How to realistically FIRE?

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Bacchus01
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Re: How to realistically FIRE?

Post by Bacchus01 » Mon Mar 18, 2019 11:04 pm

Wanderingwheelz wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 9:56 am
MnD wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 9:37 am
Bacchus01 wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 7:56 am
I just wish all the boomers would FIRE already. Us Genexers need some top jobs and you keep hogging them :)
As a tail-end boomer that just bagged it at 56, you're welcome!

But I'm really liking this 3% is the new 4% with maybe a safety margin on top of that and let's also discount Social Security to 0.
Between the lower discretionary income both while working and in retirement and delayed retirement (probably into the slow-go years), that's way less competition for my favorite beach house rentals, restaurant tables, prime camping/fishing spots, hot springs pools, first class upgrades etc. :beer
It’s your fellow GenXers who you need to FIRE to make room for the job you’re looking for. Baby boomers are all too old now to be considered true early retirees.

The “E” in FIRE, at least to me, has an age cap of 52. Maybe 55 I’d you really want to stretch it.

I’m a 47 year old GenXer, but if I FIRE I really don’t think my job would even be replaced. That’s the scary part of the work environment you’re talking about. So even those who are in your cohort who FIRE may not be creating any additional opportunity for others.
That's your interpretation, not mine. Pre-65 is E.

latesaver
Posts: 204
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Re: How to realistically FIRE?

Post by latesaver » Tue Mar 19, 2019 12:17 pm

michaeljmroger wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 1:25 am
HEDGEFUNDIE wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 11:49 pm
michaeljmroger wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 9:20 pm
willthrill81 wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 8:41 pm
michaeljmroger wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 8:38 pm
I know it’s very hard to believe if you’re not living there (I certainly couldn’t imagine it before I moved there) but it’s absolutely true. I have several friends here who make around $500k and they’re clearly middle-class at best.
$500k and they're middle-class 'at best'?? Even by SF standards, I can't believe that. We've personally known folks who've lived 'middle-class' lifestyles there on a fraction of that income.

If that were true, I'd be headed for the exits as fast as my Buick would take me. It would be virtually impossible to get ahead financially and build long-lasting security if $500k was barely middle-class.
You’re right: it is, in fact, close to impossible to build long-lasting security based on this income alone. For instance, one of my closest friend was looking to buy an appartement in the city with his girlfriend, and they realized they simply cannot do it. Their plan has now evolved to quit their jobs and San Francisco as there's literally no way they’ll be able to live comfortably here and raise a family. They both have a high-paying job at a big tech company, and a lot of equities.
This is nonsense.

Just did our budget for this year:

$500k income
-$133k income taxes
-$85k housing PITI ($1.2M mortgage)
-$25k daycare for baby
-$13k car payment x2
-$30k food, travel, entertainment
-$5k utilities, healthcare
=
$209k savings

Your friends either haven’t done the math or are living way beyond their means.
I think they didn’t want to buy in a city they won’t be able to retire in.

Anyway, I have no incentive for making these things up. I’m just sharing what I’ve seen and experienced since I’ve moved here as it came as a shock to me, and I just don’t think most people outside the Bay Area realize how radically different this “bubble” is from the rest of the US. And yes, at $500k you’re “just” middle class.

To be fair, I still can’t process how much money there is here. You vaguely start getting a sense for it once you meet a bunch of angel investors and early employees of successful companies. There are just so many people around you who made their first million before they turned 30. It’s literally another world.
'
i reflected on that this past week while touring my company's investment properties near Lake Tahoe.

Drove through the luxury community of Martis Camp. these are 2nd or 3rd homes for primarily Bay area folks. Lots start in the millions of dollars; homes are selling for $10M+. Early investors in YouTube, Google, etc. Truly unreal.

KyleAAA
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Re: How to realistically FIRE?

Post by KyleAAA » Tue Mar 19, 2019 3:24 pm

michaeljmroger wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 8:38 pm
Just another data point here to confirm that it’s not unusual at all for a family in (or around) San Francisco to spend $120k / year even without a mortgage, and while living a fairly frugal life.

I know it’s very hard to believe if you’re not living there (I certainly couldn’t imagine it before I moved there) but it’s absolutely true. I have several friends here who make around $500k and they’re clearly middle-class at best.
They are not middle class. They are upper middle class, at worst, even in the Bay Area. The middle class don't spend $25k on nannies or buy $1.5mm homes, even in the bay area. A dollar doesn't go nearly as far there, obviously, but the DEFINITION of middle class does not allow for those earning 5x the median to be considered "middle class." $500k is nowhere near the middle of the income distribution. Middle class is not defined by whether or not you can afford a 2000 sq ft house within an hour of where you work, it is defined by the income distribution. One may need to spend $300k to live the same as one who spends $70k in the midwest, but that does not mean that one spending $300k is middle class. They are not.

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Wanderingwheelz
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Re: How to realistically FIRE?

Post by Wanderingwheelz » Tue Mar 19, 2019 4:07 pm

It’s shame the SF Bay Area totally took over this thread, since each one of us already knows that it’s incredibly unlike the vast majority of America.

Middle class doesn’t mean the same thing in San Francisco as it does in Cleveland. We get it.

The ability to FIRE is affected by cost of living as well as earned income, and both of those are higher in San Francisco than Cleveland. It’s all relative.

visualguy
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Re: How to realistically FIRE?

Post by visualguy » Tue Mar 19, 2019 10:20 pm

Bacchus01 wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 11:04 pm

That's your interpretation, not mine. Pre-65 is E.
It really depends on the profession. "Early" doesn't mean the same thing across occupations.

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beyou
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Re: How to realistically FIRE?

Post by beyou » Tue Mar 19, 2019 10:25 pm

visualguy wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 10:20 pm
Bacchus01 wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 11:04 pm

That's your interpretation, not mine. Pre-65 is E.
It really depends on the profession. "Early" doesn't mean the same thing across occupations.
Per SSA, it’s 67 for us tail end boomers.
This is really important for me since I turn 55 soon. Maybe I need to FIRE immediately or lose my opportunity forever ;-)

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AerialWombat
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Re: How to realistically FIRE?

Post by AerialWombat » Tue Mar 19, 2019 10:48 pm

Wanderingwheelz wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 4:07 pm
It’s shame the SF Bay Area totally took over this thread, since each one of us already knows that it’s incredibly unlike the vast majority of America.

Middle class doesn’t mean the same thing in San Francisco as it does in Cleveland. We get it.

The ability to FIRE is affected by cost of living as well as earned income, and both of those are higher in San Francisco than Cleveland. It’s all relative.
+1

This thread definitely took a strange turn with the SF focus. But, I also understand the guffaws. My income has reached the level being discussed in this thread only in the most recent couple years, and I cannot fathom the level of spending being mentioned.

Whether I make $30k or $500k, I still live on less than $30k, and I even did so for a short period while participating in an accelerator program in Silicon Valley.

Anybody making $500k — no matter where they live — is extremely high income, period. To say otherwise is ludicrous.

surfstar
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Location: Santa Barbara, CA

Re: How to realistically FIRE?

Post by surfstar » Tue Mar 19, 2019 11:00 pm

Well, after reading this thread it appears that some bogleheads are struggling with two definitions:

FIRE
Middle Class

:oops:

EnjoyIt
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Re: How to realistically FIRE?

