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Around the Internet => Antimustachian Wall of Shame and Comedy => Topic started by: dragoncar on December 07, 2015, 01:43:21 PM

Title: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: dragoncar 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


Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: cawiau on December 07, 2015, 02:00:04 PM
I am guessing DC Urban mom and dad forum!


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Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: BarkyardBQ on December 07, 2015, 02:01:22 PM
It's here

http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/welcome-to-the-forum/many-wealthy-people-become-out-of-touch/
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: matchewed 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.
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: dragoncar 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.
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: matchewed on December 07, 2015, 02:34:27 PM
Fair enough, substitute complainypants volcanicly wasteful spendy high income gentrification of these here parts instead. ;)
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: justajane 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.
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: Dollar Slice 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.
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: thepokercab 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'?
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: cawiau 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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Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: cawiau 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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Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: garth 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.
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: Jack 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).
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: Dollar Slice 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.
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: trailrated 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.
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: midweststache 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.)
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: Dollar Slice 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.
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: trailrated 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 :)
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: dragoncar 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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(http://i1.kym-cdn.com/entries/icons/original/000/012/132/thatsthejoke.jpg)

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"?
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: Cathy 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.
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: LeRainDrop 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.
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: dragoncar 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."
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: LeRainDrop 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.
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: dragoncar 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.
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: No Name Guy 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.

Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: Shane 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. 
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: cawiau 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...


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: Pooperman 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.
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: justajane 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.
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: matchewed 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? ;)
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: HairyUpperLip 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.
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: zephyr911 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.
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: matchewed 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...


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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.
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: 2Birds1Stone on December 08, 2015, 07:50:19 AM

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



Absolutely
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: Jack 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.
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: TheGrimSqueaker 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.
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: elaine amj 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 :)
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: OurTown 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."
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: Gondolin 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.

(https://imgflip.com/s/meme/Leonardo-Dicaprio-Cheers.jpg)
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: zephyr911 on December 08, 2015, 09:17:33 AM
Lmfao! Kthx
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: nobodyspecial 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.
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: Dollar Slice 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.
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: SwordGuy 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.
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: Shane 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.
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: BDWW 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.
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: justajane 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.
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: nobodyspecial 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.

 
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: matchewed on December 08, 2015, 11:42:28 AM
...but you can stay working class if you create a $Bn oil company.

...
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: dragoncar 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. 

Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: Frugal_NYC 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

Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: Jack 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.
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: ShoulderThingThatGoesUp 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.
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: justajane 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.
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: Frugal_NYC 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
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: TheGrimSqueaker 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?
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: ShoulderThingThatGoesUp 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.
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: garth 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.
Title: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: arebelspy 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.
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: ShoulderThingThatGoesUp 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.
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: garth 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".
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: Telecaster 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.   


 
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: arebelspy 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). 
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: Dollar Slice 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.
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: Cpa Cat 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.
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: dragoncar 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:

(http://cdn2.blog-media.zillowstatic.com/3/rent-table-7194f9.png)

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

disclaimer: assumptions not endorsed by dragons
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: BPA 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. 
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: dragoncar 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.

Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: HappierAtHome 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.
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: Dollar Slice 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...
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: dragoncar 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/https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/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)
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: HappierAtHome on December 08, 2015, 03:57:34 PM
KittyWrestler was before my time.
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: matchewed on December 08, 2015, 04:04:37 PM
Oh man glanced through that ol' trainwreck of a thread. I miss Jamesqf...
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: Frugal_NYC 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)
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: justajane 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/
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: BPA 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/https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/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. 
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: Shane 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???

Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: Shane 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! :)
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: dragoncar 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.
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: garth 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.
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: dragoncar 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.
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: Shane 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.

Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: matchewed 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.
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: Dollar Slice 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.
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: Shane 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.
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: dragoncar 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"
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: Telecaster 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. 
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: human 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 . . .
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: JZinCO 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.
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: justajane 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.
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: JZinCO 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.

Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: MonkeyJenga 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.
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: tyir 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.
 
 
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: dragoncar 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.

Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: LeRainDrop 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!
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: Shane 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.
Title: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: cawiau 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
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: dragoncar 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.
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: NorCal 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 (http://harvard-cga.maps.arcgis.com/apps/StorytellingTextLegend/index.html?appid=18d215ddb20946a4a16ae43586bf0b52)
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: Shane 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.

 
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: JZinCO 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.
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: Villanelle on December 09, 2015, 12:29:09 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.

A sociology class I took a zillion years differentiated between upper upper (old money) and lower upper (new money).  Both are upper class, but the distinction within that group isn't income or net worth and is all social.  Both are so wealthy as to never have to work and never have to think about money, really.

DH and my collective income is very roughly (it's complicated!) $120k.  We live in an extremely high COL area, and not by choice.  And I consider us very much upper middle class, more upper than middle. 
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: JZinCO on December 09, 2015, 12:30:18 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.

This is a good interpretation. It probably explains why almost three-quarters of those with at least 5 million in assets consider themselves middle class.
Another reason could be because the majority of affluent folks rose through the ranks on sweat equity, and not inheritance, and carry the same roots-based perception of themselves through life.
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: dragoncar on December 09, 2015, 12:38:46 AM


This is a good interpretation. It probably explains why almost three-quarters of those with at least 5 million in assets consider themselves middle class.
Another reason could be because the majority of affluent folks rose through the ranks on sweat equity, and not inheritance, and carry the same roots-based perception of themselves through life.

Yeah, I suspect they all have a middle class upbringing, or think you have to have to be some kind of snob with refined sensibilities to be upper class.  Maybe they are confusing having no class with being middle class.

I wonder if we just called it an "upper class salary" if that would settle the class anxiety issues.

It's funny, because I have a social justice crusader type friend ...  he's a really great guy but is basically now the go-to guy for internet activism.  And he gets paid a lot to help good causes rally the forces.  We were talking about some random 1% issue back when that was a hot topic and he said something that made me go "wait, don't you typically pull make that kind of money these days?"  It was very satisfying to watch his face change with realization.   Of course, knowing this guy, he'll probably blow it all on food and shelter for poor kids in Africa :-(
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: arebelspy on December 09, 2015, 12:53:03 AM

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.

Any number of reasons.

Have you read the blog attached to these forums?

Here's a few:

1) Making your life more difficult actually makes it better (difficult meaning purposefully challenging--aka the opposite of the pampering you mention... not even actually real difficulties that many people have to face)

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/09/18/is-it-convenient-would-i-enjoy-it-wrong-question/ (http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/09/18/is-it-convenient-would-i-enjoy-it-wrong-question/)

2) Hedonic Adaptation

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/10/22/what-is-hedonic-adaptation-and-how-can-it-turn-you-into-a-sukka/ (http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/10/22/what-is-hedonic-adaptation-and-how-can-it-turn-you-into-a-sukka/)

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/06/28/king-for-just-one-day/ (http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/06/28/king-for-just-one-day/)

Can't believe everyone just ignored this statement (or the incorrect "purpose" in the statement above it, which I won't even go into--suffice it to say, no, I think MMM wouldn't say the point is early retirement, even if that's one big benefit, and I think he'd say that badassity is much more important than ER).
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: dragoncar on December 09, 2015, 01:03:53 AM

Can't believe everyone just ignored this statement (or the incorrect "purpose" in the statement above it, which I won't even go into--suffice it to say, no, I think MMM wouldn't say the point is early retirement, even if that's one big benefit, and I think he'd say that badassity is much more important than ER).

Wait! Wait!  I know this one...

It's "Financial Freedom Through Badassity"

Do I get a cookie?

edit: but I didn't ignore that statement either: http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/antimustachian-wall-of-shame-and-comedy/forum-check-what-forum-is-this/msg896523/#msg896523
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: arebelspy on December 09, 2015, 01:12:54 AM
Yes, you didn't, but you basically accepted it with a caveat. That's even worse. ;)
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: dragoncar on December 09, 2015, 01:14:28 AM
Yes, you didn't, but you basically accepted it with a caveat. That's even worse. ;)

I can't do all the work here!  What are they payin' you for?
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: arebelspy on December 09, 2015, 01:20:07 AM

Yes, you didn't, but you basically accepted it with a caveat. That's even worse. ;)

I can't do all the work here!  What are they payin' you for?

My charming personality.
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: dragoncar on December 09, 2015, 01:27:26 AM

Yes, you didn't, but you basically accepted it with a caveat. That's even worse. ;)

I can't do all the work here!  What are they payin' you for?

My charming personality.

I guess MMM is due a refund then :-P
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: arebelspy on December 09, 2015, 01:29:45 AM
*heads back to work*
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: marty998 on December 09, 2015, 03:56:49 AM
Upper class....

Always thought the technical term was "those snobbish bastards!"

And that varying levels of upper class were defined by how posh your English aristocratic/royal accent sounded...
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: Playing with Fire UK on December 09, 2015, 04:33:53 AM
Upper class....

Always thought the technical term was "those snobbish bastards!"

And that varying levels of upper class were defined by how posh your English aristocratic/royal accent sounded...

There is a cross over here between British class structure (changing, but basically who your parents are) and traditional US class structure (much closer to how much money you make/spend).

It seems like outrageously wealthy/well paid Americans are claiming to be middle class because they watched Downton Abbey and don't own a castle.

In the UK nearly everyone refers to themselves as middle class. It doesn't mean anything any more.

Check out http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-22007058 (http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-22007058) and http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/0/21970879 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/0/21970879) to throw some more spanners in the works.

I think it is much more informative to talk about income percentiles (or net wealth percentiles), to put some science into this made-up social construct.
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: justajane on December 09, 2015, 05:44:02 AM
rats carryin pizza

If that's not a meme already, it ought to be!

@Shane. I understand your point now. Thanks for clarifying.

I'm mostly fine with high earners referring themselves as the "upper middle class" or "extremely fortunate" or "extremely blessed" if they don't want to label themselves "upper class" because of its connotations. But they really need to recognize that they are not the norm in terms of income and shouldn't try to lump themselves in with the true middle class, which makes less than 100K. They should empathize rather than commiserate with any struggles of the true middle class. Heck, as an 90K in a LCOL area, I don't even think I can do that. That's the problem some of us had with the comments about how 200K doesn't go so far, as if they had the same struggles as a person making 50K.
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: elaine amj on December 09, 2015, 07:46:34 AM
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

That would be the bogleheads forum or maybe earlyretirement.org (caveat: have only skimmed those forums so just my perception). To me, the MMM forum is about re-examining what provides value to your life. And learning that not all pampering provides the same value. And re-evaluating all those sacred cows. And realizing that you don't need as much cash as you thought you did.

So no, like others have said, MMM is not about saving as much cash as you can. MMM saved just enough and then retired. He has no interest in saving more. And even though he is earning more in retirement, he isn't spending any more since he feels he is already spending all he wants (at $25k a year).

