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Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Ask a Mustachian => Topic started by: EconDiva on March 27, 2014, 11:47:43 AM

Title: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: EconDiva on March 27, 2014, 11:47:43 AM
Based on many posts, it seems that way. Or average incomes who started saving when they were like 12 lol.

I'm 35 and just a tad above an average income but just starting my road to mustachianism. Sometimes it's hard seeing how much so many people have managed to amass. Is there anyone else like me here who is way behind and trying to figure out how to retire by say, age 55?
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: Frankies Girl on March 27, 2014, 11:55:47 AM
Nope. Lots of folks that make less than 6 figures. I'm one of them. Even with my spouse, we're well under that threshold.

The key isn't how much you make, it's how much you spend and are able to save. If you only make $40K, but you live off of $20K, then you're at a 50% savings rate and can shoot for a much smaller amount for becoming FI.




Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: Eric on March 27, 2014, 11:57:55 AM
The beauty is that it's not how much you earn, but how much you save.

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/01/13/the-shockingly-simple-math-behind-early-retirement/
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: sherr on March 27, 2014, 11:59:03 AM
Yes, this forum tends to be very heavily weighted towards engineers, DINKs, or even engineer DINKs. There are people who have below-average salaries here, just not as many.

All the same principles apply either way, the more you save with respect to how much you spend the faster you'll have enough to retire. It's just harder to live off of 50% of a $50k salary than it is to live off of 30% of a $100k salary. You'll get there, it'll just take a little longer and / or you'll have a little less luxury than a high earner.
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: Eric on March 27, 2014, 11:59:58 AM
Here's a not too ancient poll regarding household income:

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/forum/welcome-to-the-forum/how-much-does-everyone-make/
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: iwasjustwondering on March 27, 2014, 12:01:21 PM
I'm a high earner, but started late.  At age 35, I was a single mother with no money (I mean no money -- no 401K, no savings, nothing), $44,000 in student loans, a $511 monthly car payment, $3,000 in monthly childcare bills, a 1.5-hour commute each way (which directly caused the enormous childcare bills), and a $2,400 monthly rent.  Eight years later my situation is vastly different (I have no non-mortgage debt now, around $100,000 in home equity and around $200,000 in investments, including 401K and college savings).  This is mostly due to going after a higher income, but I am also starting to learn to save.

I'm still way, way behind. 
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: randymarsh on March 27, 2014, 12:04:23 PM
There are a lot of engineers and software developers here, but plenty of lower earners too.

A lot of people are married and probably give household income so some of the numbers are actually for 2 people.

Spending is very important. At 35, you probably have a lot of your spending locked in and your standards have been set. Reevaluate those and you'll likely find areas to cut.
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: Metta on March 27, 2014, 12:06:26 PM
Hi,

You don't say what you consider an average income. We started eliminating debt and saving when we were in our early-thirties with a goal designated by my husband of being able to retire at age 55. We started with about $80,000 of student loan debt (don't punch me), some amount of credit card debt and some other more embarrassing debt. Our household income at that point was around $40,000 (mostly from my job since my husband was a Ph.D. student) and we didn't have a house or much in the way of savings.

At this point we have a house note that will be paid off in about 18 months (extra money being put on it), combined income of $130,000 (but only a few short years ago it was about $70000 so the extra money is fairly new) and an investment account that is sniffing close to a million dollars. I am 52 and will be able to retire and go back to school for a degree I want in three years. In truth, I could probably do it in 18 months when the house is paid off, but there are definite benefits to actually retiring from my company instead of leaving.

So it is definitely possible. The most important thing we learned is that we needed to automate our investing and every salary increase needed to be whisked away into the investment accounts so that we would not upgrade our lifestyle with the extra money. We also strongly feel that one salary should support both us so that if there is a layoff or some other problem, we are sustainable. We struggle a bit with this one since our salaries are not equal.

We have on occasion gotten lost in the weeds of excessive consumerism but we find the trail to FI over and over again when we get lost. You can definitely do this with an average income. You don't even have to be incredibly good with money or incredibly frugal. You just need to pay attention.
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: EconDiva on March 27, 2014, 12:07:30 PM
I'm a high earner, but started late.  At age 35, I was a single mother with no money (I mean no money -- no 401K, no savings, nothing), $44,000 in student loans, a $511 monthly car payment, $3,000 in monthly childcare bills, a 1.5-hour commute each way (which directly caused the enormous childcare bills), and a $2,400 monthly rent.  Eight years later my situation is vastly different (I have no non-mortgage debt now, around $100,000 in home equity and around $200,000 in investments, including 401K and college savings).  This is mostly due to going after a higher income, but I am also starting to learn to save.

I'm still way, way behind.

Thanks for sharing. That's a whole lot of progress in just 8 years and is very admirable.
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: Exflyboy on March 27, 2014, 12:15:18 PM
My story. Started in my late 30's at roughly zero NW.. just retired at 52.5 years old.

Yes I did earn 6 figures but only for a small part of the time.

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/forum/share-your-badassity/i-retired-today!-%29/msg239245/#msg239245

Frank
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: socaso on March 27, 2014, 12:19:55 PM
I know what you mean. Sometimes I feel behind when other people on the forum are posting about whether they should buy a second income property or bank the $$. I just take a breath and try to remember everyone's situation is different. There's lots of good information here and it's nice to communicate with people who are on the saving not spending track.
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: skunkfunk on March 27, 2014, 12:21:02 PM
Am I the only electrical engineer around here who makes under $50k?

Perhaps not, but I'll bet I'm the only engineer around here who makes under $50k and loves his job.
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: El Gringo on March 27, 2014, 12:23:03 PM
I can relate to you. I currently earn $42k in one of the most expensive areas of the country and still paying off my school loans. I get discouraged when I read about other people's incomes. It's frustrating - I really want to get a higher salary and I feel limited in my ability to save currently. But meanwhile, I'm putting away about 30% of my take-home pay into my my 401k and IRA (plus an additional 6% match).
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: nereo on March 27, 2014, 12:46:18 PM
Just letting you know that we (my fiancée and I) are another group of below-average earners.  Both of us got offers where we are "paid" (on stipends) while getting our graduate degrees, but it means our combined income after tuition and fees is about $30k (will know exactly after next session). Before this, our combined DINK income never exceeded $60k. This was due to the combined effects of low paying fields, a bad job market, and choosing jobs that 'boosted our experience' instead of maximized take-home pay.

I'm guilty of frequently thinking "hey, if I had the income of many of the people around here I'd be FIRE in no time!"
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: GuitarStv on March 27, 2014, 12:49:01 PM
What do you consider a high earner?
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: EconDiva on March 27, 2014, 12:57:41 PM
What do you consider a high earner?

An individual income in the 90's or higher.
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: warfreak2 on March 27, 2014, 01:03:25 PM
An individual income in the 90's or higher.
My income is roughly 1/4 of this. I do have quite a lot of free time, though...
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: peppermint on March 27, 2014, 01:21:07 PM
Low earner here by those standards. I just finished a PhD program and am in an academic postdoc. I've never made a high salary.

I try not to compare to high earners, I love the creativity, flexibility and intellectual stimulation of my job and am in a stable position, at least as far as the academic job market goes.

I have enough to live on, I am paying off my relatively minor debt on an accelerated schedule, and I make more than many people do. I try to cultivate the mindset, "I have enough" for my own happiness.
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: lexie2000 on March 27, 2014, 01:33:12 PM
DH was what I guess you would call a high earner before he retired, but he didn't break the six figure mark until late 2005.   He was not an engineer or IT guy; he was in finance and administration, but we lived in HCOLA and VHCOLA areas.

For the majority of his career we were a single income family.

Like others have said, it's what you save that's important.  The less you can learn to live off of, the more you'll save and the less you will need to live off of in retirement.  I think the most expensive issue going forward for retirees will be the cost of health insurance and health care.
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: dragoncar on March 27, 2014, 01:39:10 PM
The beauty is that it's not how much you earn, but how much you save.

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/01/13/the-shockingly-simple-math-behind-early-retirement/

This is true, but I'm not gonna lie -- it's far easier with a higher income.

Based on the 90k individual income definition of high-earner, and recent polls, I'd say not "most" but "many" here are high earners.  You might notice it more, since those people may be more vocal.
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: La Bibliotecaria Feroz on March 27, 2014, 02:02:01 PM
Just to make any other low earners feel less alone:  We qualified for the EITC this year. (Housing is provided gratis by husband's employer, so we are much better off than that sounds.) He's a teacher, I made under $10K working from home (and spent most of that on day care--two toddlers, part-time child care saves my sanity).
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: rubybeth on March 27, 2014, 02:14:05 PM
What do you consider a high earner?

An individual income in the 90's or higher.

We don't even make that much combined (married, no kids). :)
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: Cassie on March 27, 2014, 02:29:19 PM
We had about 8 years where hubby was high earner.  However, between us we have had 3 divorces which really saps the income.  I agree the more you earn the easier it is but we saved a lot of $ when young on lower incomes by being frugal.
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: payitoff on March 27, 2014, 02:29:37 PM
i found this site in 2012 when we are still in the middle of a one-income household while husband is in school full time, i read and read and swear to myself to come back when we make more income. its true that the higher the income the better, coz back then i couldnt even figure out a way on where to cut down coz were pretty much strapped to the core just to make ends meet, 2 years later and now income has tripled, i am back and working our butt off towards FI.

i am mid 30s by the way and also hoping to get ahead by 55, 20+ years is a long time still, we can do this!!!
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: fantabulous on March 27, 2014, 03:05:06 PM
Low eearner by those standards (~50k/year), and still clawing my way out of debt. I don't fuss over getting to the point where I start making my own monocles* and buying several investment properties/etc. I might get there some day if I stay the course, and great if that happens.

I'm in a somewhat similar situation to the OP. 31, two time college dropout, didn't really get on my feet until I was 26/27. The whole point is to make a better life for myself and those around me, not as a competition.

* Monocles are required above a certain net worth, right?
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: warfreak2 on March 27, 2014, 03:08:15 PM
* Monocles are required above a certain net worth, right?
Moustaches.
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: happy on March 27, 2014, 03:31:31 PM
It might be just what you notice. As a defined high income earner, I always think I am one of the minority and that this board is mainly populated by those under that income!

The beauty of the shockingly simple math is it works at any income level, but I agree its easier/faster with a higher income.  Although as we've seen here from the occasional poster, high income jobs often come with trappings/expectations of ridiculous consumption that takes the ability to be strongly internally directed to resist.

As for age, its never too late. I'm 55, hoping to retire at 60,  and if I live to 100, (who knows, there are some long livers in my family) then I've still got 40 years to plan for, quite long enough.
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: wtjbatman on March 27, 2014, 03:39:43 PM
All you need to do is look at the income poll thread and you can see how prevalent high earners are here. What's a high earner? Well IMO if the average American family earns just over $50k a year, then above that is high. Higher anyway :) It makes sense that people with higher incomes would gravitate to a website devoted to saving and investing, since people with more income have more to save and invest.

Lower earners like us (35k a year here, not married, no kids) honestly have to be the uber savers, or close to it. We're the people who cut back on every expense, and come out of it with an extra grand a month to save. Compared to some people here who post about saving $4000 a month and being despondent about how far away FIRE seems. We can still save enough to FIRE, we just no room for that boat or car or expensive yearly vacation "because I deserve it". In the end, I know I'm saving enough to FIRE, because I also know I live in a low COL area and I know what it takes to live off $1200 a month here.
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: rescuedog on March 27, 2014, 03:44:03 PM
Am I the only electrical engineer around here who makes under $50k?

Perhaps not, but I'll bet I'm the only engineer around here who makes under $50k and loves his job.

I am an engineer as well and I make just under $50k.  I'm in university research.  I love my job as well!

My husband makes 2x more than I do however.
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: Ottawa on March 27, 2014, 03:48:16 PM
Fairly high earning here...

Net worth zero to 700K over the last 7 years.  Combined net salaries went from 113,299 in 2007 to 137,994 in 2012.  2013 was sort of anomalous (211,323) due to severance pay and out-of-contract back pay..but also my SO started back fulltime.  We hope to be FI in 3.5 years at 45.  We need to get liquid portfolio from current 360K to 800K for this to happen...  So, on these incomes it would be certainly possible in 10 years to go from zero to FI with a paid off house and passive income of $32K.  Our current annual spending is at 30K. 
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: happy on March 27, 2014, 04:37:03 PM
Quote
In the end, I know I'm saving enough to FIRE, because I also know I live in a low COL area and I know what it takes to live off $1200 a month here.

And why your contribution is very valuable because you know how to do it. I'm hoping this doesn't become a high income board because I want to learn from the low income earners.
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: Roland of Gilead on March 27, 2014, 04:44:13 PM
Am I the only electrical engineer around here who makes under $50k?

Perhaps not, but I'll bet I'm the only engineer around here who makes under $50k and loves his job.

Probably.  While you are making $50K designing 8 layer boards with blind vias, the other electrical engineers went into software engineering and make $250K.  Sad.


 
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: EconDiva on March 27, 2014, 04:47:16 PM
Quote
In the end, I know I'm saving enough to FIRE, because I also know I live in a low COL area and I know what it takes to live off $1200 a month here.

And why your contribution is very valuable because you know how to do it. I'm hoping this doesn't become a high income board because I want to learn from the low income earners.

+1. 

It's posts like yours that remind me I'm not pushing myself as much as I could be. I think I need to get more aggressive in scrutinizing my outflow each month, and seriously consider the consequence each purchase I make or do not make will have on my goal of being FI. 
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: NinetyFour on March 27, 2014, 05:02:50 PM
My gross annual income is about $90,000.  Sounds like a lot--and it is.  But I still kind of feel like I am broke, in a way.  This is because I still have $262,000 of debt (mostly mortgage).  I spend very little of my income on "stuff".  So far this year, my take home pay has been just over $14,000 and, aside from my debt repayment, I have spent about $2000.  I'm so so so glad that I spend so little--it means that I can be debt free in about 6 years.
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: Thegoblinchief on March 27, 2014, 05:13:45 PM
Combined income of under $70K on 1.25 incomes (and my .25 is commission) and 3 kids.

Currently have a negative net worth, but our savings rate is high enough we will FIRE within 15 years.
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: Cheddar Stacker on March 27, 2014, 05:48:42 PM
What do you consider a high earner?

An individual income in the 90's or higher.

This is a fairly high standard IMO. Whatever your standard is, it's really all about the savings rate anyway, but I guess it still puts things in perspective to know what most people earn.

Check out this link:
http://finance.townhall.com/columnists/politicalcalculations/2013/09/29/what-is-your-us-income-percentile-ranking-n1712430/page/full

Your individual income threshold of $90K easily puts that earner in the top 10% of the US based on census data. I read a few years ago that based on 2010 tax return filings a combined household income of about $92K would put you in the top 10% of all US households, but I'm sure that's a bit stale now. This link has a combined table as well, but it appears to be based on census data which I suppose is then inflation adjusted??

