We need to take account the actual statistics on income, when using evaluative terms like "rich". If a couple makes $250,000 a year, that puts them in the top 0.001% of the global income range, and places them unarguably among the very richest people in the entire world. To claim that someone at this high a global level of income is not rich is absurd.
At 50K, trying to pay for the mortgage, college, a vehicle, utilities, insurance and food is a major challenge. Those earning 250K definitely have more disposable income that those earning 50K. At 5X the average income, it is rich. The upper income earners just pass the costs on. The trickle-down theory just isn't working.
A guy with $100 million might feel poor or middle class when he thinks of a guy with $1 billion but $100 million is still rich. Same with $250K. Rich is not a feeling; it's a statistic. (Rich is also not an insult.) Being top 2% is rich; the line has to be drawn somewhere. I can accept that income may be the wrong statistic; net worth might be better.
I earn about $80,000 per year and have more than enough for my family. I consider myself very fortunate. People need to learn to live within (or below) their economic means. That may mean a smaller home, public schools, used cars, ect. I know many people who FEEL poor but in reality just don't live within a reasonable budget.
The average income is still well below $100,000 so anyone making 2.5x that is well within the region categorized as "rich".
With the median household income at approximately $50,000 in the U.S., a couple bringing in $250,000 is definitely rich. They are well-off, and not upper middle class. They are rich. Even taking taxes and rising costs into account, they still have much more money than the average American, who is also faced with the problem of rising costs. Only one in 50 U.S. households bring in $250,000 or more per year, making them the top wage earners and, thereby, the richest.
Even though the cost of living is increasing, a six-figure income is still a very good living. A quarter of a million dollars in a year is definitely enough earnings to make one wealthy. I think you would probably be considered in the lower tiers of wealth with this type of income, however.
A couple that makes $250,000 can still be considered rich in society today. They can afford nice cars, a nice house, and still have enough for some unnecessary luxuries. The definition of rich has become so mangled and altered today that we have forgotten its true definition. The altering of the definition has also created a bigger gap between economical classes in our society, which has led to taxing arguments and benefit losses, depending on your social class. Simply put, $250,000 a year is plenty of money for a couple to live very comfortably in society today.
One percent of the population controls ninety percent of the wealth in this nation. I would say that anyone making a six-figure income can be considered rich by comparison.
I think that anyone making over 100 grand a year is quite upper-middle class. I barely make enough to get by, and I cannot imagine how nice it would feel to even live comfortably. Whoever is making $250,000 a year should consider themselves lucky, because I would take that in a heartbeat.
Yes our costs are rising and the price of some items are extraordinary, but there is always someone in worse shape than you. Most Americans do not even get close to half of the amount listed above in a year. Most people even with college degrees do not get close to that amount. The couple making this amount may not be at the top of the class anymore but I believe they are still considered rich by the millions that are making a lot less.
$250,000 is considered to be a lot of money for one couple to make in a year. Considering that the average salary in America is somewhere around $35,000- $38,000 annually, most people would agree that 250k is way above average, even rich. If that couple had 10 children to feed, that would be different, but the average family usually has no more than two.
$250,000 is still a significant amount of money for a couple. With smart savings and moderation, they would still be able to enjoy a nice lifestyle and be in good condition for retirement. People making minimum wage are earning a fifth of this amount. Many people these days are having trouble simply finding or maintaining a steady job in the current job market.
Yes, costs are rising in the world, and a 6 figure salary doesn't mean what it used to. On top of that, lifestyle inflation is increasing the amount we spend even where costs are not increasing. But a person that makes $250,000 a year easily makes enough to provide an extremely high standard of living for themselves and 1 to 3 other people. The word "rich" doesn't have a set definition, but surely someone who can spend more than half of their income on non-necessary ("luxury") goods and services should be considered rich.
Making $250,000 a year puts a couple in the wealthiest 5% in this country (and much higher globally). If you are in the top 5% in height, you would admit to being tall. If you are in the top 5% in intelligence, you would admit to being smart. It is not socially acceptable, however, for rich people to admit they are rich. My husband, an MD, makes more than $250,000, but if we were to call ourselves rich, it would be hurtful and insensitive because of the false implication in this country that the wealthy work harder and are more worthy than the poor. When I lived below the poverty level, I had no trouble identifying myself as poor because it didn't detract from others for me to say so. We are a family of four living in a rural area with a low cost of living. Here's what our income affords us: we have a nice house (worth 3x the average in the area), though not a mansion. We have a vacation home worth roughly the same. We have newer SUVs (though not luxury cars). We take nice vacations twice a year. We paid off our student loans within five years and paid off our second home within 10 years. We can eat out when we want, buy most designer clothes and if an appliance breaks unexpectedly, it's not a big deal. We could not shop on Rodeo Drive (except as a huge splurge) and if we suddenly needed a new roof, it would still be a big deal. We could not afford a yacht or a hedge fund unless we sold one of our houses. We still have a mortgage on our main house and a car payment on our year-old car. We put money away for retirement, but my husband could not retire early unless we significantly cut back on expenses. We can give $100 easily to charities, but we can't (easily) start an endowment. We could afford to send our daughters to a private high school (though we don't) but we could not afford to send them to Harvard. We don't usually look at price tags in the grocery store, but we do in a clothing store. In short, $250,000 in a low-income area gives us a lot of options compared to the average person, but we still can't spend freely on everything. The rich people portrayed on television (the kind people dream of becoming when they talk about being rich) are in an entirely different class of wealth.
I'm in college so not really old enough to have any personal experience, but as a kid in a 2 child household, at the time I started college my parents made a combined 170k. We lived in a 2500 sq. Ft. House in a nice neighbourhood and were considered upper middle class. Both my sister and I are in college/university and my parents have 2 relatively new cars (past 3-4 years). Considering prices in Canada are generally much higher than in the states, I don't see how 250k couldn't be lived on very comfortably by two people. Where does all your money go? Health insurance and private schools I guess..
