Toronto Life (print magazine) does a "money issue" every February. This February, they profiled "the one percent" - people with household incomes of $196K.
Here's the article and the profiles from their website. It's gonna drive the frugalistas wild.
Hahahah I saw that. My wife and I were cracking up about it. I loved the first couple who invested exactly $0, but they have a weakness for designer furniture, spending $5K on a table and chairs, which I really hope aren't the ones they're using in the photo...
I went and calculated my spending ratios based on the spending of various profiled households. "So if ONE guy is spending $800/month on wine and his income is $165K, what's *my* monthly wine budget?"
My favourite part is when the article claims that "no one is living large." O RLY. To me, this really speaks volumes about how how "normal" spending that much has become - such that the writer would say that, and (presumably?) the profiled people would think that.
"But those are investment pieces! Those ARE our investments!"
Originally Posted by financialnoob
Everyone's values, goals, priorities, aspirations, etc. are different, so while it can fun to take potshots I suppose it's ultimately futile to judge others' financial and lifestyle choices based on our own views. It's hard to know whether these people experienced lifestyle inflation as their incomes grew, or whether this is the way they wanted to live all along and they're making the most of it.
Brad, I hear you - but every day I also hear reports about the national savings rate, the number of people who are worried about not having enough to fund their retirement savings, etc.
(And because I work in the financial field, people actually tell me money stuff. Like, their personal money stuff. All the time.)
It is very very hard for me to reconcile the idea that "there's a crisis" (I'm not sure there is, at all, but I keep reading about it) and "I make $165K per annum as a single, unmarried person but I'm only saving $20K." That's a savings rate of 12%.
And the framing around the article - "no one is living large" I find particularly troublesome. I know LOTS of people who could have been profiled in that piece. Heck, my family could have been profiled. But we don't fit that mold which is, presumably, why we'd never be featured. We wouldn't underscore the implied messages that "the 1% are not quite rich" and "we don't have enough money to save" (one couple "laughed" at the idea of saving for retirement - although presumably the husband's professional practice is their form of retirement saving).
I just...it just kind of breaks my heart to read this stuff, which is why I would go to a place of poking fun at it. What breaks my heart is not these people, but the people who come up to me and whisper that they're never going to get their head above water, and they find themselves taking longer showers so they can cry and no one will hear them. Because somehow they thought that $1,000 strollers (or whatever) are not optional, but necessary, and now they're so deep in debt they don't even know how they might possibly get out.
And if you think those stories are rare, I'm going to suggest they're not. I fly around the continent talking to people about retirement planning and from place to place and person to person I hear a huge mix of stories, from extreme success to a lot of fear and pain.
See, I don't understand. If I go to buy something, like a stroller, and I only have $200 in my account is say to myself "0h, I guess I'm only getting a $200 stroller.
And if people can't practice self control, why are we able to to leverage ourselfs so much? I get bend out of shape when I have a dental bill on my visa while my refund is in the mail.
One guy I work with has his entire nest egg in wine. To each his own I guess.
MG I hear you too, and I didn't mean to imply that you were being snarky, I was more anticipating the onslaught of judgment from others.
It's clear that most of these people truly are "living large," with Mercedes, housekeepers, and mind-boggling wine budgets (what is it with the wine?). And it's true that, for example, my own household income is higher than that of any of the famlies in the profiles but we spend a fraction of what they spend (and save far more). But our situation is different -- we only have one car and don't need to drive it much; no kids living at home; we like to cook so we rarely eat out; not much into entertainment (no cable, rarely go out to movies or concerts); we do our own cleaning, snow shoveling, gardening, etc. We like to live simply and abhor clutter, so we're resistant to acquiring new things. But not everyone is like us or shares our priorities.
I agree that it's frustrating to see these families portrayed as "normal" spenders, which effectively gives permission to others to emulate their lifestyles and fall into the same financial traps.
The author of the story, Jonathan Kay, is also a writer for the Post. Gawker picked up on the article and skewered him for it. He wrote about it today.
The couple that own a hvac company are "likely" soild-advantage of business ownership,although maybe some would'nt see that as "bond" like.Sounds like he is established and probably has a firm network in place,just my opinion but having employees are the "ultimate" dividend- the income stream and profit margins made off "employees/business" are a better roi than anyone investments will ever offer on the big board in a longtime frame._and im sure he will have a stake and control of it well past retirement(or could sell)that is a form of a rsp & putting away 20k a yr is nothing to sneeze @.