Post by EnjoyIt » Wed Mar 20, 2019 12:19 am

AerialWombat wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 10:48 pm
Wanderingwheelz wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 4:07 pm
It’s shame the SF Bay Area totally took over this thread, since each one of us already knows that it’s incredibly unlike the vast majority of America.

Middle class doesn’t mean the same thing in San Francisco as it does in Cleveland. We get it.

The ability to FIRE is affected by cost of living as well as earned income, and both of those are higher in San Francisco than Cleveland. It’s all relative.
+1

This thread definitely took a strange turn with the SF focus. But, I also understand the guffaws. My income has reached the level being discussed in this thread only in the most recent couple years, and I cannot fathom the level of spending being mentioned.

Whether I make $30k or $500k, I still live on less than $30k, and I even did so for a short period while participating in an accelerator program in Silicon Valley.

Anybody making $500k — no matter where they live — is extremely high income, period. To say otherwise is ludicrous.
It just goes to show how easy it is to squander away half a million dollar salary. Just buy a $1.5-$2 million home, send your kids to private school, have school debt, and before you know it, a family can't even afford to lease a Q5 and 328i. Poor middle class America, and how they suffer for their life choices.

KlangFool
Posts: 15501
Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2008 12:35 pm

Re: How to realistically FIRE?

Post by KlangFool » Wed Mar 20, 2019 8:59 am

EnjoyIt wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 12:19 am
AerialWombat wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 10:48 pm
Wanderingwheelz wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 4:07 pm
It’s shame the SF Bay Area totally took over this thread, since each one of us already knows that it’s incredibly unlike the vast majority of America.

Middle class doesn’t mean the same thing in San Francisco as it does in Cleveland. We get it.

The ability to FIRE is affected by cost of living as well as earned income, and both of those are higher in San Francisco than Cleveland. It’s all relative.
+1

This thread definitely took a strange turn with the SF focus. But, I also understand the guffaws. My income has reached the level being discussed in this thread only in the most recent couple years, and I cannot fathom the level of spending being mentioned.

Whether I make $30k or $500k, I still live on less than $30k, and I even did so for a short period while participating in an accelerator program in Silicon Valley.

Anybody making $500k — no matter where they live — is extremely high income, period. To say otherwise is ludicrous.
It just goes to show how easy it is to squander away half a million dollar salary. Just buy a $1.5-$2 million home, send your kids to private school, have school debt, and before you know it, a family can't even afford to lease a Q5 and 328i. Poor middle class America, and how they suffer for their life choices.
Bingo. Regardless of how rich a person is, he/she could always buy a big expensive house to self-destruct financially. If one is not enough, they would buy several houses.

KlangFool

Jags4186
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Re: How to realistically FIRE?

Post by Jags4186 » Wed Mar 20, 2019 9:16 am

KyleAAA wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 3:24 pm
michaeljmroger wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 8:38 pm
Just another data point here to confirm that it’s not unusual at all for a family in (or around) San Francisco to spend $120k / year even without a mortgage, and while living a fairly frugal life.

I know it’s very hard to believe if you’re not living there (I certainly couldn’t imagine it before I moved there) but it’s absolutely true. I have several friends here who make around $500k and they’re clearly middle-class at best.
They are not middle class. They are upper middle class, at worst, even in the Bay Area. The middle class don't spend $25k on nannies or buy $1.5mm homes, even in the bay area. A dollar doesn't go nearly as far there, obviously, but the DEFINITION of middle class does not allow for those earning 5x the median to be considered "middle class." $500k is nowhere near the middle of the income distribution. Middle class is not defined by whether or not you can afford a 2000 sq ft house within an hour of where you work, it is defined by the income distribution. One may need to spend $300k to live the same as one who spends $70k in the midwest, but that does not mean that one spending $300k is middle class. They are not.
You know what they say, anyone who lives below the 15th floor of The Plaza is just middle class for 5th Avenue.

Jags4186
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Re: How to realistically FIRE?

Post by Jags4186 » Wed Mar 20, 2019 9:21 am

Wanderingwheelz wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 4:07 pm
It’s shame the SF Bay Area totally took over this thread, since each one of us already knows that it’s incredibly unlike the vast majority of America.

Middle class doesn’t mean the same thing in San Francisco as it does in Cleveland. We get it.

The ability to FIRE is affected by cost of living as well as earned income, and both of those are higher in San Francisco than Cleveland. It’s all relative.
Pretty sure middle class does mean the same thing in San Francisco as it does in the rest of America. Middle class people don’t live in $1mm+ homes. Those people in SF aren’t middle class regardless of the fact they may only have a 2br/1ba condo.

It’s like saying there are middle class people in Alpine, NJ or Bel Air, CA. Well no there aren’t. Everyone there is rich. You just need to be ultra rich to have more than everyone else.

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willthrill81
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Location: USA

Re: How to realistically FIRE?

Post by willthrill81 » Wed Mar 20, 2019 9:52 am

Jags4186 wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 9:21 am
Wanderingwheelz wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 4:07 pm
It’s shame the SF Bay Area totally took over this thread, since each one of us already knows that it’s incredibly unlike the vast majority of America.

Middle class doesn’t mean the same thing in San Francisco as it does in Cleveland. We get it.

The ability to FIRE is affected by cost of living as well as earned income, and both of those are higher in San Francisco than Cleveland. It’s all relative.
Pretty sure middle class does mean the same thing in San Francisco as it does in the rest of America. Middle class people don’t live in $1mm+ homes. Those people in SF aren’t middle class regardless of the fact they may only have a 2br/1ba condo.

It’s like saying there are middle class people in Alpine, NJ or Bel Air, CA. Well no there aren’t. Everyone there is rich. You just need to be ultra rich to have more than everyone else.
:thumbsup

Not every city/county/state is a microcosm of the rest of the country.
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” J.R.R. Tolkien,The Lord of the Rings

HEDGEFUNDIE
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Re: How to realistically FIRE?

Post by HEDGEFUNDIE » Wed Mar 20, 2019 10:26 am

Jags4186 wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 9:21 am
Wanderingwheelz wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 4:07 pm
It’s shame the SF Bay Area totally took over this thread, since each one of us already knows that it’s incredibly unlike the vast majority of America.

Middle class doesn’t mean the same thing in San Francisco as it does in Cleveland. We get it.

The ability to FIRE is affected by cost of living as well as earned income, and both of those are higher in San Francisco than Cleveland. It’s all relative.
Pretty sure middle class does mean the same thing in San Francisco as it does in the rest of America. Middle class people don’t live in $1mm+ homes. Those people in SF aren’t middle class regardless of the fact they may only have a 2br/1ba condo.

It’s like saying there are middle class people in Alpine, NJ or Bel Air, CA. Well no there aren’t. Everyone there is rich. You just need to be ultra rich to have more than everyone else.
Pretty much everyone on my block has normal blue collar / service jobs that bring in less than $100k per household. Middle class by any definition.

The key difference is they all bought their homes 20+ years ago and now all have over $1M in home equity.

So are they middle class or not?

smitcat
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Re: How to realistically FIRE?

Post by smitcat » Wed Mar 20, 2019 10:38 am

HEDGEFUNDIE wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 10:26 am
Jags4186 wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 9:21 am
Wanderingwheelz wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 4:07 pm
It’s shame the SF Bay Area totally took over this thread, since each one of us already knows that it’s incredibly unlike the vast majority of America.