I am reading a lot of arguments that say "Hey, we live in California, and houses here cost 700k. We can't afford that, so we aren't rich." You are rich if you are significantly above the average income. So, if you make a lot more than 40k, you are rich.
I suppose that people think that no amount of money can possibly be enough money. You make more money than most and you should be happy with that. That is substantially more than the majority of America has to support multiple family members during decades. After all, money is just imaginary. Getting hung up about it will only guarantee that you stay miserable.
My wife and I live on 15k per year. If we had 50k, we could have everything we reasonably want. If you earn 50k and have financial problems, then you are being unreasonable with your expenditures. If you are having trouble at 250k, you have made some very poor decisions.
To live adequately, it takes about 10k per person in a household. With 250k, 25 people could live adequately. Ten people could have decent lifestyles sharing 250k. A family of five would have a good, rich life on 250k.
Although I am a single woman making over $200,000 per year, I'm aware that most families do not have this income. It did take a lot of work and sacrifice to get to this point and my kids want to follow in my footsteps! It's not always easy but it is important to do what it takes, so that your family has resources.
Sure it's not ultra rich but you are still rich. Anyone who can afford a comfortable living without worry about day to day expenses is rich in comparison to most of the world. If you can't feel well off on 250k, likelihood is you wouldn't feel well off on 1 million a year or more either.
I live in a one-income family with three children. My husband, daughter and myself all attend college currently. We barely make it and I still find ways to splurge and feel like the world is my oyster. I even managed to take my kids to Disneyland for one day this year and my husband and I purchased a new to us used car this year as well. We are considered poverty level with our one income, but I manage to save by utilizing what our tax dollars provide in our community. We USE the library for entertainment and attend free museum days. We find offers that are 20$ for the family and we make sure to show the kids how fun it is to do these things. We enjoy the dollar theater trip once in a while and rarely buy "name brand" anything. I believe I shop wise and have taught my kids that cable is a social norm that is not required to actually live. It's important for all members of any family to realize that as Americans we are living the wealthiest standard in the world. Appreciating all of the things that we have are important, like access to healthy water, and doctors/medication/medical services as well as free or cheap entertainment. I've viewed documentaries like the film "Babies" where women in other cultures live off of the land and they smile well more often than many of my wanna be rich community peers. I am working on my education, so that I can be an educator. I am not going to turn down the additional income to our family, once I am working. The additional income will make it easier to face things like medical emergency costs, home maintenance, and transportation. We will probably, still, not be rich once I am working, but we will be much closer to a more comfortable life style. 250k/year will still be 2.5 times the amount that my husband and I will most likely earn together, but I plan on feeling like the richest woman in the world! Especially since I will be making about 30 new forever friends each year as a teacher!
Lived in expensive NYS and felt quite well to do, thank you very much. Saved 20% for a rainy day which came btw and now am a single parent making less than half that but still supporting all the same bills. I still make more than twice the average American and am thankful for a job and the ability to support myself and my family. If I had a second earner in my house I may be closer to that figure again and phew would feel so much more comfortable...Ie saving again, vacations, little luxuries etc.
Globally speaking most Americans are rich. The global average for income is around $2 a day, our average is over 50x that. If you make more than 50x what most people in the world do you our rich. Now as far as America, when the average income for a household is around 40k, and your income is 250k, you make as much income as if you added up some average American whole neighborhoods (albeit small ones). 6 average households pooling their money together would still likely be less than your one household. The truth is wealth is relative, that is why it should be measured relative to the global and even national averages. If you make 2x as much as the average or more you are certainly rich. If you make 6 times more than the national average and around 300x the global average and you don't consider yourself rich, you are ignorant or delusional.
I'll let someone who claims that their income of $250,000+ a year does NOT make them rich prove the point: "A couple making $250,000 or more a year is living comfortably but not rich. Once the taxes we pay increases to 39%, certain perks that we used to enjoy because we feel we have no time doing it will be cut first.And this includes our long time house cleaner who we used to give $125 per cleaning (and probably NEVER pay taxes as much as we do) and the gardener who has been working with us for years now will lose $300/month because we will have to get a cheaper service. And we might not hire or lay off one of our worker so we can make the cut of less than $250,000 so as not to pay too much taxes." People whose biggest worries are losing their house cleaner and gardener are not middle class, they are rich.
In North America maybe $250,000 isn't rich, its "middle class" or "upper middle class" please define rich to me. In America a person making 30K can afford...A car, a house or apartment, going out on weekends, going out to eat, going on vacation once in a while, maybe trveling once in a while, clothing, going to concerts etc..Now while we look at the REST of the world in a GENERAl basis...More than 50% of the worldwide population..Can't affort to travel, go out to eat when it pleases, have brand name clothes, or even go shopping twice a year. Where I come from the fact that you can clothes yourself with the choice of clothes that you like, own a car and have money to pull in gas whenever you want, go out to restaurants with your family THOSE ARE LUXURIES..YES THEY ARE NOT NECESSARY FOR SURVIVAL SO THEY ARE LUXURIES. And it honestly bothers me how US as Americans don't appreaciate non of it. When I travel to the Dominican Republic and we go to the countryside we have neighbors comming in to our house to eat breakfast or waiting for us to give them some food to take home CAUSE THEY HAVE ANY AND CAN'T AFFORD ANY. Even here in the U.S even homeless people have the options of homeless shelters and soup kitchen, sadly most of them can't take care of themselves because they have drug problems or mental disabilities and nobody helps them so they wind up in the streets cause arent able to take care of themselves. So can someone tell me what is the definition of "rich" while thousands of people are starving and you are propbably sitting in your nice house using your computer or on your smartphone.
Most households get by on under $50,000 a year, and hey have houses and cars and vacations. The problem is too many people try to live beyond their means (expensive houses, expensive cars, expensive vacations, expensive schools, pay people to do things for them they can do themselves); those people wouldn't feel rich even if they made $1 million a year.
