How rich is enough?

Fun with supply and demand.
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How rich is enough?

Postby Lance Kennedy » Mon May 16, 2016 3:45 am

When I read that the 67 richest people on Earth have, between them, the same total wealth as the poorest 50% (ie. 3,500,000,000 people), I thought "why do they not give most of it away?"

Everyone wants to be rich. I would like more, and so would almost everyone else. But how much money is sufficient? Tell me your conclusion.

My own view is that the most greedy should be satisfied with $US 100 million. With that much money invested, even at 5% return, you would get $US 100,000 per week. That should be sufficient for anyone! You can travel widely, always flying first class and staying at luxury hotels. You can buy all the toys anyone would need.

Sure, $US 100 million would not be sufficient for a corporate jet, or for a collection of 50 Lamberghinis. But what the hey!

How many people think the mega rich should give away their wealth to the poor, except for $ 100 million?

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Re: How rich is enough?

Postby Matthew Ellard » Mon May 16, 2016 4:22 am

Lance Kennedy wrote: But how much money is sufficient? Tell me your conclusion.
I decided when I was in my mid 20s to work like buggery so as to reach a certain level of self funded superannuation for the rest of my life. As residential rental income is sort of automatically CPI indexed, I bought residential investment properties and lived in the smallest house. However, Amanda and I live a fairly frugal lifestyle, with a second hand car, economy air tickets and no conspicuous consumerism....but absolutely no debt

However, the most unhappy people I meet are the "slightly rich" people who are trying to keep up with the "averagely rich" people, who are trying to compete with the "filthy rich" people. Conspicuous consumerism is an open ended game, that has no winners, apart from banks collecting interest on late paid credit cards.

I get a sense of satisfaction turning up at a meeting in a second hand car, while everyone else turns up in leased Mercedes and Jaguars. They all tell me about their money problems. I don't have those problems. I sleep soundly every night.
. :D

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Re: How rich is enough?

Postby Lance Kennedy » Mon May 16, 2016 4:47 am

That makes you special, Matthew, since most people never believe they have enough.

I do not have a problem with people working hard and making a good and comfortable life for themselves. But the truth is that very few people are content with what they have and want more. So I am interested in knowing what people think is enough.

If you had won some obscenely rich lottery, and planned to give away a chunk of your easy gains, how much would you want to be left over to give you the life you want?

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Re: How rich is enough?

Postby Matthew Ellard » Mon May 16, 2016 5:06 am

Lance Kennedy wrote:If you had won some obscenely rich lottery, and planned to give away a chunk of your easy gains, how much would you want to be left over to give you the life you want?
Roughly 7 million in passive assets with an average 5% return, with no capital loss.

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Re: How rich is enough?

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Mon May 16, 2016 5:15 am

How much is enough? I learned it doesn't take much: on vacation, bargained too hard and found myself without a room for the night and all hotels closed. Spent the wet foggy night standing under a tree. OH HOW I YEARNED FOR.... a cardboard box. Later, same trip, I missed the last bus and had to walk 15 miles back to town........OH HOW I YEARNED FOR...anything with wheels.

Point being 90% of what you want is "any" shelter at all compared to none. Any transporation compared to None. I had a 4000 sq foot home, now about 1000--I still use the same 10 square feet at my desk in front of the TV. I had a Jaguar and really liked the ride. Now I have an old toyota...a pleasure to drive and not walk.

Further point: "rich" is having your needs taken care of without any real worry about the future: IE--a real social safety net. With that, a normal hooman being that should be tended to by society really doesn't need more than...................$100K/year.

Beyond the personal though............allow a few to be so rich over the many totally CORRUPTS SOCIETY. They make decisions based on getting another MM rather than what is good for the company, the employees, the Country: whatever. And we encourage such self destructive behavior. Destructive to those so engaged and to society in general. "STRIVING" to be richer than we need provides an empty life.

Just look.
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Re: How rich is enough?

Postby Lance Kennedy » Mon May 16, 2016 5:20 am

Bobbo

What do you think drives those ultra rich people, who constantly strive to get even richer?

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Re: How rich is enough?

Postby Gord » Mon May 16, 2016 7:13 am

I don't want more, I want less. I just can't afford to get rid of it, that's all.
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Re: How rich is enough?

Postby TJrandom » Mon May 16, 2016 10:00 am

We haven`t had a single `yen` of debt for well over 20 years. I always saved 50% or more – at times living frugally to do so. We never made large ticket purchases of anything new if we could find it used and cheap.

How much is enough? I answered this for myself using a spreadsheet. Term – age at time of death of longest living relative (98) plus 10 years. Inflation at 7%. Doubled expenses as I age (at 80) for increased health care costs and then tripled (at 90) for possible maintenance costs. Our average monthly spend was taken from actuals, plus 2 months extra expenses per year for travel, etc. We now spend about US$3,000/month all in, and could easily get by on $2,000.

