Reading the New York Times continues to be an interesting change of view.
The amount of wealth represented by the ads and articles in the New York Times is astounding.
I guess it makes sense -- the top 5% richest people are most likely subscribers.
But I can't figure out who buys those Castles in Spain.
Now that my income and net worth more nearly approaches the supposed "averages" in the U.S.A., I think I'm even more confused by what I see around me than before.
Before, when I was operating on minimum wage, the big cars and fancy restaurants and Euro vacations were so far beyond me, that I took it for granted, somewhat, that those who were partaking of these luxuries could afford it. (Of course, I also suspected that people were living beyond their means, on credit...)
But now that I am presumably closer in income to those I see living that way -- it STILL seems mostly out of reach, except in very, very moderate steps.
So what accounts for this discrepancy?
1.) A few years of near "average" income do not catch me and Linda up. Lots of backfill going on.
2.) We are having to put way more into retirement late in our career, whereas other people have pensions or higher social security payouts or have saved money longer.
3.) I'm overestimating the spending by others. Maybe they're Leasing those big S.U.V.'s not buying. Going out to dinner once or twice a month, not once or twice a week. Bought their big houses when they weren't so expensive, or turned over a bigger house in California.
4.) I'm just too cheap and conservative. (But if that was true, wouldn't I have money left over at the end of the month?)
5.) Family money. They aren't living just off their income, but from other means. Living off the fat they accumulated earlier in their career.
6.) People are incredibly smart in getting deals; on vacations, on meals, on all kinds of stuff. Coupon clippers, mileage accumulators, wheeler dealers...
7.) People are going big time into debt.
8.) People are not saving for the future at all. Eat, drink and be merry!
4 hours ago