How Much Money Do You Need?

Need is a difficult concept to define. Is there an adequate measure?

Perhaps not for the masses, but it should be easier on Wall Street... right?

I find that my financial needs have changed over the years in direct correlation to my perspective on life. Ideas I once swore on like they were the Bible, are now an afterthought...a fleeting mirage in my memory.

There have been times when I made tons of money and felt broke. There have been times where I literally was broke and felt myself the richest man in the land.

This is why I am not posing the question:

How much money do you want?

I'm far more intrigued by what it is that motivates you...than how you quantify that motivation.

Over the summer, I read a seemingly simple article on the varying valuations of wealth in the U.S.

The article stayed buried in my bookmarks, but the subject matter has slowly been gnawing at my brain ever since.

After all...any time that two answers to the same question are as divergent as...

$10,000,000 and a couple thousand a month

I have to stop and remind myself how different we are as people and how hard it is to come to a consensus on anything.

Reading the comments in the private school debate reinforced to me just how different the attitudes that guide us really are.

I must admit that I thought a Wall Street forum would be a place of far more uniform ideas and values when it came to subjects like wealth and opportunity.

Apparently, I was wrong.

At this point, I want to bump one of Eddie's older threads on the subject.

Simultaneously giving a subliminal shout out to main man Search.

Last name, Function.

This post is another of the many small scraps of information which have led me to realize that I don't need anywhere near as much as I desire in terms of monetary satisfaction.

I have certainly come around to the notion that you need far less money than you think you do, not merely in the existential sense.

In fact, I will take the view that money has begun its descent in terms of overall value and power in human society.

I am not just talking about purchasing power here.

I am also thinking of money's ability to provide for a richer fuller life.

I am going to hypothesize that you guys obsessing about the odd zero today, will be sorely disappointed by its true future value at T+something down the road.

But aside from my rantings and wannabee electronic palm reading, I'd like to hear about the numbers that motivate you guys and why?

It seems that the issues of fiscal wealth, prestige and class mobility are still those which elicit the strongest reaction from the modern monkey...even all these years after the introduction of the all-mighty Silver Banana.

So quote me some figures folks...

How much do you need?

...and much more importantly...

Why?

Comments (59)

Mar 2, 2011

That's a tough one. I'm currently meeting all my needs and saving some, making 2k after taxes a month. But realistically, I'm going to need more if I want to have a family and especially if I want to trade my own money on the side and branch out in terms of philanthropic stuff. Not that I need to have a family and trade my PA, that's just what I really want to do. I guess that puts my "needed" annual income at 150k, give or take.

I actually hope I manage to live on something like 150k, even if I absolutely kill it in my career. Compounding is a beautiful thing and I don't think there's any need to go overboard with spending unless it's for others.

Mar 2, 2011

For me, it's a little different. I can't really throw out a figure. My motivation is that my family came from another country and we didn't have any money or family here to help us. My parents' hard work got me us to where we are now so I want to go further than that and make enough to be able to give back to them for their hard work, as well as have a family of my own.
But I've always had this drive to just make as much as I can, like there is no limit. I'm sure once it comes down to it, I could be making a certain amount and be very happy with it.

Mar 2, 2011

IN the words of ludacris - A million bajillion fafillion dollas

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford

Mar 2, 2011

Once I get $50K I can retire and sail around the world. 2 more years and counting.

Mar 2, 2011
karypto:

Once I get $50K I can retire and sail around the world. 2 more years and counting.

Please elaborate......

twitter: @CorpFin_Guy

Mar 2, 2011

I remember reading an article somewhere about the salary that gives people overall the broadest happiness; beyond that, marginal returns start tanking. That number was around $75,000 per year. Adjust that for Manhattan rent and higher cost of basic living and I'd be pretty satisfied with that as well.

Metal. Music. Life. www.headofmetal.com

Mar 2, 2011

I said I needed several hundred grand for retirement three years ago. Now I look at health insurance costs, inflation, additional conservativism post-2008, and the kind of life I want to live- frugal but with a lot of nice experiences like hang gliding and 48-state travel, and the figure has gone up by a factor of 3-4.