Middle class doesn’t mean the same thing in San Francisco as it does in Cleveland. We get it.

The ability to FIRE is affected by cost of living as well as earned income, and both of those are higher in San Francisco than Cleveland. It’s all relative.
Pretty sure middle class does mean the same thing in San Francisco as it does in the rest of America. Middle class people don’t live in $1mm+ homes. Those people in SF aren’t middle class regardless of the fact they may only have a 2br/1ba condo.

It’s like saying there are middle class people in Alpine, NJ or Bel Air, CA. Well no there aren’t. Everyone there is rich. You just need to be ultra rich to have more than everyone else.
Pretty much everyone on my block has normal blue collar / service jobs that bring in less than $100k per household. Middle class by any definition.

The key difference is they all bought their homes 20+ years ago and now all have over $1M in home equity.

So are they middle class or not?
"Pretty much everyone on my block has normal blue collar / service jobs that bring in less than $100k per household. Middle class by any definition.
The key difference is they all bought their homes 20+ years ago and now all have over $1M in home equity.
So are they middle class or not"

They are middle class.
If they took out huge second mortgages to pay for college or a second home they are still middle class.
If the property values drop in half next week they are still middle class.

visualguy
Posts: 1789
Joined: Thu Jan 30, 2014 1:32 am

Re: How to realistically FIRE?

Post by visualguy » Wed Mar 20, 2019 10:50 am

Jags4186 wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 9:21 am
Pretty sure middle class does mean the same thing in San Francisco as it does in the rest of America. Middle class people don’t live in $1mm+ homes. Those people in SF aren’t middle class regardless of the fact they may only have a 2br/1ba condo.

It’s like saying there are middle class people in Alpine, NJ or Bel Air, CA. Well no there aren’t. Everyone there is rich. You just need to be ultra rich to have more than everyone else.
The definition of "middle class", "upper-middle class", etc. has to be relative to the local economy. Otherwise, it becomes meaningless. You could say that almost everyone in the US is not middle class but rich because they are better off than most people in the rest of the world. It stops making sense once you take it out of the context of the local economy.

zuma
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Re: How to realistically FIRE?

Post by zuma » Wed Mar 20, 2019 10:59 am

visualguy wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 10:50 am
The definition of "middle class", "upper-middle class", etc. has to be relative to the local economy.
Why can't it be relative to the US as a whole?

Jags4186
Posts: 4388
Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2014 7:12 pm

Re: How to realistically FIRE?

Post by Jags4186 » Wed Mar 20, 2019 11:03 am

visualguy wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 10:50 am
Jags4186 wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 9:21 am
Pretty sure middle class does mean the same thing in San Francisco as it does in the rest of America. Middle class people don’t live in $1mm+ homes. Those people in SF aren’t middle class regardless of the fact they may only have a 2br/1ba condo.

It’s like saying there are middle class people in Alpine, NJ or Bel Air, CA. Well no there aren’t. Everyone there is rich. You just need to be ultra rich to have more than everyone else.
The definition of "middle class", "upper-middle class", etc. has to be relative to the local economy. Otherwise, it becomes meaningless. You could say that almost everyone in the US is not middle class but rich because they are better off than most people in the rest of the world. It stops making sense once you take it out of the context of the local economy.
How small is the local economy? The US is one unit. Okay let’s say we look at states. Hawaii vs South Carolina? Okay. What about cities? New York City vs Gary, Indiana? Hmm. What about within cities? The Bronx vs Manhattan? What about within subsections of cities? Marble Hill vs Greenwich Village? Heck you can move a few blocks in Manhattan and have drastically different rents for similar properties.

How granular do you want to get?

People making $500k in SF are not middle class by any definition. We segregate based on income. There are probably few to no real wealthy people living in Gary or Flint just as there are no real middle class people in Bel Air or Short Hills. Just because you choose to live where other wealthy people live doesn’t mean you get to recast your social status. We live in a country where 99% of people want to say they’re middle class. It simply isn’t true.

visualguy
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Re: How to realistically FIRE?

Post by visualguy » Wed Mar 20, 2019 11:07 am

zuma wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 10:59 am
visualguy wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 10:50 am
The definition of "middle class", "upper-middle class", etc. has to be relative to the local economy.
Why can't it be relative to the US as a whole?
Why can't it be relative to the world as a whole? It doesn't make sense because we don't live in the world as a whole, or the US as a whole. We live in a particular location with a particular economic environment. Whatever it is in Kansas City is irrelevant in SF, for example, just like whatever it is in Congo or Yemen is irrelevant in Kansas City.

Jags4186
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Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2014 7:12 pm

Re: How to realistically FIRE?

Post by Jags4186 » Wed Mar 20, 2019 11:09 am

HEDGEFUNDIE wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 10:26 am
Jags4186 wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 9:21 am
Wanderingwheelz wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 4:07 pm
It’s shame the SF Bay Area totally took over this thread, since each one of us already knows that it’s incredibly unlike the vast majority of America.

Middle class doesn’t mean the same thing in San Francisco as it does in Cleveland. We get it.

The ability to FIRE is affected by cost of living as well as earned income, and both of those are higher in San Francisco than Cleveland. It’s all relative.
Pretty sure middle class does mean the same thing in San Francisco as it does in the rest of America. Middle class people don’t live in $1mm+ homes. Those people in SF aren’t middle class regardless of the fact they may only have a 2br/1ba condo.

It’s like saying there are middle class people in Alpine, NJ or Bel Air, CA. Well no there aren’t. Everyone there is rich. You just need to be ultra rich to have more than everyone else.
Pretty much everyone on my block has normal blue collar / service jobs that bring in less than $100k per household. Middle class by any definition.

The key difference is they all bought their homes 20+ years ago and now all have over $1M in home equity.

So are they middle class or not?
You tell me. If someone doesn’t work and has no income but has substantial assets are they wealthy, middle class, or poor? I would argue if you have substantial assets you are not middle class. If you bought $1000 of Bitcoin at $10 a coin and sold them at $19,000 for $1.9 million, are you still middle class?

Jags4186
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Re: How to realistically FIRE?

Post by Jags4186 » Wed Mar 20, 2019 11:11 am

visualguy wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 11:07 am
zuma wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 10:59 am
visualguy wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 10:50 am
The definition of "middle class", "upper-middle class", etc. has to be relative to the local economy.
Why can't it be relative to the US as a whole?
Why can't it be relative to the world as a whole? It doesn't make sense because we don't live in the world as a whole, or the US as a whole. We live in a particular location with a particular economic environment. Whatever it is in Kansas City is irrelevant in SF, for example, just like whatever it is in Congo or Yemen is irrelevant in Kansas City.
Because you choose where to live. It is reasonable for an average worker from the United States to move within the US for a job. It’s not reasonable to assume someone from the US would choose between a US city and the Congo.

zuma
Posts: 476
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Re: How to realistically FIRE?

Post by zuma » Wed Mar 20, 2019 11:14 am

visualguy wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 11:07 am
zuma wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 10:59 am
visualguy wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 10:50 am
The definition of "middle class", "upper-middle class", etc. has to be relative to the local economy.
Why can't it be relative to the US as a whole?
Why can't it be relative to the world as a whole? It doesn't make sense because we don't live in the world as a whole, or the US as a whole. We live in a particular location with a particular economic environment. Whatever it is in Kansas City is irrelevant in SF, for example, just like whatever it is in Congo or Yemen is irrelevant in Kansas City.
I agree it doesn't make sense to define these terms on a global scale. I never suggested that. But defining class terms within the context of a single country seems reasonable to me.

visualguy
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Joined: Thu Jan 30, 2014 1:32 am

Re: How to realistically FIRE?

