Author Topic: Forum check: what forum is this?  (Read 42569 times)

Jack

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4734
  • Location: Atlanta, GA
Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
« Reply #50 on: December 08, 2015, 12:37:46 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

Middle-class people mostly don't live on Long Island to begin with, and dual-income professionals aren't middle class.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3057
  • Location: Emmaus, PA
Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
« Reply #51 on: December 08, 2015, 12:44:41 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

How many times does it need to be said? You're living in a bubble. Houses being expensive and salaries high means that you're well-off and your neighbors are too.

justajane

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2147
  • Location: Midwest
Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
« Reply #52 on: December 08, 2015, 12:48:41 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

How many times does it need to be said? You're living in a bubble. Houses being expensive and salaries high means that you're well-off and your neighbors are too.

Yes, exactly. My brother just moved back to NYC after living near me for a while. He was complaining about the violent crime here and how much safer it was in Manhattan and Brooklyn where he used to live. I resisted the urge to mention how the whole area has essentially become an affluent bubble.

Frugal_NYC

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 77
Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
« Reply #53 on: December 08, 2015, 12:53:26 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

How many times does it need to be said? You're living in a bubble. Houses being expensive and salaries high means that you're well-off and your neighbors are too.

Yes a bubble called NYC/LI/CT/NJ/MA

TheGrimSqueaker

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2193
  • Location: A desert wasteland, where none but the weird survive
  • www.theliveinlandlord.com
Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
« Reply #54 on: December 08, 2015, 01:13:35 PM »
...but you can stay working class if you create a $Bn oil company.

...

In the USA, most people use "class" as a shorthand for "income" or "wealth". In Europe, parts of Canada, and many other parts of the world the concept of "class" refers to a subculture.

For example: if your title includes "Duke of..." or "Count of..." then you're a member of the hereditary nobility, and there's a bunch of baggage that goes along with that. Wealth is characteristic of the subculture, and there have been times when conspicuous consumption was part of that subculture. But at the very same time, people were often flat broke (due to bad investments or too much of that conspicuous consumption). They didn't stop being lords and ladies just because they were living in a rented room instead of a palace.

The USA and Canada don't have hereditary nobility, but there are definitely old families and socially prominent families, not all of whom are as obnoxiously ostentatious as the ones who run for public office or have their names in the newspaper for doing something stupid. There's social baggage that goes along with it. If you want an unvarnished look at the kind of decisions people make because of class related social baggage, read "The House of Mirth" by Edith Wharton. The culture being described is "high society" New York in the early 1900's, and it's distinct enough from anybody's present culture for the social baggage to be immediately visible as such.

Class has been described as a set of choices and preferences that people have, that are nearly universal ideals within a subculture. My grandmother always said that class is "how you treat people", the emphasis being that people show their class depending on what duties they have to others, how they perform those duties, and whether they need to be compensated for them. I think of class as the social baggage that goes along with the group that you're part of: it makes up so much of a person's perspective and value system that it's invisible unless you're outside it. What "hospitality" should look like, what your responsibilities to family members should be, what manner of belongings you choose (given the resources to obtain them) and your attitude toward education and asset accumulation will all vary depending on your class.

Incidentally, there's no such thing as a "superior" class versus an "inferior" class although it's true that some tend to accumulate more resources. Belonging to a class requires that you believe it to be superior to the others, either by virtue of privilege or by moral superiority. There is such a thing as an alpha/beta role when people of different classes have business or social relationships, but you'd be surprised who generally thinks they're the alpha. Ironically, the countries that have cultures with the greatest emphasis on class tend to be the ones with the most symbiotic approach to the relationship between people who pay for services and people who perform them. The alpha/beta bullying and status games are the most vicious in societies that pride themselves on being "classless".

Anyway, how you're expected to obtain your money and resources will vary depending on what social baggage is attached to the group you were born into and/or raised in.

Does that make sense?

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3057
  • Location: Emmaus, PA
Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
« Reply #55 on: December 08, 2015, 01:20:36 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

How many times does it need to be said? You're living in a bubble. Houses being expensive and salaries high means that you're well-off and your neighbors are too.

Yes a bubble called NYC/LI/CT/NJ/MA

The median household income in New York City is $50,711.

garth

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 124
Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
« Reply #56 on: December 08, 2015, 02:02:17 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

How many times does it need to be said? You're living in a bubble. Houses being expensive and salaries high means that you're well-off and your neighbors are too.

Yes a bubble called NYC/LI/CT/NJ/MA

The median household income in New York City is $50,711.

And compared to someone earning 50 grand in BFE, those households are working (or low) class--maybe even borderline for falling into the poverty bucket.

Location matters. The threshold for moving up and out of the different "classes" differs across and within countries.

arebelspy

  • Administrator
  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 28103
  • Age: -999
  • Location: Seattle, WA
Forum check: what forum is this?
« Reply #57 on: December 08, 2015, 02:10:37 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

How many times does it need to be said? You're living in a bubble. Houses being expensive and salaries high means that you're well-off and your neighbors are too.

Yes a bubble called NYC/LI/CT/NJ/MA

The median household income in New York City is $50,711.

And compared to someone earning 50 grand in BFE, those households are working (or low) class--maybe even borderline for falling into the poverty bucket.

Location matters. The threshold for moving up and out of the different "classes" differs across and within countries.


Yes location matters, but to you point of those being low income in that area:  No. The word median has a meaning.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and are now settled with three kids.
If you want to know more about us, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3057
  • Location: Emmaus, PA
Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
« Reply #58 on: December 08, 2015, 02:18:53 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

How many times does it need to be said? You're living in a bubble. Houses being expensive and salaries high means that you're well-off and your neighbors are too.

