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(65,202 posts)
Wed Jan 18, 2023, 09:20 PM Jan 2023

How well off financially do you see yourself?

Just curious to see the breakdown at DU. I don’t have an income right now, but still trying to get disability. If you use other income (like from a spouse or family member), consider that in your response. I share my mom’s SS income for now. Not putting income figures in some categories since degree of wealth can vary by region of the US or by country.

48 votes, 1 pass | Time left: Unlimited
No or low income
13 (27%)
Middle class
18 (38%)
Upper middle class
13 (27%)
Top 1% wealthy (around $500,000 per year average in US)
0 (0%)
1 (2%)
Multi-millionaire or more
2 (4%)
1 (2%)
Show usernames
Disclaimer: This is an Internet poll
29 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
Highlight: NoneDon't highlight anything 5 newestHighlight 5 most recent replies
How well off financially do you see yourself? (Original Post) mvd Jan 2023 OP
Seems to me a measure of self-deception bucolic_frolic Jan 2023 #1
Here's a handy dandy calculator! 50 Shades Of Blue Jan 2023 #2
Thanks for that! mvd Jan 2023 #3
:) 50 Shades Of Blue Jan 2023 #4
According to your link, I am definitely lower income now mvd Jan 2023 #5
I am so sorry to hear that. As retired Feds, my husband and get comfortable pensions, 50 Shades Of Blue Jan 2023 #10
Says I'm middle (not upper or lower) jimfields33 Jan 2023 #6
Should be based on your net worth, not income. n/t Yavin4 Jan 2023 #8
It definitely should take net worth into account - Ms. Toad Jan 2023 #11
My B-I-L is in the same boat. DFW Jan 2023 #14
Apparently, I'm in the upper income bracket and the majority of people like me are. SYFROYH Jan 2023 #25
Being "well off" is relative. Compared to what? phoenix75 Jan 2023 #7
That's why I used some flexibility here mvd Jan 2023 #9
I'm personally low income (disabled) Elessar Zappa Jan 2023 #12
That's good they have the pension mvd Jan 2023 #13
That's a tough situation. Elessar Zappa Jan 2023 #15
Yeah, second try mvd Jan 2023 #16
Get a lawyer. Elessar Zappa Jan 2023 #17
Also... write your congressperson Takket Jan 2023 #19
Yep, my rep is a Dem mvd Jan 2023 #28
It depends on what you mean by "well off". elocs Jan 2023 #18
You make a good point Sympthsical Jan 2023 #20
This is weird Sympthsical Jan 2023 #21
+1 Emile Jan 2023 #22
Yup nt XanaDUer2 Jan 2023 #24
I was genuinely curious mvd Jan 2023 #27
Totally agree this is weird Firehawk Jan 2023 #29
Passing, Because... ProfessorGAC Jan 2023 #23
I'd label myself as middle class Victor_c3 Jan 2023 #26


(65,202 posts)
5. According to your link, I am definitely lower income now
Wed Jan 18, 2023, 09:43 PM
Jan 2023

It is a shame. When I was younger and my dad was alive, we were solidly middle class. My dad worked a long time as a scientist but lost his job earlier than expected and then got cancer.

50 Shades Of Blue

(10,256 posts)
10. I am so sorry to hear that. As retired Feds, my husband and get comfortable pensions,
Wed Jan 18, 2023, 10:34 PM
Jan 2023

I know we're luckier than many people, but I'm still always waiting for the other shoe to drop.

ETA: We're in the average range.

Ms. Toad

(34,423 posts)
11. It definitely should take net worth into account -
Thu Jan 19, 2023, 01:57 AM
Jan 2023

But probably shouldn't be entirely based on net worth.

My parents' farmland is worth between 3 and 4 million - but as working farmers, my parents income was always close enough to the "free lunch" level that they completed the forms every year during my childhood.

But since none of the kids became farmers, that asset will have a very different value once it is inherited by the kids.

Having millions tucked away in investment accounts is a lot different from having millions tucked away in farmland that (with the investment of back-breaking labor) barely generates enough to live off of.


(54,850 posts)
14. My B-I-L is in the same boat.
Thu Jan 19, 2023, 03:13 AM
Jan 2023

His only surviving parent owns what is theoretically some farmland in the Midwest somewhere reputed to have been worth a million or more. Theoretically. When he inherits it, and tries to sell it, if all he can get for it is $45,000, he gets $45,000 in cash and $955,000 worth of theory.


(34,193 posts)
25. Apparently, I'm in the upper income bracket and the majority of people like me are.
Thu Jan 19, 2023, 11:48 AM
Jan 2023

Based on your household income and the number of people in your household, YOU are in the UPPER income tier, along with 21% of adults in [my area in GA].

"Among all American adults with your education, age, race or ethnicity, and marital status, 5% are LOWER income, 38% are MIDDLE income and 57% are UPPER income."


