What does it take to feel rich?

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In our steep economic downturn, many families have fallen on hard times, forcing them to adjust the lifestyles that had once been accustomed to.

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UrbanBaby is exploring the issue with its members, asking its community a simple series of questions: “What is your household income and do you FEEL poor, middle class or rich where you live?” They also added a warning: “No judging.”

(Before we dig in, we should first report that according to The Census Bureau, the median household income in the United States in 2010 was $49,445.)

However, with this subject, and with some of these answers, not judging has proven quite hard — especially when you read things like, “$350K, so, so, so poor. Not being dramatic or anything, really poor. We totally struggle every day. UES.”

Upon scrolling further down the thread, other gems presented themselves.

One mother posts, “Last year 2 mm, prior 1mm, before that 475. Feel middle class.” Well, at least she didn’t say poor, right?

When another poster asked how she could possibly consider herself as part of the middle class the original poster responded, “We have about 700k in savings and about 500k of equity in our home then about 250k in some private equity investment,’ adding that “the other thing is, so much of the income is deferred cash and deferred stock which usually goes down in value these day!”

Needless to say her posts received little sympathy, and were later bombarded with responses calling her an “entitled whiner” who compare herself to “the richest three people in town” clueless of “the reality.”

The entire kerfuffle raises an important question: What does it take to feel rich? Clearly context matters — $100K in New York City does not go as far as $100K in Tuscaloosa — but there has to be a point where you’re allowed to tell someone, “Stop fooling yourself — you are rich,” right?


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