I don't claim to follow all that. I'm still too much of a spendypants. But I come here to learn more about his lifestyle and adjust my own views about money and luxuries. It's no longer "how much do I need for retirement", it's "how little do I need"? And like you said, that varies from person to person.
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: tyir on December 09, 2015, 08:05:20 AM
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


Yes, people are saying that - you specifically called them "pretenders".

Here are a bunch of quotes from the two threads:

"
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."

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

And on the other thread you were part of this exchange:
"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"
"Yeah, a delusional perspective"

This is all this is saying people who consider themselves middle class because they spend middle class are wrong and are deluding themselves. That's what I wrote before.


Compared to most of human history, and most of the world right now - all of us are rich - extremely rich. Pointing fingers at others and saying how they're rich with no perspective of real life is pretty sad considering the amount of luxury all of us have compared to most people throughout history.




Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: matchewed on December 09, 2015, 08:08:22 AM
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


Yes, people are saying that - you specifically called them "pretenders".

Here are a bunch of quotes from the two threads:

"
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."

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

And on the other thread you were part of this exchange:
"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"
"Yeah, a delusional perspective"

This is all this is saying people who consider themselves middle class because they spend middle class are wrong and are deluding themselves. That's what I wrote before.


Compared to most of human history, and most of the world right now - all of us are rich - extremely rich. Pointing fingers at others and saying how they're rich with no perspective of real life is pretty sad considering the amount of luxury all of us have compared to most people throughout history.

Nope, you're missing the point. You can live middle class and still be rich. What we are claiming is if you make 200k you're rich, that is regardless of your chosen lifestyle. You're taking quotes out of context and pulling conclusions based on that.
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: tyir on December 09, 2015, 08:15:07 AM
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


Yes, people are saying that - you specifically called them "pretenders".

Here are a bunch of quotes from the two threads:

"
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."

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

And on the other thread you were part of this exchange:
"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"
"Yeah, a delusional perspective"

This is all this is saying people who consider themselves middle class because they spend middle class are wrong and are deluding themselves. That's what I wrote before.


Compared to most of human history, and most of the world right now - all of us are rich - extremely rich. Pointing fingers at others and saying how they're rich with no perspective of real life is pretty sad considering the amount of luxury all of us have compared to most people throughout history.

Nope, you're missing the point. You can live middle class and still be rich. What we are claiming is if you make 200k you're rich, that is regardless of your chosen lifestyle. You're taking quotes out of context and pulling conclusions based on that.

I'm not taking them out of context at all - seriously explain me exactly which quote I took out of context?  Saying the are pretenders (which is a direct quote) is incorrect and insulting.

If the problem is consumption, people here should be saying that people who spend 200K a year rich and deluded if they think they are middle class - that seems reasonable to me. But just earning it? People are not making that distinction in this thread.

Let me re-clarify in an edit - I don't have a complain about saying someone who earns 200K is rich. My point was calling them deluded is insulting if they live beneath their means.
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: Pooperman on December 09, 2015, 08:21:26 AM
Social class =/= wealth class. You can be middle class socially and have millions in the bank or have nothing in the bank and be living paycheck to paycheck. You can be upper class socially and live paycheck to paycheck with massive amount of debt, or you could make millions.

Middle class can be seen as the middle 50% of people. You can choose wealth ($9k - $315k according to the 2013 survey of consumer finances) or income ($25k/yr - $95k/yr according to 2010 census). If you fall to either side of that, you're not middle class. For DW and I, we are  middle class currently. We earned about $85k this past year and have about $55k in the bank.
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: matchewed on December 09, 2015, 08:24:45 AM
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


Yes, people are saying that - you specifically called them "pretenders".

Here are a bunch of quotes from the two threads:

"
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."

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

And on the other thread you were part of this exchange:
"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"
"Yeah, a delusional perspective"

This is all this is saying people who consider themselves middle class because they spend middle class are wrong and are deluding themselves. That's what I wrote before.


Compared to most of human history, and most of the world right now - all of us are rich - extremely rich. Pointing fingers at others and saying how they're rich with no perspective of real life is pretty sad considering the amount of luxury all of us have compared to most people throughout history.

Nope, you're missing the point. You can live middle class and still be rich. What we are claiming is if you make 200k you're rich, that is regardless of your chosen lifestyle. You're taking quotes out of context and pulling conclusions based on that.

I'm not taking them out of context at all - seriously explain me exactly which quote I took out of context?  Saying the are pretenders (which is a direct quote) is incorrect and insulting.

If the problem is consumption, people here should be saying that people who spend 200K a year rich and deluded if they think they are middle class - that seems reasonable to me. But just earning it? People are not making that distinction in this thread.

Every quote. The reason I say you're taking them out of context is because the context of what people are saying is that earning 200k makes you rich. You're looking at that and saying "not true if I spend less than that" which is either intentionally skewing the concept of rich so as to shove it into just an expense model i.e. your idea that you're only rich if you spend alot of money, or it's not understanding what we've been saying.

Yes just earning 200k a year makes you rich regardless of your expenses. How is that not true by any measurement? No one is saying the problem is consumption, you're inventing that. People have been denying 200k a year is rich because they live in a HCOL area. The counter to that is that they think they're not rich because their norm is being surrounded by richness. They're hedonically adapted to the rich around them and no longer can perceive the rich. I agree that calling them pretenders is harsh, they're just living their lives. But that worldview, 200k is not rich, is so very very skewed.

I also think that when people hear the word rich they think what is being said is high class. That is not the case. I'm just saying rich, that is regardless of class. It's easy to conflate the two but not necessary in this case.
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: tyir on December 09, 2015, 08:33:50 AM
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


Yes, people are saying that - you specifically called them "pretenders".

Here are a bunch of quotes from the two threads:

"
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."

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

And on the other thread you were part of this exchange:
"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"
"Yeah, a delusional perspective"

This is all this is saying people who consider themselves middle class because they spend middle class are wrong and are deluding themselves. That's what I wrote before.


Compared to most of human history, and most of the world right now - all of us are rich - extremely rich. Pointing fingers at others and saying how they're rich with no perspective of real life is pretty sad considering the amount of luxury all of us have compared to most people throughout history.

Nope, you're missing the point. You can live middle class and still be rich. What we are claiming is if you make 200k you're rich, that is regardless of your chosen lifestyle. You're taking quotes out of context and pulling conclusions based on that.

I'm not taking them out of context at all - seriously explain me exactly which quote I took out of context?  Saying the are pretenders (which is a direct quote) is incorrect and insulting.

If the problem is consumption, people here should be saying that people who spend 200K a year rich and deluded if they think they are middle class - that seems reasonable to me. But just earning it? People are not making that distinction in this thread.

Every quote. The reason I say you're taking them out of context is because the context of what people are saying is that earning 200k makes you rich. You're looking at that and saying "not true if I spend less than that" which is either intentionally skewing the concept of rich so as to shove it into just an expense model i.e. your idea that you're only rich if you spend alot of money, or it's not understanding what we've been saying.

Yes just earning 200k a year makes you rich regardless of your expenses. How is that not true by any measurement? No one is saying the problem is consumption, you're inventing that. People have been denying 200k a year is rich because they live in a HCOL area. The counter to that is that they think they're not rich because their norm is being surrounded by richness. They're hedonically adapted to the rich around them and no longer can perceive the rich. I agree that calling them pretenders is harsh, they're just living their lives. But that worldview, 200k is not rich, is so very very skewed.

I also think that when people hear the word rich they think what is being said is high class. That is not the case. I'm just saying rich, that is regardless of class. It's easy to conflate the two but not necessary in this case.

Note (in my edit, mind you) I said I don't see anything wrong with calling them rich - it was calling them pretenders and saying they are delusional if they feel "like a regular guy". I think that's a unhelpful perspective to take.

Another problem is the term "rich" is very often used as a negative term (discussed several times in this thread). You mention it's easy to conflate the two, and you are not, but maybe people here are (just in the other thread someone was saying someone who earned 200K can buy yachts, use private jets - trappings of upper class/snobbery). It's not surprising people who earn a lot in HCOL don't want to call themselves rich.
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: matchewed on December 09, 2015, 08:42:02 AM
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


Yes, people are saying that - you specifically called them "pretenders".

Here are a bunch of quotes from the two threads:

"
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."

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

And on the other thread you were part of this exchange:
"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"
"Yeah, a delusional perspective"

This is all this is saying people who consider themselves middle class because they spend middle class are wrong and are deluding themselves. That's what I wrote before.


Compared to most of human history, and most of the world right now - all of us are rich - extremely rich. Pointing fingers at others and saying how they're rich with no perspective of real life is pretty sad considering the amount of luxury all of us have compared to most people throughout history.

Nope, you're missing the point. You can live middle class and still be rich. What we are claiming is if you make 200k you're rich, that is regardless of your chosen lifestyle. You're taking quotes out of context and pulling conclusions based on that.

I'm not taking them out of context at all - seriously explain me exactly which quote I took out of context?  Saying the are pretenders (which is a direct quote) is incorrect and insulting.

If the problem is consumption, people here should be saying that people who spend 200K a year rich and deluded if they think they are middle class - that seems reasonable to me. But just earning it? People are not making that distinction in this thread.

Every quote. The reason I say you're taking them out of context is because the context of what people are saying is that earning 200k makes you rich. You're looking at that and saying "not true if I spend less than that" which is either intentionally skewing the concept of rich so as to shove it into just an expense model i.e. your idea that you're only rich if you spend alot of money, or it's not understanding what we've been saying.

Yes just earning 200k a year makes you rich regardless of your expenses. How is that not true by any measurement? No one is saying the problem is consumption, you're inventing that. People have been denying 200k a year is rich because they live in a HCOL area. The counter to that is that they think they're not rich because their norm is being surrounded by richness. They're hedonically adapted to the rich around them and no longer can perceive the rich. I agree that calling them pretenders is harsh, they're just living their lives. But that worldview, 200k is not rich, is so very very skewed.

I also think that when people hear the word rich they think what is being said is high class. That is not the case. I'm just saying rich, that is regardless of class. It's easy to conflate the two but not necessary in this case.

Note (in my edit, mind you) I said I don't see anything wrong with calling them rich - it was calling them pretenders and saying they are delusional if they feel "like a regular guy". I think that's a unhelpful perspective to take.

Another problem is the term "rich" is very often used as a negative term (discussed several times in this thread). You mention it's easy to conflate the two, and you are not, but maybe people here are (just in the other thread someone was saying someone who earned 200K can buy yachts, use private jets - trappings of upper class/snobbery). It's not surprising people who earn a lot in HCOL don't want to call themselves rich.

That was me talking about yachts and private jets. Again taking things out of context because I was making the claim that earning 200k gave you the ability to do those things which puts you distinctly in the rich category. People said "I don't do those things so I can't be rich." It's in fact people jumping in and saying not to call them rich who are the ones taking the concept negatively, I'm just saying they're rich and the backlash has been the equivalent of "Ew don't call me rich, I'm not rich, you're partaking in class warfare by saying someone is rich, it's dangerous to say someone is rich, look at the neighborhood I live in I can't be rich...etc."
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: tyir on December 09, 2015, 08:49:13 AM
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


Yes, people are saying that - you specifically called them "pretenders".

