If you can read this, either the style sheet didn't load or you have an older browser that doesn't support style sheets. Try clearing your browser cache and refreshing the page.

•       •       •

10656 clicks; posted to Main » on 14 May 2013 at 11:11 AM (3 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:    more»

 Paginated (1/page) Single page, reversed Normal view Change images to links Show raw HTML
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

I guess it's possible to sock away $200K on a 50K salary, but that's some serious Dave Ramsey devotion they've got going there. A family with a million dollar house earning$200,000 a year is most likely horrifically in debt, or if not, a layoff or health problem not covered by insurance away.

/just saying

Only the wealthy should receive an education. That's just common sense, yo.

Well yeah, use your savings.  What else are you saving it for?

"Take a shot, go for it. Take a risk. Get the education. Borrow money if you have to from your parents"

I like Senator Warren's plan of allowing students to borrow at the same rate as banks.

Answer: What is "The Government supports programs that encourage the production of viable taxpayers". The student saving money?  She/he  isn't stuck in a perpetual circle of debt and certainly isn't generating as much sales tax required to keep the government Ponzi schemes going.

ThatGuyGreg: A family with a million dollar house earning $200,000 a year is most likely horrifically in debt, or if not, a layoff or health problem not covered by insurance away. /just saying Of course if they inherited the house, they're in a pretty nice spot. Second family is wealthier. ThatGuyGreg: A family with a million dollar house earning$200,000 a year is most likely horrifically in debt, or if not, a layoff or health problem not covered by insurance away already in bankruptcy court.

/just saying

Assuming the house is carrying a mortgage, of course.

No they won't. I don't have time for this shiat today, because my actual students have sent me actual FAFSAs to review and I've been out of the country for a week, but take it from me: I've been doing this for a decade.

FEDERAL AID DOES NOT WORK THAT WAY.

Never understood why people think student aid should only be for the poor. People that make money then have to pay for their kids, as well as poor people's kids. And God forbid you go back to school as an adult when you have a good job.

Earn $50K a year and have$200K in savings?  No one in this planet is that good with money. My girlfriend heard someone call into the Dave Ramsey show who earned $8,000 a month, married with one kid, who had over$42,000 in credit card debt alone. Plus the wife, who earned her own income, had credit card debt of her own.   Most people are idiots when it comes to budgeting.

And the best interest rates are reserved for the folks who need them the least.

Capitalism, working as intended.

Yeah right.

I make $50,000 and have no savings, so I guess my kids are set. I'm still bitter about having my aid be tied to my parents income, despite them not actually paying for my tuition. I actually lost all aid my sr year because they sold a failed business and made money on the books, despite all that money going to medical bills. And a person with a Hispanic last name will get twice as much financial aid as one with a "white" sounding name, even though the Hispanic family makes nearly three times as much as the non-Hispanic one... /why yes, I do have personal experience with this, why do you ask In other words, low-income families are routinely being asked to fork over more than half of their annual income for the privilege of sending their child off to campus for a year. They wouldn't be asked that if they looked at affordable state or community colleges instead of over-priced private schools. kab: And the best interest rates are reserved for the folks who need them the least. Capitalism, working as intended. Because the bank is losing money on your basic checking account that you draw down to 6 bucks every 2 weeks before payday. DubyaHater: Earn$50K a year and have $200K in savings? No one in this planet is that good with money Gulper Eel: I guess it's possible to sock away$200K on a 50K salary, but that's some serious Dave Ramsey devotion they've got going there.

Parents (and random uncles) die all the time.  It's entirely possible.

A year after graduation, all those business majors will realize that they could have got their job as a teller with Wells Fargo with a high school diploma. Thirty grand well spent.

LineNoise: Because the bank is losing money on your basic checking account that you draw down to 6 bucks every 2 weeks before payday.

And raking in truckloads by charging 18%+ compound interest to folks who carry long term credit card debt.

Those poor, poor banks.  Perhaps another bailout is in order.

Just be a minority. The government will make rain for you.

DubyaHater: Earn $50K a year and have$200K in savings?  No one in this planet is that good with money. My girlfriend heard someone call into the Dave Ramsey show who earned $8,000 a month, married with one kid, who had over$42,000 in credit card debt alone. Plus the wife, who earned her own income, had credit card debt of her own.   Most people are idiots when it comes to budgeting.

I'm 38, and while $50K is not my salary range, I do have about 4 times my salary in savings (including non-retirement investment accounts, as I assume that's what FAFSA looks at). Granted, I've been lucky in a lot of ways, and I wouldn't be there if I'd had kids when I was in my 20s. / Or drank like a Farker. Gummint brap: I like Senator Warren's plan of allowing students to borrow at the same rate as banks. Stupid idea is stupid. The problem with the system as it currently stands is too much free money and too little competition. You want to fix the college tuition problem then go on a Federal University spending spree, Federally mandate that tuition start at 5,000 dollars a year and only rise at the rate of inflation. what_now: No they won't. I don't have time for this shiat today, because my actual students have sent me actual FAFSAs to review and I've been out of the country for a week, but take it from me: I've been doing this for a decade. FEDERAL AID DOES NOT WORK THAT WAY. The article was about Private Colleges endowment grants not federal aid. kab: LineNoise: Because the bank is losing money on your basic checking account that you draw down to 6 bucks every 2 weeks before payday. And raking in truckloads by charging 18%+ compound interest to folks who carry long term credit card debt. Those poor, poor banks. Perhaps another bailout is in order. What should they charge for loaning you money with no collateral? Also if you don't have shiat credit, you can do far better than 18% Have safe-deposit boxes ceased to exist? FAFSA only considers documented savings. what_now: No they won't. I don't have time for this shiat today, because my actual students have sent me actual FAFSAs to review and I've been out of the country for a week, but take it from me: I've been doing this for a decade. FEDERAL AID DOES NOT WORK THAT WAY. I am sorry; you have actual real-world expertise and knowledge in this field. You do not belong here. Your comments will be ignored, or random Farkers will contradict you with no references or sporadic references to unreliable sources. There is really no point in your posting to this Fark thread. Sorry. Lawnchair: DubyaHater: Earn$50K a year and have $200K in savings? No one in this planet is that good with money Gulper Eel: I guess it's possible to sock away$200K on a 50K salary, but that's some serious Dave Ramsey devotion they've got going there.

Parents (and random uncles) die all the time. It's entirely possible.

TFA says $200K in savings, not$200K in inheritances.

I wish my house earned $200,000 a year. Heck, I'm not greedy.$20,000 would be plenty.

Considering student loan debt CAN'T be shed in bankruptcy, there is no reason borrowers shouldn't be offered the same rate as the banks themselves.

As for the article, I agree with subbie's use of the obvious tag - everyone knows the rich have more privilege and opportunity than the poor.

$200k in savings is a lot of money, not sure what the issue is that the government might expect you to spend it before they start giving you money for college. That's the way things have always worked. When I went to school, my parents, who don't earn a lot, had some modest savings thanks to my grandmother, who had passed away a year earlier. You know what they did? Built a 2-car garage for their house with it. Increased the property value and I got more loan money for college. Win-win. TheEndIsNigh: I'm 38, and while$50K is not my salary range, I do have about 4 times my salary in savings

If your HHI is $100k and you live on$50k, you're a skinflint but nobody bats an eye.

If your HHI is $40k and you live on$20k (and kids are involved), you're running on the edge of a visit from social workers.  Sure, there are kids in families with $20k incomes, but they are also qualifying for free lunches, food stamps, school-fee waivers, etc, that you don't qualify for as a hyper-frugal moderate-income person. tldr: Fixed costs are fixed TheEndIsNigh: (including non-retirement investment accounts, as I assume that's what FAFSA looks at) FAFSA indeed only looks at non-retirement accounts. This is one of the real reasons to tie up as much as you can in IRAs/401k/HSAs. The tax benefits are really minor if you're in the boring end of the tax brackets. You pay taxes now or later... and dividends/capital-gains are already at 0% for most average earners... all pretty much meh. But, a bankruptcy court will typically not touch your retirement accounts and it's not real money for FAFSA consideration. Those are major advantages. Yeah, I really don't believe the claim in TFH, and don't see it directly in TFA. Savings is definitely a big consideration in financial need, but income seems to be even bigger. I tried some moderate shenanigans to improve my FAFSA, but still got nothing better than offers for unsubsidized loans. So I kind of dread going through that for kid #2, it was pretty tedious and our savings have increased pretty well since the first. God Is My Co-Pirate: ThatGuyGreg: A family with a million dollar house earning$200,000 a year is most likely horrifically in debt, or if not, a layoff or health problem not covered by insurance away.

/just saying

Of course if they inherited the house, they're in a pretty nice spot.

Not if you include property taxes in such places like New England. The taxes on a house like that can be around 25k. That's a hefty chunk of that otherwise "excellent" income.

Wait kids can actually get IN to a 4 year college with a SAT score under 700???

Well you might have read it, but you didn't comprehend it.

FTAThere's nothing inherently wrong with handing out tuition breaks to the middle class, or even the rich. The problem is that it seems to be happening at the expense of the poor.

The point, you missed it.

.... a million dollar house is a pretty regular (or even small-ish) house in most of the country, Subby. And a family of four living on a $200,000 is not any means rich. Gulper Eel: I guess it's possible to sock away$200K on a 50K salary, but that's some serious Dave Ramsey devotion they've got going there.

I've saved more than that on about 60-70K here in Montreal. Cheap apartment well below my means (and lease from 1999, with state controlled increases), t-shirts, no car, no kids. Also, all the money I save I put into retirement savings which are tax deductible. Then I get a nice return at tax time, which I put back into retirement savings.

And I still spend without thinking because I figured it all out years ago. Oh, look, a 2000$quadcopter? No problem. Food's not on special? Buy it anyways. Oh, and a house is not an investment. That$200k is savings, not retirement. Retirement investments are not required to be disclosed when applying for financial aid while income history and 'cash on hand' is. Aid is provided based upon need, and if you have $200k in the bank, not counting retirement, you have little need. I would also think that$200k in annual earnings (but no savings) would also not have any need. You don't provide mortgage information when you apply.

50k/200k is not preposterous at all for a family that has college age kids. Basic retirement planning says you should have 14x annual pay in savings by the time you retire. The first key is to get a job from the 50K box, the second key is personal responsibility.*

*Let me say this about that. Personal Responsibilty is a great code for YOU to live by. Personal Responsibilty is not a cure that can be applied to social ills.

Tatsuma: .... a million dollar house is a pretty regular (or even small-ish) house in most of the country, Subby. And a family of four living on a $200,000 is not any means rich. In the world of facts, a million dollar house is in the top 2.3% of home values in the nation. The median owner-occupied home value is$186,200.

Thunderpipes: Never understood why people think student aid should only be for the poor. People that make money then have to pay for their kids, as well as poor people's kids. And God forbid you go back to school as an adult when you have a good job.

Because most people are not terrible human beings like you.
If you can afford it without aid, then you clearly don't need the aid.
I see it as being greedy, like going to a food bank, when you have more then enough money for food.

I remember this is exactly how it worked when I was about to go to college. My parents on a good year earned 45-50k combined, had socked away 30k in savings and our house was probably worth about 400k(they got it for 150k back in the mid 90s). When the FAFSA stuff came back all my richer friends who lived in the better more expensive half of the city got 2-3K of free money. My letter told me that I was going to get nothing. I was greatly annoyed. It's not that I felt entitled to free money(I won't turn it down if offered though), it's that people whose parents earned far more got free money.

1) Set up bullshiat college
2) Enroll ALL of the poor people
3) Demand billions in Pell grants from the federal government
4) Hand Monopoly degrees to students
5) Collect on loans from as many graduates as can repay on waitress wages
For-profit schools amount to a mass scam, transferring money from tax payers to con artist faux education executives. The Pell Grant needs to die. It might hurt some poor middle-performing students in the short term by forcing them to go to a public school instead of a private one, but it will cause tuition to come screaming down in the free market. The Ivy Leagues will continue to give merit scholarships to top performing poor and middle class high school graduates if they want to preserve their reputations.

Cost of living.....how does it work?

Iron Felix: Wait kids can actually get IN to a 4 year college with a SAT score under 700???

I saw kids at one of the campuses of the University of Nebraska who I'm sure struggled to get a 70. I'm betting every state college has their generous share of those.

Not sure what happened to my return key there.

Flip the coin and your parents are working under the table and collecting housing, welfare food stamps, medical and you get free school.

Nothing has changed since the 1950's the middle class are always the ones who fall between the cracks and get it up the butt.

Lawnchair: In the world of facts, a million dollar house is in the top 2.3% of home values in the nation. The median owner-occupied home value is $186,200. No, those are houses that are worth more than a million dollar. If you take houses between 500,000 and 999,999, then that's 10% of the country, or the vast majority of people who have houses in decent neighborhoods in New York, Chicago, LA, or any other major city out there. ArkAngel: Read the full article. The author seems to take offense to any form of academic scholarship that goes to well-off students. Sounds good to me. Give them a plaque for good grades, charge them full rate. Iron Felix: Wait kids can actually get IN to a 4 year college with a SAT score under 700??? yes, but when you get into a 4 year institution that accepts you with under a 700 on your SAT, it's spelled "kollege". I am the poster child for this in a way, though over the last few years our income has done very nicely. My son is a very good student, Eagle Scout, etc., and can't get anything but loans because of our net worth. We live relatively simply. A nice vaca every summer but nothing over the top, two cars long since paid for and honestly a little old, house debt retired years ago by accelerating payments. Other families we know who have not saved but have a big house and big mortgage and go on extravagant vacations and buy expensive cars have done a lot better in getting scholarships. Is it unfair? Possibly, but I would not trade situations. I have not worried much about my kids' education because i have saved for it. As a family, we don't want for much. I have been blessed, and have made my choices and our lifestyle fits us just fine. And if scholarships dry up, I won't have to worry about my kids getting a good education. It's a profit deal! Tatsuma: No, those are houses that are worth more than a million dollar. If you take houses between 500,000 and 999,999, then that's 10% of the country, or the vast majority of people who have houses in decent neighborhoods in New York, Chicago, LA, or any other major city out there. A house worth$500,000 is not worth $1,000,000. What are you trying to say here? A million dollar house is way outside the norm. Tatsuma: .... a million dollar house is a pretty regular (or even small-ish) house in most of the country, Subby. And a family of four living on a$200,000 is not any means rich.

Define "most"??? I think you meant "in certain markets, a "normal" house runs about a million dollars."

In *most* of the country, a million bucks gets you an estate, ranch, acreage, palace, mansion, or some combination of the above. In a few places (big cities, certain enclaves) it gets you a 3/2 w/ 2car garage and a back yard.

Tatsuma: .... a million dollar house is a pretty regular (or even small-ish) house in most of the country, Subby. And a family of four living on a $200,000 is not any means rich. Tatsuma: Lawnchair: In the world of facts, a million dollar house is in the top 2.3% of home values in the nation. The median owner-occupied home value is$186,200.

No, those are houses that are worth more than a million dollar. If you take houses between 500,000 and 999,999, then that's 10% of the country, or the vast majority of people who have houses in decent neighborhoods in New York, Chicago, LA, or any other major city out there.

What the fark are you talking about? You went from "most of the country" to "decent neighborhoods in NY, Chicago and LA" in the span of just one post.  Just because you live in an expensive neighborhood does not mean "most of the country" lives in an expensive neighborhood.

Gulper Eel: I guess it's possible to sock away $200K on a 50K salary, but that's some serious Dave Ramsey devotion they've got going there. I built up close to$100k in personal savings on a 52k salary over 4 - 5 year stretch, all from take-home salary alone. It's doable, depending on where you live, and what your priorities are. (I was saving up for a house.)

Having some knowledge of investing also helps. (Savings accounts probably won't cut it.)

Lawnchair: Tatsuma: .... a million dollar house is a pretty regular (or even small-ish) house in most of the country, Subby. And a family of four living on a $200,000 is not any means rich. In the world of facts, a million dollar house is in the top 2.3% of home values in the nation. The median owner-occupied home value is$186,200.

Thank you, that was some serious nonsense right there.

Tatsuma: 10% of the country, or the vast majority

Whenever you look to the night sky and wonder why so many people give you shiat when all you're doing is telling the truth, I want you to know that you type shiat like this all. The goddamn. Time. It really, really hurts your credibility across the board.

Three Crooked Squirrels: What the fark are you talking about? You went from "most of the country" to "decent neighborhoods in NY, Chicago and LA" in the span of just one post. Just because you live in an expensive neighborhood does not mean "most of the country" lives in an expensive neighborhood.

Well I guess I have a warped view of where most people live. Most of the people I know live in big cities, and those who have houses, none of them have anything under $500,000. Seems like this is only ~12% of the country, so I guess I was wrong what_now: No they won't. I don't have time for this shiat today, because my actual students have sent me actual FAFSAs to review and I've been out of the country for a week, but take it from me: I've been doing this for a decade. FEDERAL AID DOES NOT WORK THAT WAY. DING DING DING! Winner! All go home now.thanks.bye. Goodluckfox: Define "most"??? I think you meant "in certain markets, a "normal" house runs about a million dollars." For example in Vancouver, BC a million dollars gets you this. A half million might get you something about the same size, between two auto body shops and across the train tracks from a rendering plant. ThatGuyGreg: A family with a million dollar house earning$200,000 a year is most likely horrifically in debt, or if not, a layoff or health problem not covered by insurance away.