What I really need in retirement are income investments that create jobs I can step into if necessary. Unfortunately, with me being a programmer, income investments and tech don't go together very well.

Mar 2, 2011

I'll be happy with 800K a year. Expectations tend to change, back when I was a first year analyst I felt like making 150K was all the money in the world and couldn't even imagine what I'd do with 350K. Nowadays I can easily blow through 350K of income if I felt like it. I guess that's why they call it the rat race.

Mar 2, 2011
IBD_Captain:

I'll be happy with 800K a year. Expectations tend to change, back when I was a first year analyst I felt like making 150K was all the money in the world and couldn't even imagine what I'd do with 350K. Nowadays I can easily blow through 350K of income if I felt like it. I guess that's why they call it the rat race.

My Dutch Calvinist ancestors would come back from the grave and kill me if I spent that much money in a year. They have already turned over in their caskets a couple of times since word got back that I am drinking beer at $7/pour on occasion. (Not that I am drinking but that I am spending so much money to quench my thirst when water is free.)

You can have a very nice life in NYC on $100K/year after tax. $30K/year gets you a pretty sweet 1 bedroom. $10k/year gets you a nice car (the depreciation/capital costs I factored in probably covers the Mustang GT Convertible). $15K/year gets you a pretty nice dinner out every night, and you've got $45K/year left over for other fun stuff.

This simple Dutchman would not know how to spend more than $100K/year unless he were making a major capital purchase (IE: car, coop).

Mar 2, 2011
IlliniProgrammer:
IBD_Captain:

I'll be happy with 800K a year. Expectations tend to change, back when I was a first year analyst I felt like making 150K was all the money in the world and couldn't even imagine what I'd do with 350K. Nowadays I can easily blow through 350K of income if I felt like it. I guess that's why they call it the rat race.

My Dutch Calvinist ancestors would come back from the grave and kill me if I spent that much money in a year. They have already turned over in their caskets a couple of times since word got back that I am drinking beer at $7/pour on occasion. (Not that I am drinking but that I am spending so much money to quench my thirst when water is free.)

You can have a very nice life in NYC on $100K/year after tax. $30K/year gets you a pretty sweet 1 bedroom. $10k/year gets you a nice car (the depreciation/capital costs I factored in probably covers the Mustang GT Convertible). $15K/year gets you a pretty nice dinner out every night, and you've got $45K/year left over for other fun stuff.

This simple Dutchman would not know how to spend more than $100K/year unless he were making a major capital purchase (IE: car, coop).

Spending money is an acquired taste. Like drinking hard liquor or killing hookers.

Mar 2, 2011

How much money do I NEED? What kind of feel good happy horse shit is this?

At the bare minimum people actually NEED something like 10k a year to survive (food, clothing, shelter assuming you're willing to live out of a dumpster). But people WANT a secure future, health care, a better life for their children. That's the shit that's expensive.

Mar 2, 2011

I think putting a number on it is what kills drive. If you like what you're doing (which I hope you do), you should strive to be the best. Why don't Tepper, Buffet, PTJ retire? Because they have the drive to be the best (and I bet the $$$$ doesn't hurt). If I work and every day I just want to leave, my number will be lower. But if I like it, there is no number high enough to satisfy me.

Reality hits you hard, bro...

Mar 2, 2011
MMBinNC:

I think putting a number on it is what kills drive. If you like what you're doing (which I hope you do), you should strive to be the best. Why don't Tepper, Buffet, PTJ retire? Because they have the drive to be the best (and I bet the $$$$ doesn't hurt). If I work and every day I just want to leave, my number will be lower. But if I like it, there is no number high enough to satisfy me.

I think Buffett takes it in stride like a typical Midwesterner. He's not doing it for the sake of being the best but for the sake of doing what he really enjoys. I think at one point he said he's shocked he actually gets paid to do his job.

Life is a lot more fun when you're not hyper-competitive. And I think Buffett has a lot of stuff figured out when his home is worth 1/10th the next cheapest home on the Forbes 1000 list.

Mar 2, 2011

As a single guy living in Manhattan, I think $250K would suffice,but that would have to be all base compensation as I need a fat paycheck every two weeks. That would cover a nice 1-br apt, nice vacation every year, going out 1-2 nights a week and still saving a decent amount.

