Sunday, March 4, 2007

living well is the best revenge?

a co-worker of mine pointed me to an interesting article on forbes site on how much it costs to 'live well' in various parts of the country. they define living well as paying on a 30 year mortgage on a 4 bedroom house in an upscale neighborhood and a vacation spot in a likewise upscale place, owns 2 nice cars, travels, sends their kids to private school . . . basically all the trimmings. i was shocked to read the article.

for one, i punched in a pretty nice salary into the calculator -- $200,000 (and, this is a net income figure!) -- and selected what is renown as one of the cheaper big cities in which to live, houston, texas. well, i was floored to find that i was nearly $100,000 shy of being able to live well! absurd!

i think the premise of the site is a bit ridiculous. not only would i be able to live very well on $200,000 after taxes, i could easily have all the things they mention and still be able to put some away for savings. forbes points out, however:
"Our family saves very little (1%) of its income. This may not be the most fiscally prudent way to behave, but it is the norm in this country. In fact, we were even a little generous, as according to the Department of Commerce, American households save less than 1% of their income these days."
well, at that rate, it would take you nearly 30 years to become a millionaire -- and that would only be because you'd be building equity in your million-dollar home.

who can really afford to live like that? anyway, i'd much rather live how i am living now than 'well' by those standards.

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