Low-earners- What is your profession?

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freckles01
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Re: Low-earners- What is your profession?

Post by freckles01 »

i've been a registered nurse for 16 years and make about 90K a year, single, no kids but provide housing/food etc for my elderly parent.

i live in a hcola where the average price per square foot runs $586 in my neighborhood...crazy. luckily i bought earlier and it's an income property that provides rental income and a place to call home.

always lived below my means but knew nothing about investing. thanks to bogleheads- simplified my 401K, started a Rothira, a taxable acct and random ibonds and am way wealthier than.... well never thought i would be "wealthy" but at this rate i will be very "comfortable" :)

and totally enjoyed reading this thread- yay to us low earners! ie- professors, teachers, nurses, roofers, non profit sector professionals, police officers, engineers, librarians, farmers and the rest!
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Geneyus
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Re: Low-earners- What is your profession?

Post by Geneyus »

tinscale wrote:To the OP: You should check out sigforum.com (if you haven't already). Quite a few LEO on there, many with similar feelings as yours.
What if I don't carry a Sig? :wink: Thanks for the recommendation though. I'm in a few hidden LEO Facebook groups where we have a few laughs.

Thanks to all who have responded. I enjoyed reading all of the life stories, struggles, and outlooks on life.
AZAttorney11
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Re: Low-earners- What is your profession?

Post by AZAttorney11 »

Geneyus wrote:What if I don't carry a Sig?
Why would you carry anything less than the best? :D
Tamales
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Re: Low-earners- What is your profession?

Post by Tamales »

student wrote: Another useful site is http://statisticalatlas.com/United-States/Overview
Thanks for posting that link. Quite a treasure trove of stats.
Once you click down to a city, and select household income, I especially like the "Map of Household Income by Tract" (referring to census tract) where you can select from 4 different graphs and then hover over various tracts.
There is a scale across the top you can hover over and it highlights all matching tracts too.

Selecting "Occupations" instead of household income, and then scrolling to the same Tract map is also very interesting. You can select various occupations from the dropdown menu.
Last edited by Tamales on Sun Apr 16, 2017 6:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
ddurrett896
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Re: Low-earners- What is your profession?

Post by ddurrett896 »

AZAttorney11 wrote:
Geneyus wrote:What if I don't carry a Sig?
Why would you carry anything less than the best? :D
Because the best starts with a G and ends with a lock.
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Uncle Pennybags
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Re: Low-earners- What is your profession?

Post by Uncle Pennybags »

Lynette wrote:I think one has to take into accounts benefits as well. A job with a pension is worth a lot. I think at one stage I saw a calculation that benefits cost about 25% of income.
I was a "low-earner" represented employee all of my life. I had an old school defined benefit plan and a 410k. Now retired I get Social Security, two pension and soon will have to take my minimum 401k withdraws. What these "annuities" would have cost me if I had to pay cash is shocking. I don't feel well to do but am doing better now in retirement than ever before. I guess I live off my investments.
*3!4!/5!
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Re: Low-earners- What is your profession?

Post by *3!4!/5! »

Uncle Pennybags wrote:
Lynette wrote:I think one has to take into accounts benefits as well. A job with a pension is worth a lot. I think at one stage I saw a calculation that benefits cost about 25% of income.
I was a "low-earner" represented employee all of my life. I had an old school defined benefit plan and a 410k. Now retired I get Social Security, two pension and soon will have to take my minimum 401k withdraws. What these "annuities" would have cost me if I had to pay cash is shocking. I don't feel well to do but am doing better now in retirement than ever before. I guess I live off my investments.
The subsidies for pensions are massive. It's not so much fun for the people paying for those subsidies. Many people are low(er) earners as a consequence of the massive financial resources sucked in by pensions.
student
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Re: Low-earners- What is your profession?

Post by student »

Tamales wrote:
student wrote: Another useful site is http://statisticalatlas.com/United-States/Overview
Thanks for posting that link. Quite a treasure trove of stats.
Once you click down to a city, and select household income, I especially like the "Map of Household Income by Tract" (referring to census tract) where you can select from 4 different graphs and then hover over various tracts.
There is a scale across the top you can hover over and it highlights all matching tracts too.