Yes a bubble called NYC/LI/CT/NJ/MA

The median household income in New York City is $50,711.

And compared to someone earning 50 grand in BFE, those households are working (or low) class--maybe even borderline for falling into the poverty bucket.

Location matters. The threshold for moving up and out of the different "classes" differs across and within countries.

Location matters, but unless you think half of households in New York City are in poverty, you're just demonstrating the lack of perspective dragoncar is talking about.

garth

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 124
Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
« Reply #59 on: December 08, 2015, 02:23:04 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

How many times does it need to be said? You're living in a bubble. Houses being expensive and salaries high means that you're well-off and your neighbors are too.

Yes a bubble called NYC/LI/CT/NJ/MA

The median household income in New York City is $50,711.

And compared to someone earning 50 grand in BFE, those households are working (or low) class--maybe even borderline for falling into the poverty bucket.

Location matters. The threshold for moving up and out of the different "classes" differs across and within countries.


Yes location matters, but to you point of those being low income in that area:  No. The word median has a meaning.

All it means is that most New Yorkers are working (or low) class. It's silly to isolate income from buying power when talking about "class".

Telecaster

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1954
  • Location: Seattle, WA
Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
« Reply #60 on: December 08, 2015, 02:42:34 PM »
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.

It not only sounds ludicrous, it is ludicrous.  It might be a different social class, but it sure ain't middle class!

FWIW, the Gates are an old money family.   


 

arebelspy

  • Administrator
  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 28103
  • Age: -999
  • Location: Seattle, WA
Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
« Reply #61 on: December 08, 2015, 03:00:36 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

How many times does it need to be said? You're living in a bubble. Houses being expensive and salaries high means that you're well-off and your neighbors are too.

Yes a bubble called NYC/LI/CT/NJ/MA

The median household income in New York City is $50,711.

And compared to someone earning 50 grand in BFE, those households are working (or low) class--maybe even borderline for falling into the poverty bucket.

Location matters. The threshold for moving up and out of the different "classes" differs across and within countries.


Yes location matters, but to you point of those being low income in that area:  No. The word median has a meaning.

All it means is that most New Yorkers are working (or low) class. It's silly to isolate income from buying power when talking about "class".

They are middle class.  Yes, they are in a higher COL area, but they are making more (versus BFE that might have a median of 35k, but a lot lower COL). 
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and are now settled with three kids.
If you want to know more about us, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.

Dollar Slice

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5016
  • Age: 42
  • Location: New York City
Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
« Reply #62 on: December 08, 2015, 03:06:37 PM »
All it means is that most New Yorkers are working (or low) class. It's silly to isolate income from buying power when talking about "class".

You might not realize that almost half of NYC apartments are rent-control/rent-stabilized, which have much lower costs to tenants. The median rent for a rent-stabilized apartment is ~$1300/mo. There are also some neighborhoods farther out in the boroughs which have rents in that neighborhood without rent stabilization. You won't feel wealthy paying that much on a $50k income, but it's easily doable, especially if heat/hot water is included (which it often is) and you don't need a car.

Cpa Cat

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1643
Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
« Reply #63 on: December 08, 2015, 03:18:54 PM »
I'm curious - Do people in New York, California, or wherever else people need six figures to be "middle class" actually pay more than 25% of their income in housing expense?

I get that $2000/mo buys you a shoebox in New York City and it buys you a beautiful 4000 sq ft house in Topeka, Kansas - but in either case, you're still living better than the majority of people around you when you have a six figure income. You still have the other 75% of your income to spend on non-essentials.

dragoncar

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8827
  • Registered member
Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
« Reply #64 on: December 08, 2015, 03:22:35 PM »
I'm curious - Do people in New York, California, or wherever else people need six figures to be "middle class" actually pay more than 25% of their income in housing expense?

I get that $2000/mo buys you a shoebox in New York City and it buys you a beautiful 4000 sq ft house in Topeka, Kansas - but in either case, you're still living better than the majority of people around you when you have a six figure income. You still have the other 75% of your income to spend on non-essentials.

A bit old (from 2014) but probably similar now:



from: http://www.zillow.com/research/rent-affordability-2013q4-6681/

disclaimer: assumptions not endorsed by dragons

BPA

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1191
Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
« Reply #65 on: December 08, 2015, 03:29:22 PM »
JoeT should really come back to the MMM forums.  He'd get a shit ton of support instead of face punches now. 

dragoncar

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8827
  • Registered member
Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
« Reply #66 on: December 08, 2015, 03:33:24 PM »
JoeT should really come back to the MMM forums.  He'd get a shit ton of support instead of face punches now.

Oh yeah who was the other epic megaspender?  I feel like it was a DC urban mom of some kind.

« Last Edit: December 08, 2015, 03:49:27 PM by dragoncar »

HappierAtHome

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8156
  • Location: Australia
Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
« Reply #67 on: December 08, 2015, 03:35:20 PM »
JoeT should really come back to the MMM forums.  He'd get a shit ton of support instead of face punches now.

Oh yeah who was the other epic megaspender?  I feel like it was a DC urban mom of some kind.

Westchester Frugal?

Also, +1 to everything, dragoncar.

Dollar Slice

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5016
  • Age: 42
  • Location: New York City
Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
« Reply #68 on: December 08, 2015, 03:50:35 PM »
I'm curious - Do people in New York, California, or wherever else people need six figures to be "middle class" actually pay more than 25% of their income in housing expense?