Here are a bunch of quotes from the two threads:

"
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."

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

And on the other thread you were part of this exchange:
"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"
"Yeah, a delusional perspective"

This is all this is saying people who consider themselves middle class because they spend middle class are wrong and are deluding themselves. That's what I wrote before.


Compared to most of human history, and most of the world right now - all of us are rich - extremely rich. Pointing fingers at others and saying how they're rich with no perspective of real life is pretty sad considering the amount of luxury all of us have compared to most people throughout history.

Nope, you're missing the point. You can live middle class and still be rich. What we are claiming is if you make 200k you're rich, that is regardless of your chosen lifestyle. You're taking quotes out of context and pulling conclusions based on that.

I'm not taking them out of context at all - seriously explain me exactly which quote I took out of context?  Saying the are pretenders (which is a direct quote) is incorrect and insulting.

If the problem is consumption, people here should be saying that people who spend 200K a year rich and deluded if they think they are middle class - that seems reasonable to me. But just earning it? People are not making that distinction in this thread.

Every quote. The reason I say you're taking them out of context is because the context of what people are saying is that earning 200k makes you rich. You're looking at that and saying "not true if I spend less than that" which is either intentionally skewing the concept of rich so as to shove it into just an expense model i.e. your idea that you're only rich if you spend alot of money, or it's not understanding what we've been saying.

Yes just earning 200k a year makes you rich regardless of your expenses. How is that not true by any measurement? No one is saying the problem is consumption, you're inventing that. People have been denying 200k a year is rich because they live in a HCOL area. The counter to that is that they think they're not rich because their norm is being surrounded by richness. They're hedonically adapted to the rich around them and no longer can perceive the rich. I agree that calling them pretenders is harsh, they're just living their lives. But that worldview, 200k is not rich, is so very very skewed.

I also think that when people hear the word rich they think what is being said is high class. That is not the case. I'm just saying rich, that is regardless of class. It's easy to conflate the two but not necessary in this case.

Note (in my edit, mind you) I said I don't see anything wrong with calling them rich - it was calling them pretenders and saying they are delusional if they feel "like a regular guy". I think that's a unhelpful perspective to take.

Another problem is the term "rich" is very often used as a negative term (discussed several times in this thread). You mention it's easy to conflate the two, and you are not, but maybe people here are (just in the other thread someone was saying someone who earned 200K can buy yachts, use private jets - trappings of upper class/snobbery). It's not surprising people who earn a lot in HCOL don't want to call themselves rich.

That was me talking about yachts and private jets. Again taking things out of context because I was making the claim that earning 200k gave you the ability to do those things which puts you distinctly in the rich category. People said "I don't do those things so I can't be rich." It's in fact people jumping in and saying not to call them rich who are the ones taking the concept negatively, I'm just saying they're rich and the backlash has been the equivalent of "Ew don't call me rich, I'm not rich, you're partaking in class warfare by saying someone is rich, it's dangerous to say someone is rich, look at the neighborhood I live in I can't be rich...etc."

People don't like being called rich - there's a strong anti-rich / anti-elite sentiment that's existed forever. I'm not sure why this is surprising to you.

Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: 2Birds1Stone on December 09, 2015, 08:54:36 AM
Social class =/= wealth class. You can be middle class socially and have millions in the bank or have nothing in the bank and be living paycheck to paycheck. You can be upper class socially and live paycheck to paycheck with massive amount of debt, or you could make millions.

Middle class can be seen as the middle 50% of people. You can choose wealth ($9k - $315k according to the 2013 survey of consumer finances) or income ($25k/yr - $95k/yr according to 2010 census). If you fall to either side of that, you're not middle class. For DW and I, we are  middle class currently. We earned about $85k this past year and have about $55k in the bank.

I like your explanation, do you feel that a family living in NYC or the surrounding area earning a gross $100k/yr is "rich"?

My SO and I feel better off than most, not because of income but because of our LBYM lifestyle. If we wanted to buy a house in this area, have kids, etc it would be possible but hardly easy on "middle class" income according to that data. 

Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: matchewed on December 09, 2015, 08:59:54 AM
Which comes right back to where we started, people denying the reality around them to protect their sense of self. That's not surprising to me. I'm just pointing it out and engaging with people who don't/can't seem to see it. I do so because we're on a forum that is designed to help people see life a bit more "real" than our traditional consumerist culture would. And yet it is met with fingers firmly in ears and "LALALALALALALLALALALLALALALA".
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: Pooperman on December 09, 2015, 09:14:25 AM
Social class =/= wealth class. You can be middle class socially and have millions in the bank or have nothing in the bank and be living paycheck to paycheck. You can be upper class socially and live paycheck to paycheck with massive amount of debt, or you could make millions.

Middle class can be seen as the middle 50% of people. You can choose wealth ($9k - $315k according to the 2013 survey of consumer finances) or income ($25k/yr - $95k/yr according to 2010 census). If you fall to either side of that, you're not middle class. For DW and I, we are  middle class currently. We earned about $85k this past year and have about $55k in the bank.

I like your explanation, do you feel that a family living in NYC or the surrounding area earning a gross $100k/yr is "rich"?

My SO and I feel better off than most, not because of income but because of our LBYM lifestyle. If we wanted to buy a house in this area, have kids, etc it would be possible but hardly easy on "middle class" income according to that data.

I live in your area (I took the 'NJ is cheaper' approach). $100k/yr makes you in the upper class or "rich" or whatever by 2010 standards. $100k might be the top end of the middle now, but without more data, I can't be sure. Still, buying a house in the NYC metro area (which is about 25 million people, or 2/3 of Canada, stuffed in an area the size of Los Angeles) is incredibly expensive on any income. I wouldn't recommend it.

Incomes here somewhat offset the increased housing costs... but not really in the slightest.
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: pbkmaine on December 09, 2015, 09:18:20 AM
This thread is reminding me of Paul Allen's book, where he bitches that Bill Gates got a bigger share of Microsoft than he did and it's really not fair. Compared to most of the world, all of us here have obscene wealth and live in amazing luxury.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: StetsTerhune on December 09, 2015, 09:24:18 AM
My takeaway whenever someone says things like "200k a year doesn't make me rich!" is that being "rich" must not be all it's cracked up to be. The person probably thought that if they ever made that much they'd feel different, or be commuting in their private dirigible or whatever. Now that they make that much, instead of making the obvious conclusion that money isn't the end goal and it's not going to make you happier, they've taken the mentally easier approach and just moved the goal line in their head -- Money is still the answer, they just need more than they thought.

I for one make a shitload of money. But I still can't buy a yacht, so I'm not rich. What else could "rich" mean?
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: Cpa Cat on December 09, 2015, 09:39:52 AM
I think the issue is that many people's definition of middle class is a spacious house with a yard that your two kids and dog can play in, and an attached two-car garage - in a nice neighborhood.

In a city like New York, that isn't something that's affordable to most middle class families within a reasonable commute (1 hour?) from major city centers. It's not that it costs 3 times more to go to the doctor in NYC, or 3 times more to buy groceries, or 3 times more to pay your utilities, or even 3 times more to buy a car (although it might be hard to park it!).

When people talk about living in a HCOL area, they are referring to space - housing, specifically, and the distance between spacious housing and work (commute).

But the fact is that middle class in heavily urbanized areas isn't necessarily about spacious housing. If you want to live a lifestyle where the house and yard and two car garage are common, that lifestyle is easily available to the vast majority of educated professionals if they're willing to leave New York City (or Seattle, or wherever in California). But they don't want to. They like living in those places, they enjoy the experiences that they have access to in those places. Part of why they enjoy it is because they can afford to do things, due to their middle class incomes.

They look around and say, "When I compare a nice 2000 sq ft home in Kansas to a nice 2000 sq ft home in NYC, my increased income in NYC does not offset the cost differential. So I must not be middle class." Except that they are middle class. It's just that a middle class lifestyle in their area looks different from the one in Kansas. They have access to things - experiences, career advancement, etc - that middle classers in Kansas can't access.

So if someone is making 6 figures in a HCOL area and considers themselves barely middle class or not middle class at all, then they need a perspective adjustment. If your ability to feel "well off" is directly proportional to the size of your house, then you should find a job elsewhere. But I have a feeling that most people would find that there are reasons other than house-size that they are choosing to stay in their HCOL area.
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: dragoncar on December 09, 2015, 10:48:21 AM
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


Yes, people are saying that - you specifically called them "pretenders".

Here are a bunch of quotes from the two threads:

"
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."

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

And on the other thread you were part of this exchange:
"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"
"Yeah, a delusional perspective"

This is all this is saying people who consider themselves middle class because they spend middle class are wrong and are deluding themselves. That's what I wrote before.


Compared to most of human history, and most of the world right now - all of us are rich - extremely rich. Pointing fingers at others and saying how they're rich with no perspective of real life is pretty sad considering the amount of luxury all of us have compared to most people throughout history.

Yeah no.  Read the quotes again.

Nobody is saying that people are pretenders merely because they are frugal.  They are pretenders if they think being frugal while earning $200k makes them middle class.  Plenty of people on this forum make $200k, live below their means, but recognize that they make an objectively high income.  I have no problem with these people.  I am one of these people.

The problem is, as macheweed and others have explained numerous times, when those same people say (or often complain) that they are middle class just because they spend like the middle class.  No, they still have a huge income stream that they are saving which will result in massive assets and the ability to do any reasonable middle or upper middle class activity they want without having to work anymore.  The true middle class does not have that luxury and it is absolutely delusional to pretend that you don't have that luxury when you do.
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: mm1970 on December 09, 2015, 11:05:09 AM
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.
Yes.

Median household income in my town is $63,758.
Median rent on a 2BR apt is $2100 a month.

That's about 39.5%

Median home price is about $1,065,300

But my 'hood, it's more like $800,000
For a 2BR, only $720,000
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: Apocalyptica602 on December 09, 2015, 11:39:35 AM
Some people have mentioned this as well but I didn't see it really latched onto.

Social class =/= Economic class as well.

Two NYC Sanitation workers could clear > $200K. But would likely be perceived (and probably perceive themselves) as 'working class' whereas you take two Attorneys (at anywhere but biglaw firms) are making around the same. They would be much more likely to be perceived as 'upper middle class'.

A generalization for sure, but I'd purport that those two families wouldn't likely find themselves in the same social circle as well.

Also as an Engineer myself I find the social nuances get things muddled, I much prefer sticking to the numbers myself.
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: Left on December 09, 2015, 11:52:37 AM
Stop being jealous? Mmm is mostly on savings rate and not earnings rate anyways
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: honeybbq on December 09, 2015, 11:54:18 AM

That was me talking about yachts and private jets. Again taking things out of context because I was making the claim that earning 200k gave you the ability to do those things which puts you distinctly in the rich category.