Post by visualguy » Wed Mar 20, 2019 11:17 am

Jags4186 wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 11:03 am
How small is the local economy? The US is one unit. Okay let’s say we look at states. Hawaii vs South Carolina? Okay. What about cities? New York City vs Gary, Indiana? Hmm. What about within cities? The Bronx vs Manhattan? What about within subsections of cities? Marble Hill vs Greenwich Village? Heck you can move a few blocks in Manhattan and have drastically different rents for similar properties.

How granular do you want to get?

People making $500k in SF are not middle class by any definition. We segregate based on income. There are probably few to no real wealthy people living in Gary or Flint just as there are no real middle class people in Bel Air or Short Hills. Just because you choose to live where other wealthy people live doesn’t mean you get to recast your social status. We live in a country where 99% of people want to say they’re middle class. It simply isn’t true.
The US is not one unit, and its economies have been diverging more and more over the years. You could say that an area within a reasonable commute distance is a unit, for example. You can't commute from Kansas City to SF, so what is "middle class" in Kansas City is irrelevant to you if you're in SF.

HEDGEFUNDIE
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Re: How to realistically FIRE?

Post by HEDGEFUNDIE » Wed Mar 20, 2019 11:34 am

Jags4186 wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 11:09 am
HEDGEFUNDIE wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 10:26 am
Jags4186 wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 9:21 am
Wanderingwheelz wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 4:07 pm
It’s shame the SF Bay Area totally took over this thread, since each one of us already knows that it’s incredibly unlike the vast majority of America.

Middle class doesn’t mean the same thing in San Francisco as it does in Cleveland. We get it.

The ability to FIRE is affected by cost of living as well as earned income, and both of those are higher in San Francisco than Cleveland. It’s all relative.
Pretty sure middle class does mean the same thing in San Francisco as it does in the rest of America. Middle class people don’t live in $1mm+ homes. Those people in SF aren’t middle class regardless of the fact they may only have a 2br/1ba condo.

It’s like saying there are middle class people in Alpine, NJ or Bel Air, CA. Well no there aren’t. Everyone there is rich. You just need to be ultra rich to have more than everyone else.
Pretty much everyone on my block has normal blue collar / service jobs that bring in less than $100k per household. Middle class by any definition.

The key difference is they all bought their homes 20+ years ago and now all have over $1M in home equity.

So are they middle class or not?
You tell me. If someone doesn’t work and has no income but has substantial assets are they wealthy, middle class, or poor? I would argue if you have substantial assets you are not middle class. If you bought $1000 of Bitcoin at $10 a coin and sold them at $19,000 for $1.9 million, are you still middle class?
I would argue a primary residence is unlike other assets. You have to live somewhere. Home equity is not liquid, especially if you have no / low income to support a HELOC.

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Re: How to realistically FIRE?

Post by Jags4186 » Wed Mar 20, 2019 12:34 pm

visualguy wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 11:17 am
Jags4186 wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 11:03 am
How small is the local economy? The US is one unit. Okay let’s say we look at states. Hawaii vs South Carolina? Okay. What about cities? New York City vs Gary, Indiana? Hmm. What about within cities? The Bronx vs Manhattan? What about within subsections of cities? Marble Hill vs Greenwich Village? Heck you can move a few blocks in Manhattan and have drastically different rents for similar properties.

How granular do you want to get?

People making $500k in SF are not middle class by any definition. We segregate based on income. There are probably few to no real wealthy people living in Gary or Flint just as there are no real middle class people in Bel Air or Short Hills. Just because you choose to live where other wealthy people live doesn’t mean you get to recast your social status. We live in a country where 99% of people want to say they’re middle class. It simply isn’t true.
The US is not one unit, and its economies have been diverging more and more over the years. You could say that an area within a reasonable commute distance is a unit, for example. You can't commute from Kansas City to SF, so what is "middle class" in Kansas City is irrelevant to you if you're in SF.
Okay so what defines middle class? Middle 3 quintiles of income? The 2nd quintile breakpoint for household Income in San Francisco is $190k. So by any metric making more than 2.5x the 80th percentile income puts one well beyond “middle class”.

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Re: How to realistically FIRE?

Post by KyleAAA » Wed Mar 20, 2019 3:35 pm

visualguy wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 10:50 am
Jags4186 wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 9:21 am
Pretty sure middle class does mean the same thing in San Francisco as it does in the rest of America. Middle class people don’t live in $1mm+ homes. Those people in SF aren’t middle class regardless of the fact they may only have a 2br/1ba condo.

It’s like saying there are middle class people in Alpine, NJ or Bel Air, CA. Well no there aren’t. Everyone there is rich. You just need to be ultra rich to have more than everyone else.
The definition of "middle class", "upper-middle class", etc. has to be relative to the local economy. Otherwise, it becomes meaningless. You could say that almost everyone in the US is not middle class but rich because they are better off than most people in the rest of the world. It stops making sense once you take it out of the context of the local economy.

Yes, it is relative to the local income distribution, but not the COL directly (to the extent it isn't reflected in the income distribution). If the median income is $100k, middle class is defined accordingly. Likewise if it's $40k. If the COL is completely out of whack wrt income in certain communities, that may mean that everybody has a lower standard of living than an equivalent income elsewhere. But that doesn't mean those earning 5x the median are only middle class just because they can't afford as nice a house as somebody earning 2x the median elsewhere.

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Re: How to realistically FIRE?

Post by willthrill81 » Wed Mar 20, 2019 4:06 pm

KyleAAA wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 3:35 pm
visualguy wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 10:50 am
Jags4186 wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 9:21 am
Pretty sure middle class does mean the same thing in San Francisco as it does in the rest of America. Middle class people don’t live in $1mm+ homes. Those people in SF aren’t middle class regardless of the fact they may only have a 2br/1ba condo.

It’s like saying there are middle class people in Alpine, NJ or Bel Air, CA. Well no there aren’t. Everyone there is rich. You just need to be ultra rich to have more than everyone else.
The definition of "middle class", "upper-middle class", etc. has to be relative to the local economy. Otherwise, it becomes meaningless. You could say that almost everyone in the US is not middle class but rich because they are better off than most people in the rest of the world. It stops making sense once you take it out of the context of the local economy.

Yes, it is relative to the local income distribution, but not the COL directly (to the extent it isn't reflected in the income distribution). If the median income is $100k, middle class is defined accordingly. Likewise if it's $40k. If the COL is completely out of whack wrt income in certain communities, that may mean that everybody has a lower standard of living than an equivalent income elsewhere. But that doesn't mean those earning 5x the median are only middle class just because they can't afford as nice a house as somebody earning 2x the median elsewhere.
That's why it's nonsensical, IMHO, to call someone 'middle class' who is making $500k in an area where the median is $80k.

That being said, most sociologists do not define social classes primarily in terms of income. Occupational prestige is widely viewed as more influential, followed by educational attainment, and only then income.
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” J.R.R. Tolkien,The Lord of the Rings

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Re: How to realistically FIRE?

