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Could you live on $100k per year?

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  • Could you live on $100k per year?

    Apparently these people can't:


    What Living On $100,000 A Year Looks Like


    The whole article is truly astounding to me. I'm not a big fan of articles like these mainly because they don't show their monthly spending, which I'm 100% certain would show excess, waste, and poor personal finance habits/decisions.


    One thing that caught my eye was this "but bigger and unexpected expenses are a squeeze — such as his son's college funds or, Hugart says, a recent roof repair". While those are both bigger expenses, neither should be unexpected (this doesn't even include the argument that if you can't afford to retire, your children should probably look for alternative sources of funding for higher education). I could entertain that certain situations could make a roof repair unexpected, but house repairs should be expected and can be successfully planned for.


    This is just another example of how schools and the family unit continue to fail in the area of personal finance.

  • #2
    How come the roof wasn't covered by insurance?

    No reason his son's college funds should fall under his responsibility to the level of being an absolute *must.*

    And then there's this freaking guy:
    Now in Seattle, he says "it's been a big lifestyle change, having grown up in a small, rural Texas family." He's also sitting on a lot of student debt. Haby's already paid off $15,000 of his $30,000 in loans.

    GET. OUT.  My goodness, not $30,000!  Lordy, lordy, how *could* anyone survive on over 3x that of an annual income?

    The whole article is truly astounding to me. I’m not a big fan of articles like these mainly because they don’t show their monthly spending, which I’m 100% certain would show excess, waste, and poor personal finance habits/decisions.
    Click to expand...

    Totally agree.


    • #3
      These people need to call Dave Ramsey.

      I cant live on 100k in Kansas is ridiculous. A privileged lifestyle is not living paycheck to paycheck no matter what you do with your money.


      • #4
        Erstwhile Dance Theatre of Dayton performer cum bellhop. Carried (many) bags for a lovely and gracious 59 yo Cyd Charisse. (RIP) Hosted epic company parties after Friday night rehearsals.


        • #5
          The article was pretty superficial and I suspect some key details have been left out.  The one couple had already filed for bankruptcy once so I'm guessing their financial choices weren't so hot.  But yeah if you can't live on 100K in Olathe, Kansas you're doing something wrong.  I still kind of hate to throw stones at these folks without knowing more about their situation though.

          Back when the ACA was being hashed out Obama had set 250K as the limit below which taxes couldn't be raised.  I remember articles at the time where they found people to say that 250K really wasn't that much, and there wasn't much left over after paying for the expensive house, private schools, new cars, etc.


          • #6
            Yeah, give them all 250k a year and they'll still be saying the same thing...too much debt, too much spending results in living paycheck to paycheck.  It's a hard lesson to learn once you realize you've been living above your means for most of your life, but eventually people in this country are going to have to learn it.


            • #7
              I couldn’t but i have 4 kids in a HCOL area


              • #8

                I bought a new BMW (Z3) for my girlfriend in 2000 (about $45K), so I might have spent more than $100K that year, but not sure.
                Click to expand...

                Recalculate with a 2000 Z3 and new girlfriend. That would comfortably get you under the limit.


                • #9
                  This is the second of such articles I've seen in recent weeks, the first of which focused on the poor, poor rich suburbanite in North Atlanta who had trouble making ends meet despite pulling in $150k a year.  "We really need that mortgage interest deduction - I don't know how we'd make ends meet without it."  The purpose of these articles couldn't be any more transparent, as can be ascertained in the first paragraph of this article.  Attacks at the margins, nothing more.  Et tu, NPR?


                  • #10
                    I'd love to get a deeper look into these folks finances. The article was way too superficial to be able to make any judgement. The couple that declared bankruptcy mentioned medical bills so I suspect that was the main issue. I believe it's the driving factor in most cases.
                    I *could* live on 100k if I had to. But it would require selling our house and probably moving to a LCOL area. And it would make saving up for anything outside of retirement/college slow going. Right now we spend close to 100k/ year and that doesn't include any savings/retirement/529 money/taxes. It does include a very healthy vacation budget though because? So I could see how 100k doesn't feel like a lot after taxes and with a few kids thrown in the mix.


                    • #11
                      I definitely am really interested to see what the finances of those folks in Olathe look like.  I live ten miles away from there, and my family lives on 100k a year as a dual resident couple with significant day care expenses.  We still save around 20% a year (which feels like too little), and could definitely do better if we weren't working so much.  I'd put money that they have bit off too much house and spend a lot of money paying for education expenses for kids.


                      • #12
                        We aspire to live on <100k/year. The current student loan, and mortgage obligations put us well over such an amount for now.


                        • #13
                          100k with a mortgage, kids, college, savings, etc., do-able but not desirable, especially in a HCOL area.  However, 100k in retirement is more than enough.


                          • #14
                            100k in retirement should be more than enough.  Only if you do significant gifting or traveling will you exceed that number.


                            • #15
                              People here are quick to condemn others. Maybe I was one of them a few years ago.

                              100K per year pre taxes or post taxes? If pre tax, take out $40K in tax. That leaves me 60K. My health insurance premium in 2017 was 18K for three people. Unfortunately each person had $5K deductible and coninsurance for another $5K. Guess what. My wife and I had to meet the 10K each this year and my daughter 2K. That is another 22K which makes health care costs $40K. freaking $40K 

                              What does that leave me on to live $20K. That is mortgage, food, clothing, school expenditures ( even for a public school) insurance transportation. Leave alone things like vacation etc. And I live in a medium-Low cost of living area.

                              Don't be in a rush to condemn. Even if the 100K was post tax in some situations it can really eat up the money quickly. Maybe some of you have free or highly subsidized  health care. Others like me don't have it.

                              BTW, insurance does not pay for routine wear and tear of a roof that is now leaking. I went through it. No hail damage to get the free replacement. Cost of new roof with standard shingles - $13K.