I am a physician making $250,000.
Subtract my 33% tax rate drops me down to 167,500.
Subtract Social Security (6.2% for first 113,200 earned = $7,049) leaves me $160,451.
Subtract Medicare (1.45%, $3,625) leaves me $156,826.
Subtract my state income tax (IL 5% or $12,500) leaves me $144,326.
Sounds like a lot right? Okay, well, my student loan payments for the next 20 years are $3,500 a month, or $42,000 a year. That leaves me with $102,326 net before paying for any necessities (food, shelter, clothing, utilities, etc).
Should I get married will I get more back in taxes? No, not when I make $250k. How about kids? Child credit on my tax return…not when making $250k. How about when the kids go to school, tax credit? Not when making $250k.
So I went through college, medical school, and a very hard residency to net $102k a year for the next 20 years...so am I rich? I think not.
There are so many more people who make more than that. Look how much Donald makes, and Romney. It's just there are so many people are richer. $250,000 is just OK and it's not poor, but it's like middle class in my eyes, anything less than that to me is lower class.
The cost of living here is so high and I've got 3 kids. It does not seem fair to tax me the same as someone making $250,000 per year in, say, South Carolina where housing is less than 1/5th the cost. The potential tax should be more thoughtful and consider local cost of living.
With the price of a house going for more than a million, and with the fact that we have to save for our kids' college education which is rising rapidly, I don't think we should be considered rich at all. We don't drive luxury cars, we spend very cautiously so that we can retire comfortably. To tax us more will mean much tighter money when we retire and less money for our kids' education.
People that make $250,000 already pay close to half of their income in taxes. Federal, State, Local, Social Security, Medical...leaves you with $125,000. Family of 5 automatically puts you in a "no financial aid" status for your kids in college.
A house(mortgage), 2 car payments, college, food and you are out of money. People that dont make $250,000 a year or more dont know this because they just have never paid as much in taxes.
Look out when Barry needs more money to feed his crack like spending habits. Soon it will be 200k, then 125K ...look out he is coming for your money too.
A quarter of a million dollars once sounded like a ridiculous yearly sum to me; however, after taxes and the rising cost of living is subtracted from that amount, the remainder is enough to save and have some luxuries only. This is not the definition of rich as far as I'm concerned.
We living in a modest home, driving modest cars one of which is a 2001 model. We save for our retirement so we don't have to rely on SS or any other goverment program. We save for your child collage tuition. We do not have a lot left infact far from being wealthy.
$250k is well off, for sure. After tax, that's about $12,000/month in income.
However - people earning $250k/year are most likely in a high cost of living area - so expect $3k/month housing expenses, $2k/month other expenses (food, transport, etc.)
If they have no kids, great - $5k/month is a lot of money. If they have a couple of kids, presumably they're working adults - they have $2k/month in child care expenses, plus after school activities and medical expenses. Factor in a vacation, and it could be hard to come out ahead.
So no, I wouldn't say that $250k/year is rich. They have a great lifestyle, can travel, can educate their children. Certainly they're not poor. Fortunate, certainly, but they can't buy things without budgeting for them. There's a very real risk of running a deficit for a year.
I think that all of these arguments rely on the definition of rich. In my mind, "rich" means post money - not having to think about expenses, not having to think about money. By this definition, someone earning $250k/year is not rich.
It all adds up (i.e. taxes, bills, everyday shopping). I am a Democrat, yet I still believe that there are people who make $250,000-$300,000 and aren't rich. Because of all of the costs of everyday needs, Just because you make all of that money doesn't mean that you get to take millions of vacations, own large houses, and have your own swimming pools. Generally, it depends on where you live. In many parts of the country (i.e. Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, NYC, etc.) this salary range is about average. If you have kids, you have to pay for their school tuition and university tuition. Overall, you are not necessarily rich if you make between 250K and 300K. I consider greater than 300K rich, not greater than 250K.
A combined household income of $250,000 does not qualify as rich by today's standards, though location can be a factor, too. Obviously, they could afford a better standard of living in a rural area, more than they could in New York City.
These days, with the cost of all necessities, such as housing, transportation, food, fuel, utilities and many others being so high, I feel that $250,000 would be considered a well-off income level, but definitely not rich. In most areas, you cannot purchase a home for less that $250,000, and vehicles are hard to find at a price less than $25,000.
The average home on either the east or west coast of the United States is currently in excess of $300,000 and in CA over $400,000. After car payments, mortgage, taxes and ordinary expenses much of $250,000 will be spent.
What is not being considered is the income tax that is imposed on them, which takes away virtually half of their earnings. The wage is automatically slashed in half to $125. Furthermore other things that are not taken into consideration are the loans they might be still paying off from their education (they must have gotten such good paying jobs somehow, and it's likely from a lot of higher education).
People in that wage bracket are upper middle class, but are in no way rich.
Higher rising costs are making an even bigger dent in that hefty number.
To me, being rich means to be able to purchase whatever you want, whenever you want. On $250,000 a year, you are comfortable, but not rich. The government takes nearly half that for a start, and by the time you pay all your bills, you probably can't take the family first class around the world. To be rich, money is no object...and $250,000 does not come close.
Rich compared to what, or to whom? If the ultimate definition is the ability to sustain a lifestyle without relying on wage income, the $250K annual income lacks relevance. Compared to the ability to meet the most basic necessities, that income provides a comfortable margin. Those with higher incomes forego many of the subsidies including lower taxation rates, tuition assistance, etc. afforded to those with lower incomes, making the effective disposable wage less. This is not to say tears should be shed, but there are countervening arguments. The argument for greater taxation of higher incomes seems to boil down to " they should be able to get by with less just fine."