Post by visualguy » Wed Mar 20, 2019 11:05 pm

KyleAAA wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 3:35 pm
visualguy wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 10:50 am
Jags4186 wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 9:21 am
Pretty sure middle class does mean the same thing in San Francisco as it does in the rest of America. Middle class people don’t live in $1mm+ homes. Those people in SF aren’t middle class regardless of the fact they may only have a 2br/1ba condo.

It’s like saying there are middle class people in Alpine, NJ or Bel Air, CA. Well no there aren’t. Everyone there is rich. You just need to be ultra rich to have more than everyone else.
The definition of "middle class", "upper-middle class", etc. has to be relative to the local economy. Otherwise, it becomes meaningless. You could say that almost everyone in the US is not middle class but rich because they are better off than most people in the rest of the world. It stops making sense once you take it out of the context of the local economy.

Yes, it is relative to the local income distribution, but not the COL directly (to the extent it isn't reflected in the income distribution). If the median income is $100k, middle class is defined accordingly. Likewise if it's $40k. If the COL is completely out of whack wrt income in certain communities, that may mean that everybody has a lower standard of living than an equivalent income elsewhere. But that doesn't mean those earning 5x the median are only middle class just because they can't afford as nice a house as somebody earning 2x the median elsewhere.
Income isn't enough. To determine where you are relative to others in the area, you need to factor in wealth as well. Income gives you only a partial picture, particularly in areas with a lot of wealth.

The Bay Area is a classic example of a place where looking just at income makes little sense. Two households with the same income can be at totally different financial levels depending on whether one benefited from a start-up sale or IPO in the past, or happened to receive many RSUs when working on a critical project in the past, or had a lot of family help or inheritance, etc.

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Re: How to realistically FIRE?

Post by smitcat » Thu Mar 21, 2019 5:23 am

willthrill81 wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 4:06 pm
KyleAAA wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 3:35 pm
visualguy wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 10:50 am
Jags4186 wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 9:21 am
Pretty sure middle class does mean the same thing in San Francisco as it does in the rest of America. Middle class people don’t live in $1mm+ homes. Those people in SF aren’t middle class regardless of the fact they may only have a 2br/1ba condo.

It’s like saying there are middle class people in Alpine, NJ or Bel Air, CA. Well no there aren’t. Everyone there is rich. You just need to be ultra rich to have more than everyone else.
The definition of "middle class", "upper-middle class", etc. has to be relative to the local economy. Otherwise, it becomes meaningless. You could say that almost everyone in the US is not middle class but rich because they are better off than most people in the rest of the world. It stops making sense once you take it out of the context of the local economy.

Yes, it is relative to the local income distribution, but not the COL directly (to the extent it isn't reflected in the income distribution). If the median income is $100k, middle class is defined accordingly. Likewise if it's $40k. If the COL is completely out of whack wrt income in certain communities, that may mean that everybody has a lower standard of living than an equivalent income elsewhere. But that doesn't mean those earning 5x the median are only middle class just because they can't afford as nice a house as somebody earning 2x the median elsewhere.
That's why it's nonsensical, IMHO, to call someone 'middle class' who is making $500k in an area where the median is $80k.

That being said, most sociologists do not define social classes primarily in terms of income. Occupational prestige is widely viewed as more influential, followed by educational attainment, and only then income.

"That being said, most sociologists do not define social classes primarily in terms of income. Occupational prestige is widely viewed as more influential, followed by educational attainment, and only then income."
Steve Jobs is middle class then.

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Re: How to realistically FIRE?

Post by Wiggums » Thu Mar 21, 2019 6:10 am

KlangFool wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 9:35 am
Wanderingwheelz wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 9:06 am
Simple question.

Is 25x expenses/spending really a “safe” way to look at one’s ability or preparedness to retire? I realize it get safer to use such “rules of thumb” as you get older, but even for a 50 year old, is it still “within the margin of safety” to use the 25x figure? Two SSs will be there, but not using it in any calculations. Inheritances not calculated, either.

Portfolio is 60/40 using the 3 Fund Portfolio.
Wanderingwheelz,

The answer is highly dependent on your annual expense.

For example, if your annual expense is 60K and you are around 50 years old, your number is 1.5 million. But, your social security benefit with 2 persons, is probably around 30K per year. So, your 1.5 million is 50X when you can withdraw social security. You have a big safety margin because of the social security cover 50% of the annual expense. Meanwhile, for someone with 120K of annual expense, the 25X number = 3 million may not be good enough.

KlangFool
I use the same logic that KlangFool presented here. A safety margin is important to me because life happens.

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Wanderingwheelz
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Re: How to realistically FIRE?

Post by Wanderingwheelz » Thu Mar 21, 2019 9:20 am

HEDGEFUNDIE wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 10:26 am
Jags4186 wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 9:21 am
Wanderingwheelz wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 4:07 pm
It’s shame the SF Bay Area totally took over this thread, since each one of us already knows that it’s incredibly unlike the vast majority of America.

Middle class doesn’t mean the same thing in San Francisco as it does in Cleveland. We get it.

The ability to FIRE is affected by cost of living as well as earned income, and both of those are higher in San Francisco than Cleveland. It’s all relative.
Pretty sure middle class does mean the same thing in San Francisco as it does in the rest of America. Middle class people don’t live in $1mm+ homes. Those people in SF aren’t middle class regardless of the fact they may only have a 2br/1ba condo.

It’s like saying there are middle class people in Alpine, NJ or Bel Air, CA. Well no there aren’t. Everyone there is rich. You just need to be ultra rich to have more than everyone else.
Pretty much everyone on my block has normal blue collar / service jobs that bring in less than $100k per household. Middle class by any definition.

The key difference is they all bought their homes 20+ years ago and now all have over $1M in home equity.

So are they middle class or not?
A higher percentage of low/middle income people who’ve seen exponential appreciation in their home have cashed it out, than you might think. Whether it be for discretionary spending or for a noble cause like educating themselves or their kids, it’s gone.

This isn’t just a low/middle income phenomenon either. High income people do the same thing. My wife and I both own discretionary retail businesses and we have a chunk of savings that we call our “bubble money” we earned years ago during the first fake housing run up. It was all home equity “cash out” discretionary spending during the go-go times where every homeowner was experiencing the wealth effect on steroids. She and I treat that money carefully since to one degree or another it was a gift. Perhaps we’re about to get another massive gift if the Fed is intent on cutting rates back to nothing. :sharebeer

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Re: How to realistically FIRE?

Post by willthrill81 » Thu Mar 21, 2019 9:37 am

smitcat wrote:
Thu Mar 21, 2019 5:23 am
willthrill81 wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 4:06 pm
KyleAAA wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 3:35 pm
visualguy wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 10:50 am
Jags4186 wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 9:21 am
Pretty sure middle class does mean the same thing in San Francisco as it does in the rest of America. Middle class people don’t live in $1mm+ homes. Those people in SF aren’t middle class regardless of the fact they may only have a 2br/1ba condo.

It’s like saying there are middle class people in Alpine, NJ or Bel Air, CA. Well no there aren’t. Everyone there is rich. You just need to be ultra rich to have more than everyone else.
The definition of "middle class", "upper-middle class", etc. has to be relative to the local economy. Otherwise, it becomes meaningless. You could say that almost everyone in the US is not middle class but rich because they are better off than most people in the rest of the world. It stops making sense once you take it out of the context of the local economy.