/just saying

Not if they own the house and have no debt.

If you want to play the financial aid game, you take all your savings and payoff as much of the mortgage as you can.

Lawnchair: Tatsuma: .... a million dollar house is a pretty regular (or even small-ish) house in most of the country, Subby. And a family of four living on a $200,000 is not any means rich. In the world of facts, a million dollar house is in the top 2.3% of home values in the nation. The median owner-occupied home value is$186,200.

Tatsuma: No, those are houses that are worth more than a million dollar. If you take houses between 500,000 and 999,999, then that's 10% of the country, or the vast majority of people who have houses in decent neighborhoods in New York, Chicago, LA, or any other major city out there.

Come on Tats, just admit you made a gross overstatement about how commonplace a $1 million house is in the USA. Please, pretty please? You'd get a lot of brownie points if you nibbled just a bit on some crow. I think crow is kosher, too. Where I live if you bought a house in 96 for$250,000 it's worth a million today.
I was fortunate but It sure sucks for the time my kids want to buy a home.

valkore: Come on Tats, just admit you made a gross overstatement about how commonplace a $1 million house is in the USA. Please, pretty please? You'd get a lot of brownie points if you nibbled just a bit on some crow. I think crow is kosher, too. When I said 1m originally, I was more thinking about the$500,000 to $1,000,000 bracket, not the one over that (and that's what the$1,000,000+ is).

However, even that is only 10% so I seem to have had a warped view of just how many people own houses in big cities.

A long time ago, I drove my country bumpkin wife through the old part of town and she looked in horror at all the $30k homes. I remember telling her, 'this is how most of the country lives.' you have pee hands: A house worth$500,000 is not worth $1,000,000. What are you trying to say here? A million dollar house is way outside the norm. Not in NY or CT or a lot of the East Coast. A CHEAP house is$350,000.  Average is $500,000-$750,000.  $1,000,000 isn't uncommon by any means. ...and this is why I neither own a house nor have any savings. Antimatter: I'm still bitter about having my aid be tied to my parents income Once you start to realize that aid is not an entitlement or something you inherently deserve, you will get over your bitterness. It is a gift. Some people get bigger gifts than others. Tatsuma: Lawnchair: In the world of facts, a million dollar house is in the top 2.3% of home values in the nation. The median owner-occupied home value is$186,200.

No, those are houses that are worth more than a million dollar. If you take houses between 500,000 and 999,999, then that's 10% of the country, or the vast majority of people who have houses in decent neighborhoods in New York, Chicago, LA, or any other major city out there.

Do a search of www.har.com for Houston (just for giggles).

Because the tax structure is so different here (no state taxes, just property and sales taxes), prices are no where near what they are in New York, Chicago, or LA. Same goes for any city in Texas including Dallas and Austin.

In the grocery a few days back, I just met a new retired couple who moved here from New York. They kept going on about how nice people were here, and how cheap housing, food, etc. was. You'll have to remember, that even though Texas votes Republican, most of the large cities are primarily Democrat, so they fit in nicely.

I'm originally from Louisiana, and I think people in Houston are jerks, and the cost of living and housing is expensive, even though I live in the "best" part of Houston (so YMMV).

A million dollar home in Houston and a moderate income gets you a lot more than you'd get in New York, Chicago, or LA (don't get me wrong, as a consultant, I loved Chicago when I was there for a year). But comparing on house value alone isn't a fair comparison.

Mr.Man: Where I live if you bought a house in 96 for $250,000 it's worth a million today. I was fortunate but It sure sucks for the time my kids want to buy a home. In Israel it's pretty much the case anywhere in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem or the surrounding areas. Like, you will hardly find something decent in Jeru or TA if you put down less than$500,000.

How that can be the upper 10% in America, that just confuses me.

what_now: No they won't. I don't have time for this shiat today, because my actual students have sent me actual FAFSAs to review and I've been out of the country for a week, but take it from me: I've been doing this for a decade.

FEDERAL AID DOES NOT WORK THAT WAY.

Apparently you do have time for this shiat today. If you didn't, you wouldn't be here at all....

Antimatter: I'm still bitter about having my aid be tied to my parents income, despite them not actually paying for my tuition.  I actually lost all aid my sr year because they sold a failed business and made money on the books, despite all that money going to medical bills.

This!  When I went to school in early 2000 they said I would get almost no aide because my parents would be paying for most of my school which is not the case.  You are a dependant student for way too long, almost had my parents orphan me so I could be labeled independant.

The headline can't be based on Federal Aide unless the student is over 25 years old.

Ivo Shandor: For example in Vancouver, BC a million dollars gets you this. A half million might get you something about the same size, between two auto body shops and across the train tracks from a rendering plant.

For a million dollars you'd think they could proofread the ad.  At least I'm not pali of a Strata.

Very rare offering - immaculately maintained Thin House in central Dunbar location! Great alternative to a townhouse yourown property without being pali of a Strata. 1 bedroom + den up, and a fully fini shed studio or g uest bedroom . Mainfloor is very spacious & bright, featuring generous room sizes. Private south facing gard en. Ample crawl space forstorage. Easy access to transit and Dunbar St. shopping.

Granted, this was nearly 20 years ago, but I'm going to add my name to the list of "My parents made too much money for me to get financial aid."  They were also so far in debt they couldn't even help pay for part of college, let alone all of it.  I could have gotten into a nice college, maybe even a really nice college.  I just couldn't afford to go (and not quite 'smart' enough for free rides courtesy of the colleges).

Gabrielmot: Do a search of www.har.com for Houston (just for giggles).

Because the tax structure is so different here (no state taxes, just property and sales taxes), prices are no where near what they are in New York, Chicago, or LA. Same goes for any city in Texas including Dallas and Austin.

In the grocery a few days back, I just met a new retired couple who moved here from New York. They kept going on about how nice people were here, and how cheap housing, food, etc. was. You'll have to remember, that even though Texas votes Republican, most of the large cities are primarily Democrat, so they fit in nicely.

I'm originally from Louisiana, and I think people in Houston are jerks, and the cost of living and housing is expensive, even though I live in the "best" part of Houston (so YMMV).

A million dollar home in Houston and a moderate income gets you a lot more than you'd get in New York, Chicago, or LA (don't get me wrong, as a consultant, I loved Chicago when I was there for a year). But comparing on house value alone isn't a fair comparison.

Yeah, I guess so. I just figured that my experience in those cities applied in other states with similar sized cities.

serpent_sky: Not in NY or CT or a lot of the East Coast. A CHEAP house is $350,000. Average is$500,000-$750,000.$1,000,000 isn't uncommon by any means.

...and this is why I neither own a house nor have any savings.

Exactly. I guess I'm really out of touch with K Street or Main street or something

Keep in mind that average home prices are based on sales. Most people are too poor to move and they live in dumps.

thurstonxhowell: community college

This.

what_now: No they won't. I don't have time for this shiat today, because my actual students have sent me actual FAFSAs to review and I've been out of the country for a week, but take it from me: I've been doing this for a decade.

I'm going to take the time to type this post telling you that I don't have time to post a response to the post that you didn't have time to type when you typed it.

ThatGuyGreg: A family with a million dollar house earning $200,000 a year is most likely horrifically in debt, or if not, a layoff or health problem not covered by insurance away. /just saying Then they should stop living beyond their means, by selling the house and getting one they can afford. Then, they can use the excess proceeds to send their kids to college. James!: Well yeah, use your savings. What else are you saving it for? retirement. rainy days. so I don't have to be a drain on the government. / the more I take care of my own independence, the more I try to be responsible member of society, the more I will get farked in the ass by the government and its slaves Gulper Eel: Lawnchair: DubyaHater: Earn$50K a year and have $200K in savings? No one in this planet is that good with money Gulper Eel: I guess it's possible to sock away$200K on a 50K salary, but that's some serious Dave Ramsey devotion they've got going there.

Parents (and random uncles) die all the time. It's entirely possible.

TFA says $200K in savings, not$200K in inheritances.

Has to be a joke.  Has to be a joke.  Has to be a joke.  Has to be a joke.  Has to be a joke.  Has to be a joke.  Has to be a joke.  Has to be a joke. Has to be a joke.  Has to be a joke.  Has to be a joke.  Has to be a joke. Has to be a joke.  Has to be a joke.  Has to be a joke.  Has to be a joke.

/Is your plan to spend 100% of the inheritance the second it hits your bank account?  If not...that money is now sitting in your bank account.  Or stuffed under a mattress.  But whatever it is, unless you instantly spent it all, it is savings.

chevydeuce: And a person with a Hispanic last name will get twice as much financial aid as one with a "white" sounding name, even though the Hispanic family makes nearly three times as much as the non-Hispanic one...

/why yes, I do have personal experience with this, why do you ask

Not federal aid. Not state aid. Just a private school.

Don't like it? Don't go to a private school.

Dear Jerk: A long time ago, I drove my country bumpkin wife through the old part of town and she looked in horror at all the $30k homes. I remember telling her, 'this is how most of the country lives.' LineNoise: kab: And the best interest rates are reserved for the folks who need them the least. Capitalism, working as intended. Because the bank is losing money on your basic checking account that you draw down to 6 bucks every 2 weeks before payday. I used to do that. I got paid once a month, paid bills, put money into savings, and then put everything on my credit card. I kept about$100-200 in cash in my checking account, at the BEGINNING of the month.

Then I switched to a local bank that gives me interest for keeping money in my checking account, and now I keep all my money there.

If the bank wants to make money from me, they need to give me a reason to keep some money there.

I paid for a public college education by working - it took six years - I graduated with no debt. All these cry babies complaining about student loans can suck it. I'm not alone. I know a lot of people that ate beans and lived one grade above homeless to achieve the same. The govt is just perpetuating poverty in the poor by indebting them thru college.

kab: And the best interest rates are reserved for the folks who need them the leastpay their bills and are likely to repay your loan.

Capitalism, working as intended.

-----
If you want to give away your own money to people with known problems paying their bills and with little hope of  ever seeing your money back, let alone the interest, then just go ahead and change your name to Charity.

Or we can just tax other people and hand out the money we won't get back, like Barry does.

Tatsuma: Mr.Man: Where I live if you bought a house in 96 for $250,000 it's worth a million today. I was fortunate but It sure sucks for the time my kids want to buy a home. In Israel it's pretty much the case anywhere in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem or the surrounding areas. Like, you will hardly find something decent in Jeru or TA if you put down less than$500,000.

How that can be the upper 10% in America, that just confuses me.

America is a very large place, with a lot of empty space and a lot of towns that were built around industries that do not exist anymore.

Student loans are evil.  Getting people who are barely old enough to sign legal contracts to take out massive unsecured loans that they will never be able to discharge via bankruptcy -- if that's not predatory, I don't know what is.

/ never had any student loans, thank God -- parents & scholarships paid for school

chevydeuce: And a person with a Hispanic last name will get twice as much financial aid as one with a "white" sounding name, even though the Hispanic family makes nearly three times as much as the non-Hispanic one...

/why yes, I do have personal experience with this, why do you ask

If it makes you feel any better, once I got to school I was pretty lonely.

The policy makers in this society push debt on the citizenry.

The elites are shedding debt while the citizenry are urged to take more. It makes sense because the primary driver of economic policy around the world at this time, are central banks. And the business model they understand is a banking-based one, which makes money from debt.

jshine: Student loans are evil.  Getting people who are barely old enough to sign legal contracts to take out massive unsecured loans that they will never be able to discharge via bankruptcy -- if that's not predatory, I don't know what is.

/ never had any student loans, thank God -- parents & scholarships paid for school

Well, the most obscene thing is that that we as a society has decided that it isn't in our best interest to ensure post-secondary education to the nation's best and brightest. We decided that we should make higher education a consumer item.

That's pretty farked up, right there.

A million dollar house is not a lot of money.  Most of the guys in my fraternity have a house at least that much in value.  Look, if these people don't want to have debt then they just need to get a job.

I spent a whole summer washing cars at my Dad's dealership to pay for school and I made plenty.  When I graduate next year, I'll have the sales manager job at the dealership waiting for me.  I've earned it.

Sticky Hands: Tatsuma: Mr.Man: Where I live if you bought a house in 96 for $250,000 it's worth a million today. I was fortunate but It sure sucks for the time my kids want to buy a home. In Israel it's pretty much the case anywhere in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem or the surrounding areas. Like, you will hardly find something decent in Jeru or TA if you put down less than$500,000.

How that can be the upper 10% in America, that just confuses me.

America is a very large place, with a lot of empty space and a lot of towns that were built around industries that do not exist anymore.

Given the amount of blood that has been spilled over such a tiny speck of land (Israel), the fact that you can own a piece of it by simply coughing up the shekels is actually pretty fortunate.

I wonder what percentage of the populace has over $200k in the bank? abhorrent1: Just be a minority. The government will make rain for you. Dey terk er jerrrbs! Tatsuma: .... a million dollar house is a pretty regular (or even small-ish) house in most of the country, Subby. And a family of four living on a$200,000 is not any means rich.

derrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrp

Rapmaster2000: A million dollar house is not a lot of money.  ... I spent a whole summer washing cars at my Dad's dealership to pay for school and I made plenty.

Well sure, $1,000,000 isn't much if you're pulling-down car-washing money! Raharu: Thunderpipes: Never understood why people think student aid should only be for the poor. People that make money then have to pay for their kids, as well as poor people's kids. And God forbid you go back to school as an adult when you have a good job. Because most people are not terrible human beings like you. If you can afford it without aid, then you clearly don't need the aid. I see it as being greedy, like going to a food bank, when you have more then enough money for food. No, not at all. I went back to school in my late 30s. I made too much money for aid. So a combination of out of pocket, and student loans. Crippled my disposable income, now I have loans, and all because I had the audacity to have a job? Can't even deduct the goddamn tuition costs on my tax return. So I payed for mine, and lazy people's kids. Ya, real "fair" that is. Do not start a college fund in little Johnny's name. Any assets in his name directly impact the amount of financial aid he might otherwise qualify for. Keep assets off his balance sheet. Hide all your money in your own IRA/401k and have lots of debt on your house. Drain savings and put it in cash when you fill out those applications. This is how you earn max financial aid. Apart from cake, the lie is saving for college... all you end up doing by saving is paying the highest price for the same education. dustygrimp: Tatsuma: .... a million dollar house is a pretty regular (or even small-ish) house in most of the country, Subby. And a family of four living on a$200,000 is not any means rich.

derrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrp

I have to second Tatsuma's post though -- Mrs. jshine & I are over $200k/yr and we're not rich. We've got one car (a Mazda 3), an apartment, and a dog. We're certainly not starving, but neither are we wealthy. This is news? Seriously, I could've told you this 11 years ago when my older sister went to college. My parents paid off their house, their cars, and had no credit card debt. But because of their modest savings and no debt, we did not qualify for any financial aid. The financial aid adviser actually told my parents to open a 2nd mortgage and leave the cash in the bank because then they would qualify. Remember people, FAFSA weights DEBTS higher than ASSETS when determining aid. jshine: I have to second Tatsuma's post though -- Mrs. jshine & I are over$200k/yr and we're not rich. We've got one car (a Mazda 3), an apartment, and a dog. We're certainly not starving, but neither are we wealthy.

change 'most of the country' to 'most big cities in the country' and $1,000,000 to '$500,000 to $1,000,000' and my post is accurate. This is also pretty much what I meant to begin with, should have been more accurate.$200,000 a year for a family is barely middle-class unless you live in the middle of nowhere.

Thunderpipes: Raharu: Thunderpipes: Never understood why people think student aid should only be for the poor. People that make money then have to pay for their kids, as well as poor people's kids. And God forbid you go back to school as an adult when you have a good job.

Because most people are not terrible human beings like you.
If you can afford it without aid, then you clearly don't need the aid.
I see it as being greedy, like going to a food bank, when you have more then enough money for food.

No, not at all. I went back to school in my late 30s. I made too much money for aid. So a combination of out of pocket, and student loans. Crippled my disposable income, now I have loans, and all because I had the audacity to have a job? Can't even deduct the goddamn tuition costs on my tax return.

So I payed for mine, and lazy people's kids. Ya, real "fair" that is.

Alphakronik: I wonder what percentage of the populace has over $200k in the bank? I think it's in the 10% range, if I'm remembering correctly. (Was looking that up, recently.) itsaidwhat: I paid for a public college education by working - it took six years - I graduated with no debt. All these cry babies complaining about student loans can suck it. I'm not alone. I know a lot of people that ate beans and lived one grade above homeless to achieve the same. The govt is just perpetuating poverty in the poor by indebting them thru college. what year was that? I did that too, in the 90s. Then I watched tuition go up by 50% over the course of the 4 years it took for my wife to get through a program during the..err...00s. Alphakronik: I wonder what percentage of the populace has over$200k in the bank?

While I'm pulling out Census data, there's this (Excel... multiple charts in the spreadsheet). Best general numbers I've found. They make the breakdown at $250k household wealth, not$200k.   Around 26% of US households have net wealth over $250k, but that's including home equity. "In the bank" (meaning investable, including retirement accounts, but not primary home) over$200k, you can roughly infer from the numbers given that it's 12-15% of the nation's households.  More than half of those households will be headed by people 60-and-over.

