Low Income, High Net Worth - Stories Of

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills
leonard
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Re: Low Income, High Net Worth - Stories Of

Post by leonard » Tue Jan 21, 2014 12:24 pm

Many here seem to be committing a logical fallacy.

Even if many bogleheads have a nice net worth - it does not follow that you have to have a larg-ish net worth to be a boglehead. Being a boglehead is an approach to finances and investing - it's not defined in any way by a net worth number.

So, all this talk about not being comfortable with bogleheads because one perceives them to have a lot of money is nonsense.
Leonard | | Market Timing: Do you seriously think you can predict the future? What else do the voices tell you? | | If employees weren't taking jobs with bad 401k's, bad 401k's wouldn't exist.

leonard
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Re: Low Income, High Net Worth - Stories Of

Post by leonard » Tue Jan 21, 2014 12:27 pm

rob wrote:
fisher_man89 wrote:
brajalle wrote: 6. Having kids is a huge financial drain. Even with all of the above, on a modest income, my view is, with kids, you have a choice - you won't be able to travel, save for retirement, buy a house, and have financial security (not including home & retirement). At best, you may have two of those (with 1 kid) or one of those (2+). Just be aware of the potential trade-offs.
I disagree and speak from experience.
Kids are people and need very little, yet want much.
The great thing about children is that parents decided what they get and how much of a "financial drain" they are.
What kids need most is free: love, encouragement, protection, boundaries, and instruction.

If a parent buys their children everything they want or what their friends have, then financially they are costly.
But is an adult does the same, the story is also the same.
Why can't children do with less than other children, yet have their needs met?

Saving is a simple formula, that does not involve the number of children, just what one spends.
Sacrifices can be make with children and they can be potentially better off for it.
This is an emotional topic but I see this as an emotional response.... kids are very expensive regardless of how much people might want to downplay that cost - and I have 3 kids so I'm not speaking about the other side of the fence. We pay for larger houses, have FAR higher running costs for almost everything (medical, travel, food, education, cloths e.t.c.) and a some of us get by with one salary instead of two e.t.c. It's a vast cost....... I'm not saying it comes with no benefits but can we at least be honest about the real financial cost. I admit that I will work for years and years longer and have far less money for other purposes than I could otherwise because of having kids.
Completely agree. Raising kids on the cheap still does not mean that they are cheap.
Leonard | | Market Timing: Do you seriously think you can predict the future? What else do the voices tell you? | | If employees weren't taking jobs with bad 401k's, bad 401k's wouldn't exist.

555
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Re: Low Income, High Net Worth - Stories Of

Post by 555 » Tue Jan 21, 2014 12:47 pm

leonard wrote:
rob wrote:
fisher_man89 wrote:
brajalle wrote: 6. Having kids is a huge financial drain. Even with all of the above, on a modest income, my view is, with kids, you have a choice - you won't be able to travel, save for retirement, buy a house, and have financial security (not including home & retirement). At best, you may have two of those (with 1 kid) or one of those (2+). Just be aware of the potential trade-offs.
I disagree and speak from experience.
Kids are people and need very little, yet want much.
The great thing about children is that parents decided what they get and how much of a "financial drain" they are.
What kids need most is free: love, encouragement, protection, boundaries, and instruction.

If a parent buys their children everything they want or what their friends have, then financially they are costly.
But is an adult does the same, the story is also the same.
Why can't children do with less than other children, yet have their needs met?

Saving is a simple formula, that does not involve the number of children, just what one spends.
Sacrifices can be make with children and they can be potentially better off for it.
This is an emotional topic but I see this as an emotional response.... kids are very expensive regardless of how much people might want to downplay that cost - and I have 3 kids so I'm not speaking about the other side of the fence. We pay for larger houses, have FAR higher running costs for almost everything (medical, travel, food, education, cloths e.t.c.) and a some of us get by with one salary instead of two e.t.c. It's a vast cost....... I'm not saying it comes with no benefits but can we at least be honest about the real financial cost. I admit that I will work for years and years longer and have far less money for other purposes than I could otherwise because of having kids.
Completely agree. Raising kids on the cheap still does not mean that they are cheap.
No, kids just don't cost much. I think what we are seeing is that there are posters from two different planets called HCOL and LCOL.