Selecting "Occupations" instead of household income, and then scrolling to the same Tract map is also very interesting. You can select various occupations from the dropdown menu.
Thanks for giving more descriptions. I have only explored part of it myself and I have not explored the occupations breakdown. You may also enjoy the following article and map. The map is based on data from 2013.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/sf/local/ ... 5a2d7c219d
westcoast
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Re: Low-earners- What is your profession?

Post by westcoast »

Career same as yours, DW an author grossed about same as me but really after expensive was less. We lived, invested about 10 of my salary ( max ever made retired in 2003) was $76000.. we saved And invested DW income and used it for expensive vacations and college for or kids. Kids did great and are all financially independent. Income in retirement is double my retirement salary and haven't touched retirement IRAs funds, thanks to rental income. Wife's IRA will help later.....
ksleo
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Re: Low-earners- What is your profession?

Post by ksleo »

Glad to see this thread - I too had wondered if I was one of the only low earners here. (And to everyone else, yes, I realize that when we call ourselves low earners we are speaking in relative terms.)

OP, like you I'm in law enforcement. My base is around 51K and with OT I'll make about 65K this year (Wife is SAHM). We have no debt and our house is paid for, so we currently save 30% of gross. In odd years we make pretax contributions and in even years we bunch deductions and make Roth contributions.

While being a "low earner" compared to many other members here, I am also fully aware that we are all, every single one of us, astoundingly rich. When I was in the Army and deployed to Iraq I saw Iraqi families set up tents in the fields where we Americans dumped our garbage because scavenging from our trash was the best life they could hope for/achieve. I'll never forget it. So yea, around here I'm a low earner, but globally speaking my family is probably scratching the surface of the top 0.1%
Actions have consequences.
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Uncle Pennybags
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Re: Low-earners- What is your profession?

Post by Uncle Pennybags »

ksleo wrote:While being a "low earner" compared to many other members here, I am also fully aware that we are all, every single one of us, astoundingly rich. When I was in the Army and deployed to Iraq I saw Iraqi families set up tents in the fields where we Americans dumped our garbage because scavenging from our trash was the best life they could hope for/achieve.
Most people have not been to a war torn country so they don't truly know poverty. Where I live refrigerated all natural pet food is common in grocery stores; that's about as far from the four horsemen of the apocalypse as one can get.
Jags4186
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Re: Low-earners- What is your profession?

Post by Jags4186 »

I don't know if this has been mentioned--I didn't read all 6 pages--but the median household income of $56k isn't a great stat. That includes plenty of retired folk on Social Security and people who actively try to keep their incomes low.

Image

For the people in the 35-55 age category--those most likely to be working and in a swing of their careers--the median income is closer to $72k
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Uncle Pennybags
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Re: Low-earners- What is your profession?

Post by Uncle Pennybags »

Jags4186 wrote:I don't know if this has been mentioned--I didn't read all 6 pages--but the median household income of $56k isn't a great stat.
Using household income isn't a great stat ether. What's a household and what does the guy in the next room have to do with me. Family income is a bit better but hourly income is the best gauge and that is $896.60 a week or $47,000 a year.

Your taxes at work.
https://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.t19.htm
CedarWaxWing
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Re: Low-earners- What is your profession?

Post by CedarWaxWing »

Darwin wrote: Sun Apr 09, 2017 8:53 pm
Bogle826 wrote:I just want to give OP some appreciation for making an insightful as well as refreshing thread.

Some posters in this thread stated that they can retire at an early age (less than 50 yrs. old) even though they are categorized as low-income earners. How is this achievable? Is it simply living in the most frugal way possible (bulk cooking, beat-to-death vehicles, lower-end housing etc...), and then saving excess into tax efficient retirement accounts with the residuals into taxable accounts?

Maybe explain on a high level, how low income families can retire before 50 years old.
As Bob Marley said, "Every need has an eagle to feed". So I'd flip your question: "Is it the size of your house happiness? The newness of your car? " I met a local woman in Guatemala who said "You Americans have everything, and you have nothing." I can come up with these all day... "Expense minus $1 = misery. Expense plus $1 = peace of mind."
If I wanted to retire on $10k/year I'd move to a coastal african country and have a rich experience. Or I could live in a cardboard box in Manhattan. It's all perspective.
Be specific... what country?
CarpeDiem22
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Re: Low-earners- What is your profession?