Bumblefark: Well, the most obscene thing is that that we as a society has decided that it isn't in our best interest to ensure post-secondary education to the nation's best and brightest. We decided that we should make higher education a consumer item.

The best and brightest are pretty much guaranteed school.
Now they may have to choose between paying various amounts for a top tier school (If the school thinks they can get money out of them) or going to a state school on a full ride. But IMHO if you get offered a full ride to the best public schools in your state, you don't have much room to biatch about the costs if you choose to go to school in some other place.

It's the rest of us that have to make the choice.

That said: A  $600 scholarship? Really? Fark you USC... Ivo Shandor: Goodluckfox: Define "most"??? I think you meant "in certain markets, a "normal" house runs about a million dollars." For example in Vancouver, BC a million dollars gets you this. A half million might get you something about the same size, between two auto body shops and across the train tracks from a rendering plant. what's that, like$35 K  American?

Gabrielmot: Tatsuma: Lawnchair: In the world of facts, a million dollar house is in the top 2.3% of home values in the nation. The median owner-occupied home value is $186,200. No, those are houses that are worth more than a million dollar. If you take houses between 500,000 and 999,999, then that's 10% of the country, or the vast majority of people who have houses in decent neighborhoods in New York, Chicago, LA, or any other major city out there. Do a search of www.har.com for Houston (just for giggles). Because the tax structure is so different here (no state taxes, just property and sales taxes), prices are no where near what they are in New York, Chicago, or LA. Same goes for any city in Texas including Dallas and Austin. In the grocery a few days back, I just met a new retired couple who moved here from New York. They kept going on about how nice people were here, and how cheap housing, food, etc. was. You'll have to remember, that even though Texas votes Republican, most of the large cities are primarily Democrat, so they fit in nicely. I'm originally from Louisiana, and I think people in Houston are jerks, and the cost of living and housing is expensive, even though I live in the "best" part of Houston (so YMMV). A million dollar home in Houston and a moderate income gets you a lot more than you'd get in New York, Chicago, or LA (don't get me wrong, as a consultant, I loved Chicago when I was there for a year). But comparing on house value alone isn't a fair comparison. Out of curiosity, what part are you calling the "best" part of Houston? 4 years of SUCK as 11B in the 82nd Airborne =$50,000.

5 years and a masters degree later...debt free.

FARK YEAH! 'MERICA!

Sticky Hands: Bumblefark: Well, the most obscene thing is that that we as a society has decided that it isn't in our best interest to ensure post-secondary education to the nation's best and brightest. We decided that we should make higher education a consumer item.

The best and brightest are pretty much guaranteed school.
Now they may have to choose between paying various amounts for a top tier school (If the school thinks they can get money out of them) or going to a state school on a full ride. But IMHO if you get offered a full ride to the best public schools in your state, you don't have much room to biatch about the costs if you choose to go to school in some other place.

It's the rest of us that have to make the choice.

That said: A  $600 scholarship? Really? Fark you USC... I forget my numerical SAT scores, but the sum put me in the 99th percentile -- #2 of 416 in my graduating class -- and was offered exactly$0 in aide by my state school (Univ. of Minnesota).  I didn't end up going there for undergrad, but still...

IamAwake: ThatGuyGreg: A family with a million dollar house earning $200,000 a year is most likely horrifically in debt, or if not, a layoff or health problem not covered by insurance away. /just saying Then they should stop living beyond their means, by selling the house and getting one they can afford. Then, they can use the excess proceeds to send their kids to college. I remember in the late 90's my guidance counselor being super surprised when I told him my family wasn't planning on applying for financial aid in sending me to college. Practically everyone was applying - and my parents certainly weren't in the "upper tiers" of wealth in comparison to others in my HS. But looking back, I believe a lot of people had "fake" wealth. My parents always dreamed of sending me and my brother to wherever we wanted to go (a chance they themselves didn't have), and started saving when we was in the womb. Yes, they were solidly upper middle class but really at the end of the day we lived well within our means - I wore Kmart and my parents drove 15 year old cars. This is why my Dad was able to retire the day I graduated HS and still pay for my college. I'm incredibly thankful. Most of the "wealthy" parents I knew back then are still not retired and deeply in debt and many of my classmates had to take out hundreds of thousands in loans for college. But they had brand new BMW's and huge houses and their kids all wore designer brands - so I just assumed they were far wealthier than me. They may have in fact been wealthier than my parents, but they spent it as quickly as it came. I try to think about this fact every time I spend money on something frivolous. Tatsuma:$200,000 a year for a family is barely middle-class unless you live in the middle of nowhere.

What I'm getting from you in this thread is that you consider anywhere further afield than Park Slope to be the middle of nowhere.

itsaidwhat: I paid for a public college education by working - it took six years - I graduated with no debt. All these cry babies complaining about student loans can suck it. I'm not alone. I know a lot of people that ate beans and lived one grade above homeless to achieve the same. The govt is just perpetuating poverty in the poor by indebting them thru college.

And when did you do this?

Tatsuma: jshine: I have to second Tatsuma's post though -- Mrs. jshine & I are over $200k/yr and we're not rich. We've got one car (a Mazda 3), an apartment, and a dog. We're certainly not starving, but neither are we wealthy. change 'most of the country' to 'most big cities in the country' and$1,000,000 to '$500,000 to$1,000,000' and my post is accurate.

This is also pretty much what I meant to begin with, should have been more accurate.

$200,000 a year for a family is barely middle-class unless you live in the middle of nowhere. Um, no. I live in NYC and went to HS in one of America's wealthiest suburbs..$200k is absolutely upper middle class. Hubby and I make a bit over $160k together and I certainly consider myself upper middle class - I can purchase a home while still saving money for my kid's college and my retirement. Now, can I afford a 3bd/2 ba in the Upper East Side? No. But I live very well in "normal" middle class Queens. jshine: I have to second Tatsuma's post though -- Mrs. jshine & I are over$200k/yr and we're not rich. We've got one car (a Mazda 3), an apartment, and

You're in the 95% percentile, dude.

Are you telling me that aid is means-tested and thus anybody with even modest means is ineligible but if you are loaded down with debt you technically qualify because your assets are less than zero?

Sorry, I was just chatting with Charles Dickens, the famous comic author, and not paying attention.

In order to qualify for welfare you have to liquidate all your financial assets (savings, notably) before they pay a penny. But many welfare recipients have nice suburban houses, given to them by the state.

Welfare for a single person does not pay the rent on the grungiest batchelor (bedsitter if you're in the UK) but I see welfare moms on TV living in apartments that are clean, neat, well-furnished, equipped with all the latest conveniences, and about ten times better than my own squalid dump.

To claim unemployment insurance you must first liquidate any cash, bank account savings, or pay you have due to you, such as vacation pay, severance pay, etc. But somehow this does not prevent the rural poor from having snow mobiles, ATVs, giant plasma TVs, etc., luxuries that the working poor (often the same as the honest welfare poor, mind you) daren't dream of.

It has been like this for centuries. The Elizabethan Poor Laws were as draconian and callous as the Victorian Work House. Modern welfarism is not a jot better, but vastly more complex and expensive.

I suspect that even charitable conservatives wouldn't hate the welfare state if they weren't constantly riled up by the inequities and absurdities of the thing.

My father's income was too high for me to be eligible for student loans, but a guy I knew didn't let that stop him. He boasted that he was setting aside all this unneeded money and I wouldn't be surprised if he is now a millionaire Tory dumping on the welfare classes despite having his university education paid out of their hefty (proportionally) taxes.

It's a Catch 22 situation. If the Government was lax with the monies it dribbles into the pockets of the poor, the vast amount it pours into the pockets of the upper middle classes (tax credits, tax shelters, various subsidies to investment, etc.) would not save it from the wrath of the middle classes and the 1%.

Many benefits such as unemployment insurance are means-tested but nonetheless the biggest payouts go to those with the greatest means.

For example, you get a percentage of the wage that you paid unemployment insurance dues on, so the better you are paid, the longer you work, the more money you get when unemployed, even though you may need it less than everybody else receiving payments.

A lot of these "welfare" benefits are skewed to the top of the range of income. Which coincidentally is where the voters and political donors are.

Teenagers, wives and other dependents can live in the lap of luxury but claim pogey (welfare, unemployment insurance) for half the year. Meanwhile, many of the people on welfare more or less permanently (say, half the year) have to work at three jobs to be able to afford to live without work.

When Bush the Dumber congratulated that poor American at having three jobs, that is the point when a Samurai should have leaped out of the crowd and neatly snicker-snacked his head off without him knowing it until he bent over to pick up a dime.

And that is why I hate all of the classes and prefer to think of myself as Paul Fussell's Brand X.

Not only is Saint Paul right in saying that all have sinned, but Paul Fussell is right in pointing out that the class system is a giant pyramid scheme and that intelligent, creative and sensitive people should have no part of it, if such were possible.

Personally I prefer a steady, adequate pay-cheque so I work as a drudge in Sector 7-G of the Government.

It used to be a safe and pleasant job away from the hubbub, not unlike being a monk. But all the good jobs disappear when I look at them. I am currently considering a career as a blood-thirsty dictator in hopes that it is me and not the Way of the World or le Monde come il va.

ThatGuyGreg: A family with a million dollar house earning $200,000 a year is most likely horrifically in debt, or if not, a layoff or health problem not covered by insurance away. /just saying A family with a household income of$200k can easily afford a $1M house. If they have no other debts they could comfortably push that to 1.3-1.4 million as long as they have a reasonable down payment. DubyaHater: Earn$50K a year and have $200K in savings? No one in this planet is that good with money. You and I clearly have different friends. Sock$10k a year into a mutual fund (not pleasant, but not impossible if you're single, no kids, etc.) and it'll take you 13 years or so.

Lollipop165: Tatsuma: jshine: I have to second Tatsuma's post though -- Mrs. jshine & I are over $200k/yr and we're not rich. We've got one car (a Mazda 3), an apartment, and a dog. We're certainly not starving, but neither are we wealthy. change 'most of the country' to 'most big cities in the country' and$1,000,000 to '$500,000 to$1,000,000' and my post is accurate.

This is also pretty much what I meant to begin with, should have been more accurate.

$200,000 a year for a family is barely middle-class unless you live in the middle of nowhere. Um, no. I live in NYC and went to HS in one of America's wealthiest suburbs..$200k is absolutely upper middle class. Hubby and I make a bit over $160k together and I certainly consider myself upper middle class - I can purchase a home while still saving money for my kid's college and my retirement. Now, can I afford a 3bd/2 ba in the Upper East Side? No. But I live very well in "normal" middle class Queens. This ...$200k a year means that your HOUSEHOLD is in the top 2% of ALL HOUSEHOLDS (two incomes) in the entire country ...

Seriously, if you don't think $200k/year is upper-middle class, you are seriously farked in the head. thurstonxhowell: What I'm getting from you in this thread is that you consider anywhere further afield than Park Slope to be the middle of nowhere. Pretty much dustygrimp: Tatsuma: .... a million dollar house is a pretty regular (or even small-ish) house in most of the country, Subby. And a family of four living on a$200,000 is not any means rich.

derrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrp

Not derpp.   In my area, if you are a single dude making 100k, you are just getting by.  If you have a family and all the extra expenses invilved, which probably means the wife works and you have to pay someone to watch your kids,..  200 is ok.  Certainly not rich and swimming in a bathtub of coins like Uncle Scrooge.

If you live in Houston, you are doing well.  But then, you have to live in Houston.

Yeah, Vancouver is farking nuts. I'm eagerly awaiting a massive correction.

Detinwolf: jshine: I have to second Tatsuma's post though -- Mrs. jshine & I are over $200k/yr and we're not rich. We've got one car (a Mazda 3), an apartment, and You're in the 95% percentile, dude. Including the entire US, possibly. In the San Francisco Bay Area, certainly not. A 2br. townhouse in the complex I live in sells for around$600-700k.  They're not super-luxurious either -- mine was built in the early 50s IIRC (but remodeled just before I moved in).

I'm not claiming poverty or anything, but $200k just does not go very far around here, and I don't have the option of moving to a rural area and maintaining my salary (there are not a lot of jobs for PhD engineers in the middle of a corn field). seadoo2006: Seriously, if you don't think$200k/year is upper-middle class, you are seriously farked in the head.

Trust me, it's not.  Just a different set of problems, especially when April rolls around.

Sticky Hands: Bumblefark: Well, the most obscene thing is that that we as a society has decided that it isn't in our best interest to ensure post-secondary education to the nation's best and brightest. We decided that we should make higher education a consumer item.

The best and brightest are pretty much guaranteed school.
Now they may have to choose between paying various amounts for a top tier school (If the school thinks they can get money out of them) or going to a state school on a full ride. But IMHO if you get offered a full ride to the best public schools in your state, you don't have much room to biatch about the costs if you choose to go to school in some other place.

It's the rest of us that have to make the choice.

That said: A  $600 scholarship? Really? Fark you USC... Over a decade in the higher education biz. I assure you: the myth that our farked up system nevertheless somehow manages to provide for those who ought to receive a higher education, regardless of their financial situation, is...well, a myth. Detinwolf: jshine: I have to second Tatsuma's post though -- Mrs. jshine & I are over$200k/yr and we're not rich. We've got one car (a Mazda 3), an apartment, and

You're in the 95% percentile, dude.

Guess what, they are in the 95th percentile of expenses too.  Do you have to pay $13.95 for a sub where you live? jshine: dustygrimp: Tatsuma: .... a million dollar house is a pretty regular (or even small-ish) house in most of the country, Subby. And a family of four living on a$200,000 is not any means rich.

derrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrp

I have to second Tatsuma's post though -- Mrs. jshine & I are over $200k/yr and we're not rich. We've got one car (a Mazda 3), an apartment, and a dog. We're certainly not starving, but neither are we wealthy. That's a very different viewpoint. The wife and I are at$145k/yr in Atlanta (Decatur) and we're pretty well-off by my standards.  $70k in home equity,$300k in savings, we have two cars, and we pretty much buy and eat-out whatever and whenever we want.   I paid for grad school with cash.  I'm only 37.

I grew up in a family that made ~$45k a year and my wife was a refugee. I think it's all about your perspective of what rich is. While it's very easy to upgrade your lifestyle so that what was once a luxury becomes standard, you need to remember that the overwhelming majority of your fellow Americans are living on far less income than you. jshine: Sticky Hands: Bumblefark: Well, the most obscene thing is that that we as a society has decided that it isn't in our best interest to ensure post-secondary education to the nation's best and brightest. We decided that we should make higher education a consumer item. The best and brightest are pretty much guaranteed school. Now they may have to choose between paying various amounts for a top tier school (If the school thinks they can get money out of them) or going to a state school on a full ride. But IMHO if you get offered a full ride to the best public schools in your state, you don't have much room to biatch about the costs if you choose to go to school in some other place. It's the rest of us that have to make the choice. That said: A$600 scholarship? Really? Fark you USC...

I forget my numerical SAT scores, but the sum put me in the 99th percentile -- #2 of 416 in my graduating class -- and was offered exactly $0 in aide by my state school (Univ. of Minnesota). I didn't end up going there for undergrad, but still... What were your grades? What about your extracurricular? I managed a very high ACT as well, but I finished HS with a 2.7 GPA Obviously while I may have been bright I was not the best. My step daughter OTOH finished with a GPA in the top 10 of her class AND had good test scores. Full rides at Utah and BYU (thank God she skipped that second one) . Her peers had similar offers (though most of them got into places like Cal Tech, MIT and Stanford) Rapmaster2000: A million dollar house is not a lot of money. Most of the guys in my fraternity have a house at least that much in value. Look, if these people don't want to have debt then they just need to get a job. I spent a whole summer washing cars at my Dad's dealership to pay for school and I made plenty. When I graduate next year, I'll have the sales manager job at the dealership waiting for me. I've earned it. Nothing personal but I will burst if I don't post this: My Dad owns a dealership. Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Youtube His Dad, owns, a dealership, bro'. Nutsac_Jim: Detinwolf: jshine: I have to second Tatsuma's post though -- Mrs. jshine & I are over$200k/yr and we're not rich. We've got one car (a Mazda 3), an apartment, and

You're in the 95% percentile, dude.

Guess what, they are in the 95th percentile of expenses too.  Do you have to pay $13.95 for a sub where you live? I could probably wind up spending that much on a sub, but I'm not an idiot. Lollipop165:$200k is absolutely upper middle class

Uhhhm.... no

On an unrelated note,  life is not fair.     The world needs ditch diggers too....

When I was applying for student aid I got a bunch. I had money from a lawsuit over my dad's death and my mom had a nice house but wasn't employed. The total income was my near minimum wage pay at the supermarket.

The fact that parents/family factor in at all is stupid though. Just because a family member could potentially pay shouldn't mean they have to. My mom paid for high school, I was on my own financially at 18.