Imbros
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Re: Low Income, High Net Worth - Stories Of

Post by Imbros » Tue Jan 21, 2014 12:55 pm

nirvines88 wrote:I'm lucky to have health insurance covered by employer. An approximate breakdown below:

450 rent (town home with one roommate)
~80-100 utilities (my share of internet = 18, power usually 50-60, gas another 10 or so)
~200-500 CC bill (groceries, gas, going out, etc. - hit 500 due to Christmas)
50 car insurance

~1400 to 401k
~450 to Roth IRA (although I max this out at beginning of year)

Could be forgetting something, but yeah, it's about $1,000/mo. Sometimes a couple hundred less, sometimes a few hundred more. Running shoes, beer, and pizza are probably the biggest discretionary expenses, and I'm not sure in which order. :beer
That is like looking at my own budget (except biking/hiking gear replace running shoes in my case) :sharebeer
There is no greatness where there is no simplicity, goodness and truth. -L. Tolstoy

angelescrest
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Re: Low Income, High Net Worth - Stories Of

Post by angelescrest » Tue Jan 21, 2014 12:56 pm

leonard wrote:Many here seem to be committing a logical fallacy.

Even if many bogleheads have a nice net worth - it does not follow that you have to have a larg-ish net worth to be a boglehead. Being a boglehead is an approach to finances and investing - it's not defined in any way by a net worth number.

So, all this talk about not being comfortable with bogleheads because one perceives them to have a lot of money is nonsense.
I don't think anyone who posted here would disagree that being a boglehead is about an approach to handling one's finances. In the same way you're making a logical fallacy by equating that with one's comfort level on the boglehead forum. Many people are easily intimidated by others who have greater economic means, even if they might have a boglehead approach. Sharing stories of those in the perceived minority--low income, high net worth, aims to encourage them to believe that a good retirement can still happen if you make below median income. If you make several hundred thousand dollars a year, it's easier to put away a large percentage of your income. If you make $35,000, it's a lot harder. Some people would like to know how that's done.

Perceptions can become one's reality, so arguing what's logical is hardly helpful--calling it nonsense is simply counterproductive and dismissive.
Last edited by angelescrest on Tue Jan 21, 2014 6:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

bigcmagor
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Re: Low Income, High Net Worth - Stories Of

Post by bigcmagor » Tue Jan 21, 2014 4:08 pm

I have to brag about Mom in response to this question. In her 75 years of life, her only adult employment was substitute teaching. She accumulated enough days (five full time years equivalent) to qualify for lifetime health benefits - now serving as my parents supplemental policy. She started investing in her twenties with $5,000 in seed money from her father. She was a coupon queen, often leaving grocery and drug stores with a cart full of goods for just a few dollars. The seed money and her savings were invested. She began by researching and picking individual stocks since mutual funds didn't exist. She now has over $3 million in her portfolio, including enough cash to weather another five year slump in the market. She took a paper-loss beating during the recent meltdown but had the cash to get through it and the confidence that the market would recover. She still drives the 1985 Lincoln she bought new with a dividend check and yes, she still clips coupons.

stoptothink
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Re: Low Income, High Net Worth - Stories Of

Post by stoptothink » Tue Jan 21, 2014 4:20 pm

555 wrote:
leonard wrote:
rob wrote:
fisher_man89 wrote:
brajalle wrote: 6. Having kids is a huge financial drain. Even with all of the above, on a modest income, my view is, with kids, you have a choice - you won't be able to travel, save for retirement, buy a house, and have financial security (not including home & retirement). At best, you may have two of those (with 1 kid) or one of those (2+). Just be aware of the potential trade-offs.
I disagree and speak from experience.
Kids are people and need very little, yet want much.
The great thing about children is that parents decided what they get and how much of a "financial drain" they are.
What kids need most is free: love, encouragement, protection, boundaries, and instruction.

If a parent buys their children everything they want or what their friends have, then financially they are costly.
But is an adult does the same, the story is also the same.
Why can't children do with less than other children, yet have their needs met?