Yes, it is relative to the local income distribution, but not the COL directly (to the extent it isn't reflected in the income distribution). If the median income is $100k, middle class is defined accordingly. Likewise if it's $40k. If the COL is completely out of whack wrt income in certain communities, that may mean that everybody has a lower standard of living than an equivalent income elsewhere. But that doesn't mean those earning 5x the median are only middle class just because they can't afford as nice a house as somebody earning 2x the median elsewhere.
That's why it's nonsensical, IMHO, to call someone 'middle class' who is making $500k in an area where the median is $80k.

That being said, most sociologists do not define social classes primarily in terms of income. Occupational prestige is widely viewed as more influential, followed by educational attainment, and only then income.

"That being said, most sociologists do not define social classes primarily in terms of income. Occupational prestige is widely viewed as more influential, followed by educational attainment, and only then income."
Steve Jobs is middle class then.
Being the CEO of the largest publicly traded company on the planet carried a lot of occupational prestige.

I'm just telling you what the sociologists say. When you really think about it, it makes a lot of sense for occupational prestige to carry more weight than income. For instance, an Alaskan crab fisherman probably has a higher income than a typical English professor, but the latter is usually viewed as having a higher social standing.
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” J.R.R. Tolkien,The Lord of the Rings

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Re: How to realistically FIRE?

Post by smitcat » Thu Mar 21, 2019 9:42 am

willthrill81 wrote:
Thu Mar 21, 2019 9:37 am
smitcat wrote:
Thu Mar 21, 2019 5:23 am
willthrill81 wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 4:06 pm
KyleAAA wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 3:35 pm
visualguy wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 10:50 am


The definition of "middle class", "upper-middle class", etc. has to be relative to the local economy. Otherwise, it becomes meaningless. You could say that almost everyone in the US is not middle class but rich because they are better off than most people in the rest of the world. It stops making sense once you take it out of the context of the local economy.

Yes, it is relative to the local income distribution, but not the COL directly (to the extent it isn't reflected in the income distribution). If the median income is $100k, middle class is defined accordingly. Likewise if it's $40k. If the COL is completely out of whack wrt income in certain communities, that may mean that everybody has a lower standard of living than an equivalent income elsewhere. But that doesn't mean those earning 5x the median are only middle class just because they can't afford as nice a house as somebody earning 2x the median elsewhere.
That's why it's nonsensical, IMHO, to call someone 'middle class' who is making $500k in an area where the median is $80k.

That being said, most sociologists do not define social classes primarily in terms of income. Occupational prestige is widely viewed as more influential, followed by educational attainment, and only then income.

"That being said, most sociologists do not define social classes primarily in terms of income. Occupational prestige is widely viewed as more influential, followed by educational attainment, and only then income."
Steve Jobs is middle class then.
Being the CEO of the largest publicly traded company on the planet carried a lot of occupational prestige.

I'm just telling you what the sociologists say. When you really think about it, it makes a lot of sense for occupational prestige to carry more weight than income. For instance, an Alaskan crab fisherman probably has a higher income than a typical English professor, but the latter is usually viewed as having a higher social standing.
"Being the CEO of the largest publicly traded company on the planet carried a lot of occupational prestige."
Well I do not agree but I am intrigued...
So the CEO title is one of the keys.
A CEO title in front of a business card counts heavily then.
Or is it the CEO of the largest traded company?
So a CEO who is a professor at a college earning $45K is middle class?
A plumber earning $500K in the same area is not?

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Re: How to realistically FIRE?

Post by willthrill81 » Thu Mar 21, 2019 9:54 am

smitcat wrote:
Thu Mar 21, 2019 9:42 am
willthrill81 wrote:
Thu Mar 21, 2019 9:37 am
smitcat wrote:
Thu Mar 21, 2019 5:23 am
willthrill81 wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 4:06 pm
KyleAAA wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 3:35 pm


Yes, it is relative to the local income distribution, but not the COL directly (to the extent it isn't reflected in the income distribution). If the median income is $100k, middle class is defined accordingly. Likewise if it's $40k. If the COL is completely out of whack wrt income in certain communities, that may mean that everybody has a lower standard of living than an equivalent income elsewhere. But that doesn't mean those earning 5x the median are only middle class just because they can't afford as nice a house as somebody earning 2x the median elsewhere.
That's why it's nonsensical, IMHO, to call someone 'middle class' who is making $500k in an area where the median is $80k.

That being said, most sociologists do not define social classes primarily in terms of income. Occupational prestige is widely viewed as more influential, followed by educational attainment, and only then income.

"That being said, most sociologists do not define social classes primarily in terms of income. Occupational prestige is widely viewed as more influential, followed by educational attainment, and only then income."
Steve Jobs is middle class then.
Being the CEO of the largest publicly traded company on the planet carried a lot of occupational prestige.

I'm just telling you what the sociologists say. When you really think about it, it makes a lot of sense for occupational prestige to carry more weight than income. For instance, an Alaskan crab fisherman probably has a higher income than a typical English professor, but the latter is usually viewed as having a higher social standing.
"Being the CEO of the largest publicly traded company on the planet carried a lot of occupational prestige."
Well I do not agree but I am intrigued...
So the CEO title is one of the keys.
A CEO title in front of a business card counts heavily then.
Or is it the CEO of the largest traded company?
So a CEO who is a professor at a college earning $45K is middle class?
A plumber earning $500K in the same area is not?
Then you might want to get a Ph.D. in sociology and argue in peer-reviewed journal articles as to how social class should be determined.

Image
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” J.R.R. Tolkien,The Lord of the Rings

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Re: How to realistically FIRE?

Post by smitcat » Thu Mar 21, 2019 10:19 am

willthrill81 wrote:
Thu Mar 21, 2019 9:54 am
smitcat wrote:
Thu Mar 21, 2019 9:42 am
willthrill81 wrote:
Thu Mar 21, 2019 9:37 am
smitcat wrote:
Thu Mar 21, 2019 5:23 am
willthrill81 wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 4:06 pm


That's why it's nonsensical, IMHO, to call someone 'middle class' who is making $500k in an area where the median is $80k.

That being said, most sociologists do not define social classes primarily in terms of income. Occupational prestige is widely viewed as more influential, followed by educational attainment, and only then income.

"That being said, most sociologists do not define social classes primarily in terms of income. Occupational prestige is widely viewed as more influential, followed by educational attainment, and only then income."
Steve Jobs is middle class then.
Being the CEO of the largest publicly traded company on the planet carried a lot of occupational prestige.

I'm just telling you what the sociologists say. When you really think about it, it makes a lot of sense for occupational prestige to carry more weight than income. For instance, an Alaskan crab fisherman probably has a higher income than a typical English professor, but the latter is usually viewed as having a higher social standing.
"Being the CEO of the largest publicly traded company on the planet carried a lot of occupational prestige."
Well I do not agree but I am intrigued...
So the CEO title is one of the keys.
A CEO title in front of a business card counts heavily then.
Or is it the CEO of the largest traded company?
So a CEO who is a professor at a college earning $45K is middle class?
A plumber earning $500K in the same area is not?
Then you might want to get a Ph.D. in sociology and argue in peer-reviewed journal articles as to how social class should be determined.