Nutsac_Jim: dustygrimp: Tatsuma: .... a million dollar house is a pretty regular (or even small-ish) house in most of the country, Subby. And a family of four living on a $200,000 is not any means rich. derrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrp Not derpp. In my area, if you are a single dude making 100k, you are just getting by. If you have a family and all the extra expenses invilved, which probably means the wife works and you have to pay someone to watch your kids,.. 200 is ok. Certainly not rich and swimming in a bathtub of coins like Uncle Scrooge. If you live in Houston, you are doing well. But then, you have to live in Houston. You live in a very, very small enclave of the country. I gross right around$80k/year ($60k salary + ~$20k end of year bonus).  I live in a one-bedroom apartment that costs me roughly $1000/month all-in after utilities (cable, heat, electric). I own two cars ... one is a paid off 1997 Civic, the other is a 2004 Audi S4 that I pay ~$350/month for.  Add in insurance for the two cars at another $130ish/month. I paid off my student loan, I have no credit card debt, and I max out my HSA contribution ($270/month) and put away $800/month into my 401k. Food for my SO and I roughly runs$300/month, put away a few hundred in the liquid savings account and that basically sums up my monthly liabilities.

$3150 is what I've calculated my monthly liabilities at for the two of us. I bring home ~$3800 a month after taxes (excluding the end of year bonus which goes right to savings/investments), which gives me $800/month to do whatever I want ... Every month. brantgoose: Rapmaster2000: A million dollar house is not a lot of money. Most of the guys in my fraternity have a house at least that much in value. Look, if these people don't want to have debt then they just need to get a job. I spent a whole summer washing cars at my Dad's dealership to pay for school and I made plenty. When I graduate next year, I'll have the sales manager job at the dealership waiting for me. I've earned it. Nothing personal but I will burst if I don't post this: My Dad owns a dealership. Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Youtube His Dad, owns, a dealership, bro'. That was the inspiration. I knew a guy in my frat in college who's Dad owned a dealership and people would speak about it with reverence. "Jimmy's Dad owns a dealership." So that was even funnier for me. I think they sold Chevy's . Not sure what's so awesome about that. kab: And the best interest rates are reserved for the folks who need them the least. Capitalism, working as intended. That's the way it should be. Interest is based on risk. seadoo2006: This ...$200k a year means that your HOUSEHOLD is in the top 2% of ALL HOUSEHOLDS (two incomes) in the entire country ...

Seriously, if you don't think $200k/year is upper-middle class, you are seriously farked in the head. Lots of people manage their money badly, and therefore like the idea that$200k isn't a high income (thus providing an excuse for their bad budgeting).

Sticky Hands: jshine: Sticky Hands: Bumblefark: Well, the most obscene thing is that that we as a society has decided that it isn't in our best interest to ensure post-secondary education to the nation's best and brightest. We decided that we should make higher education a consumer item.

The best and brightest are pretty much guaranteed school.
Now they may have to choose between paying various amounts for a top tier school (If the school thinks they can get money out of them) or going to a state school on a full ride. But IMHO if you get offered a full ride to the best public schools in your state, you don't have much room to biatch about the costs if you choose to go to school in some other place.

It's the rest of us that have to make the choice.

That said: A  $600 scholarship? Really? Fark you USC... I forget my numerical SAT scores, but the sum put me in the 99th percentile -- #2 of 416 in my graduating class -- and was offered exactly$0 in aide by my state school (Univ. of Minnesota).  I didn't end up going there for undergrad, but still...

I managed a very high ACT as well, but I finished HS with a 2.7 GPA
Obviously while I may have been bright I was not the best.

My step daughter OTOH finished with a GPA in the top 10 of her class  AND had good test scores.
Full rides at Utah and BYU  (thank God she skipped that second one) .

Her peers had similar offers (though most of them got into places like Cal Tech, MIT  and Stanford)

My grades?  Its complicated because my HS didn't use a 4.0 scale, but basically I got "A"s in everything (except one gym class) up to junior year.  At that point it gets more complicated because I started taking classes from the Univ. of Minnesota and the local community college on the high school's dime (Minnesota was generous with tuition as long as you were still a high school student), so my high school GPA has to be averaged across 2 colleges + my high school itself, all using different metrics.  By senior year I was actually living on campus at the Univ. of Minnesota in Minneapolis in a dorm, but the credits transferred back to high school.  ...so academia was pretty much my only extra-curricular, but I was deeply engulfed in it.

However the GPA math worked out, I ended up very high (over 4.0 on our high school's scale) and -- like I said -- #2 of 416 graduating seniors.  Still no free ride at the UofMinn after I graduated from high school.

I ended up going to the Univ. of Wisconsin in Madison for my BS and getting my PhD in chemical engineering from the Univ. of Minnesota (the PhD was free, actually -- plus a $26k/year stipend). Get the loan, get the Sociology degree, get a job waiting tables and never pay back the loan. Tatsuma: In Israel it's pretty much the case anywhere in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem or the surrounding areas. Like, you will hardly find something decent in Jeru or TA if you put down less than$500,000.

How that can be the upper 10% in America, that just confuses me.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._states_and_territories_by _a rea  suggests that Israel has the land size of Massachusetts.

Seriously, I could've told you this 11 years ago when my older sister went to college.  My parents paid off their house, their cars, and had no credit card debt.  But because of their modest savings and no debt, we did not qualify for any financial aid.  The financial aid adviser actually told my parents to open a 2nd mortgage and leave the cash in the bank because then they would qualify.

Remember people, FAFSA weights DEBTS higher than ASSETS when determining aid.

This.

And this was true 22 years ago when I went off to a private college. My parents had paid off their house in my junior year of high school, assuming that it was the smart thing to do in the long run for themselves financially (they were right). When it came time to apply for financial aid, we thought I might qualify based on the fact that my Dad was a community college professor and my mom was an administrative assistant in a public elementary school. The financial aid rejection letter listed helpful suggestions for us, including selling or re-mortgaging the home my parents owned.

While you're all arguing about whether or not $200K is middle class, a reminder that: Half of all jobs in America pay less than$34,000 a year. Link

jshine: Rapmaster2000: A million dollar house is not a lot of money.  ... I spent a whole summer washing cars at my Dad's dealership to pay for school and I made plenty.

Well sure, $1,000,000 isn't much if you're pulling-down car-washing money! agrees Slaves2Darkness: brap: I like Senator Warren's plan of allowing students to borrow at the same rate as banks. Stupid idea is stupid. The problem with the system as it currently stands is too much free money and too little competition. You want to fix the college tuition problem then go on a Federal University spending spree, Federally mandate that tuition start at 5,000 dollars a year and only rise at the rate of inflation. Please cite the line in the Constitution that states they can set prices for goods and services. abhorrent1: Just be a minority. The government will make rain for you. I think your user name is appropriate. Tatsuma: .... a million dollar house is a pretty regular (or even small-ish) house in most of the country, Subby. And a family of four living on a$200,000 is not any means rich.

Of course of all the mofos here on Fark, a resident Jew has to utter those words! Damn the stereotype!!!

Dusk-You-n-Me: While you're all arguing about whether or not $200K is middle class, a reminder that: Half of all jobs in America pay less than$34,000 a year. Link

Need I remind you of the rich tradition of staying extremely stupid and/or extreme shiate on the interwebby so that people will quote/talk to you?

It's true that we have a wide disparity in home prices.  And the inflation in some markets is huge - we bought our first house in '91, it's worth oh, 3 x what we paid and more than a million bucks most likely - as noted, how our kids will afford that kind of morgage is beyond me.  No mansion, BTW, Two bed, two bath, one car garage, small lot....

Yet you go to what some laughingly call flyover country and a family house of 3/4 bedrooms can be under 150K, sometimes well under.

Where I live now, starter homes are in the "Low 100's" but top of the line is around $25 million or so. There must be some reasonable balance between income and debt that would make it fair to both sides - if fairness is what we seek. I paid full ride for college, no loans or grants, have no idea how to game the system. jshine: dustygrimp: Tatsuma: .... a million dollar house is a pretty regular (or even small-ish) house in most of the country, Subby. And a family of four living on a$200,000 is not any means rich.

derrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrp

I have to second Tatsuma's post though -- Mrs. jshine & I are over $200k/yr and we're not rich. We've got one car (a Mazda 3), an apartment, and a dog. We're certainly not starving, but neither are we wealthy. You make more than 95% of the households in the US. SuperNinjaToad: Tatsuma: .... a million dollar house is a pretty regular (or even small-ish) house in most of the country, Subby. And a family of four living on a$200,000 is not any means rich.

Of course of all the mofos here on Fark, a resident Jew has to utter those words! Damn the stereotype!!!

Hey, there's no reason to think Tatsuma is wealthy just because he's Jewish.  After all, they can only carry so much gold in that pouch they wear around their necks.

Looks like it's time to start keeping my money under the mattress like my grand-daddy did during the war.

Tatsuma: In Israel it's pretty much the case anywhere in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem or the surrounding areas. Like, you will hardly find something decent in Jeru or TA if you put down less than $500,000. How that can be the upper 10% in America, that just confuses me. People per sq. kilometer - Israel - 337.7 People per sq. kilometer - United States - 33.2 Israel has 10x the population density of the United States. Only New Jersey and Rhode Island have densities greater than 338 people/km^2. Interestingly, those states have real estate prices approaching those of Israel. Let me put it this way -- if you moved everyone in Israel to Alaska, Alaska would still only have the population density of South Dakota. In the US, land is cheap. jshine: Hey, there's no reason to think Tatsuma is wealthy just because he's Jewish. After all, they can only carry so much gold in that pouch they wear around their necks. In fact I'm actually poorer than the vast majority here, I'd bet. This text is now purple: People per sq. kilometer - Israel - 337.7 People per sq. kilometer - United States - 33.2 Israel has 10x the population density of the United States. Only New Jersey and Rhode Island have densities greater than 338 people/km^2. Interestingly, those states have real estate prices approaching those of Israel. Yeah I spent my life living in big cities and places with huge concentrations of people, so it clearly skewed my views on this Nutsac_Jim: dustygrimp: Tatsuma: .... a million dollar house is a pretty regular (or even small-ish) house in most of the country, Subby. And a family of four living on a$200,000 is not any means rich.

derrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrp

Not derpp.   In my area, if you are a single dude making 100k, you are just getting by.  If you have a family and all the extra expenses invilved, which probably means the wife works and you have to pay someone to watch your kids,..  200 is ok.  Certainly not rich and swimming in a bathtub of coins like Uncle Scrooge.

If you live in Houston, you are doing well.  But then, you have to live in Houston.

Again.. bull

As a single guy, I was "getting by" in NY on $25k for several years. If you are making$100k in Sanfran or NYC, you are comfortable, or you are an idiot.

brap: I like Senator Warren's plan of allowing students to borrow at the same rate as banks.

To a point. This should only apply for expenses that would qualify for 529 accounts. One issue is there's not much of a limit to how much people can borrow, so they live like kings as students, and then they can't afford to pay back the loans and can't get them discharged in bankruptcy. So allow Warren loans for qualifying expenses, and then people can borrow from private lenders -- but those lenders wouldn't get the special bankruptcy rules. (So they'd likely require a co-signer, thus limiting willingness to take those loans.)

The per-person amount could be capped, with that amount going up annually by inflation. That would reduce resulting tuition inflation.

So clearly the solution is to loan both kids $100k+ for their sociology degrees at 0.75%, then forgive that debt after a few years at their McJob. // Poe's Law is making it real hard to even be sarcastic about that kind of shiat anymore. PhDemented: Nutsac_Jim: dustygrimp: Tatsuma: .... a million dollar house is a pretty regular (or even small-ish) house in most of the country, Subby. And a family of four living on a$200,000 is not any means rich.

derrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrp

Not derpp.   In my area, if you are a single dude making 100k, you are just getting by.  If you have a family and all the extra expenses invilved, which probably means the wife works and you have to pay someone to watch your kids,..  200 is ok.  Certainly not rich and swimming in a bathtub of coins like Uncle Scrooge.

If you live in Houston, you are doing well.  But then, you have to live in Houston.

Again.. bull

As a single guy, I was "getting by" in NY on $25k for several years. If you are making$100k in Sanfran or NYC, you are comfortable, or you are an idiot.

single yes, family with kids.. NO.

PhDemented: Nutsac_Jim: dustygrimp: Tatsuma: .... a million dollar house is a pretty regular (or even small-ish) house in most of the country, Subby. And a family of four living on a $200,000 is not any means rich. derrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrp Not derpp. In my area, if you are a single dude making 100k, you are just getting by. If you have a family and all the extra expenses invilved, which probably means the wife works and you have to pay someone to watch your kids,.. 200 is ok. Certainly not rich and swimming in a bathtub of coins like Uncle Scrooge. If you live in Houston, you are doing well. But then, you have to live in Houston. Again.. bull As a single guy, I was "getting by" in NY on$25k for several years.
If you are making $100k in Sanfran or NYC, you are comfortable, or you are an idiot. This ... because at$100k a year, you're GROSSING $8,333/month. For$2200/month, I was living in Manhattan in a decent one-bedroom walk up at 52nd and 2nd during my time in NYC in 2008.

GTFO ...

SuperNinjaToad: PhDemented: Nutsac_Jim: dustygrimp: Tatsuma: .... a million dollar house is a pretty regular (or even small-ish) house in most of the country, Subby. And a family of four living on a $200,000 is not any means rich. derrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrp Not derpp. In my area, if you are a single dude making 100k, you are just getting by. If you have a family and all the extra expenses invilved, which probably means the wife works and you have to pay someone to watch your kids,.. 200 is ok. Certainly not rich and swimming in a bathtub of coins like Uncle Scrooge. If you live in Houston, you are doing well. But then, you have to live in Houston. Again.. bull As a single guy, I was "getting by" in NY on$25k for several years.
If you are making $100k in Sanfran or NYC, you are comfortable, or you are an idiot. single yes, family with kids.. NO. Oh, no way in hell I could get by on that with a family, but the claim was$100k was "just getting by" for a single man

PhDemented: As a single guy, I was "getting by" in NY on $25k for several years. If you are making$100k in Sanfran or NYC, you are comfortable, or you are an idiot.

Problem is, many people define "comfortable" as a 3 bed/2 ba with a big garage and a yard. THAT is why I think so many say they are only "middle class" in NYC when they make $200k/year. They have expectations for "middle class" as being able to purchase a home like that where ever they want. Unfortunately, economics doesn't work that way. BMFPitt: So clearly the solution is to loan both kids$100k+ for their sociology degrees at 0.75%, then forgive that debt after a few years at their McJob.

// Poe's Law is making it real hard to even be sarcastic about that kind of shiat anymore.

The best way to fix the student loan problem, IMHO, is to make student loans equivalent to any other unsecured loan (something that can be discharged in bankruptcy).  Also, get the government out of the student aid (loan or grant) business, except for cases like the military where its a form of compensation for employment.

By putting all the burden (and default risk!) on the private sector, loan rates would rise dramatically -- the (nearly) free money would dry up -- and colleges would be forced to adjust tuition to compensate or face a sudden and dramatic drop in enrollment.  It would probably force them to get creative: drop lots of luxuries like free gyms for students (etc.), trim programs that are unpopular, extract more money from sports, seek more funding through research grants, etc. -- and probably shrink somewhat.  ...but if it ended up making tuition more accessible without life-long crippling debt, that would all be worthwhile.

Tatsuma: jshine: Hey, there's no reason to think Tatsuma is wealthy just because he's Jewish. After all, they can only carry so much gold in that pouch they wear around their necks.

In fact I'm actually poorer than the vast majority here, I'd bet.

I'd bet you're more of an attention whore than the vast majority, too.

PhDemented: Oh, no way in hell I could get by on that with a family, but the claim was $100k was "just getting by" for a single man Meh, I have plenty of friends who live in nice areas in the 'burbs who get by on that with their families. Cheap cars and cheap rent and no vacations and a lot of money management. But they do it. None of this is going to make any difference unless the feds start playing harball with the universities. Hard cap of$20k/year for tuition, with those over required to reduce by 5%/year every year until they get under.  No increases after that of more than the rate of inflation.  Anyone who doesn't comply - your school doesn't qualify for any federally-sponsored student loans until you do.

Harvard will just have more rich kids and a few poor kids on University scholarship, just like it was back in the day.  Every other university will have to focus on providing education, not stupid overpriced crap that nobody needs.

Nutsac_Jim: kab: And the best interest rates are reserved for the folks who need them the least. pay their bills and are likely to repay your loan.

Payment punctuality has little to do with what interest rate you're offered on loans / credit.
Come back when you have a clue.

seadoo2006: PhDemented: Nutsac_Jim: dustygrimp: Tatsuma: .... a million dollar house is a pretty regular (or even small-ish) house in most of the country, Subby. And a family of four living on a $200,000 is not any means rich. derrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrp Not derpp. In my area, if you are a single dude making 100k, you are just getting by. If you have a family and all the extra expenses invilved, which probably means the wife works and you have to pay someone to watch your kids,.. 200 is ok. Certainly not rich and swimming in a bathtub of coins like Uncle Scrooge. If you live in Houston, you are doing well. But then, you have to live in Houston. Again.. bull As a single guy, I was "getting by" in NY on$25k for several years.
If you are making $100k in Sanfran or NYC, you are comfortable, or you are an idiot. This ... because at$100k a year, you're GROSSING $8,333/month. For$2200/month, I was living in Manhattan in a decent one-bedroom walk up at 52nd and 2nd during my time in NYC in 2008.