I suspect a lot of them do. It's amazingly easy to find luxury apartments to fill up the budget here. I have a friend who's paying $4k/mo. for a 1BR (!) and another who bought a 2BR or 3BR that could easily be $5k+/mo if they have a mortgage. I don't know their exact incomes, but it's certainly easy to spend more than 25% of a $200k or $300k salary if you want to. And most people seem to spend as much as they can on housing...

dragoncar

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8827
  • Registered member
Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
« Reply #69 on: December 08, 2015, 03:51:14 PM »
JoeT should really come back to the MMM forums.  He'd get a shit ton of support instead of face punches now.

Oh yeah who was the other epic megaspender?  I feel like it was a DC urban mom of some kind.

Westchester Frugal?

Also, +1 to everything, dragoncar.

Oh yeah, that was it (epic archive here: https://web.archive.org/web/20140314174054/http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/forum/ask-a-mustachian/reader-case-study-can-we-have-it-all-but-still-retire-early). 

For a while I thought it was KittyWrestler (http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/mmm-budget-(i-can't-get-anywhere-close)/msg12889/#msg12889)

HappierAtHome

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8156
  • Location: Australia
Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
« Reply #70 on: December 08, 2015, 03:57:34 PM »
KittyWrestler was before my time.

matchewed

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4336
  • Location: CT
Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
« Reply #71 on: December 08, 2015, 04:04:37 PM »
Oh man glanced through that ol' trainwreck of a thread. I miss Jamesqf...

Frugal_NYC

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 77
Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
« Reply #72 on: December 08, 2015, 04:05:08 PM »
I'm curious - Do people in New York, California, or wherever else people need six figures to be "middle class" actually pay more than 25% of their income in housing expense?

I get that $2000/mo buys you a shoebox in New York City and it buys you a beautiful 4000 sq ft house in Topeka, Kansas - but in either case, you're still living better than the majority of people around you when you have a six figure income. You still have the other 75% of your income to spend on non-essentials.

I'm the most Mustachian Manhattanite I know, I pay a tad over $1K mo and have 3 roommates - my $4.5K/mo place is regarded as a crazy steal.  NYC is actually a pretty good deal (in this area) if you don't mind roommates (considering job opportunities and COL in the surrounding area)

The median income stat for NYC is meaningless, as it is skewed by a myriad of factors (25% of NYC makes < $25K)

justajane

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2147
  • Location: Midwest
Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
« Reply #73 on: December 08, 2015, 04:15:45 PM »
Ah, WestchesterFrugal. Good times. KittyWrestler was also before my time.

We also had someone on here a while ago - SanDiegoFire. He was embarrassed by his 3 million dollar home and wanted to upgrade. He also definitely collapsed wealth and quality. Apparently the cream always rises to the top and the smartest, highest quality people go to Ivys and move in elite circles. It was of utmost importance for his children to remain in that environment.

http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/stay-put-renovate-tear-down-and-rebuild-or-move/

BPA

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1191
Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
« Reply #74 on: December 08, 2015, 04:25:02 PM »
JoeT should really come back to the MMM forums.  He'd get a shit ton of support instead of face punches now.

Oh yeah who was the other epic megaspender?  I feel like it was a DC urban mom of some kind.

Westchester Frugal?

Also, +1 to everything, dragoncar.

Oh yeah, that was it (epic archive here: https://web.archive.org/web/20140314174054/http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/forum/ask-a-mustachian/reader-case-study-can-we-have-it-all-but-still-retire-early). 

For a while I thought it was KittyWrestler (http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/mmm-budget-(i-can't-get-anywhere-close)/msg12889/#msg12889)

I remember that first thread and TGC's comment about how he could work for one year, have two more kids, and still retire.  :) 

Before it was like being "mustachian" was following the basic beliefs of MMM himself, but it seems to have morphed into what the majority of the community thinks.  It's okay for things to change, but it irks me to see people being doubted or slammed for what once was the norm. 

Shane

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 884
  • Location: Independent
Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
« Reply #75 on: December 08, 2015, 04:26:01 PM »
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.

Sorry, my intention wasn't to be "deliberately obtuse." :)

The first sentence of my post said, "You're right." Meaning the previous poster was right that it would be "preposterous" to call Zuckerberg or Gates middle class.

The second sentence of my post was, "It does sound ludicrous to say people like Zuckerberg and Gates are middle class."

My intention was to agree with the previous poster's comment that people like Gates and Zuckerberg are obviously not part of the middle class.

Maybe I should've just stopped there, while I was ahead???


Shane

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 884
  • Location: Independent
Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
« Reply #76 on: December 08, 2015, 04:33:24 PM »
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.

FWIW, the Gates are an old money family.
It not only sounds ludicrous, it is ludicrous.  It might be a different social class, but it sure ain't middle class!

I agree! I never, ever said Gates and Zuckerberg were middle class! :)
« Last Edit: December 08, 2015, 04:41:04 PM by Shane »

dragoncar

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8827
  • Registered member
Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
« Reply #77 on: December 08, 2015, 04:38:56 PM »
Ah, WestchesterFrugal. Good times. KittyWrestler was also before my time.

