How does everyone here earn so much?

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wrongfunds
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Re: How does everyone here earn so much?

Post by wrongfunds » Fri Mar 16, 2018 1:02 pm

marcopolo wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 12:24 pm
MnyGrl wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 9:57 am

Yup. A fair amount of humblebrag - "Can I retire now that we have three million?" :D
I don't think that would even come close to qualifying as a humble brag here.

You would get about half the responses saying it was way too risky because a 2% withdrawal rate is likely to fail given high valuations and low bond yields, and even that only gives you $60k to work with, and how will you pay for healthcare, and don't forget about LTC, you better work another 10 years.

:sharebeer
I know marco is kidding here but I know that there is NO WAY he would have retired with only three million! To be perfectly honest, I would not either with paltry 3 million. It is amusing to me because when marcopolo posted his actual numbers before deciding to hang up his shingles, I was completely floored by his numbers. So when he says, 3M is nothing, please do believe him :D

On this forum, unless you cross 8 figures, don't bother to humble brag. We have very high standards here.

vested1
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Re: How does everyone here earn so much?

Post by vested1 » Fri Mar 16, 2018 1:05 pm

marcopolo wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 12:49 pm
Many people are born on 3rd base and think they hit a triple...
So good I had to look it up. Barry Switzer coined this phrase originally. I was born warming the bench, just now rounding second, hoping not to be caught in a rundown. 8-)
Last edited by vested1 on Fri Mar 16, 2018 1:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Darth Xanadu
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Re: How does everyone here earn so much?

Post by Darth Xanadu » Fri Mar 16, 2018 1:06 pm

gotester2000 wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 12:59 pm
One observation that I have on this forum is a high percentage of physicians who have very good salaries but are more interested in loan forgiveness than paying off student debt which they can do with a little effort.
I'm not sure what your post is intended to imply. You'd be a fool to not consider a loan forgiveness option. Like all finance-related questions and discussions in this forum, the topic of loan forgiveness is as valid as any other, particularly when weighing pros and cons of multiple approaches.

Back to OPs post, I would also second some opinions previously expressed that balancing income and life satisfaction (of which your employment will certainly play a part) is an important consideration, especially before you commit to advanced degrees or switching jobs/careers.
"A courageous teacher, failure is."

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HomerJ
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Re: How does everyone here earn so much?

Post by HomerJ » Fri Mar 16, 2018 1:08 pm

SuperGrafx wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 10:00 am
Nothing beats the posts from, say, a doctor with $9 million in assets asking the forum if he has enough to retire. I mean, come on! Kind of makes the rest of us think twice about posting.
I always wonder how it's possible for someone to be smart enough to amass a fortune like that, but not smart enough to do simple math. :)

Texanbybirth
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Re: How does everyone here earn so much?

Post by Texanbybirth » Fri Mar 16, 2018 1:09 pm

I have an amazing work life balance that I wouldn't trade for anymore income. My biggest fear is that I can't ride this train 30 more years to retirement, which is why I still improve my skills and network. Ah well! :D

(I make nowhere near $200k, like less than half.)
Old Tom Bombadil is a merry fellow, | Bright blue his jacket is, and his boots are yellow. | None has ever caught him yet, for Tom, he is the master: | His songs are stronger songs, and his feet are faster.

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cfs
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Re: How does everyone here earn so much?

Post by cfs » Fri Mar 16, 2018 1:10 pm

How does everyone here earn so much? Are you kidding? I was a member of the military for over three decades, and for several years I made enough to qualify for the food stamps program (I would bet that I am not the only forum member who qualified for food stamps during early working years). But I was able to save my leftover pennies in saving accounts and then in mutual funds. Good luck with your salary, good luck with your investments, and gracias por leer ~cfs~
~ Member of the Active Retired Force since 2014 ~

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HomerJ
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Re: How does everyone here earn so much?

Post by HomerJ » Fri Mar 16, 2018 1:12 pm

Darth Xanadu wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 1:06 pm
gotester2000 wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 12:59 pm
One observation that I have on this forum is a high percentage of physicians who have very good salaries but are more interested in loan forgiveness than paying off student debt which they can do with a little effort.
I'm not sure what your post is intended to imply. You'd be a fool to not consider a loan forgiveness option. Like all finance-related questions and discussions in this forum, the topic of loan forgiveness is as valid as any other, particularly when weighing pros and cons of multiple approaches.
I agree... That's like refusing an employer who offers to pay tuition for night school. "No! I don't take hand-outs!". You might as well refuse the 401k match as well.

Loan forgiveness is just another benefit that you have to weigh, when looking at different positions.