Based on everything I've read on this forum, I think it's a very, very wide range of incomes from $10K to $1M annual income. I think the poll Eric linked above from a few months back supports that as well.

Based on the $90K threshold my wife and I were both low earners until around 2009 when I crossed over, so I guess we've been low earners the majority of our careers.
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: johnintaiwan on March 27, 2014, 09:42:03 PM
my wife and I make a combined total of between 35-40K a year. that is probably average for where we live.
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: Guizmo on March 27, 2014, 10:26:52 PM
I made 40k in New York and saved 20k.

I live in Colo and I make the same. I Save 75% pretax.
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: Kaminoge on March 28, 2014, 03:22:12 AM
I'm a teacher. Pretty sure that means I'm not a high income earner...
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: Squirrel away on March 28, 2014, 03:28:46 AM
We have an income in early $80k but it does seem like there are a lot of higher earners on here.

Why are there so many engineers on here?:) I'm from the UK and don't really understand the cultural significance of being an engineer in the US.
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: rubybeth on March 28, 2014, 06:50:32 AM
We have an income in early $80k but it does seem like there are a lot of higher earners on here.

Why are there so many engineers on here?:) I'm from the UK and don't really understand the cultural significance of being an engineer in the US.

It's probably not culturally significant, but MMM himself was an engineer, and his outlook tends to resonate with engineers.
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: Squirrel away on March 28, 2014, 07:01:16 AM
We have an income in early $80k but it does seem like there are a lot of higher earners on here.

Why are there so many engineers on here?:) I'm from the UK and don't really understand the cultural significance of being an engineer in the US.

It's probably not culturally significant, but MMM himself was an engineer, and his outlook tends to resonate with engineers.

Oh right! I think I did know that on some level, it's been a while since I read his back story.:)
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: Silvie on March 28, 2014, 07:08:11 AM
I'm a freelancer so my income varies, but it's around $40K
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: EconDiva on March 28, 2014, 07:09:47 AM
I made 40k in New York and saved 20k.

I live in Colo and I make the same. I Save 75% pretax.

How did you do this?? Please share.
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: EconDiva on March 28, 2014, 07:16:35 AM
Fairly high earning here...

Net worth zero to 700K over the last 7 years.  Combined net salaries went from 113,299 in 2007 to 137,994 in 2012.  2013 was sort of anomalous (211,323) due to severance pay and out-of-contract back pay..but also my SO started back fulltime.  We hope to be FI in 3.5 years at 45.  We need to get liquid portfolio from current 360K to 800K for this to happen...  So, on these incomes it would be certainly possible in 10 years to go from zero to FI with a paid off house and passive income of $32K.  Our current annual spending is at 30K.

Zero to 700K in 7 years is also pretty amazing. You say your current annual spending is 30K. Would you say this was also your average spending during the majority of those 7 years? I would assume it was pretty low in order for you to accomplish that much in a fairly short period of time.
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: skunkfunk on March 28, 2014, 07:21:26 AM

The beauty of the shockingly simple math is it works at any income level, but I agree its easier/faster with a higher income.  Although as we've seen here from the occasional poster, high income jobs often come with trappings/expectations of ridiculous consumption that takes the ability to be strongly internally directed to resist.


I'm not a high earner, and my bosses seem quite annoyed by my biking to work.
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: skunkfunk on March 28, 2014, 07:30:39 AM
We have an income in early $80k but it does seem like there are a lot of higher earners on here.

Why are there so many engineers on here?:) I'm from the UK and don't really understand the cultural significance of being an engineer in the US.

A professional engineer (PE) in the U.S. has a college degree, years of experience, has passed the required tests, and is entrusted with supervision of items critical for public safety. That said, the term is losing some of its punch lately as it is being applied to fields where none of this is the case. Technically, in my state (Oklahoma), one must meet these requirements to call themselves a professional engineer. For instance, I must call myself an engineer intern because I have not met the experience requirement to take the final test.
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: Squirrel away on March 28, 2014, 07:40:58 AM
We have an income in early $80k but it does seem like there are a lot of higher earners on here.

Why are there so many engineers on here?:) I'm from the UK and don't really understand the cultural significance of being an engineer in the US.

A professional engineer (PE) in the U.S. has a college degree, years of experience, has passed the required tests, and is entrusted with supervision of items critical for public safety. That said, the term is losing some of its punch lately as it is being applied to fields where none of this is the case. Technically, in my state (Oklahoma), one must meet these requirements to call themselves a professional engineer. For instance, I must call myself an engineer intern because I have not met the experience requirement to take the final test.

Oh okay, cool. I don't think I have ever met an engineer over here.
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: arebelspy on March 28, 2014, 07:52:38 AM
I'm a teacher. Pretty sure that means I'm not a high income earner...

+1

What do you consider a high earner?

An individual income in the 90's or higher.

The wife and I don't make that combined (for our base salaries - we do extra work like summer school and tutoring that push us up there, but still not even close for our individual income).

Yet we'll ER in our early 30s with a 50k+ annual income.

As others have said, it's all about your savings rate.  We don't make a lot, but we save nearly all of it.
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: Ottawa on March 28, 2014, 07:54:13 AM
Zero to 700K in 7 years is also pretty amazing. You say your current annual spending is 30K. Would you say this was also your average spending during the majority of those 7 years? I would assume it was pretty low in order for you to accomplish that much in a fairly short period of time.

Unfortunately I didn't keep strict records until coming into the MMM fold - So, I only have spending data since Oct 2012.  I am fairly confident that 2012 spending was 35K - The last rolling year is 32K - We are on track for 30K this year.  A large part of this is the reduction in childcare expenses - These went from $700 per month to $220 since full day senior kindy started in Sept 2013.  Now we only pay for 1 hour after school each day ($12). 

While we've always been frugal...I wouldn't be surprised if our spending was closer to 40K in the earlier years (lots of home reno, inefficient spending etc).  We did pay off our 180K mortgage in about 6 years (2006-2011). 

Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: highwayskies on March 28, 2014, 08:23:17 AM
Chiming in for the modest-earners. 

(Excluding real estate, which, until we move out of our SFH will be a wash in terms of returns,) I earn around $30k, my wife earns in the $30's too.  I hear you about fleeting feelings of envy, reading about people with more coming in, but we are quite happy, I'm my own boss, I have lots of control over my time, and we really know how to live cheaply.  We'll retire in 2020 if my current plan comes together.
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: teen persuasion on March 28, 2014, 08:26:36 AM
Just to make any other low earners feel less alone:  We qualified for the EITC this year. (Housing is provided gratis by husband's employer, so we are much better off than that sounds.) He's a teacher, I made under $10K working from home (and spent most of that on day care--two toddlers, part-time child care saves my sanity).
We qualify for the EITC, too, and have for years. In fact, I actively work on maximizing that and other credits, since I use our refunds to fund our Roths.

We are late to the FIRE party; we've always been frugal, by necessity. DH is a teacher, and I was SAHM to our 5 kids for nearly 20 years. In the early years I used the refunds and any found money to pay down our mortgage. About 5 years ago things began to align: youngest entered school, oldest went to college, mortgage gone, I returned to work part time. That's when I began working toward having DH max his 401k and opened Roths for both of us. Even with two kids in college, we are saving 50%. Of course, low incomes are useful for financial aid purposes. I try to make the best use of everything at my disposal.
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: Roland of Gilead on March 28, 2014, 08:37:48 AM
It isn't all roses at higher incomes.  70 hour weeks, long commutes, pretty high taxes ($77,000 in fed, state, medicare, and SS).

I am very much looking forward to zero hour weeks and living on $30,000 to $40,000.
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: Peter on March 28, 2014, 08:39:19 AM
I'll chime in for the high earners, then.

I have no idea how you folks that make 40k/year manage to save so much; it's DAMN impressive. I netted 95k last year, spent 27k, and had the luxury to save 68k.

If I made 40k, 35k after tax, and wanted to save half so I could retire in 15 years I'd need to only spend 17k. I don't think I could sustain that level of spending for more than a few years.



Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: Roland of Gilead on March 28, 2014, 08:42:39 AM
The wife and I don't make that combined (for our base salaries - we do extra work like summer school and tutoring that push us up there, but still not even close for our individual income).

Yet we'll ER in our early 30s with a 50k+ annual income.

As others have said, it's all about your savings rate.  We don't make a lot, but we save nearly all of it.

I can't see you having much of a pension or SS check waiting if you retire in your early 30s.  If you started seriously working right out of college, that is only 10 to 12 years paying into either of those systems which would be a pretty small credit.

Did you really manage to save enough to draw $50,000 a year for the next 40+ years on a sub $100,000 income in 12 years?
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: arebelspy on March 28, 2014, 08:56:46 AM
The wife and I don't make that combined (for our base salaries - we do extra work like summer school and tutoring that push us up there, but still not even close for our individual income).

Yet we'll ER in our early 30s with a 50k+ annual income.

As others have said, it's all about your savings rate.  We don't make a lot, but we save nearly all of it.

I can't see you having much of a pension or SS check waiting if you retire in your early 30s.  If you started seriously working right out of college, that is only 10 to 12 years paying into either of those systems which would be a pretty small credit.

We don't pay into social security, so we'll have $0 of that.  Our pensions will be quite small due to the fact that inflation will erode them over the next few decades until we take them (they'll have a COLA adjustment after that, but will be based on our today's income, which will seem quite small at that time by comparison).  So neither of those are factored into our plan/

Did you really manage to save enough to draw $50,000 a year for the next 40+ years on a sub $100,000 income in 12 years?

Yes.  We graduated college in 2007, current plan is to FIRE two years from now in 2016. It'll actually it'll end up being closer to 6 years from net worth 0 (in 2010) to FI (due to some colossal mistakes - including a six figure one in 08/09) - our first 3 years were net negative.

Our income will be more than 50k.  But it also will be higher than a traditional SWR, due to rental returns.

Note that our base salary has been roughly 36k-42k annually each (this final amount is only recently, and it's only that high because we both have Master's Degrees and multiple steps up the experience ladder) but we've done other things to earn money.  If you've read my posts you know I spend a lot of time on Real Estate and have made money at that, and other side gigs.  It's a lot of fun though.  :D
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: Ottawa on March 28, 2014, 09:05:50 AM
It isn't all roses at higher incomes.  70 hour weeks, long commutes, pretty high taxes ($77,000 in fed, state, medicare, and SS).

I am very much looking forward to zero hour weeks and living on $30,000 to $40,000.

Not true (necessarily)!  We work 75 hours per week (COMBINED!), each bike 5/6 miles each way (all year round).  Taxes are high..but not that high - for instance:

2007
Gross = 146,925
Net = 113,299
Total taxes ~ 22.9%

2013
Gross =  267,005
Net = 212,578
Total taxes ~ 20.4%

In general 18% - 24% depending...on a number of factors - such as income sources (cap gain/eligible divs), deductions etc...

I am very much looking forward to zero hour weeks and living on $30,000 to $40,000

I agree with this!!  30K would be our base...40K would be the deluxe travel package!
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: Roland of Gilead on March 28, 2014, 09:06:31 AM
Yes.  We graduated college in 2007, current plan is to FIRE two years from now in 2016. It'll actually it'll end up being closer to 6 years from net worth 0 (in 2010) to FI (due to some colossal mistakes - including a six figure one in 08/09) - our first 3 years were net negative.

Our income will be more than 50k.  But it also will be higher than a traditional SWR, due to rental returns.

Ok, that is pretty darn amazing.  We also started our FIRE plan around 2007 and started tracking our net worth and really saving.  We will reach FI in 2015 at age 45 so are quite a bit older than you.  I don't know real estate so we have just been putting $120,000 a year into the stock market and crossing our fingers.  So far so good.   I am shooting for $50K with a 3.5% SWR but we may end up only spending $35K to $40K like we do now.
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: awakenedsoul on March 28, 2014, 09:10:44 AM
I've lived on approximately $20,000. for most of my adult life. I did have a year when my income went up 33% and I spent it all. (I wasn't aware or responsible with my spending at that stage of my life.) I've not been a high earner, but have always kept my expenses low. I still make it a goal to live on half of my budget. I try to live on $1,000. a month. I don't, but it keeps me in check. I've backed into retirement unexpectedly. I inherited some money, and I have a 567 square foot house. I bought it for $89,500. My dad taught me to only live on the interest of any money you inherit. Because my home has increased in value, I've been able to achieve that on paper. I read books on how people survived in the Depression and I use their techniques. I have a nice plot of land and I grow all types of fruit. (That was my biggest grocery expense.) I knit my own clothes, but sell a lot of what I make. I turned the hobby into a home based business. Quality yarn is expensive, so this way I stay on top of those costs. This has also almost eliminated what I spent on clothes. Anything else I buy brand new at the Salvation Army. (except shoes.) They have a lot of really nice clothes donated from stores that have gone out of business. The tags are still on them. I take care of my things so they last forever.
When you retire, your expenses really drop. No more commute, or need for work clothes. Your car needs less oil changes, repairs, etc. I ride the bike a lot, and use the car once a week.  I mend my clothes, darn my socks, and cook everything from scratch. I like doing all that stuff.
I've found that the saying "Money follows money" is true. I also believe debt creates debt. The formulas work, regardless of your income. Low earners spend a lot less in taxes and (in America,) health insurance.         
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: GuitarStv on March 28, 2014, 09:32:37 AM
What do you consider a high earner?

An individual income in the 90's or higher.


OK, then HEEEELLLLLLL no.  Not a high earner.
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: NinetyFour on March 28, 2014, 09:43:05 AM
Just curious, arebelspy, when you said that your combined incomes (yours and your wife's) are less than $90K, were you including your rental income?
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: arebelspy on March 28, 2014, 09:48:14 AM
Just curious, arebelspy, when you said that your combined incomes (yours and your wife's) are less than $90K, were you including your rental income?

As I said, that is our base salaries.

Rental income should be no more included than dividend income is included in one's income.  It's return on capital, not labor.

I do count a wage for myself for the properties I self-manage that is a return on labor, but that's side-gig income, not counted as part of our base salaries.
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: Forcus on March 28, 2014, 09:50:33 AM
We are DINK's, and will be for the foreseeable future. We gross around 150k / yr, I am 32 and she is 27. We've been incredibly lucky / fortunate to have the jobs we do. I totally agree that high income is NOT a cure-all for savings. It makes it easier, by definition, but I have less nice stuff now then I did when we grossed less than half what we do now (this would be pre-MMM). We could easily expand our spending to match the latest income so it takes a fair amount of restraint to keep from doing so.
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: NinetyFour on March 28, 2014, 09:53:14 AM
Just curious, arebelspy, when you said that your combined incomes (yours and your wife's) are less than $90K, were you including your rental income?

As I said, that is our base salaries.