And it was responded that you really CAN'T do that on 200k. It's simply not enough money.  If you scaled it down to a motor boat and first class seating... You'd have my buy in.
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: a rose by any other name on December 09, 2015, 12:01:30 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.

Ah yes. This is literally exactly what life is like in the entire United States outside of NYC. It's too bad that there are no other places you can get around without driving and all those other places have laws requiring you to have kids, own a home, and have huge cars. Man, what a dump this country is outside of NYC, amirite?
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: matchewed on December 09, 2015, 12:02:10 PM

That was me talking about yachts and private jets. Again taking things out of context because I was making the claim that earning 200k gave you the ability to do those things which puts you distinctly in the rich category.

And it was responded that you really CAN'T do that on 200k. It's simply not enough money.  If you scaled it down to a motor boat and first class seating... You'd have my buy in.

Stop taking my quotes out of context, it makes it easier to have conversations.
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: Left on December 09, 2015, 12:25:11 PM
what difference does it really make? I mean nearly everyone on here aims to become FI... meaning each of us aims to have an egg that is worth "quite a lot"... That would put us towards the top end of middle class/rich (if you want to say it)... and yet, by MMM standards, we most likely would not be "living rich" with boats/planes/etc...

sounds more like bogleheads to me for the other case, investments without minimal living. And I do not think living minimally is the same as frugal living. You can live minimally but spend a lot on what you do... IE buying a $10k bike, vs a $10 bike... Spend what you want on things you want, and live without the extras until you need it <--- that's minimal to me, buy as needed and not because you think you might but end up never using it.

And no, I don't follow Mr MM's footsteps exactly, but I do enough that is similar and I like the community here so I stick around.

my question to is forum if they consider MMM as part of wealthy? :D if he spends less than average income, does that put him in lower class then? Income of other people doesn't really matter a whole lot to me. It's just more of the chasing after the jones to me, why get bothered by what someone else does? So I don't really care if they want to call themselves middle class/rich/poor... it doesn't mean anything
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: Dollar Slice on December 09, 2015, 12:27:17 PM
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.

Ah yes. This is literally exactly what life is like in the entire United States outside of NYC. It's too bad that there are no other places you can get around without driving and all those other places have laws requiring you to have kids, own a home, and have huge cars. Man, what a dump this country is outside of NYC, amirite?

I'm sorry to hear you have such an enormous chip on your shoulder about wherever it is that you are living. That must be hard for you to deal with.

Please see the comment chain that I was replying to, which specifically referenced living outside of HCOL cities in order to afford owning a home and owning cars and having kids. I was responding to that by pointing out how much those specific things do not appeal to me and therefore do not factor into my decision to live here. (I was trying to be polite by not mentioning all the reasons I don't want kids...)

If you want me to actually expound on why NYC is the best place in the world, we can start a new thread ;-)
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: matchewed on December 09, 2015, 12:30:48 PM
what difference does it really make? I mean nearly everyone on here aims to become FI... meaning each of us aims to have an egg that is worth "quite a lot"... That would put us towards the top end of middle class/rich (if you want to say it)... and yet, by MMM standards, we most likely would not be "living rich" with boats/planes/etc...

sounds more like bogleheads to me for the other case, investments without minimal living. And I do not think living minimally is the same as frugal living. You can live minimally but spend a lot on what you do... IE buying a $10k bike, vs a $10 bike... Spend what you want on things you want, and live without the extras until you need it <--- that's minimal to me, buy as needed and not because you think you might but end up never using it.

And no, I don't follow Mr MM's footsteps exactly, but I do enough that is similar and I like the community here so I stick around.

And lo' the whole point of this thread has been shown yet again. Certainly you'll get a facepunch for a 10k bike. It doesn't matter if you value the bike or not. The 10k bike doesn't give you anymore utility or enjoyment than a $2000 bike. Spending 10k for the sake of spending 10k is wasteful and decidedly not "minimal" by any definition of the word. It's fine if that isn't your value set but like the OP said, what forum is this?
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: Pooperman on December 09, 2015, 12:32:56 PM
what difference does it really make? I mean nearly everyone on here aims to become FI... meaning each of us aims to have an egg that is worth "quite a lot"... That would put us towards the top end of middle class/rich (if you want to say it)... and yet, by MMM standards, we most likely would not be "living rich" with boats/planes/etc...

sounds more like bogleheads to me for the other case, investments without minimal living. And I do not think living minimally is the same as frugal living. You can live minimally but spend a lot on what you do... IE buying a $10k bike, vs a $10 bike... Spend what you want on things you want, and live without the extras until you need it <--- that's minimal to me, buy as needed and not because you think you might but end up never using it.

And no, I don't follow Mr MM's footsteps exactly, but I do enough that is similar and I like the community here so I stick around.

And lo' the whole point of this thread has been shown yet again. Certainly you'll get a facepunch for a 10k bike. It doesn't matter if you value the bike or not. The 10k bike doesn't give you anymore utility or enjoyment than a $2000 bike. Spending 10k for the sake of spending 10k is wasteful and decidedly not "minimal" by any definition of the word. It's fine if that isn't your value set but like the OP said, what forum is this?
But-but-but it's *gold plated*!
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: Jack on December 09, 2015, 12:49:55 PM
what difference does it really make? I mean nearly everyone on here aims to become FI... meaning each of us aims to have an egg that is worth "quite a lot"... That would put us towards the top end of middle class/rich (if you want to say it)... and yet, by MMM standards, we most likely would not be "living rich" with boats/planes/etc...

sounds more like bogleheads to me for the other case, investments without minimal living. And I do not think living minimally is the same as frugal living. You can live minimally but spend a lot on what you do... IE buying a $10k bike, vs a $10 bike... Spend what you want on things you want, and live without the extras until you need it <--- that's minimal to me, buy as needed and not because you think you might but end up never using it.

And no, I don't follow Mr MM's footsteps exactly, but I do enough that is similar and I like the community here so I stick around.

And lo' the whole point of this thread has been shown yet again. Certainly you'll get a facepunch for a 10k bike. It doesn't matter if you value the bike or not. The 10k bike doesn't give you anymore utility or enjoyment than a $2000 bike. Spending 10k for the sake of spending 10k is wasteful and decidedly not "minimal" by any definition of the word. It's fine if that isn't your value set but like the OP said, what forum is this?
But-but-but it's *gold plated*!

Well that just makes it even stupider; gold is heavy!

(I have a hard time justifying even $1K for a bike -- especially since I'd almost certainly buy a used one -- unless it's something weird like an electric, tandem, recumbent, cargo or folding bike.)
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: matchewed on December 09, 2015, 12:50:49 PM
what difference does it really make? I mean nearly everyone on here aims to become FI... meaning each of us aims to have an egg that is worth "quite a lot"... That would put us towards the top end of middle class/rich (if you want to say it)... and yet, by MMM standards, we most likely would not be "living rich" with boats/planes/etc...

sounds more like bogleheads to me for the other case, investments without minimal living. And I do not think living minimally is the same as frugal living. You can live minimally but spend a lot on what you do... IE buying a $10k bike, vs a $10 bike... Spend what you want on things you want, and live without the extras until you need it <--- that's minimal to me, buy as needed and not because you think you might but end up never using it.

And no, I don't follow Mr MM's footsteps exactly, but I do enough that is similar and I like the community here so I stick around.

And lo' the whole point of this thread has been shown yet again. Certainly you'll get a facepunch for a 10k bike. It doesn't matter if you value the bike or not. The 10k bike doesn't give you anymore utility or enjoyment than a $2000 bike. Spending 10k for the sake of spending 10k is wasteful and decidedly not "minimal" by any definition of the word. It's fine if that isn't your value set but like the OP said, what forum is this?
But-but-but it's *gold plated*!

Well that just makes it even stupider; gold is heavy!

(I have a hard time justifying even $1K for a bike -- especially since I'd almost certainly buy a used one -- unless it's something weird like an electric, tandem, recumbent, cargo or folding bike.)

I actually agree but I'm trying not to freak out the wasteful spendypants.
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: Frugal_NYC on December 09, 2015, 01:02:49 PM
what difference does it really make? I mean nearly everyone on here aims to become FI... meaning each of us aims to have an egg that is worth "quite a lot"... That would put us towards the top end of middle class/rich (if you want to say it)... and yet, by MMM standards, we most likely would not be "living rich" with boats/planes/etc...

sounds more like bogleheads to me for the other case, investments without minimal living. And I do not think living minimally is the same as frugal living. You can live minimally but spend a lot on what you do... IE buying a $10k bike, vs a $10 bike... Spend what you want on things you want, and live without the extras until you need it <--- that's minimal to me, buy as needed and not because you think you might but end up never using it.

And no, I don't follow Mr MM's footsteps exactly, but I do enough that is similar and I like the community here so I stick around.

And lo' the whole point of this thread has been shown yet again. Certainly you'll get a facepunch for a 10k bike. It doesn't matter if you value the bike or not. The 10k bike doesn't give you anymore utility or enjoyment than a $2000 bike. Spending 10k for the sake of spending 10k is wasteful and decidedly not "minimal" by any definition of the word. It's fine if that isn't your value set but like the OP said, what forum is this?

The amazing irony being the Mr. MM probably has a $2K bike lol
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: matchewed on December 09, 2015, 01:05:13 PM
I'm not sure we share a definition of irony. If he has a 2k bike then that's not irony, but illustrative as he can easily afford a 10k bike.
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: Jack on December 09, 2015, 01:22:51 PM
The amazing irony being the Mr. MM probably has a $2K bike lol

MMM has a $500 bike:

Quote from: http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2015/12/08/lessons-learned-from-having-my-bike-stolen/
Sure, my bike had been stolen. But this was the first theft in many, many years of very carefree living. The Craigslist replacement value of that bike was probably about $500.
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: mm1970 on December 09, 2015, 01:23:02 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/
this was a good read
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: Left on December 09, 2015, 01:38:18 PM
And lo' the whole point of this thread has been shown yet again. Certainly you'll get a facepunch for a 10k bike. It doesn't matter if you value the bike or not. The 10k bike doesn't give you anymore utility or enjoyment than a $2000 bike. Spending 10k for the sake of spending 10k is wasteful and decidedly not "minimal" by any definition of the word. It's fine if that isn't your value set but like the OP said, what forum is this?
seriously? You would go around facepunching people whose lives aren't exactly as you prescribe it? If they somehow spend more than what you think is a "reasonable" cost? So do you facepunch everyone who spends more than you? Better not buy an extra water bottle when you are around...

This is what this whole thread is reads like to me... that earning $200k is somehow causing offense...

people come here because no matter what they earn, they want to get to FI, they reduce their spending. Not reduce what they earn. If some feel like $200k isn't much, and they are here to ask for help getting to FI, do you turn your back saying, oh you have it so easy, figure it out on your own... Do you help someone who earns $20k thinking it is an achievement if they get to FI?