Image
"Then you might want to get a Ph.D. in sociology and argue in peer-reviewed journal articles as to how social class should be determined."
No thank you - it is irrelevant and worthless in my world.

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Re: How to realistically FIRE?

Post by willthrill81 » Thu Mar 21, 2019 10:25 am

smitcat wrote:
Thu Mar 21, 2019 10:19 am
"Then you might want to get a Ph.D. in sociology and argue in peer-reviewed journal articles as to how social class should be determined."
No thank you - it is irrelevant and worthless in my world.
In large part, I similarly believe that there isn't much value in people around here worrying about how they should label themselves. Unless used as part of some other framework for decision-making, labels don't help us get anywhere.
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” J.R.R. Tolkien,The Lord of the Rings

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Re: How to realistically FIRE?

Post by smitcat » Thu Mar 21, 2019 10:28 am

willthrill81 wrote:
Thu Mar 21, 2019 10:25 am
smitcat wrote:
Thu Mar 21, 2019 10:19 am
"Then you might want to get a Ph.D. in sociology and argue in peer-reviewed journal articles as to how social class should be determined."
No thank you - it is irrelevant and worthless in my world.
In large part, I similarly believe that there isn't much value in people around here worrying about how they should label themselves. Unless used as part of some other framework for decision-making, labels don't help us get anywhere.
"labels don't help us get anywhere."
absolutely agree...

BTW - upper middle class @ $100K is laughable unto itself.

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Re: How to realistically FIRE?

Post by willthrill81 » Thu Mar 21, 2019 10:33 am

smitcat wrote:
Thu Mar 21, 2019 10:28 am
BTW - upper middle class @ $100K is laughable unto itself.
As noted above, it depends on where you are. There are many places in the U.S. where that's easily double the median household income. But generally, most social class models state that the lower limit of most upper-middle class households is more like $125k. Meh.
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” J.R.R. Tolkien,The Lord of the Rings

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Re: How to realistically FIRE?

Post by smitcat » Thu Mar 21, 2019 10:42 am

willthrill81 wrote:
Thu Mar 21, 2019 10:33 am
smitcat wrote:
Thu Mar 21, 2019 10:28 am
BTW - upper middle class @ $100K is laughable unto itself.
As noted above, it depends on where you are. There are many places in the U.S. where that's easily double the median household income. But generally, most social class models state that the lower limit of most upper-middle class households is more like $125k. Meh.
Well maybe - but a two earner household each earning minimum wage is over $62K.
Even average retirement incomes are higher than $60K per year.

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Re: How to realistically FIRE?

Post by randomguy » Thu Mar 21, 2019 10:46 am

willthrill81 wrote:
Thu Mar 21, 2019 10:33 am
smitcat wrote:
Thu Mar 21, 2019 10:28 am
BTW - upper middle class @ $100K is laughable unto itself.
As noted above, it depends on where you are. There are many places in the U.S. where that's easily double the median household income. But generally, most social class models state that the lower limit of most upper-middle class households is more like $125k. Meh.
Data is 13 years old. Inflation probably adds 30‰ to those numbers.😁

But yes the general trend is everyone making from 30k to 500k all think of them selves middle class. And while it is true to some extent (roughly the same issues just different scales. Buying 100k houses versus 1 million dollar ones) there are also a ton of differences. In general the people making 300k(even in NYC and SF) who talk about being middle class come across as out of touch. Yes paying 100k/year in taxes is a lot. So is paying 8k/month in housing. But you still have 8k/month to spend which is more than what most people make by a good margin.

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Re: How to realistically FIRE?

Post by randomguy » Thu Mar 21, 2019 10:50 am

smitcat wrote:
Thu Mar 21, 2019 10:42 am
willthrill81 wrote:
Thu Mar 21, 2019 10:33 am
smitcat wrote:
Thu Mar 21, 2019 10:28 am
BTW - upper middle class @ $100K is laughable unto itself.
As noted above, it depends on where you are. There are many places in the U.S. where that's easily double the median household income. But generally, most social class models state that the lower limit of most upper-middle class households is more like $125k. Meh.
Well maybe - but a two earner household each earning minimum wage is over $62K.
Even average retirement incomes are higher than $60K per year.
Min wage is not 15+/hour is most (all? Not sure if anyone has actually finished phasing it in) of the country. Min wage for most of the US is 7.5 so we are talking 15k/year. Unclear if that chart is household or individual income

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Re: How to realistically FIRE?

Post by willthrill81 » Thu Mar 21, 2019 10:54 am

randomguy wrote:
Thu Mar 21, 2019 10:46 am
willthrill81 wrote:
Thu Mar 21, 2019 10:33 am
smitcat wrote:
Thu Mar 21, 2019 10:28 am
BTW - upper middle class @ $100K is laughable unto itself.
As noted above, it depends on where you are. There are many places in the U.S. where that's easily double the median household income. But generally, most social class models state that the lower limit of most upper-middle class households is more like $125k. Meh.
Data is 13 years old. Inflation probably adds 30‰ to those numbers.😁

But yes the general trend is everyone making from 30k to 500k all think of them selves middle class. And while it is true to some extent (roughly the same issues just different scales. Buying 100k houses versus 1 million dollar ones) there are also a ton of differences. In general the people making 300k(even in NYC and SF) who talk about being middle class come across as out of touch. Yes paying 100k/year in taxes is a lot. So is paying 8k/month in housing. But you still have 8k/month to spend which is more than what most people make by a good margin.
And I haven't heard of anyone defining social class in terms of how much money they have left over after paying for taxes, housing, etc. The very nature of being able to live in certain areas pretty much guarantees that you aren't 'middle-class'.

It's very intriguing that people tend to want as high of an income as possible but still don't want the stigma of being labeled as anything other than middle-class.
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” J.R.R. Tolkien,The Lord of the Rings

EddyB
Posts: 1232
Joined: Fri May 24, 2013 3:43 pm

Re: How to realistically FIRE?

Post by EddyB » Thu Mar 21, 2019 11:18 am

willthrill81 wrote:
Thu Mar 21, 2019 10:54 am
randomguy wrote:
Thu Mar 21, 2019 10:46 am
willthrill81 wrote:
Thu Mar 21, 2019 10:33 am
smitcat wrote:
Thu Mar 21, 2019 10:28 am
BTW - upper middle class @ $100K is laughable unto itself.
As noted above, it depends on where you are. There are many places in the U.S. where that's easily double the median household income. But generally, most social class models state that the lower limit of most upper-middle class households is more like $125k. Meh.
Data is 13 years old. Inflation probably adds 30‰ to those numbers.😁

But yes the general trend is everyone making from 30k to 500k all think of them selves middle class. And while it is true to some extent (roughly the same issues just different scales. Buying 100k houses versus 1 million dollar ones) there are also a ton of differences. In general the people making 300k(even in NYC and SF) who talk about being middle class come across as out of touch. Yes paying 100k/year in taxes is a lot. So is paying 8k/month in housing. But you still have 8k/month to spend which is more than what most people make by a good margin.
And I haven't heard of anyone defining social class in terms of how much money they have left over after paying for taxes, housing, etc. The very nature of being able to live in certain areas pretty much guarantees that you aren't 'middle-class'.

