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Old 07-06-2006, 12:58 PM   #1
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How much money do you need to be rich?

I started thinking of this reading the Warren Buffet thread.

When is a person rich? Is it when they have enough money so they don't have to work? My cousin and his wife retired in their early thirties, but while they live comfortably, they don't live extravagantly. If they did they'd soon have to go back to work. What they do is live on the interest of the money they made from the sale of their AOL stock. Are they rich? I bet if I asked them if they are rich they would say no.

Is a person rich if they can "buy anything they want?" But surely there are things that even Bill Gates can't afford to buy if he wants to.

Is a rich person anyone who makes more than I do? You notice how people tend to feel that people who make way more than they do are "rich." Those who make far less are "poor."

Any rich posters here who'd like to concede their "richness" and tell us when you knew you were wealthy.

Someone once pointed out that the middle class American is insanely wealthy compared to the vast majority of the world's population. So does that mean we're ALL rich, but just don't know it?

Thoughts?
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Old 07-06-2006, 01:34 PM   #2
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It's relative. What's rich to one person is poor to another person. A person may think they are poor because there are certain things they can't afford that they think they should have. But they have their house and two cars, which makes them rich compared to other people.
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Old 07-06-2006, 01:39 PM   #3
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it's totally relative -- given where i live, i'd need to make close to six figures to feel middle class and afford to even rent a good apartment, let alone own one (average 1-bedroom goes for an easy $450K).
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Old 07-06-2006, 03:03 PM   #4
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I'd say rich is when you go out and spend a shit load of money, then look in your bank account and you still have a shit load of money, enough to go out and blow a shit load of money several times over.

Now I need to figure out how to define "Shit load".
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Old 07-06-2006, 03:05 PM   #5
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rich is when $ is not object. it's green paper and anything you want, you can afford w/o stressing 1 second over it.

buy whatever you want, in fact buy two of them.
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Old 07-06-2006, 03:21 PM   #6
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Obviously there are area's where the cost of living is unusually high, but these places are small and far from being the average. On average 20 years ago in the USA, a person making 6 figures was considered rich or in the upper class. Now the "upper middle class" extends into a 6 figure territory a little going up to as much as 150,000. So, if you make over 150,000 per year in the USA, on average, you definitely would be considered part of the upper class and there for rich. I'd also consider anyone who can afford to live a middle class lifestyle without working to be rich as well. The 150,000 figure might actually be too high, it may be more like 120,000.

Median household income in the USA in 2004 was $44,000 dollars. This means half of household incomes were below this figure and half were above. Household income is often two or three individual incomes combined.

A single individual making $44,000 dollars a year with no one to support is doing very well for themselves relative to the rest of the US population on average. While they may not be rich, they are definitely middle class.
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Old 07-06-2006, 04:04 PM   #7
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I remember someone telling me once that rich is when your money works for you (whatever level of custom lifestyle the may require), not the other way around.

Funny thing about money, you either stress about it or you don't - no matter how much or how little of it you have. Plenty of rich people stress over it and plenty of poor people couldn't care less.
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Old 07-06-2006, 04:06 PM   #8
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my brother always keeps saying that it doesn't matter how much you make because you always spend all of it anyway

I would say my brother is well off
I guess rich people don't have his problem
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Old 07-06-2006, 05:04 PM   #9
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Enough that you can say Fuck Off to just about anyone.
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Old 07-06-2006, 05:07 PM   #10
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I think you're pretty rich when you don't have to worry about any necessities, considering that so many of the people in this world go without necessities every day.
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Old 07-06-2006, 05:16 PM   #11
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In my opinion, being rich is when you have everything you need and can afford to live without the constant worry about money. Being rich is being happy! (Quite a hippy sounding reply I realise!)
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Old 07-06-2006, 05:22 PM   #12
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There's stuff you need and there's stuff you want. By my definition, a person who can't get all the basics that they need is poor. A person who can get all of what they need and some of what they want is in the middle. Someone who can get all of what they want is rich. Obviously, these definitions are flexible -- especially the "rich" part. I once decided that I would need 10 million dollars to feel "rich". Conservatively invested, I would have an income of at least $50,000 a year. This would give me the freedom to continue on with my relatively low paying but very rewarding job/career, while still being able to meet all of my "needs".
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Old 07-06-2006, 05:42 PM   #13
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Excellent thread topic! I agree that the US is insanely wealthy compared to the vast majority of the world's population, to the point that we really have lost all touch with reality when discussing needs vs. wants.

In the US, we’ve become so class conscious that we formulate a dollar figure for our happiness. In addition, we have also lost much of our notion of earning over time – people out of college expect as much as those who have been out of school for 10-20 years. Not only do we want our wealth, we want it now.

Numb1075 insightfully stated that rich is when $$ is not an object. Now, in the vernacular of the US, that means when you have so much $$ you don’t need to count it. It would be interesting to see responses from people at different income levels, and from different parts of the world. Money can stop being an object when you stop making it an object.