No way is 250,000 A LOT of money. Me and my wife earn 90,000 a year in Canada and take home about 55,000. Here in Canada this is considered middle class. We pay 2,700 in property taxes each year. Cable/phone bills are 250 per month. Gas/ electrical bill 200 per month. House payment of 1,500. Groceries are 500 per month. Fuel for a our 2 cars that are fully payed for costs 1.10 per liter, which equals 150 per month, just to go to work. We do pay for health care its not exactly free like they say in america. Newer motorcycle, play golf a lot each year. We are comfortable. What the heck are you Americans crying about, have you all lost the $$$$$sense of reality? Telling people your wows about making 250,000 a year is embarrassing. Try living in Canada. We are both very fortunate making a combined income of 90,000. What about all the people whom aren't as fortunate as us? Life is a lottery, so enjoy the one you have won.
A few people are the doers and a whole lot of people are takers. With the economy what it is today I suppose I understand people's desire to want to make the playing field more level, but the fact of the matter is taxing higher earners doesn't level the field. Those who work hard to achieve good incomes want to provide jobs to other people so they can make good incomes. Adding additional taxes however is not incentive to start or grow a business. Yeah let me go take on more risk and stress so I can pay higher insurance premiums, payroll taxes, 40% business income tax (on top of individual income tax), yes that's right. In fact why don't I just list all of the ways I am taxed.
Federal income tax
State income tax
Local income tax
Employee social security tax
Employee Medicare tax
Road toll charges
State sales tax
Driver's license renewal fee
TV Cable/Satellite fees & taxes
Federal telephone surtax, excise tax, and universal surcharge
State telephone excise tax and surcharge
Telephone minimum usage and recurring/nonrecurring charges tax
Gas/electric bill fees & taxes
Water/sewer fees & taxes
Federal gasoline tax
State gasoline tax
Local gasoline tax
Bridge toll charges
Bike license fee
State park permit
Watercraft registration & licensing fees
Sports stadium tax
Bike/nature trail permit
Individual health insurance mandate tax
Hotel stay tax
Air transportation tax
Electronic transmission of tax return fees
Passport application/renewal fee
Luxury & gas-guzzler car taxes
New car surcharge
License plate and car ownership transfer taxes
State/local school tax
Recreational vehicle tax
Special assessments for road repairs or construction
Gun ownership permit
Kiddie tax (IRS form 8615)
Fuel gross receipts tax
Waste Management tax
Oil and gas assessment tax
Use taxes (on out-of-state purchase)
IRA rollover tax/withdrawal penalties
Tax on non-qualified health saving account distributions
Individual and small business surtax (page 336 of Obamacare)
Estimated income tax underpayment penalty
Alternative Minimum Tax on income
Business Taxes & Fees
Federal corporate income tax
State corporate income tax
Tax registration fee for new businesses
Employer social security tax
Employer Medicare tax
Federal unemployment tax
State unemployment tax
Business registration renewal tax
Worker's compensation tax
Tax on imported/exported goods
Oil storage/inspection fees
Employer health insurance mandate tax
Excise Tax on Charitable Hospitals (page 2001/Sec. 9007 of Obamacare)
Tax on Innovator Drug Companies (Page 2010/Sec. 9008 of Obamacare)
Tax on Medical Device Manufacturers (Page 2020/Sec. 9009 of Obamacare)
Tax on Health Insurers (Page 2026/Sec. 9010 of Obamacare)
Excise Tax on Comprehensive Health Insurance Plans, i.e. "Cadillac" plans
Tax on indoor tanning services
Utility users tax
Internet transaction fee (passed in California; being considered in other states and at federal level)
Professional license fee (accountants, lawyers, barbers, dentists, plumbers, etc.)
Franchise business tax
Tourism and concession license fee
Wiring inspection fees
Household employment tax
Biodiesel fuel tax
FDIC tax (insurance premium on bank deposits)
Electronic waste recycling fee
Hazardous material disposal fee
Food & beverage license fee
Estimated income tax underpayment penalty
Fire inspection fee
Well permit tax
Sales and Use tax seller's permit
Commercial driver's license fee
Bank ATM transaction tax
Occupation taxes and fees (annual charges required for a host of professions)
There are probably more than this, but anybody with a brain should be able to get it now. There is a disincentive for people to earn more money and create more jobs. Quite frankly the money can't go to more taxes, and new jobs, because there isn't that much to go around. I guess we could raise prices to cover it all, but oh wait if we do that we won't be competitive anymore, and we will go out of business, and then no one has a job. Anyone not getting it by now is just too damn dumb. People stop letting your emotions drive your philosophy, and apply a little logic. The answer truly lies in logic. That is a fact.
My husband and I broke the $250 this year, but it actually cost us more due to the higher taxes. Are we rich? I sure don't think so. I'm unemployed with the student loan debt from a Master's degree. My husband is working 70+ hours a week just to keep his job. I clip coupons and even jump into recycle bins to pull out extras, mystery shop to get a little extra cash, and take online surveys just to help pay bills. We shop at TJ Maxx, drive non-luxury vehicles that are both over 6 yrs. old, don't have a fully furnished house, don't have smartphone, and live in a house under 1500 sf. We don't worry about money, but I scrimp and save on everything from the electric bills to groceries so that we can pay our bills, save for retirement, and donate to charity. We don't eat out, buy extravagant things, or even anything full price. It may be rich in comparison to the world as a whole, but if you think someone making this never thinks about money, you're way off. $250,000 after taxes pays the bills and allows you to buy the necessities, but not without pinching pennies and making a lot of sacrifices.
We recently reached this amount, but with the cost of everything else we have to pay for just to have a normal house in a normal community it really doesn't seem like that much any more for a couple. And we don't live in an expensive area like New York City or California. I can't imagine what you would need to feel rich there.
Here's your wake up call. In many states, any family, usually the exhausted parents, who work 3 or more jobs between them to keep kids in college and care for elderly parents are losing about 44% of their paychecks to taxes if they come close to the evil $250,000 BEFORE taxes. No vacations-never see a penny of their hard earned dollars, living paycheck to paycheck but doing what is right for their family AND handing a total of 44% state & federal taxes over to the government. You're welcome, and we're not wealthy. We're exhausted. Whatever it takes, there will not be one more penny from these families to the government. And you can take that to the bank!
