How Much?

This afternoon, we were talking about money, which is not my favorite topic, since I hate to have to confront evidence of my own foolishness, and I was saying that, back in college, we sat around one evening talking about how much money we think we’d have to pull in annually to feel secure–not necessarily wealthy, but that we could provide for all our needs, not be in debt (except maybe a car payment and a house payment), and life a life not extravagant but pleasant.  What would it take for you to feel like you could be set for life?

When I was 21, I said $100,000 a year.

I think it’s obvious that I have an English degree, because twelve years later, I still think $100,000 would do me.

If I made $100,000 a year, I would feel financially comfortable and secure.

6 thoughts on “How Much?

  1. i’d feel secure with a hundred grand, too, and i’ve got a computer degree.

    heck, with a hundred grand a year, my mortgage could likely be cut in half. i could have it paid off before i need to find a retirement home for myself…

  2. It’s been my experience that expenses magically expand to match income.

    When The Boyfriend™ and my collective income was oh about $35,000 a year, we felt a little tight at times but pretty happy with where we were. Now that our income is closer to the $65,000 a year mark, we feel… …a little tight at times but pretty happy with where we are.

  3. I shouldn’t even comment on this, in that B totally stole my thread. (can I copyright in advance?)

    Sure, Dolphin, that is most people’s experience. But I worry that young people (thats under 40) don’t seem to grasp that there will indeed come a time when your energy level decreases and therefore so does your capacity to earn. It’s tough to know how much savings is necessary to retire in any kind of comfort, and I find myself preparing for a reduction in lifestyle, and part of me embraces that. I long ago decided to exit the income highway and learn to make do on what I already had. Anyway, 100k for a young single person is very good money, but careless stewardship could mean actually having less for retirement than someone who earned half as much, but was wise about managing money.

  4. And here I thought I had champagne tastes. I’d feel comfortable for current expenses with $60,000 or $65,000 a year (household), and fancy with $75,000. And, I guess, happy for another $10,000 to sock into IRAs. But thanks to having made more money in the past than we do now, we’re in pretty good shape for retirement, between Social Security, investments, and whatnot. $100,000 seems like a lot.

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