(290 posts)
7. Being "well off" is relative. Compared to what?
Wed Jan 18, 2023, 10:05 PM
Jan 2023

I like the quote by Henry Thoreau: "we don't own things, things own us."
I am 75 and retired with Social Security and a modest pension for income, but have never been more content and happy in my life. If someone has food, shelter, clothing, and their health, IMO they have everything and are truly "well off."


(65,202 posts)
9. That's why I used some flexibility here
Wed Jan 18, 2023, 10:07 PM
Jan 2023

I didn’t want to restrict it to numbers. I do agree that if you have those things, you can at least be comfortable. Being comfortable is something I still don’t have.

Elessar Zappa

(14,282 posts)
12. I'm personally low income (disabled)
Thu Jan 19, 2023, 02:20 AM
Jan 2023

but I live with my parents who each have social security and a small pension so I live more like lower middle class.


(65,202 posts)
13. That's good they have the pension
Thu Jan 19, 2023, 03:07 AM
Jan 2023

Unfortunately my dad went through his pension and inheritance and never found work again. All that was left was his Social Security, which my mom got when she became a widow.

Elessar Zappa

(14,282 posts)
17. Get a lawyer.
Thu Jan 19, 2023, 08:43 AM
Jan 2023

A good one won’t charge you upfront but instead will take 25% of your back pay if and when you get approved. If you’re not approved, they get nothing.


(21,891 posts)
19. Also... write your congressperson
Thu Jan 19, 2023, 08:58 AM
Jan 2023

My wife was denied. We got a lawyer. It languished for months. When we wrote our congressperson I don’t know what their office did but it got approved almost immediately. That was back in 2002 I believe.

Hopefully your rep is a Democrat because if they are a rethug good luck getting them to give a shit about a disabled person seeking what you are entitled to.


(22,760 posts)
18. It depends on what you mean by "well off".
Thu Jan 19, 2023, 08:54 AM
Jan 2023

I'm retired and poor, under the 100% Federal Poverty Rate. But after I pay my bills each month I have money left over. I have plenty of food and never go hungry. I have good health insurance that doesn't cost me a dime and actually gives back to me. I have a credit score of over 800 and am in excellent health. Being "well off" financially is a comparison because I am not as well off as many and far more well off than many others. Technically I am poor, but content.


(9,238 posts)
20. You make a good point
Thu Jan 19, 2023, 09:35 AM
Jan 2023

Sometimes just putting numbers on things isn't really getting the picture. My mom is retired and widowed. She let go of the house after my father died. Now, she lives in an apartment in a senior community as a renter. However, she has social security and part of my father's pension. She's not struggling to pay her bills or cover her medical costs.

While the strict numbers might put her in a lower income, she's living a perfectly comfortable life.

Compare that to younger people who live and work in the Bay Area. I have friends who make six figures who are renters with home ownership out of reach and many of them have been paying student loans their entire working lives. When you put together cost of living and debt, they could be one medical crisis away from having their situations upended.

Even though we might see, "Oh, you're making this much money and have this job. You must be doing awesome!" we never really know what anyone's individual circumstances might actually be.


(9,238 posts)
21. This is weird
Thu Jan 19, 2023, 09:42 AM
Jan 2023

No offense, but when repeatedly asking for money and following up by asking what people are holding is kind of weird.

I wouldn't be comfortable answering this question at all given the context.


(65,202 posts)
27. I was genuinely curious
Thu Jan 19, 2023, 12:37 PM
Jan 2023

Really nothing more to it than that. I don’t feel like I should be entitled to any donations based on any answers. In all my over 21 years here I only asked in one of those years and don’t plan on continuing. Plus I post on all kinds of topics.


(11 posts)
29. Totally agree this is weird
Thu Jan 19, 2023, 03:17 PM
Jan 2023

MVD"s latest cash grab in the Lounge fell flat and now he's pressing everyone about their financial status. Something's not right about this at all.


(66,070 posts)
23. Passing, Because...
Thu Jan 19, 2023, 10:25 AM
Jan 2023

...more than one apply.
I'd say our retirement income puts us in upper middle class. Yes, our assets are well into 7 digits but when that's income generating capital it doesn't have quite the impact that "multimillionaire" evokes. Besides that word means to 999 million. That covers too much space.
Suffice it to say there will be no tag days for us in our town.


(3,557 posts)
26. I'd label myself as middle class
Thu Jan 19, 2023, 12:01 PM
Jan 2023

My income is roughly $125,000 before taxes and about $8,800 a month after taxes and withholdings and whatnot. Out of that, I pay roughly $1,500 a month in alimony and another $1,500 a month in child support. So, I live off of about $5,800 a month.

When I used to live about an hour north of NYC, that wouldn’t be enough to support a family of four at a modest level.

Now that I’m divorced and living in the Toledo, Oh area, that $5,800 a month goes quite far supporting me as a single guy.

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