I grew up below poverty level, really poor. My husband and I put ourselves through college, paid off the loans, got good jobs, had 4 kids and now have worked our way to the "magic" salary of $250,000. We live in a 2,400 home outside Seattle and while we are comfortable, I can assure anyone who doubts that we are very average. It is interesting how the more you make, the more that is taken away in taxes. We have been really just staying "even" and not really getting ahead. I really wish we were rich.... but sadly this is not the case. I am thankful just being able to say we are comfortable though. I agree that it depends on the area you live- the higher the cost of living, the less far the money goes.
I live in NYC and we make $250k/year and we barely can make ends meet. Most people making $250k/year live in the highest cost of living cities in the U.S. NYC costs 100% more in costs to live in than St. Louis, MO. Now, if we lived in St. Louis and made that we would be rich, but most people making that $250k/year do not live in the Midwest. They are only making $250k/year in very high cost cities so they can barely get by and stay there. We have 2 kids and a 2 bedroom condo and can't afford a 3 bedroom. We don't send our kids to private school and don't spend extravagantly cause we can't afford too. At $250k/yr in NYC we are barely making ends meet. A tax increase on this wage bracket would significantly hit the middle class in high cost cities and there would likely continue to be an exodus in these cities.
My girlfriend and I live in a 1200 sq ft condo built in the 80's in Houston. After supporting her mother and brother, paying real estate taxes, eating out a couple times a month, and buying modest clothes from outlet malls, we are not able to really save much despite earning over $250,000 per year.. and thats without children which we are going to forego due to the necessity of putting them in private school.. We also have no debt or school loans so its not like we are paying that off either.. We pay more in taxes than most families make in 3 years.. its disgusting.
In California, new tax propositions will create four new brackets for earners making $250,000 or more. We CA taxpayers will see our state income taxes jump between 10.6 percent and 32.2 percent, depending on our bracket. Whether $250,000 represents affluence depends a great deal upon where you live....
With the taxation rate alone of that income you're lumped back into the 95%. Rich imo, would be $500k or more. Enough to actually "own the things you have" instead of mortgaging or leasing them. Rich is someone without debt and a completely disposable income. $250k is a decent family income but it will not afford you a decent 4br house in a major metropolis along with the other "needs" of having to work in that environment. Saving for retirement, putting your children through college and giving them a life of comfort and inspiration for their future instead of poverty and disdain.
I do think a family income of $250,000 is upper middle-class but not "rich". I understand that when considering everyone in the US, this type of income is seen in a small percentage of households, but we all have to consider location. Living in Bergen County NJ, a $250,000 income allows you to be comfortable but we do not splurge on things you would think a rich person splurges on. We still use coupons, look out for discounts, and watch the number of times we go out to eat.
I do think a family income of $250,000 is upper middle-class but not "rich". I understand that when considering everyone in the US, this type of income is seen in a small percentage of households, but we all have to consider location. Living in Bergen County NJ, a $250,000 income allows you to be comfortable but we do not splurge on things you would think a rich person splurges on. We still use coupons, look out for discounts, and watch the number of times we go out to eat.
And that is no lie. Anyone living in suburbs outside of NYC and working the city (especially paying NJ property taxes) will tell you $250,000 gross income is just making you sort of comfortable. I still use coupons, look for my 30% off online discounts and feel like a nice dinner out is a luxury.
If you live near any major metropolitan city then there is no way you could be rich making $250,000 for a family. The government takes almost half of that income in taxes. I agree with other post that says where you live should be a consideration. Try buying a decent 4 bedroom house for under 500k in these markets, pay off grad school loans, public transportation, insurance, feeding and clothing your family (regular mall stores and sale shopping ), sports for your kids, etc there is nothing left over!!! This is a true middle class income. And the middle class will disappear after being burdened with even more taxes.
Yes, $250,000 is a lot of money. But, considering the amount of taxes deducted now we already pay a fair share. So would a 35% tax rate for someone making $250,000 and someone making $5,000,000 be considered fair. I employ a 100+ people. Through that, my business contributes a substantial amount of income taxes. I think I already pay a fair share because I create jobs and that is what's important. If I have to start paying even higher taxes I am going to have to cut jobs to come up with the additional capital. That is stupid but that is the way it's going to be. EVERYONE in America should pay something but unfortunately that does not happen. We got into this mess as a country and we should get out of this mess as a country.
are you kidding if you live in a city and are multi income it takes this much for car, house, etc.. Rich is a millionare.. not the store owner struggling to survive.. tax them more and they will lay off.. thus putting someone else into the welfare system just to gain tax money on 250,000. stupid idea.. and why if I work hard, get an education and push hard to better myself do I have to pay more than the person who doesn't do but the minimum they have to, to get by. Figure out what needs to be cut and take care of it.. not raise taxes..
We listened to our parents when they advised us to get an education, work hard, don't buy it if you don't have the money, delayed gratification, etc. Now in our late forties, after over twenty years of self employment, used cars, skipped vacations...we're told we're "rich" and should be glad to pay a higher income tax. Three kids in parochial schools, two mortgages, completely self reliant and self insured...we thought we were middle class. Who knew?
Anyone who thinks that $250k per year makes you rich likely didn't go to college, didn't put their kids through college and didn't save for their own retirement. It is bad enough that the government taxes your social security if you have a pension from working at at career for almost 40 years, after serving your country in the military. Now they want to tax that savings even more too simply because I was responsible and didn't think I was owed anything by the government.