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steve roy
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Re: How does everyone here earn so much?

Post by steve roy » Fri Mar 16, 2018 1:16 pm

What anybody else makes here is irrelevant to my situation. I make what I make. It’s up to me to live off earnings/cash flow.

I came from the movie biz (cartoon division) where people make good money and then make nothing. That’s show business, boom or bust. I know people that bought big houses and high-priced cars under the mistaken impression the boom times would last forever, but suddenly found themselves unemployed and bankrupt. And I know people who saved when the green backs showered down and ended up financially independent when the mass layoffs occurred.

DW and I were pretty close to broke thirty years ago, then things turned around. We learned to take nothing for granted, lived below our means, and are now in ok shape. But we never assumed the cash would forever flow.

The other lesson? None of us owns our wealth, none. We just lease it, because everything is temporary.

KlangFool
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Re: How does everyone here earn so much?

Post by KlangFool » Fri Mar 16, 2018 1:19 pm

jodydavis wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 1:00 pm
KlangFool wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 12:30 pm
KlangFool wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 11:48 am
...
Life is fair.
...
3) In any case, effort matters. It does not guarantee success. Nothing in the world does. But, effort gives you a fighting chance.

KlangFool
These are two very different statements. I agree with the latter. But it's very different from the former. Believing that life is fair may be a good strategy, but that doesn't make it true.
jodydavis,

We would have to disagree on that.

As my own life experience and observation, that is a true statement. But, that is another life philosophical question.

KlangFool

rob65
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Re: How does everyone here earn so much?

Post by rob65 » Fri Mar 16, 2018 1:22 pm

MnyGrl wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 10:16 am
harvestbook wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 10:08 am
I have to chuckle at the "Is it safe to retire at 66? I only have $3 million" posts.

I don't really care about the numbers, since I am here for the principles instead of the personalities. That said, I don't give any input to people who claim to have or earn more than I do, because I doubt they need my dubious help. I tend to look for people/posts of similar situations because their experience might relate to mine. I'm more interested in frugality and efficiency and financial independence, and there are other forums such as Money Mustache where those principles are espoused.
Yeah, I think you have to balance this forum with other websites like MMM to keep some perspective. I am more interested in frugality/reducing one's wants, and there isn't a lot of that here.
And half the responses will be that 3 million isn’t enough. :happy

Over at MMM, the view seems to be that 4% withdrawal rates at age 35 are fine. Here, I’ve seen people who could literally buy TIPS and be fine to age 120 worry whether they have enough.

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Sandtrap
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Re: How does everyone here earn so much?

Post by Sandtrap » Fri Mar 16, 2018 1:22 pm

madmartigan wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 11:03 am
Here's my fun attempt to graphically represent my hypothesis.

Image
Post on Bogleheads must surely include a larger percentage of other wage earners.
Please include "bubbles for the following" demographs:

1. Retirees who don't earn much but have substantial assets.
1b. Non Retirees " "
2. Those who actively read Bogleheads but do not post.
3. Those who are active on Bogleheads but do not start a thread.
4. Portfolio reviewers on Bogleheads, a unique subset.
5. High income earners who have a very small portfolio, nor none.
6. "Millionaire Next Door" types, in HCOL and LCOL areas.
7. Accidental wealth.
Wiki Bogleheads Wiki: Everything You Need to Know

delamer
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Re: How does everyone here earn so much?

Post by delamer » Fri Mar 16, 2018 1:26 pm

HomerJ wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 12:40 pm
Sandtrap wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 10:15 am
**Actionably and specific to your financial question:

No matter the field but especially for this with higher income streams or potential to have one, amongst the ways to increase income might be:

1. Work harder, longer. Strive for a promotion, raise, etc.
2. Lower debt through paying off existing debt, taking on no new debt, practicing frugality.
3. Maximizing one's assets via "Bogle investment basics".
4. Securing what one has already saved through #3.
5. Exploring alternate income streams concurrent to the existing via, Rental Property, etc, etc, etc.
6. Job or career, or employment, switching. (level up).

There are many examples of very high income earners who retire broke because of any or all of #1-6.

j :D
7. Marry someone who makes more than you. I highly recommend it. :)

But seriously, two college-educated people can easily make $150k together. $75k salaries for each by your 30s or 40s is not unreasonable at all.

And that puts you in the top 15% or so.

$100k salaries for each in your 50s isn't unreasonable either. And that puts you in the top 5% of household incomes.