And yes there are people here who want to FI with millions of dollars, or tens of millions, so what? Do you think people shouldn't be allowed here then? Just having a high goal/salary does not make it antimustachian and yet this is where the thread is? Because it is somehow bad to have a high income?

enjoying items that cost $2k instead of $20k, or even $2... if the $2 makes them as happy as the $20k one? Sure they can afford the $20k, but they don't... so if they make $20k, $200k or $2,000,000 does it make a difference? If someone makes $2million a year and you see them wearing a $2 jewelry, do you think they are being "cheap" because they can afford more? But if a minimum wage worker wears it, you find it acceptable? That's a personalty issue there, not because of what they earn, just someone thinking they "should" spend more because they earn more... so the $2 million/year guy if they live a style where they are happy with $2 things, then yes they are middle class to me... I could care less how much "more" they can afford, they don't, and that's that to me. What they have in the bank is not something that I have issue with
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: matchewed on December 09, 2015, 01:48:24 PM
And lo' the whole point of this thread has been shown yet again. Certainly you'll get a facepunch for a 10k bike. It doesn't matter if you value the bike or not. The 10k bike doesn't give you anymore utility or enjoyment than a $2000 bike. Spending 10k for the sake of spending 10k is wasteful and decidedly not "minimal" by any definition of the word. It's fine if that isn't your value set but like the OP said, what forum is this?
seriously? You would go around facepunching people whose lives aren't exactly as you prescribe it? If they somehow spend more than what you think is a "reasonable" cost? So do you facepunch everyone who spends more than you? Better not buy an extra water bottle when you are around...

Yeah probably don't buy bottled water at all. It's extraordinarily wasteful. No I'm not saying that people should spend exactly to my values but that people should also spend optimally in the areas they value as well. There is a difference there you're not seeing.
This is what this whole thread is reads like to me... that earning $200k is somehow causing offense...

Maybe the fact that it's people who are attacking a simple statement, 200k is rich, with their perceived offense speaks more than any sort of thing you're saying. I have personally taken no offense and only see other people expressing outrage that they're being labeled as rich.

people come here because no matter what they earn, they want to get to FI, they reduce their spending. Not reduce what they earn. If some feel like $200k isn't much, and they are here to ask for help getting to FI, do you turn your back saying, oh you have it so easy, figure it out on your own... Do you help someone who earns $20k thinking it is an achievement if they get to FI?

And yes there are people here who want to FI with millions of dollars, or tens of millions, so what? Do you think people shouldn't be allowed here then? Just having a high goal/salary does not make it antimustachian and yet this is where the thread is? Because it is somehow bad to have a high income?

Don't argue points I don't make. It lends to bad conversations. Nothing you've said in this block of quote is related to anything I've said. You're literally pulling an argument out of thin air.
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: Left on December 09, 2015, 01:51:05 PM
I dont argue any points, I add my own opinions to my own post... if you don't like it, then don't read it :D I am not going to post two post, one to respond and another for my own comments >.> nor am I going to put disclaimers to make it easier for some people to figure out that what I am posting is my own opinions... everything I write is my own sentiments...

and so what if $200k is rich, or even if it is poor. does it make a difference?

if "you" take issue with the word you, blame english, I do not refer to any one "you", there is no proper way of using a general 3rd person in english aside from saying you...
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: arebelspy on December 09, 2015, 01:54:06 PM

what difference does it really make? I mean nearly everyone on here aims to become FI... meaning each of us aims to have an egg that is worth "quite a lot"... That would put us towards the top end of middle class/rich (if you want to say it)... and yet, by MMM standards, we most likely would not be "living rich" with boats/planes/etc...

sounds more like bogleheads to me for the other case, investments without minimal living. And I do not think living minimally is the same as frugal living. You can live minimally but spend a lot on what you do... IE buying a $10k bike, vs a $10 bike... Spend what you want on things you want, and live without the extras until you need it <--- that's minimal to me, buy as needed and not because you think you might but end up never using it.

And no, I don't follow Mr MM's footsteps exactly, but I do enough that is similar and I like the community here so I stick around.

my question to is forum if they consider MMM as part of wealthy? :D if he spends less than average income, does that put him in lower class then? Income of other people doesn't really matter a whole lot to me. It's just more of the chasing after the jones to me, why get bothered by what someone else does? So I don't really care if they want to call themselves middle class/rich/poor... it doesn't mean anything

Um, yes. MMM is rich. No question.

He literally never has to work a day in his life.

It's hard to not view your posts as trolling.
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: honeybbq on December 09, 2015, 01:57:07 PM
I haven't attacked anybody. You stated people on 200k HHI can have a yacht and a private jet. How is that taking it out of context?? I'm pointing out how ridiculous some of the characterizations of what a 200k income looks like have been. If you don't want it "taken out of context" then stop being silly about it.  Is 200k rich? Sure. But it doesn't look like what you seem to think it looks like, or the words that you are choosing to describe the lifestyle of someone who HAS a 200k lifestyle. Even if they are spendypants about it, that's not what it looks like.

Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: justajane on December 09, 2015, 02:05:04 PM
.. so the $2 million/year guy if they live a style where they are happy with $2 things, then yes they are middle class to me...

This is just such a strange perspective to me. I'm having a hard time understanding your point of view.

So, just because Warren Buffett drives a Cadillac or a Subaru or a Toyota or whatever he's driving at the moment and seems to have modest tastes overall means he's middle class? Say what? His net worth is $66 billion. You can say I'm exaggerating from your $2 million a year example above, but why wouldn't it apply across the board? You don't seem to want to consider net worth or income in a calculation of class.

Alternately, say someone with a negative net worth buys a Louis Vuitton suitcase set on credit (really I have no idea about luxury goods, so I'm sure this is a pathetic example).....that makes them upper class?
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: justajane on December 09, 2015, 02:11:58 PM
You stated people on 200k HHI can have a yacht and a private jet. How is that taking it out of context?? I'm pointing out how ridiculous some of the characterizations of what a 200k income looks like have been. If you don't want it "taken out of context" then stop being silly about it.  Is 200k rich? Sure. But it doesn't look like what you seem to think it looks like, or the words that you are choosing to describe the lifestyle of someone who HAS a 200k lifestyle. Even if they are spendypants about it, that's not what it looks like.

I interpreted matchewed's original comment about yachts and jets that someone making 200K could on occasion have a taste of the high life by renting a yacht or chartering a plane once in a while. I didn't think he or she was implying that someone of that income level could own this:
(http://designlimitededition.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/World%E2%80%99s-Top-5-Most-expensive-Luxury-Yachts-Azzam.jpg)
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: matchewed on December 09, 2015, 02:35:10 PM
You stated people on 200k HHI can have a yacht and a private jet. How is that taking it out of context?? I'm pointing out how ridiculous some of the characterizations of what a 200k income looks like have been. If you don't want it "taken out of context" then stop being silly about it.  Is 200k rich? Sure. But it doesn't look like what you seem to think it looks like, or the words that you are choosing to describe the lifestyle of someone who HAS a 200k lifestyle. Even if they are spendypants about it, that's not what it looks like.

I interpreted matchewed's original comment about yachts and jets that someone making 200K could on occasion have a taste of the high life by renting a yacht or chartering a plane once in a while. I didn't think he or she was implying that someone of that income level could own this:
(http://designlimitededition.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/World%E2%80%99s-Top-5-Most-expensive-Luxury-Yachts-Azzam.jpg)


Ding ding ding. As I've clarified before 200k income gives you much more resources to use. That is not an inaccurate statement. If you choose to use those resources for a yacht or chartering jets fine, those two things were just illustrative as to how powerful those resources are. If I wanted a yacht and only earned 75k I'm sure I could do it given enough time. That doesn't mean I think everyone running around the planet who makes more than 75k has a yacht, that's where you're misinterpreting, mischaracterizing, or taking my posts out of context honeybbq.
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: elaine amj on December 09, 2015, 04:07:55 PM
seriously? You would go around facepunching people whose lives aren't exactly as you prescribe it? If they somehow spend more than what you think is a "reasonable" cost? So do you facepunch everyone who spends more than you? Better not buy an extra water bottle when you are around...

This is what this whole thread is reads like to me... that earning $200k is somehow causing offense...

people come here because no matter what they earn, they want to get to FI, they reduce their spending. Not reduce what they earn. If some feel like $200k isn't much, and they are here to ask for help getting to FI, do you turn your back saying, oh you have it so easy, figure it out on your own... Do you help someone who earns $20k thinking it is an achievement if they get to FI?

And yes there are people here who want to FI with millions of dollars, or tens of millions, so what? Do you think people shouldn't be allowed here then? Just having a high goal/salary does not make it antimustachian and yet this is where the thread is? Because it is somehow bad to have a high income?

enjoying items that cost $2k instead of $20k, or even $2... if the $2 makes them as happy as the $20k one? Sure they can afford the $20k, but they don't... so if they make $20k, $200k or $2,000,000 does it make a difference? If someone makes $2million a year and you see them wearing a $2 jewelry, do you think they are being "cheap" because they can afford more? But if a minimum wage worker wears it, you find it acceptable? That's a personalty issue there, not because of what they earn, just someone thinking they "should" spend more because they earn more... so the $2 million/year guy if they live a style where they are happy with $2 things, then yes they are middle class to me... I could care less how much "more" they can afford, they don't, and that's that to me. What they have in the bank is not something that I have issue with

wow ...these are the types of posts that make me wonder what forum this is. Isn't the core of Mustachianism recognizing that so much of the stuff we spend on is an "exploding volcano of wastefulness"? Sure I don't follow everything nor am I hard-core. But I recognize what the site is trying to promote. And acknowledge it in my postings on here.

And yes, facepunches for a $10k bike is to be expected around here. You said yourself that ppl come on here for help reducing their spending. Of course ppl here should expect facepunches for any purchases not considered "reasonable". Whether you decide to buy it or not is your own decision - but you can't expect to come on the MMM website and not get facepunched for it. Getting a facepunch doesn't mean it is not a valid choice...it just means "think about it - does it really provide value to your life?" There's even a thread on here asking what conscious non-Mustachian spending choices folks have made.

And NOBODY said it is bad to have a high income. In fact, folks on here think it's great - because it gets you to FI sooner. But coming on here and insisting that everyone support you and laud you for wanting to be an insane consumerist - that's not what this place is about and I for one will be sad to see this community morph into one that celebrates consumerism.
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: dragoncar on December 09, 2015, 04:29:46 PM
seriously? You would go around facepunching people whose lives aren't exactly as you prescribe it? If they somehow spend more than what you think is a "reasonable" cost? So do you facepunch everyone who spends more than you? Better not buy an extra water bottle when you are around...

This is what this whole thread is reads like to me... that earning $200k is somehow causing offense...

people come here because no matter what they earn, they want to get to FI, they reduce their spending. Not reduce what they earn. If some feel like $200k isn't much, and they are here to ask for help getting to FI, do you turn your back saying, oh you have it so easy, figure it out on your own... Do you help someone who earns $20k thinking it is an achievement if they get to FI?