Mar 2, 2011

It's quite difficult to answer this. It really depends what you want to do with your life. Living a big-shot life, or a chilled out one. The chilled out(have a enjoyable life and not working, working minimal, not stress) one is possible. I would want to make 70K per year (of interest) after tax. Say the interest rate is 5% = 1.4 mil. Before tax = +/- 2.8 million. I think life would be quite good this way. Taking the big shot one, lower changes of succeeding, probably like 50 million or something...
By the way, i'm not in the US.

Mar 2, 2011
Walkerr:

It's quite difficult to answer this. It really depends what you want to do with your life. Living a big-shot life, or a chilled out one. The chilled out(have a enjoyable life and not working, working minimal, not stress) one is possible. I would want to make 70K per year (of interest) after tax. Say the interest rate is 5% = 1.4 mil. Before tax = +/- 2.8 million. I think life would be quite good this way. Taking the big shot one, lower changes of succeeding, probably like 50 million or something...
By the way, i'm not in the US.

Most financial planners recommend living on 4% of your savings if you retire at 65. For someone at 55, I would knock this down to 3.5%. For someone under 40-45, I'd knock it down to 3%.

So if you want to live on $70K/year, I would really push you towards $2.3 million in nontaxable retirement assets, or if you plan on paying 23% of your income in taxes, $3 million. ($4.6 million if you plan on paying 50% in income tax.)

In any case, if you get a higher-end white collar job and save like crazy for three or four years, you will probably start getting cold calls from financial planners- often at your broker or 401k company, but sometimes randomly. On the one hand, it is mildly annoying because it's not worth 100 basis points for someone I don't know will be any better than me at managing my money, but on the other, it's good to know you're worth the time of day from someone else who works in finance.

Mar 2, 2011
IlliniProgrammer:
Walkerr:

It's quite difficult to answer this. It really depends what you want to do with your life. Living a big-shot life, or a chilled out one. The chilled out(have a enjoyable life and not working, working minimal, not stress) one is possible. I would want to make 70K per year (of interest) after tax. Say the interest rate is 5% = 1.4 mil. Before tax = +/- 2.8 million. I think life would be quite good this way. Taking the big shot one, lower changes of succeeding, probably like 50 million or something...
By the way, i'm not in the US.

Most financial planners recommend living on 4% of your savings if you retire at 65. For someone at 55, I would knock this down to 3.5%. For someone under 40-45, I'd knock it down to 3%.

So if you want to live on $70K/year, I would really push you towards $2.3 million in nontaxable retirement assets, or if you plan on paying 23% of your income in taxes, $3 million. ($4.6 million if you plan on paying 50% in income tax.)

In any case, if you get a higher-end white collar job and save like crazy for three or four years, you will probably start getting cold calls from financial planners- often at your broker or 401k company, but sometimes randomly. On the one hand, it is mildly annoying because it's not worth 100 basis points for someone I don't know will be any better than me at managing my money, but on the other, it's good to know you're worth the time of day from someone else who works in finance.

I think he was referring to living only on the interest and not touching the principal

Mar 2, 2011

My motivation came to me my sophomore year of college. I grew up in a pretty standard middle class family. We were always budgeting, we rarely ate out, and any vacation was a VERY big deal. I started making around 30K my sophomore year, which for a 20 year-old with no expenses, is a shit ton of money.

All of sudden, I could eat whatever I wanted, travel to the Bahamas for spring break, and not drink shitty alcohol. It was the most relieving feeling ever - not having to constantly be frugal, cheap, and feel poor. That's the feeling that motivates me.

There's no "magic number" for me, simply whatever covers all of my expenses. When I want something I want to be able to buy it. My upbringing wont mentally allow me to spend more than 40k on a car or buy a ridiculous watch - it just feels too wasteful. I'd much rather use that money on an awesome vacation or do something charitable.

In sum, never having to be stressed about money is what motivates me.

Mar 2, 2011

Enough to comfortably send my kids to the best prep schools without relying on financial aid.