We also had someone on here a while ago - SanDiegoFire. He was embarrassed by his 3 million dollar home and wanted to upgrade. He also definitely collapsed wealth and quality. Apparently the cream always rises to the top and the smartest, highest quality people go to Ivys and move in elite circles. It was of utmost importance for his children to remain in that environment.

http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/stay-put-renovate-tear-down-and-rebuild-or-move/

Ohh.. I missed SanDiegoFire.  Juicy.

garth

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 124
Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
« Reply #78 on: December 08, 2015, 04:39:27 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

How many times does it need to be said? You're living in a bubble. Houses being expensive and salaries high means that you're well-off and your neighbors are too.

Yes a bubble called NYC/LI/CT/NJ/MA

The median household income in New York City is $50,711.

And compared to someone earning 50 grand in BFE, those households are working (or low) class--maybe even borderline for falling into the poverty bucket.

Location matters. The threshold for moving up and out of the different "classes" differs across and within countries.


Yes location matters, but to you point of those being low income in that area:  No. The word median has a meaning.

All it means is that most New Yorkers are working (or low) class. It's silly to isolate income from buying power when talking about "class".

They are middle class.  Yes, they are in a higher COL area, but they are making more (versus BFE that might have a median of 35k, but a lot lower COL).

Sure, but will $50k in NYC buy what $35k does in BFE. I don't think so, though maybe I'm wrong *shrug*. I get Dollar Slice's point about the livable rents, but I still think you have to compare ability to consume, which comes down to income and buying power. Renting isn't the same as owning. Taking transit isn't the same as driving your car. Can you own a house, have a couple of cars, have 2.1 kids, send them kids to good schools, eat out, take vacations overseas, save for retirement, etc. on $50k in Manhattan? I'd wager not, but I a middle class family in the heartland should be able to. I don't know what middle class in NYC looks like, but I don't accept that it's the median income.

dragoncar

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8827
  • Registered member
Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
« Reply #79 on: December 08, 2015, 04:59:38 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

How many times does it need to be said? You're living in a bubble. Houses being expensive and salaries high means that you're well-off and your neighbors are too.

Yes a bubble called NYC/LI/CT/NJ/MA

The median household income in New York City is $50,711.

And compared to someone earning 50 grand in BFE, those households are working (or low) class--maybe even borderline for falling into the poverty bucket.

Location matters. The threshold for moving up and out of the different "classes" differs across and within countries.


Yes location matters, but to you point of those being low income in that area:  No. The word median has a meaning.

All it means is that most New Yorkers are working (or low) class. It's silly to isolate income from buying power when talking about "class".

They are middle class.  Yes, they are in a higher COL area, but they are making more (versus BFE that might have a median of 35k, but a lot lower COL).

Sure, but will $50k in NYC buy what $35k does in BFE. I don't think so, though maybe I'm wrong *shrug*. I get Dollar Slice's point about the livable rents, but I still think you have to compare ability to consume, which comes down to income and buying power. Renting isn't the same as owning. Taking transit isn't the same as driving your car. Can you own a house, have a couple of cars, have 2.1 kids, send them kids to good schools, eat out, take vacations overseas, save for retirement, etc. on $50k in Manhattan? I'd wager not, but I a middle class family in the heartland should be able to. I don't know what middle class in NYC looks like, but I don't accept that it's the median income.

Maybe, maybe not.  But you get to live in Manhattan.  Living in Manhattan is the driving a Lamborghini of the housing world.

Shane

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 884
  • Location: Independent
Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
« Reply #80 on: December 08, 2015, 05:05:25 PM »
I agree with the OP that $200K/year in income is a huge amount of money. My wife, daughter and I are able to live really well on a fraction of that per year, and we know many people who live on much less money than we do.

My only qualms with this whole discussion surround posters' use of class distinctions to describe people ONLY based on how much money they make. To me, it's not possible to simply come up with a chart that says:

$0-FPL = poor
FPL-$100K = middle class
$100K-$200K = upper-middle class
>$200K = upper class

The meaning of those words is more nuanced than just how much money somebody makes.

The examples I gave in an earlier post were:

a) self employed plumber making $250K/year = working class

b) public school teacher making $50K/year = middle class

c) small business owner making $100K/month = upper middle class

Someone else brought up Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates. I never mentioned their names. But when I read that post, I immediately agreed that it would be ridiculous to refer to super wealthy people like Zuckerberg and Gates as upper-middle class. Of course they're not in the middle class.

To use an example given by someone earlier in the thread, two pharmacists making $120K each/year would be upper-middle class in my way of thinking. The same goes for a couple of doctors, university professors, IT engineers, or whatever.

On the other hand, to me, the term "upper class" connotes more the idea of "old money," some sort of perceived or actual "power,"  maybe connections in high places or whatever. A couple of professionals working at jobs making a couple of hundred thousand dollars per year wouldn't necessarily fulfill that description, although it might.


matchewed

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4336
  • Location: CT
Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
« Reply #81 on: December 08, 2015, 05:14:21 PM »
I agree with the OP that $200K/year in income is a huge amount of money. My wife, daughter and I are able to live really well on a fraction of that per year, and we know many people who live on much less money than we do.

My only qualms with this whole discussion surround posters' use of class distinctions to describe people ONLY based on how much money they make. To me, it's not possible to simply come up with a chart that says:

$0-FPL = poor
FPL-$100K = middle class
$100K-$200K = upper-middle class
>$200K = upper class

The meaning of those words is more nuanced than just how much money somebody makes.

The examples I gave in an earlier post were:

a) self employed plumber making $250K/year = working class

b) public school teacher making $50K/year = middle class

c) small business owner making $100K/month = upper middle class

Someone else brought up Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates. I never mentioned their names. But when I read that post, I immediately agreed that it would be ridiculous to refer to super wealthy people like Zuckerberg and Gates as upper-middle class. Of course they're not in the middle class.

