Better And Better

If you don't draw yours, I won't draw mine.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Where does the brink lie?

The evidence seems to support my long-held conclusion that, if one's bank account increases, there is a point at which the average person will become so insulated from the real world that they will lose contact with reality. This is akin to insanity, but is actually kind of understandable, inasmuch as the person's bearings shift so that they don't actually have good benchmarks on what reality is.

Sadly, it is typically those who have so completely passed that brink who have the most access to mainstream media sources, to sound their opinions on what is right and proper.

So where does the brink lie, for an average person, in today's economy?

I would have to say that a person is independently wealthy if he has $3 million. Invested wisely, it would be no trick to bring in 7.5% interest, which would give that person $225,000 a year to live on without touching the principal. If you can't live comfortably off of that a year, you have a problem. Frankly, making half that ($112,500) in a year would be almost unimaginably wealthy for me, given my current financial status. Yet I don't think that would be enough to properly insulate one from the world he lives in.

So tell me, in comments: at what numerical point does the crayzee kick in, for the average person?

Labels: , ,

19 Comments:

At Wednesday, August 13, 2008 11:38:00 AM, OpenID williamthecoroner said...

I think the haul for a retirement score is 5 million, but the crayzee doesn't kick in until 10. And yes, people with enough money are totally insulated from reality.

 
At Wednesday, August 13, 2008 11:55:00 AM, Blogger The Lily said...

That would be somewhere between water delivered from a blessed spring high in the tibetan peaks and carried in virgin, gently extruded, bio-degradable plastic delivered NLT yesterday and royal purple shag car carpeting embroidered with a kingly monogram using only 24kt gold thread.

 
At Wednesday, August 13, 2008 12:46:00 PM, Blogger Sabra said...

I don't know about the upper end of the scale. I know about the bottom end of the scale. 'Bout the time your goal in life becomes getting the government to completely support you (or you succeed in that goal), it's pretty insulative. My relatives are the craziest bunch of conspiracy theorists...


Maybe the answer is: whenever you are divorced from your income (because you are living off the interest, or because someone's giving it to you), you run danger of becoming detached from reality.

 
At Wednesday, August 13, 2008 12:48:00 PM, Blogger Matt G said...

Sabra's got a damn good answer, to be honest.

But I'm still thinking of crazy-rich, where celebrities and the simply over-paid come to very bizarre conclusions about the world.

 
At Wednesday, August 13, 2008 1:46:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't know where the line lies, but I know for me, single and 38, if you go from earning about 40k to about 110k without changing your lifestyle (besides buying a house) you can certainly do lots of trips and spend a few hundred at a gun show without feeling guilty, besides having almost half a yearly salary in savings.

Money doesn't buy happiness, but it can relive some stresses you get when you live paycheck to paycheck...

Matt
St Paul

 
At Wednesday, August 13, 2008 2:13:00 PM, Blogger DMP said...

What is the definition of reality? To the working man, anytime you don't have to consider how you are spending your money is the brink. Or if you don't have to hesitate when you want to buy something you don't really need, that is the brink. DMP

 
At Wednesday, August 13, 2008 2:18:00 PM, Blogger Matt G said...

DMP, I think you misunderstand me: I'm not asking where the brink for the definition of "wealth" lies. I'm asking where the brink for crazee-causing-wealth lies.

 
At Wednesday, August 13, 2008 3:52:00 PM, Blogger Mr. Fixit said...

Hmmm, crazy wealthy?

I think it happens at the point that you don't consider how much you spend. At whatever point in your worth, you spend whatever you want without considering the cost or where the money came from.

For the celebs, who party and buy everything they see, that point would have to be in the multiple millions.

For the couple satisfied with a modest 3 bedroom house, driving 5 year old gas efficient cars, that point may be only 1 or 2 million.

I guess at whatever point your natural spending habits fail to keep up with your worth.

 
At Wednesday, August 13, 2008 8:28:00 PM, Blogger Hammer said...

If you live in south Texas like I do, about 300k per year while living sensibly would make someone lose touch with reality.

 
At Thursday, August 14, 2008 12:02:00 AM, Blogger Christina LMT said...

Mariah Carey refusing to use the toilet unless the water is sprinkled with rose petals. That says it all.

 
At Thursday, August 14, 2008 6:04:00 AM, Anonymous Rick O'Shea said...