Saving is a simple formula, that does not involve the number of children, just what one spends.
Sacrifices can be make with children and they can be potentially better off for it.
This is an emotional topic but I see this as an emotional response.... kids are very expensive regardless of how much people might want to downplay that cost - and I have 3 kids so I'm not speaking about the other side of the fence. We pay for larger houses, have FAR higher running costs for almost everything (medical, travel, food, education, cloths e.t.c.) and a some of us get by with one salary instead of two e.t.c. It's a vast cost....... I'm not saying it comes with no benefits but can we at least be honest about the real financial cost. I admit that I will work for years and years longer and have far less money for other purposes than I could otherwise because of having kids.
Completely agree. Raising kids on the cheap still does not mean that they are cheap.
No, kids just don't cost much. I think what we are seeing is that there are posters from two different planets called HCOL and LCOL.
I am very fortunate to live in a LCOL area and have employer-subsidized child care for my 2yr old, she still costs us ~10k/yr in child care,food, diapers, insurance, clothing, etc. That is not factoring the larger apartment and car to accommodate her (among other things). I suspect $10k/yr (for one) is a fairly significant cost to most families; outside of housing costs, no other bill compares.

leonard
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Re: Low Income, High Net Worth - Stories Of

Post by leonard » Tue Jan 21, 2014 4:37 pm

boroc7 wrote:
leonard wrote:Many here seem to be committing a logical fallacy.

Even if many bogleheads have a nice net worth - it does not follow that you have to have a larg-ish net worth to be a boglehead. Being a boglehead is an approach to finances and investing - it's not defined in any way by a net worth number.

So, all this talk about not being comfortable with bogleheads because one perceives them to have a lot of money is nonsense.
I don't think anyone who posted here would disagree that being a boglehead is about an approach to handling one's finances. In the same way you're making a logical fallacy by equating that with one's comfort level on the boglehead forum. Many people are easily intimidated by others who have greater economic means, even if they might have a boglehead approach. Sharing stories of those in the perceived minority--low income, high net worth, aims to encourage them to not think that retirement can still happen if you happen to make below median income. If you make several hundred thousand dollars a year, it's easier to put away a large percentage of your income. If you make $35,000, it's a lot harder. Some people would like to know how that's done.

Perceptions can become one's reality, so arguing what's logical is hardly helpful--calling it nonsense is simply counterproductive and dismissive.
But, it's worthwhile to point out that the perception is not reality.

My point is that the boglehead approach is independent of income. Also, BEING a boglehead is independent of income. Pretty simple to keep those 2 ideas segregated.

Oh, and go ahead and outline precisely which logical fallacy I am committing. I'll book mark this thread to come back to see your which logical fallacy you cite.
Leonard | | Market Timing: Do you seriously think you can predict the future? What else do the voices tell you? | | If employees weren't taking jobs with bad 401k's, bad 401k's wouldn't exist.

generalzodschicken
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Re: Low Income, High Net Worth - Stories Of

Post by generalzodschicken » Tue Jan 21, 2014 5:00 pm

sambb wrote:my wife grew up in extreme poverty in the third world. She liked to read. Emigrated to the US. Graduated top in her high school and attended Duke, and studied hard. She made it in the world. She thinks that US kids are spoiled, as they don't study 4-6 hours every night after school, but instead watch TV and play video games. I informed her that I was one of those kids playing video games...
I'm in a similar situation. My wife grew up in extreme poverty (by US standards, anyway). Literally studied from 5 am to 10 pm every day her entire childhood until she was 26. Got her Ph.D. at an elite US university. She has never been in debt and has an insane savings rate, just out of habit...a natural Boglehead. She doesn't think anyone in the US is actually poor and thinks Americans have no real conception of poverty or hard work. I try to give her the other side of the story, but it is all very relative. I shared one of my poverty stories from my youth -- a period in which we had no electricity for 2 months after my father lost his job. She laughed and said she didn't have electricity until she was 16. She was baffled that my story was a "poverty story." Can't win.

The point is that both poverty and wealth are very subjective and relative to your cultural environment (witness the other thread with people saying $100k+ income doesn't make you a "high earner," etc.)

angelescrest
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Re: Low Income, High Net Worth - Stories Of

Post by angelescrest » Tue Jan 21, 2014 7:36 pm

leonard wrote: But, it's worthwhile to point out that the perception is not reality.

My point is that the boglehead approach is independent of income. Also, BEING a boglehead is independent of income. Pretty simple to keep those 2 ideas segregated.

Oh, and go ahead and outline precisely which logical fallacy I am committing. I'll book mark this thread to come back to see your which logical fallacy you cite.
If you look at the recent net worth survey, which is what some posts referred to, the majority of age categories have an average income above six figures--far above the median income. While not a statistical representation of bogleheads (bias due to who chooses to post and who doesn't) it's not a stretch for some to make comments (as they have in this thread) to say that their income and net worth aren't as high as what they're seeing on the forum, particularly after that recent survey.