To use an example given by someone earlier in the thread, two pharmacists making $120K each/year would be upper-middle class in my way of thinking. The same goes for a couple of doctors, university professors, IT engineers, or whatever.

On the other hand, to me, the term "upper class" connotes more the idea of "old money," some sort of perceived or actual "power,"  maybe connections in high places or whatever. A couple of professionals working at jobs making a couple of hundred thousand dollars per year wouldn't necessarily fulfill that description, although it might.

I think you're trying to interject social classes into a discussion purely about money. In the former the profession or "how the money is earned" may matter, in the latter it does not.

Dollar Slice

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5016
  • Age: 42
  • Location: New York City
Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
« Reply #82 on: December 08, 2015, 05:26:02 PM »
Sure, but will $50k in NYC buy what $35k does in BFE. I don't think so, though maybe I'm wrong *shrug*. I get Dollar Slice's point about the livable rents, but I still think you have to compare ability to consume, which comes down to income and buying power. Renting isn't the same as owning. Taking transit isn't the same as driving your car. Can you own a house, have a couple of cars, have 2.1 kids, send them kids to good schools, eat out, take vacations overseas, save for retirement, etc. on $50k in Manhattan? I'd wager not, but I a middle class family in the heartland should be able to. I don't know what middle class in NYC looks like, but I don't accept that it's the median income.

Maybe, maybe not.  But you get to live in Manhattan.  Living in Manhattan is the driving a Lamborghini of the housing world.

It sure is! :-) 

To me, life in the suburbs with a couple of kids, a couple of cars, and home ownership sounds like a special kind of hell. Having to drag a ton and a half of metal around with you everywhere you go and find a place to put it when you're doing stuff? Having to pay thousands and thousands of dollars in realtor fees every time you move? All for the privilege of not having to interact with other human beings so much? Ugh.

Shane

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 884
  • Location: Independent
Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
« Reply #83 on: December 08, 2015, 05:27:49 PM »
I agree with the OP that $200K/year in income is a huge amount of money. My wife, daughter and I are able to live really well on a fraction of that per year, and we know many people who live on much less money than we do.

My only qualms with this whole discussion surround posters' use of class distinctions to describe people ONLY based on how much money they make. To me, it's not possible to simply come up with a chart that says:

$0-FPL = poor
FPL-$100K = middle class
$100K-$200K = upper-middle class
>$200K = upper class

The meaning of those words is more nuanced than just how much money somebody makes.

The examples I gave in an earlier post were:

a) self employed plumber making $250K/year = working class

b) public school teacher making $50K/year = middle class

c) small business owner making $100K/month = upper middle class

Someone else brought up Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates. I never mentioned their names. But when I read that post, I immediately agreed that it would be ridiculous to refer to super wealthy people like Zuckerberg and Gates as upper-middle class. Of course they're not in the middle class.

To use an example given by someone earlier in the thread, two pharmacists making $120K each/year would be upper-middle class in my way of thinking. The same goes for a couple of doctors, university professors, IT engineers, or whatever.

On the other hand, to me, the term "upper class" connotes more the idea of "old money," some sort of perceived or actual "power,"  maybe connections in high places or whatever. A couple of professionals working at jobs making a couple of hundred thousand dollars per year wouldn't necessarily fulfill that description, although it might.

I think you're trying to interject social classes into a discussion purely about money. In the former the profession or "how the money is earned" may matter, in the latter it does not.

Do you really think it's possible to say someone belongs to the "upper class" without that meaning something more than just how much money he makes? In the thread posters talk about people they know who, apparently, in their opinion are impostors, because they're claiming to be just regular, middle class, average Joes, but really they're full of shit because they make >$200K/year, so they must be in the upper class. It seems to me like most people would shy away from referring to themselves as "upper class," just because it has the connotation of something more than just how much money people make.

dragoncar

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8827
  • Registered member
Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
« Reply #84 on: December 08, 2015, 05:58:44 PM »
I agree with the OP that $200K/year in income is a huge amount of money. My wife, daughter and I are able to live really well on a fraction of that per year, and we know many people who live on much less money than we do.

My only qualms with this whole discussion surround posters' use of class distinctions to describe people ONLY based on how much money they make. To me, it's not possible to simply come up with a chart that says:

$0-FPL = poor
FPL-$100K = middle class
$100K-$200K = upper-middle class
>$200K = upper class

The meaning of those words is more nuanced than just how much money somebody makes.

The examples I gave in an earlier post were:

a) self employed plumber making $250K/year = working class

b) public school teacher making $50K/year = middle class

c) small business owner making $100K/month = upper middle class

Someone else brought up Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates. I never mentioned their names. But when I read that post, I immediately agreed that it would be ridiculous to refer to super wealthy people like Zuckerberg and Gates as upper-middle class. Of course they're not in the middle class.

To use an example given by someone earlier in the thread, two pharmacists making $120K each/year would be upper-middle class in my way of thinking. The same goes for a couple of doctors, university professors, IT engineers, or whatever.

On the other hand, to me, the term "upper class" connotes more the idea of "old money," some sort of perceived or actual "power,"  maybe connections in high places or whatever. A couple of professionals working at jobs making a couple of hundred thousand dollars per year wouldn't necessarily fulfill that description, although it might.

I think you're trying to interject social classes into a discussion purely about money. In the former the profession or "how the money is earned" may matter, in the latter it does not.