Post by CarpeDiem22 »

I make 28K gross per year (Corporate Finance manager)
Wife makes 7K gross per year (Dentist - Bachelor's degree)

We are waiting to steal your jobs as soon as you remove the visa controls :P
HIinvestor
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Re: Low-earners- What is your profession?

Post by HIinvestor »

H worked for the fed govt for 45 years as a computer systems analyst. For the first 39 years he made way under $100k/year—actually it was many, many years before he even made $10k/year.

He was the main breadwinner. After we had kids, I put my career on hold and spent many years volunteering at the school. Gradually, I worked my way back into the workforce part time.

He retired 6 years ago. I make about $2000/year.

With the very high COL in HI, we didn’t have much discretionary income, especially when paying college tuitions and mortgage. Things improved greatly financially once the kids graduated from college.

We have much more money these days than we ever did in the prior decades of our marriage.
Darwin
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Re: Low-earners- What is your profession?

Post by Darwin »

CedarWaxWing wrote: Tue Aug 14, 2018 12:53 am
Darwin wrote: Sun Apr 09, 2017 8:53 pm
Bogle826 wrote:I just want to give OP some appreciation for making an insightful as well as refreshing thread.

Some posters in this thread stated that they can retire at an early age (less than 50 yrs. old) even though they are categorized as low-income earners. How is this achievable? Is it simply living in the most frugal way possible (bulk cooking, beat-to-death vehicles, lower-end housing etc...), and then saving excess into tax efficient retirement accounts with the residuals into taxable accounts?

Maybe explain on a high level, how low income families can retire before 50 years old.
As Bob Marley said, "Every need has an eagle to feed". So I'd flip your question: "Is it the size of your house happiness? The newness of your car? " I met a local woman in Guatemala who said "You Americans have everything, and you have nothing." I can come up with these all day... "Expense minus $1 = misery. Expense plus $1 = peace of mind."
If I wanted to retire on $10k/year I'd move to a coastal african country and have a rich experience. Or I could live in a cardboard box in Manhattan. It's all perspective.
Be specific... what country?
I fully admit, it was not meant to be specific...It was more of a comment about the relative cost of living. There are "enclaves" of expatriates in virtually every country around the globe. I'm not interested in living in expatriate zones myself (it's cheaper and more interesting to live in local neighborhoods) but many folks are. Personaly, I'm more familiar with Mexico and Central America. Nicaraguans are some of the kindest people I've ever met, and (irregardless of recent political issues which I hope they'll surmount), if I were to relocate anywhere, it would be there or Mexico. If I can afford it, (looks likely) I'll stay in the US.
As a post-script, I recently found out that my "Every need has an eagle to feed" quote was incorrect. I'm crushed. It was"ego", not "eagle". Still good, but nowhere near as good as from an economic angle. Sigh...
No planet, no business. Earth bats last.
Darwin
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Re: Low-earners- What is your profession?

Post by Darwin »

CarpeDiem22 wrote: Tue Aug 14, 2018 4:00 am I make 28K gross per year (Corporate Finance manager)
Wife makes 7K gross per year (Dentist - Bachelor's degree)

We are waiting to steal your jobs as soon as you remove the visa controls :P
Wish you were here. Ouch, I think all the Dentists and Finance Managers on this forum just blacklisted me. :wink:
No planet, no business. Earth bats last.
Momus
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Re: Low-earners- What is your profession?

Post by Momus »

Here I'm a low earner making 140k.

I see a bunch of specialists MDs and techs ppl regularly posting making 350-500k/yr. Some times dual income too, a lot of them making close to $1M. Then, they ask, "can we afford $1.3M house?" :oops:

But in reddit FI subs, I'm high saver. Total opposite. This forum caters to high income individuals, they can SAVE a lot more % and SPEND a lot more of their gross. Nothing wrong with that.
Madbull
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Re: Low-earners- What is your profession?