Rental income should be no more included than dividend income is included in one's income.  It's return on capital, not labor.

Got it.  Thanks.
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: Nothlit on March 28, 2014, 09:56:03 AM
We have an income in early $80k but it does seem like there are a lot of higher earners on here.

Why are there so many engineers on here?:) I'm from the UK and don't really understand the cultural significance of being an engineer in the US.

Many software developers or computer programmers call themselves engineers even though "software engineering" has not historically been a licensed professional engineering discipline in the U.S. (although that is beginning to change).
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: Carrie on March 28, 2014, 10:03:03 AM
One income of less than $90k (base in the upper $70's), one income of $0-$10k, other small sources come in sometimes - child support (which ends next month), small disbursement from a small trust (which will be tapped dry in just a couple of years).   So while we're not high earners, we cobble together enough to pay down our mortgage and save for retirement.  We have three kids, will be having another baby a week before the oldest leaves for college this summer. 

I keep thinking my DH is underpaid for what he does -- seems a lot of folks in his line of work are making well into the six figures.  We do live in a poor state with a fairly low COL, so the money he does make seems to go farther than if we lived in an IT hotspot.  Eventually I'd like for him to be able to telecommute so that we can live in an even lower COL area. 
Our biggest expense (the house & property taxes) is fairly low due to putting a lot down when we bought, everything else we control by our habits (utilities/groceries), so I feel like we make the income we have go a long way.
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: Cheddar Stacker on March 28, 2014, 10:09:51 AM
We could easily expand our spending to match the latest income so it takes a fair amount of restraint to keep from doing so.

+1

This can certainly be difficult. I think of these as levels of saver/spender: mustachian, typical consumer who doesn't mind saving a bit, typical consumer who loves to spend all they have, hyper consumer who needs the best of everything and is willing to finance everything, and I'm sure many other levels in between.

An increasing wage and a wife somewhere in that typical consumer range led our family to lifestyle inflation for many years. It can be hard for me to justify not buying something my wife wants for the family when we clearly have enough money to do so. It's a tough balance, but we've reached our Goldilocks family spending level over the last 6 months. It seems to be working quite well.
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: Russ on March 28, 2014, 10:13:41 AM
We have an income in early $80k but it does seem like there are a lot of higher earners on here.

Why are there so many engineers on here?:) I'm from the UK and don't really understand the cultural significance of being an engineer in the US.

Many software developers or computer programmers call themselves engineers even though "software engineering" has not historically been a licensed professional engineering discipline in the U.S. (although that is beginning to change).

you don't have to be a licensed PE to be an engineer though
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: libertarian4321 on March 28, 2014, 11:23:17 AM
Am I the only electrical engineer around here who makes under $50k?

Perhaps not, but I'll bet I'm the only engineer around here who makes under $50k and loves his job.

I'm an engineer, and make something like $86k/year, I think (I really never look at my paychecks- but that's probably pretty close), which is far below average for someone with my education and experience.  I've been doing this for the better part of 28 years (other than a 4 year semi early retirement).

But that's fine, because I work for a great company that pretty much leaves me the Hell alone, which is the way I prefer to work, so it's worth it.

There are far more important things when it comes to work than the size of the pay check.  Once your needs are covered, is it really worth being miserable for an extra $10k, $20k, or $30?  I don't think so.  I could go out tomorrow and get a job earning well over $100k, but I wouldn't even consider doing it.
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: SisterX on March 28, 2014, 11:41:25 AM
Seriously low earner here.  Family of 3, husband in school for a second degree.  I'm the "breadwinner", bringing home (after taxes and whatnot) about $27,000/year PLUS free tuition for the husband.  He's got a part-time student job (about 12 hours a week) and an even more part-time job on weekends (anywhere from 3-7 hours a weekend, usually around 4 or a little less) that gives him free coffee and a free flatbread each shift.  :)  Total, we currently bring home about $30,000, which is only slightly more than we have left to pay for student loans.
And rent is $1000/month in our area.  BUT, we don't have to pay for childcare.  :)
So, yeah.  You're not the only one thinking, "Holy shit, if we made that kind of money we'd be on easy street!"  I'm reminding myself that when we have made more money it's been really, really easy for us to save it all, and that we're developing good habits for when we're making more money in the future.
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: anisotropy on March 28, 2014, 11:50:32 AM
We could easily expand our spending to match the latest income so it takes a fair amount of restraint to keep from doing so.

+1

This can certainly be difficult. I think of these as levels of saver/spender: mustachian, typical consumer who doesn't mind saving a bit, typical consumer who loves to spend all they have, hyper consumer who needs the best of everything and is willing to finance everything, and I'm sure many other levels in between.

An increasing wage and a wife somewhere in that typical consumer range led our family to lifestyle inflation for many years. It can be hard for me to justify not buying something my wife wants for the family when we clearly have enough money to do so. It's a tough balance, but we've reached our Goldilocks family spending level over the last 6 months. It seems to be working quite well.

+1

ya, definiately a huge range. everyone's situation is different. ultimately it's all about the saving rate.
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: Exflyboy on March 28, 2014, 12:44:06 PM
We have an income in early $80k but it does seem like there are a lot of higher earners on here.

Why are there so many engineers on here?:) I'm from the UK and don't really understand the cultural significance of being an engineer in the US.

Many software developers or computer programmers call themselves engineers even though "software engineering" has not historically been a licensed professional engineering discipline in the U.S. (although that is beginning to change).

Actually that depends.. The State of Oregon is now imposing penalties on folks who call themselves engineers even if they have engineering batchelor's degrees and no PE license!!!

I think this is way overkill (even though I do have a PE license).. No degree yes, but no PE and not being able to use the term "engineer" is stupid IHMO.

Frank

you don't have to be a licensed PE to be an engineer though
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: skunkfunk on March 28, 2014, 01:04:02 PM
We have an income in early $80k but it does seem like there are a lot of higher earners on here.

Why are there so many engineers on here?:) I'm from the UK and don't really understand the cultural significance of being an engineer in the US.

Many software developers or computer programmers call themselves engineers even though "software engineering" has not historically been a licensed professional engineering discipline in the U.S. (although that is beginning to change).

you don't have to be a licensed PE to be an engineer though

Around here you can't call yourself an engineer or do "engineering" without a PE (or supervision by a PE). You will get fined by the board and given a cease and desist order. They actually do it, too, and tell everyone about who they wrist-slapped in the newsletter.

Edit: I suppose I should clarify that engineering work is stuff that only a PE is supposed to do. If you are a programmer and call yourself a software engineer, they aren't going to care. For that matter, an electrical engineer working for a manufacturer isn't required to have a PE despite probably being more technically demanding a job than the PE specifying his products. So, whatever I guess.
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: fantabulous on March 28, 2014, 01:27:33 PM
Many software developers or computer programmers call themselves engineers even though "software engineering" has not historically been a licensed professional engineering discipline in the U.S. (although that is beginning to change).

Related, "Engineer" as a title is pretty common for non-development IT roles as well. As an example, I am a "systems engineer" (not to be confused with the actual engineering discipline) as I primarily design IT systems. I even have an IT certification with the word "engineer" in it. I refer to myself as a fake engineer.
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: greaper007 on March 28, 2014, 01:33:45 PM
We have a household income north of $110,000, but it took until my wife was 37  (she's currently 37) to really break $75,000 and I'm a stay at home dad.    Add to that mondo student debt and other debts we incurred while working in seriously low paying jobs and starting a business and it really doesn't feel like we make 6 figures.

Now that we're finally making money, I'm spending less than ever (being at home really helps in that arena).    Now I feel like we have to catch up to the 10+ years we've been out of school making crap wages.    Sometimes I wish I had just been able to make $40,000 out of school and had modest raises over the years instead of grabbing for the brass ring.   We'd probably be in a better financial position right now.
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: Roland of Gilead on March 28, 2014, 01:52:47 PM
Edit: I suppose I should clarify that engineering work is stuff that only a PE is supposed to do. If you are a programmer and call yourself a software engineer, they aren't going to care. For that matter, an electrical engineer working for a manufacturer isn't required to have a PE despite probably being more technically demanding a job than the PE specifying his products. So, whatever I guess.

I worked as an electrical engineer before getting my degree for several years.  I didn't lie to the company, I just showed them five of the boards I had designed, including a RF amplifier for a CO2 laser and a brushless servo controller.  I also asked a few questions in their interview that the resident electrical engineer who was leaving couldn't answer (that probably was not a wise idea in hindsight).
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: dragoncar on March 28, 2014, 02:13:57 PM
We have an income in early $80k but it does seem like there are a lot of higher earners on here.

Why are there so many engineers on here?:) I'm from the UK and don't really understand the cultural significance of being an engineer in the US.

Many software developers or computer programmers call themselves engineers even though "software engineering" has not historically been a licensed professional engineering discipline in the U.S. (although that is beginning to change).

you don't have to be a licensed PE to be an engineer though

Around here you can't call yourself an engineer or do "engineering" without a PE (or supervision by a PE). You will get fined by the board and given a cease and desist order. They actually do it, too, and tell everyone about who they wrist-slapped in the newsletter.

Edit: I suppose I should clarify that engineering work is stuff that only a PE is supposed to do. If you are a programmer and call yourself a software engineer, they aren't going to care. For that matter, an electrical engineer working for a manufacturer isn't required to have a PE despite probably being more technically demanding a job than the PE specifying his products. So, whatever I guess.

Don't we have an engineering thread for this type of discussion?  I've never heard of anyone fined for calling themselves an engineer.  Nobody here is calling themselves a PE or claiming to have a license, but that doesn't make them not an engineer.

Afaic, if you have an engineering degree or get paid as an engineer, you are an engineer.  That's a very common title for non-licensed engineers at real engineering firms
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: taekvideo on March 28, 2014, 02:17:36 PM
I'm one of the below average earners here... I make about $16k/year, working 30hrs/week for about 40 weeks a year (online math tutor).
Also going to be renting out rooms in my new-to-me house soon which should add about $8500 more a year in gross income.
I'm in a very low COL neighborhood though, and don't have a car, and practice very good Mustaschian/ERE habits so I should be able to retire sometime in my late 30's or early 40's regardless of low income.
And in the meantime I absolutely love my job (see Life is Awesome! (http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/forum/welcome-to-the-forum/life-is-awesome!!!-here-is-why/msg254621/#msg254621)).
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: skunkfunk on March 28, 2014, 02:19:51 PM
We have an income in early $80k but it does seem like there are a lot of higher earners on here.

Why are there so many engineers on here?:) I'm from the UK and don't really understand the cultural significance of being an engineer in the US.

Many software developers or computer programmers call themselves engineers even though "software engineering" has not historically been a licensed professional engineering discipline in the U.S. (although that is beginning to change).

you don't have to be a licensed PE to be an engineer though

Around here you can't call yourself an engineer or do "engineering" without a PE (or supervision by a PE). You will get fined by the board and given a cease and desist order. They actually do it, too, and tell everyone about who they wrist-slapped in the newsletter.

Edit: I suppose I should clarify that engineering work is stuff that only a PE is supposed to do. If you are a programmer and call yourself a software engineer, they aren't going to care. For that matter, an electrical engineer working for a manufacturer isn't required to have a PE despite probably being more technically demanding a job than the PE specifying his products. So, whatever I guess.

Don't we have an engineering thread for this type of discussion?  I've never heard of anyone fined for calling themselves an engineer.  Nobody here is calling themselves a PE or claiming to have a license, but that doesn't make them not an engineer.

Afaic, if you have an engineering degree or get paid as an engineer, you are an engineer.  That's a very common title for non-licensed engineers at real engineering firms

From my state board's statutes -

"In order to safeguard life, health and property, and to promote the public welfare, the practice of engineering and the practice of land surveying in this state are hereby declared to be subject to regulation in the public interest. It shall be unlawful to practice or to offer to practice engineering or land surveying in this state, as defined in the provisions of Section 475.1 et seq. of this title, or to use in connection with any name or otherwise assume or advertise any title or description tending to convey the impression that any person is an engineer, professional engineer, land surveyor or professional land surveyor, unless such person has been duly licensed under the provisions of Section 475.1 et seq. of this title. The practice of engineering or land surveying shall be deemed a privilege granted by the state through the State Board of Licensure for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors, based on the qualifications of the individual as evidenced by a certificate of licensure, which shall not be transferable."

http://www.ok.gov/pels/Regulations/Statutes/index.html

And yeah, they do actually hit people with fines for it. They are usually firms that had their licenses lapse or contractors trying to get away with not having a proper engineer. By that definition I'm a designer, not an engineer, though colloquially I still tell people I'm an engineer.
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: Roland of Gilead on March 28, 2014, 02:51:51 PM
I'm one of the below average earners here... I make about $16k/year, working 30hrs/week for about 40 weeks a year (online math tutor).
Also going to be renting out rooms in my new-to-me house soon which should add about $8500 more a year in gross income.
I'm in a very low COL neighborhood though, and don't have a car, and practice very good Mustaschian/ERE habits so I should be able to retire sometime in my late 30's or early 40's regardless of low income.
And in the meantime I absolutely love my job (see Life is Awesome! (http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/forum/welcome-to-the-forum/life-is-awesome!!!-here-is-why/msg254621/#msg254621)).

Hmmm, that is some pretty good coin for being a online tutor, considering you could do that while you are "retired".  I wonder if there is a possibility to tutor for software programmers (wife) or electrical engineering (me)?
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: skunkfunk on March 28, 2014, 02:56:07 PM

Hmmm, that is some pretty good coin for being a online tutor, considering you could do that while you are "retired".  I wonder if there is a possibility to tutor for software programmers (wife) or electrical engineering (me)?

I know some people who would pay for tutoring if it helped them pass the electrical PE.

I would if I fail it once.
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: NinetyFour on March 28, 2014, 03:04:10 PM
I'm one of the below average earners here... I make about $16k/year, working 30hrs/week for about 40 weeks a year (online math tutor).
Also going to be renting out rooms in my new-to-me house soon which should add about $8500 more a year in gross income.
I'm in a very low COL neighborhood though, and don't have a car, and practice very good Mustaschian/ERE habits so I should be able to retire sometime in my late 30's or early 40's regardless of low income.
And in the meantime I absolutely love my job (see Life is Awesome! (http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/forum/welcome-to-the-forum/life-is-awesome!!!-here-is-why/msg254621/#msg254621)).