My hubby and I are fast approaching the magical $250k and I can tell you that if having a mortgage on a townhouse - not a HOUSE - a townhouse, driving 2 vehicles that are 5 and 6 years old is rich, then there is really something even more warped in this society then I imagined. I cringe when I hear Obama talk about that figure being rich. We already pay a huge portion in taxes, while we see others around us that choose to have many children (we have one) and don't work or voluntarily choose to have one income that our taxes go to support. It is very frustrating and I can honestly tell you driving us to look into retiring outside of the US. Why should we continue to pay at a higher tax rate when we see some many around us taking advantage of such a broken system? Keep going down this road and supporting politicians that want to go down this road and see how many others choose to leave for more tax friendly countries. You might just find that those making under $100k a year will be considered the "new" rich and expected to carry the burden you thought it was okay for those of us making $250 carry today.
Factor in mortgage, state and local taxes, commuting, college tuition (for which we do not qualify for aid) etc. etc. and there is really not much left. You really have consider location when having this discussion. It angers me when the politicians talk about taxing the rich and they are talking about people like me who are just making ends meet.
I agree, at $250 it's comfortable in most cities. I may just be getting by in places like NYC, San Fran and other big cities. Regardless, there aren't enough tax payers making over $250 to solve our debt problem. That's going to take everyone to foot that bill. To single out a small group to pay the tab makes no sense. We need 80-90% of earners paying some portion of their income to pay for the countries infrastructure. Another item that needs to be resolved is a reduction in the power of unions or get rid of them completely. What happened to Hostess is just the first of many companies that will fall if this is not resolved! If a union can drive companies out of business, where does that leave their members? In the unemployment line!
My husband works in healthcare sales. He has good years and he has bad years. We have 2 children, a house, mortgage ins, house maintenance, property taxes, electric bill, water bill, gas bill, sewerage bill, phone bill, cable bill, internet bill, 4 vehicles and one work provided (which we pay an amt for monthly), fuel bill, auto maintenance, auto ins for 4 vehicles, cell phones (YES! WE HAVE TO PAY FOR OUR'S!!) health ins, life ins, food, toiletries, cleaning supplies, etc. We actually have a lower mortgage than most people we know, because we use our money wisely and used equity from old house as a down payment on new home. We are wise with our money. However, we are FAR from "Rich"! There are months his salary does NOT cover our bills, and it's those times we watch our hard earned savings dwindle. We have ONE job, ONE w-2, no other income other than interest (which isn't much). Our deductions are mortgage interest, and charity donations! That's it!! WE have NO LOOPHOLES! I've looked and they just aren't there! I even had someone else do my taxes to see if I was missing something, I wasn't! Why not change that "RICH" statement to those making $500K+. I'm not sure where these people are coming from that $250,000 is considered RICH. Have they tried to live COMFORTABLY on $250K as a family? Just when we get to this point and be happy, they want to hit the "RICH" with more taxes. Nice! When will a person who worked hard all their life get a break? Think of it this way, we are in the 33% tax bracket on the good years. If a person makes $250K, he will give $82,500 to feds (to waste!!) and that doesn't include Social Security, $6221 or state taxes. When you do the math, that "RICH" person is bringing home LESS THAN $161.300!!! That's ridiculous...and they want more? WITHOUT cutting spending? Are you serious? When I can't afford to buy something, I DON'T BUY IT! It's simple!!! Stop the unnecessary spending!!! Why give it to other countries when we don't have it? Just my opinion. No one that matters will listen. But, at least, it felt good to type it!
Irritated in Louisiana!!!!!
Interesting how those who don't make a family income of $250,000 consider them to be rich or upper class. Work hard to get ahead....and your reward is to pay MORE than your fair share. If everyone paid the same % of their pay....that would be a fair share from everyone. How is it that someone who takes advantage of this countries infrastructure can pay little to no taxes? How does that make sense?
$250k is comfortable and in some situations; took a life time of HARD work to achieve (those of us over 50); it is NOT rich by any sense. What it allowed was the ability to not worry about monthly finances and college fees for our children. And to HELP them out as adults starting a life. We've EARNED some freedoms as we aged; we still drive 1990 automobiles, shop @ discount stores, we give to charities and are frugal because we're not sure what the future will hold for us. Our medical requirements are growing as we discover new ailments and expenses to 'keep up' with technology or fall behind, are costly! We are NOT RICH!
My wife and I are in early fifties, have raised 4 children to successful adulthood. Together we hope to crack the 250k barrier this year. We've lived in same house for 15 years, have two cars that are more than 6 years old each. In order to earn my income, I'm traveling 60 percent of the time, and she has a full time job and also has her own part time business. Between college loans from our children, medical bills not covered by insurance and helping children and family through various life issues, we do live comfortably, but do not even have the ability to take a vacation unless tied into a business trip. So how does this compare to the "millionaire" to which we are being called? We are blessed but certainly not living the "rich" millionaire style that all those who don't pay taxes think we are. No wonder 60 percent are ok with tax hikes...they don't pay any federal taxes anyway
My wife and I had a combined income of $260,000.00 in 2011. We both had full time jobs that consumed nearly all of our time. We paid a large share of our income to federal and state income taxes, state sales taxes, local real estate and excise taxes. We lost many tax deductions because of our income. We worked very hard our entire lives and paid 100% of our child's college education without any tax benefit.
Our lives were very difficult we lost a business twenty years ago and almost lost our home. We worked hard to educate ourselves to survive the many challenges that life brings. We never received a hand out. We both had jobs that exposed us to laziness of many Americans such as employees who are looking for free time and students that are allowed to disrupt the school environment.
Now in semi retirement, with few assets, we still pay heavy taxes, loans from the difficult days, and a small higher income premium for medicare.
I am sick of politicians that try gain support by claiming that the prosperous pay more.
A couple making $250,000 or more a year is living comfortably but not rich. Once the taxes we pay increases to 39%, certain perks that we used to enjoy because we feel we have no time doing it will be cut first.And this includes our long time house cleaner who we used to give $125 per cleaning (and probably NEVER pay taxes as much as we do) and the gardener who has been working with us for years now will lose $300/month because we will have to get a cheaper service. And we might not hire or lay off one of our worker so we can make the cut of less than $250,000 so as not to pay too much taxes. Are we selfish? Most definitely not. Just ask the number of charities we give our time and money to. Yes, we live comfortably and we love to go out and enjoy ourselves and travel when we have time (which we cherish a lot because we work all the time).But enjoying your money after years of going to school and working to improve your own company should not be considered a liability. We are not billionaires so don't classify us as such. No poor people hired me in my lifetime, but a lot of rich people took a chance on me that is why we are "rich".