And yes there are people here who want to FI with millions of dollars, or tens of millions, so what? Do you think people shouldn't be allowed here then? Just having a high goal/salary does not make it antimustachian and yet this is where the thread is? Because it is somehow bad to have a high income?

enjoying items that cost $2k instead of $20k, or even $2... if the $2 makes them as happy as the $20k one? Sure they can afford the $20k, but they don't... so if they make $20k, $200k or $2,000,000 does it make a difference? If someone makes $2million a year and you see them wearing a $2 jewelry, do you think they are being "cheap" because they can afford more? But if a minimum wage worker wears it, you find it acceptable? That's a personalty issue there, not because of what they earn, just someone thinking they "should" spend more because they earn more... so the $2 million/year guy if they live a style where they are happy with $2 things, then yes they are middle class to me... I could care less how much "more" they can afford, they don't, and that's that to me. What they have in the bank is not something that I have issue with

wow ...these are the types of posts that make me wonder what forum this is. Isn't the core of Mustachianism recognizing that so much of the stuff we spend on is an "exploding volcano of wastefulness"? Sure I don't follow everything nor am I hard-core. But I recognize what the site is trying to promote. And acknowledge it in my postings on here.

And yes, facepunches for a $10k bike is to be expected around here. You said yourself that ppl come on here for help reducing their spending. Of course ppl here should expect facepunches for any purchases not considered "reasonable". Whether you decide to buy it or not is your own decision - but you can't expect to come on the MMM website and not get facepunched for it. Getting a facepunch doesn't mean it is not a valid choice...it just means "think about it - does it really provide value to your life?" There's even a thread on here asking what conscious non-Mustachian spending choices folks have made.

And NOBODY said it is bad to have a high income. In fact, folks on here think it's great - because it gets you to FI sooner. But coming on here and insisting that everyone support you and laud you for wanting to be an insane consumerist - that's not what this place is about and I for one will be sad to see this community morph into one that celebrates consumerism.

"You make too much money! Reduce your income and come back to the forum later" 

- Nobody Ever
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: Astatine on December 09, 2015, 04:32:44 PM
This thread is reminding me of Paul Allen's book, where he bitches that Bill Gates got a bigger share of Microsoft than he did and it's really not fair. Compared to most of the world, all of us here have obscene wealth and live in amazing luxury.

+1

I find the best way out of hedonic adaption or finding myself wanting more than I already have is look at what I have already and compare it globally. I live in a place where there is no war. I have clean, safe drinking water whenever I want it. I live in a house! With reliable electricity. I have easy access to medical care. I have a magic box that keeps my food cold and stops it from going off. And so on.
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: mm1970 on December 09, 2015, 05:17:22 PM
Thought this was appropriate to the discussion:

http://money.cnn.com/2015/12/09/news/economy/middle-class/index.html?iid=hp-stack-dom
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: BPA on December 09, 2015, 05:44:04 PM
"You make too much money! Reduce your income and come back to the forum later" 

- Nobody Ever

ha ha ha ha ha 

Thank you, Dragoncar!

Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: JLee on December 09, 2015, 05:49:26 PM
Thought this was appropriate to the discussion:

http://money.cnn.com/2015/12/09/news/economy/middle-class/index.html?iid=hp-stack-dom

Quote
The median net worth of upper class families doubled between 1983 and 2013, up to $650,100.
But the wealth of the middle class has increased a near negligible 2% over that time to $98,100. At least they fared better than lower-income Americans, who saw their wealth drop 18% to $9,500.
For its wealth calculations, Pew used data from the Federal Reserve Bank's Survey of Consumer Finances, which defines net worth as all of a family's assets minus all their debts.
According to that, basically anyone who's FIRE'd here is classified as upper class, and $72,521/yr (single) puts you in the top 21% / upper class. Interesting.
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: LeRainDrop on December 09, 2015, 06:05:16 PM
Thought this was appropriate to the discussion:

http://money.cnn.com/2015/12/09/news/economy/middle-class/index.html?iid=hp-stack-dom

Wow, perfect timing, and that is fascinating!  If you click through to the Pew Research Center report that the CNN Money article is about, you can find lots of interesting information, including this graphic:  http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2015/12/09/the-american-middle-class-is-losing-ground/st_2015-12-09_middle-class-02/
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: arebelspy on December 10, 2015, 01:28:30 AM
Some good definitions there. Apparently they quantify middle class as 2/3 to 2x the median income for that household size.

Thanks for directly linking the infographic, Raindrop.

My wife and I were middle class, though I felt like we were rich.

So yes, 200k is well into the upper class, for pretty much any household size.
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: honeybbq on December 10, 2015, 09:40:41 AM
You stated people on 200k HHI can have a yacht and a private jet. How is that taking it out of context?? I'm pointing out how ridiculous some of the characterizations of what a 200k income looks like have been. If you don't want it "taken out of context" then stop being silly about it.  Is 200k rich? Sure. But it doesn't look like what you seem to think it looks like, or the words that you are choosing to describe the lifestyle of someone who HAS a 200k lifestyle. Even if they are spendypants about it, that's not what it looks like.

I interpreted matchewed's original comment about yachts and jets that someone making 200K could on occasion have a taste of the high life by renting a yacht or chartering a plane once in a while. I didn't think he or she was implying that someone of that income level could own this:
(http://designlimitededition.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/World%E2%80%99s-Top-5-Most-expensive-Luxury-Yachts-Azzam.jpg)


Ding ding ding. As I've clarified before 200k income gives you much more resources to use. That is not an inaccurate statement. If you choose to use those resources for a yacht or chartering jets fine, those two things were just illustrative as to how powerful those resources are. If I wanted a yacht and only earned 75k I'm sure I could do it given enough time. That doesn't mean I think everyone running around the planet who makes more than 75k has a yacht, that's where you're misinterpreting, mischaracterizing, or taking my posts out of context honeybbq.

So, if you make "only" 50k a year, I should ask about how the cat food and top ramen tastes? I mean really. It could go the other way. You don't have to talk about yachts to describe that 200k has purchasing power. The same could be said the other way, you don't have to be disparaging about someone making 50k or less, either.  Yachts and private jets jokes are really reserved for the ultra-elite. As cat food and top ramen jokes are reserved for the ultra-poor. Ridiculous comparisons don't do anyone any good.
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: matchewed on December 10, 2015, 09:42:59 AM
You stated people on 200k HHI can have a yacht and a private jet. How is that taking it out of context?? I'm pointing out how ridiculous some of the characterizations of what a 200k income looks like have been. If you don't want it "taken out of context" then stop being silly about it.  Is 200k rich? Sure. But it doesn't look like what you seem to think it looks like, or the words that you are choosing to describe the lifestyle of someone who HAS a 200k lifestyle. Even if they are spendypants about it, that's not what it looks like.

I interpreted matchewed's original comment about yachts and jets that someone making 200K could on occasion have a taste of the high life by renting a yacht or chartering a plane once in a while. I didn't think he or she was implying that someone of that income level could own this:
*snip*


Ding ding ding. As I've clarified before 200k income gives you much more resources to use. That is not an inaccurate statement. If you choose to use those resources for a yacht or chartering jets fine, those two things were just illustrative as to how powerful those resources are. If I wanted a yacht and only earned 75k I'm sure I could do it given enough time. That doesn't mean I think everyone running around the planet who makes more than 75k has a yacht, that's where you're misinterpreting, mischaracterizing, or taking my posts out of context honeybbq.

So, if you make "only" 50k a year, I should ask about how the cat food and top ramen tastes? I mean really. It could go the other way. You don't have to talk about yachts to describe that 200k has purchasing power. The same could be said the other way, you don't have to be disparaging about someone making 50k or less, either.  Yachts and private jets jokes are really reserved for the ultra-elite. As cat food and top ramen jokes are reserved for the ultra-poor.

It's like you don't read what I write...

It's not reserved for whatever definition you're using for ultra-elite. I'm 100% confident that if I wanted to I could afford a million dollar yacht if I made 200k. I'm 100% confident I could charter a private jet if I made 200k. And as I stated before I'm sure I could do those things with a 75k income as well, it would just take longer. It's not some characterization of people making 200k that I'm talking about. I'm talking about how capable that resource is in buying/doing stuff. Do you see the difference in those two statements?
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: honeybbq on December 10, 2015, 09:43:23 AM
Likewise.
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: 2Birds1Stone on December 10, 2015, 09:47:29 AM
Some good definitions there. Apparently they quantify middle class as 2/3 to 2x the median income for that household size.

Thanks for directly linking the infographic, Raindrop.

My wife and I were middle class, though I felt like we were rich.

So yes, 200k is well into the upper class, for pretty much any household size.

I wonder how this would vary from geo area to geo area. For example, they use $126K a year as the upper barrier of middle class for america as a whole. That is using the median national income of $63k/year. I live in an area where the Median household income is ~$90-95k so double would be about $180-190k before you felt the same relative wealth.
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: justajane on December 10, 2015, 09:54:17 AM
Some good definitions there. Apparently they quantify middle class as 2/3 to 2x the median income for that household size.

Thanks for directly linking the infographic, Raindrop.

My wife and I were middle class, though I felt like we were rich.

So yes, 200k is well into the upper class, for pretty much any household size.

I wonder how this would vary from geo area to geo area. For example, they use $126K a year as the upper barrier of middle class for america as a whole. That is using the median national income of $63k/year. I live in an area where the Median household income is ~$90-95k so double would be about $180-190k before you felt the same relative wealth.


But that's your micro-area. I assure you the median household income in your city as a whole is not that high. The median for NYC is 50K. For Manhattan it's "only" 67K.

I'm assuming you live near NYC but obviously don't know for sure.
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: 2Birds1Stone on December 10, 2015, 09:58:57 AM
I'm on Long Island, Suffolk County is $95k, Nassau is $87k. Between the two counties we have a population of 7,568,000 so it's a pretty large sample size. I'm not saying this means we aren't better off financially than the rest of the country....but your dollar doesn't go nearly as far in certain areas.
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: ShoulderThingThatGoesUp on December 10, 2015, 10:30:11 AM
Some good definitions there. Apparently they quantify middle class as 2/3 to 2x the median income for that household size.

Thanks for directly linking the infographic, Raindrop.

My wife and I were middle class, though I felt like we were rich.

So yes, 200k is well into the upper class, for pretty much any household size.

I wonder how this would vary from geo area to geo area. For example, they use $126K a year as the upper barrier of middle class for america as a whole. That is using the median national income of $63k/year. I live in an area where the Median household income is ~$90-95k so double would be about $180-190k before you felt the same relative wealth.

You live in an area with concentrated wealth. Are we going to start calling residents of the Hamptons with incomes half the median "poor" now?
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: brooklynguy on December 10, 2015, 10:32:36 AM
Between the two counties we have a population of 7,568,000

Citation needed -- that number sounds wildly overstated.

But that's your micro-area.