Post by Madbull »

In the spirit of the thread, I suppose I’m a low-earner in a low-earner household. But I’m happy with what I do and where I am, (with the caveat that of course I’d like to be paid more, lol).

Me - 55,918/yr gross
Husband- 24k/gross (fluctuates based on hours).

I’m a civilian in a County LE agency currently serving in a Public Awareness/Community Liaison role for Crime Prevention. Started in 1999 as a 911 Dispatcher, then in 2012 became an Analyst/Researcher in our Fugitive Warrants/Swat unit, (eventually the position evolved into including being a dedicated dispatcher for the unit due to my history). In 2016 I landed where I am now.

Hubby - Certified Medication Aide & Certified Nursing Assistant in a private facility caring for dementia patients in one of the specialized units. He’s been doing that for more than 12 years now at various facilities. He makes towards the top in his sub-industry in our region. A whopping $15.50/hr. (And we’re in a MCOL town). BUT, he loves what he does and being a part of his resident’s lives. (One of the many reasons he stole my heart, lol).
fareastwarriors
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Re: Low-earners- What is your profession?

Post by fareastwarriors »

Madbull wrote: Fri Sep 07, 2018 12:11 am In the spirit of the thread, I suppose I’m a low-earner in a low-earner household. But I’m happy with what I do and where I am, (with the caveat that of course I’d like to be paid more, lol).

Me - 55,918/yr gross
Husband- 24k/gross (fluctuates based on hours).

I’m a civilian in a County LE agency currently serving in a Public Awareness/Community Liaison role for Crime Prevention. Started in 1999 as a 911 Dispatcher, then in 2012 became an Analyst/Researcher in our Fugitive Warrants/Swat unit, (eventually the position evolved into including being a dedicated dispatcher for the unit due to my history). In 2016 I landed where I am now.

Hubby - Certified Medication Aide & Certified Nursing Assistant in a private facility caring for dementia patients in one of the specialized units. He’s been doing that for more than 12 years now at various facilities. He makes towards the top in his sub-industry in our region. A whopping $15.50/hr. (And we’re in a MCOL town). BUT, he loves what he does and being a part of his resident’s lives. (One of the many reasons he stole my heart, lol).

Much respect to your husband, It's definitely not an easy job...
forgeblast
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Re: Low-earners- What is your profession?

Post by forgeblast »

Wife and I are both teachers. Have been teaching 20 years this year. Each making under 80k a year.
Started off making 25k a year.
student
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Re: Low-earners- What is your profession?

Post by student »

Momus wrote: Thu Sep 06, 2018 11:41 pm Here I'm a low earner making 140k.

I see a bunch of specialists MDs and techs ppl regularly posting making 350-500k/yr. Some times dual income too, a lot of them making close to $1M. Then, they ask, "can we afford $1.3M house?" :oops:

But in reddit FI subs, I'm high saver. Total opposite. This forum caters to high income individuals, they can SAVE a lot more % and SPEND a lot more of their gross. Nothing wrong with that.
You are not a low earner. You are in about top 6% of all earners in the US. https://dqydj.com/united-states-income- ... rcentiles/ If I assume you are at about a peak earning age such as 50, you are in the top 10%. https://dqydj.com/income-percentile-by-age-calculator/
marcopolo
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Re: Low-earners- What is your profession?

Post by marcopolo »

This is an interesting thread. Lots of interesting stories. Many roads to success.

I noticed a lot of the self-described low-earners work in professions with very generous pensions, often available at relatively young ages.
I would suggest that you may not be as low-earner as you think. You earned those pensions obligations that your employer carries.

Someone making a lot more money, but without a pension, would have to put a LOT of money into various investments, usually with less favorable tax treatments to end up in the same enviable financial situation. So, their effective earnings may not be any higher than the low-earner.
Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right.
smitcat
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Re: Low-earners- What is your profession?

Post by smitcat »

CedarWaxWing wrote: Tue Aug 14, 2018 12:53 am
Darwin wrote: Sun Apr 09, 2017 8:53 pm
Bogle826 wrote:I just want to give OP some appreciation for making an insightful as well as refreshing thread.

