13 thoughts on “What Percent Are You?”

  1. Strange, I entered 50,000 and got a different result than you. The article says the top 1% is income over $500k, I guess I need to work 6 times harder than my current 60-70 hours a week.

  2. Actually, BG, he just cleared out his number (the default is $50k), but left the result on the scale.

    And you don’t have to work HARDER, your work just has to be more VALUABLE.

  3. Jack is quite correct.

    A doctor and a ditch digger may both work 8 hours a day and the ditch digger will certainly be doing harder work, but the doctors work is considered much more valuable. Therefore, the ditch digger make $50/day and a doctor makes $800/day.

    Disclaimer: Prices for comparison only, your mileage may vary.

  4. Let us say “more physically demanding” rather than “harder.” I can dig a ditch, and I will hurt at the end of the day, but it is impossible for me to doctor.

  5. Oops. Yes, I was entering different numbers to see where the lines were and then I snapped a picture of it. I’ll fix it.

  6. My comment was sarcastic. There is a party in this country that thinks poor people are lazy bums that dont work hard enough. See a few articles back about the girl and the $50.

  7. I’m always a little put off by these calculators. The WSJ example is the most conservative I have seen. Most studies put the 1% threshold in the $350-$400K range (going from memory so don’t jump all over me with stats). And of course, a lot of studies use pre-recession data, making them fairly useless – income is extremely volatile at the top. I can vouch for that.

    Plus, when you’re talking about the wealthy and upper middle class, it helps to better define “income”. Should I only plug in my W-2 salary, or do I also add in investment gains, rental income, dividends, partnership distributions, etc…. Do I average my income and gains which can drop or increase in multiples depending on what year it is? Should it be driven by my IRS-based AGI, or is it more sophisticated than that?

    Get my drift… for so-called high income individuals, income is both jumpy, lumpy, and very complicated. One year you’re in the club, the next year you’re outta the club.

    Since much of this is imprecise, I don’t pay too much attention to the whole 1% media hype. And don’t even get me started about the political focus on income vs true wealth (i.e. assets, net worth).

    Would also add that age is a big determinant too. One of the “kids” who works for me was carrying on about how he was “middle class” and all for increasing taxes on the “wealthy”. I had to point out to him that he was likely in the 1% of earners for 23 year olds, and asked him how he felt about an age-adjusted tax scale – putting him at the highest rate because he’s rich by age category. “But how would I ever be able to save for the future” he whined. “Precisely my point young man..” I replied. Now you’re beginning to understand something.

  8. Let me help out a 1%’er here.

    Miguel, first you click on the ‘Definitions’ link right there in the calculator. You will see that it says:

    “Income is defined as household, adjusted gross-income including other sources of income such as social security benefits and interest on municipal bonds. Source: Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center”

    Now, ask you lawyer to fax over your 2011 tax form. Look on Page #1, on the bottom right (Box 37), where it says: “This is your adjusted gross income” (in BOLD). Enter that number into the calculator. Now click on “Rank me.”.

  9. Thanks BG – I was too busy generating wealth to have noticed that. Kidding aside, I was not so much referring to the WSJ calculator, as much as these types of calculators in general, but really thanks for helping me out on that – it would have kept me awake at night wondering.

    Stacey – Yeah, August brings out the crazies… it’s cause the shrinks take August off. That, plus something about a hot summer just makes the crazies even crazier.

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