My household income is north of $200k but it is the median income in the micro-micro-area that is my own household, so by that measure I am most definitely middle class (of course, in that sample size of one, my household income is also both the lowest and the highest in the distribution, so at the same time I am also lower-most class and upper-most class (and every other class in between)).
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: JZinCO on December 10, 2015, 11:32:19 AM
Some good definitions there. Apparently they quantify middle class as 2/3 to 2x the median income for that household size.

Thanks for directly linking the infographic, Raindrop.

My wife and I were middle class, though I felt like we were rich.

So yes, 200k is well into the upper class, for pretty much any household size.

I wonder how this would vary from geo area to geo area. For example, they use $126K a year as the upper barrier of middle class for america as a whole. That is using the median national income of $63k/year. I live in an area where the Median household income is ~$90-95k so double would be about $180-190k before you felt the same relative wealth.
This is fairly true in some areas, but you would be mistaken to think the cost of living tracks with income.

The nationwide cost of living to median household income (in 1000s) ratio is 0.63
The median household income in Nassau County is 96K. The COL index is 154. The ratio is  0.62. The median person has the same relative purchasing power as nationwide.
However, where my family lives the median household income is 69K. The COL index is 93. The ratio is 0.74. The median person has more relative purchasing power as nationwide.
In Marin county the median household income is 61K. The COL is 131. The ratio is 0.47. The median person has less relative purchasing power as nationwide.
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: dragoncar on December 10, 2015, 12:02:05 PM
Some good definitions there. Apparently they quantify middle class as 2/3 to 2x the median income for that household size.

Thanks for directly linking the infographic, Raindrop.

My wife and I were middle class, though I felt like we were rich.

So yes, 200k is well into the upper class, for pretty much any household size.

I wonder how this would vary from geo area to geo area. For example, they use $126K a year as the upper barrier of middle class for america as a whole. That is using the median national income of $63k/year. I live in an area where the Median household income is ~$90-95k so double would be about $180-190k before you felt the same relative wealth.

So basically we've come full circle again.  You guys up for One more round?
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: matchewed on December 10, 2015, 12:15:26 PM
Some good definitions there. Apparently they quantify middle class as 2/3 to 2x the median income for that household size.

Thanks for directly linking the infographic, Raindrop.

My wife and I were middle class, though I felt like we were rich.

So yes, 200k is well into the upper class, for pretty much any household size.

I wonder how this would vary from geo area to geo area. For example, they use $126K a year as the upper barrier of middle class for america as a whole. That is using the median national income of $63k/year. I live in an area where the Median household income is ~$90-95k so double would be about $180-190k before you felt the same relative wealth.

So basically we've come full circle again.  You guys up for One more round?
(http://i.imgur.com/PniR2Q0.gif)
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: Shane on December 10, 2015, 12:42:24 PM
Some good definitions there. Apparently they quantify middle class as 2/3 to 2x the median income for that household size.

Thanks for directly linking the infographic, Raindrop.

My wife and I were middle class, though I felt like we were rich.

So yes, 200k is well into the upper class, for pretty much any household size.

I wonder how this would vary from geo area to geo area. For example, they use $126K a year as the upper barrier of middle class for america as a whole. That is using the median national income of $63k/year. I live in an area where the Median household income is ~$90-95k so double would be about $180-190k before you felt the same relative wealth.

So basically we've come full circle again.  You guys up for One more round?
(http://i.imgur.com/PniR2Q0.gif)

No thanks. I'm over it already. :)
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: nobodyspecial on December 11, 2015, 09:46:02 AM
Quote
I interpreted matchewed's original comment about yachts and jets that someone making 200K could on occasion have a taste of the high life by renting a yacht or chartering a plane once in a while. I didn't think he or she was implying that someone of that income level could own this:
(http://designlimitededition.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/World%E2%80%99s-Top-5-Most-expensive-Luxury-Yachts-Azzam.jpg)

Yeah, as someone with a household income of $55k (a vast improvement over the $38k I had been making for the past 2 years) this thread is completely ridiculous.
Hey - somebody has to scrub the decks ...
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: arebelspy on December 11, 2015, 01:57:23 PM
Earlier the link for the PEW research center had stuff about what defines middle class (2/3 to 2x median income for your household size), and people brought up COL, well here it is broken down by state:
http://www.businessinsider.com/middle-class-in-every-us-state-2015-4 (http://www.businessinsider.com/middle-class-in-every-us-state-2015-4)

Click on image to zoom in.

(https://static3.businessinsider.com/image/551b2426eab8ea6d3c285bd1-1200-2470/middle-class-cutoff-table%20(1).png)

(Cross posted to both threads discussing this.)
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: 2Birds1Stone on December 11, 2015, 02:11:45 PM
Great stuff! This is exactly where my mind was at when I made my original post.
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: Gen Y Finance Journey on December 11, 2015, 02:35:12 PM
Dude, I can't even get through either of these threads. I live in one of most insanely HCOL areas and make a little under $100k/yr. Thanks to not spending ridiculous amounts of money for several years, I now own a home and my husband recently left his job that he hated and will be a SAHP pretty soon. We're no longer saving a ton of money by MMM standards, but we can easily afford our lifestyle and still save enough to keep our stache growing nicely. If you don't think $200k/yr is a fuck ton of money wherever you live, you are on the wrong forum.
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: Villanelle on December 11, 2015, 09:50:27 PM
We make very roughly $120k/yr total (military pay is complicated) in a supremely expensive area.  That cahrt is great, but for a large and diverse state like CA, it still leaves a lot to be desired. (CA is cheaper then Minnesota?  lol)  Single family homes in our current town start at about $750/sqft.  I recall a study last year that this metropolitan area was in the top 5 least affordable (either for housing, or overall--I can't recall).  TL;DR It's really friggin expensive here.

And I feel extremely wealthy.  Before this thread, I would have said "upper middle class", but only because to me, upper class is tens or hundreds of millions--extreme wealth (.5%, vs 5%).  But I certainly recognize how much we have, and can readily accept that by many definitions, we are upper class.  To live with this kind of money, even in a high COL area, and think one is average and middle and not exceptionally ahead of most is staggeringly myopic. 

I think rich (5% or 1% or .5%) people can by mustachian.  But I think part of doing so would have to be recognizing one's reality.  And even if that person is eating the same beans as truly poor person, and washing his own socks, mowing his own lawn, and skipping cable, the fact that he can invest hundreds or thousands of dollars a months while doing so makes all the difference.  Living on $20,000 because you make $20,000 is not even in the same ballpark as living on $20,000 because you make $220,000 and want to retire in less than 5 years.  Heck, even if you live on $20,000 because you make $120,000 and have $90,000 in credit card debt is still a different animal.  You are paying for your past stupidity and for your $20,000 lifestyle, so you're still purchasing a lot more than just the $20k. 
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: Jacana on December 12, 2015, 06:25:20 AM
Between the two counties we have a population of 7,568,000

Citation needed -- that number sounds wildly overstated.

Uh, yeah it is! That number is for all of geographic LI, including Queens and Kings (ha! Like anyone knows where Kings county is, just rename it Brooklyn already), according to Newsday data from the 2010 census.

http://data.newsday.com/long-island/data/census/county-population-estimates-2012/ (http://data.newsday.com/long-island/data/census/county-population-estimates-2012/)

Nassau and Suffolk alone (political LI) look to be about 3 million. Still a whole shitload of people. Glad I got out. And ended up outside DC. Wow. Fail.
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: NoraLenderbee on December 13, 2015, 10:35:55 PM

Nassau and Suffolk alone (political LI) look to be about 3 million. Still a whole shitload of people. Glad I got out. And ended up outside DC. Wow. Fail.

Heh. I got out, too--and ended up in San Jose, CA. All the same tract houses and strip malls I was trying to get away from.

Quote
(ha! Like anyone knows where Kings county is, just rename it Brooklyn already),

It's not far from the borough of Richmond, right? :)
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: pancakes on December 14, 2015, 04:04:16 AM
I didn't read this thread in full but in Australia recently this was published by our public broadcaster and I found it quite interesting:

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-10-28/social-class-survey-where-you-fit-in-australia/6869864

I would think of myself as middle class at best prior to taking to the quiz but come out as "emerging affluent". Our combined household income is just over $160k including superannuation contributions and before tax - hardly chart topping.

I find this forum to be a downer sometimes as I can't help but compare myself to other people who are kicking some serious butt. My achievements can easily seem minuscule in comparison.
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: Gen Y Finance Journey on December 14, 2015, 05:45:58 PM

Nassau and Suffolk alone (political LI) look to be about 3 million. Still a whole shitload of people. Glad I got out. And ended up outside DC. Wow. Fail.

Heh. I got out, too--and ended up in San Jose, CA. All the same tract houses and strip malls I was trying to get away from.

Wait a minute, I left Long Island and ended up in San Jose too. :)
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: soupcxan on December 14, 2015, 06:15:23 PM
I'm 100% confident that if I wanted to I could afford a million dollar yacht if I made 200k.

You couldn't even afford the taxes, maintenance, gas, dock, insurance, and crew for a $1M yacht on $200k/year ($150k after taxes), let alone that plus the principal and interest (assuming you could even qualify for a loan, which you wouldn't).

Did you mean you could charter one for a week? Because that's not the same thing at all.
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: dragoncar on December 14, 2015, 06:42:29 PM
I'm 100% confident that if I wanted to I could afford a million dollar yacht if I made 200k.

You couldn't even afford the taxes, maintenance, gas, dock, insurance, and crew for a $1M yacht on $200k/year ($150k after taxes), let alone that plus the principal and interest (assuming you could even qualify for a loan, which you wouldn't).

Did you mean you could charter one for a week? Because that's not the same thing at all.

Everyone knows Mustachians do their own maintenance, anchor out, get great MPG, self-insure, and self-crew.  They even make a little side money renting out their yacht for corporate events.

Seriously, though, there are taxes on yachts?
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: human on December 14, 2015, 06:54:47 PM
Maybe not taxes exactly but in Canada you would have to pay employment insurance and cpp premiums for your workers.
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: matchewed on December 14, 2015, 07:02:33 PM
I'm 100% confident that if I wanted to I could afford a million dollar yacht if I made 200k.

You couldn't even afford the taxes, maintenance, gas, dock, insurance, and crew for a $1M yacht on $200k/year ($150k after taxes), let alone that plus the principal and interest (assuming you could even qualify for a loan, which you wouldn't).

Did you mean you could charter one for a week? Because that's not the same thing at all.

Everyone knows Mustachians do their own maintenance, anchor out, get great MPG, self-insure, and self-crew.  They even make a little side money renting out their yacht for corporate events.

Seriously, though, there are taxes on yachts?

Also where else will OMY syndrome come from.
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: MgoSam on December 14, 2015, 07:52:32 PM

Seriously, though, there are taxes on yachts?

There would be depending on where it is licensed or whatever the term is. The reason why you see a lot of yachts with Cayman Islands is that they are part of the English commonwealth, and so you get protect by Her Majesty's Royal Navy, and can shield your assets as Cayman is a great place for privacy and hiding assets.