Do you mind sharing how you got into this gig?  I'd be interested in possibly transitioning to something like this when I retire.  Thanks!
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: dragoncar on March 28, 2014, 03:06:00 PM

From my state board's statutes -

"In order to safeguard life, health and property, and to promote the public welfare, the practice of engineering and the practice of land surveying in this state are hereby declared to be subject to regulation in the public interest. It shall be unlawful to practice or to offer to practice engineering or land surveying in this state, as defined in the provisions of Section 475.1 et seq. of this title, or to use in connection with any name or otherwise assume or advertise any title or description tending to convey the impression that any person is an engineer, professional engineer, land surveyor or professional land surveyor, unless such person has been duly licensed under the provisions of Section 475.1 et seq. of this title. The practice of engineering or land surveying shall be deemed a privilege granted by the state through the State Board of Licensure for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors, based on the qualifications of the individual as evidenced by a certificate of licensure, which shall not be transferable."

http://www.ok.gov/pels/Regulations/Statutes/index.html

And yeah, they do actually hit people with fines for it. They are usually firms that had their licenses lapse or contractors trying to get away with not having a proper engineer. By that definition I'm a designer, not an engineer, though colloquially I still tell people I'm an engineer.

Yeah, that's kinda my point -- they aren't fining every Seagate employee for putting "Staff Engineer" on their resume.  But if you are handing out cards saying "Bob Smith, Engineer" and soliciting bridge design jobs, then that would be a problem.

Anyways, the fact that you don't have a license to practice engineering does not imply that you aren't an engineer.  I don't have a license to drive my car, but when I get behind the wheel I'm a driver nonetheless.
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: face-punched on March 28, 2014, 03:24:22 PM
Low earner here. My wife and I together will be lucky to break 35k this year together. We are just getting started, but we are on pace to be able to knock out about a third of our 30k debts this year and then work in FIRE. I am joining the Navy to have better earnings, but long story short take heart. This stuff works, from poverty to wealth level, it works just the same. The only difference is how fast. :)
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: Albert on March 28, 2014, 03:34:24 PM
It's all about savings rate for sure, but let's not kid ourselves - it's so much easier and more enjoyable to do it with a high income. I've started my independent life with a scholarship of ca 18k, now I get low six figures (a single guy with no debt). Big difference in lifestyle even though I managed to save a bit of my scholarship money too...
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: gobius on March 28, 2014, 04:03:28 PM
My fiancee and I make about $110K + 401K matches so we, together, would be high earners.  We have saved a decent amount but not as much as I would like; we have improved greatly though and will improve even more.

I've felt like a relatively low earner at times on here as well, so don't feel bad.  I remember reading one where a girl said she made $110K/year and her husband made even more.  Sometimes it seems a lot of high earners ask for financial advice.  We aren't doing bad by any means but I have to tell myself it isn't a race when I see people on here with ridiculously high NW's.
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: szmaine on March 28, 2014, 04:09:09 PM
45k here and not FIRE either, 47yo...but this is a great site for frugality and so much more...I'm sure what I learn here will help me maximize our personal best.
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: Gen Y Finance Journey on March 28, 2014, 04:51:53 PM
Here's something to think about:

My husband and I are both frugal, but we have very different perspectives on people who spend a lot of money. When I see someone with a $50k car or a massive house, I assume they're probably living at or above their means. My husband assumes they're rich. As a result, I'm not envious in the slightest of people will all that stuff, but my husband is.

Could the same type of shift of perspective be applied to saving? Instead of assuming that people who save a lot of money must make a lot of money, can you focus on the idea that people who save a lot of money are just really good at not spending it?

By focusing on the behavior of others instead of their income, you're letting go of all that cynicism and envy, and you have the opportunity to learn from them. Besides, as others have pointed out, it's the people on here who don't have high incomes that are the true badasses. They're the ones I want to learn from.
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: Roland of Gilead on March 28, 2014, 04:56:52 PM
I don't get envious of high earners but I do admit a little envy for people who luck into a big inheritance.
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: Exflyboy on March 28, 2014, 05:15:38 PM
Here's something to think about:

My husband and I are both frugal, but we have very different perspectives on people who spend a lot of money. When I see someone with a $50k car or a massive house, I assume they're probably living at or above their means. My husband assumes they're rich. As a result, I'm not envious in the slightest of people will all that stuff, but my husband is.

Could the same type of shift of perspective be applied to saving? Instead of assuming that people who save a lot of money must make a lot of money, can you focus on the idea that people who save a lot of money are just really good at not spending it?

By focusing on the behavior of others instead of their income, you're letting go of all that cynicism and envy, and you have the opportunity to learn from them. Besides, as others have pointed out, it's the people on here who don't have high incomes that are the true badasses. They're the ones I want to learn from.

I remember having to teach my Wife's Neice and nephew about this... Come from a family of "spend everything and more". We were sat on our back deck and they looked across our pasture at the 5000sq ft Mc Mansion and exclaimed..

"Woah, look at that house they MUST be rich".. Then I asked them if they knew what a Mortgage was?... Nope!.. Do they know who ACTUALLY owns that house... Nope!

When they pull up alongside someone in a fancy car do they assume they are rich?.. well.. yeah!

Half an hour later and they think I must be someone who is a complete idiot!

Very sad.
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: mm1970 on March 28, 2014, 05:29:35 PM
We have an income in early $80k but it does seem like there are a lot of higher earners on here.

Why are there so many engineers on here?:) I'm from the UK and don't really understand the cultural significance of being an engineer in the US.

A professional engineer (PE) in the U.S. has a college degree, years of experience, has passed the required tests, and is entrusted with supervision of items critical for public safety. That said, the term is losing some of its punch lately as it is being applied to fields where none of this is the case. Technically, in my state (Oklahoma), one must meet these requirements to call themselves a professional engineer. For instance, I must call myself an engineer intern because I have not met the experience requirement to take the final test.

Yeah but most engineers don't have a PE. My husband and I got ours way back when, but finally let them lapse because we weren't using them.

In our industries, the prof eng exam is pretty useless.
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: Cassie on March 28, 2014, 10:18:56 PM
My hubby is a PE engineer and many engineers are never able to pass the exam. It is the gold standard for this occupation.  I really doubt anyone would let that go unless they never intended to work again-ever!
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: MDM on March 28, 2014, 11:09:40 PM
See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regulation_and_licensure_in_engineering (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regulation_and_licensure_in_engineering) for a good overview of licensing for engineers.  The "'industrial exemption' that permits engineers to work internally for an organization without licensure" is sometimes called the "large company exception".  In other words, if you work for a large company (Ford, Exxon, etc.) you can go your whole career without getting a PE license.

As the wiki article states, "One American engineering society, the National Society of Professional Engineers has sought to extend a single professional license and code of ethics for all engineers, regardless of practice area or employment sector."  One reason for this could be, similar to "passing the bar" for attorneys, to reduce the supply of engineers and thus increase the price each can command.  No idea if that will gain traction.
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: Blindsquirrel on March 28, 2014, 11:19:18 PM
 Not a PE but both STEM undergrad degree holders. Well, we have a GD firehose of cash handed to us. The DW is not really on to the FIRE plan but not wasteful as far as the grand scheme of things. Paid income from jobs is 228K last year, down from 255K the year before ( mind blowing income that year) and we tack on 33K in tax deferred income. Rentals grossed $130,100 last year and we hope to grow that by 28k or so this year. We are both mid 40's  chemists. We support parents to the tune of (A GD huge truck load of money for an Alzheimer's care facility but our parents will never be destitute hopefully as long as I can prevent it, though the cost is a shocker. )   a year and get torched for about 100K+ in taxes when RE tax is included. We are relatively new to the   super high income range in that our pay has gone up dramatically in the last 5 years. The life style inflation has been confined to a huge personal residence that we bought half off during the great financial crises. We are in a  low COL area so it is all good. I used to live on not very much so our savings rate is still pretty high. Sadly, not super confident on retiring until the parental cash suck ends and we are in an absolutely rock solid finance situation. I do think that the range of incomes and debt loads at this site really has a huge spread which I like. There are everyone from -100K NW folks here to multimillionaires and a spread of ages from high school (boy do those kids have a clue and a giant leg up) to genuine geezers. Truly a cross section.
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: Exflyboy on March 29, 2014, 04:13:48 AM
My hubby is a PE engineer and many engineers are never able to pass the exam. It is the gold standard for this occupation.  I really doubt anyone would let that go unless they never intended to work again-ever!

While I agree the Exams are hard (I did the FE 25 years out of school and the PE the following year), keeping up the registration while you are retired is tough to do. The 30 hours of professional development when you don't have a job can be very expensive. You can however retire your PE license in Oregon for 5 years and get it back without too much trouble.

Frank
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: zataks on March 29, 2014, 04:57:42 AM
Crazy to hear that "many engineers never pass the PE."  I was talking to one of our young engineers (note: not an engineer but I work in an engineer-dense field) a couple weeks ago and he was expressing concern because there is discussion of making a PE (in CA at least) require a master's degree because the PE is so common.  Seems like so few engineering jobs here require a PE.  There are plenty that DO require it but I'm always surprised to see the listings that don't list it as a requirement.

I don't consider myself a high-earner but am starting to look at my income that way (no face punches, new to MMM!).  Just completing my first year at a new job (but over 8-years in field) plus modest rental income from another state puts me very near $100k.  The plan is to be retired in my early-mid 40's--27 now.    The problem/fear I'm running into is that if (when!) I retire at that age, my personal retirement/investments won't be large enough to last me the rest of my life.  The funds will easily last until I can start taking my pension and probably at least 25 years into taking my pension.  Working an extra couple years/reducing my spending a bit will allow that fund to not only last my whole life but let me leave something for those to come.  Just still hard to wrap my head around not working but making money.
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: aj_yooper on March 29, 2014, 05:41:14 AM
I've lived on approximately $20,000. for most of my adult life. I did have a year when my income went up 33% and I spent it all. (I wasn't aware or responsible with my spending at that stage of my life.) I've not been a high earner, but have always kept my expenses low. I still make it a goal to live on half of my budget. I try to live on $1,000. a month. I don't, but it keeps me in check. I've backed into retirement unexpectedly. I inherited some money, and I have a 567 square foot house. I bought it for $89,500. My dad taught me to only live on the interest of any money you inherit. Because my home has increased in value, I've been able to achieve that on paper. I read books on how people survived in the Depression and I use their techniques. I have a nice plot of land and I grow all types of fruit. (That was my biggest grocery expense.) I knit my own clothes, but sell a lot of what I make. I turned the hobby into a home based business. Quality yarn is expensive, so this way I stay on top of those costs. This has also almost eliminated what I spent on clothes. Anything else I buy brand new at the Salvation Army. (except shoes.) They have a lot of really nice clothes donated from stores that have gone out of business. The tags are still on them. I take care of my things so they last forever.
When you retire, your expenses really drop. No more commute, or need for work clothes. Your car needs less oil changes, repairs, etc. I ride the bike a lot, and use the car once a week.  I mend my clothes, darn my socks, and cook everything from scratch. I like doing all that stuff.
I've found that the saying "Money follows money" is true. I also believe debt creates debt. The formulas work, regardless of your income. Low earners spend a lot less in taxes and (in America,) health insurance.       

Pretty amazing!  Good work on your cash expenses, especially.
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: mm1970 on March 29, 2014, 09:49:41 AM
My hubby is a PE engineer and many engineers are never able to pass the exam. It is the gold standard for this occupation.  I really doubt anyone would let that go unless they never intended to work again-ever!
Especially important in civil engineering or construction.

Semiconductors?  Not so much.  And my PE is (was) in chemical engineering in VA.  But I live in CA.
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: awakenedsoul on March 29, 2014, 11:01:08 AM
 
[/quote]

Pretty amazing!  Good work on your cash expenses, especially.
[/quote]

Thanks. Where I live, property taxes can only go up 2% a year, so that helps. I read what other people are paying and it's shocking. I also keep in mind what I could do if I had to: use the Internet at the library at no charge, go car free, (I'm a block from the bus stop,) have one dog instead of two, etc.

The little things really do add up.

 
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: taekvideo on March 29, 2014, 11:04:28 AM
I'm one of the below average earners here... I make about $16k/year, working 30hrs/week for about 40 weeks a year (online math tutor).
Also going to be renting out rooms in my new-to-me house soon which should add about $8500 more a year in gross income.
I'm in a very low COL neighborhood though, and don't have a car, and practice very good Mustaschian/ERE habits so I should be able to retire sometime in my late 30's or early 40's regardless of low income.
And in the meantime I absolutely love my job (see Life is Awesome! (http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/forum/welcome-to-the-forum/life-is-awesome!!!-here-is-why/msg254621/#msg254621)).

Do you mind sharing how you got into this gig?  I'd be interested in possibly transitioning to something like this when I retire.  Thanks!

I just applied online... was initially going to use it as temp work but decided I liked it and wanted to go long-term.
There seems to be an unlimited demand for tutors in the upper level subjects... calculus, discrete math, etc.  You'd need to look into what subjects you're an expert in that are in high demand.
There's a lot of sites for it... I work for tutor.com, but I think instaedu.com and homeworkhelp.com pay more (the first didn't exist when I started less than a year ago and the latter just ignored my application).  I've been trying to add some hours with instaedu but it's a lot harder to get started there... you can't just schedule hours and get assigned students like you can at tutor.com.
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: NinetyFour on March 29, 2014, 11:19:41 AM
Great--thanks very much for that info!
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: libertarian4321 on March 30, 2014, 12:32:03 AM

Around here you can't call yourself an engineer or do "engineering" without a PE (or supervision by a PE). You will get fined by the board and given a cease and desist order. They actually do it, too, and tell everyone about who they wrist-slapped in the newsletter.

Edit: I suppose I should clarify that engineering work is stuff that only a PE is supposed to do. If you are a programmer and call yourself a software engineer, they aren't going to care. For that matter, an electrical engineer working for a manufacturer isn't required to have a PE despite probably being more technically demanding a job than the PE specifying his products. So, whatever I guess.

I'm not sure what country you live in, but that certainly is NOT the case in the USA.

I got a BS in engineering from Rensselaer Polytech I in '85, an MBA from BU in '89, and a MEng from MIT in '95.  I passed the EIT in '85, and never even bothered to take the PE, because, frankly, I saw no need for it.

I call myself an engineer.  For almost 30 years, I have done engineering work.  I have hired, fired, and supervised engineers (some with PEs, and some without).

If I had to do something that requires a "PE" stamp (which, frankly, was pretty rare), I just did the work and had one of the "dime a dozen" PE's stamp the work. 

I'm not hiding from the "board" (who the hell are they?).  I'm pretty well known and have even run for political office (US Congress- publicly identifying myself as an engineer). 

Despite "high profile" public engineering life, I have never been sanctioned, threatened, or even questioned for calling myself an engineer without a PE.

BTW, there are a lot of really, really bad engineers who have passed the PE.  For a lot of engineers, the "PE" was just a test they passed at age 22, without ever having done a day of real engineering.  It's an academic qualification that doesn't always have a lot of applicability to real life engineering work.  I don't care if you passed a test at age 22, I want to know what the Hell you have done since.

Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: libertarian4321 on March 30, 2014, 01:00:31 AM
My hubby is a PE engineer and many engineers are never able to pass the exam. It is the gold standard for this occupation.  I really doubt anyone would let that go unless they never intended to work again-ever!