GTFO ...

$8333 per month *gross*, but with a 401k and California's tax rates, you don't see anywhere near that full amount. About half of my paycheck disappears before I see anything. My oldest is starting college next year, we just did his FAFSA app. I have ~$500k in savings (no debt, never bought a house).  I'm waiting for them to tell me that I can "afford" to pay $56k/year in cash. Should I be buying a house to "hide" my money in? jshine: BMFPitt: So clearly the solution is to loan both kids$100k+ for their sociology degrees at 0.75%, then forgive that debt after a few years at their McJob.

// Poe's Law is making it real hard to even be sarcastic about that kind of shiat anymore.

The best way to fix the student loan problem, IMHO, is to make student loans equivalent to any other unsecured loan (something that can be discharged in bankruptcy).  Also, get the government out of the student aid (loan or grant) business, except for cases like the military where its a form of compensation for employment.

By putting all the burden (and default risk!) on the private sector, loan rates would rise dramatically -- the (nearly) free money would dry up -- and colleges would be forced to adjust tuition to compensate or face a sudden and dramatic drop in enrollment.  It would probably force them to get creative: drop lots of luxuries like free gyms for students (etc.), trim programs that are unpopular, extract more money from sports, seek more funding through research grants, etc. -- and probably shrink somewhat.  ...but if it ended up making tuition more accessible without life-long crippling debt, that would all be worthwhile.

The problem is, with this scenario, kids that come from financially derptastic families will be less able to get financial help.  The thought is why should some 18 year old, with no credit of their own, pay for their parents financial mistakes.  I have no problem with loans that are not discharged through bankruptcy as it puts the financial burden on the STUDENT receiving the loans and not on the family.  This is why banks will lend to people (18 year olds with ZERO credit) because they are insured against the financial stupidity of young people.

jshine: BMFPitt: So clearly the solution is to loan both kids $100k+ for their sociology degrees at 0.75%, then forgive that debt after a few years at their McJob. // Poe's Law is making it real hard to even be sarcastic about that kind of shiat anymore. The best way to fix the student loan problem, IMHO, is to make student loans equivalent to any other unsecured loan (something that can be discharged in bankruptcy). Also, get the government out of the student aid (loan or grant) business, except for cases like the military where its a form of compensation for employment. By putting all the burden (and default risk!) on the private sector, loan rates would rise dramatically -- the (nearly) free money would dry up -- and colleges would be forced to adjust tuition to compensate or face a sudden and dramatic drop in enrollment. It would probably force them to get creative: drop lots of luxuries like free gyms for students (etc.), trim programs that are unpopular, extract more money from sports, seek more funding through research grants, etc. -- and probably shrink somewhat. ...but if it ended up making tuition more accessible without life-long crippling debt, that would all be worthwhile. I completely agree. jshine: seadoo2006: PhDemented: Nutsac_Jim: dustygrimp: Tatsuma: .... a million dollar house is a pretty regular (or even small-ish) house in most of the country, Subby. And a family of four living on a$200,000 is not any means rich.

derrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrp

Not derpp.   In my area, if you are a single dude making 100k, you are just getting by.  If you have a family and all the extra expenses invilved, which probably means the wife works and you have to pay someone to watch your kids,..  200 is ok.  Certainly not rich and swimming in a bathtub of coins like Uncle Scrooge.

If you live in Houston, you are doing well.  But then, you have to live in Houston.

Again.. bull

As a single guy, I was "getting by" in NY on $25k for several years. If you are making$100k in Sanfran or NYC, you are comfortable, or you are an idiot.

This ... because at $100k a year, you're GROSSING$8,333/month.  For $2200/month, I was living in Manhattan in a decent one-bedroom walk up at 52nd and 2nd during my time in NYC in 2008. GTFO ...$8333 per month *gross*, but with a 401k and California's tax rates, you don't see anywhere near that full amount.  About half of my paycheck disappears before I see anything.

HALF? Please prove this to me.  What is your state income tax? Because at $100k, you're only paying an effective 18.7-ish percent at the MOST to the feds with NO itemized decuctions and NO dependents. Add in the 7.65 OASDI/SSI and 2% local tax and you're still under 30% ... Are you seriously telling me that California's tax rate for a$100k income is MORE than the federal tax rate?

Raptop, yes you probably should. But a lot of schools get data well beyond the fafsa, especially expensive ones with a lot of aid available. Some will recognize home equity as an asset that can be used to pay expenses. I think retirement accounts are the only "on the books" assets that are never considered as payment resources.

I expect you'll be told your need is zero. What was the fafsa number? They say it's not intended to indicate the amount you are able to pay per year, but it's clearly based loosely on that. I used that to experiment with a few scenarios of moving money around.

FARK rebel soldier: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._states_and_territories_by _a rea  suggests that Israel has the land size of Massachusetts.

And that's really an overstatement.  Roughly half the land in Israel (and this is subtracting Gaza/WB) is an almost entirely uninhabitable and uninhabited desert.  The part that holds 99% of that 8 million in population is only about 2000 km^2.

I can think of two eastern Kansas counties (leaving alone near-desert western Kansas) with an area of roughly 2000 km^2.  Every bit of that land better suited to agriculture, human survival, etc than anywhere in Israel (what an objectively miserable 'promised land'). Population of the two counties combined? Under 11,000.

For a little more Census-based Tats-bubble-popping, consider this chart.  86% of the nation's population lives in one of those 381 areas.  Half the nation lives in one of the top 38.  But, fully half the nation lives in either the table from Milwaukee down (including the 14% that aren't on the chart at all).

seadoo2006: jshine: BMFPitt: So clearly the solution is to loan both kids $100k+ for their sociology degrees at 0.75%, then forgive that debt after a few years at their McJob. // Poe's Law is making it real hard to even be sarcastic about that kind of shiat anymore. The best way to fix the student loan problem, IMHO, is to make student loans equivalent to any other unsecured loan (something that can be discharged in bankruptcy). Also, get the government out of the student aid (loan or grant) business, except for cases like the military where its a form of compensation for employment. By putting all the burden (and default risk!) on the private sector, loan rates would rise dramatically -- the (nearly) free money would dry up -- and colleges would be forced to adjust tuition to compensate or face a sudden and dramatic drop in enrollment. It would probably force them to get creative: drop lots of luxuries like free gyms for students (etc.), trim programs that are unpopular, extract more money from sports, seek more funding through research grants, etc. -- and probably shrink somewhat. ...but if it ended up making tuition more accessible without life-long crippling debt, that would all be worthwhile. The problem is, with this scenario, kids that come from financially derptastic families will be less able to get financial help. The thought is why should some 18 year old, with no credit of their own, pay for their parents financial mistakes. I have no problem with loans that are not discharged through bankruptcy as it puts the financial burden on the STUDENT receiving the loans and not on the family. This is why banks will lend to people (18 year olds with ZERO credit) because they are insured against the financial stupidity of young people. Yes, but it also means a person who is just barely old enough to sign his name can basically turn him/herself into an indentured servant. Reasonable people can disagree, but I think your scheme (the current prevailing situation) is less ethical than the one I proposed. If banks want to loan money to an 18 year-old with no credit, that's their business, but they should not be insulated from the risk of loaning money to an 18 year old with no credit. If the parents are willing to co-sign (and have decent credit), again, that's great. The point here is to force colleges to reduce tuition. By giving students "free money", you allow colleges to become bloated and inefficient by giving them a huge trough they can gorge themselves at. Take away the free money and tuition would fall to compensate -- or the colleges would starve to death from lack of funding. ...maybe then a student could actually work his/herself through school without having to rely on loans in the first place -- or at worst take out much smaller ones. ThatGuyGreg: A family with a million dollar house earning$200,000 a year is most likely horrifically in debt, or if not, a layoff or health problem not covered by insurance away.

/just saying

So in other words, just in the same boat as someone with a modest house and $200,000 in the bank. seadoo2006: HALF? Please prove this to me. What is your state income tax? Because at$100k, you're only paying an effective 18.7-ish percent at the MOST to the feds with NO itemized decuctions and NO dependents. Add in the 7.65 OASDI/SSI and 2% local tax and you're still under 30% ...

Are you seriously telling me that California's tax rate for a $100k income is MORE than the federal tax rate? I don't make$100k -- between myself & Mrs. jshine its a bit over $200 (and we file jointly). Also our 401k accounts have something to do with it, so its not just taxes. ...then again, with pensions having gone bye-bye, a 401k is basically obligatory. Raptop: My oldest is starting college next year, we just did his FAFSA app. I have ~$500k in savings (no debt, never bought a house).  I'm waiting for them to tell me that I can "afford" to pay $56k/year in cash. Should I be buying a house to "hide" my money in? Good luck with 56k. I had a fifth of your savings and was told to to fork over 45K-ish. I guess the calculation was: Divide the savings over two years and then sell the house? When my second son went to college, they kindly lowered it to 30k each. Sociologists, who work in percentiles and quintiles, define middle class as everybody in the middle three quintiles (60% of the population, most of them working class or lower middle class). Political scientists define middle class in terms of minor political activity, such as voting and small political donations, as well as mass political activity such as following the news in newspapers and other media. The upper class are active running things or else so rich they have dropped out of the political game and have people to protect their interests for them. Americans define middle class in several overlapping and conflicting ways, in terms of income or wealth, in terms of social and political engagement (without great power or influence) and in terms of self-identification. The real middle classes are not as clear cut as castes but they do include many self-identified upper income and upper middle class people. It is very difficult to say where the middle class ends, but I would accept that many of the wealthy few are middle class and that there are in fact, several upper classes. At the top you have the Aristocracy, people whose status is inherited and does not depend on the class symbols and status symbols they can buy. In the US, this class officially does not exist because there are no titles, there is no monarchy or court, and there are few families that have hung on to the status and power for more than a few generations. Nonetheless, they exist in the form of the people whose entire social and family networks are well-to-do and sometimes very rich, but also are the best educated, the most cultured, the most influential and the best-connected in a lot of old-fashioned ways. Beneath the Aristocracy, who are mostly Old Money, there is a class which we may call Big Money. They are the super-rich of inheritance, wealth-accumulation and creative accounting. The Big Money includes a lot of the movers and shakers. The Aristocrats have the Mover and Shakers over for coffee and politely suggest what they move and shake. Billionaires are almost all Big Money but few of them are Old Money as well, despite the tendancy of class and wealth to be inherited. About a third of the Big Money is inherited. There are Mellons, Hiltons, DuPonts, Rockefellers (still), and even straggling pockets of older families with well over$100 million in capital each or between them. Many of these people, who number in the thousands, are living middle class lives (or are down and out, perhaps, due to alcohol, drugs, or what not) but still have the cachet of being who they are. They aren't aristocracy in the Euro-British sense, but they are haute bourgeoise to some extent.

They are joined by middle class people like Warren Buffet and Bill Gates III, not to mention the Romneys who are on the cusp of Aristocracy or Old Money but are still lacking in the status. Hence Mrs. Romney's hobby of dressage. If you aren't into philanthropy, horses are one of the shorter roads to the hearts and acceptance of the Old Money and Aristocracy.

In these classes of people, you can have several classes--a class of origin, a class of arrival, a class of aspiration. If you have read Marcel Proust, you have seen a chronicle of such people over the course of a generation. The middle class and upper bourgeois arrivistes in the novel (which is 4,000 pages long and published in eight or more volumes) turn into the aristocrats they so envy and covet before the novel is done. The unobtainable quarry are replaced by the pursuers. Maybe this is why the old rich love fox-hunting. It is the history of their families for the last thousand years AND MORE.

Below the really quite sincerely rich (which includes a layer of creative types such as actors, sports stars, nouveau riches, etc.), there is the upper middle classes who are defined in terms of education, addresses, goods and services and profession. In other words, the mass affluent consuming classes. These people are all about branding but they vary from the quite rich (tens, even hundreds of millions of new capital or old), to the quite poor (upstart Yuppies living outrageously beyound their means).

Since being lawyers, doctors, engineers, etc., is quite hereditary, they are part of the upper or upper middle classes but not full upper or full mass. They have the look of wealth, power, influence, culture, etc., but may not have the means to fully participate in the class to which they aspire.

In the right sort of city (Boston, New York, Washington, even San Francisco) these people spend freely but are constantly in danger of falling into the masses from which they, their parents, or their grandparents rose.

They are the worried rich. They should worry. It's almost impossible for a doctor's son to become a manual labourer, but it's fairly easy for the labourer's son to become a better doctor than the established physicians, even the established fashionable physicians. These people have to fight for their money. And fight they do. They tend to be over-achievers by force of habit if not by necessity.

They all consider themselves middle class because they are painfully aware of a least the bottom layers of the massive spire of social accomplishment and privilege above them. They may vote Republican or they may be liberal Democrats but they are not the Masters of the Universe. They work for the people who are.

Everybody else is lower middle class and therefore far game for the sociologists to study. You're not really upper class until you are out of reach of damned sociologists (except those born into the upper class).

Paul Fussell, the author of several amusing books, one of which is on the American Class system (published under the title Class and also Class Marks), divides American into

top out-of sight
upper class
upper middle class

middle class
lower middle class

upper working class
middle working class
lower working class
bottom out-of-sight

However, since people are constantly moving within these classes (and occasionally between them), there is an illusion of democracy and egalitarianism created which allows many Americans to deny the existence of class.

A lot of PR, marketing, and BS work goes into confusing the matter.

For example, during the Cold War much was made of the number of American households that had televisions, without distinguishing between televisions in the servant quarters and televisions on the kitchen table; and those who had refrigerators, without distinguishing between a 1932 Kelvinator holding warm beer on the verandah and walk-in freezers that would make the top secret research facilities of the Pentagon plotz.

It infuriates me that the dividing line used by sociologists and journalists and others who ought to know better always runs right through the middle of what is usually the middle middle or at best the upper middle class.

There's really not much difference between many of the people who are $80,000 on either side of the higher line, and none at all between people who are$50,000 plus or minus of some of the lower lines.

In fact, many working class individuals and families are well above the "upper" cutoffs that I see.

IT'S COMPLETE BULLSHIAT!

But maybe that's just me being picky because I have spent a couple generations reading about class in scholarly and comic papers.

I don't want to say I would have made a good sociologist, but I will say that anthropology is a bit of a hobby of mine and I often feel like I am doing research on some sort of alien species of ape. Jane Gooddall, eat your heart out. I get to research stupid apes and have an indoor toilet with shower-bath! Serves all of you girls right for sleeping with your mentor.

bmwericus: It's true that we have a wide disparity in home prices.  And the inflation in some markets is huge - we bought our first house in '91, it's worth oh, 3 x what we paid and more than a million bucks most likely - as noted, how our kids will afford that kind of morgage is beyond me.  No mansion, BTW, Two bed, two bath, one car garage, small lot....

Yet you go to what some laughingly call flyover country and a family house of 3/4 bedrooms can be under 150K, sometimes well under.

Where I live now, starter homes are in the "Low 100's" but top of the line is around $25 million or so. There must be some reasonable balance between income and debt that would make it fair to both sides - if fairness is what we seek. I paid full ride for college, no loans or grants, have no idea how to game the system. I just bought a 4 bed/3 bath home on a huge corner lot for$103K. I put $23K down, so my mortgage is laughably low, and taxes are under$3K per year. I'm currently earning a salary of around $80K. The only bad part about all of this is that I live in the panhandle of Nebraska. jshine: Sticky Hands: jshine: Sticky Hands: Bumblefark: Well, the most obscene thing is that that we as a society has decided that it isn't in our best interest to ensure post-secondary education to the nation's best and brightest. We decided that we should make higher education a consumer item. The best and brightest are pretty much guaranteed school. Now they may have to choose between paying various amounts for a top tier school (If the school thinks they can get money out of them) or going to a state school on a full ride. But IMHO if you get offered a full ride to the best public schools in your state, you don't have much room to biatch about the costs if you choose to go to school in some other place. It's the rest of us that have to make the choice. That said: A$600 scholarship? Really? Fark you USC...

I forget my numerical SAT scores, but the sum put me in the 99th percentile -- #2 of 416 in my graduating class -- and was offered exactly $0 in aide by my state school (Univ. of Minnesota). I didn't end up going there for undergrad, but still... What were your grades? What about your extracurricular? I managed a very high ACT as well, but I finished HS with a 2.7 GPA Obviously while I may have been bright I was not the best. My step daughter OTOH finished with a GPA in the top 10 of her class AND had good test scores. Full rides at Utah and BYU (thank God she skipped that second one) . Her peers had similar offers (though most of them got into places like Cal Tech, MIT and Stanford) My grades? Its complicated because my HS didn't use a 4.0 scale, but basically I got "A"s in everything (except one gym class) up to junior year. At that point it gets more complicated because I started taking classes from the Univ. of Minnesota and the local community college on the high school's dime (Minnesota was generous with tuition as long as you were still a high school student), so my high school GPA has to be averaged across 2 colleges + my high school itself, all using different metrics. By senior year I was actually living on campus at the Univ. of Minnesota in Minneapolis in a dorm, but the credits transferred back to high school. ...so academia was pretty much my only extra-curricular, but I was deeply engulfed in it. However the GPA math worked out, I ended up very high (over 4.0 on our high school's scale) and -- like I said -- #2 of 416 graduating seniors. Still no free ride at the UofMinn after I graduated from high school. I ended up going to the Univ. of Wisconsin in Madison for my BS and getting my PhD in chemical engineering from the Univ. of Minnesota (the PhD was free, actually -- plus a$26k/year stipend).