You can live a nice life in small town American on $250K, but not in a city. Real life scenario. 2 people living in Chicago, got married this year. The same 2 people got promotions this year. With bonuses they will make $252K combined, right on that tax limit effectively they now make less than they did prior to their promotions. They moved in to the wives 1 bedroom apartment which was bought in 2007. They want to start a family and buy a bigger space; with the housing collapse the condo is listed for $60K below the original purchase price plus they will have to shell out another $20K - $25K in realator fees and closing costs. The husbands 2002 Ford Explorer does not have heat or AC. They pay their bills on time. They don't complain. Are they rich? Not by a long shot.
Boston area real estate prices are prohibitive ,real estate taxes, mortgages, rent, parking fees, excise taxes, energy costs, car insurance, health insurance, food, gas, oil heat, entertainment costs, sporting event tickets - Red Sox, Patriots, Celtics, Bruins - plus parking and concessions at home games all add up to an exorbitant amount of money for two people, even a family of five night out at the movies is way too expensive. Now add costs of tuition, books, fees and school uniforms, sports participation fees and library fees and that's just for middle school, junior high and high school. College tuition costs in the United States represent a terrible hurdle for hundreds of thousands of families and the rewards for such tremendous financial sacrifices do not translate into a guaranteed secure , stable employment future. And so the struggle continues even at a gross of 20,000 dollars per month. Rich, nope, not even close.
Being rich might mean you can afford a car you don't need, a butler, a second house, have no debt, and have investments making all of that income. In most major metro areas you could not easily make that happen on $250,000. Probably on $500,000, but remember that taxes go up the more you make so it isn't as easy as it looks.
Here's the deal, 250K is a excellent income, how ever it's relevant to your expenses, saving for retirement, collage education expense, payment for health care. After SS tax, federal and state tax there's not a lot left over, sure we might travel some and attended outing but were far from rich.
Live comfortably yes but not rich
You could make $250,000 a year and be poor if you started the year in debt. Or, if you live where the cost of living is high. To be rich you need high net worth. You need assets with real value. You could make $250,000 a year in income, but if you don't own anything (say you have a $250,000 a year coke habit), you are not rich. Sorry!
A house: Living in Southern CA - enough said. A home in a decent neighborhood is about half a million dollars!
Taxes - (property, sales, income, and federal) are through the roof, and they always find a reason to add to them.
Education: Public school education (college level) has more than tripled in the past decade. At $250K, parents do not qualify for any financial aid, but are expect to shell out about 20-30K a year for a college education.
We make a bit over that between us. And we certainly don't feel rich. With a 5k/month mortgage and nearly 20K per year in property taxes, we're already out 80K just to keep a roof over our heads. It's a nice roof, a typical middle class house, nothing super fancy. It would cost a WHOLE LOT less to have a similar house in most places in the country. Then add in the high income taxes. And high cost of just about everything here, and you're pretty much living pay check to pay check, without a huge cash reserve. Admittedly our net worth isn't too bad, since we have significant retirement savings and our houses is worth a lot more than we owe on it (since prices keep going up and up and up here). If rich means "high net worth" then we're rich. But if it means "significantly positive cash flow" we sure the heck aren't rich. We're just a transmitter of funds.
Not if it's self-employment income. Self-employed have to pay double the FICA since they are both employer and employee, on TOP of all the other taxes that everyone else pays (up to $113,700 of their income). The 15% of self-employment taxes alone when both people earn an individual income is $34,110, and that's not even touching federal, state, or property taxes, which can tack on another $70,000 per year AT LEAST, depending on where they live (the $70k is conservative in my opinion). So now we've just taken over $100k right off the top in taxes alone (which we all know don't really end there, throw sales tax and car registration in there which are also taxes paid throughout the year) . Also, people who usually make this type of income have achieved their ability to earn such income by incurring debt of some sort, usually through a student loan if they work for a company as a professional, or through business lines of a credit (or personal lines) if they are self-employed or small business owners. The additional tax burden as the income grows affects their budgets and ability to pay down the debt that got them there in the first place, burdening them further with interest on such loans. For a family of 4, 250K would be considered "comfortable" in that they can pay their bills and afford things like life insurance, IRA contributions, and college funds, but I wouldn't say "rich" by ANY means.
Me and my wife are 34 with 2 small kids living in So Cal. Including our bonuses and stock we pull in $265-$270K a year. There is no way I consider my self rich. Live in a < 1500 sq ft town house, drive old cars (mine is 12 years old), eat out 2-3 times a week (mostly below $40 meals for the family), no expensive vacations. Taxes take away so much of our income. Child care $2.5K/mnth. After saving for retirement and college savings plans we hardly have a lot of spending money left.
But I do admit that compared with a lot of Americans while we dont have a lot spending money we do have a healthy retirement savings and hopefully will put our kids through college so they wont have to take student loans (at least not a whole lot).
My husband paid his way through college and grad school and works very hard every day. He makes $136k a year but we still struggle to pay some bills. We started out with $70k in college loans and we managed to pay them down to about $20k. We live in a small 3 bedroom house in PA that we bought in 1997 for $275k and have property taxes of about $7500 for under a 1/2 acre. We focus on saving for retirement and college tuition for our two kids. Our cars are 8 years old and we really could not afford to buy new ones. We take one vacation a year where we go camping in New York state. I recently started working Full time for $15/hr after leaving my career to raise my kids. When I decided to return to the workforce, I realized that I could not break back into my old career in marketing, where I was making $98k. It's depressing that I put as much effort into working as my husband, yet I am taxed at his high rate so it almost doesn't pay for me to work at this pay level. I don't feel poor by any means but I would not consider myself to be upper-middle class either. For this reason, I don't consider $250k to be wealthy. Upper middle class is a better label for that level of salary.