Some posters in this thread stated that they can retire at an early age (less than 50 yrs. old) even though they are categorized as low-income earners. How is this achievable? Is it simply living in the most frugal way possible (bulk cooking, beat-to-death vehicles, lower-end housing etc...), and then saving excess into tax efficient retirement accounts with the residuals into taxable accounts?

Maybe explain on a high level, how low income families can retire before 50 years old.
As Bob Marley said, "Every need has an eagle to feed". So I'd flip your question: "Is it the size of your house happiness? The newness of your car? " I met a local woman in Guatemala who said "You Americans have everything, and you have nothing." I can come up with these all day... "Expense minus $1 = misery. Expense plus $1 = peace of mind."
If I wanted to retire on $10k/year I'd move to a coastal african country and have a rich experience. Or I could live in a cardboard box in Manhattan. It's all perspective.
Be specific... what country?

Here are some options to research further….
https://moneywise.com/a/10-countries-wh ... e-for-200k
smitcat
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Re: Low-earners- What is your profession?

Post by smitcat »

marcopolo wrote: Fri Sep 07, 2018 9:26 am This is an interesting thread. Lots of interesting stories. Many roads to success.

I noticed a lot of the self-described low-earners work in professions with very generous pensions, often available at relatively young ages.
I would suggest that you may not be as low-earner as you think. You earned those pensions obligations that your employer carries.

Someone making a lot more money, but without a pension, would have to put a LOT of money into various investments, usually with less favorable tax treatments to end up in the same enviable financial situation. So, their effective earnings may not be any higher than the low-earner.
Of course you hit the nail on the head with that summary.
trusttheprocess
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Re: Low-earners- What is your profession?

Post by trusttheprocess »

I work for a university making a salary of$43,000, unfortunately not eligible for OT pay. But looking on the bright side, I have great benefits and I am pursuing a graduate degree for basically free.
neveragain
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Re: Low-earners- What is your profession?

Post by neveragain »

I'm a "low earner". I do transcription work. My spouse is the breadwinner.
2Birds1Stone
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Re: Low-earners- What is your profession?

Post by 2Birds1Stone »

This thread is hilarious. Couples earning $150-200k are "low earners" now?

I guess we qualify too ;)

Her - $30k/yr - Grocery Store Employee
Him - $130k/yr - Software Sales
international001
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Re: Low-earners- What is your profession?

Post by international001 »

Geneyus wrote: Sun Apr 02, 2017 5:21 pm My wife and I work really hard. We're currently saving money to pay for a procedure to have our first child. It's going to be expensive.
Just saw this (long) thread

Was it ever discussed the what procedure was needed, or anything related to insurance? That's more scary than any low/high earner consideration
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ram
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Re: Low-earners- What is your profession?

Post by ram »

At one point our household was below the US median household income. (but above food stamp threshold). I was a medical resident at that time and wife was SAHM.
My daughter in her mid twenties has zero income despite 18 years of education. (medical student)
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Re: Low-earners- What is your profession?

Post by triceratop »

trusttheprocess wrote: Fri Sep 07, 2018 10:03 am I work for a university making a salary of$43,000, unfortunately not eligible for OT pay. But looking on the bright side, I have great benefits and I am pursuing a graduate degree for basically free.
Would you mind stating how typical $43k is for graduate students where you are? In STEM fields at my institution in a HCOL area, $34-36k is more typical.
"To play the stock market is to play musical chairs under the chord progression of a bid-ask spread."
Castanea_d.
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Re: Low-earners- What is your profession?

Post by Castanea_d. »

I am enjoying reading through this thread, hearing about so many wonderful people.

I'm a church organist/choirmaster; around $50K, plus excellent medical insurance (it was not so until a few years ago when the denomination's national governing body voted to give lay employees the same benefits they had always given the clergy). I am fortunate to have a full-time job in a field where most of the work is part-time. My wife was until recently a janitor at a local shopping mall; around $20K, no benefits. She is now retired for health reasons (which have emphasized to us how good our medical insurance is), and I'm likewise not far off from retirement. We are financially ready for it, thanks in part to BH.
student
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Re: Low-earners- What is your profession?