Mar 2, 2011

tree fiddy

Mar 2, 2011

Income wise, $100K would be enough for me as long as I love what I'm doing. That being said, I strive to be the best; to have the highest IRR I can, that drives me much more than making money. I view finance/investing as one big game, because that's what it is. View life as a game, and you'll be amazed at how fun it can be.

Mar 2, 2011

IP, I definitely understand where you're coming from. My family took vacations to upstate New York and Vermont; that's it. The basic rule of thumb when you received any money, whether as a gift, paycheck, etc was to save 50% of it right off the bat. Twenty bucks for a meal was expensive. You get the idea.

When I got to NYU, I was amazed at how much money my fellow students had. You hear stories/conversations that are shocking to a guy like me, even if you factor in that 75% of it is BS--for example, losing several hundred dollars on gambling in one night and not even batting an eyelash? Two thousand bucks for bottle service at [fill in trendy club here]? It takes all my willpower not to just blurt out, "Are you kidding me?"

Metal. Music. Life. www.headofmetal.com

Mar 2, 2011
Pfalzer:

IP, I definitely understand where you're coming from. My family took vacations to upstate New York and Vermont; that's it. The basic rule of thumb when you received any money, whether as a gift, paycheck, etc was to save 50% of it right off the bat. Twenty bucks for a meal was expensive. You get the idea.

When I got to NYU, I was amazed at how much money my fellow students had. You hear stories/conversations that are shocking to a guy like me, even if you factor in that 75% of it is BS--for example, losing several hundred dollars on gambling in one night and not even batting an eyelash? Two thousand bucks for bottle service at [fill in trendy club here]? It takes all my willpower not to just blurt out, "Are you kidding me?"

Hahahaha. Been there. I have less willpower than you. If it's in a group, I sometimes start bragging about how I bought a pair of jeans for $15 or how my haircut cost me $9- doesn't it look like it cost at least $11 guys?

Some of those kids wound up dealing with BK lawyers and couch surfing or living with mom and dad during the crash of 2008. So if it makes you feel any better, the benefits of a frugal attitude might be hard to see, but you benefit from them every day.

Mar 2, 2011

maybe its me, but i think its truly hard for some people to get to know the "truth" behind the numbers until they can truly conceptualize what its like to have zero. To the guy who says hed be happy with 800k, im sorry, your either ridiculous, naive, or both. There is absolutely no justification in any sane persons mind to need 800k a year. I dont care if your Bill Gates, Buffet, or the Charlie Sheen.

But back to my topic. I truly believe it would be a perfect solution if everyone who was to work on wall street or any other super high paying gig to go for 365 days on minimum wage. When you have had nothing or close to nothing, money just becomes secondary. Maybe its lunacy on my part, but when your dying, your not asking for a few more bucks, your asking for a few days.

To answer Midas's questions. my number is simple. All i want is to be able to have 1k POST BILLS a month.
Maybe its the simple man in me. If i can save 10-12grand a year, thats more breathing room than I could EVER need.

"Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish"

Mar 2, 2011

Which means that inflation is burning your interest rate by 250bps before taxes

(5% - 2.5%) * (1-25%) = 1.88% take home purchasing power on the money you have invested. its a far cry from the 5% you appear to be getting

good catch IP

Mar 2, 2011

I don't need much... Only 50% more than everyone else.

http://www.michaelshermer.com/2008/01/weird-things...

Mar 2, 2011
Level70Mage:

I don't need much... Only 50% more than everyone else.

http://www.michaelshermer.com/2008/01/weird-things...

Yeah, but the argument that if everyone gets wealthier you're better off is complete and utter bullshit. So long as I'm getting wealthier less fast than the bloke next to me, the chances of me getting laid go down (half of all people have vaginas and that ain't going to change). Same for entrance into the best schools. Location of the nicest house. And on and on.

Mar 2, 2011

Correction: ~1.3% since you cant deduct inflation on your tax returns

Mar 2, 2011

50xx annual living expenses + a cushion is plenty.

Mar 2, 2011

I need enough for food, shelter, scotch, red bull, bar fund (for going out), and internet/cable/phone bill.

Plus some extra to buy clothes and new electronic devices.

