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Finder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-18-05 07:39 PM
Original message
What is "Rich"?
Having a million in "assets" does not a millionaire make. I think most of us know that the inflated property values can sometimes put us in high brackets although we live modestly.

Most "millionaires" I know live paycheck to paycheck. In actuality, many are small business persons who sometimes don't even take a paycheck in order to pay employees.

Trying to build assets to make our children't lives better should never be penalized.(Isn't that the American Dream?) Leaving the wealth in the hands of those who can afford fancy lawyers and accountants to set up offshore corps and trust funds is how we got in this mess.
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TallahasseeGrannie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-18-05 07:40 PM
Response to Original message
1. Rich
is not having to balance your checkbook. I'm not there yet.
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leftchick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-18-05 07:43 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. really?
I don't balance mine and I know damn well I am not rich. I just have a number phobia of some kind. I Hate Numbers!

:(
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TallahasseeGrannie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-18-05 07:46 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. One time I refinanced my house
and put all the profits into checking account. (Okay, not smart)

But for a while I didn't have to look at the balance. I was rich.

For a while.
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Tace Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-18-05 07:41 PM
Response to Original message
2. Note The Proportion Of Lawyers In Our Government
We're getting scammed by a bunch of immoral lawyers, in case you haven't noticed.
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Finder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-18-05 07:54 PM
Response to Reply #2
11. You can't generalize lawyers...
there are good lawyers and bad lawyers, immoral lawyers and moral ones.
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Bluzmann57 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-18-05 07:42 PM
Response to Original message
3. Rich in monetary terms
Who the hell knows? It ain't me. But I have tried my level best to raise to make my children rich in character and spirit. Does that count? For that matter, does that even make sense?
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Finder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-18-05 07:48 PM
Response to Reply #3
7. That is the most important, IMO.(nt)
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mcscajun Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-18-05 07:44 PM
Response to Original message
5. "Rich" in economic terms (at least to me) means you're not
Edited on Sun Sep-18-05 07:45 PM by mcscajun
scraping from paycheck to paycheck, you don't have any debt aside from the usual (mortgage, car loan) and you can actually begin to put away serious funds for the future and shop for things without cringing. You don't owe the IRS, no collection agencies need to call you, and you can sleep well at night.

Wealthy means you live off your interest and dividends, and all of the above is totally irrelevant. You never have to ask the price of something; you just get it.

Neither guarantees happiness, but it sure makes it a helluva lot easier getting through a day.




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Finder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-18-05 07:52 PM
Response to Reply #5
8. That is not rich, that is middle class.
Your definition of wealthy is what I define rich being.
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mcscajun Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-18-05 09:40 PM
Response to Reply #8
25. I'm using a broader definition, obviously.
By global standards, most of us here in the US are rich.
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Igel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-18-05 07:54 PM
Response to Reply #5
12. Gee. We're rich.
On $55k per year income for a family of three.

No mortgage: we rent. Stashing aside cash for buying, but with only 10% for the downpayment, I don't feel quite comfortable buying yet.

No car payments: one car's 12 years old, the other was paid for with cash last year (cheapest new car we could find).

No interest: we pay off credit cards every month.

But we're not rich. The definition needs tightening up.

And my parents live off pension, interest, and dividends. Mostly the latter, my ma's pension's small. They own their huge McMansion, travel abroad at least once a year (we're not talking Nogales), eat out regularly. They're retired steelworkers. Who knew blue collar work would make them wealthy?
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mcscajun Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-18-05 09:41 PM
Response to Reply #12
26. I wouldn't call y'all rich.
$55,000 for one person would be rich.

Not for two or three.
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kentuck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-18-05 07:52 PM
Response to Original message
9. It's all relative...
What percentage of people in this country make less than 25,000 per year? And how many cannot afford to fill their tank up tomorrow? And how many do not have a job? And how many do not have health insurance? And how many are hungry or do not eat a healthy meal in a week? How many are homeless? How many have no property at all? So if you have property worth a million dollars, yes you are rich.
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rainbow4321 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-18-05 10:08 PM
Response to Reply #9
32. Isn't **that** the truth...
My daughter's 15 yr old friend came over and saw that we drink store bought bottled water (vs. tap) and have a microwave mounted above the oven---he totally UNintentionally sent me into a guilt trip by innocently commenting to my daughter that we were "rich". Makes one realize how much we take for granted, ya know??
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-18-05 07:53 PM
Response to Original message
10. So many things... Here's a few
Edited on Sun Sep-18-05 07:53 PM by SoCalDem
Going to work when you FEEL like it or want to
Not having to call someone for permission to not go to work
Writing a check for bills as they arrive in the mail
Paying bills in full when they arrive
Buying a car you WANT ..and writing a check for it
Taking a vacation when you WANT, instead of when you are told "it's ok".
Going to lunch when you want..and staying at lunch as long as you want
Having your kids go to the college of their choice..not where they can manage to get some financial help going
being able to not work for long periods of time if the spirit moves you to travel


those are a few
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Finder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-18-05 08:20 PM
Response to Reply #10
15. That is successfully self-employed...
not rich per se.
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-18-05 08:20 PM
Response to Reply #15
16. success/rich.. Most people would take either
:)
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Finder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-18-05 08:52 PM
Response to Reply #16
17. But lumping them in with the Ken Lay or Paris....
Hilton is not realistic.
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liberalitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-18-05 07:55 PM
Response to Original message
13. Death by chocolate..... man that stuff is rich....
better have a glass of milk
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MazeRat7 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-18-05 08:03 PM
Response to Original message
14. There are many "standards"... but to me.....
A person is "rich" if they want what they have.