$250,000 is a reasonable salary for an aspiring young adult in their late twenties in an economy where an engineer can graduate from college and make a starting salary of $75,000, a mariner can graduate from a college with a coast guard license and make a starting salary of $130,000, and someone can earn much more money after earning a MBA or JD with a company paying for it after a number of years of work for the company. These starting salaries are for a young adult at age 21. The young adult can make $250,000 a year by their late twenties through advancing in the company and investing money into IRA's, stocks, and putting money away into a bank account.
It's not my concern what others make. My husband and I work hard and have 4 amazing kids. We aren't rich by any means. We have paid everything off. Our house, vehicles, toys etc. We have made the most of our money. We make maybe 50k year. I don't envy others that make more. They have earned it. I don't pitty those with less. Most people live out of their means and expect a hand out. Well, I say pony up or shut up. I would like to make more money so I started going to school again to get a degree. I'm working hard now and will work harder with my degree. My kids no what hard work is and be great workers too. They know nothing is free and that you have to earn it to appreciate it.
In San Jose we make around 130k per year, we drive our cars that cost under 20k we own a house that is a mobile home that costs 250k most homes in San Jose cost around 700k here, and that is for a home that was last renovated in 1975
The less than intelligent current administration hates people who work hard for their money. Hey, Barry Soetero, I built my business, not your pathetic government. If you try and make something better for your family, the government steals half and gives it to those that are looking for a raise on heir welfare check. Great job buying votes, Barry.
With the rapid increase in inflation and cost of living, $250k a year doesn't make one wealthy but it's quite comfortable. The real measure of wealth is net worth, job security and optimism for a prosperous future. The major threats to wealth are, long term debt, taxes and fragile employment prospects.
Given the cost of living and raising children, in my case with four kids in a good school district, $250K is comfortable but not rich... If anything it approaches affluence, but not real wealth. Real wealth would be passive income generating $250K I'm addition to my salary. Further to take into consideration is cash reserves or investments, which would need to near $1M to be in the stratosphere of true wealth.
I don't think anyone earning $250,000 a year is rich any more. There are 30 year old VP's in investment banks who earn that in today's world. Rich to me is the ability to own luxuries like a home in the nicest neighbourhood of the city, the ability to take 3 holidays of your choice each year and have enough to comfortably supper your kids' university education through your own income and not your savings. Rich also means the ability to be able to own really nice cars and maybe your own yacht. I'm not even sure investment bankers can be classified as rich anymore. I think we're looking at a net worth of $10m in a city like New York, Dubai or London to be called rich now.
At first blush a family a yearly income of a quarter of a million dollars certainly sounds "Rich". And while certainly well above the medial household income ($50,045.00 - 2011), the reality is not nearly as "flush" as it my seem. Using New Jersey as a model, the total State and Federal Income on $250,00.00 is approx. 42.5 % or $106,000.00 leaving an approx. Annual net income of $144,000.00. In 2011 the average household (2.5 persons) had an median income of $50,054.00 with average expenditures of 49,316.00. The average expenditures of households with incomes over $150,000.00 is approx. $128,000.00 annually
which when subtracted from their net income of $144,000.00 leaves $16,000.00 for savings and/or extraordinary expenses. "RICH" has throughout history meant (and still does) being wealth enough to be beyond the vicissitudes of life. In today's reality people with household incomes or $250,000.00 are no longer insulated from the effects of economic depression, natural disaster and/or catastrophic illness. In other words, they are "Well Off" but far from being "RICH". Times have changed and the new economic realities have redefined the traditional definitions of the various socio-economic groups.
Just finishing residency only making $45k year for the last 3 years and, finally making a decent wage. Luckily parents paid for undergrad. But how many of you have $200k in just medical school loans?
You think that $250k is rich? 33% in taxes is $82.5k. That leaves $167k -24k for student loan payments, leaving $143k. Which really isn't that much. Another $24k/yr for a modest $300k house.
The avgerage turn key house for a family of 4 costs over $800k in my area. The cost of child care for twins is $2k within our commute distance. Gasoline is always over $4 here and approaches $5 during blend changes in CA. After you remove the costs of living your American dream and saving for your retirement and your kids college tuition, there is not much left over. Tax percentages should be level for all property values and incomes. Fair is fair. Obama's redistribution of wealth and entitlement programs have ruined the American dream and created entitlement babies.
I believe it all depends where you live. I live in a smallish home in northern NJ where most families are making between 150k-250k+ a year. Despite our small cape being worth about 400k-500k, if we had this same house and same property out in PA or even some parts of southern NJ, it would be worth MAYBE 150k. Go out even more towards the mid-western states and it would be worth even less. Yes there are plenty of people who make 250k a year but their cost of living does not compare with every other place. Making a NY city salary in NY city impacts your life WAYYY differently than making a NY city salary in Oklahoma. To look at salary without seeing other variables is absurd. People say they have struggles with making 50k a year and I believe it but do not think for a second that people making 250k a year do not have similar struggles. Look at the areas people live before you judge them by their income.
If you are living beyond your means than no 250k is not that much in today's world. There are many people making decent money without assets and/or money in the bank. If the money is invested in things other than materialistic things than yes you can be a very wealthy individual.
It depends on the area you are living in and whether you have a family or not. In MA you would in no way be rich. I think rich means you do not have to worry about money and 250000 after taxes and in MA you have to add another 6% of income taxes there is not much left for the high cost of living.
I agree that the amount you make usually correlates to cost of living. Therefore, a $35K income in rural Texas is probably comparable to a $250K salary in NYC. It's all relative to where you live and unfortunately people don't always that that into consideration. I live comfortably on $50k but I am also single without any children.