So it's completely logical to make a general statement of comparison; it's illogical to interpret or conclude that what they're saying is that they are neither bogleheads nor take the boglehead approach. I think if you re-read what they wrote, most of them are owning up what this forum is a proponent of.

SeattleCPA
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Re: Low Income, High Net Worth - Stories Of

Post by SeattleCPA » Tue Jan 21, 2014 8:51 pm

abuss368 wrote:I read the book "Millionaire Next Door" a while back and it really opened my eyes. That was definitely a life changing event for me.
Tangentially related to this point, it's pretty interesting to look at the IRS personal wealth statistics data to focus on the picture they paint of the "wealthy".

I'm in processing of cross-tabulating some of this info here: http://evergreensmallbusiness.com/how-t ... ng-to-irs/

But what the data suggests to me is that patient, disciplined savings gets someone to an excellent net worth assuming you start early enough and live long enough.

And you don't need to make a ton. You do need to be smart about your investing, the asset allocation, your expenses, and the stuff that gets talked about here.

Oh, and have either good luck or decent insurance to get you through the rough patches. :|

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GerryL
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Re: Low Income, High Net Worth - Stories Of

Post by GerryL » Tue Jan 21, 2014 11:44 pm

As you move through your career (or work life, if you don't consider your job a career) you will probably move up in income. When you get a raise or a job with a higher salary, don't upgrade your lifestyle -- at least not at the same rate.

23 years ago I was making $28K. Felt very fortunate. (Even bought a house.) Then I lost my job and was unemployed for 18 mos. before finding another job that paid about the same. Felt very fortunate again. In the 20+ years I've been at my company (lucky again to stay employed through the ups and downs) my salary has increased to the point that I am bouncing around the max. SS limit each December. But my life style is only a little more "luxurious" than it was 20 years ago. I plan to retire next year with enough savings to feel both lucky and happy.

So, if you can live within your means today, make it your goal to live below your means next year.

MCraw25
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Re: Low Income, High Net Worth - Stories Of

Post by MCraw25 » Wed Jan 22, 2014 12:40 am

Hi,
I agree that it’s amazing how the market rewards time with interest. After college I was married with 1 car and 10K in wife student loans. Salary was about 30K. My wife and I shared a car for 2 years and knocked out the student loan debt. Eventually our income went up to about 40K we bought our second car for $400. This car was comically bad! It was almost 20 years old with No Air Conditioning (in South Carolina) and no radio, just 4 wheels and a seat. Our friends laughed at us but we avoided debt and put away as much as we could when the market was really cheap in 2007-2009. We eventually sold the car for $800 bucks but more importantly had grown a very solid nest egg for a younger couple with a below average income. Our salary did increase but so did our savings rate. Now the same peers that laughed at our old car make comments at how little they have saved. When they ask where we are with savings they don’t believe . We have two nice cars now. A small sacrifice early really gets the ball rolling!

Editron
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Re: Low Income, High Net Worth - Stories Of

Post by Editron » Wed Jan 22, 2014 7:16 am

Hard work and frugal living is all it takes. I worked 20+ years in the low-paying field of journalism and taught one college class for 15 years before bailing to go to grad school, which I've been stretching out for four years. Early on, Dad said, "You work hard for your money; you should make your money work hard for you." So I contributed to my 401(k) and invested in a few mutual funds. As my pay rose, I eventually put the max of 20% toward retirement. In the mid-90s, when any monkey could make money in the stock market, a small 10-stock portfolio grew into a down payment on a house. (Thanks, Motley Fool.)

My net worth is small compared to that of many here, but it's more than I could have imagined 20 years ago. And I got here a dollar at a time -- becoming a decent cook, avoiding credit card interest, learning to do my own home repairs, enjoying nature more than nightlife, and being truly content with a simple and sufficient lifestyle not based on acquisition and consumption.

cowboysFan
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Re: Low Income, High Net Worth - Stories Of

Post by cowboysFan » Sun Jan 26, 2014 5:15 pm

555 wrote: I think what we are seeing is that there are posters from two different planets called HCOL and LCOL.
Other than housing, I don't think most expenses really vary much by where you live. Most household stuff can be bought online. Car dealerships can't really charge a cola premium or else people would drive a few hours to a cheaper dealership. Vacations cost the same. A ruth's chris dinner isn't much cheaper in Indianapolis than in Manhattan.