Financially speaking only... around here you are "rich" if you have a net yearly income of over $250k and a net worth in excess of $5M.

Good thing you didn't ask about being "wealthy"... (think Bill Gates, Michael Dell, Warren Buffet, etc...)

MZr7


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lostnfound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-18-05 09:11 PM
Response to Original message
18. & compare a decedent with 4 young kids vs decedent w/1 middle-aged child
Edited on Sun Sep-18-05 09:11 PM by lostnfound
Anything over $1 million per decedent is taxed at 55%--if you die after 2010.

So in the first case, the parent can leave $250,000 each tax-free, to provide support for them throughout their youth and college years. If the estate includes the family home valued at $400,000 house, there's $150,000 in liquid assets. By the time they graduate, how much will be left?

In the second case, the parent can pay for private schools, cars, piano lessons or ballet or whatever, college, and help with a down-payment on a house, and still leave $1 million tax free. If it's a married couple, they can leave $2 million tax free, if they do it right. And they are likely to transfer it over decades before their deaths, so the $2 million can easily grow to $5 or $6 million -- tax free.

There's a big difference between a minor child who has lost his parents inheriting $250,000 that is then drawn down for his support, and a middle-aged child who has been helped by his parents for 30 or 40 years, inheriting $1 million transferred over in investment property that grows for 20 years or more.

If any of the children have disabilities that might make them have trouble supporting themselves, things get very complicated.

I'm in favor of an estate tax, but it ought to be far smaller -- 10%, perhaps -- so that rich people won't go to such insane lengths to avoid it. And/or perhaps the $1 million cap should be based on the side of the heir rather than the decedent -- if a multi-millionaire bequeaths $1 million each to 20 of his favorite people (children, friends, whoever), society is better served than handing out $20 million to one person. It would tend to reduce wealth disparity.
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DanCa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-18-05 09:12 PM
Response to Original message
19. Cheese is a rich man's food seriously
Edited on Sun Sep-18-05 09:14 PM by DanCa
we had a saying back when i was a kid. If you could afford cheese on your hamburger your rich. The problem i think is that minimum wage is not keeping pace with the cost of living and that chimp co is not producing enough jobs.
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maine_raptor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-18-05 09:14 PM
Response to Original message
20. Being Rich is
being happy with your life and with your family and friends.
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bigmonkey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-18-05 09:16 PM
Response to Original message
21. What about this?
If the annual return on your investments is equivalent to the median income then: Congratulations, you're rich!
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Finder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-18-05 09:26 PM
Response to Reply #21
24. What is the median income in the US?(nt)
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GreenPartyVoter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-18-05 09:17 PM
Response to Original message
22. Apparently I am rich. My 5 yo said so when he helped dad bring
in and put away the groceries today. He was overawed at watching the bare cupboards fill up. *g*

I told him we are also rich because we have a nice cozy trailer and that no one is really very sick in our family. (Dad has a cold and says he is on death's doorstep, but I don't think so.)

Anyway, I am very pleased that my littlest boy has his priorities in order.
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DanCa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-18-05 09:24 PM
Response to Reply #22
23. My grandpa's favorite saying
Some of the richest people on earth, dont have a dime to thier names.
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GreenPartyVoter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-18-05 10:00 PM
Response to Reply #23
29. Amen :^)
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ElsewheresDaughter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-18-05 09:47 PM
Response to Original message
27. i'd say 5 million is a good place to start
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KharmaTrain Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-18-05 09:59 PM
Response to Original message
28. Rich Is What One Makes Of It
According to my accountant, someone who earns over $250,000 and has cash assets, not stocks, but actual cash, of over 1,000,000 is a millionaire.

To an acquaintance who is a millionaire and doesn't mind letting everyone know he is...you're not a "REAL" millionaire, until you have assets in excess of $10 million. Another told me it's when you're net income is $1 mil a year.

I knew a lot of "millionaires" in the dot com boom days of the 90s. They took websites they started with maybe a couple hundred dollars, found a way to IPO and overnight their paper assets were six figures. The smart ones found a way to cash out. Many got stuck with the paper when the market finally busted.

Those are the millionaires you saw living paycheck to paycheck, since their net worth was purely on the paper. It's one thing to have those assets, it's another turning it to liquid.