Do you really think it's possible to say someone belongs to the "upper class" without that meaning something more than just how much money he makes? In the thread posters talk about people they know who, apparently, in their opinion are impostors, because they're claiming to be just regular, middle class, average Joes, but really they're full of shit because they make >$200K/year, so they must be in the upper class. It seems to me like most people would shy away from referring to themselves as "upper class," just because it has the connotation of something more than just how much money people make.

Yeah, I think the "class" talk muddies the waters a bit.  But suffice it to say, anyone consistently making $200k/year is 99.99% able to organize life such that it is completely free of any money problems, which is an extremely privileged place to be.  As discussed above, it is "uncommon" within the US, for reasonable percentile-based definitions of uncommon.  To be in that position, and to think that you face the same challenges as someone making $40k/year is delusional.  Which was my original point.

If that person chooses to organize their life in such a way that they structurally spend 100% or more of their take-home salary (i.e., large mortgage, car payment, hired help, and so on), that's completely self-inflicted.  I seriously doubt that increasing their income to $500k/year, $1 million/year or more would ever put them in a better position.  They would just increase their consumption to match their income, struggle to make ends meet, and consider themselves "middle class"
« Last Edit: December 08, 2015, 06:02:09 PM by dragoncar »

Telecaster

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1954
  • Location: Seattle, WA
Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
« Reply #85 on: December 08, 2015, 06:25:00 PM »
I agree! I never, ever said Gates and Zuckerberg were middle class! :)

Fair enough!  I misunderstood what you were getting at. 

human

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 791
Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
« Reply #86 on: December 08, 2015, 06:27:43 PM »
I don't get all this constant talk about needing tons of money in manhattan. I had an ex girlfriend who lived there so I visited a lot. I don't think all those people working in coffee shops and restaurants were making 200k a year. They had room mates or lived in flat bush and commuted. Yes some have rent control but those are the truly lucky. No one forces people to live in Manhattan, there's tons of affordable apartments in cortelyou and areas just 20-30 minutes away. Plenty of bars in Manhattan serve cheap booze and plenty of restaurants serve cheap food. 200k is definitely not necessary . . .

JZinCO

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 701
Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
« Reply #87 on: December 08, 2015, 06:28:26 PM »
On the other hand, to me, the term "upper class" connotes more the idea of "old money," some sort of perceived or actual "power,"  maybe connections in high places or whatever. A couple of professionals working at jobs making a couple of hundred thousand dollars per year wouldn't necessarily fulfill that description, although it might.

I.. guess.. you could say that. But, I think that nouveau riche falls into upper class just fine.
Multiple studies show that only a small portion of the wealthy inherited their money. For example, of those with at least 500K in investable assets, only 6% inherited. Of the 400 or so billionaires in the US, only a couple have inherited wealth. So the vast majority of Americans who are in the top tier of wealth and/or income such as Buffet or Jack Bogle who've earned their wealth, they aren't upper class? If so, where do they fall?

edit: okay I reread your post. To be upper class one must either be old money, hold power, or hold connections. So maybe Jack Bogle and Buffet are out on account of connections and sway on the economic powers that be. But, if one is making north of 200K, but reserved from influencing policies or industries in any way, they are middle class.
I'm confused.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2015, 06:32:09 PM by JZinCO »

justajane

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2147
  • Location: Midwest
Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
« Reply #88 on: December 08, 2015, 06:40:03 PM »
I agree! I never, ever said Gates and Zuckerberg were middle class! :)

Fair enough!  I misunderstood what you were getting at.

Sorry, I'm not going to let you off the hook, Shane. You said that Zuckerberg was of a different social class than the Rockefellers or whoever of the world. Here are the quotes:

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.

[...]
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.

Here above you clearly say that someone who recently starts to make 1.2M a year is still upper middle class.

Then you say Zuckerberg is a different social class than the old school money people. If you weren't referring to the middle class, what class were you suggesting that he is in? The unicorn class? The hoodie-wearing class?

I agree with the larger point, though, that discussing class is muddying the waters.

JZinCO

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 701
Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
« Reply #89 on: December 08, 2015, 07:17:47 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

How many times does it need to be said? You're living in a bubble. Houses being expensive and salaries high means that you're well-off and your neighbors are too.

Yes a bubble called NYC/LI/CT/NJ/MA

The median household income in New York City is $50,711.

And compared to someone earning 50 grand in BFE, those households are working (or low) class--maybe even borderline for falling into the poverty bucket.

Location matters. The threshold for moving up and out of the different "classes" differs across and within countries.


Yes location matters, but to you point of those being low income in that area:  No. The word median has a meaning.

All it means is that most New Yorkers are working (or low) class. It's silly to isolate income from buying power when talking about "class".

They are middle class.  Yes, they are in a higher COL area, but they are making more (versus BFE that might have a median of 35k, but a lot lower COL).
ARB, I would normally agree with this on theory, but....
The median income is around 66K in just Manhattan. Where I grew up (BFE, actually next to a town called Egypt), that is equivalent to earning about 30K (based on cost of living index).

See the attached income distribution graph comparing the two areas. Frugal has a point here. Wages do not make up for the increased COL of NYC. In essence, people pay a premium to live in NYC. Hell, the probability of having a higher nominal salary in BFE is greater than in NYC, plus it has double the relative purchase power to boot.