Son of a bitch, I've been collecting a paycheck as an engineer for almost 30 years without a PE. 

Oh lawdy, lawdy, I hope no one ever finds out I don't have a PE...


Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: wtjbatman on March 30, 2014, 02:17:46 AM
ITT, engineers get upset about certifications and argue what professions actually qualify oneself as an engineer.

Which kinda explains why they decided to become engineers :D
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: T-Rex on March 30, 2014, 03:17:57 AM
I am not. I think the biggest barrier to retirement is lifestyle inflation and not saving.
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: PhotoBrandon on March 30, 2014, 06:30:32 AM
We are on the lower side of things, I make $27k and wife makes $36k.  She has some room to grow in her career, but not a whole lot to be honest.  She loves it though, and if we ever hit FI I'm sure she would still want to work.

I have no real career to speak of, just a job to pay the bills.  Looking for something better, but I feel like my options are fairly limited with my education and experience, and going back to school seems too expensive to be worthwhile with $59k of the wife's student loans left to pay off still.
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: TomTX on March 30, 2014, 08:44:11 AM
What do you consider a high earner?

An individual income in the 90's or higher.

Wow, not even close. Just got a raise to almost $65k last fall, first big raise in a long time.

Fixed expenses are pretty high: $16.5k a year in mortgage + property tax + insurance alone. Most of that will go away in 7.5 years when the mortgage is paid off... but after recent discussions here, I am starting to regret getting such a short mortgage when we refinanced.
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: stevewisc on March 30, 2014, 10:04:55 AM

Around here you can't call yourself an engineer or do "engineering" without a PE (or supervision by a PE). You will get fined by the board and given a cease and desist order. They actually do it, too, and tell everyone about who they wrist-slapped in the newsletter.

Edit: I suppose I should clarify that engineering work is stuff that only a PE is supposed to do. If you are a programmer and call yourself a software engineer, they aren't going to care. For that matter, an electrical engineer working for a manufacturer isn't required to have a PE despite probably being more technically demanding a job than the PE specifying his products. So, whatever I guess.

I'm not sure what country you live in, but that certainly is NOT the case in the USA.

I got a BS in engineering from Rensselaer Polytech I in '85, an MBA from BU in '89, and a MEng from MIT in '95.  I passed the EIT in '85, and never even bothered to take the PE, because, frankly, I saw no need for it.

I call myself an engineer.  For almost 30 years, I have done engineering work.  I have hired, fired, and supervised engineers (some with PEs, and some without).

If I had to do something that requires a "PE" stamp (which, frankly, was pretty rare), I just did the work and had one of the "dime a dozen" PE's stamp the work. 

I'm not hiding from the "board" (who the hell are they?).  I'm pretty well known and have even run for political office (US Congress- publicly identifying myself as an engineer). 

Despite "high profile" public engineering life, I have never been sanctioned, threatened, or even questioned for calling myself an engineer without a PE.

BTW, there are a lot of really, really bad engineers who have passed the PE.  For a lot of engineers, the "PE" was just a test they passed at age 22, without ever having done a day of real engineering.  It's an academic qualification that doesn't always have a lot of applicability to real life engineering work.  I don't care if you passed a test at age 22, I want to know what the Hell you have done since.

Amen!!   (RPI!!)
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: dragoncar on March 30, 2014, 12:41:55 PM

Around here you can't call yourself an engineer or do "engineering" without a PE (or supervision by a PE). You will get fined by the board and given a cease and desist order. They actually do it, too, and tell everyone about who they wrist-slapped in the newsletter.

Edit: I suppose I should clarify that engineering work is stuff that only a PE is supposed to do. If you are a programmer and call yourself a software engineer, they aren't going to care. For that matter, an electrical engineer working for a manufacturer isn't required to have a PE despite probably being more technically demanding a job than the PE specifying his products. So, whatever I guess.

I'm not sure what country you live in, but that certainly is NOT the case in the USA.

I got a BS in engineering from Rensselaer Polytech I in '85, an MBA from BU in '89, and a MEng from MIT in '95.  I passed the EIT in '85, and never even bothered to take the PE, because, frankly, I saw no need for it.

I call myself an engineer.  For almost 30 years, I have done engineering work.  I have hired, fired, and supervised engineers (some with PEs, and some without).

If I had to do something that requires a "PE" stamp (which, frankly, was pretty rare), I just did the work and had one of the "dime a dozen" PE's stamp the work. 

I'm not hiding from the "board" (who the hell are they?).  I'm pretty well known and have even run for political office (US Congress- publicly identifying myself as an engineer). 

Despite "high profile" public engineering life, I have never been sanctioned, threatened, or even questioned for calling myself an engineer without a PE.

BTW, there are a lot of really, really bad engineers who have passed the PE.  For a lot of engineers, the "PE" was just a test they passed at age 22, without ever having done a day of real engineering.  It's an academic qualification that doesn't always have a lot of applicability to real life engineering work.  I don't care if you passed a test at age 22, I want to know what the Hell you have done since.

Lol, I was going to say that engineers tend to be a very libertarian minded group, and that's probably why the PE matters so little in actual industry (excepting thing like bridge design, as previously mentioned).
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: iwasjustwondering on March 30, 2014, 02:53:43 PM
It might be just what you notice. As a defined high income earner, I always think I am one of the minority and that this board is mainly populated by those under that income!

The beauty of the shockingly simple math is it works at any income level, but I agree its easier/faster with a higher income.  Although as we've seen here from the occasional poster, high income jobs often come with trappings/expectations of ridiculous consumption that takes the ability to be strongly internally directed to resist.

As for age, its never too late. I'm 55, hoping to retire at 60,  and if I live to 100, (who knows, there are some long livers in my family) then I've still got 40 years to plan for, quite long enough.

Happy yes, I think that's true true that high income jobs come with trappings and expectations.  One of the major issues is financial aid for college -- we're not getting any.  So I have to have the money when the kids are ready for school in a few years.  There are also serious expectations about clothes for work, and having recent haircuts/dye jobs.  I do the minimum acceptable on some fronts (probably get my hair cut and dyed every 4 months), but I do spend too much $ on clothes.  I need to start looking at the vintage shops nearby more seriously.
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: iwasjustwondering on March 30, 2014, 02:57:19 PM
I'm a high earner, but started late.  At age 35, I was a single mother with no money (I mean no money -- no 401K, no savings, nothing), $44,000 in student loans, a $511 monthly car payment, $3,000 in monthly childcare bills, a 1.5-hour commute each way (which directly caused the enormous childcare bills), and a $2,400 monthly rent.  Eight years later my situation is vastly different (I have no non-mortgage debt now, around $100,000 in home equity and around $200,000 in investments, including 401K and college savings).  This is mostly due to going after a higher income, but I am also starting to learn to save.

I'm still way, way behind.

Thanks for sharing. That's a whole lot of progress in just 8 years and is very admirable.

Thanks.  My company's 10% 401K match has played a large part in it. 
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: gobius on March 30, 2014, 07:51:04 PM
My hubby is a PE engineer and many engineers are never able to pass the exam. It is the gold standard for this occupation.  I really doubt anyone would let that go unless they never intended to work again-ever!

Son of a bitch, I've been collecting a paycheck as an engineer for almost 30 years without a PE. 

Oh lawdy, lawdy, I hope no one ever finds out I don't have a PE...

Haha I found this post awesomely hilarious.

In my field (power plants) lots of engineering grads don't get their PE.  It's only required to move up in pay after about 13 years with my employer.  Then again, we don't really do a lot of engineering.
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: sol on March 30, 2014, 08:27:38 PM
My wife and I qualify as high earners by the criteria specified here, and yes it makes saving most of your income pretty straightforwad.  We're not engineers, but we do work in a field that typically requires professional licensing.

Except that we both work for the federal government, so we're not required to get licensed.  When the licensing requirements were instituted (maybe 15 years ago?) they were widely believed to be a power grab by the licensing agency which charged ridiculous fees to give you permission to do a job that everyone in the state had already been doing for generations without their intervention.  A few people in my office bit and got licensed, but most of them have since dropped it because of the annual fee and the exactly zero benefit it provides to federal employees.

The only person I know who still carries an active license is a collector of initials after her name, and she basically does it out of vanity.
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: Mazzinator on March 30, 2014, 09:00:12 PM
We have a household income north of $110,000, but it took until my wife was 37  (she's currently 37) to really break $75,000 and I'm a stay at home dad.    Add to that mondo student debt and other debts we incurred while working in seriously low paying jobs and starting a business and it really doesn't feel like we make 6 figures.

Now that we're finally making money, I'm spending less than ever (being at home really helps in that arena).    Now I feel like we have to catch up to the 10+ years we've been out of school making crap wages.    Sometimes I wish I had just been able to make $40,000 out of school and had modest raises over the years instead of grabbing for the brass ring.   We'd probably be in a better financial position right now.

We're in a similar boat. We had at one point something like $300k in debt (no mortgage) 13 years of college between us, and 14 years to break six figures? We've both been out of college about 7 years now. Now we're down to ~$75k in debt (all SL) and my husband makes ~$130k gross (it feels like more because we pay $0 in taxes) and i'm a sahm. So, same for us...debt paydown, and catch up. If i could only get him into full mmm we'd be golden...
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: RealCanadianSavings on March 30, 2014, 09:55:26 PM
My spouse and I are DINKs. He's an Engineer. Combined we make ~200k. We do live in Vancouver Canada, so I'm guessing housing and taxes are a bit higher than most of the people here. It's pretty nice though, we're making good progress on FIRE.
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: Cassie on March 30, 2014, 09:59:56 PM
Wow-I guess you guys do not work or live in the West Coast. The 6 figure jobs need PE's.  Many people are not smart enough to pass the test.  It is very difficult but that is fine since many lower level jobs need to be filled. 
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: dragoncar on March 30, 2014, 10:26:19 PM
Wow-I guess you guys do not work or live in the West Coast. The 6 figure jobs need PE's.  Many people are not smart enough to pass the test.  It is very difficult but that is fine since many lower level jobs need to be filled.

This may be true in your husband's particular industry (I can only guess this is civil engineering?), but I live in the San Francisco Bay area where every other person on the street is an engineer and nobody has or requires PEs.
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: Cassie on March 30, 2014, 10:32:14 PM
Yes he is civil with environmental certifications as well doing traffic & project management for huge projects.   I am thinking if that is really the case we should come to SF.  Thanks for the info!
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: Eristheunorganized on March 31, 2014, 01:16:20 AM
Yeah, I often feel out of the normal demographic here- I made just over 30,000 last year. I'm saving about 38% of my income, but I am unsure if could get to 50% without doing something very drastic. I suppose I could ditch my (paid for) car...

Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: arebelspy on March 31, 2014, 06:41:34 AM
Yeah, I often feel out of the normal demographic here- I made just over 30,000 last year. I'm saving about 38% of my income, but I am unsure if could get to 50% without doing something very drastic. I suppose I could ditch my (paid for) car...

Yeah, one big difference is having a partner who is on board and also earning.

That's really accelerated my time to FI.  I started making a similar amount to you, mid-30ks (teacher), and spent similar to you.  The big difference is that I also had (and still have) a spouse.  That pushed our spending to low 20s instead of high teens (like you), but we could basically live on 2/3 of one income (like you) and save the other 1/3 of the first income (like you), but then also save all of the second income, which gave us about a 66% savings rate (which was boosted to 70-75% with side income earned, eventual pay raises to about 40k each after getting Master's Degrees, etc. etc.)

A spouse on board only raising your spending by a few thousand but adding a whole extra income to save is FIRE lighter fluid.
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: EconDiva on March 31, 2014, 08:32:22 AM
Yeah, I often feel out of the normal demographic here- I made just over 30,000 last year. I'm saving about 38% of my income, but I am unsure if could get to 50% without doing something very drastic. I suppose I could ditch my (paid for) car...

Yeah, one big difference is having a partner who is on board and also earning.

That's really accelerated my time to FI.  I started making a similar amount to you, mid-30ks (teacher), and spent similar to you.  The big difference is that I also had (and still have) a spouse.  That pushed our spending to low 20s instead of high teens (like you), but we could basically live on 2/3 of one income (like you) and save the other 1/3 of the first income (like you), but then also save all of the second income, which gave us about a 66% savings rate (which was boosted to 70-75% with side income earned, eventual pay raises to about 40k each after getting Master's Degrees, etc. etc.)

A spouse on board only raising your spending by a few thousand but adding a whole extra income to save is FIRE lighter fluid.

On that note, the funny thing is, I'd been considering ways to get myself to FIRE sooner, and recently got a promotion/raise, which was one of my goals. Now I'm thinking what else can I do?

And the first thing that popped into my mind was getting married lol. I could save so much more if I were splitting expenses with someone. I guess I could get a roommate, but I'm 35 and not too keen on living with strangers at this point in my life. Sigh...
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: DoubleDown on March 31, 2014, 08:47:44 AM
I was a high earner before retiring at the end of last year (at age 47). You can file this in the "cry me a river" category, but one downside is it really can make it hard to walk away from a high paying career when you're at the peak of your game and earning a lot of money. It's so easy to think of things you could do by working just a little more, even noble things like charity -- definitely easy to get sucked into the "one more year" illness.
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: Roland of Gilead on March 31, 2014, 08:54:24 AM
It's so easy to think of things you could do by working just a little more

I will be thinking hard about those things (missing the two hour commute, $70,000 in taxes, office politics) while sipping a drink in the Florida Keys.
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: skunkfunk on March 31, 2014, 08:58:51 AM
Quote
I'm not sure what country you live in, but that certainly is NOT the case in the USA.

I got a BS in engineering from Rensselaer Polytech I in '85, an MBA from BU in '89, and a MEng from MIT in '95.  I passed the EIT in '85, and never even bothered to take the PE, because, frankly, I saw no need for it.

I call myself an engineer.  For almost 30 years, I have done engineering work.  I have hired, fired, and supervised engineers (some with PEs, and some without).

If I had to do something that requires a "PE" stamp (which, frankly, was pretty rare), I just did the work and had one of the "dime a dozen" PE's stamp the work. 

I'm not hiding from the "board" (who the hell are they?).  I'm pretty well known and have even run for political office (US Congress- publicly identifying myself as an engineer). 

Despite "high profile" public engineering life, I have never been sanctioned, threatened, or even questioned for calling myself an engineer without a PE.

BTW, there are a lot of really, really bad engineers who have passed the PE.  For a lot of engineers, the "PE" was just a test they passed at age 22, without ever having done a day of real engineering.  It's an academic qualification that doesn't always have a lot of applicability to real life engineering work.  I don't care if you passed a test at age 22, I want to know what the Hell you have done since.

I'll copy below an example of one of the thirteen disciplinary actions the board took in this months newsletter.