I don't want to get into the Death tax thing here, but there are ways for wealthy people to pass along wealth to their kids at a younger age and avoid a lot of the taxes. There's the UGTMA that lets you give each kid $11,000 a year (I know Paris Hilton goes through that in a weekend) or you can set up a trust or corporation where the kids can dip into it and pay taxes at a lower rate. Plus, the current bar of passing along inheritance before it's taxed is somewhere around 1.7 million and on its way to 2. This is plenty to cover "the family farm" or "store"...and plenty to keep the next generation in spending money.

Cheers...
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B Calm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-18-05 10:05 PM
Response to Original message
30. You know you're rich when you consider flying coach to save a
buck, then later laugh about it for even thinking about doing such a thing.

I consider rich as one who is healthy, and has a loving family to lean on.
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B Calm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-18-05 10:19 PM
Response to Reply #30
36. When you can afford 3 half naked hula girls to swat your bare butt
with palm leaves..
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cleofus1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-18-05 10:08 PM
Response to Original message
31. 1 million
annual reported income for single person...
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Warren DeMontague Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-18-05 10:11 PM
Response to Original message
33. George Bush Claiming That He's Made Us Safer
That's Fuckin' RICH.

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electricmonk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-18-05 10:15 PM
Response to Original message
34. I'm not really sure what rich is but...
This article sums up pretty well what poor is. Being Poor

Being poor is needing that 35-cent raise.

Being poor is knowing you work as hard as anyone, anywhere.

Being poor is people surprised to discover you're not actually stupid.

Being poor is people surprised to discover you're not actually lazy.

Being poor is a six-hour wait in an emergency room with a sick child asleep on your lap.

Being poor is never buying anything someone else hasn't bought first.

Being poor is needing that 35-cent raise.

Being poor is people who have never been poor wondering why you choose to be so.

Being poor is knowing how hard it is to stop being poor.
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applegrove Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-18-05 10:16 PM
Response to Original message
35. Rich is defining yourself by your money.
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Broken_Hero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-19-05 01:07 AM
Response to Original message
37. hmm, rich....
I consider someone rich, who has it better than me, and usually has more $ and monetary things. I think that is why we are getting so many different definitions of rich, because someone who earns 12k a year, is impressed with someone who makes 25k a year, and taht 25k person envy's the people who make over 50k and year, and so on and so forth.

To me, you are rich if you don't worry about money, and the thinsg that you want/desire/need are their for you to buy. I worry about the minor things, gas messes with me, especially lately, and other bills that mount. My wife and i have a good handful of bills, and its hard to keep things going, and we both bring in a total of 30k a year. We have a mortgage, 2 used vans althought the windstar is a glaring piece of crap (both are paid off sorta) we have the phone, electic, propane, insurance, worthless hague water bill, and...a 200 a month payment to our bank for loans to work on said, Worthless ford mini van. Its a task to get all that done...and, if you are complaing about bills like this, its a good sign, that you aren't rich in the scope of things, but compared to those who have less, your life doesn't seem that bad.
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enid602 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-19-05 01:14 AM
Response to Original message
38. security
These days, I's say that anyone who has medical and dental benefits, employment/pension security and a few months' cash reserves is comparatively rich. The number of my friends who fit into this category has shrunk over the last several years.
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ladylibertee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-19-05 01:20 AM
Response to Original message
39. In answer to your question because I think I know where you are...
Edited on Mon Sep-19-05 01:21 AM by ladylibertee
going with this: I think rich is a continual gross net of 100 to 200 million a year.I think rich defines someone who has money coming out of their ass who would rather build yet another golf course than give to the needy. You will fine a list of the "rich" in Forbes magazine. These people get several tax CUTs a year and they should be paying more. I will go a step further and say that this is where the Katrina cash should come from. B-)
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DenaliDemocrat Donating Member (536 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-19-05 01:22 AM
Response to Original message
40. I used to think I was pretty rich
I made enough money for my wife to stay home. We had no credit card debt, paid 40% on my mortgage (modest home, nothing fancy), had one vehicle purchased outright, and a small loan on another. I saved a good portion of each check for my retirement.


We did not eat out, made most of our meals from scratch, and I hunted the majority of our meat.


Same job, five years later. I have credit card debt, I still have one car payment, I have cut back my retirement savings to almost nothing. What has changed? For me, nothing, except everything else has gone up.

When they calculate inflation, they always leave out food prices. What a crock of shit. For a family of five, next to your mortgage, FOOD, is the most expensive commodity out there. Add 40% to my food costs plus the electricity and natural gas bill, then add gasoline on top of it, and you have a guy who was doing pretty well down to just gettin by.

Don't get me wrong, I am not bitching. I have it better than most, and I KNOW that, and I pray for those who must be doing worse than me every night. At least I CAN get along, there are those who CAN't, and it does not have a fuckin thing to do with not wanting to work, it has everything to do with higher prices and lower paying jobs.
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