You know what's funny? None of what you wrote about GPA and college classes meant anything to me with respect to intelligence until I saw PhD in ChemE.

Some of the smartest people I know are chemical engineers. As an undergraduate biomedical engineer who took a lot of classes in chemical engineering, I can tell you that without exception, my chem E classes were harder than anything I took in med school.

on the other hand, my understanding if physiology benefitted from it, so I'm glad I took a hard major and hard courses within it, even if it hurt my application to med school (most scgools have a minimum GPA cutoff to consider you, and my college GPA want really great. In my defense, in the time I was taking "weed out" courses like organic chemistry, that class was by far my least challenging, while most pre meds had that as their most challenging class).

/CSB

jshine: Yes, but it also means a person who is just barely old enough to sign his name can basically turn him/herself into an indentured servant. Reasonable people can disagree, but I think your scheme (the current prevailing situation) is less ethical than the one I proposed. If banks want to loan money to an 18 year-old with no credit, that's their business, but they should not be insulated from the risk of loaning money to an 18 year old with no credit. If the parents are willing to co-sign (and have decent credit), again, that's great.

The point here is to force colleges to reduce tuition. By giving students "free money", you allow colleges to become bloated and inefficient by giving them a huge trough they can gorge themselves at. Take away the free money and tuition would fall to compensate -- or the colleges would starve to death from lack of funding. ...maybe then a student could actually work his/herself through school without having to rely on loans in the first place -- or at worst take out much smaller ones.

True ... I see your point.  I know that tuition inflation has been a scourge on us in recent times, but public schools are still very moderately priced.  My college (from 2006-2010) cost roughly $10k/year for tuition and fees and another$10/year for room and board for the required two years.

I was able to get a full tuition scholarship for scoring a 31 ACT/1400 SAT as well, so my financial burden was really just living expenses.  I realize not everyone tests well, but any student in Ohio wanting to go to a public school is eligible for tuition scholarships starting at only a 25 ACT ...

Archae hippy: Ivo Shandor: For example in Vancouver, BC a million dollars gets you this. A half million might get you something about the same size, between two auto body shops and across the train tracks from a rendering plant.

what's that, like $35 K American? Close... about$42K American. Difficulty: using this kind of dollar, not those silly "federal reserve" things.

rga184: Some of the smartest people I know are chemical engineers. As an undergraduate biomedical engineer who took a lot of classes in chemical engineering, I can tell you that without exception, my chem E classes were harder than anything I took in med school.

on the other hand, my understanding if physiology benefitted from it, so I'm glad I took a hard major and hard courses within it, even if it hurt my application to med school (most scgools have a minimum GPA cutoff to consider you, and my college GPA want really great. In my defense, in the time I was taking "weed out" courses like organic chemistry, that class was by far my least challenging, while most pre meds had that as their most challenging class).

My congrats on challenging yourself.  Some of the best physicians I know were BME or ChemE majors in their undergrad years.

ThatGuyGreg: A family with a million dollar house earning $200,000 a year is most likely horrifically in debt, or if not, a layoff or health problem not covered by insurance away. /just saying Not really. The cost of living is super high where I live. Only debt we have is one car and the house, which is half equity. A million buys a starter house here. Ours is actually a duplex. Since it is a cheap house (relative to the market) it would sell in minutes. brantgoose: I don't want to say I would have made a good sociologist, but I will say that anthropology is a bit of a hobby of mine and I often feel like I am doing research on some sort of alien species of ape. Jane Gooddall, eat your heart out. I get to research stupid apes and have an indoor toilet with shower-bath! Serves all of you girls right for sleeping with your mentor. You would love this book: Natural History of the Rich This is the area I live in. Houses south of us are going for$2Mil. Not uncommon and were not even in 'Murca.

http://tinyurl.com/c8esss9

Bullseyed: Slaves2Darkness: brap: I like Senator Warren's plan of allowing students to borrow at the same rate as banks.

Stupid idea is stupid. The problem with the system as it currently stands is too much free money and too little competition. You want to fix the college tuition problem then go on a Federal University spending spree, Federally mandate that tuition start at 5,000 dollars a year and only rise at the rate of inflation.

Please cite the line in the Constitution that states they can set prices for goods and services.

You misunderstand. They are not setting prices for goods and services, they are setting a price for a Federal university. Other universities can charge whatever they want, but the Federal universities would have their cost set by congress, because they are government run. Much like what the US government all ready does with the US Postal Service and the rates that they are allowed to charge for mail.

Tatsuma: .... a million dollar house is a pretty regular (or even small-ish) house in most of the country, Subby. And a family of four living on a $200,000 is not any means rich. dustygrimp: derrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrp jshine: I have to second Tatsuma's post though -- Mrs. jshine & I are over$200k/yr and we're not rich.  We've got one car (a Mazda 3), an apartment, and a dog.  We're certainly not starving, but neither are we wealthy.

These house costs and incomes are not uncommon in high cost of living areas like New York or DC.

HOWEVER, for comparison sake, check out the national average and median incomes from the Social Security Administration.

I lived on the Central California coast for a while.  Houses are expensive there - you can easily spend half-a-mil on a 2-3 betroom cottage in a so-so neighborhood.

I live in San Antonio, TX now.  The people, surprisingly, aren't that much more wealthy here than there.

The difference is that it wasn't unusual to find professionals living in multi-story apartment buildings in California.  .  It's also cheaper here to pay a mortgage than to rent a house.

In San Antonio, you meet husband and wife high school teachers with 2200 sq. foot houses complaining about running out of space.  Heck, I had a conversation with a waitress at a brew-pub whose husband is a waiter - they were buying their first house.  There's no great barrier to home ownership here, as long as you have good credit and stable income.

So, Tats, you do have a skewed view, but I understand it given that I've liven in different places.  Would you consider it abnormal for a family to live in an apartment?  What would be a typical home for a median income family in Tel Aviv?  An apartment?  Rent a row-house?  Buy a fully-detached house with a quarter acre lot and a patio?

brantgoose: There's really not much difference between many of the people who are $80,000 on either side of the higher line, and none at all between people who are$50,000 plus or minus of some of the lower lines.

In fact, many working class individuals and families are well above the "upper" cutoffs that I see.

WSJ had this "what % are you" tool after the Romney incident that focused entirely on income from wages.  It was insulting to anyone that wasn't an idiot, but it allowed people making $100k to call themselves a member of some meaningless upper-percentile. JungleBoogie: Tatsuma: .... a million dollar house is a pretty regular (or even small-ish) house in most of the country, Subby. And a family of four living on a$200,000 is not any means rich.

dustygrimp: derrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrp

jshine: I have to second Tatsuma's post though -- Mrs. jshine & I are over $200k/yr and we're not rich. We've got one car (a Mazda 3), an apartment, and a dog. We're certainly not starving, but neither are we wealthy. These house costs and incomes are not uncommon in high cost of living areas like New York or DC. HOWEVER, for comparison sake, check out the national average and median incomes from the Social Security Administration. How is are the statistics calculated though? For example: consider a family of four (2 working parents, 2 minor children) with grandparents who are retired -- that's 6 people and only 2 real incomes (or maybe a bit more if you consider the pensions or social security of the grandparents). Even if both of the working incomes were (say)$80k/year, the *average* would be (80*2)/6 = $27k/year. There are a lot of people who simply don't work who might skew the statistics -- not because they're lazy necessarily, but because they're minors or elderly or disabled (or lazy). RedTank: It's not about assets it's about cash flow. People who try to structure their finances like a corporation's forget one thing: corporations are logical constructs, and people are actual physical things. And in bankruptcy, when the music stops, the corporation declares bankruptcy, and the executive team gets severance packages and walk away, with more money than they had previously. However, when the music stops for a person, that individual is on the hook for the debts. He can't dissolve himself. He can declare bankruptcy, but that is not nearly as personally cost free as the logical construct declaring bankruptcy. jshine: JungleBoogie: Tatsuma: .... a million dollar house is a pretty regular (or even small-ish) house in most of the country, Subby. And a family of four living on a$200,000 is not any means rich.

dustygrimp: derrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrp

jshine: I have to second Tatsuma's post though -- Mrs. jshine & I are over $200k/yr and we're not rich. We've got one car (a Mazda 3), an apartment, and a dog. We're certainly not starving, but neither are we wealthy. These house costs and incomes are not uncommon in high cost of living areas like New York or DC. HOWEVER, for comparison sake, check out the national average and median incomes from the Social Security Administration. How is are the statistics calculated though? For example: consider a family of four (2 working parents, 2 minor children) with grandparents who are retired -- that's 6 people and only 2 real incomes (or maybe a bit more if you consider the pensions or social security of the grandparents). Even if both of the working incomes were (say)$80k/year, the *average* would be (80*2)/6 = $27k/year. There are a lot of people who simply don't work who might skew the statistics -- not because they're lazy necessarily, but because they're minors or elderly or disabled (or lazy). The statistics are explained by HOUSEHOLD, just to avoid that complication you made apparent. thurstonxhowell: In other words, low-income families are routinely being asked to fork over more than half of their annual income for the privilege of sending their child off to campus for a year. They wouldn't be asked that if they looked at affordable state or community colleges instead of over-priced private schools. So the poor should stay poor. God bless america. /douche //not capitilized for a reason Quantum Apostrophe: Gulper Eel: I guess it's possible to sock away$200K on a 50K salary, but that's some serious Dave Ramsey devotion they've got going there.

I've saved more than that on about 60-70K here in Montreal. Cheap apartment well below my means (and lease from 1999, with state controlled increases), t-shirts, no car, no kids. Also, all the money I save I put into retirement savings which are tax deductible. Then I get a nice return at tax time, which I put back into retirement savings.

And I still spend without thinking because I figured it all out years ago. Oh, look, a 2000$quadcopter? No problem. Food's not on special? Buy it anyways. Oh, and a house is not an investment. A house is as much an investment as food is. Do it right, and you'll be better off in the long run. Jshine frustrates the hell out of me. At least in part because he knows that making 200K in San Francisco is considerably different than in most of the rest of the country. He knows that If instead of being in SF he could rent a similar place in San Jose, take the BART to work (like there is a decent chance he allready does) and put that money he saves into savings for 2 years to be able to make a reasonable down-payment a decent place in San Jose. Then have that payed off reasonably quickly. He also understands that though his commute would suck he can move to Fairfield and be "RICH" with very nice cars and essentially an estate within 5 to 7 years. seadoo2006: The statistics are explained by HOUSEHOLD, just to avoid that complication you made apparent. Ahh, good call. I didn't read the fine print & probably should have. I thought it might of been because the grants were based partially on net worth. A person with a million dollar house and no savings probably has close to 0 net worth because the house doesn't count if it has a mortgage. The person with 200k in the bank is probably worth more. The guy with the million dollar house needs to rethink his priorities. Somes states like florida will give you a full tuition scholarship to a 4 year state school if you qualify academically along with SAT qualifications. Its called Brightfutures. DubyaHater: Earn$50K a year and have $200K in savings? No one in this planet is that good with money. My girlfriend heard someone call into the Dave Ramsey show who earned$8,000 a month, married with one kid, who had over $42,000 in credit card debt alone. Plus the wife, who earned her own income, had credit card debt of her own. Most people are idiots when it comes to budgeting. So because you and your girlfriend heard about an idiot no one can have that much in savings with that income? Izunbacol: In San Antonio, you meet husband and wife high school teachers with 2200 sq. foot houses complaining about running out of space. Heck, I had a conversation with a waitress at a brew-pub whose husband is a waiter - they were buying their first house. There's no great barrier to home ownership here, as long as you have good credit and stable income. Quite true. Wife and I bought our first home down here just about 6 months ago. Picked up a well-kept, 2700 sq ft in the northwest (read: good schools, nice neighborhoods) for about 125k. Giggled like a schoolgirl signing the papers for it. Quantum Apostrophe: Oh, and a house is not an investment. My investment properties laugh at you. Maxor: Jshine frustrates the hell out of me. At least in part because he knows that making 200K in San Francisco is considerably different than in most of the rest of the country. He knows that If instead of being in SF he could rent a similar place in San Jose, take the BART to work (like there is a decent chance he allready does) and put that money he saves into savings for 2 years to be able to make a reasonable down-payment a decent place in San Jose. Then have that payed off reasonably quickly. He also understands that though his commute would suck he can move to Fairfield and be "RICH" with very nice cars and essentially an estate within 5 to 7 years. Meh, Silicon Valley isn't exactly "cheap" either. Granted, its big and there certainly are cheap areas, but they're cheap for a reason. The wife's parents live in San Jose, and their home was no bargain. Yes, if we drove in from Fairfield we could probably have a big house. I do realize that, but its pushing the limits of whats possible for a commute (without getting all stabby). jst3p: Quantum Apostrophe: Oh, and a house is not an investment. My investment properties laugh at you. Quite possibly he meant "a house you live in is not an investment" Bullseyed: Slaves2Darkness: brap: I like Senator Warren's plan of allowing students to borrow at the same rate as banks. Stupid idea is stupid. The problem with the system as it currently stands is too much free money and too little competition. You want to fix the college tuition problem then go on a Federal University spending spree, Federally mandate that tuition start at 5,000 dollars a year and only rise at the rate of inflation. Please cite the line in the Constitution that states they can set prices for goods and services. Commerce clause, baby. If you dont set it to the price they demand, that will certainly affect the price of goods in another state. Tatsuma: .... a million dollar house is a pretty regular (or even small-ish) house in most of the country, Subby. And a family of four living on a$200,000 is not any means rich.

You're out of your farking mind.

Something like this, with somewhat-but-not-too-different numbers, is about to happen to me.  So, not getting a kick....

Igor Jakovsky: I thought it might of been because the grants were based partially on net worth. A person with a million dollar house and no savings probably has close to 0 net worth because the house doesn't count if it has a mortgage. The person with 200k in the bank is probably worth more.

FAFSA doesn't count:

A) retirement-tagged funds in IRAs/401ks
B) equity in your primary residence.  Whether it's the minor equity most people with mortgages have, or whether it's paid-off.

So, as the game is to appear poor at the time your kids apply for college, you should preferentially save as much as you can in 401k/IRAs instead of taxable accounts.  And, then, if you do manage to have some savings above-and-beyond your 'retirement accounts' when the kids are 17, go ahead and pay off your mortgage completely.   Doing that, you can be way above the national median net worth, not have a house payment (besides taxes/insurance), and look broke-as-a-joke on the forms.

Maxor: Jshine frustrates the hell out of me.  At least in part because he knows that making 200K in San Francisco is considerably different than in most of the rest of the country.  He knows that If instead of being in SF he could rent a similar place in San Jose, take the BART to work (like there is a decent chance he allready does) and put that money he saves into savings for 2 years to be able to make a reasonable down-payment a decent place in San Jose.  Then have that payed off reasonably quickly.  He also understands that though his commute would suck he can move to Fairfield and be "RICH" with very nice cars and essentially an estate within 5 to 7 years.

Exactly. I tell my Manhattan friends that every time they complain. No one is forcing you to live in one of the most expensive markets in the USA. If they moved to the outerboroughs for a 3 years they could afford a downpayment on a cute house with a decent commute in the 'burbs. In terms of national affordability, Manhattan and BK are #1 and #2 respectively, and even Queens is #5  but the price differences are drastic.

ThatGuyGreg: A family with a million dollar house earning $200,000 a year is most likely horrifically in debt, or if not, a layoff or health problem not covered by insurance away. Why? Assuming they somehow scraped together a 20% downpayment while were earning well into the six figures then their post-tax post-mortgage income would be somewhere in the range of 80 to 90k, which I would hope they would be able to support themselves on. Bumblefark: Izunbacol: In San Antonio, you meet husband and wife high school teachers with 2200 sq. foot houses complaining about running out of space. Heck, I had a conversation with a waitress at a brew-pub whose husband is a waiter - they were buying their first house. There's no great barrier to home ownership here, as long as you have good credit and stable income. Quite true. Wife and I bought our first home down here just about 6 months ago. Picked up a well-kept, 2700 sq ft in the northwest (read: good schools, nice neighborhoods) for about 125k. Giggled like a schoolgirl signing the papers for it. This place is a well-kept secret. All the west-coasters know that Austin is the "Safe" city in Texas. They don't know what this place has to offer! Cheaper than Austin, great art and culture scene, loads of amazing (and not terribly expensive) restaurants, craft beers, and the place basically exists to drift from one big festival with flowing beer and chalupas and tamales and live music to the next! Why does a family with 200k in savings need federal aid to send their kids to college? inclemency: thurstonxhowell: In other words, low-income families are routinely being asked to fork over more than half of their annual income for the privilege of sending their child off to campus for a year. They wouldn't be asked that if they looked at affordable state or community colleges instead of over-priced private schools. So the poor should stay poor. God bless america. /douche //not capitilized for a reason I went to a state school for undergrad. I wasn't poor when I made that decision and I'm not poor now. Expensive private schools are, for the most part, status symbols for people with more money than sense. Especially for undergrad. If the name on your diploma is really going to matter to you and your career, you're probably looking at grad school, anyway. Go somewhere cheap, but respectable, for undergrad and go get that fancy degree later. All that money you didn't spend on undergrad will help a good bit in keeping you on that road. / Perhaps, if you had attended a university of the quality that my state provides, you would know that you misspelled capitalized. // I know, I know, you were very excited to call me a douche. It's an exciting world full of exciting opportunities. Because you can borrow money for college, but you can't borrow money for retirement. brantgoose: They all consider themselves middle class because they are painfully aware of a least the bottom layers of the massive spire of social accomplishment and privilege above them. They may vote Republican or they may be liberal Democrats but they are not the Masters of the Universe. They work for the people who are. This right here is a fantastic description of why the people (or at least the ones I know) in the 100-200k range feel they are middle class. Target Builder: ThatGuyGreg: A family with a million dollar house earning$200,000 a year is most likely horrifically in debt, or if not, a layoff or health problem not covered by insurance away.