Post by student »

triceratop wrote: Fri Sep 07, 2018 11:40 am
trusttheprocess wrote: Fri Sep 07, 2018 10:03 am I work for a university making a salary of$43,000, unfortunately not eligible for OT pay. But looking on the bright side, I have great benefits and I am pursuing a graduate degree for basically free.
Would you mind stating how typical $43k is for graduate students where you are? In STEM fields at my institution in a HCOL area, $34-36k is more typical.
I guess I have a different impression. I am reading as he/she has a full time job at a university and he/she working on a graduate degree, perhaps part-time, via tuition waiver offered to university employees.
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triceratop
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Re: Low-earners- What is your profession?

Post by triceratop »

That's a better reading, I retract my question.
"To play the stock market is to play musical chairs under the chord progression of a bid-ask spread."
trusttheprocess
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Re: Low-earners- What is your profession?

Post by trusttheprocess »

student wrote: Fri Sep 07, 2018 12:06 pm
triceratop wrote: Fri Sep 07, 2018 11:40 am
trusttheprocess wrote: Fri Sep 07, 2018 10:03 am I work for a university making a salary of$43,000, unfortunately not eligible for OT pay. But looking on the bright side, I have great benefits and I am pursuing a graduate degree for basically free.
Would you mind stating how typical $43k is for graduate students where you are? In STEM fields at my institution in a HCOL area, $34-36k is more typical.
I guess I have a different impression. I am reading as he/she has a full time job at a university and he/she working on a graduate degree, perhaps part-time, via tuition waiver offered to university employees.
Correct, I am a full time employee taking advantage of the employee tuition waiver at the university. My experience around universities is many grad students work full time outside of school, but many graduate assistants receive full cost of tuition and anywhere from 1k-2K a month stipend. Definitely the route I would recommend to anyone who has children thinking about attending grad school right after undergrad.
texasdiver
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Re: Low-earners- What is your profession?

Post by texasdiver »

HS Teacher: About $65,000 per year.

But I'm married to a physician so our household income is obviously higher.
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sunny_socal
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Re: Low-earners- What is your profession?

Post by sunny_socal »

texasdiver wrote: Fri Sep 07, 2018 12:49 pm HS Teacher: About $65,000 per year.

But I'm married to a physician so our household income is obviously higher.
Yeah you don't count
Madbull
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Re: Low-earners- What is your profession?

Post by Madbull »

fareastwarriors wrote: Fri Sep 07, 2018 1:14 am
Madbull wrote: Fri Sep 07, 2018 12:11 am /snip
Hubby - Certified Medication Aide & Certified Nursing Assistant in a private facility caring for dementia patients in one of the specialized units. He’s been doing that for more than 12 years now at various facilities. He makes towards the top in his sub-industry in our region. A whopping $15.50/hr. (And we’re in a MCOL town). BUT, he loves what he does and being a part of his resident’s lives. (One of the many reasons he stole my heart, lol).

Much respect to your husband, It's definitely not an easy job...
TYVM. Even more amazing is how much I rely on him to keep me grounded on the home front as well. We care for my 68yo mother who has MCI/Alzheimer's. I would've lost my sanity a long time ago without his insight many times.
Madbull
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Re: Low-earners- What is your profession?

Post by Madbull »

smitcat wrote: Fri Sep 07, 2018 9:42 am
marcopolo wrote: Fri Sep 07, 2018 9:26 am This is an interesting thread. Lots of interesting stories. Many roads to success.

I noticed a lot of the self-described low-earners work in professions with very generous pensions, often available at relatively young ages.
I would suggest that you may not be as low-earner as you think. You earned those pensions obligations that your employer carries.

Someone making a lot more money, but without a pension, would have to put a LOT of money into various investments, usually with less favorable tax treatments to end up in the same enviable financial situation. So, their effective earnings may not be any higher than the low-earner.
Of course you hit the nail on the head with that summary.
Indeed. The way I view things is that while I, (and a large percentage of 'public employees'), will almost certainly make well under what we could in private industry, there are benefits to raise it back up. From job security, (if covered by civil service), to health plans, to DB/DC retirement plans, it all adds up. Even if I didn't see the potential in '99 when I started at $20.4k/yr, haha.
MathWizard
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Re: Low-earners- What is your profession?