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GerryL
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Re: Low Income, High Net Worth - Stories Of

Post by GerryL » Mon Jan 27, 2014 1:13 am

cowboysFan wrote:
555 wrote: I think what we are seeing is that there are posters from two different planets called HCOL and LCOL.
Other than housing, I don't think most expenses really vary much by where you live. Most household stuff can be bought online. Car dealerships can't really charge a cola premium or else people would drive a few hours to a cheaper dealership. Vacations cost the same. A ruth's chris dinner isn't much cheaper in Indianapolis than in Manhattan.
Well, there is Hawaii, where I went to school. Almost everything has to be shipped in. Strangely, even pineapple.

555
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Re: Low Income, High Net Worth - Stories Of

Post by 555 » Mon Jan 27, 2014 5:07 am

cowboysFan wrote:
555 wrote: I think what we are seeing is that there are posters from two different planets called HCOL and LCOL.
Other than housing, I don't think most expenses really vary much by where you live. Most household stuff can be bought online. Car dealerships can't really charge a cola premium or else people would drive a few hours to a cheaper dealership. Vacations cost the same. A ruth's chris dinner isn't much cheaper in Indianapolis than in Manhattan.
My comment was in the context of the "debate" between those who say kids are cheap, and those who say kids are expensive.

rogermexico
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Re: Low Income, High Net Worth - Stories Of

Post by rogermexico » Mon Jan 27, 2014 3:11 pm

As for "high net worth" I think it's more useful to think in terms of how many years of your average living expenses that you have saved up. I have about 12.5 years of expenses covered by my net worth.
I'm at 3 kids, 5 figure income, early 40s so think I'm in pretty good shape. Our savings rate is usually around 30% into a lazy portfolio (in low cost of living area). Also got a big boost from small business income (multi-family rental properties).
Regarding the kids, sure they're a significant expense but worth it for me. With the kids I'll still retire with at least twice what I need. Without them I'd probably have 4x what was needed but might not have anyone with which to enjoy it.

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Bogle101
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Re: Low Income, High Net Worth - Stories Of

Post by Bogle101 » Mon Jan 27, 2014 6:17 pm

I did not read through every single post, but from the first several I read through a few members had commented about how children are a financial drain and could delay or even completely ruin ones retirement goals. I am 29 and think there are quite a few young people who read this forum and rely on it for advice. And in my early twenties I had decided I would never settle down and have kids. And I just wanted to point out that while children are obviously expensive (I base this on my experience of how much I cost my parents just based on my education, not because I actually have kids or know the first thing about raising a child), I think that they are a very important part of life. Through conversations with my parents, family members, adult friends, news stories and just seeing how strangers treat their children, I am supremely convinced that having a child is what it is all about. What is the point of living frugally and allowing oneself the chance to retire early or have a super comfortable retirement at the cost of not having even just one child. That sounds like a recipe for a very selfish, unfulfilling and lonely retirement to me. I understand that YMMV, but choosing not to have a child just because of the financial drain sounds like you are sacrificing something huge. Go visit a third world country, like other posters have said what a child really needs can be provided for free. /rant over
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Ricola
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Re: Low Income, High Net Worth - Stories Of

Post by Ricola » Mon Jan 27, 2014 6:33 pm


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tennisplyr
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Re: Low Income, High Net Worth - Stories Of

Post by tennisplyr » Tue Jan 28, 2014 5:34 pm

Save when you can, try to live below your means, and invest wisely (a la Bogleheads). Some good fortune, eg, inheritance, can't hurt.
Those who move forward with a happy spirit will find that things always work out.

leonard
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Re: Low Income, High Net Worth - Stories Of

Post by leonard » Tue Jan 28, 2014 5:45 pm

Bogle101 wrote:I did not read through every single post, but from the first several I read through a few members had commented about how children are a financial drain and could delay or even completely ruin ones retirement goals. I am 29 and think there are quite a few young people who read this forum and rely on it for advice. And in my early twenties I had decided I would never settle down and have kids. And I just wanted to point out that while children are obviously expensive (I base this on my experience of how much I cost my parents just based on my education, not because I actually have kids or know the first thing about raising a child), I think that they are a very important part of life. Through conversations with my parents, family members, adult friends, news stories and just seeing how strangers treat their children, I am supremely convinced that having a child is what it is all about. What is the point of living frugally and allowing oneself the chance to retire early or have a super comfortable retirement at the cost of not having even just one child. That sounds like a recipe for a very selfish, unfulfilling and lonely retirement to me. I understand that YMMV, but choosing not to have a child just because of the financial drain sounds like you are sacrificing something huge. Go visit a third world country, like other posters have said what a child really needs can be provided for free. /rant over
What it is all about? Just cause a few people say it's great. What else would they say with kids walking around?