It's very intriguing that people tend to want as high of an income as possible but still don't want the stigma of being labeled as anything other than middle-class.
I think it's partly because treatment or characterization of "the rich" is often based on an extreme that's pretty far from their lives. One label to cover someone who makes $500,000 and someone who makes $5,000,000 or $50,000,000 necessarily misses important differences in circumstances.
Last edited by EddyB on Thu Mar 21, 2019 11:31 am, edited 1 time in total.

smitcat
Posts: 5164
Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2016 10:51 am

Re: How to realistically FIRE?

Post by smitcat » Thu Mar 21, 2019 11:21 am

randomguy wrote:
Thu Mar 21, 2019 10:50 am
smitcat wrote:
Thu Mar 21, 2019 10:42 am
willthrill81 wrote:
Thu Mar 21, 2019 10:33 am
smitcat wrote:
Thu Mar 21, 2019 10:28 am
BTW - upper middle class @ $100K is laughable unto itself.
As noted above, it depends on where you are. There are many places in the U.S. where that's easily double the median household income. But generally, most social class models state that the lower limit of most upper-middle class households is more like $125k. Meh.
Well maybe - but a two earner household each earning minimum wage is over $62K.
Even average retirement incomes are higher than $60K per year.
Min wage is not 15+/hour is most (all? Not sure if anyone has actually finished phasing it in) of the country. Min wage for most of the US is 7.5 so we are talking 15k/year. Unclear if that chart is household or individual income
It is here ...
Practically speaking most everyone makes more than that with a little time or any experience.
Last edited by smitcat on Thu Mar 21, 2019 11:24 am, edited 1 time in total.

smitcat
Posts: 5164
Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2016 10:51 am

Re: How to realistically FIRE?

Post by smitcat » Thu Mar 21, 2019 11:23 am

randomguy wrote:
Thu Mar 21, 2019 10:46 am
willthrill81 wrote:
Thu Mar 21, 2019 10:33 am
smitcat wrote:
Thu Mar 21, 2019 10:28 am
BTW - upper middle class @ $100K is laughable unto itself.
As noted above, it depends on where you are. There are many places in the U.S. where that's easily double the median household income. But generally, most social class models state that the lower limit of most upper-middle class households is more like $125k. Meh.
Data is 13 years old. Inflation probably adds 30‰ to those numbers.😁

But yes the general trend is everyone making from 30k to 500k all think of them selves middle class. And while it is true to some extent (roughly the same issues just different scales. Buying 100k houses versus 1 million dollar ones) there are also a ton of differences. In general the people making 300k(even in NYC and SF) who talk about being middle class come across as out of touch. Yes paying 100k/year in taxes is a lot. So is paying 8k/month in housing. But you still have 8k/month to spend which is more than what most people make by a good margin.

"Data is 13 years old. Inflation probably adds 30‰ to those numbers.😁"
Too funny - I shoulda figured.

stoptothink
Posts: 7187
Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 9:53 am

Re: How to realistically FIRE?

Post by stoptothink » Thu Mar 21, 2019 11:32 am

smitcat wrote:
Thu Mar 21, 2019 11:21 am
randomguy wrote:
Thu Mar 21, 2019 10:50 am
smitcat wrote:
Thu Mar 21, 2019 10:42 am
willthrill81 wrote:
Thu Mar 21, 2019 10:33 am
smitcat wrote:
Thu Mar 21, 2019 10:28 am
BTW - upper middle class @ $100K is laughable unto itself.
As noted above, it depends on where you are. There are many places in the U.S. where that's easily double the median household income. But generally, most social class models state that the lower limit of most upper-middle class households is more like $125k. Meh.
Well maybe - but a two earner household each earning minimum wage is over $62K.
Even average retirement incomes are higher than $60K per year.
Min wage is not 15+/hour is most (all? Not sure if anyone has actually finished phasing it in) of the country. Min wage for most of the US is 7.5 so we are talking 15k/year. Unclear if that chart is household or individual income
It is here ...
Practically speaking most everyone makes more than that with a little time or any experience.
The data is the data, median household income in this country is somewhere in the neighborhood of $60k/yr; you have some cognitive bias.

User avatar
Fieldsy1024
Posts: 710
Joined: Sun Feb 24, 2013 8:23 am

Re: How to realistically FIRE?

Post by Fieldsy1024 » Thu Mar 21, 2019 11:42 am

smitcat wrote:
Thu Mar 21, 2019 10:28 am
willthrill81 wrote:
Thu Mar 21, 2019 10:25 am
smitcat wrote:
Thu Mar 21, 2019 10:19 am
"Then you might want to get a Ph.D. in sociology and argue in peer-reviewed journal articles as to how social class should be determined."
No thank you - it is irrelevant and worthless in my world.
In large part, I similarly believe that there isn't much value in people around here worrying about how they should label themselves. Unless used as part of some other framework for decision-making, labels don't help us get anywhere.
"labels don't help us get anywhere."
absolutely agree...

BTW - upper middle class @ $100K is laughable unto itself.
That chart seems a little off. I earn about 100-120k and don't consider myself a professional. Also I didn't graduate college due to not knowing what I want to do with my life as far as career. That is why I jumped at the chance (luckily listened to my dad) to work where my dad worked at Boeing as an Inspector.

User avatar
HomerJ
Posts: 14114
Joined: Fri Jun 06, 2008 12:50 pm

Re: How to realistically FIRE?

Post by HomerJ » Thu Mar 21, 2019 11:44 am

willthrill81 wrote:
Thu Mar 21, 2019 10:54 am
It's very intriguing that people tend to want as high of an income as possible but still don't want the stigma of being labeled as anything other than middle-class.
It is interesting that there is a perceived stigma to being rich.

But I have to tell the rich people (and myself)... Pretending you are middle-class when you are rich make you look even worse.
The J stands for Jay

smitcat
Posts: 5164
Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2016 10:51 am

Re: How to realistically FIRE?

Post by smitcat » Thu Mar 21, 2019 11:53 am

stoptothink wrote:
Thu Mar 21, 2019 11:32 am
smitcat wrote:
Thu Mar 21, 2019 11:21 am
randomguy wrote:
Thu Mar 21, 2019 10:50 am
smitcat wrote:
Thu Mar 21, 2019 10:42 am
willthrill81 wrote:
Thu Mar 21, 2019 10:33 am


As noted above, it depends on where you are. There are many places in the U.S. where that's easily double the median household income. But generally, most social class models state that the lower limit of most upper-middle class households is more like $125k. Meh.
Well maybe - but a two earner household each earning minimum wage is over $62K.
Even average retirement incomes are higher than $60K per year.
Min wage is not 15+/hour is most (all? Not sure if anyone has actually finished phasing it in) of the country. Min wage for most of the US is 7.5 so we are talking 15k/year. Unclear if that chart is household or individual income
It is here ...
Practically speaking most everyone makes more than that with a little time or any experience.
The data is the data, median household income in this country is somewhere in the neighborhood of $60k/yr; you have some cognitive bias.
Average income in retirement is more than $60K.

User avatar
Time2Quit
Posts: 244
Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2018 9:47 am
Location: Fridgid State

Re: How to realistically FIRE?

Post by Time2Quit » Thu Mar 21, 2019 11:58 am

smitcat wrote:
Thu Mar 21, 2019 11:53 am


Average income in retirement is more than $60K.
Where did you get this number from? Seems contrary to conventional wisdom.
"It is not the man who has too little, but the man who craves more, that is poor." --Seneca

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