Post by MathWizard »

livesoft wrote: Mon Apr 03, 2017 12:05 pm
Bogle826 wrote:I just want to give OP some appreciation for making an insightful as well as refreshing thread.

Some posters in this thread stated that they can retire at an early age (less than 50 yrs. old) even though they are categorized as low-income earners. How is this achievable? Is it simply living in the most frugal way possible (bulk cooking, beat-to-death vehicles, lower-end housing etc...), and then saving excess into tax efficient retirement accounts with the residuals into taxable accounts?

Maybe explain on a high level, how low income families can retire before 50 years old.
You won't like the answer;
0. Two earner family.
1. Could not afford to buy house, so rent in a cheap place.
2. Could not afford to buy vehicle, so walk or ride bike to jobs.
3. Delay having children, so money goes to investments for many early years. Children go to public schools and before that inexpensive daycare.
4. No partying, no drinking, no going out to entertainment.
5. Vacations are hiking, camping, hosteling, and combined with travel paid by employer. Example: Go to Japan, but tack on some extra days for vacation. Go to Beijing, but tack on extra week vacation.
6. Don't ever drink coffee.
7. Don't ever use a dry cleaner.
8. Start the MrMoneyMustache thing before he was even born.
9. Do not pay for any professional help. Vanguard client from the early 1980s. No accountants, no CPA, no advisors.
10. Never paid for cable TV.
11. And so on ....
Gosh, you almost described my wife's and my family growing up, and you almost described us.

Exceptions for them:
2) They owned their homes, and
5) they always drank coffee, brewed at home.

Exceptions (for us)
2) Delayed buying house to have 20% down. Refinanced 3 times while riding rates down, 30 yr note paid off in 17 yrs.
4) Entertainment: Dollar theater/ redbox / Netflix
5) Coffee yes, brewed at home. No to Starbucks and Kcups.
7) Dry cleaner once a year for suitcoat/tie and winter coats.
10) I did pay for cable when I could not put up an antenna while renting. Now use HD antenna.
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Re: Low-earners- What is your profession?

Post by Enganerd »

I am a civil engineer, with structural emphasis. I design and maintain bridges for a state DOT and I make 88k. My wife is a RN and makes 50-60k. Not low earners but I often feel like one while on this forum or when talking to a select few of my friends who have become rain makers since college.
Lynette wrote: Sun Apr 02, 2017 7:41 pm I think one has to take into accounts benefits as well. A job with a pension is worth a lot. I think at one stage I saw a calculation that benefits cost about 25% of income.
I have wondered how to account for a pension in terms of current compensation value (see: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=228593) and am still unsure. But along with my 88k salary I am currently vested for a pensions system. 6% employee contribution, 2.2% x Average of high 3 salary x # yrs of service. From my understanding that is great multiplier in today's world but it may also be risky to count on it being around for another 20 years.

Edited to add: I live in LCOL state.
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Geneyus
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Re: Low-earners- What is your profession?

Post by Geneyus »

international001 wrote: Fri Sep 07, 2018 10:56 am
Geneyus wrote: Sun Apr 02, 2017 5:21 pm My wife and I work really hard. We're currently saving money to pay for a procedure to have our first child. It's going to be expensive.
Just saw this (long) thread

Was it ever discussed the what procedure was needed, or anything related to insurance? That's more scary than any low/high earner consideration
We went through IVF, and insurance paid nothing. We were able to pay cash from savings.

We are currently pregnant and a little over the halfway mark. :sharebeer
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Re: Low-earners- What is your profession?

Post by dknightd »

Geneyus wrote: Sat Sep 08, 2018 2:20 pm
We went through IVF, and insurance paid nothing. We were able to pay cash from savings.

We are currently pregnant and a little over the halfway mark. :sharebeer
Kids are special. I get that. But if you are a low earner you should probably live without kids. They are expensive ;)
If you value a bird in the hand, pay off the loan. If you are willing to risk getting two birds (or none) from the market, invest the funds. Retired 9/19. Still working on mortgage payoff.
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Geneyus
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Re: Low-earners- What is your profession?

