This might sound crazy, but when you see all those “Occupy Wall-Street” demonstrations and other copy-cat protests on the News demanding equality against the privileged “1%”, there’s a good chance they might be talking about you!
Okay, maybe not YOU directly. But it might surprise you to find out how close to the top 1% percentile you really are! Here’s how:
Find Out Where You Rank:
The New York Times recently released a great, interactive article entitled “What Percent Are You?” where you can type in your household income and see what percentile you rank in across the entire United States. Not only does it display your overall average percent, but it also displays a map of the country showing how you compare in several major cities. To take this one step further, you can move your mouse anywhere on the map and see where your income ranks you relative to that region. The results may surprise you!
One of the default cities highlighted on the map is my hometown.
Better Than I Thought:
Even without playing around with the map, I was surprised by the income brackets on the far left which state what the minimum average requirements. To be in the top 25% only takes $89,125? The top 10% is only $140,001?
Perhaps this may be a naïve, but I guess we always think of the top 1% as being movie stars, athletes, or Wall Street executives. We always picture them as earning 7 figures or better. As it turns out, this is not true at all. And depending upon what part of the country you live in, the price to join the top 1% or even the top 10% may be even lower than in the rest of the US.
So what does this teach me? Well for one thing, it puts things in perspective. Perhaps maybe I really am “rich”. Perhaps my quality of life exceeds that of a great deal of other people, and I should appreciate this fact. Maybe I need to start giving away more to charity.
Perhaps my job pays pretty well. Maybe I don’t need to make $500,000 per year to be happy. Maybe I’m doing better than I thought.
One of the most interesting books I’ve read about the psychology of personal finance was a book “Stop Acting Rich: …And Start Living Like A Real Millionaire” by Dr. Thomas J. Stanley where he suggests that a great deal of people who pretend to be rich simply do not have the means to keep up the charade.
Stanley reasons that these people are trying to emulate what he calls the “glittering rich”, which are those who are wealthy beyond belief and whom we could probably never realistically aspire to be. Stanley demonstrates through numerous examples how true millionaires (the non-glittering type) are quite frugal and rarely never spend more than they have to for certain items of perceived wealth like homes, cars, clothes, wine, etc.
So what percentile did you rank in? Were you surprised by the results – either higher or lower than you thought? Please feel free to share!
Photo Credit: The New York Times