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Old 04-29-2018, 08:32 AM
 
Location: Paranoid State
12,672 posts, read 9,425,981 times
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I'm wondering how many of the posters in this thread actually looked at the data in the referenced article.

Notice it is NOT merely NYC and SF. It includes Boston, LA, San Diego, Seattle, Washington DC and Miami. They also add in Vancouver and Toronto.

A few things stick out to me:
  • with both spouses working, it seems they have only 1 car. I think it is more likely the family has 2 in any city except NYC.
  • In the modern era, I think a separate line item for Uber makes sense.
  • I question their participating in a 529 plan. I doubt this high powered couple would do so.
  • It lists 3 weeks of vacation. I doubt this high powered couple could take that much time off from work. At the same time, the dollars listed might be low. I've seen data that shows a family of 4 who takes a 1-week ski vacation in Park City will spend $10,000.
  • I'd guess that family might own a vacation condo (with associated costs) or perhaps a vacation timeshare (with associated costs).

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Old 04-29-2018, 08:40 AM
 
Location: Paranoid State
12,672 posts, read 9,425,981 times
Reputation: 14930
Quote:
Originally Posted by turf3 View Post
I rather doubt that you have to earn 300k to live a decent life in Portland, ME; Baltimore; Trenton; Norfolk; Raleigh; Columbia SC; Jacksonville FL; Spokane; Sacramento; Bakersfield; or Fresno.
Yeah, but the only people who voluntarily live in Bakersfield or Fresno are in the Federal Witness Protection Program.
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Old 04-29-2018, 09:13 AM
 
Location: Virginia
7,893 posts, read 12,143,322 times
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At first I thought, “Maybe they are including benefits”, but then I read the article.

It lists people who will eventually make $300k either individually or with somebody else who works. It’s interesting to read the cherry-picking. A 26 year old middle school teacher making $55,000 a year plus her $250,000 a year VP of Marketing wifeSeriously? How many VPs of marketing are there? A more likely scenario would be $110k for a two teacher household.

My wife and I both teach (23 years and 25 years experience). We are in a Northern VA suburb of DC. Forbes Magazine ranks our county’s median household income as third highest in the nation. We are well under $200k and are doing fine as a family of three. I consider us solidly middle class.
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Old 04-29-2018, 09:15 AM
 
Location: Floribama
13,486 posts, read 29,434,352 times
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Depends on what people consider ‘middle class’. Years ago a 1200sqft 3/1 house with a single car garage was considered middle class, but nowadays people consider that to be “poor”.
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Old 04-29-2018, 09:19 AM
 
Location: Paranoid State
12,672 posts, read 9,425,981 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Siegel View Post
... and at a certain level of professional attainment it simply is not acceptable to send your kids to public school in an average suburb.
There is yet another interaction between house and private school:

In some areas the parents are faced with a choice of:

a) selecting a $1.5 Million house in a (relatively) affordable neighborhood with mediocre public schools knowing full-well they must then pay for private school tuition; or

b) selecting a $3 Million house in a (relatively) pricey neighborhood with good public schools knowing they won't pay private school tuition.

Here's an example.

Here's house "A" in Campbell, CA. Campbell is a suburban town near San Jose, CA. Campbell is most definitely not a "desirable area." It has mediocre public schools. The parents would almost surely send their kids to private school. Here's a $1.5 Million house:

https://www.zillow.com/homes/502-Sob...,-CA-95008_rb/

Here's house "B" in nearby Palo Alto, CA. Palo Alto is considered highly desirable, but not top of the pecking order (Atherton, Woodside, Los Altos Hills, etc). Palo Alto has very good schools and the parents would most likely send their kids to public school. Here's a $3.2 Million house.

https://www.zillow.com/homes/794-Los...,-CA-94306_rb/


OK -- so selecting house A means private school tuition is a must. How much is private school tuition? Here's a good, academically oriented private school the parents in house A would consider: The Harker School https://www.harker.org/.

How much is tuition? See here: https://www.harker.org/admission/tuition-financial-aid

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Old 04-29-2018, 09:37 AM
 
857 posts, read 370,660 times
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Agreed on what's on the list, but that's it? Other essentials? ATT data plan $300/month, fiber tv&internet $350/month ... no vacation trips ($20,000/year min)?
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Old 04-29-2018, 11:38 AM
 
Location: Oregon, formerly Texas
5,242 posts, read 3,393,710 times
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Sweet Jeebus, what is the obsession with private schools? No wonder there is no money, if you're going to shell out 20-40k a year for that.

On CD I hear so much about college being useless these days because of too much PC garbage, etc... So why pay for prep school? They say how we need more tradespeople. So which is it?
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Old 04-29-2018, 02:18 PM
 
9,370 posts, read 8,446,020 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redguard57 View Post
Sweet Jeebus, what is the obsession with private schools? No wonder there is no money, if you're going to shell out 20-40k a year for that.

