what's a lot of money to make in a year in the usa these days?

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Call me Z Profile
Call me Z answered

Depends on where you live and what you do. The cost of living in say, San Francisco, would make $90k a year seem paltry, but in rural Alabama, you would be doing very well.

The upper 2% of Americans make $250k or more, so I'd start with this number.

That said, if you are a hedge fund manager, a pro athlete or a Tech CEO and make $250k in a year, you're not doing that well at all.

PJ Stein Profile
PJ Stein answered

I used to work retail and made about $14k a year. I knew someone  who had just took a "pay cut" by taking a management position at a restaurant and was making $30k/year. I mentioned to my manager how much he was making. My manager asked me if $30k was a lot of money. When I pointed out that was twice what I was making, so yes, to me it was a lot of money, I think it brought my reality to his attention. Even so it still did not get me a raise. (Hence that manager's given name was Dave, but we all called him Dick.)

The point of the synopsis of my previous life, if it is relative as to what is a lot of money. To add to that, I left that job, and that area. I got a job that paid twice as much. With that taxes in the new area, I took home the same amount of money, yet the cost of living was more so I was would have been worse off financially, but I married someone who was making a decent amount of money and we were comfortable.

In other words "a lot of money" is relative to your where you live and your perception of finances.

Wesley Crusher Profile
Wesley Crusher answered

Depends on a lot of things. The level of comfort you seek, your goals, your aspirations, your interests, and basically your whole outlook on life.

Sure, living in rural Alabama with 250k sounds amazing! You can buy two mansions in a single year. But personally I would be miserable. The the key point, personally. Why? Because I would be in the middle of nowhere, with nothing to do, surrounded by few people who are most likely homogeneous, not to mention the lack of opportunity to make something out of myself. BUT, some people may enjoy the seclusion. Nothing wrong with that either. A lot of people just want a simple life with nobody bothering them.

My own example of someone living on the coast of California.

  • Went to college. $100k Loan after scholarships.
  • Made 30 an hour at internships last two year of college
  • First job was $90k + compensation package in SF. Shared a 3-bedroom apartment with 3 other people making around the same while paying of college loans.
  • 2nd year made $97k + cash bonus
  • 3rd year made $105K and I vested my stock options. Paid off all college loans and reinvested whats left.
  • End of 3rd year switch companies. $120k salary + new stock options and compensations.
  • 4th year promoted to senior role $135k
  • 7th year middle manager $165k
  • 8th year hefty stock bonus of $500k for big project. Started down payment of first home.
  • etc...etc... More than a decade now.
That's what considered here as middle class. To go above and beyond, people here make use of the fact that they live HERE. A great environment where there's plenty of networking and venture capital to go around. Making this the most productive region in America. The end.

Karl Sagan Profile
Karl Sagan answered

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