For taxes I believe there is a loophole that if your yacht is listed for charting, you can claim it as exempt from taxes. I'm not sure if that's all taxes, but yeah. That's why the famous superyachts like Eclipse are listed on charter yacht pages, even though I don't believe they are actually meant to be taken out as a charter.
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: JZinCO on December 14, 2015, 08:42:07 PM
I'm 100% confident that if I wanted to I could afford a million dollar yacht if I made 200k.

You couldn't even afford the taxes, maintenance, gas, dock, insurance, and crew for a $1M yacht on $200k/year ($150k after taxes), let alone that plus the principal and interest (assuming you could even qualify for a loan, which you wouldn't).

Did you mean you could charter one for a week? Because that's not the same thing at all.

Everyone knows Mustachians do their own maintenance, anchor out, get great MPG, self-insure, and self-crew.  They even make a little side money renting out their yacht for corporate events.

Seriously, though, there are taxes on yachts?
psh I entertain for business on my yacht so I can write off mooring, depreciation.
Plus It uses pedal power.
(http://hydrobikes.com/Content/600012/Resorter-2008-Winter.jpg)
sooo money mustache
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: johnny847 on December 14, 2015, 09:13:52 PM
I'm 100% confident that if I wanted to I could afford a million dollar yacht if I made 200k.

You couldn't even afford the taxes, maintenance, gas, dock, insurance, and crew for a $1M yacht on $200k/year ($150k after taxes), let alone that plus the principal and interest (assuming you could even qualify for a loan, which you wouldn't).

Did you mean you could charter one for a week? Because that's not the same thing at all.

Everyone knows Mustachians do their own maintenance, anchor out, get great MPG, self-insure, and self-crew.  They even make a little side money renting out their yacht for corporate events.

Seriously, though, there are taxes on yachts?
psh I entertain for business on my yacht so I can write off mooring, depreciation.
Plus It uses pedal power.
(http://hydrobikes.com/Content/600012/Resorter-2008-Winter.jpg)
sooo money mustache

Hahaha I approve =)
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: Pooperman on December 15, 2015, 05:19:29 AM
I built a raft yacht once. It sunk over the winter (it was made of wood logs).
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: cerat0n1a on December 15, 2015, 05:38:32 AM
You should all come to Britain. No amount of wealth would make you upper class - you have to be born into it!
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: MgoSam on December 15, 2015, 07:41:43 AM
You should all come to Britain. No amount of wealth would make you upper class - you have to be born into it!

Yeah, I've heard such things and just shake my head. An uncle of mine cares about class status and moved to the US. He is worth an absolute fortune, but couldn't get invited to the cool stuff, and him and his wife care enough so they moved to the US and love being accepted into the right crowd.
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: jinga nation on December 15, 2015, 11:39:27 AM
You should all come to Britain. No amount of wealth would make you upper class - you have to be born into it!
Or you donate significant quids to the Tory or Labour govenments and be crowned a Baron, Lord, Whatchamacallit!
Born into or buy into.
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: dragoncar on December 15, 2015, 11:51:40 AM
You should all come to Britain. No amount of wealth would make you upper class - you have to be born into it!
Or you donate significant quids to the Tory or Labour govenments and be crowned a Baron, Lord, Whatchamacallit!
Born into or buy into.

But doesn't everyone know you bought the lordship and mock you for it?
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: cerat0n1a on December 15, 2015, 01:06:47 PM
You should all come to Britain. No amount of wealth would make you upper class - you have to be born into it!
Or you donate significant quids to the Tory or Labour govenments and be crowned a Baron, Lord, Whatchamacallit!
Born into or buy into.

Still doesn't make you properly upper class in the eyes of those who are. Your children might be though, if they go to the right school.  You need to have quite a few generations between you and the people who committed the atrocities to get the title in the first place for it to really count.

For anyone thinking of trying this, you can get a title a lot cheaper by donating to the liberal democrats. If you acquired the money in a what may be viewed as a dubious fashion - perhaps owning entirely legitimate banks in offshore centres that (coincidentally) bad people use for laundering drugs money, then the Tories may be a better bet. And buying a title is still (in theory) illegal.
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: Making Cookies on December 15, 2015, 03:25:23 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.

Well, there are suburbs and there are suburbs. The first kind - that isn't appealing to me involves living a mile or less from all the shopping in the world. Malls, strip retail, big box retail, etc and creating a lifestyle that revolves around these things. Miles of cookie-cutter homes. Prefabricated everything including nature. Raze the land and replant only what you want to be there. Watching the kid shows where everybody strives to hang out at the mall. Purgatory to me and mine. ;)

The other kind of suburb means space and privacy. An acre or more for the family to play on. Room enough that my circular saw or grinder isn't going to raise the ire of the nearest neighbor. My dog isn't going to attract a dog catcher. My kids can ride their bikes without doing so along a busy feeder street. We can build a shed or a gazebo or a screened in porch without attracting the legal power of an HOA. I like my neighbors but I don't want to live WITH my neighbors aka share walls/floors with them. I don't want a parking space - I want a driveway. I don't want to lock up everything outside b/c I need to go spend a few minutes in the loo b/c if I don't lock it all up - it'll walk away.

We still visit a local pub 10 minutes away. By car. We still have a variety of places to visit and socialize. Most of them are not franchise joints where the corporate policy is about getting you in, selling you some service and getting you out so the next paying customer can sit down and repeat the process. ;) We're also minutes away from "outside" so if we want to go fishing or hunting or hiking or whatever we can. Joys of a small town.

I'm pretty sure my income MIGHT be enough to pay for that yacht above to pull away from the dock, turn away and tie up again... ;)

Around here a "middle class" yacht is commonly a "party barge" (pontoon boat) or a ski-boat. Of course this requires a substantial tow vehicle for the local steep launch ramps and my four cylinder grocery getter probably isn't up to it... ;)
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: Villanelle on December 15, 2015, 04:39:20 PM
You should all come to Britain. No amount of wealth would make you upper class - you have to be born into it!

One can also marry a prince, no?
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: nobodyspecial on December 15, 2015, 06:05:44 PM
You should all come to Britain. No amount of wealth would make you upper class - you have to be born into it!

One can also marry a prince, no?
The royal family aren't upper class - bunch of nouveau riche foreigners
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: protostache on December 16, 2015, 07:17:32 AM
You should all come to Britain. No amount of wealth would make you upper class - you have to be born into it!

One can also marry a prince, no?
The royal family aren't upper class - bunch of nouveau riche foreigners

This is my favorite comment of this entire thread. Including the one with the picture of the beautiful yacht.
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: Jack on December 16, 2015, 08:48:20 AM
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.

Well, there are suburbs and there are suburbs. The first kind - that isn't appealing to me involves living a mile or less from all the shopping in the world. Malls, strip retail, big box retail, etc and creating a lifestyle that revolves around these things. Miles of cookie-cutter homes. Prefabricated everything including nature. Raze the land and replant only what you want to be there. Watching the kid shows where everybody strives to hang out at the mall. Purgatory to me and mine. ;)

The other kind of suburb means space and privacy. An acre or more for the family to play on. Room enough that my circular saw or grinder isn't going to raise the ire of the nearest neighbor. My dog isn't going to attract a dog catcher. My kids can ride their bikes without doing so along a busy feeder street. We can build a shed or a gazebo or a screened in porch without attracting the legal power of an HOA. I like my neighbors but I don't want to live WITH my neighbors aka share walls/floors with them. I don't want a parking space - I want a driveway. I don't want to lock up everything outside b/c I need to go spend a few minutes in the loo b/c if I don't lock it all up - it'll walk away.

We still visit a local pub 10 minutes away. By car. We still have a variety of places to visit and socialize. Most of them are not franchise joints where the corporate policy is about getting you in, selling you some service and getting you out so the next paying customer can sit down and repeat the process. ;) We're also minutes away from "outside" so if we want to go fishing or hunting or hiking or whatever we can. Joys of a small town.

There's a third kind of suburb, which is the pre-WWII "streetcar suburb" where the houses are not cookie-cutter and aren't subject to HOAs, the streets are a grid system (so high-traffic arterial roads can be avoided) and there are walkable small shops and things (a lot like a small town). They're technically no longer "suburbs" because they've mostly been annexed into whatever major city they're next to, but they still have a substantial proportion of single-family houses (or low-density things like duplexes and townhouses) with yards and sometimes even driveways, so they aren't "urban" either.
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: justajane on December 16, 2015, 02:54:40 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.

Well, there are suburbs and there are suburbs. The first kind - that isn't appealing to me involves living a mile or less from all the shopping in the world. Malls, strip retail, big box retail, etc and creating a lifestyle that revolves around these things. Miles of cookie-cutter homes. Prefabricated everything including nature. Raze the land and replant only what you want to be there. Watching the kid shows where everybody strives to hang out at the mall. Purgatory to me and mine. ;)

The other kind of suburb means space and privacy. An acre or more for the family to play on. Room enough that my circular saw or grinder isn't going to raise the ire of the nearest neighbor. My dog isn't going to attract a dog catcher. My kids can ride their bikes without doing so along a busy feeder street. We can build a shed or a gazebo or a screened in porch without attracting the legal power of an HOA. I like my neighbors but I don't want to live WITH my neighbors aka share walls/floors with them. I don't want a parking space - I want a driveway. I don't want to lock up everything outside b/c I need to go spend a few minutes in the loo b/c if I don't lock it all up - it'll walk away.

We still visit a local pub 10 minutes away. By car. We still have a variety of places to visit and socialize. Most of them are not franchise joints where the corporate policy is about getting you in, selling you some service and getting you out so the next paying customer can sit down and repeat the process. ;) We're also minutes away from "outside" so if we want to go fishing or hunting or hiking or whatever we can. Joys of a small town.

There's a third kind of suburb, which is the pre-WWII "streetcar suburb" where the houses are not cookie-cutter and aren't subject to HOAs, the streets are a grid system (so high-traffic arterial roads can be avoided) and there are walkable small shops and things (a lot like a small town). They're technically no longer "suburbs" because they've mostly been annexed into whatever major city they're next to, but they still have a substantial proportion of single-family houses (or low-density things like duplexes and townhouses) with yards and sometimes even driveways, so they aren't "urban" either.

That's exactly the kind of suburb I live in. Our house was built in the 20s. The streetcar was three blocks over. The bungalow next door is identical to ours, so I guess that could be considered cookie cutter, though. But we've got stained glass windows, awesome millwork, etc. Walk five blocks south and you're in our mini-downtown with small shops and coffee houses. Go three blocks north and there's the elementary school my kids attend. I love my suburb.
Title: Re: Forum check: what forum is this?
Post by: Making Cookies on December 16, 2015, 03:16:08 PM
That kind of suburb sounds very nice. We have those neighborhoods here around the local university. I could almost live there except for the kids, the hobbies and the dog. ;) Never any street cars here. Too small.