« Last Edit: December 08, 2015, 07:19:42 PM by JZinCO »

MonkeyJenga

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8564
  • Location: the woods
  • resting up for 2020
Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
« Reply #90 on: December 08, 2015, 10:26:04 PM »
ARB, I would normally agree with this on theory, but....
The median income is around 66K in just Manhattan. Where I grew up (BFE, actually next to a town called Egypt), that is equivalent to earning about 30K (based on cost of living index).

See the attached income distribution graph comparing the two areas. Frugal has a point here. Wages do not make up for the increased COL of NYC. In essence, people pay a premium to live in NYC. Hell, the probability of having a higher nominal salary in BFE is greater than in NYC, plus it has double the relative purchase power to boot.

Geographic arbitrage, bitches! Work in Manhattan, get that sweet, cushy professional paycheck, live in Queens, get that sweet, only semi-insane rent. Works pretty well for me, and there are other options like "Work in Manhattan, live in Jersey!" "Work in Manhattan, live in the Bronx!"

I've heard plenty of people in real life say 100k isn't that much in NYC.

Fie! A hundred grand is a buttload of money. The people saying otherwise are eating at restaurants, taking cabs everywhere, spending thousands on fancy vacations, living in luxury apartments, and paying for monthly underwear subscriptions so they never have to use a laundromat. I thought this forum was about how being pampered and blowing cash doesn't actually bring you happiness. Why is it excused so easily by "HCOL"?

I could slash my salary to 30k and be fine, without even having to move to a less-ridiculous apartment. I could get by on 12k and still appear to live a "middle-class" life.

tyir

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 60
Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
« Reply #91 on: December 08, 2015, 11:02:31 PM »
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.

I think this is the best post in this thread. It's sad how many people here are claiming people with high income are "pretending" they are middle class because they live beneath their means are are frugal. Spending less than you earn should be celebrated here, and they shouldn't be criticized for their mental model of the world.

Calling someone who earns 200K and who spends 20K a year deluded for not considering themselves upper class seems unnecessary.
 
 

dragoncar

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8827
  • Registered member
Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
« Reply #92 on: December 08, 2015, 11:17:35 PM »
It's sad how many people here are claiming people with high income are "pretending" they are middle class because they live beneath their means are are frugal. Spending less than you earn should be celebrated here, and they shouldn't be criticized for their mental model of the world.

Literally nobody is saying that

Quote
Calling someone who earns 200K and who spends 20K a year deluded for not considering themselves upper class seems unnecessary.

None of the examples are people earning 200k and spending only 20k.  But even if they did, I do think they are deluded if they don't realize that being able to save over 100k/year does not make them a total outlier.  Having the ability to retire in 5 years is the absolute definition of luxury, in my opinion.  The vast majority of people on this planet are grateful if they can make it another year without starving to death or dying of exposure.

I thought this forum was about how being pampered and blowing cash doesn't actually bring you happiness. Why is it excused so easily by "HCOL"?


For sure... I really don't believe "high cost of living" affects mustachians earning high salaries (e.g., >$100k/year) except for housing which everyone needs some of.  After reading the thread about the guy in San Diego who owns a $3 million house and calling the area "very high cost of living" I realized that people are using that as a mere excuse to over consume.  Sure, if you choose to only live in the absolutely most expensive micro-neighborhoods, maybe you can't find anything less than a million. But San Diego has a ton of neighborhoods where you can buy a nice place for less than 1/3 that price.  Even within spitting distance of Facebook, you can buy a house in East Palo Alto in the $500s.  It doesn't matter if all consumer goods are 20% more expensive -- that just increases your budget from $25k to $30k.  This is nothing on a $200k salary.

« Last Edit: December 08, 2015, 11:28:07 PM by dragoncar »

LeRainDrop

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1841
Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
« Reply #93 on: December 08, 2015, 11:18:30 PM »
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.

I think this is the best post in this thread.

Cheers to that!  Right on, zephyr!

Shane

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 884
  • Location: Independent
Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
« Reply #94 on: December 08, 2015, 11:23:47 PM »
Yeah, I think the "class" talk muddies the waters a bit.  But suffice it to say, anyone consistently making $200k/year is 99.99% able to organize life such that it is completely free of any money problems, which is an extremely privileged place to be.  As discussed above, it is "uncommon" within the US, for reasonable percentile-based definitions of uncommon.  To be in that position, and to think that you face the same challenges as someone making $40k/year is delusional.  Which was my original point.

If that person chooses to organize their life in such a way that they structurally spend 100% or more of their take-home salary (i.e., large mortgage, car payment, hired help, and so on), that's completely self-inflicted.  I seriously doubt that increasing their income to $500k/year, $1 million/year or more would ever put them in a better position.  They would just increase their consumption to match their income, struggle to make ends meet, and consider themselves "middle class"

Agreed. It always amazes me to hear people who make tons of money complaining they're having a hard time making ends meet. Spending 100%+ of your salary is the norm in our country, unfortunately. We're the weird ones who live on less than we make.

cawiau

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 76
Forum check: what forum is this?
« Reply #95 on: December 08, 2015, 11:33:04 PM »
I thought this forum was about how being pampered and blowing cash doesn't actually bring you happiness. Why is it excused so easily by "HCOL"?

Really? Because I thought the purpose of this forum was saving as much cash as you can and retiring early.

If you can still afford some "pampering" while still hitting your savings goals / saving rate... Why not?

And the definition of happiness is subjective...your definition is not the same as mine and will not be the same as the next person.

And we wonder why politician use class warfare to divide us and get votes, it is right here in this thread.




