far from it.

And while it is easy to say move to a LCOLA area... My wife field is so specialized that most of the jobs within her field are located in major metro areas (DC, NYC, Boston, etc). We cannot just relocate anywhere just because the cost of living is lower...


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Sorry but your mentor's definition is asinine. If it is true then someone working at McDonald's who needs the job to support their lifestyle is now upper middle class.

Look this perception shroud that people pull over their own eyes to hide the truth that they're incredibly rich is just a veneer of bullshit and bias people use to protect their self perception. Nothing more or less. I don't fault them for it but it get's incredibly silly when people take their lavish lifestyle for granted under the guise of "well I have to work for it". Ya? So do most people in the world, they just have to work just as hard if not harder for much less.

2Birds1Stone

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Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
« Reply #33 on: December 08, 2015, 07:50:19 AM »

2 people making $120k each = middle class? = $240,000 per year is middle class?



Absolutely

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Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
« Reply #34 on: December 08, 2015, 08:13:04 AM »
I actually quoted that exact section.  Your argument is tantamount to saying "It's not that someone who thinks black people are inferior isn't a racist, but rather someone who lives in the deep south would still feel regular due to the tendancy to surround yourself with KKK members."

As a Southerner I feel qualified to endorse this as an analogy. Moreover, given how correlated race and class tend to be (at least here in Atlanta), it's almost more like a direct rephrasing rather than a comparison of unlike things.

(And yes, by that I do mean to imply that talk about class is often actually coded racism. A "nice middle-class neighborhood," in many contexts, really means "a white neighborhood," for example.)

Trying to pretend you're middle class when you're earning $200K/year really is a lot like claiming you're not a racist while pulling your kids out of the (majority black) public school to go to a (majority white) charter instead even though both are similarly-rated. (Note: I have personally witnessed this example. Although in principle, I like the idea of charter schools because they provide more pedagogical freedom, I can't deny that the schools in my neighborhood appear to be re-segregating -- but I digress...)

A person who grows up middle class, but then after college starts a business which earns him $100K/month doesn't automatically become upper class. He would be considered upper middle class because of his high income.

Upper class normally refers to people who have had money in their families for generations, not people who have recently become wealthy.

So people like Gates and Zukerberg are middle class? That's preposterous.

You're actually trying to make a distinction between the "old money" (aka aristocrats) and the "nouveau riche," but both are upper class.

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Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
« Reply #35 on: December 08, 2015, 08:20:55 AM »
Also we live in Boston and socializing on a daily basis with our peers whom tend to be on a similar level economically : 2 professionals, DINKS or just 1 kid, each earning high 5 figures to low 6 figures.

You deal with that on a regular, every day, that becomes your reality and what you know.

Only if you're not a thoughtful, observant person. I know you can't possibly live in a major city without ever spending time around lower-income people. Most people in most places make low-to-modest incomes, Boston and NYC included.

We supposedly live in an egalitarian society, but so many of the people around me seem to stick to spending time with people very similar to them (economically, socially, racially, culturally, etc.). Part of that is that our society is sort of ghettoized by nature but part of it is that most people would never consider the possibility that a software engineer or CEO could or should spend time with the secretary / electrician / hairdresser / bartender / nurse etc. I think part of the message here at MMM is that your work/career should not be what defines you.

Definitely people tend to cluster together in the most expensive accommodations they believe they can afford, so that ghettoizes our society geographically, but even in HCOL areas there are people who do the manual labor or service jobs and who don't get paid much. Socially it's awkward to hang out with people who work *for* you (I know I didn't like it when my boss insisted that we all come to his place for a holiday party), but that doesn't mean people can't chat in a grocery store checkout line or a children's school event.

elaine amj

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Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
« Reply #36 on: December 08, 2015, 08:56:49 AM »
If this thread has accomplished anything, it's to illuminate the vast disparity in how seemingly clear/simple terms are applied. Secondary achievement: exposing how sensitive even Mustachians can be about labels.

The squeamishness of upper-income Americans about identifying themselves as anything other than "middle class" has been well established elsewhere. I believe it's partly explained by lifestyle creep, especially in HCOL areas where 200k or 500k only gives people in some circles what they'd consider the basic necessities (due to their skewed socioeconomic frame of reference). I think another big part of it is a simple subconscious desire to avoid differentiating oneself in that way. A lot of us are taught to avoid class distinctions and thus avoid defining any of our professional success or financial achievement in such a way as to constitute a class change.