In the Matter of United Consulting Group,
LTD and Patrick J. Carr, P.E. 21196; Through Consent; For offering and/or
practicing engineering in the State of Oklahoma
without a Certificate of Authorization to do so,
United Consulting Group, LTD was found Guilty,
assessed an administrative fine of $1,000.00 and is
hereby ordered to Cease and Desist. For aiding
and assisting United Consulting Group, LTD in the
offer and/or practice of engineering without a
Certificate of Authorization Carr was found Guilty,
assessed an administrative fine of $1,000.00 and is
hereby Reprimanded.

Yeah, $1000 fine is barely a slap on the wrist. Every project that I work on does have to be signed and sealed prior to construction. We have 2 jobs right now that I'm not even allowed to work on, as the client has required that all work be done by the licensed engineer; usually, we can get by just having it supervised by the licensed engineer.
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: Cheddar Stacker on March 31, 2014, 10:36:14 AM
I was a high earner before retiring at the end of last year (at age 47). You can file this in the "cry me a river" category, but one downside is it really can make it hard to walk away from a high paying career when you're at the peak of your game and earning a lot of money. It's so easy to think of things you could do by working just a little more, even noble things like charity -- definitely easy to get sucked into the "one more year" illness.

+1

If my calculations/assumptions are correct, I will be ready to walk right about the time my salary, which is already more than enough, will grow by 20-40%. It's going to be tough to explain/justify to co-workers and my wife, but enough is enough right? I understand exactly what you mean.
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: Eristheunorganized on March 31, 2014, 11:22:31 AM
Yeah, I often feel out of the normal demographic here- I made just over 30,000 last year. I'm saving about 38% of my income, but I am unsure if could get to 50% without doing something very drastic. I suppose I could ditch my (paid for) car...

Yeah, one big difference is having a partner who is on board and also earning.

That's really accelerated my time to FI.  I started making a similar amount to you, mid-30ks (teacher), and spent similar to you.  The big difference is that I also had (and still have) a spouse.  That pushed our spending to low 20s instead of high teens (like you), but we could basically live on 2/3 of one income (like you) and save the other 1/3 of the first income (like you), but then also save all of the second income, which gave us about a 66% savings rate (which was boosted to 70-75% with side income earned, eventual pay raises to about 40k each after getting Master's Degrees, etc. etc.)

A spouse on board only raising your spending by a few thousand but adding a whole extra income to save is FIRE lighter fluid.

On that note, the funny thing is, I'd been considering ways to get myself to FIRE sooner, and recently got a promotion/raise, which was one of my goals. Now I'm thinking what else can I do?

And the first thing that popped into my mind was getting married lol. I could save so much more if I were splitting expenses with someone. I guess I could get a roommate, but I'm 35 and not too keen on living with strangers at this point in my life. Sigh...


Living with roommates isn't so bad, I've done it pretty much all my adult life. The only problem is that it's very unstable. Houses you're renting get sold from underneath you, roommates leave. Then you have to pay for another deposit and your moving costs.

Marrying someone on board would be awesome. My higher-earning boyfriend is too interested in living the high life right now.
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: AlmstRtrd on March 31, 2014, 11:48:54 AM
Quote
I was a high earner before retiring at the end of last year (at age 47). You can file this in the "cry me a river" category, but one downside is it really can make it hard to walk away from a high paying career when you're at the peak of your game and earning a lot of money. It's so easy to think of things you could do by working just a little more, even noble things like charity -- definitely easy to get sucked into the "one more year" illness.

DoubleDown (or anyone else reading this),

Just curious... did you have a specific amount of assets in mind that you wanted to hit before you pulled the plug on working? I have the feeling I will fall victim to "number creep" where I keep raising the figure I feel we need to really retire.
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: DoubleDown on March 31, 2014, 05:12:24 PM

DoubleDown (or anyone else reading this),

Just curious... did you have a specific amount of assets in mind that you wanted to hit before you pulled the plug on working? I have the feeling I will fall victim to "number creep" where I keep raising the figure I feel we need to really retire.

I did have a number, or more accurately several numbers. I've broken down my retirement into several phases, drawing on different assets at different times (taxable accounts and real estate right now, then a small-ish pension that will kick in plus other real estate, 401k/IRAs starting at age 59.5, Soc. Security at age 62+). It's inexact though, with all kinds of assumptions built in on rates of return in the future, inflation rates, etc. I've structured things so I should have a steady income stream over the years, drawing on the different assets with hopefully a large enough buffer to handle unexpected expenses or downturns.

I can definitely sympathize with the number creep tendency. I worked at least an extra year to build up a safety margin, and once felt I had enough of a buffer I decided it was safe to pull the plug. I guess time will tell if I was overly conservative, or not conservative enough! There was some difficulty though in leaving the high salary plus giving up on some lifetime benefits if I worked until typical retirement age (higher pension, lifetime healthcare, etc.). But man, I would not change anything so far -- ER has been great! So my humble suggestion would be don't fall victim too much to raising that number, having your time and freedom is priceless.
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: Exflyboy on March 31, 2014, 05:30:23 PM

Around here you can't call yourself an engineer or do "engineering" without a PE (or supervision by a PE). You will get fined by the board and given a cease and desist order. They actually do it, too, and tell everyone about who they wrist-slapped in the newsletter.

Edit: I suppose I should clarify that engineering work is stuff that only a PE is supposed to do. If you are a programmer and call yourself a software engineer, they aren't going to care. For that matter, an electrical engineer working for a manufacturer isn't required to have a PE despite probably being more technically demanding a job than the PE specifying his products. So, whatever I guess.

I'm not sure what country you live in, but that certainly is NOT the case in the USA.

I got a BS in engineering from Rensselaer Polytech I in '85, an MBA from BU in '89, and a MEng from MIT in '95.  I passed the EIT in '85, and never even bothered to take the PE, because, frankly, I saw no need for it.

I call myself an engineer.  For almost 30 years, I have done engineering work.  I have hired, fired, and supervised engineers (some with PEs, and some without).

If I had to do something that requires a "PE" stamp (which, frankly, was pretty rare), I just did the work and had one of the "dime a dozen" PE's stamp the work. 

I'm not hiding from the "board" (who the hell are they?).  I'm pretty well known and have even run for political office (US Congress- publicly identifying myself as an engineer). 

Despite "high profile" public engineering life, I have never been sanctioned, threatened, or even questioned for calling myself an engineer without a PE.

BTW, there are a lot of really, really bad engineers who have passed the PE.  For a lot of engineers, the "PE" was just a test they passed at age 22, without ever having done a day of real engineering.  It's an academic qualification that doesn't always have a lot of applicability to real life engineering work.  I don't care if you passed a test at age 22, I want to know what the Hell you have done since.

Amen!!   (RPI!!)

While you are all beating your chests telling us this does not happen in America I would invite you to read the two posts where it has been stated that this IS happening.. IN Oregon for one, where people are being fined for using the term "engineer" without a PE license.

I agree its overkill but the FACT is fines ARE being levied buy the state for this very thing.

How do I know because the State has sent me a magazine telling me where they have done exactly this..

Do you want to disagree some more?.. I will happily got get the reference and you can look up these FACTS.. Note I said FACTS!!!!!.. yourselves.

Frank
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: dragoncar on March 31, 2014, 05:51:37 PM

Around here you can't call yourself an engineer or do "engineering" without a PE (or supervision by a PE). You will get fined by the board and given a cease and desist order. They actually do it, too, and tell everyone about who they wrist-slapped in the newsletter.

Edit: I suppose I should clarify that engineering work is stuff that only a PE is supposed to do. If you are a programmer and call yourself a software engineer, they aren't going to care. For that matter, an electrical engineer working for a manufacturer isn't required to have a PE despite probably being more technically demanding a job than the PE specifying his products. So, whatever I guess.

I'm not sure what country you live in, but that certainly is NOT the case in the USA.

I got a BS in engineering from Rensselaer Polytech I in '85, an MBA from BU in '89, and a MEng from MIT in '95.  I passed the EIT in '85, and never even bothered to take the PE, because, frankly, I saw no need for it.

I call myself an engineer.  For almost 30 years, I have done engineering work.  I have hired, fired, and supervised engineers (some with PEs, and some without).

If I had to do something that requires a "PE" stamp (which, frankly, was pretty rare), I just did the work and had one of the "dime a dozen" PE's stamp the work. 

I'm not hiding from the "board" (who the hell are they?).  I'm pretty well known and have even run for political office (US Congress- publicly identifying myself as an engineer). 

Despite "high profile" public engineering life, I have never been sanctioned, threatened, or even questioned for calling myself an engineer without a PE.

BTW, there are a lot of really, really bad engineers who have passed the PE.  For a lot of engineers, the "PE" was just a test they passed at age 22, without ever having done a day of real engineering.  It's an academic qualification that doesn't always have a lot of applicability to real life engineering work.  I don't care if you passed a test at age 22, I want to know what the Hell you have done since.

Amen!!   (RPI!!)

While you are all beating your chests telling us this does not happen in America I would invite you to read the two posts where it has been stated that this IS happening.. IN Oregon for one, where people are being fined for using the term "engineer" without a PE license.

I agree its overkill but the FACT is fines ARE being levied buy the state for this very thing.

How do I know because the State has sent me a magazine telling me where they have done exactly this..

Do you want to disagree some more?.. I will happily got get the reference and you can look up these FACTS.. Note I said FACTS!!!!!.. yourselves.

Frank

Nobody is saying it doesn't ever happen.  We are saying that, for the vast majority of practicing engineers, the PE license is irrelevant.
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: Exflyboy on March 31, 2014, 05:59:09 PM
I'm sorry but I would have to say this statement is saying exactly that..

"I'm not sure what country you live in, but that certainly is NOT the case in the USA."

I would also say that I totally disagree with the states position, even though I do hold a PE license.

Frank
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: dragoncar on March 31, 2014, 06:11:37 PM
I'm sorry but I would have to say this statement is saying exactly that..

"I'm not sure what country you live in, but that certainly is NOT the case in the USA."

I would also say that I totally disagree with the states position, even though I do hold a PE license.

Frank

I'm pretty sure he means it is "NOT the case" that you "will get fined by the board and given a cease and desist order."  You may get fined, but if you take the number of times someone without a PE in the USA tells another person "I'm an engineer" and divide by the number of fines levied, the chance of actually being fined seems infinitesimal to me.  The risk is surely different if you are, say, opening your own engineering firm and actively soliciting contracts.
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: BlueHouse on March 31, 2014, 06:23:34 PM
What the heck are you guys talking about Engineers vs. PEs?  I work with hundreds of engineers (people with engineering degrees, but not licensed).  We work on very large Federal programs ($100s Million - 10s Billions)   I'm pretty sure if there was a requirement for the license, none of these programs would get off the ground.  So could someone please explain why the government doesn't require being licensed on some pretty high profile programs?
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: dragoncar on March 31, 2014, 06:42:16 PM
What the heck are you guys talking about Engineers vs. PEs?  I work with hundreds of engineers (people with engineering degrees, but not licensed).  We work on very large Federal programs ($100s Million - 10s Billions)   I'm pretty sure if there was a requirement for the license, none of these programs would get off the ground.  So could someone please explain why the government doesn't require being licensed on some pretty high profile programs?

I think the point is... they often do, but you just need one guy with a PE who "supervises" a hundred other engineers (read: signs off on whatever his boss tells him to sign off on).
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: HappierAtHome on March 31, 2014, 06:58:29 PM
Back on topic...

I consider myself and my partner to be very high earners, but hilariously nobody else in our lives thinks we're more than average earners (probably because they're all "struggling" on household incomes of $250k+) and nobody understands why we won't join in complaining about taxes, being "poor", etc. I particularly love it when somebody who earns $300k+ a year and has a spouse earning $200k or more complains about being poor.

Right now, I earn $107k (26y.o.) and the BF earns $163k (33y.o.). To me this is an insane amount of money; enough that I think we have an obligation to use it wisely and make the most of this ridiculous opportunity.

It definitely makes getting to FI easier.
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: ShortInSeattle on March 31, 2014, 07:29:03 PM
To the OP - Yes, I suspect the income levels on the board "skew" higher than median for the US. I think what we have in common is a desire to retire early, live below our means, and find happiness outside of material possessions.

I grew up pretty poor and these days our income is high. Sometimes I feel downright embarrassed at our good fortune - surely we are no more worthy than anyone else.

I think we all have more in common than we do differences, but I realize that listening to rich people strategize about frugality is a bit like seeing a skinny person complain about the calories in their healthy lunch.

Yes, skinny people can worry about calories too... but don't you kinda want to smack em upside the head?

"You're already gorgeous... shut up already!"
"You're already rich.... be quiet about your bagged lunch for crying out loud."

:)

I get it. So I just try to focus on what we have in common, and I try not to take my situation for granted. I recognize that FI is easier on a high income. That makes everyone who does it on a low or average income like a superhero of frugality to me.
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: Cassie on March 31, 2014, 08:35:03 PM
Frank, you are absolutely right. I asked my hubby and he said there is title protection nationwide for civil engineers. If you are an engineer & work for an engineering firm you can not put engineer on your business card unless you have a PE.  Many just use other titles such as project manager, etc if they do not have a PE.  We know someone that can not pass the PE but has a civil engineering degree so she works as a eng technician.  The PE test is extremely difficult & many can never pass it.
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: dragoncar on March 31, 2014, 08:50:35 PM
To the OP - Yes, I suspect the income levels on the board "skew" higher than median for the US. I think what we have in common is a desire to retire early, live below our means, and find happiness outside of material possessions.

I grew up pretty poor and these days our income is high. Sometimes I feel downright embarrassed at our good fortune - surely we are no more worthy than anyone else.

I think we all have more in common than we do differences, but I realize that listening to rich people strategize about frugality is a bit like seeing a skinny person complain about the calories in their healthy lunch.

Yes, skinny people can worry about calories too... but don't you kinda want to smack em upside the head?

"You're already gorgeous... shut up already!"
"You're already rich.... be quiet about your bagged lunch for crying out loud."

:)

I get it. So I just try to focus on what we have in common, and I try not to take my situation for granted. I recognize that FI is easier on a high income. That makes everyone who does it on a low or average income like a superhero of frugality to me.

My wallet's too small for my fifties AND MY DIAMOND SHOES ARE TOO TIGHT.
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: sol on March 31, 2014, 09:05:11 PM
The PE test is extremely difficult & many can never pass it.

Around here, the difficulty of the test and the qualifications of the individual do not correlate.  The test is full of lots of arcane information that is in no way related to the job we do.  It is administered, for profit, by a group of individuals that benefits from suppressing the labor supply and that had to spend millions lobbying the state to give them permission to collect fees from people or forbid them from working.  They charge annually for the license, they charge to take the test, and they charge to train you to pass the test.  The whole thing is a racket, and widely recognized as such.