On that I can go for about 10 years as a single guy.

Conservatively, that could come out to 5000 a month

(1000 food + 2500 rent (with utilities) + 75 scotch + 25 red bull + 200 phone/cable/internet + 200 clothes/electronic savings + 1000 bar fund).

Mar 2, 2011

Haha, ivote, like the new avatar; think I'm the only one who gets the reference, Hugo.

I think 50x annual living expenses is a little excessive. Most financial planners say 25x at 60; I think 35x +250K for medical expenses is plenty for a conservative person retiring at 35-40. Back in 2000, TIPS yields were north of 4%- so someone could have had a pretty darned secure retirement on 25x earnings by sticking all of his money into TIPS if you trust the government to pay its bills and keep honest numbers. The extra 10 is just a little extra cushion in case of WWIII, hyperinflation, and other geopolitical uncertainty not factored into the S&P's returns over the past 150 years that you can use partly to supplement a traditional retirement portfolio and partly to stick in foreign currencies, gold, and farmland.

Mar 2, 2011
IlliniProgrammer:

Haha, ivote, like the new avatar; think I'm the only one who gets the reference, Hugo.

I think 50x annual living expenses is a little excessive. Most financial planners say 25x at 60; I think 35x +250K for medical expenses is plenty for a conservative person retiring at 35-40. Back in 2000, TIPS yields were north of 4%- so someone could have had a pretty darned secure retirement on 25x earnings by sticking all of his money into TIPS if you trust the government to pay its bills and keep honest numbers. The extra 10 is just a little extra cushion in case of WWIII, hyperinflation, and other geopolitical uncertainty not factored into the S&P's returns over the past 150 years that you can use partly to supplement a traditional retirement portfolio and partly to stick in foreign currencies, gold, and farmland.

good eye, james. next time i will get you.

Mar 2, 2011

Same as @IBDroid. My parents created something out of nothing, and it's my responsibility to expand their wealth and utilize/take advantage of the opportunity they have given me. Frankly I don't care about the material things in life. I know that I will give away 75% of my wealth before I pass.

But my walk away number in todays money is $75MM.

--
"Those who say don't know, and those who know don't say."

Mar 2, 2011

I agree with most on here that there isn't necessarily a number that I am aiming for, so much as my current goal is to be able to put my parents up where ever the please and give them ~200k a year for income. I figure I have ~25 years to accumulate the wealth necessary to make this happen.

I'm on a drug. It's called Charlie Sheen.

Mar 2, 2011

I need whatever lets me live in a paid-for house in El Cid, West Palm, workout every morning for a few hours at my leisure, take my unborn children to school, put two Mercs and a sports car in the driveway, go on first class family vacations around the world (kids ride coach though and shop at Target for that matter until they are older and confident in themselves), buy a couple of college educations, fly first class in my travels, own decent hunting property with land somewhere, take care of my parents (car, tickets to see grandkids, etc.), fly private once or twice in my life, go hiking/climbing a few times a year, hunting/shooting more, drink nice scotch occasionally, go to church on Sunday, help humanity on some level, and see my family often.

Since I'm not a Wall Street guy, and you all are... how much is that?

Mar 2, 2011
mozacq:

I need whatever lets me live in a paid-for house in El Cid, West Palm, workout every morning for a few hours at my leisure, take my unborn children to school, put two Mercs and a sports car in the driveway, go on first class family vacations around the world (kids ride coach though and shop at Target for that matter until they are older and confident in themselves), buy a couple of college educations, fly first class in my travels, own decent hunting property with land somewhere, take care of my parents (car, tickets to see grandkids, etc.), fly private once or twice in my life, go hiking/climbing a few times a year, hunting/shooting more, drink nice scotch occasionally, go to church on Sunday, help humanity on some level, and see my family often.

Since I'm not a Wall Street guy, and you all are... how much is that?

I figure $350K/year; I would say $12-13 million for someone under 40.

My retirement involves an 80 acre farm on Lake Michigan, driving a used Honda, owning a modest 25' sailboat, and doing my vacations on the Green Tortoise Line. Hence, I will be retired long before you. :D

Mar 2, 2011

Illini, are you seriously already saving up for retirement ?

