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.
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.