People have many reasons for not having kids. You over simplify to say they are selfish or unfulfilled.
Leonard | | Market Timing: Do you seriously think you can predict the future? What else do the voices tell you? | | If employees weren't taking jobs with bad 401k's, bad 401k's wouldn't exist.

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White Coat Investor
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Re: Low Income, High Net Worth - Stories Of

Post by White Coat Investor » Wed Jan 29, 2014 11:03 am

A few thoughts on this thread. I no longer qualify as a "low income" person, nor did I really have a high net worth when I did have a low income. Now I think most, non-bogleheads at least, would consider me high income high net worth. But, like many (most) high income Bogleheads I also had a period of my life when I did not have a high income and I am confident that even if I never had a high income I would have eventually had a relatively high net worth due to my other habits.

However, many of the habits that enable someone to build a high net worth despite a low income are the same habits that enable someone to grow their income to the point where it is higher. In fact, one of the easiest ways to become wealthy is to simply increase your income. That might mean additional training, a different job, a second job, longer hours, an entrepreneurial gig on the side, real estate investing etc. There are two sides to the ledger, and there have been times in my life when it was easier to cut spending, and other times when it was easier to boost earning. Both have the same effect in the end.
1) Invest you must 2) Time is your friend 3) Impulse is your enemy | 4) Basic arithmetic works 5) Stick to simplicity 6) Stay the course

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White Coat Investor
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Re: Low Income, High Net Worth - Stories Of

Post by White Coat Investor » Wed Jan 29, 2014 11:20 am

vitaflo wrote:They were dirt poor, they used to go to the buffet and she would line her purse with a plastic bag and stuff it full of extra chicken to take home for meals for the rest of the week.

The one thing I really learned is that you do not have to have anything fancy in order to be happy.... I also learned a lot of frugal tips to really cut down on costs of just about everything .
Like stealing food?

Just giving you a hard time.
1) Invest you must 2) Time is your friend 3) Impulse is your enemy | 4) Basic arithmetic works 5) Stick to simplicity 6) Stay the course

rbrown599
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Re: Low Income, High Net Worth - Stories Of

Post by rbrown599 » Mon Feb 03, 2014 3:31 pm

Ricola wrote:These two books could be helpful, they each had an impact on me.

http://www.amazon.com/How-Beat-Salary-T ... 0070528101

http://www.amazon.com/Your-Money-Life-T ... 0143115766
This was also a great book that helped me understand the concept of "Enough": http://www.amazon.com/Your-Money-Life-T ... +your+life

I read the 1993 version, but I'm sure the updated is just a great.

mikefixac
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Re: Low Income, High Net Worth - Stories Of

Post by mikefixac » Mon Feb 03, 2014 11:25 pm

My parents: Dad retired (military) at 47. Mom retired early 50s.

Medium income and never high net worth. Things I remember. On vacation taking hotplate in hotel room to make sandwiches. Golf membership for both, $200/year, and they golfed most days. Mom liked Ethan Allen furniture and she would put away so much every paycheck to buy a coveted piece.

They had a wonderful life, put all children in private schools and had great friends. I would come visit and realized their lifestyle was much better than most millionaires.

lospecv
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Re: Low Income, High Net Worth - Stories Of

Post by lospecv » Tue Feb 04, 2014 12:20 am

die-tryin wrote:Low Income , High worth can be achieved.

Save and live below your means, smart investing will help and putting money away early (401k, savings, etc). Starting early is the main key, I saved early but didnt get into 401k til later (which obviously i regret).

A good/decent job with benefits will help, from health insurance, company match 401k, perks such as take home vehicle w/company gas card, free cable/internet, if your job has uniforms, work cell phone. I have all these things and they easily could cost me 300-400bux a month, I can save what most would be spending. While the pay is so-so, the benefits help.
I agree..my wife has worked at the same factory/warehouse for the last 20 years where she started at like $9 per hour. she now make $16 but she did start here 401k from day 1 and now has about 150K in her 401k acct. I've told her to look for another job that pays more but she says she is happy and likes the 5 weeks vaca she gets every year. I wish i had started a 401k when she started hers. Instead i saved it in the bank and made nothing.

After reading this site, i now contribute the max and live off the savings that are in the bank.

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