Remember, lots of different ages on this site. Comparing yourself to someone 20 years older than you and farther along in their career is misleading.
We live in a HCOL area, and the majority of our friends/colleagues/neighbors are married college graduates with both spouses working. Of the college graduates, many have graduates degrees. So $200,000 plus household incomes are pretty typical for those familes, particularly once the parents get into their 40’s and 50’s. (And, FYI, to buy a 2,000 square foot house in a neighborhood with good schools within 20 miles of downtown is going to cost you $700,000.)

If you are going to do comparisons, then compare to your peer group — location, age, education, profession, and other demographics — as HomerJ suggested.

And if you want to increase your income, there is plenty of data online about high earning professions and the qualifications for those jobs.

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greg24
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Re: How does everyone here earn so much?

Post by greg24 » Fri Mar 16, 2018 1:27 pm

The threads started by someone with $9M asking if they can retire result in lots of responses, lots of traffic, therefore they stay near the top of the thread list, so most people on the board seem to eventually end up clicking on them. Then people start thinking there are lots of these threads, where there really aren't.

There are LOTS of "How Am I Doing?" posts by someone making $50k: they get a few reasonable responses, and they die an early, quiet, death, because its not fun to rubberneck a reasonable thread.
Last edited by greg24 on Fri Mar 16, 2018 1:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

NextMil
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Re: How does everyone here earn so much?

Post by NextMil » Fri Mar 16, 2018 1:28 pm

I am sure the professions on here skew to big shovel. In defense of docs. If $1m = $40k swr. Someone asking if $10m is ok to retire on, they likely make close to or above $400k a year. That’s not an absurd question if you ratio it out. May seem absurd to us though.

Ps. I am not a doc.

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Sandtrap
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Re: How does everyone here earn so much?

Post by Sandtrap » Fri Mar 16, 2018 1:31 pm

steve roy wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 1:16 pm
What anybody else makes here is irrelevant to my situation. I make what I make. It’s up to me to live off earnings/cash flow.

I came from the movie biz (cartoon division) where people make good money and then make nothing. That’s show business, boom or bust. I know people that bought big houses and high-priced cars under the mistaken impression the boom times would last forever, but suddenly found themselves unemployed and bankrupt. And I know people who saved when the green backs showered down and ended up financially independent when the mass layoffs occurred.

DW and I were pretty close to broke thirty years ago, then things turned around. We learned to take nothing for granted, lived below our means, and are now in ok shape. But we never assumed the cash would forever flow.

The other lesson? None of us owns our wealth, none. We just lease it, because everything is temporary.
You are indeed forever wealthy if you had a hand in creating:
Roger Rabbit
Beauty and the Beast
Toy Story
Wall-E
Up
Lilo n Stitch
etc.

mahalo
j :D
Wiki Bogleheads Wiki: Everything You Need to Know

gotester2000
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Re: How does everyone here earn so much?

Post by gotester2000 » Fri Mar 16, 2018 1:32 pm

Darth Xanadu wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 1:06 pm
gotester2000 wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 12:59 pm
One observation that I have on this forum is a high percentage of physicians who have very good salaries but are more interested in loan forgiveness than paying off student debt which they can do with a little effort.
I'm not sure what your post is intended to imply. You'd be a fool to not consider a loan forgiveness option. Like all finance-related questions and discussions in this forum, the topic of loan forgiveness is as valid as any other, particularly when weighing pros and cons of multiple approaches.
Nothing implied - just an observation.

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snackdog
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Re: How does everyone here earn so much?

Post by snackdog » Fri Mar 16, 2018 1:34 pm

According to the 2015 BH survey, of which nearly 1000 volunteered an annual household income, the median was $150,000. Distributions by ages are shown below including the P10, median, P50, and P90. E.g, for ages 40-45 the median was $210K, the average $338k.

According to these data, about 35 of the respondents households earned $200,000 or more in 2015.

Image

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mickeyd
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Re: How does everyone here earn so much?

Post by mickeyd » Fri Mar 16, 2018 1:41 pm

High Compensation + High Consumption often ends up with less than Save Early + Save Often (+being a Boglehead).
Part-Owner of Texas | | “The CMH-the Cost Matters Hypothesis -is all that is needed to explain why indexing must and will work… Yes, it is that simple.” John C. Bogle

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ray.james
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Re: How does everyone here earn so much?

Post by ray.james » Fri Mar 16, 2018 1:42 pm

In addition to everything, people misunderstand how often high earners marry among 'themselve's. Doctors, high earning engineers, attorneys, sciences, sales and other high paying white collars frequent same places and thereby a higher chance to date/marry similar profiled people. In a city, this is quite common and ends up double income families at 150-250 range easily. As life goes on, after promotions the income amplifies.
When in doubt, http://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=79939

bloom2708
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Re: How does everyone here earn so much?