With high savers, the picture gets even more complicated, because we deliberately choose to separate our income rate and spending rate enough to actually constitute a class shift by some standards. DW and I live on less than the average local family despite earning 2x as much. NW rivals that of our old neighbors in a pretentious neighborhood, but we moved to (and are much happier in) a mostly blue-collar street - ironically ensuring our wealth will rapidly outstrip theirs even as we find happiness without the luxuries they take for granted.

So who's middle class, upper-middle, upper? I'll be an ass and answer that question with another question: isn't the point of Mustachianism to march to your own drummer and do what makes you happy in life, despite what anyone else calls it?

Regardless of what you call it, having above average income and thinking you're average because you lack the vision to grasp basic facts and use them to your advantage is about as far from MMM as it gets.

ITA - we have a natural tendency not to want to identify ourselves as anything other than "middle class". It feels elitist (and this is supposedly a bad thing) to say we are upper middle class or upper class.

And I don't classify those who have so much money they can spend out of their minds and still have enough as upper class. They are the super-rich and in a class of their own :)

I grew up with wealthy parents who were at the top of their respective careers. Once I was old enough, I realized pretty quickly how fortunate we were and that we definitely lived an upper middle to upper class lifestyle. Yes, psychologically I prefer to identify myself as upper middle class, but looking back at all the advantages we had, realistically speaking, we were more upper class. (although not super rich). We even regularly socialized with the the elite (although hard to think of them that way when you crash on their couch and eat meals in their kitchen). One of my relatives has the type of income where they could spend insanely and still have plenty left over. I loved their hand-me-downs!! Thankfully, my mother did not raise us to live like we were "rich". I moved to Canada and married a nurse who came from a working class family living on the poverty line. As a professional, he made decent money and we settled into a comfortable middle class lifestyle. After I started working, we now make a combined income of over $100k. I'm not going to play coy or whatever - it's a LOT of money! A lot more than the median income.  It's not the wealth I grew up with - but we are very content and feel incredibly blessed with the income we are able to make. It's still tempting to classify ourselves as regular joes...but I feel it's important to recognize just how blessed we are and to do something with it rather than just fritter it away in mindless spending and say we are barely scraping by.

And I agree - I have noticed a shift in the forum perspective in the last year or so. I know I contribute to it as I am only half-Mustachian :)
« Last Edit: December 08, 2015, 09:04:29 AM by elaine amj »

OurTown

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Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
« Reply #37 on: December 08, 2015, 09:01:18 AM »
I always looked at household income in the range of the 25% marginal tax bracket as "middle class."

Gondolin

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Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
« Reply #38 on: December 08, 2015, 09:05:28 AM »
Quote
If this thread has accomplished anything, it's to illuminate the vast disparity in how seemingly clear/simple terms are applied. Secondary achievement: exposing how sensitive even Mustachians can be about labels.


zephyr911

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Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
« Reply #39 on: December 08, 2015, 09:17:33 AM »
Lmfao! Kthx

nobodyspecial

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Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
« Reply #40 on: December 08, 2015, 09:30:01 AM »
I believe it's partly explained by lifestyle creep, especially in HCOL areas where 200k or 500k only gives people in some circles what they'd consider the basic necessities (due to their skewed socioeconomic frame of reference).
We earn about $200k between us, but we live in an area where the average SFH is now > $1.5m
We also took 10 years at school and another few years of $40k no-benefits/no-pension temporary academic  jobs to reach that - so although we now have a 75% saving rate we are going to take another few years to fire.

Quote
So who's middle class, upper-middle, upper? I'll be an ass and answer that question with another question: isn't the point of Mustachianism to march to your own drummer and do what makes you happy in life, despite what anyone else calls it?
I'm definitely working class - I just happen to sit at a keyboard and tell machines what to do, rather than standing in front of a lathe turning knobs to tell a machine what to do.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2015, 09:33:44 AM by nobodyspecial »

Dollar Slice

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Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
« Reply #41 on: December 08, 2015, 09:33:51 AM »
Socially it's awkward to hang out with people who work *for* you (I know I didn't like it when my boss insisted that we all come to his place for a holiday party), but that doesn't mean people can't chat in a grocery store checkout line or a children's school event.
It may feel that way to a lot of people but it's not actually a *fact* that it's socially awkward. I hang out with my boss (sometimes with her husband, or some of my friends, or both) on a pretty regular basis, in spite of the fact that she's my boss and I'm younger than her kids. Bosses are people too...mostly ;-)  Depends on the sort of work environment you're in, maybe. We have a pretty casual office. I'd be happy to hang with anyone from the temp receptionist to the owner.