Post by Geneyus »

dknightd wrote: Sat Sep 08, 2018 2:28 pm
Geneyus wrote: Sat Sep 08, 2018 2:20 pm
We went through IVF, and insurance paid nothing. We were able to pay cash from savings.

We are currently pregnant and a little over the halfway mark. :sharebeer
Kids are special. I get that. But if you are a low earner you should probably live without kids. They are expensive ;)
We did that for several years. A dog can only entertain you for so long. Sometimes, you have to pay up for better entertainment.
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Re: Low-earners- What is your profession?

Post by dknightd »

Geneyus wrote: Sat Sep 08, 2018 2:31 pm
dknightd wrote: Sat Sep 08, 2018 2:28 pm
Geneyus wrote: Sat Sep 08, 2018 2:20 pm
We went through IVF, and insurance paid nothing. We were able to pay cash from savings.

We are currently pregnant and a little over the halfway mark. :sharebeer
Kids are special. I get that. But if you are a low earner you should probably live without kids. They are expensive ;)
We did that for several years. A dog can only entertain you for so long. Sometimes, you have to pay up for better entertainment.
:)
If you value a bird in the hand, pay off the loan. If you are willing to risk getting two birds (or none) from the market, invest the funds. Retired 9/19. Still working on mortgage payoff.
Agggm
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Re: Low-earners- What is your profession?

Post by Agggm »

livesoft wrote: Sun Apr 02, 2017 7:12 pm
angelescrest wrote:
ruralavalon wrote:Just for informational purposes, currently the median household income in the U.S. is about $56k.
This is a pretty humorous thread. Folks making just under $100K calling it "low-income"? Our family makes much less, and we aren't low income. Please change the title.
I agree with the above statement.
It's all relative. My significant other and I earned just under 300k this past year. But we live in NYC. So, we feel poor. Can't shake it off.
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Re: Low-earners- What is your profession?

Post by Agggm »

ddurrett896 wrote: Sun Apr 02, 2017 7:42 pm I was blown away with some of the salaries I've seen here. My focus isn't as much on the $$ figures but how it relates to spends.

For example, a guy making $500k living in a $2mm house is doing worse in terms of mortgage vs salary than a guy making $60k living in a $180k house.
I rather be the former.
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Re: Low-earners- What is your profession?

Post by jmk »

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Last edited by jmk on Sun Sep 23, 2018 12:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Low-earners- What is your profession?

Post by stemikger »

I started out my career right out of high school (I went to cosmetology school for 8 months and became a licensed hair stylist) and worked with my Dad as a hair stylist. I did that for around 7 years. After my Dad passed away at 52, I left the profession. I went to a 3 month trade school and got a job at a law firm as a Word Processor and worked at 3 different firms. This is the fourth firm I have worked at and have been here going on 24 years and make 85K a year. My wife is a hairdresser and makes around $50K.

When I started at the law firm I work at 24 years ago my salary was $35K. My net worth due to a paid off house and a 401K with over $750K is over $1.2 million. This is the most money I ever made in my life and truthfully, I never thought I'd earn this, but living in New York and compared to most people I know both friends and family, I am considered a low earner. The funny thing is most of the high earners I know and I'm close enough to them where we share these things do not have my net worth.

I was never a "Big Hat No Cattle Guy" and drive a 10 year old car with some pretty nasty dents in it, but I don't care. I'm not a follower and I don't care what society or others think of me. My wife and I are happy, my 23 year old daughter is successful and I was able to pay her entire college tuition (including her Masters). I'm just happy living debt free and saving for things I need and want. After my dad died, I watched my Mother spend everything he left her through his insurance policy gone in two years and sadly my sister followed in her footsteps. My Mom and Dad were never responsible with Mommy and I decided at the age of 30 to end the cycle and learn about this stuff. It has been a fun journey that I'm glad I took.

I always believed and still do, it's not what you make, but what you save.
Choose Simplicity ~ Stay the Course!! ~ Press on Regardless!!!
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