I think it's the point where you forget that your wealth was either earned or granted to you, and you start believing that it is a natural consequence of your personal worth.

Therefore, your opinion must be as gold-plated as your toilet accessories.

 
At Thursday, August 14, 2008 7:01:00 AM, Blogger In the Corner Thinking said...

When I join the clamoring to increase taxes like Kennedy, Kerry, and Obama you'll know I've lost touch.

 
At Thursday, August 14, 2008 6:21:00 PM, Anonymous Stingray said...

Tell you what. I'll open up my bank account to contributions, and y'all can just keep filling it for me until I go nuts. Then we'll have a good measure. ;)

Then again, seeing as Matt already thinks I've earned a set of Post-Hole Diggers in lunacy as-is...

 
At Thursday, August 14, 2008 7:28:00 PM, Blogger Rick said...

I think that any time one has the fortune of unearned fortune, this phenomenon of crazee-causing-wealth is possible--maybe not probable.

Underlying this condition is the character of the individual. This makes the exact income "variable," and dependent on the character of the individual.

 
At Friday, August 15, 2008 3:59:00 AM, Blogger Matt G said...

Rick, while I'm sure that having the fortune be unearned hastens the crazy, I don't think that this is soley the bastion of the bestowed-upon. There are some very wealthy people who flat-out earned their fortunes, who have completely lost touch with reality.

 
At Friday, August 15, 2008 4:07:00 AM, Blogger Matt G said...

Rick, while I'm sure that having the fortune be unearned hastens the crazy, I don't think that this is soley the bastion of the bestowed-upon. There are some very wealthy people who flat-out earned their fortunes, who have completely lost touch with reality.

 
At Friday, August 15, 2008 12:51:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would say that $225 K a year is NO WHERE NEAR enough. We are very close to half of that for a household of 3 people, with a low housepayment and only one car payment, and we are constantly broke (not for the important things, but we never seem to have money for things we consider fairly important, like a riding mower or a new water heater). If we had twice what we have, we would be just as broke, but have a nicer house and I wouldn't be driving an '01 Hyundai with 170K miles on it..... I'm thinking income close to or over 1 mil/month would do it.....

Since I do comment here and other places, this time it will be from "A Nony Mouse"

 
At Friday, August 15, 2008 5:36:00 PM, Blogger Assrot said...

I don't know Matt. I think it's all relative to what you have to support with your income. I'm in the $100,000+ bracket. I pay more taxes than many people make in wages.

I think good folks are born that way and stay that way no matter what barring some freak accident that damages the brain.

I scraped by on 80 cents an hour in my younger day and supported a wife and kid on it.

I guess when you get into the 10 millions and above a person might become a little touched. That kind of money gives you absolute power. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. I don't care who you are or how good a person you were. Once you get that kind of power, it's like crack or meth. You just can't control yourself.

I've known two people that were the greatest folks in the world until they won the lottery. Within a year they were both the kind of people I wouldn't piss on to put them out if they were on fire.

It's amazing what a large amount of money does to people. I don't know if all people that get rich are like that but most I've seen took a turn for the worse when they came into a large sum of money.

I'd think that if you worked hard and earned it, that things would be different but that has not been the case with people in my experience.

I think to get that kind of rich earning it, you have to become somewhat of a scumbag. You lose touch with reality and think you are better than everyone else. You also don't believe the law applies to you any more because you can afford high price fleabag lawyers. I'm sure you've met some folks like that in your line of work.

I'm not saying that all rich folks are like that but I think more are than are not. They become paranoid that they will lose their money so they don't trust anyone and they think that everyone is after them for a handout.

I think I'd rather stay in my current income bracket and save a million or two for retirement. That's about tops for me. I don't care much for the super rich and their society. I'd rather associate with a poor old country boy or gal any day.

My 2 cents for the day.

Joe

 
At Saturday, August 16, 2008 7:50:00 PM, Blogger John B said...

wouldn't work Matt! No matter how many shekels we dragged into the house, My late Mother arranged things so that we were broke 3 days before the paychecks rolled in. She was a professional bookkeeper y'see!

Dad and I countered her by keeping Stash Cash, and secret bank accounts.

As far as the crazy and over-paid coming to bizarre conclusions. Find the site where Paris Hilton vies for the presidency....

 

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

Add to Technorati Favorites
.