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Old 11-01-2012, 09:53 AM
 
115 posts, read 284,628 times
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Hello,

I have seen many posts on this forum from people aspiring to become extremely wealthy/decamillionaies and discussions of the advantages of the wealthy lifestyle. However, there is not as much discussion of middle class/upper middle class suburban life. My questions are the following:

1. Is there anyone here who truly aspires to or truly enjoys middle/upper middle class suburban life to the extent that you prefer it to being wealthy?

2. If so, what do you enjoy about middle class/upper middle class suburban life?

3. What do you think are the advantages of being middle class/upper middle class compared to being super wealthy?

Thanks
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Old 11-01-2012, 11:25 AM
 
Location: Moscow
2,078 posts, read 2,873,757 times
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I'll bite. First I think you need to define the term wealthy. Are you talking life styles of the rich and famous? I.E. do you think wealthy requires 10's of millions of $s, and requires a wealthy image in addition to adequate financial backing? By that definition I will never be wealthy. However, my own definition of wealthy is when one has enough financial assets that they are able to live a comfortable lifestyle without having to work. I will answer your questions using the first definition.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stevechang103 View Post
Hello,
1. Is there anyone here who truly aspires to or truly enjoys middle/upper middle class suburban life to the extent that you prefer it to being wealthy?
By the first definition of wealthy-I doubt it. I think most people would love to have all the toys and security that vast amounts of money bring. By my second definition I think lots of people spend their lives aspiring to be able to live comfortably without having to work. I start to view this as possible around the $1.5 million in assets level. That amount of assets won't buy a fancy lifestyle, but it can be pretty comfortable.


Quote:
Originally Posted by stevechang103 View Post
2. If so, what do you enjoy about middle class/upper middle class suburban life?
Done right (I.E. without mortgaging your life away to achieve it, rather by actually having the funds to support it) I think it can be very comfortable. You have enough money to buy all that you need, and most of what you might want. It is also fairly anonymous, which can avoid some of the problems of the Lifestyle of the Rich and Famous types.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stevechang103 View Post
3. What do you think are the advantages of being middle class/upper middle class compared to being super wealthy?

Thanks
Isn't this the same question as the second?
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Old 11-01-2012, 01:49 PM
 
Location: DFW
6,696 posts, read 11,044,332 times
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1) I desire freedom, both physical and financial. I want to be able to have the choice (or luxury) to not work for a few months or even a few years without worrying where my next meal will come from. I also don't like living in the same place for more than, say, 5 years straight.

You can be a multimillionaire and choose to live in an average suburban neighborhood. There's no rule that says you must buy a mansion or a high rise condo in a big city. Your neighbors don't need to know about your wealth either.

Personally, if I had several million, I'd rather not work and live off of my investments in an average suburban neighborhood or travel the world than purchase luxury real estate but still have to work to pay the bills.

2) It's hard to say since it's the only lifestyle I've been exposed to for much of my existence.

3) None, if you're wealthy, you can cut back your spending and still live a middle class life.
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Old 11-01-2012, 01:54 PM
 
Location: Las Flores, Orange County, CA
26,346 posts, read 80,316,469 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevechang103 View Post
Hello,

I have seen many posts on this forum from people aspiring to become extremely wealthy/decamillionaies and discussions of the advantages of the wealthy lifestyle. However, there is not as much discussion of middle class/upper middle class suburban life. My questions are the following:

1. Is there anyone here who truly aspires to or truly enjoys middle/upper middle class suburban life to the extent that you prefer it to being wealthy?

2. If so, what do you enjoy about middle class/upper middle class suburban life?

3. What do you think are the advantages of being middle class/upper middle class compared to being super wealthy?

Thanks

This is easy.

1. Yes.
2. In context with this thread, the answer is about 98% of what super wealthy enjoy. That is, a 98% solution is half as hard as a 99% solution.
3.You don't have to work as hard or be as smart or be as lucky.

Satisfaction from wealth asymptotically flat lines. The marginal increase in satisfaction gets smaller and smaller as you get wealthier and wealthier. An incremental increase in satisfaction requires a doubling of wealth. So, for example, say a guy making $100K is 10% happier than a guy making $50K. However, a guy making $200K is 10% happier than the $100K guy. And a $400K guy is 10% happier than a $200K guy. It's kind of like that. A person's satisfaction in life isn't linear to income. I think I've read the somewhere that after about $75K the slope becomes less than 1. and when you get really high, like a salary of over $1M the slope is almost zero - meaning a guy making $2M isn't really any happier than a guy making $1M. (I'm just making up numbers but you get the point.)

