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Old 01-08-2010, 04:21 PM
4,172 posts, read 5,979,034 times
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Besides locations, we need to also differentiate between wealth & income:

- I could make $300k/year but have low net worth (hight liabilities) and that would make me poor as this would barely fund the shiny cars, overpriced houses, etc.

- I could make only $400/month but have a $10 million inheritance, and that would make me rich

In general, as people make more, their standards go up and they tend to spend more. Like others, I make far more now than what I made in grad school. As a grad student, I would consider my present income high, but now I don't. Expectation of what is rich also change.

Old 01-09-2010, 01:03 AM
10,720 posts, read 17,390,257 times
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Originally Posted by spunky1 View Post
Here we go again. . .and the answer remains NO.
If one makes that much a year and they spend it and have nothing to show for it they are definately NOT rich! Example: I have a friend who is a golf professional. He easily makes that much a year, however he has to fly to all the tournaments, stay in hotels, and basically lives a lifestyle that he spends nearly everything he makes. Is he rich? NO.
Then his income is not 300K. Income is revenue minus expenses. His gross might be 300K but you have to subtract his expenses (travel, hotels, equipment) to get an idea what his true income is.

Rich is a subjective and meaningless term. I can tell you this. Less than 1% of the workforce earns an income of 200K or more. If your friend was earning 300K after expenses, he would be "rich" according to most Americans.
Old 01-09-2010, 01:13 AM
Location: Imaginary Figment
11,456 posts, read 12,690,467 times
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Originally Posted by F355 View Post

When asked if they thought they were rich, do you know what they said? They said, "No, I consider someone has a net worth of $10 million rich". And when the individual with a net worth of $10 million was asked if they thought they were rich, they said, "No, I deem individuals with a net worth of $20 million rich". And so on.
Makes sense to me, and that's why I would answer "yes" to the OPs question, lol.
Old 01-09-2010, 01:27 AM
10,720 posts, read 17,390,257 times
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300K should be seen as being rich but because most Americans live above their means, 300K isn't seen as rich. Less than 4% of the workforce earns 100K or more. Less than 1% of the workforce earns 200K or more. So you can imagine what tiny percent of the population earns 300K or more. The problem is the person making 60K lives like he is making 300K and so forth. If most Americans lived within their means and didn't use credit to buy everything, 300K would be seen as being rich.

My wife and I earn a combined income over 600K but we live like people earning between 100K-200K. We are not cheap either. We like to spend money. The difference is we like to spend money WE HAVE! If we chose to live like most Americans and buy a home we couldn't afford, lease all our cars, not save enough for retirement, not spend money on health insurance, not save money for our children's college fund etc. then we would could spend money like we were rock stars and appear rich.

Last edited by azriverfan.; 01-09-2010 at 01:46 AM..
Old 01-09-2010, 02:58 AM
3,951 posts, read 3,701,980 times
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Not these days.
Old 01-09-2010, 05:30 AM
311 posts, read 627,280 times
Reputation: 225
Only in america dose a person in the top tenth of 1% income bracket not feel rich.And that is what is wrong with this country.When it comes down to it all that matters in america is $$$$.If your not climbing the latter or trying to 'get rich or die trying' your a failure.The yardstick to mesure sucsses is to buy as much crap we dont need with money we dont have.Economics 101 and the % say the vast majority of ANY population will never become rich.But americans dont care they would rather dedicate there lifes to money and the small chance of becoming rich rather than persue more fufilling endevores.
Old 01-09-2010, 05:32 AM
Location: Phoenix, AZ
2,477 posts, read 2,086,509 times
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Originally Posted by F355 View Post
Even though a salary of $300,000 puts one in the top .9% of US income earners, I still do not consider this figure to be "rich". Do you?
What would be then .5%....maybe .1%....I understand the point you were making until you said that last sentence...lol. I guess the answer is you could be (or you will be) rich with that salary depending upon how you live your life (or have lived it).
Old 01-09-2010, 07:45 AM
615 posts, read 1,505,093 times
Reputation: 374
I don't understand the arguement some of you are making. So if you have a huge mortgage payment, several fancy car payments, and lots of fancy "toys" you aren't rich because it hasn't accumulated, because you've spent it all? I don't get that. People do the same thing when they earn/win millions, so are they not "rich" either? I'm sorry, but when you are in the top 1% of wage earners in this country, you are rich whatever way you spin it. It doesn't change anything just because you can spend it all and get into debt. I consider myself rich and I live in a $300K house with no job because I am part of the richest group of people that has ever walked on this planet. Heck if you own a computer, you are part of the richest people on this planet. You can get caught up in semantics, be greedy, and call it anything you want but yes you are rich.

And for the record, I am NOT for taxing the heck out of people that make $300k, but geesh, call a spade a spade!
Old 01-09-2010, 07:49 AM
Location: Jonquil City (aka Smyrna) Georgia- by Atlanta
16,248 posts, read 21,254,320 times
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Originally Posted by F355 View Post
It's been asked at what salary level is someone considered rich, and there has been some very interesting insight.

My question is, if a family has a combined income of $300,000 a year, are they considered "rich". Of course everything is relative, but in most parts of the US is this considered wealthy?

While this figure is clearly a large sum, I think it depends how old one is when they earn this kind of money which determines whether or not they are rich. If it's someone in their 30's or even 40's, I would argue that they are affluent (not rich).

But if it's someone in their 50's or 60's (who has yet to pay off their mortgage, drives luxury automobiles, travels extensively, dresses to the nines, enjoys fine wine and food) I would say they are not.

Even though a salary of $300,000 puts one in the top .9% of US income earners, I still do not consider this figure to be "rich". Do you?
It would depend largely on where they live. If they live in Tulsa, they are rich. If they live in San Fransisco or New York, they are "upper middle class" or "affluent".
Old 01-09-2010, 07:57 AM
3,646 posts, read 9,596,045 times
Reputation: 5443
It's all relative.

To someone who is making $15k a year, $300k is rich. To someone who is homeless, $15k is rich.

We make more $$ than we ever did before. We pay more taxes and have higher expenses (self employed) than we ever did. I always figured that when we got to this income level, we'd be "rich". But we're not. I don't worry about basics like food and shelter anymore. But we're not buying LCD TVs either - of course, we COULD, but in my eyes, that's wasteful and why so many people are crying about the economy now - they have the basics but are just crying about not being able to afford material goods.
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