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
« Last Edit: December 08, 2015, 11:37:31 PM by cawiau »

dragoncar

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8827
  • Registered member
Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
« Reply #96 on: December 08, 2015, 11:34:35 PM »

I thought this forum was about how being pampered and blowing cash doesn't actually bring you happiness. Why is it excused so easily by "HCOL"?

Really? Because I thought the purpose of this forum was saving as much cash as you can and retiring early.

If you can still afford some "pampering" while still hating your savings goals / saving rate... Why not?

And the definition of happiness is subjective...your definition is not the same as mine and will not be the same as the next person.

And we wonder why politician use class warfare to divide us and get votes, it is right here in this thread.




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Fine, as long as it actually makes you happy.  As MonkeyJenga suggests, increased expenditure often does not result in a concomitant increase in happiness.

NorCal

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 778
Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
« Reply #97 on: December 08, 2015, 11:37:17 PM »
I'm curious - Do people in New York, California, or wherever else people need six figures to be "middle class" actually pay more than 25% of their income in housing expense?

I get that $2000/mo buys you a shoebox in New York City and it buys you a beautiful 4000 sq ft house in Topeka, Kansas - but in either case, you're still living better than the majority of people around you when you have a six figure income. You still have the other 75% of your income to spend on non-essentials.

Since I quit my job, rent is now ~25% of our take-home pay in the Bay Area.  However, this is an aberration for the area, as my wife brings home a particularly high income, and our landlord hasn't raised the rent on us in 5 years.  Fingers crossed they don't raise it soon.

The "typical" family here is dual income with ~$200K family earnings, paying ~$4,000/mo in rent.

According to the Harvard study linked below, 42.7% of Bay Area families pay over 30% of income on housing, and 21.1% pay over 50% of income (!!!) on housing.  The map is pretty interesting, and has data points for other US regions..

http://harvard-cga.maps.arcgis.com/apps/StorytellingTextLegend/index.html?appid=18d215ddb20946a4a16ae43586bf0b52

Shane

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 884
  • Location: Independent
Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
« Reply #98 on: December 09, 2015, 12:20:01 AM »
I agree! I never, ever said Gates and Zuckerberg were middle class! :)

Fair enough!  I misunderstood what you were getting at.

Sorry, I'm not going to let you off the hook, Shane. You said that Zuckerberg was of a different social class than the Rockefellers or whoever of the world. Here are the quotes:

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.

[...]
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.

Here above you clearly say that someone who recently starts to make 1.2M a year is still upper middle class.

Then you say Zuckerberg is a different social class than the old school money people. If you weren't referring to the middle class, what class were you suggesting that he is in? The unicorn class? The hoodie-wearing class?

I agree with the larger point, though, that discussing class is muddying the waters.

When somebody said, "Well, how about Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates? Are they middle class too?" Given that example, I had to concede that, no, they are not middle class, by any stretch of the word, which then called into question my original example as well. Maybe the guy making $1.2MM/year isn't upper-middle class either. I don't know for sure what to call them. I just had a gut feeling there was a difference between new money and generational wealth, but maybe I was wrong...

My point in bringing up the whole social class thing was in response to several posters who talked about themselves or people they knew who made lots of money but continued to insist they were still middle class. Maybe the reason people cling to the idea that they are part of the middle class, when an objective observer can see by looking at their income and lifestyle that they are way above middle class, is because of the social implications of admitting to yourself and others that you are a member of the "upper class." It's more than just numbers. People have strong emotional reactions to words.

It's fine for us to discuss it here anonymously online, but try turning to another mom at your kid's next soccer game and saying something like, "My husband just got a promotion at work, and now we've moved into the upper class. How about you guys? Are you upper class yet, or are you still in the middle class?" :)

Even if it were true, it's not really socially acceptable to admit something like that, right? It seems to me that that's probably why people don't want to admit that they are no longer middle class even when they're making tons of money. It would feel really awkward to say something like, "Yes, we are now in the upper class." Anyone who said something like that would sound really pretentious, and that's not how most people want to come off. They want to be one of the regular guys. Just like everyone else.

 

JZinCO

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 701
Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
« Reply #99 on: December 09, 2015, 12:21:32 AM »
ARB, I would normally agree with this on theory, but....
The median income is around 66K in just Manhattan. Where I grew up (BFE, actually next to a town called Egypt), that is equivalent to earning about 30K (based on cost of living index).

See the attached income distribution graph comparing the two areas. Frugal has a point here. Wages do not make up for the increased COL of NYC. In essence, people pay a premium to live in NYC. Hell, the probability of having a higher nominal salary in BFE is greater than in NYC, plus it has double the relative purchase power to boot.

Geographic arbitrage, bitches! Work in Manhattan, get that sweet, cushy professional paycheck, live in Queens, get that sweet, only semi-insane rent. Works pretty well for me, and there are other options like "Work in Manhattan, live in Jersey!" "Work in Manhattan, live in the Bronx!"
Yeah, I considered the possibility. With just about every locality there are ways to arbitrage especially for those who live near city/county/state/indian reservation boundaries. I'm guessing it is more than normal to commute into the city.
These days, I am lazy and like a 10 mi bike ride from home to work :)

Still though, the cost of living in queens, bronx and jersey city are 1.9x, 1.9x, and 1.4x greater, respectively, than my BFE example but incomes in manhattan, queens, bronx, and jersey city are not equally greater. So the purchasing power does not track with COL. I'll give NYC the benefit of the doubt however and say there may be intangible, experiential benefits (rats carryin pizza?) that are not easily calculable. Hence I think one pays a premium to work/live in NYC or adjacent areas.