If you and your family are healthy and you have a good marriage, then that is about 98% of happiness. Most happily married healthy people wouldn't trade that for $10M. However, most wealthy people (who are unhappily married/and or unhealthy) would trade away their wealth to be happily married and healthy.

Ask someone who is chronically obese (BF > 40%) which he would rather have: $1M or a lifetime at 18% body fat. I contend, 90% of them would take the low body fat. Ask someone with a less than 20% body fat the same question and I contend 90% of them would take the money.
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Old 11-03-2012, 09:04 AM
 
Location: Here.
13,198 posts, read 11,696,051 times
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It sure beats being poor.
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Old 11-05-2012, 01:51 PM
 
9,209 posts, read 17,868,058 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevechang103 View Post
Hello,

I have seen many posts on this forum from people aspiring to become extremely wealthy/decamillionaies and discussions of the advantages of the wealthy lifestyle. However, there is not as much discussion of middle class/upper middle class suburban life. My questions are the following:

1. Is there anyone here who truly aspires to or truly enjoys middle/upper middle class suburban life to the extent that you prefer it to being wealthy?

2. If so, what do you enjoy about middle class/upper middle class suburban life?

3. What do you think are the advantages of being middle class/upper middle class compared to being super wealthy?

Thanks
I don't like to answer PMs from strangers, so I'll answer you here instead.

I just like being "comfortable" and want to stay that way. Sure I'd like to be a little more "comfortable" than I am now, but that would basically just mean having my house paid off, and maybe more money invested for the future. I have no need for lots of wealth--lots of flashy things that have no real point. I'm modest in my needs, and in my aspirations, and they are much easier to fulfill, compared with the desires and so-called needs of those who wish to be rich.
The uber-rich are also a target for a lot of groups. They end up having to financially support more and more of the population, no matter which party is in power. They get vilified by almost everyone, while at the same time they are held up as a model of what we all must want. Please-count me out. I'm fine with being in the middle of the pack. I'm better off that the people who are in debt up to their eyeballs and who are 1 or 2 paychecks away from poverty, but I'm not as well off as those who are fabulously wealthy.

As for the "suburban" part: that's just one subgroup of "the middle class." Since I grew up in the suburbs, went to college and grad school in the suburbs, always works in the suburbs, and now own a home in the suburbs, asking what I like about the suburban life would be like asking a fish what he likes about water. I can try to contrast it to living in an urban environment--which I'm certain I would hate. I can contrast it to living in a rural area--which I might fantasize longingly about, but which would not be good for me on a practical level. I can say I like having grass & trees, having neighbors somewhat nearby but not too close, being relatively safe from crime, having lots of stores, restaurants, and other resources nearby, owning my own little piece of land that's all mine, being able to play music without having neighbors hear me through walls and not having to hear neighbors' noise, etc.

Again, in general, I tend to prefer "middle of the road" choices over extremes at either end of any spectrum. Those who criticize middle-class suburbia would call this "boring," "vanilla," or any number of pejoratives (see how almost every post-1965 movie portrays suburbia), but to me it's not. Comfortable & convenient is not necessarily boring. There is also a LOT of diversity in suburbia--we are not all alike as Hollywood and urban elites would have people believe. We come in all colors, backgrounds, religions, political affiliations, talents, etc. Sure some are materialistic, but you'll find a similar proportion of materialistic folks in the "rich" and "poor" levels as well. We are the people who own businesses that employee people. We're the people who work for such businesses. We're the people who patronize those businesses. We're the ones who help our families and neighbors. We're the backbone of America.

When I used to run track in high school, I learned it was usually best to stay in the middle of the pack for most of the race. The people who "had to" be in the lead would break the wind for me, so I felt no need to try to pass them until the very end. The people who felt the need to be out in front for most of the race would wear out by the end of the race, and those of us in the middle would usually pass them eventually. But life is not like a race where you need to "win" and "winning" means "beating" someone else. It's the running itself--how you run--staying in the race--and beating your own personal best time--that makes you a "winner" in life. I am glad to not be straggling behind at the rear of the group, but I have no need to break the tape with my chest.
To jump into another metaphor, think of a herd of deer. The weak ones that are not doing so well stuggle behind the group and get picked off by predators (unemployment, crime, poverty, etc). The ones with the huge rack of antlers, or the prime specimens get picked off by hunters and those who want an impressive trophy on their wall (wealthy competitors, government looters, class-warfare-mongers). Sometimes those deer at the front of the pack are the ones who first jump into the road and get hit by trucks. But the deer in the middle? They're pretty safe from the threats that those at the front and those at the rear face. We're not starving to death and limping behind, and we're not targets for the hunters or for all the other deer who want to be the leaders of the herd.
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Old 11-05-2012, 02:00 PM
 
Location: SIN CITY LAS VEGAS
110 posts, read 143,501 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Retroit View Post
It sure beats being poor.
Hell yes.