The only people around here who carry the professional license are job hoppers or straight-out-of-school noobs who don't yet have a body of work that speaks for itself.  Everyone else gets work based on their skills and abilities as demonstrated by their track record.  Maybe things are different in engineering?
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: arebelspy on March 31, 2014, 09:27:17 PM
My wallet's too small for my fifties AND MY DIAMOND SHOES ARE TOO TIGHT.

You can't have two cats.  Joey's the kind of guy that could have two cats.
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: Mazzinator on April 01, 2014, 12:14:20 AM
Frank, you are absolutely right. I asked my hubby and he said there is title protection nationwide for civil engineers. If you are an engineer & work for an engineering firm you can not put engineer on your business card unless you have a PE.  Many just use other titles such as project manager, etc if they do not have a PE.  We know someone that can not pass the PE but has a civil engineering degree so she works as a eng technician.  The PE test is extremely difficult & many can never pass it.

Same goes for architects (not the IT kind) I am an architect and had to pass exams and register for my license. Without the license you would also use other titles like project manager, drafter etc. Usually there is only one licensed person signing amd sealing the drawings per firm, but you would get paid more if licensed.
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: nicknageli on April 01, 2014, 10:58:19 AM
I think we all have more in common than we do differences, but I realize that listening to rich people strategize about frugality is a bit like seeing a skinny person complain about the calories in their healthy lunch.

Hahaha.  That cracked me up.  (http://www.vwvortex.com/Anthony/Smilies/thumbup.gif)
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: Roland of Gilead on April 01, 2014, 11:01:07 AM
I think we all have more in common than we do differences, but I realize that listening to rich people strategize about frugality is a bit like seeing a skinny person complain about the calories in their healthy lunch.

Hahaha.  That cracked me up.  (http://www.vwvortex.com/Anthony/Smilies/thumbup.gif)

Too funny, although that is how the skinny people stay skinny and the rich people stay rich.
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: skunkfunk on April 01, 2014, 12:00:42 PM
Around here, the difficulty of the test and the qualifications of the individual do not correlate.  The test is full of lots of arcane information that is in no way related to the job we do.

This is true of the FE as well. I have never once had to use Maxwell or calculate a Thevenin equivalent in order to design an electrical distribution system.
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: Exflyboy on April 01, 2014, 12:43:47 PM
Around here, the difficulty of the test and the qualifications of the individual do not correlate.  The test is full of lots of arcane information that is in no way related to the job we do.

This is true of the FE as well. I have never once had to use Maxwell or calculate a Thevenin equivalent in order to design an electrical distribution system.

I did the FE 25 years out of college and it was a very challenging exam.. But like you ... Simpsons rule for integration?.. Please!...:)

Frank
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: libertarian4321 on April 01, 2014, 02:20:52 PM
Quote
I'm not sure what country you live in, but that certainly is NOT the case in the USA.

I got a BS in engineering from Rensselaer Polytech I in '85, an MBA from BU in '89, and a MEng from MIT in '95.  I passed the EIT in '85, and never even bothered to take the PE, because, frankly, I saw no need for it.

I call myself an engineer.  For almost 30 years, I have done engineering work.  I have hired, fired, and supervised engineers (some with PEs, and some without).

If I had to do something that requires a "PE" stamp (which, frankly, was pretty rare), I just did the work and had one of the "dime a dozen" PE's stamp the work. 

I'm not hiding from the "board" (who the hell are they?).  I'm pretty well known and have even run for political office (US Congress- publicly identifying myself as an engineer). 

Despite "high profile" public engineering life, I have never been sanctioned, threatened, or even questioned for calling myself an engineer without a PE.

BTW, there are a lot of really, really bad engineers who have passed the PE.  For a lot of engineers, the "PE" was just a test they passed at age 22, without ever having done a day of real engineering.  It's an academic qualification that doesn't always have a lot of applicability to real life engineering work.  I don't care if you passed a test at age 22, I want to know what the Hell you have done since.

I'll copy below an example of one of the thirteen disciplinary actions the board took in this months newsletter.

In the Matter of United Consulting Group,
LTD and Patrick J. Carr, P.E. 21196; Through Consent; For offering and/or
practicing engineering in the State of Oklahoma
without a Certificate of Authorization to do so,
United Consulting Group, LTD was found Guilty,
assessed an administrative fine of $1,000.00 and is
hereby ordered to Cease and Desist. For aiding
and assisting United Consulting Group, LTD in the
offer and/or practice of engineering without a
Certificate of Authorization Carr was found Guilty,
assessed an administrative fine of $1,000.00 and is
hereby Reprimanded.

Yeah, $1000 fine is barely a slap on the wrist. Every project that I work on does have to be signed and sealed prior to construction. We have 2 jobs right now that I'm not even allowed to work on, as the client has required that all work be done by the licensed engineer; usually, we can get by just having it supervised by the licensed engineer.

There are, of course, certain projects that must be certified by a PE by law/regulation.  Or, as you mentioned,  you might have a client that asks for all work to be done by a PE if he so chooses- but I suspect that is pretty rare, as I've never had that happen.

Of course you will be fined if you sign as a PE when you are not a PE.  That's not only potentially dangerous, it's just plain dishonest. 

Any engineer who does that should not only be fined, I imagine he seriously endangers his chances for future employment.



Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: skunkfunk on April 01, 2014, 02:37:17 PM
Or, as you mentioned,  you might have a client that asks for all work to be done by a PE if he so chooses- but I suspect that is pretty rare, as I've never had that happen.

Technically the COE is our client on this, but one of the facilities that they required the PE for is this (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pantex_Plant). I think it is readily apparent why that one might have special requirements.
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: libertarian4321 on April 01, 2014, 03:27:30 PM
Wow-I guess you guys do not work or live in the West Coast. The 6 figure jobs need PE's.  Many people are not smart enough to pass the test.  It is very difficult but that is fine since many lower level jobs need to be filled.

It's a difficult test, but to be honest, it's not likely to be all that challenging to someone who did reasonably well academically at a decent engineering school.  If you spent 4-years getting drunk and pulling C's at East Central New Jersey State-Hoboken, you probably aren't going to pass.  But if you were a decent student, you'll probably do okay.
 
The PE pass rate is usually a bit north of 60% overall.  About the same as for the Series 7 (broker) exam. 

But as with the Series 7 (or the EIT/FE), the numbers are a bit misleading. 

The number who pass the exam on their first try is actually significantly higher than the overall pass rate.  As someone else here pointed out, there are a lot of folks who take these exams, and fail them, multiple times.  Those people drag down the overall success percentage.

I can't speak to taking the PE, because I never bothered to take it, but when I took the Series 7, I was told all kinds of horror stories about how tough it was- tales of people who had taken the thing 6, 7, 8 times before finally (barely) passing.  I went into the exam thinking it was going to be brutal.  In the end, I passed it with flying colors on the first cut. 

Which left me wondering why the pass rates are so low.  My conclusion is that these sort of exams do what they are supposed to do- weed out the people who aren't qualified- we really don't want a guy with a C average from Upper Southwest Texas State -Waco signing off on a bridge design (nor do you want that guy giving financial advice to people).  But if you are a little above average-ish, and have prepared for it, you should be able to pass the exam, and probably on the first cut, so don't be intimidated by the horror stories. 

That said, if I took the PE today, despite tons of experience and good academic qualifications, I'm 100% convinced that I'd FAIL in a big way, because it's been so long since I worked on the sort of problems that would be part of the PE.  The stuff that's on the exam just isn't the kind of stuff that engineers typically do on a day to day basis- which is why it's best to take the EIT/FE and PE when you are young, and still remember the academic stuff that will be on the exam.

I should also mention that not every PE has actually passed the exam.  Depending on the state, some older folks (like myself) can get a PE under the grandfather clause without taking the exam- you basically just need to pay a fee, have a certain amount of experience and get some current PE's to vouch for your skills as an engineer.

I know, some of you think "oh my GOD, this unqualified old fool might go out and get his PE through the back door putting people in jeopardy!" 

Don't worry, it won't happen.  Because I'm too cheap to pay the application fee and the yearly license fees for a certification I'd never use. 

To say nothing of the bribes I'd have to pay to get my PE friends to vouch for me.  :)

Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: libertarian4321 on April 01, 2014, 03:36:52 PM
Frank, you are absolutely right. I asked my hubby and he said there is title protection nationwide for civil engineers. If you are an engineer & work for an engineering firm you can not put engineer on your business card unless you have a PE.  Many just use other titles such as project manager, etc if they do not have a PE.  We know someone that can not pass the PE but has a civil engineering degree so she works as a eng technician.  The PE test is extremely difficult & many can never pass it.

That is simply NOT TRUE.

You can't put "PE" on your business card if you aren't current on your license.

But you can call yourself an engineer, put it on your card, put it on your email sig.  You can fly a flag from your car saying "I'm an engineer!"  You can hire a plane and to fly above a 4th of July crowd and sky-write "libertarian4321 is an engineer" in red, white and blue smoke.  All of this is perfectly legal.

I've worked for a bunch of consulting firms, from small ones like I work for today, up to some of the largest firms in the country.  I've had "engineer" slapped on my email and my cards.  I was listed as an engineer on bids and proposals. I was listed as an engineer on hundreds of documents and deliverables- including those going to state and federal regulatory agencies.
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: libertarian4321 on April 01, 2014, 03:41:01 PM
Or, as you mentioned,  you might have a client that asks for all work to be done by a PE if he so chooses- but I suspect that is pretty rare, as I've never had that happen.

Technically the COE is our client on this, but one of the facilities that they required the PE for is this (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pantex_Plant). I think it is readily apparent why that one might have special requirements.

The one thing that is true is that the client gets to make the rules, because he's paying the bills.  If he wants PEs, he gets PEs!

If he wants us to show up for meetings wearing Mickey Mouse ears and MC Hammer style parachute pants, we'll do it (if the money is right). 

Actually, that might make an otherwise boring meeting a lot more fun.
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: Cassie on April 01, 2014, 03:43:11 PM
Great for you for avoiding getting caught so far!
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: warfreak2 on April 01, 2014, 03:55:07 PM
If he wants us to show up for meetings wearing Mickey Mouse ears and MC Hammer style parachute pants, we'll do it (if the money is right). 

Actually, that might make an otherwise boring meeting a lot more fun.
It's thinking like this that'll give you a long, lucrative career at Disney Hammertime Engineering Solutions Ltd.
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: libertarian4321 on April 01, 2014, 04:29:41 PM
Great for you for avoiding getting caught so far!

The penalties for getting "caught" calling yourself an engineer when you are an engineer are the same as when you get "caught" driving 60 mph in a 60 mph zone.

For my next criminal spree, I'm going to cross a street INSIDE the cross walk. 

I'm a wild man engineer, living on the ragged edge.

Disclaimer:  Living with this kind of risk is not for everyone.  Proceed with caution.
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: libertarian4321 on April 01, 2014, 04:33:31 PM
If he wants us to show up for meetings wearing Mickey Mouse ears and MC Hammer style parachute pants, we'll do it (if the money is right). 

Actually, that might make an otherwise boring meeting a lot more fun.
It's thinking like this that'll give you a long, lucrative career at Disney Hammertime Engineering Solutions Ltd.

Hopefully, I'd be setting a trend.

Let's face it, wearing a suit and tie isn't all that comfortable.

Hammer pants, along with a puffy silk shirt, look like they'd be really comfy.

Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: Exflyboy on April 01, 2014, 06:20:35 PM
Great for you for avoiding getting caught so far!

The penalties for getting "caught" calling yourself an engineer when you are an engineer are the same as when you get "caught" driving 60 mph in a 60 mph zone.



Plus (if you do that with a PE license and live in Oregon) fines starting at $500...:)

Frank
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: Exflyboy on April 01, 2014, 06:24:53 PM
Frank, you are absolutely right. I asked my hubby and he said there is title protection nationwide for civil engineers. If you are an engineer & work for an engineering firm you can not put engineer on your business card unless you have a PE.  Many just use other titles such as project manager, etc if they do not have a PE.  We know someone that can not pass the PE but has a civil engineering degree so she works as a eng technician.  The PE test is extremely difficult & many can never pass it.

That is simply NOT TRUE.

You can't put "PE" on your business card if you aren't current on your license.

But you can call yourself an engineer, put it on your card, put it on your email sig.  You can fly a flag from your car saying "I'm an engineer!"  You can hire a plane and to fly above a 4th of July crowd and sky-write "libertarian4321 is an engineer" in red, white and blue smoke.  All of this is perfectly legal.



NOT in Oregon it isn't (it is a violation of State law) and they ARE fining folks for doing EXACTLY this... Although flying the banner on the 4th of July method has not been tested as far as I know.

Frank
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: Cassie on April 01, 2014, 06:33:46 PM
Frank, some people will never give up even though they are wrong.  Those disagreeing are either not really civil engineers or ignorant. Either way it does not matter.
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: MDM on April 01, 2014, 07:59:40 PM
It appears we have some people arguing that the sky is blue, while others contradict that by swearing the grass is green.

Indeed, Oregon does have governmental agencies levying fines against people using the term "Professional Engineer" without getting Oregon's approval: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/or-court-of-appeals/1623157.html (http://caselaw.findlaw.com/or-court-of-appeals/1623157.html).

But that may be limited to Oregon.  Even in Oregon, and most likely everywhere else in the US, you have to be offering engineering services directly to the public to run afoul of such laws.  If you work as an engineer for a large company, doing engineering for a salary from that company, you can call yourself whatever said company allows.  More verbiage to this effect here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regulation_and_licensure_in_engineering).

Finally, the Oregon case seemed a case of governmental overreach to me.  Appears others think the same: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/01/25/1272423/-Oregon-Agency-Proposes-1000-Fine-Against-Freedom-of-Speech# (http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/01/25/1272423/-Oregon-Agency-Proposes-1000-Fine-Against-Freedom-of-Speech#).
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: libertarian4321 on April 06, 2014, 01:46:56 AM
Frank, some people will never give up even though they are wrong.  Those disagreeing are either not really civil engineers or ignorant. Either way it does not matter.

No, I'm not a civil engineer, which is the most basic kind of engineer.  I got my degrees in chemical and environmental engineering.  But you didn't specify that this (alleged) rule only pertained to civil engineering.

Like I said, I've been an engineer since 1985 (except for a 1 year period as a broker and 4 years of "early retirement").  I have held myself out as an engineer for those ~26 years, and have done work in just about every state, as well as a number of foreign countries.

It is NOT "illegal" to call yourself an "engineer" without a PE.  It IS illegal to call yourself a "PE" without a current PE license.  Can you understand the difference?

If it was "illegal" to do so, do you think I could have worked for major nationwide/international consulting firms like Booz Allen Hamilton and SAIC (as well as the US Army and a number of smaller firms) calling myself an engineer? 

Yeesh, you are so set in insisting that you are "right" based on a (probably misinterpreted) dinner conversation with your husband that you will not have lost all sense of reason.