Mar 2, 2011

Uhh, yes. Everyone should be saving for retirement and a rainy day. Dividend stocks are yielding 5% right now. Think about that for a moment. If you can save half your income your first year, you can get 5% of your living expenses covered by dividends the second.

My first year, I saved 15% of my salary and all of my bonus. That was back when NYC had a 99.7% occupancy rate and before salaries were upped to placate politicians about bonuses.

As a first year analyst, you should try to save 20% of your salary (pre or post tax) and all of your bonus. Try to find thrifty analysts to hang out with who are doing the same thing. And eventually as you add more and more, the dividend stocks (taxed at 15% by the feds with no city tax) start to snowball into this huge cash-generating engine that starts paying for beer, adventure sports, and lots of other fun stuff as it keeps growing. (Bear in mind that in many industries, dividends tend to keep up with inflation, so you don't necessarily deplete your investments by withdrawing them.)

Also when your company is giving you a 3-10% match on a 401k with a reasonable vesting schedule, you'd have to have a three inch hole in your skull to turn that down if you don't have any debt at more than 15% interest. You don't have to be a crazy retirement saver, but IRA matches are free money.

I guess I was sort of in a weird spot graduating from college with $0 debt but with my family saying I was going to get fed to the wolves if I couldn't make it on my own.

Mar 2, 2011
IlliniProgrammer:

Uhh, yes. Everyone should be saving for retirement and a rainy day. Dividend stocks are yielding 5% right now. Think about that for a moment. If you can save half your income your first year, you can get 5% of your living expenses covered by dividends the second.

My first year, I saved 15% of my salary and all of my bonus. That was back when NYC had a 99.7% occupancy rate and before salaries were upped to placate politicians about bonuses.

As a first year analyst, you should try to save 20% of your salary (pre or post tax) and all of your bonus. Try to find thrifty analysts to hang out with who are doing the same thing. And eventually as you add more and more, the dividend stocks (taxed at 15% by the feds with no city tax) start to snowball into this huge cash-generating engine that starts paying for beer, adventure sports, and lots of other fun stuff as it keeps growing. (Bear in mind that in many industries, dividends tend to keep up with inflation, so you don't necessarily deplete your investments by withdrawing them.)

Also when your company is giving you a 3-10% match on a 401k with a reasonable vesting schedule, you'd have to have a three inch hole in your skull to turn that down if you don't have any debt at more than 15% interest. You don't have to be a crazy retirement saver, but IRA matches are free money.

I guess I was sort of in a weird spot graduating from college with $0 debt but with my family saying I was going to get fed to the wolves if I couldn't make it on my own.

In the words of Meatloaf - "You took the words right out of my mouth" (disregard the remaining portion of the verse, however).

I am right there w/ you on the saving front. I want to have ~100K in the bank after two years, after tax, as an analyst (this includes asset appreciation, as well)

Bravo, IP!!

I'm on a drug. It's called Charlie Sheen.

Mar 2, 2011

I can't believe noone quoted "Player or nothing" from Wall Street.

Mar 2, 2011

I'll feel comfortable so long as I have about $80 million in assets by the age of 60.

Mar 2, 2011

Honestly, all I need is enough for a 100-200 acre "ranch" in the Texas Hill Country and about $60k/year income. I'm a pretty modest man.

Mar 2, 2011

IP, good answer to a stupid question. I love reading your posts even though your outlook on life is sooooo different from mine.

Mar 3, 2011

All I can say about this is
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1pywqe01iOU
On a more serious note, I come from a financially challenged environment, but my situation has been(and hopefully will be) dramatically improving. The true meaning for me comes from integration in society, being part of other people's lives, and of course, being loved. Money can serve as a catalyst for some of this things, but only to an extend(complex topic, beyond the point). My bottom line is that money only matters to the point where your financial situation won't be an obstacle(instead a helper?) in the process of interacting with the kind of people you want.
As I mentioned, whether this is the way it should be, or to what extent you would agree this is true is a different and complicated topic.