Financial freedom is the best way to be. This can be 30k a year for some folks or 150k a year for others.

For me it is a lot more than both.
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Old 11-07-2012, 10:46 AM
 
Location: Chicago
5,412 posts, read 8,218,205 times
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1. Is there anyone here who truly aspires to or truly enjoys middle/upper middle class suburban life to the extent that you prefer it to being wealthy?

No, I have been both poor/working class in the city and upper mid class in the suburbs (this is where I am now and it is not a good fit for me). I aspire to be wealthy in the country or city! From my experience, upper mid class in the suburbs signifies: less creative/financial freedom, less individualism/free-thinking, more keeping up with culturally accepted appearances/conventions, more cut-throat/hyper-competitiveness, more political-correctness - of course, there are exceptions to this. My personality is a better fit with either a working class or wealthy lifestyle (prefer the later though!) as these groups tend to exhibit these traits less IMO.

2. If so, what do you enjoy about middle class/upper middle class suburban life?

In general, I dislike the lack of career/financial/creative freedom, keeping up with the Jones' mindset, and lack of risk-taking that is prevalent in the mid class suburban lifestyle.

3. What do you think are the advantages of being middle class/upper middle class compared to being super wealthy?

I think people like the perceived safety/low risk of living a comfortable, sterile mid class life in the suburbs. I did not grow up "comfortable" and have never had it as a goal. I prefer risk, freedom, and uniqueness and accept that could be my financial downfall.
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Old 11-07-2012, 10:52 AM
 
9,209 posts, read 17,868,058 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoCUBS1 View Post
1. Is there anyone here who truly aspires to or truly enjoys middle/upper middle class suburban life to the extent that you prefer it to being wealthy?

No, I have been both poor/working class in the city and upper mid class in the suburbs (this is where I am now and it is not a good fit for me). I aspire to be wealthy in the country or city. From my experience, upper mid class in the suburbs signifies: less creative/financial freedom, less individualism/free-thinking, more keeping up with culturally accepted appearances, more cut-throat/hyper-competitiveness. My personality is a better fit with either a working class or wealthy lifestyle (prefer the later though!) as these groups tend to exhibit these traits less IMO.

2. If so, what do you enjoy about middle class/upper middle class suburban life?

In general, I dislike the lack of career/financial/creative freedom, keeping up with the Jones' mindset, and lack of risk-taking that is prevalent in the mid class suburban lifestyle.

3. What do you think are the advantages of being middle class/upper middle class compared to being super wealthy?

I think people like the perceived safety/low risk of living a comfortable, sterile mid class life in the suburbs.

This is a perfect example of the erroneous and biased perception of the suburban middle class that is perpetuated by the media. sure there are some people like that, but not the majority of the middle class suburbs. And these people exist in other classes and geographical areas as well.
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Old 11-07-2012, 11:04 AM
 
Location: Chicago
5,412 posts, read 8,218,205 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TracySam View Post
This is a perfect example of the erroneous and biased perception of the suburban middle class that is perpetuated by the media. sure there are some people like that, but not the majority of the middle class suburbs. And these people exist in other classes and geographical areas as well.
I do not believe it is biased as there is a reason for generally held perceptions about mid class, suburban lifestyles. Opinions can be attributed to individual experiences and not always blamed on the media. And I did qualify that there are exceptions to this. I know there are still plenty of mid-class, suburbanites who don't fit the mold (like myself - and maybe you?)- I don't think it's the majority though.

I stand by my opinion which is based on living in multiple towns across the U.S. and abroad - I've lived in both poor/working class city neighborhoods, and probably one of the most quintessential upper-middle class neighborhoods in the midwest.

BTW, I seldom pay attention to the media - don't even own a TV - but thanks for belittling my opinion and intelligence which was based 100% on my own, individual experiences and not so easily influenced..

Last edited by GoCUBS1; 11-07-2012 at 11:15 AM..
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