Why? Assuming they somehow scraped together a 20% downpayment while were earning well into the six figures then their post-tax post-mortgage income would be somewhere in the range of 80 to 90k, which I would hope they would be able to support themselves on.

I was going to post a similar response, but then I figured that the "most likely" language means it's probably correct, because most people are idiots with their finances.

Brantgoose's epic post is epic. That was well done.

People who try to structure their finances like a corporation's forget one thing: corporations are logical constructs, and people are actual physical things.

And in bankruptcy, when the music stops, the corporation declares bankruptcy, and the executive team gets severance packages and walk away, with more money than they had previously. However, when the music stops for a person, that individual is on the hook for the debts. He can't dissolve himself. He can declare bankruptcy, but that is not nearly as personally cost free as the logical construct declaring bankruptcy.

Bankruptcy is a separate issue, not even sure why you brought it up to me.  How much cash one is expected to have in the future is more valuable than the cash they have now.  When I do my personal finances my cash flow is the key to everything, it's the basis of my potential to spend or save.

Izunbacol: Bumblefark: Izunbacol: In San Antonio, you meet husband and wife high school teachers with 2200 sq. foot houses complaining about running out of space. Heck, I had a conversation with a waitress at a brew-pub whose husband is a waiter - they were buying their first house. There's no great barrier to home ownership here, as long as you have good credit and stable income.

Quite true. Wife and I bought our first home down here just about 6 months ago. Picked up a well-kept, 2700 sq ft in the northwest (read: good schools, nice neighborhoods) for about 125k.

Giggled like a schoolgirl signing the papers for it.

This place is a well-kept secret.  All the west-coasters know that Austin is the "Safe" city in Texas.  They don't know what this place has to offer!  Cheaper than Austin, great art and culture scene, loads of amazing (and not terribly expensive) restaurants, craft beers, and the place basically exists to drift from one big festival with flowing beer and chalupas and tamales and live music to the next!

Indeed. And as long as you can make peace with the summer heat, and the fact that you will at some point die in a fiery, multi-car pileup on the 410 loop...there's really not much of a downside.

The Homer Tax: Why does a family with 200k in savings need federal aid to send their kids to college?

They don't. But the point is (or should be) to point out that there is a huge disincentive to saving because of how the law works.

Of course the "solution" to a broken system is usually to get all Rube Goldberg and break it more/differently.

BMFPitt: They don't. But the point is (or should be) to point out that there is a huge disincentive to saving because of how the law works.

Currently the largest disincentive to saving is interest rates.

jshine: Maxor: Jshine frustrates the hell out of me.  At least in part because he knows that making 200K in San Francisco is considerably different than in most of the rest of the country.  He knows that If instead of being in SF he could rent a similar place in San Jose, take the BART to work (like there is a decent chance he allready does) and put that money he saves into savings for 2 years to be able to make a reasonable down-payment a decent place in San Jose.  Then have that payed off reasonably quickly.  He also understands that though his commute would suck he can move to Fairfield and be "RICH" with very nice cars and essentially an estate within 5 to 7 years.

Meh, Silicon Valley isn't exactly "cheap" either.  Granted, its big and there certainly are cheap areas, but they're cheap for a reason.  The wife's parents live in San Jose, and their home was no bargain.  Yes, if we drove in from Fairfield we could probably have a big house.  I do realize that, but its pushing the limits of whats possible for a commute (without getting all stabby).

Right now, I'm looking for an apartment in the Valley because I hate commuting and an hour commute on 60 hour weeks is less tolerable than an hour commute on 40 hour weeks.

1BR that doesn't have roaches, but does have asbestos in an OK neighborhood where I trust in the maintenance is going for about $1800. 2BR is going for about$2100 (more if there are separate baths or if it's nice)
The nearby houses are all million dollar plus homes.

I got really lucky, and signed a 1-year lease on a 2BR just off of downtown Mountain View for $2100/month. That's over half my monthly salary after taxes. (The plan is to rent out the second bedroom, and split the difference once I pull together some money to furnish the apartment. It's not terribly well-furnished, but the price for the location (3 minute walk to Caltrain, 3 minute walk to downtown Castro Street) is amazing). You're not going to have a non-stabby commute into the Valley AND a house for less than$500K (if you bought today), end of story.

/It also doesn't help that there is NO mass transit from the East Bay to the Valley unless you want to do BART -> Caltrain, which is even more stabby than 880 + bridges.
//I'll admit that it doesn't help that Silicon Valley is an 20-mile long, 4-5 mile wide amorphous blob populated by NIMBY's.  It's really hard to run mass transit to an area that size. (From isn't hard since people can drive to the stations, To is hard because people have to walk from the station to work)

Tommy Moo: 1) Set up bullshiat college
2) Enroll ALL of the poor people
3) Demand billions in Pell grants from the federal government
4) Hand Monopoly degrees to students
5) Collect on loans from as many graduates as can repay on waitress wagesFor-profit schools amount to a mass scam, transferring money from tax payers to con artist faux education executives. The Pell Grant needs to die. It might hurt some poor middle-performing students in the short term by forcing them to go to a public school instead of a private one, but it will cause tuition to come screaming down in the free market. The Ivy Leagues will continue to give merit scholarships to top performing poor and middle class high school graduates if they want to preserve their reputations.

You forgot to overcharge for books that need to be purchased each year, and expire each year.

My entire article is going to be quoting some other guy's entire article!!

meyerkev: jshine: Maxor: Jshine frustrates the hell out of me.  At least in part because he knows that making 200K in San Francisco is considerably different than in most of the rest of the country.  He knows that If instead of being in SF he could rent a similar place in San Jose, take the BART to work (like there is a decent chance he allready does) and put that money he saves into savings for 2 years to be able to make a reasonable down-payment a decent place in San Jose.  Then have that payed off reasonably quickly.  He also understands that though his commute would suck he can move to Fairfield and be "RICH" with very nice cars and essentially an estate within 5 to 7 years.

Meh, Silicon Valley isn't exactly "cheap" either.  Granted, its big and there certainly are cheap areas, but they're cheap for a reason.  The wife's parents live in San Jose, and their home was no bargain.  Yes, if we drove in from Fairfield we could probably have a big house.  I do realize that, but its pushing the limits of whats possible for a commute (without getting all stabby).

Right now, I'm looking for an apartment in the Valley because I hate commuting and an hour commute on 60 hour weeks is less tolerable than an hour commute on 40 hour weeks.

1BR that doesn't have roaches, but does have asbestos in an OK neighborhood where I trust in the maintenance is going for about $1800. 2BR is going for about$2100 (more if there are separate baths or if it's nice)
The nearby houses are all million dollar plus homes.

I got really lucky, and signed a 1-year lease on a 2BR just off of downtown Mountain View for $2100/month. That's over half my monthly salary after taxes. (The plan is to rent out the second bedroom, and split the difference once I pull together some money to furnish the apartment. It's not terribly well-furnished, but the price for the location (3 minute walk to Caltrain, 3 minute walk to downtown Castro Street) is amazing). You're not going to have a non-stabby commute into the V ... So glad I got out of there. I figure I make about 30% less but I live in a very nice house with a 20 min commute for 230k. jst3p: BMFPitt: They don't. But the point is (or should be) to point out that there is a huge disincentive to saving because of how the law works. Currently the largest disincentive to saving is interest rates. That's why I put all my money into gold coins. Suckers... /seriously, though -- yeah. I think our little experiment in an open-ended ZIRP is going to prove to have been a wildly stupid thing to have done... 410 is at least predictable. US-281 and I-35 are like Wolf 359. I'm a Floridian by birth, so I'm not fazed by the heat! And it's all worthwhile for Freetail Brewing. A great pizzeria AND a great brewpub? Amazing!!! Bumblefark: That's why I put all my money into gold coins. Suckers... I hear it can never be worth Zero! webuygoldteeth.com! I see a lot of this whining here: ThatGuyFromTheInternet: I see a lot of this whining here: [i.imgur.com image 850x560] 1% Problems ... ThatGuyFromTheInternet: I see a lot of this whining here: [i.imgur.com image 850x560] I remember that graphic! IIRC it was in the Wall Street Journal... I found myself wondering what planet the readers lived on if that was supposed to be in any way representative of reality. It may not even be representative of WSJ subscribers. jst3p: Bumblefark: That's why I put all my money into gold coins. Suckers... I hear it can never be worth Zero! webuygoldteeth.com! Well, of course not, because fiat currency. And something about India. And shiny. But, I'm staying ahead of the curve anyway. I just bought some gold plated tulip bulbs. I'm gonna be set for life... Goodluckfox: ThatGuyFromTheInternet: I see a lot of this whining here: [i.imgur.com image 850x560] I remember that graphic! IIRC it was in the Wall Street Journal... I found myself wondering what planet the readers lived on if that was supposed to be in any way representative of reality. It may not even be representative of WSJ subscribers. I'd certainly say it represents a lot of the Fark conservatives. ThatGuyFromTheInternet: Goodluckfox: ThatGuyFromTheInternet: I see a lot of this whining here: [i.imgur.com image 850x560] I remember that graphic! IIRC it was in the Wall Street Journal... I found myself wondering what planet the readers lived on if that was supposed to be in any way representative of reality. It may not even be representative of WSJ subscribers. I'd certainly say it represents a lot of the Fark conservatives. No, it represents a lot of what fark conservatives believe is in store for them, someday. ThatGuyFromTheInternet: I see a lot of this whining here: [i.imgur.com image 850x560] My heart goes out to them. How they must suffer, each day a sacrifice. Having to choose between Something and something. jst3p: ThatGuyFromTheInternet: Goodluckfox: ThatGuyFromTheInternet: I see a lot of this whining here: [i.imgur.com image 850x560] I remember that graphic! IIRC it was in the Wall Street Journal... I found myself wondering what planet the readers lived on if that was supposed to be in any way representative of reality. It may not even be representative of WSJ subscribers. I'd certainly say it represents a lot of the Fark conservatives. No, it represents a lot of what fark conservatives believe is in store for them, someday. Right! If they suck the cocks of rich sociopaths, that cum will trickle-down and make them like them. rga184: Some of the smartest people I know are chemical engineers. As an undergraduate biomedical engineer who took a lot of classes in chemical engineering, I can tell you that without exception, my chem E classes were harder than anything I took in med school. on the other hand, my understanding if physiology benefitted from it, so I'm glad I took a hard major and hard courses within it, even if it hurt my application to med school (most scgools have a minimum GPA cutoff to consider you, and my college GPA want really great. In my defense, in the time I was taking "weed out" courses like organic chemistry, that class was by far my least challenging, while most pre meds had that as their most challenging class). Let me guess -- Orgo and P-chem? You bumped into chemistry's weeder classes. As a biomed, you run into a lot of those. Like Anatomy lab, Signals, Dynamics, etc. It gets easier after those. I knew a couple of MechEs who took quantum mechanics. One who even passed. it's sort of like dynamics, but worse -- doable if you let the math do the work and stop trying to intuitively understand the system. No one understands it. ThatGuyFromTheInternet: jst3p: ThatGuyFromTheInternet: Goodluckfox: ThatGuyFromTheInternet: I see a lot of this whining here: [i.imgur.com image 850x560] I remember that graphic! IIRC it was in the Wall Street Journal... I found myself wondering what planet the readers lived on if that was supposed to be in any way representative of reality. It may not even be representative of WSJ subscribers. I'd certainly say it represents a lot of the Fark conservatives. No, it represents a lot of what fark conservatives believe is in store for them, someday. Right! If they suck the cocks of rich sociopaths, that cum will trickle-down and make them like them. I honestly believe that this is what they believe. Izunbacol: And it's all worthwhile for Freetail Brewing. A great pizzeria AND a great brewpub? Amazing!!! Still finding my way around town, but I'll have to keep an eye out for that one. SA does seem to have an inordinate number of good places to eat/drink...of course, last place I lived was a small town in upstate NY, so I might just impress easy. Rapmaster2000: A million dollar house is not a lot of money. Most of the guys in my fraternity have a house at least that much in value. Look, if these people don't want to have debt then they just need to get a job. I spent a whole summer washing cars at my Dad's dealership to pay for school and I made plenty. When I graduate next year, I'll have the sales manager job at the dealership waiting for me. I've earned it. logggur: Out of curiosity, what part are you calling the "best" part of Houston? Uptown, River Oaks, Hyde Park, Montrose, West University... All pretty nice in my opinion. Houston is a great city. Granted, I live in Katy because I have 3 kids and they will be going to public school, but it really has a bad reputation and I would take it any day over Chicago or New York. I work in Long Island, so I'm in NY every week and it's OK, but it's not worth the cost of living. IMHO. Houston is one of the most diverse cities in the US (if not the most diverse). There's a lot of money here because of oil. There is a lot of culture. I think the museums are excellent. Lots of nice parks to take the kids to. I'm a pretty big fan of the city. I moved there in 2008 from Austin and I actually prefer Houston because the economy is substantially better. I love Austin too though. Here is a link to the artist's blog. Turns out he had no idea what the copy was going to say. They just gave him an outline for different representative groups of people. "As usual with these assignments, I'm given a bare outline of what is needed (ie: single mom with two kids, retired couple, etc) and little, if any of the actual copy that will accompany them... and when I eventually saw the article, my jaw dropped at the salaries assigned to each of these people. They obviously didn't base them on illustrator's salaries. " http://illustratoriumweek.blogspot.com/2013/01/bring-it-on-2013.html DubyaHater: Earn$50K a year and have $200K in savings? No one in this planet is that good with money. My girlfriend heard someone call into the Dave Ramsey show who earned$8,000 a month, married with one kid, who had over $42,000 in credit card debt alone. Plus the wife, who earned her own income, had credit card debt of her own. Most people are idiots when it comes to budgeting. There's more than one way to get savings. I make$40k a year and I have nearly $200k in savings because I pocketed my parents' college savings by going to a state school with lots of merit scholarships (their gift for my success), and I've been frugal since. DubyaHater: Earn$50K a year and have $200K in savings? No one in this planet is that good with money. My girlfriend heard someone call into the Dave Ramsey show who earned$8,000 a month, married with one kid, who had over $42,000 in credit card debt alone. Plus the wife, who earned her own income, had credit card debt of her own. Most people are idiots when it comes to budgeting. It's not a function of being good with money, it's a function of being lucky. You can live on under$20k a year.  It won't be glamorous, but hey.  So assume you can save $20k a year ($10k breathing room).  It'll take you ten years to save $200k. Assuming nothing happens. Assuming no splurges. Assuming no 'oops I'm pregnant it's yours and I'm having the kid.' Assuming no 'you parked in the wrong parking space, so here's a$500 ticket and you need to pay the impound lot $3,000 to get your car back.' I call BS. In 1993, when I was trying to go to college. My parents made a combined 45K a year with a 75K house. I got nothing! Student loans all the way Tatsuma: .... a million dollar house is a pretty regular (or even small-ish) house in most of the country, Subby. And a family of four living on a$200,000 is not any means rich.

Bullshiat comment it bullshiat.

The Homer Tax: Why does a family with 200k in savings need federal aid to send their kids to college?

Because little Johnny and Susie (or Jayden and Kayden, if you like) don't want to go to State U.

I started at State U in the early 80s.  Tuition was about $1,600 per year. Adjusted for inflation that works out to about$3,500 in today's money.    Tuition at my alma mater is currently around $12K per year. In real terms, the cost of tuition has increased 3.4 times since I was a 17 year old freshman. I actually managed to earn enough money working at minimum wage jobs over the winter/summer breaks to cover about 3/4 of the tuition bill. /You kids are so screwed //Get off my lawn Slaves2Darkness: brap: I like Senator Warren's plan of allowing students to borrow at the same rate as banks. Stupid idea is stupid. The problem with the system as it currently stands is too much free money and too little competition. You want to fix the college tuition problem then go on a Federal University spending spree, Federally mandate that tuition start at 5,000 dollars a year and only rise at the rate of inflation. This. When I was in high school in the very late 90's, all I ever heard was "if you can only pay so much, the government pays the rest!" Then schools got wise to the "if you can't pay the rest" part and started jacking rates up. In ten years, the tuition at Ohio State has increased 150% because, why not? Free money all around, fleece the masses if the government is gonna pay for it. Raptop: My oldest is starting college next year, we just did his FAFSA app. I have ~$500k in savings (no debt, never bought a house).  I'm waiting for them to tell me that I can "afford" to pay $56k/year in cash. Should I be buying a house to "hide" my money in? no but you should've stashed your money in offshore accounts like what most wealthy folks do. me texan: Answer: What is "The Government supports programs that encourage the production of viable taxpayers". The student saving money? She/he isn't stuck in a perpetual circle of debt and certainly isn't generating as much sales tax required to keep the government Ponzi schemes going. This. Lollipop165: Tatsuma: jshine: I have to second Tatsuma's post though -- Mrs. jshine & I are over$200k/yr and we're not rich. We've got one car (a Mazda 3), an apartment, and a dog. We're certainly not starving, but neither are we wealthy.

change 'most of the country' to 'most big cities in the country' and $1,000,000 to '$500,000 to $1,000,000' and my post is accurate. This is also pretty much what I meant to begin with, should have been more accurate.$200,000 a year for a family is barely middle-class unless you live in the middle of nowhere.

