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Old 10-29-2007, 02:02 PM
 
Location: Blankity-blank!
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Recently someone started a thread requesting CD participants to state their income level. Over 50% claimed an income of $81k and over.
I guess that for the affluent, issues such as finding jobs, liveable wages, affordable housing, and affordable healthcare are just moot. And rising gas prices are merely meaningless numbers that change at the pump every once in a while.
What are the issues that affluent people consider important? What, if any, changes would you like to see? Also, do you consider yourself on the political right?
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Old 10-29-2007, 02:08 PM
 
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I consider myself a conservative and don't make anywhere near $81k.
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Old 10-29-2007, 02:08 PM
 
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Are you assuming that people with an income over 80K are affluent?
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Old 10-29-2007, 02:12 PM
 
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Also, can you please clarify. Are you speaking of household income or individual? Either way I don't see 80k as affluent.
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Old 10-29-2007, 02:12 PM
 
Location: Dallas, Texas
3,589 posts, read 3,144,343 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Visvaldis View Post
Recently someone started a thread requesting CD participants to state their income level. Over 50% claimed an income of $81k and over.
I guess that for the affluent, issues such as finding jobs, liveable wages, affordable housing, and affordable healthcare are just moot. And rising gas prices are merely meaningless numbers that change at the pump every once in a while.
So wrong. In some parts of the USA $80k won't go very far...in others it's a mountain of money. I guess I fall into that "affluent" category and while I don't have to pinch pennies to pay the bills, I can't afford to drink Dom Perignon out of Manolo Blaniks while spreading caviar on melba with a Tiffany spoon either.

I know where the cheap gas is near me, and I'll drive a mile or two out of the way to save 4-5 cents per gallon. Why pay more than I have to? I clip coupons and I USE them, and I'm beginning to wonder if double and triple coupon days are gone forever since I haven't seen any since I've been back.

As for jobs...you'd be surprised how quickly "affluent" people find themselves having to pawn things and skipping mortgage payments because one of them loses a job. My brother and his wife make about $140k between them and there's nothing left at the end of the month after servicing their debt and financing their "lifestyle". If one of them got laid off, they would be severely screwed. They're not even saving for retirement; my sister-in-law is counting on a big inheritance from her dear daddy to finance HER retirement too. My bro and I are in line for six figure inheritances too, but unlike him I'm not counting on ever seeing a penny of it. You never know what can happen, so I'm building my own retirement nest egg and I'm doing pretty darn well at it. Anyone who counts on an inheritance to finance their retirement is a damned fool.

My bf and I make nearly $175k combined, but since he's in the middle of a divorce his paycheck disappears almost immediately. I can only imagine how ugly it'll be when he has to pay child support on top of a mortgage payment for a house he doesn't even live in...to shelter a soon-to-be-ex wife who refuses to work because she thinks it's beneath her. It's amazing how fast a near six-figure income vanishes when you have too many commitments.

Quote:
What are the issues that affluent people consider important? What, if any, changes would you like to see? Also, do you consider yourself on the political right?
I don't consider myself affluent so it's hard to say. I suppose that I am, relatively speaking, but I don't think my financial situation dictates my politics. Yet.
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Old 10-29-2007, 02:18 PM
 
1,408 posts, read 4,444,000 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tnbound2day View Post
I consider myself a conservative and don't make anywhere near $81k.
Same here. I'm not even close to $80K/yr income, but I aspire to be someday...which is just one of many reasons I'm on the political Right.
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Old 10-29-2007, 02:19 PM
 
Location: Pinal County, Arizona
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81K is NOT affluent - not by any means
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Old 10-29-2007, 02:20 PM
 
Location: SE Arizona - FINALLY! :D
19,876 posts, read 22,688,876 times
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Well, I'm in that category and I have to say that health care is probably my top concern. Our current system has some truly enormous problems. Health care costs are climbing at an incredible rate - much more than the cost of inflation. Until recently folks with good jobs and employer-paid health care didn't have too much to worry about. Their thought was, folks without health should just buy health care, without realizing just how incredibly expensive it's become. Yeah, uncovered individuals CAN buy coverage - but it's either REALLY expensive, or it doesn't provide enough coverage to keep you from being financially destroyed in the event of major medical problem.

Now, however the price of coverage is getting so high that many employers are no longer willing to shoulder the burden and have started passing the massive cost increases onto the employees. Some employers are trying to get out of health coverage altogether. And for those folks who's employers do continue to provide coverage - look carefully at that coverage. Most folks assume that if they are injured or become sick and are unable to work, that their health benefits will somehow still be there. For most folks that's not true at all. When you become sick and are not longer able to work, you company will likely say "bye, bye, good luck, you're on your own." COBRA coverage is available for while, but if you need any long-term medical treatment you need to start forking up BIG bucks or you lose your health coverage - and God help you if you lose that - you're almost certain to become bankrupt - and still not be able to get the medical attention you may need.

The rapidly rising costs of medical care should be of importance to everyone. I'm not sure if a socialized system is at all the answer, but we certainly cannot continue what we are doing. Once the costs get so that that companies start dropping health coverage en mass (which at the rate things are going is not going to be that far off), we're going to have a health crises of enormous proportions - and it will affect nearly everyone (even those who think they have a secure source of medical coverage).

So yeah, health care is a HUGE issue for me.

Ken

PS - It's pretty interesting to note that even just some serious discussion of alternatives or possible socialization of health care seems to result in a remarkable stablization (or even decrease) in health care costs. Look at this chart of climbing health care costs:

http://www.whitehouse.gov/stateoftheunion/2006/images/health_expenditures.gif (broken link)

Notice the plateau in costs during the Clinton years. Close-up charts will show this is actually a drop in costs. Curious how that just seemed to have come about when there was a focus on and scrutiny of health care costs (remember Hillary's plan?). Once the "risk" of socialization was gone, health care cost once again began their long, steep ascent - and now are higher than ever.
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Old 10-29-2007, 02:27 PM
 
Location: Dallas, Texas
3,589 posts, read 3,144,343 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greatday View Post
81K is NOT affluent - not by any means
No, but it's approaching twice the median income in the USA for the year 2004, which is $44,334.

USA QuickFacts from the US Census Bureau
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Old 10-29-2007, 02:30 PM
 
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I agree 80k is definately not affluent. If it's a two-income family that means each income earner is making right around 40k, that is certainly not a lot.
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