Post by bloom2708 » Fri Mar 16, 2018 1:46 pm

Reminds me of the old Tom Brady SNL skit.

How do we make so much?

1. Be beautiful
2. Be attractive
3. Don't be un-attractive

:wink:

The first step of investing is to not spend all your money and leave something to save and invest. I would guess there is a much wider dispersion of salaries than you think.
"People want confirmation, not advice" Unknown | "We are here to provoke thoughtfulness, not agree with you" Unknown | Four words: Whole food, plant based

deltaneutral83
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Re: How does everyone here earn so much?

Post by deltaneutral83 » Fri Mar 16, 2018 1:47 pm

$300k in NYC/BOS/CHI/Bay vs $90k in ATL/CLT/DAL/JAX might be closer than you think once it's all said and done with taxes. If you go out 10 miles into the suburbs of those southern cities you can go even lower.

pejp
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Re: How does everyone here earn so much?

Post by pejp » Fri Mar 16, 2018 1:51 pm

I'm 35, and I made $240k last year. Basically, nobody wants to admit it, but it's mainly luck imo. You don't choose the situation you're born into, you don't choose your parents, the country you're born in, your race, or any of those things. Sure I've worked hard over the years, and I'm not from a rich family be any means, but people, especially in the US, tend to wildly overstate how much they really had to do with it.

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Phineas J. Whoopee
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Re: How does everyone here earn so much?

Post by Phineas J. Whoopee » Fri Mar 16, 2018 1:53 pm

Sandtrap wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 1:31 pm
steve roy wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 1:16 pm
...
The other lesson? None of us owns our wealth, none. We just lease it, because everything is temporary.
You are indeed forever wealthy if you had a hand in creating:
Roger Rabbit
Beauty and the Beast
Toy Story
Wall-E
Up
Lilo n Stitch
etc.

mahalo
j :D
Only due to bits of paper with writing on them, backed by the threat of state violence, just like everything else. Money is very useful, but it is a social construct.

PJW

meaghansketch
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Re: How does everyone here earn so much?

Post by meaghansketch » Fri Mar 16, 2018 1:55 pm

My guess is that there are a lot of people who read these boards but don't post much about their own financial situation because of the negative feedback they get if they reveal they have a more typical income/financial situation. People here often are very harsh towards those who aren't saving at least $24,000 per year if single(max IRA + 401(k)) regardless of whether that's necessary for their own financial situation. I've never even had the option of a 401(k) (or any work-based tax-deferred plan) even though I'm a white collar professional, and so a lot of the standard advice doesn't apply to me but it's hard to get good advice and most of it is just of the 'I hope you know you need to do more than max out your IRA' variety.

marcopolo
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Re: How does everyone here earn so much?

Post by marcopolo » Fri Mar 16, 2018 1:58 pm

wrongfunds wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 1:02 pm
marcopolo wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 12:24 pm
MnyGrl wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 9:57 am

Yup. A fair amount of humblebrag - "Can I retire now that we have three million?" :D
I don't think that would even come close to qualifying as a humble brag here.

You would get about half the responses saying it was way too risky because a 2% withdrawal rate is likely to fail given high valuations and low bond yields, and even that only gives you $60k to work with, and how will you pay for healthcare, and don't forget about LTC, you better work another 10 years.

:sharebeer
I know marco is kidding here but I know that there is NO WAY he would have retired with only three million! To be perfectly honest, I would not either with paltry 3 million. It is amusing to me because when marcopolo posted his actual numbers before deciding to hang up his shingles, I was completely floored by his numbers. So when he says, 3M is nothing, please do believe him :D

On this forum, unless you cross 8 figures, don't bother to humble brag. We have very high standards here.
You must have me confused with someone else. At the risk of being accused of humble bragging, I am right around that $3M number, and consider myself incredibly fortunate. Since it is essentially the sum of my portfolio, i would certainly not say it was nothing!
Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

Hillview
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Re: How does everyone here earn so much?

Post by Hillview » Fri Mar 16, 2018 2:25 pm

I found early in my career I had to ask for a raise. I worked my butt off (nights and weekend, slept in the office more than once) and regularly went to the boss and asked for a raise. I had a case for why and what I thought my value was. I was cheeky and confident and RIGHT. Since my 20s-early 30s I have been less likely to ask and push (I am more comfortable in my work, I don't want to leave my job, I have a good life balance). BUT those early raises were huge boosts to where I am now. I recently got my SS statement, I graduated from college in 1993. I have an undergrad degree from a liberal arts college. Here are my early numbers:
1995 $33,289
1996 $51,808
1997 $59,808
1998 $93,918

I went to bat for myself and was prepared to leave (the above are 2 different companies). I think especially early on in a career there is a lot of headspace for raises. I say go ask for a raise if you think you deserve one and if you don't get it, look around.