This country would be a much better place if more people were willing to spend real time, socially, and have friendships, with people of different social classes. There wouldn't be so many people thinking they were middle class while making mid-six-figures, anyway.

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Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
« Reply #42 on: December 08, 2015, 09:53:54 AM »
100K Gross
18,000 goes to 401k which leaves ............................................$82,000 taxable
after taxes/medical gives me a take home of roughly...................... $54,120


A whole bunch of folks out there are not putting that 18,000 in the 401k.  At most they are putting in 5%, and they are still whining about not having enough to spend.

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Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
« Reply #43 on: December 08, 2015, 11:02:08 AM »
A person who grows up middle class, but then after college starts a business which earns him $100K/month doesn't automatically become upper class. He would be considered upper middle class because of his high income.

Upper class normally refers to people who have had money in their families for generations, not people who have recently become wealthy.

So people like Gates and Zukerberg are middle class? That's preposterous.

You're actually trying to make a distinction between the "old money" (aka aristocrats) and the "nouveau riche," but both are upper class.

You're right. It does sound ludicrous to say people like Gates and Zuckerberg are middle class. But, although guys like that do have fabulous wealth, and to some extent they may be accepted in upper class circles, there's still a big difference between their new money and families with names like Forbes, Carnegie, Rockefeller, Du Ponte, etc. It's a different social class.

BDWW

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Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
« Reply #44 on: December 08, 2015, 11:07:02 AM »
A lot of talk about DC and HCOL areas ...

http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/11/1150000.html

Turns out median household income is $65K.   So much for your $200K being middle class. Somehow more than half the households there make significantly less than half that. 

I agree with the OPs point, there are a lot of people here (even in this very thread) who seem out of touch with just how wealthy they are.

justajane

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Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
« Reply #45 on: December 08, 2015, 11:16:40 AM »
A person who grows up middle class, but then after college starts a business which earns him $100K/month doesn't automatically become upper class. He would be considered upper middle class because of his high income.

Upper class normally refers to people who have had money in their families for generations, not people who have recently become wealthy.

So people like Gates and Zukerberg are middle class? That's preposterous.

You're actually trying to make a distinction between the "old money" (aka aristocrats) and the "nouveau riche," but both are upper class.

You're right. It does sound ludicrous to say people like Gates and Zuckerberg are middle class. But, although guys like that do have fabulous wealth, and to some extent they may be accepted in upper class circles, there's still a big difference between their new money and families with names like Forbes, Carnegie, Rockefeller, Du Ponte, etc. It's a different social class.

You're being deliberately obtuse. Just because a bunch of old money snobs don't consider a billionaire hoodie-wearing youngster from Silicon Valley to be of their social class doesn't change the fact that Zuckerberg is not middle class by any reasonable or even unreasonable definition. I can't really believe we are even having this conversation.

nobodyspecial

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Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
« Reply #46 on: December 08, 2015, 11:35:03 AM »
You're being deliberately obtuse. Just because a bunch of old money snobs don't consider a billionaire hoodie-wearing youngster from Silicon Valley to be of their social class doesn't change the fact that Zuckerberg is not middle class by any reasonable or even unreasonable definition. I can't really believe we are even having this conversation.

There is a difference between US/Europe, or at least UK
Upper class = inherited land
Middle class = bourgousie, professional job eg.  doctor/lawyer/university lecturer
Working class = have a job, especially if you make things.

It's a lot more about background/upbringing/family than money. You become middle class if you become an accountant, but you can stay working class if you create a $Bn oil company.

 

matchewed

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Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
« Reply #47 on: December 08, 2015, 11:42:28 AM »
...but you can stay working class if you create a $Bn oil company.

...

dragoncar

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Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
« Reply #48 on: December 08, 2015, 12:29:27 PM »
...but you can stay working class if you create a $Bn oil company.

...

I think it's pretty clear... Sometimes "class" is used to describe pure smeconomic like your salary but sometimes it's used to describe social standing, which leads to much ambiguity in the terms.  Same reason I'd call myself "rich" (not fabulously so) but not "upper class" since upper class sounds to my ear as meaning superior rather than just affluent. 


Frugal_NYC

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Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
« Reply #49 on: December 08, 2015, 12:35:23 PM »
"Middle class" depends entirely on where you're from.  I'm from Long Island and I can tell you $150K is squarely considered middle class.  It's almost hard for a HH of 2 experienced professionals to make <$150K in this area lol