On CD I hear so much about college being useless these days because of too much PC garbage, etc... So why pay for prep school? They say how we need more tradespeople. So which is it?
This whole thread is a joke...
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Old 04-29-2018, 02:20 PM
 
Location: Kirkland, WA (Metro Seattle)
3,421 posts, read 2,816,376 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turf3 View Post
Typical nonsense, assuming that New York and San Francisco are the only "major metros"; then saying half the country lives "on the coasts", which while it may be roughly correct - if you mean "coastal states" not "actually in port cities", also assumes that all of "the coasts" is like NY and SF.

I rather doubt that you have to earn 300k to live a decent life in Portland, ME; Baltimore; Trenton; Norfolk; Raleigh; Columbia SC; Jacksonville FL; Spokane; Sacramento; Bakersfield; or Fresno.

It's sometimes kind of annoying how so many people just assume that the United States consists of NY, Boston, San Francisco, and Seattle.
(To last paragraph). Living in Seattle (metro, suburb Kirkland, so-called "Eastside" area), with at this time a super-hot job market, they did choose to select certain areas with an undeniably high standard of living.

High standard of living comes from enormous opportunity. There is no better opportunity that I know of then in the mentioned cities. That is not a knock on the rest of the U.S., just an observation that the coasts are booming. That's where the author(s) chose to look.

I've done some business traveling this year, so I've seen these places lately. Seattle is booming, as is NY. Jersey City and Hoboken are looking remarkably modern. Cranes all over the Hudson side of Manhattan, billion dollars of buildings going up (looks like to me). They are paying coin to smart people working there, in tech and finance, and other industries of course. San Francisco is self-explanatory. Seattle is a booming metropolis in every sense of the phrase. A buddy and I went downtown yesterday to what they call "SLU" or South Lake Union, where Amazon's campus is (and Gates Foundation, and much more), and it's turned from scummy 15-20 years ago to modern buildings and at least taking a shot at controlling traffic. I think that's a lost cause, but whatever. Point being, business is good these days. Crazy good, in fact. It's a buyer's market in my business, at-least.

I haven't been to Boston lately, but a peer moved from Cambridge to Seattle couple years ago. She was rather lucid that business is booming there, too. Easy to believe.

So...let us say if one wants to live a Middle Class lifestyle in Seattle. Let's say either a nice house, about 2K square feet, in either Lower Queen Anne or Bellevue. The former is Seattle proper, not far from SLU, the latter is Eastside. Median home price in Lower Queen Anne per Zillow is about $750K, up 17.7% YoY, and Bellevue about $940K, similar rise YoY. Wow.

Now: realistically, to find a nice house in either place, with good schools and etc, and raise two kids, will run you $900-1.1M. Yep. Do the math on that mortgage. Sales tax is 10%, they find ways to pimp you on everything they can considering there is no state income tax.

$300K, or two good tech salaries, is a great starting place to lead a "good" (subjectively) lifestyle with your kids in "good" schools (like Bellevue High), activities which cause horrific amounts of money, nannies, au pair, day care, all that crap that comes along with raising kids these days. Vacations, other recreation like boats and cars? Yeah, that money goes fast. Ask me how I know, and I'm single and squirrel a LOT of dough away (and live in Kirkland, Eastide, with a house like that described above).

Can it be done on less? Hayall yes! You can live in Renton (working class area) in a three bedroom condo with carport, one car, one person working and pulling in $65K, wife (or husband I guess) taking care of several children. Tons do it. Do they live well in places like the above: not really. Not like the people who actually have time for recreation and enjoying life with vacations, nannies, all that I mentioned and etc.

Food for thought, neither agreeing nor disagreeing. It's a quite subjective thing.
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Old 04-29-2018, 02:40 PM
 
1,481 posts, read 591,958 times
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Same sort of silliness as the stories that say you need several million dollars to retire. 11 years ago we retired to Southern NJ after working and living in NYC for 35 years. Although housing prices have skyrocketed in all the other boroughs, Staten Island still has affordable housing. We sold our 1200 sq. ft. 3BR 2Bath single family house in the Great Kills Marina area of Staten Island for $384K 11 years ago. A check on zillow dot com shows the house is presently worth $421K. Staten Island is an easy commute to Manhattan.

We presently live in Southern NJ, and many people living here commute into Manhattan to work by commuter bus even though it's a 60 mile trip one way. The average price for a single family home in our neighborhood is $250 - $300K.

Many people I know still live in Staten Island and Brooklyn, not one of them makes or ever made $200K family income in a year. My wife and I never made more than $140K combined incomes when we were working. We raised a family, paid off our house, and retired with no problem. Even though we relocated 11 years ago, the cost of living and salaries have not increased significantly in that time.

If you look at census data the median family income for NYC's 8.5 million residents is about $55K per year. Only 20% of New York City households have a family income above $115K, and only 5% have a family income over $240K.

Last edited by bobspez; 04-29-2018 at 03:03 PM..
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