Yolland, I doubt you can find better experience with poverty than the slums of India. From the descriptions and pictures a close friend has shared, the garbage dumps of Cairo would be a definite step up from the slums of India. Poverty that really shocks the Western mind.

I’ll go ahead and answer the question no one else has: I can say that I am rich. Very rich. My wealth grew enormously three times in my life: on my wedding day, at the birth of my son and at the birth of my daughter. I know I am rich in that despite living in a very wealthy part of the US (and having but a fraction of the $$ wealth as those who live around me), I have what is really important in life to me. I can sense a general lack of “richness” in my neighbors as they maintain $$ as the object of their affections.
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Old 07-06-2006, 06:11 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader
In addition, we have also lost much of our notion of earning over time – people out of college expect as much as those who have been out of school for 10-20 years. Not only do we want our wealth, we want it now.


when you make statements like this, which seem totally foreign to my experience, where do you get your information? do you know many 23 year olds? do you know many twenty-somethings who are well aware that they simply will not be able to do as well as their parents no matter how "well" they do? are there facts your basing this on, or are these inferences from broadly understood principles, i.e. kids today are spoiled?

i mean this as a 100% serious question.
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Old 07-06-2006, 06:19 PM   #15
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Being rich can bring out the evil in us and snotty. I want to be rich and I dont want to. I told my self and my family If I won the lottery The mega millions here in CA and it was up to 150 million.

5 million for me 1 million for my mom dad and two brothers and with 5 million for emergency and the rest would help pay for scholarships and send money to DATA or One to help ones in need.
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Old 07-06-2006, 06:32 PM   #16
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The pastor at a church I recently attended talked about an interesting statistic. If you earn $35K a year, you are in the top 97% of the world's wealthiest citizens. If you boost that number to $45K, you are in the top 99%.

Really puts things in perspective.
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Old 07-06-2006, 06:37 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511

when you make statements like this, which seem totally foreign to my experience, where do you get your information? do you know many 23 year olds? do you know many twenty-somethings who are well aware that they simply will not be able to do as well as their parents no matter how "well" they do? are there facts your basing this on, or are these inferences from broadly understood principles, i.e. kids today are spoiled?

i mean this as a 100% serious question.
I did career counseling a few years ago as a side gig. I can vouch for some (not all) of what NBC said. Students would come in comparing their earning potential with what kids a few years ago were getting ($50K starting salaries with a $10K signing bonus in the Internet boom). When you'd point out that the Internet boom was over, they'd say, "Screw it, I'll go to law school."

Having said that, I just had lunch with some old friends, one of whom volunteers for NARAL, the other of whom is looking at a career in environmental policy. Piss-poor but happy as clams. So I don' t think everyone can be tarred with the same brush.
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Old 07-06-2006, 08:48 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511


do you know many 23 year olds? do you know many twenty-somethings who are well aware that they simply will not be able to do as well as their parents no matter how "well" they do?
*raising my hand* . My parents start to make "real" money when they were younger than I am now... they could buy their own house, and raise us in a good school with an average salary (it would be shit in the USA but here it is enough money). To be honest,,, I don't know If I can do the same thing ... I still live in my parent's house and most of my friends do the same, a few can rent an apartment but sometimes they get short of money. we are not bitter, but that's because we don't have more responsabilites (like raising a kid), and we know we can't afford that.
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Old 07-06-2006, 08:54 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by nathan1977


I did career counseling a few years ago as a side gig. I can vouch for some (not all) of what NBC said. Students would come in comparing their earning potential with what kids a few years ago were getting ($50K starting salaries with a $10K signing bonus in the Internet boom). When you'd point out that the Internet boom was over, they'd say, "Screw it, I'll go to law school."

The difference between this and what nbc said is that the students you talked to wanted the starting rate of a few years ago and not what someone with 10-20 years experience made.
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Old 07-06-2006, 08:56 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally posted by nathan1977


I did career counseling a few years ago as a side gig. I can vouch for some (not all) of what NBC said. Students would come in comparing their earning potential with what kids a few years ago were getting ($50K starting salaries with a $10K signing bonus in the Internet boom). When you'd point out that the Internet boom was over, they'd say, "Screw it, I'll go to law school."

Having said that, I just had lunch with some old friends, one of whom volunteers for NARAL, the other of whom is looking at a career in environmental policy. Piss-poor but happy as clams. So I don' t think everyone can be tarred with the same brush.


^ i think this is quite reflective of reality.

of course there are some people who want it all, now, and i can relate to this because i was in college from 1996-2000 and heard all sorts of fairy tales about the Internet Boom, stuff like they were giving out $60K a year jobs on street corners in SanFran, but when i graduated, the market had tanked and everyone was waiting it out in graduate school. and i think we should also keep in mind that most people pay exorbitant amounts of money for education in comparison to their parents, and my parents owned their own home when they were my age, and i have to rent a room in a house, yet i make significantly more than they did (and i don't make that much).

anyway, i found NBC's comment hugely presumptuous as i imagine most 20-somethings would.

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