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1210sda
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Re: How does everyone here earn so much?

Post by 1210sda » Fri Mar 16, 2018 2:30 pm

deltaneutral83 wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 1:47 pm
$300k in NYC/BOS/CHI/Bay vs $90k in ATL/CLT/DAL/JAX might be closer than you think ....
I agree with the above.

First, you shouldn't be comparing salaries. But, if you are so inclined, then you need to make some adjustments.

Salary by itself is not necessarily a meaningful guide.

Adjustments should be made for the following:
1. Where you live (HCOL, MCOL, LCOL)
2. Where you are in your "career" (starting, mid career, late career and especially retired)
3. Obligations (mortgage, saving for kids college, saving for retirement, Commuting expenses, payroll taxes)
4. Number of spouses working
5. Number of dependents

I'm sure there are others.

It's possible to make less and still be better off than someone else depending on these adjustments.

1210

mouses
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Re: How does everyone here earn so much?

Post by mouses » Fri Mar 16, 2018 2:32 pm

MnyGrl wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 9:54 am
onourway wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 9:50 am
Self selection. People who are likely to be interested in investing and finance are more likely than average to have good incomes.

How many years do you have in the workforce?
+1. If you are poor and use every penny, there is nothing to invest. :)
If you are middle income, like me, you need to accumulate financial wisdom. My max salary before I retired was about $!00,000 and that was only for two or three years, as I recall.

Also, plenty of people who make major bucks are financially stupid, and will not be in here.

OP, I am staggered at some of the numbers I see on bogleheads, but I would also be interested in seeing what the actual salary distribution is.

student
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Re: How does everyone here earn so much?

Post by student » Fri Mar 16, 2018 2:41 pm

bloom2708 wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 1:46 pm
Reminds me of the old Tom Brady SNL skit.

How do we make so much?

1. Be beautiful
2. Be attractive
3. Don't be un-attractive

:wink:

The first step of investing is to not spend all your money and leave something to save and invest. I would guess there is a much wider dispersion of salaries than you think.
I remember the skit but I don't think it is about earning, I think it is about how not to be accused of sexual harassment.

http://www.nbc.com/saturday-night-live/ ... 1966?snl=1

pencap75
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Re: How does everyone here earn so much?

Post by pencap75 » Fri Mar 16, 2018 2:42 pm

I'm a doc.

On another doc forum, everyone complains how poor they are, in debt with minimal retirement. I feel good about my nice income and my big 401k and that I may be able to retire when I'm 50 despite living in a high COL area (nyc).

I come here, and all the docs are talking about their 800k salary and 3 million retirement savings and they are 35 y/o. I start feeling poor.

jharkin
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Re: How does everyone here earn so much?

Post by jharkin » Fri Mar 16, 2018 3:02 pm

meaghansketch wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 1:55 pm
My guess is that there are a lot of people who read these boards but don't post much about their own financial situation because of the negative feedback they get if they reveal they have a more typical income/financial situation. People here often are very harsh towards those who aren't saving at least $24,000 per year if single(max IRA + 401(k)) regardless of whether that's necessary for their own financial situation. I've never even had the option of a 401(k) (or any work-based tax-deferred plan) even though I'm a white collar professional, and so a lot of the standard advice doesn't apply to me but it's hard to get good advice and most of it is just of the 'I hope you know you need to do more than max out your IRA' variety.
Unfortunately this is true. I post a lot but mostly to answer posts in the consumer room related to topics I am knowledgeable in.

The couple times I posted actual questions about my own situation... one was about saving up for a larger house... I got absolutely shredded by a few members for even considering it without a 7 figure net worth . And we do make (just barely) over the OP's income threshold so I dont exactly consider myself poor.

Everyone is different. Some people exaggerate. Some really do make that much. Yes there is a lot of self selection bias attracting a greater % of high earners here than in the general population.

Not sure how well this was covered but there is also a big spread within "HCOL" The difference between the valley or NYC, and Boston... can be as big as the difference between Boston and the Midwest. Just because you hear a software developer at Google in the valley brag about earning 500+ with equity doesn't mean devs make that anywhere else... not even in other high cost cities like BOS.

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triceratop
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Re: How does everyone here earn so much?

Post by triceratop » Fri Mar 16, 2018 3:26 pm

Locked (topic exhausted).
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Locked