Monkey shit? I'm ready

Mar 3, 2011

Need? I think all of us can get by on pretty little. On the CNBC original "Untold Wealth: The Rise of The Super Rich" Tim Durham (worth $60M, or so) says, "I don't need all this to live." I think that's true for most people.

I could probably get by on $20K (after taxes and adjusted for inflation) a year for the rest of my life (although, I definitely want much, much more). If I had a wife and/or kids, it'd probably need to be double, but that's another story. Seriously, I think I could get by on $20K/year or $1666.67/month (in fact, I've been doing this for several years). Honestly, $600/month on shelter, $400/month on food/entertainment, and $666.67 on miscellaneous is not that hard (maybe I could even do less).

If you had a job you absolutely loved, don't you guys think you'd still be pretty happy with this lifestyle? Like if you could be an artist, athlete, musician, writer, or something else you'd do for free, don't you think you'd be truly happier than the majority of finance professionals?

Mar 3, 2011
econ:

Need? I think all of us can get by on pretty little. On the CNBC original "Untold Wealth: The Rise of The Super Rich" Tim Durham (worth $60M, or so) says, "I don't need all this to live." I think that's true for most people.

I could probably get by on $20K (after taxes and adjusted for inflation) a year for the rest of my life (although, I definitely want much, much more). If I had a wife and/or kids, it'd probably need to be double, but that's another story. Seriously, I think I could get by on $20K/year or $1666.67/month (in fact, I've been doing this for several years). Honestly, $600/month on shelter, $400/month on food/entertainment, and $666.67 on miscellaneous is not that hard (maybe I could even do less).

If you had a job you absolutely loved, don't you guys think you'd still be pretty happy with this lifestyle? Like if you could be an artist, athlete, musician, writer, or something else you'd do for free, don't you think you'd be truly happier than the majority of finance professionals?

What about healthcare? You really have to knock it up to $27-30K.

Mar 3, 2011
IlliniProgrammer:
econ:

Need? I think all of us can get by on pretty little. On the CNBC original "Untold Wealth: The Rise of The Super Rich" Tim Durham (worth $60M, or so) says, "I don't need all this to live." I think that's true for most people.

I could probably get by on $20K (after taxes and adjusted for inflation) a year for the rest of my life (although, I definitely want much, much more). If I had a wife and/or kids, it'd probably need to be double, but that's another story. Seriously, I think I could get by on $20K/year or $1666.67/month (in fact, I've been doing this for several years). Honestly, $600/month on shelter, $400/month on food/entertainment, and $666.67 on miscellaneous is not that hard (maybe I could even do less).

If you had a job you absolutely loved, don't you guys think you'd still be pretty happy with this lifestyle? Like if you could be an artist, athlete, musician, writer, or something else you'd do for free, don't you think you'd be truly happier than the majority of finance professionals?

What about healthcare? You really have to knock it up to $27-30K.

You might be right. My point is, you can get by pretty cheap. Making $20K at a job with decent health insurance would be doable, but yeah, you're right, if I was a musician or independent writer, I guess you're right.

Mar 3, 2011

Personally, at least at this point in my life, I need a decent amount of cash flow coming in to be happy. But that's because I want to live in Manhattan, I want to travel, I want to date a lot.

Maybe once I get all of this out of my system, I won't need as much but I doubt it. I think money makes life so much easier, and honestly I personally don't know too many people getting by on meager salaries who are happy. Maybe in other countries where the lifestyle is different and the rat race isn't as much of a concern ?

Mar 3, 2011

120k post taxes.

Mar 4, 2011

I maintain that to live in Manhattan and NOT be a spectator one needs to make 250k annually.

Mar 4, 2011
gold00:

Is money going to be more or less valuable in the future.

I say less. Economic advances make the difference between the rich and power narrower, in terms of their respective standard of living. That's another reason I don't understand all the fuss about increases in income inequality, when it seems like standards of living are becoming more equal. Rich people have always had someone to wash their dishes, clean their clothes, etc. The poor used to devote a large amount of time to hand washing dishes and clothes. That is, until the dishwasher and washer/dryer came along. Similarly, in the US, most poor people are not starving, own a car, several TVs, etc. Assuming we continue to have advancements in technology, I suspect these trends will continue.

Mar 6, 2011
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