Um, no. I live in NYC and went to HS in one of America's wealthiest suburbs.. $200k is absolutely upper middle class. Hubby and I make a bit over$160k together and I certainly consider myself upper middle class - I can purchase a home while still saving money for my kid's college and my retirement. Now, can I afford a 3bd/2 ba in the Upper East Side? No. But I live very well in "normal" middle class Queens.

Some people really do have no clue at all about how the other "half" -- more like 90% -- lives.

Blue-collar dad working lots of overtime; stay-at-home mom occasionally doing side work but mostly dealing with PTA and, y'know, raising the kids. Graduated high school in 1987.  I learned a lot about saving and creative financial management from my mom, but we didn't live lavishly (lower middle class neighborhood with a decent school, used cars, etc.). Still, not a lot of savings to work with, and the college plan was a bunch of savings bonds in my name that barely got me through freshman year buying books and supplies and food. Their house was a rowhome in east Baltimore, just outside the city and as of last year, those homes were going for about $150-180k (though the neighborhood really went down hill). I had good grades (mostly As and Bs) and was courted by several good schools, but even then I graduated with debt that exceeded my first year's entire salary, and that's with plenty of grants and scholarships. I had no clue how close my folks were to the edge until much later. But it's not like I was living lavishly, either -- I worked 2-3 part time jobs for most of school. I stayed in debt for a very long time, in fact until I bought a condo (because rents were too high in the 2000s), got a better job, and then paid off my debt. There is a significant change in means once you start earning$50k or more; your basic needs can be met pretty well if you're not extravagant and you can actually start to save. I make decent money, no longer carry much non-mortgage debt, and am working toward having a year's salary  banked.  I didn't see the point in a lavish home though I could probably afford something more expensive now; I always bought within my means and seem to have decent instincts on when to trade up. I did buy a much nicer car but that'll be paid off soon too, and then it's mortgage and normal monthly expenses.

But it took me almost 25 years to get here, and the first ten were downright painful.

tylerdurden217: logggur: Out of curiosity, what part are you calling the "best" part of Houston?

Uptown, River Oaks, Hyde Park, Montrose, West University... All pretty nice in my opinion.

Houston is a great city. Granted, I live in Katy because I have 3 kids and they will be going to public school, but it really has a bad reputation and I would take it any day over Chicago or New York. I work in Long Island, so I'm in NY every week and it's OK, but it's not worth the cost of living. IMHO.

Houston is one of the most diverse cities in the US (if not the most diverse). There's a lot of money here because of oil. There is a lot of culture. I think the museums are excellent. Lots of nice parks to take the kids to. I'm a pretty big fan of the city. I moved there in 2008 from Austin and I actually prefer Houston because the economy is substantially better. I love Austin too though.

I don't care much Houston. Dallas or Austin is waaay better It's dirty, grimy and it has a pretty high crime rate. While I do admit it is very diverse the minorities there are the 'lesser' minorities as in minorities with minimum wage jobs and no qualifications as oppose to the minorities who graduate from Ivy League schools or even H1B types.

tricycleracer: Rapmaster2000: A million dollar house is not a lot of money.  Most of the guys in my fraternity have a house at least that much in value.  Look, if these people don't want to have debt then they just need to get a job.

I spent a whole summer washing cars at my Dad's dealership to pay for school and I made plenty.  When I graduate next year, I'll have the sales manager job at the dealership waiting for me.  I've earned it.

DP: "Bros call me DP, short for donkey-puncher, get it?"
Frylock: "Yeah.. I do."
DP: "Sometimes I'm donkey puncherelo, or D-to-the-P, or Big DP, or uh.. King Donko of Punchstania."

FTFA: American private universities use poor kids' tuition to subsidize rich kids' degrees

Is Ric Romero working at Boing Boing now?

tylerdurden217: logggur: Out of curiosity, what part are you calling the "best" part of Houston?

Uptown, River Oaks, Hyde Park, Montrose, West University... All pretty nice in my opinion.

Houston is a great city. Granted, I live in Katy because I have 3 kids and they will be going to public school, but it really has a bad reputation and I would take it any day over Chicago or New York. I work in Long Island, so I'm in NY every week and it's OK, but it's not worth the cost of living. IMHO.

Houston is one of the most diverse cities in the US (if not the most diverse). There's a lot of money here because of oil. There is a lot of culture. I think the museums are excellent. Lots of nice parks to take the kids to. I'm a pretty big fan of the city. I moved there in 2008 from Austin and I actually prefer Houston because the economy is substantially better. I love Austin too though.

Oh, I live in Houston.  I was just curious what specific part the other poster was referring to, since describing it as "the nice part" doesn't really narrow things down much.

Anyway, yeah I love it here, although I understand some of the complaints that people seem to have.  I'd hate having to live on the highways as most people do (my commute is against the traffic flow) and it really could use a lot more in the vein of public transportation.  It's pretty tough to beat in terms of culture, cuisine, and recreation, though.

SuperNinjaToad: tylerdurden217: logggur: Out of curiosity, what part are you calling the "best" part of Houston?

Uptown, River Oaks, Hyde Park, Montrose, West University... All pretty nice in my opinion.

Houston is a great city. Granted, I live in Katy because I have 3 kids and they will be going to public school, but it really has a bad reputation and I would take it any day over Chicago or New York. I work in Long Island, so I'm in NY every week and it's OK, but it's not worth the cost of living. IMHO.

Houston is one of the most diverse cities in the US (if not the most diverse). There's a lot of money here because of oil. There is a lot of culture. I think the museums are excellent. Lots of nice parks to take the kids to. I'm a pretty big fan of the city. I moved there in 2008 from Austin and I actually prefer Houston because the economy is substantially better. I love Austin too though.

I don't care much Houston. Dallas or Austin is waaay better It's dirty, grimy and it has a pretty high crime rate. While I do admit it is very diverse the minorities there are the 'lesser' minorities as in minorities with minimum wage jobs and no qualifications as oppose to the minorities who graduate from Ivy League schools or even H1B types.

Not sure if this is just a really strange troll or just plain racist, but Houston is home to a ton of different international cultures.  Not sure what the "lesser" minorities with minimum wage jobs constitute, but Houston has a higher median income than Dallas.  Either way they're virtually identical in terms of income breakdown.

Source:  http://www.city-data.com/city/Houston-Texas.html ,  http://www.city-data.com/city/Dallas-Texas.html

Hrist: It's not a function of being good with money, it's a function of being lucky. You can live on under $20k a year. It won't be glamorous, but hey. So assume you can save$20k a year ($10k breathing room). It'll take you ten years to save$200k. Assuming nothing happens. Assuming no splurges. Assuming no 'oops I'm pregnant it's yours and I'm having the kid.' Assuming no 'you parked in the wrong parking space, so here's a $500 ticket and you need to pay the impound lot$3,000 to get your car back.'

An awful lot of "luck" is being careful.

Loren: Hrist: It's not a function of being good with money, it's a function of being lucky. You can live on under $20k a year. It won't be glamorous, but hey. So assume you can save$20k a year ($10k breathing room). It'll take you ten years to save$200k. Assuming nothing happens. Assuming no splurges. Assuming no 'oops I'm pregnant it's yours and I'm having the kid.' Assuming no 'you parked in the wrong parking space, so here's a $500 ticket and you need to pay the impound lot$3,000 to get your car back.'

An awful lot of "luck" is being careful.

And an awful lot of luck is luck.

I was supposed to pay off the last of my student loans this month.  But instead my landlord called up my month to month lease (state-required maintenance), and I had to drop $3100 on a new apartment (security deposit plus first months rent), plus a few MORE grand to try and get minimal furnishing in. I get to sleep on the floor for a week and I still won't have furniture in the living room until at least July. Luckily, I'm running around on about double my day-to-day, month-to-month needs (midwestern sense of what things 'should' cost plus software engineer salary), so I HAD$4-5K to blow.  If I was Dad ($28K,$24K after taxes, $14K after child support)... well, I've seen Dad try to save up an entire year to buy a couch. He couldn't do this period. /Anyone want to split a 2 BR, 1 BA just off Downtown Mountain View? I figure I'm better off with Farkers than Craigslist. Ivo Shandor: Goodluckfox: Define "most"??? I think you meant "in certain markets, a "normal" house runs about a million dollars." For example in Vancouver, BC a million dollars gets you this. A half million might get you something about the same size, between two auto body shops and across the train tracks from a rendering plant. Reminds me of a two bedroom house that sold in Mar Vista, CA a couple years ago for$995,000.  The listing described it as a "starter home."

Yes, 'cause starter homes should cost one million dollars.

serpent_sky: you have pee hands: A house worth $500,000 is not worth$1,000,000. What are you trying to say here? A million dollar house is way outside the norm.

Not in NY or CT or a lot of the East Coast.  A CHEAP house is $350,000. Average is$500,000-$750,000.$1,000,000 isn't uncommon by any means.

...and this is why I neither own a house nor have any savings.

We're buying our first home in Atlanta.  We're looking in the $400,000 range. \I could have sworn people told me Atlanta was cheap \\it only seems to be cheap if you don't care about schools or safety I earn$100,000 a year and have almost a million in debt that I deliberately keep adding to.

Because I know that in the very near future inflation is going to skyrocket making my million in debt the same value as a gallon of milk. Then I can send a gallon of milk to the bank and be debt free.

/kidding
//scared that second part might end up true.

thurstonxhowell: inclemency: thurstonxhowell: In other words, low-income families are routinely being asked to fork over more than half of their annual income for the privilege of sending their child off to campus for a year.

They wouldn't be asked that if they looked at affordable state or community colleges instead of over-priced private schools.

So the poor should stay poor.

God bless america.

/douche
//not capitilized for a reason

I went to a state school for undergrad. I wasn't poor when I made that decision and I'm not poor now. Expensive private schools are, for the most part, status symbols for people with more money than sense. Especially for undergrad. If the name on your diploma is really going to matter to you and your career, you're probably looking at grad school, anyway. Go somewhere cheap, but respectable, for undergrad and go get that fancy degree later. All that money you didn't spend on undergrad will help a good bit in keeping you on that road.

/ Perhaps, if you had attended a university of the quality that my state provides, you would know that you misspelled capitalized.
// I know, I know, you were very excited to call me a douche. It's an exciting world full of exciting opportunities.

Perhaps I was a bit hasty to judge the intent of your post. And we both know my spelling error was inexcusable. For these things I apologize.

You're a straight up dick though. Good luck with that.

meyerkev: And an awful lot of luck is luck.

I was supposed to pay off the last of my student loans this month. But instead my landlord called up my month to month lease (state-required maintenance), and I had to drop $3100 on a new apartment (security deposit plus first months rent), plus a few MORE grand to try and get minimal furnishing in. I get to sleep on the floor for a week and I still won't have furniture in the living room until at least July. Luckily, I'm running around on about double my day-to-day, month-to-month needs (midwestern sense of what things 'should' cost plus software engineer salary), so I HAD$4-5K to blow. If I was Dad ($28K,$24K after taxes, $14K after child support)... well, I've seen Dad try to save up an entire year to buy a couch. He couldn't do this period. /Anyone want to split a 2 BR, 1 BA just off Downtown Mountain View? I figure I'm better off with Farkers than Craigslist. Huh? Yeah, you have to put down a security deposit but you'll get back the deposit from the old place, that's a wash. As for new furniture, what about a new place forces you to buy new furniture? We certainly never have. Loren: meyerkev: And an awful lot of luck is luck. I was supposed to pay off the last of my student loans this month. But instead my landlord called up my month to month lease (state-required maintenance), and I had to drop$3100 on a new apartment (security deposit plus first months rent), plus a few MORE grand to try and get minimal furnishing in. I get to sleep on the floor for a week and I still won't have furniture in the living room until at least July.

Luckily, I'm running around on about double my day-to-day, month-to-month needs (midwestern sense of what things 'should' cost plus software engineer salary), so I HAD $4-5K to blow. If I was Dad ($28K, $24K after taxes,$14K after child support)... well, I've seen Dad try to save up an entire year to buy a couch. He couldn't do this period.

/Anyone want to split a 2 BR, 1 BA just off Downtown Mountain View? I figure I'm better off with Farkers than Craigslist.

Huh?  Yeah, you have to put down a security deposit but you'll get back the deposit from the old place, that's a wash.  As for new furniture, what about a new place forces you to buy new furniture?  We certainly never have.

Old place was furnished.  New place isn't.  This is my first apartment that I've ever owned in my name instead of renting a room.

/And the security deposit is larger.  And more importantly, there is a period where I haven't gotten the first one back, but need to pay the second one.

Loren: meyerkev: And an awful lot of luck is luck.

I was supposed to pay off the last of my student loans this month. But instead my landlord called up my month to month lease (state-required maintenance), and I had to drop $3100 on a new apartment (security deposit plus first months rent), plus a few MORE grand to try and get minimal furnishing in. I get to sleep on the floor for a week and I still won't have furniture in the living room until at least July. Luckily, I'm running around on about double my day-to-day, month-to-month needs (midwestern sense of what things 'should' cost plus software engineer salary), so I HAD$4-5K to blow. If I was Dad ($28K,$24K after taxes, $14K after child support)... well, I've seen Dad try to save up an entire year to buy a couch. He couldn't do this period. /Anyone want to split a 2 BR, 1 BA just off Downtown Mountain View? I figure I'm better off with Farkers than Craigslist. Huh? Yeah, you have to put down a security deposit but you'll get back the deposit from the old place, that's a wash. As for new furniture, what about a new place forces you to buy new furniture? We certainly never have. I have never gotten 100% of my security deposit back, they always find a way to keep some of it. And maybe he was living in a furnished apartment before that, it happens. jayphat: Slaves2Darkness: brap: I like Senator Warren's plan of allowing students to borrow at the same rate as banks. Stupid idea is stupid. The problem with the system as it currently stands is too much free money and too little competition. You want to fix the college tuition problem then go on a Federal University spending spree, Federally mandate that tuition start at 5,000 dollars a year and only rise at the rate of inflation. This. When I was in high school in the very late 90's, all I ever heard was "if you can only pay so much, the government pays the rest!" Then schools got wise to the "if you can't pay the rest" part and started jacking rates up. In ten years, the tuition at Ohio State has increased 150% because, why not? Free money all around, fleece the masses if the government is gonna pay for it. To be fair, OSU also went from the backup school to the backup school to a SAT/ACT score busting institution in the last 15 years. Hell, if you don't have a HS Accum 3.8 GPA and a 1400, you might as well not even apply, because you're not getting in. FizixJunkee: We're buying our first home in Atlanta. We're looking in the$400,000 range.

\I could have sworn people told me Atlanta was cheap

I'm guessing that's something like 2500 square feet with a two car garage for $400,000? Cheap compared to the 750 square feet you'll get for that price in California. Tatsuma: .... a million dollar house is a pretty regular (or even small-ish) house in most of the country, Subby. And a family of four living on a$200,000 is not any means rich.

I feel you have over estimated "most"of the country.

Three Crooked Squirrels: Tatsuma: .... a million dollar house is a pretty regular (or even small-ish) house in most of the country, Subby. And a family of four living on a $200,000 is not any means rich. Tatsuma: Lawnchair: In the world of facts, a million dollar house is in the top 2.3% of home values in the nation. The median owner-occupied home value is$186,200.

No, those are houses that are worth more than a million dollar. If you take houses between 500,000 and 999,999, then that's 10% of the country, or the vast majority of people who have houses in decent neighborhoods in New York, Chicago, LA, or any other major city out there.

What the fark are you talking about? You went from "most of the country" to "decent neighborhoods in NY, Chicago and LA" in the span of just one post.  Just because you live in an expensive neighborhood does not mean "most of the country" lives in an expensive neighborhood.

This. And 10% isn't "most" on any scale from any angle.

Dear Jerk: A long time ago, I drove my country bumpkin wife through the old part of town and she looked in horror at all the \$30k homes. I remember telling her, 'this is how most of the country lives.'

That's how I love and I love it! True story, the house I just moved out of is now on the market...for ten grand. The best part of starting on the bottom? Nowhere to go but up. That's the only good part, actually, unless humility counts.

View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

In Other Media
1. Links are submitted by members of the Fark community.

2. When community members submit a link, they also write a custom headline for the story.