If it was a "violation," don't you think SOMEONE (my employers, my PE coworkers, the regulatory agencies, the "board," the government, my opponents when I ran for Congress" might have mentioned it by now?

Maybe there is some squirrely little state where it is illegal, but I doubt it.  I've done consulting work in just about every state in the USA at some point or another (other than Rhode Island, I've never worked there- there might be one or two small states where I've never worked), as well as several US territories and Korea, Germany, England, Belgium, Italy, Canada, Mexico, the Netherlands, Japan, Iraq, and Turkey.

I'll tell you what, if you are so darned sure that you are right, please cite the law that says you are right and I'm wrong.  I'm currently living in San Antonio, Texas, if you want to search state and local codes.  If you can show me that I'm doing something illegal, I'll take "engineer" out of my title, my email, my business cards, and even my Congressional campaign web site.  Fair enough?  I'm sure I can come up with a more impressive title than "engineer" if I need to.

The really funny thing is, I don't even like engineering (which is one of the reasons I "retired early" before going back to work again a couple of years back).  It's simple, straight forward, uncreative work, and about as exciting as watching the grass grow.  Though it pays reasonably well. 

I'd rather give myself a cooler title.  Something with pizzaz.  Maybe "Assistant to the Regional Manager."

So as you can imagine, I eagerly await your reply.
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: libertarian4321 on April 06, 2014, 01:56:38 AM
It appears we have some people arguing that the sky is blue, while others contradict that by swearing the grass is green.

Indeed, Oregon does have governmental agencies levying fines against people using the term "Professional Engineer" without getting Oregon's approval: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/or-court-of-appeals/1623157.html (http://caselaw.findlaw.com/or-court-of-appeals/1623157.html).

But that may be limited to Oregon.  Even in Oregon, and most likely everywhere else in the US, you have to be offering engineering services directly to the public to run afoul of such laws.  If you work as an engineer for a large company, doing engineering for a salary from that company, you can call yourself whatever said company allows.  More verbiage to this effect here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regulation_and_licensure_in_engineering).

Finally, the Oregon case seemed a case of governmental overreach to me.  Appears others think the same: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/01/25/1272423/-Oregon-Agency-Proposes-1000-Fine-Against-Freedom-of-Speech# (http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/01/25/1272423/-Oregon-Agency-Proposes-1000-Fine-Against-Freedom-of-Speech#).

The operative words there are "professional engineer" (PE).

You can't call yourself a "professional engineer" in a state where you don't hold a current PE license.

But you CAN call yourself an "engineer" "junior engineer" "senior engineer" "consulting engineer" "master engineer" "king of engineers" "engineer guy" "head engineer" "engineering manager" "managing engineer" "porn engineer"  "train engineer" or "engineer/ master debator."

I'm not sure why some of the other folks on this thread are having such a hard time understanding this. 



Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: arebelspy on April 06, 2014, 01:58:48 AM
"king of engineers"

Dibs!
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: Russ on April 06, 2014, 09:33:26 AM
one of my friends at work occasionally signs his emails "Ultimate Design Engineer"
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: derekh on April 06, 2014, 10:48:28 AM
Don't worry- you are not alone.  In fact, I imagine that my boyfriend and I are too of the lowest non-student earners.

He earns 10k on an annualized basis, I earn 6k on an annualized basis.

Sometimes it is really difficult but we hope to double that within 5 years!
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: Gin1984 on April 06, 2014, 10:57:24 AM
Yeah, I often feel out of the normal demographic here- I made just over 30,000 last year. I'm saving about 38% of my income, but I am unsure if could get to 50% without doing something very drastic. I suppose I could ditch my (paid for) car...

Yeah, one big difference is having a partner who is on board and also earning.

That's really accelerated my time to FI.  I started making a similar amount to you, mid-30ks (teacher), and spent similar to you.  The big difference is that I also had (and still have) a spouse.  That pushed our spending to low 20s instead of high teens (like you), but we could basically live on 2/3 of one income (like you) and save the other 1/3 of the first income (like you), but then also save all of the second income, which gave us about a 66% savings rate (which was boosted to 70-75% with side income earned, eventual pay raises to about 40k each after getting Master's Degrees, etc. etc.)

A spouse on board only raising your spending by a few thousand but adding a whole extra income to save is FIRE lighter fluid.
Or no children, lol.  We live on my husband's income, my income pays for daycare, extra taxes and investing.  Our rental pays for savings and additional debt repayment. 
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: dragoncar on April 06, 2014, 06:55:06 PM

It is NOT "illegal" to call yourself an "engineer" without a PE.  It IS illegal to call yourself a "PE" without a current PE license.  Can you understand the difference?
...

Maybe there is some squirrely little state where it is illegal, but I doubt it. 

...

I'll tell you what, if you are so darned sure that you are right, please cite the law that says you are right and I'm wrong.  I'm currently living in San Antonio, Texas, if you want to search state and local codes.  If you can show me that I'm doing something illegal, I'll take "engineer" out of my title, my email, my business cards, and even my Congressional campaign web site.  Fair enough?  I'm sure I can come up with a more impressive title than "engineer" if I need to.

To be fair, skunkfunk did cite an example from OK (below), which in my opinion does count as a "squirrely little state."  On its face, the statute does seem to regulate the sole word "engineer," but this is the first time I've heard of such a broad rule.

From my state board's statutes -

"In order to safeguard life, health and property, and to promote the public welfare, the practice of engineering and the practice of land surveying in this state are hereby declared to be subject to regulation in the public interest. It shall be unlawful to practice or to offer to practice engineering or land surveying in this state, as defined in the provisions of Section 475.1 et seq. of this title, or to use in connection with any name or otherwise assume or advertise any title or description tending to convey the impression that any person is an engineer, professional engineer, land surveyor or professional land surveyor, unless such person has been duly licensed under the provisions of Section 475.1 et seq. of this title. The practice of engineering or land surveying shall be deemed a privilege granted by the state through the State Board of Licensure for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors, based on the qualifications of the individual as evidenced by a certificate of licensure, which shall not be transferable."

http://www.ok.gov/pels/Regulations/Statutes/index.html

And yeah, they do actually hit people with fines for it. They are usually firms that had their licenses lapse or contractors trying to get away with not having a proper engineer. By that definition I'm a designer, not an engineer, though colloquially I still tell people I'm an engineer.

I've only checked CA, but I think the vast majority of states follow the NCEES model law phrasing which only regulates "licensed engineer:"

Quote
t shall be unlawful for any person to practice, or to offer to practice, engineering and/or surveying in this jurisdiction, as defined in the provisions of this Act, or to use in connection with their name or otherwise assume, or advertise any title or description tending to convey the impression that they are a licensed engineer and/or surveyor.
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: libertarian4321 on April 07, 2014, 02:05:50 PM

I've only checked CA, but I think the vast majority of states follow the NCEES model law phrasing which only regulates "licensed engineer:"

Quote
t shall be unlawful for any person to practice, or to offer to practice, engineering and/or surveying in this jurisdiction, as defined in the provisions of this Act, or to use in connection with their name or otherwise assume, or advertise any title or description tending to convey the impression that they are a licensed engineer and/or surveyor.

Exactly.  Aside from ensuring that the person who stamps certain documents meets certain qualifications, a big reason for the license procedures is to prevent deception of a potential customer/client as to whether the person has a license or not.  This is especially important if you hang a shingle and try to sell your services to people.

But there are hundreds of thousands of engineers in this country who work as engineers and call themselves engineer (but not "licensed" or "professional" engineers.

In my experience the lack of licensed engineers is especially notable in State governments and the Federal government (and among consultants to those agencies), where you will find that a huge percentage of the engineers are not professional engineers, largely because there is no need for the certification (at least in my field of engineering)- they are very few documents in my field requiring a PE stamp, and even when one is necessary, only the team leader, who actually rubber stamps the final document/plans/drawings needs a PE.

If you are a civil engineer who builds bridges for a living, you would probably want to have a PE.  However, if you are an environmental engineer working compliance/regulation/remediation/oversight, you will find that you rarely, if ever, need it.

Anyway, I apologize for my part in hijacking this thread and taking it off course with all this engineering talk.   Lets get back to discussing earnings.
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: gecko10x on April 07, 2014, 02:44:34 PM

Anyway, I apologize for my part in hijacking this thread and taking it off course with all this engineering talk.   Lets get back to discussing earnings.

Maybe a mod can split the engineering discussion off to another thread to clean this one up? (wish there was a way to @mention people)
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: Russ on April 07, 2014, 02:49:50 PM
try this
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: dragoncar on April 07, 2014, 02:54:45 PM
try this

Back on topic, who here likes Annie and french house music?
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: happy on April 07, 2014, 03:04:41 PM
Skar is popular here. Usually playing it driving.
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: avonlea on April 07, 2014, 03:20:47 PM
try this

I gotta admit, Russ, that clicking on the "Report to moderator" feature was almost equivalent to "Call the police" in my mind.  Nice to know that we are encouraged to use the feature for more than just a 9-1-1 situation.
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: gecko10x on April 07, 2014, 03:25:16 PM
try this

I gotta admit, Russ, that clicking on the "Report to moderator" feature was almost equivalent to "Call the police" in my mind.  Nice to know that we are encouraged to use the feature for more than just a 9-1-1 situation.

That is what I thought as well, but thanks for pointing it out as an option.

Still wish this forum software had @mention functionality though ;-)
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: Russ on April 07, 2014, 03:42:52 PM
try this

Back on topic, who here likes Annie and french house music?

NOT ME
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: dragoncar on April 07, 2014, 06:33:22 PM
try this

I gotta admit, Russ, that clicking on the "Report to moderator" feature was almost equivalent to "Call the police" in my mind.  Nice to know that we are encouraged to use the feature for more than just a 9-1-1 situation.

I won't use that option because I don't want the mods knowing my email address.  I guess I could just change the email address in my profile, and they could probably dig it out of the forum records somehow anyways... but I'm still a bit paranoid.  I'm not trying to imply that they even care.
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: happy on April 08, 2014, 02:28:23 AM
This came as an issue for me also Dragoncar: true confessions now: I was going to report you to the mods re your April fools thread as another layer to the joke, but didn't because of the email warning.  I guess one could pm one of the moderators instead if one was concerned re the email?
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: dragoncar on April 08, 2014, 02:44:16 AM
This came as an issue for me also Dragoncar: true confessions now: I was going to report you to the mods re your April fools thread as another layer to the joke, but didn't because of the email warning.  I guess one could pm one of the moderators instead if one was concerned re the email?

Yeah, I assume reporting is somehow faster, but I think a PM would do it.  The mods are pretty on the ball, though, so they tend to catch things even without my report.  Did you really want to report an April Fools joke?  I don't think that's against the rules :-P
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: happy on April 08, 2014, 03:05:47 AM
No no, I was going to report it as a joke, as part of the joke. No offence intended I love your sense of humour.
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: arebelspy on April 08, 2014, 07:26:51 AM
If you want to hide on the Internet you create anonymous, separate emails for everything, only connect on clean computers in incognito mode that go through VPNs / proxies.

If you don't have a reason to be that paranoid, the report to moderator button isn't going to change how findable you are or not.  I mean, by all means, do whatever you want, but I'm just saying, if you're that worried about internet security, you've probably got bigger fish to fry.

an April Fools joke?  I don't think that's against the rules :-P

Yet.

(http://futurama-madhouse.net/fanart/tfp/tfp_053.gif)
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: dragoncar on April 08, 2014, 12:19:01 PM
If you want to hide on the Internet you create anonymous, separate emails for everything, only connect on clean computers in incognito mode that go through VPNs / proxies.

If you don't have a reason to be that paranoid, the report to moderator button isn't going to change how findable you are or not.  I mean, by all means, do whatever you want, but I'm just saying, if you're that worried about internet security, you've probably got bigger fish to fry.


Yeah, it's not really rational.  Still, I'm not going to click the button.  (Nice try, Internet police)
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: happy on April 09, 2014, 03:04:23 AM
Quote
A silent voice is as powerless as a silenced one.

Now I see why you have this in your signature.

Still I'm not going to press the button either.
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: arebelspy on April 09, 2014, 07:16:24 AM
Now I see why you have this in your signature.

I don't see the connection.

The quote is because I think people ought to stand up for what is right.
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: HairyUpperLip on April 09, 2014, 07:19:30 AM
Just shy of $100k here. 96.5k. I don't believe its "high earner" status though personally.
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: arebelspy on April 09, 2014, 07:31:21 AM
Just shy of $100k here. 96.5k. I don't believe its "high earner" status though personally.

It is. 

In the same way that people making 350k annually with a net worth of 4MM think of themselves as "middle class," you may not think of yourself as a high earner, but you are.  (That's not a bad thing.)  :)
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: EconDiva on April 09, 2014, 09:50:04 AM
I make about $80k/yr annualized, but I have three jobs. I was at work at 8, worked for 45 minutes, walked downtown, will work here until 6 tonight, head back uptown, and work from 6:30-10:30. It's nice, because I just keep sweeping money into my savings account, but I get about one day off a month.

Mind sharing what these three jobs are? Do you have to drive to all of them?
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: Cheddar Stacker on April 09, 2014, 11:14:22 AM
By "in the 20's" and "in the 50's" are you referring to streets? Like 20th street and 50th street?

At first I thought this was your wage, but you're talking location correct?
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: Albert on April 09, 2014, 11:20:07 AM
I'm definitely a high earner and very grateful for it. Particularly since I manage it with a standard 45-50 h job and very generous time off (ca 9 weeks).
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: crc on April 09, 2014, 11:39:10 AM
Newly converted Mustacian chiming in. I guess the concept of 'high earner' is relative. I make what I consider a slightly below average income for the area that I live in, but a slightly above average income for my profession due to moving to this area. $60,000 Canadian gross (about 43,200 after taxes/deductions.)

Most entry level professionals in this city make between 80-90K a year gross salary.

Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: HairyUpperLip on April 09, 2014, 03:34:41 PM
Just shy of $100k here. 96.5k. I don't believe its "high earner" status though personally.

It is. 

In the same way that people making 350k annually with a net worth of 4MM think of themselves as "middle class," you may not think of yourself as a high earner, but you are.  (That's not a bad thing.)  :)

hah, appreciate the positive words. I'm very happy with what I do currently earn.. Just wish it was more so I could save/invest more. ;)
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: happy on April 09, 2014, 04:52:25 PM
Now I see why you have this in your signature.

I don't see the connection.

The quote is because I think people ought to stand up for what is right.

I was quipping. Since your cartoon was intimating at some point we may not be able to joke.
Title: Re: Are most of the members here high earners?
Post by: arebelspy on April 09, 2014, 06:11:09 PM
Now I see why you have this in your signature.

I don't see the connection.

The quote is because I think people ought to stand up for what is right.

I was quipping. Since your cartoon was intimating at some point we may not be able to joke.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vhu3NTOHz-M