I ran the simulation once without public pension, and then again with the pension income added in. Turned out that we don`t need the pension and can even pay for college for our grandchildren if we are still alive – and if not, then inheritance will do it for us.

Several million is enough.

Why do the super-rich want more? Their lifestyles are vastly more costly, plus IMO, they are just greedy.

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Re: How rich is enough?

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Mon May 16, 2016 3:23 pm

Lance Kennedy wrote:Bobbo

What do you think drives those ultra rich people, who constantly strive to get even richer?

I'm watching Dr Phil right now about Hubby who propositioned his daughter for sex. For some reason, Wifey is upset about this. Lots of talk about how "Its not sex" but rather all the reasons you can imagine being "transformed" into a sex drive. I see the Ultra Rich as the same beast with a different monkey. "Whatever we can all imagine"....its been transformed into a drive for money.

I have often lamented that I have never been interested in money...........so, its no surprise to me that I don't have much. Enough...as I have adapted my life style to my income...which I have "transformed" into a hobby: living as cheaply as I can. What switch could be thrown to have all the same drives transformed into making as much $$ as I could?

Whats MORE VALUABLE to you? The time to make another 1000 or to read a good book? I've always read the book. Few ultra rich have hobbies beyond making the money.... maybe spending it....but they don't even know what to do with it: Give it to Bill Gates? Ha, ha.

Without dissing all the other motives, I've always thought the old joke of "He who dies with the most stuff....wins" or its the way you keep score and there is always someone else to beat or its a way to attract women are all worthy in their own right. Like my hobby, I think it can be fun in its own right...making the tax rate thereafter almost irrelevant.

Lots of issue to go more than a few layers deep on. Most don't.
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Re: How rich is enough?

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Mon May 16, 2016 3:38 pm

"Travel broadens ones appreciation." ((If you are conscious at the time.))

This thread reminds me of a trip to Mexico City. First night wifey and I dined at IHOP as it was the only place open. We sat at our booth with a window pane between us and the sidewalk life going on. People living in..............cardboard boxes...... and begging for food. With my night under the tree still in mind, nonetheless the "GRINDING POVERTY" made us feel bad for the locals.

Later on a bus tour to the City of the Sun, we sat next to a consulate officer from Sweden. I related to him my first night experience and how bad we felt. Somewhat shocked when the consultate said he was surprise how rich everyone was. His prior station had included some places in Africa where: "The people are too poor to have cardboard boxes and they are too weak to beg for food." Ha, ha. That kind of stopped me a bit: everything is relative.

My views of wealth vs necessities vs a good life vs a considered value syste vs the individual vs society. Over time, they all have become pretty consistent. At odds with most people, but at least consistent. As much disagreement at the low end as at the high. Its the high end with all the power though. Most people too stuck on automatic, accepting what is perceived as the given.

VOTE BERNIE!!!!!!!!!
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Re: How rich is enough?

Postby Lance Kennedy » Mon May 16, 2016 8:07 pm

To Bobbo

I have never been to Mexico, but several years ago, I went to the Philippines. That country is terribly poor, after 100 years of government by the most corrupt people you could ever imagine, and being hammered by hurricane after hurricane. I was enormously impressed, though, by the attitude of the Filipino people. While there were a few beggars, they were very few. Most of the poor were too busy figuring out ways to earn money. We were approached by a number of people wanting our money, but they were all offering goods or services in exchange. Needless to say, I donated quite a lot of money to help them, when I found a reputable charity.

But if you have a person who owns tens or hundreds of billions, and concentrates on making more, what sort of person is that?

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Re: How rich is enough?

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Mon May 16, 2016 11:55 pm

Lance Kennedy wrote:To Bobbo

But if you have a person who owns tens or hundreds of billions, and concentrates on making more, what sort of person is that?

Re read the above. It will sink in eventually, but by and large a person that is looked up to and honored by most people.

More relevant to the discussion is why have most societies most of the time organized themselves so that this is the outcome? You have the silly masses actually voting tax cuts for the already too rich to be funded by cuts in social services. Because FREEDOM.

People are downright head up their asses stupid.....................In so many ways.

I'm on the edge of breaking my hobby. Gonna buy a 4K TV and use it as my main computer monitor. My lazy attitude is that it is too much money (actually only $237 at https://www.groupon.com/deals/gg-seiki- ... source=GPN and at New Egg off special for $40 more). My hobby is living cheap but my daily activity is surfing the net and the tube. Every computer/monitor upgrade I have ever made has brought me joy.

this will involve a software upgrade for the tv which unsettles me as i did brick a bios once AND actually==>an entirely new computer I can build for about $500. The monitor has been around on sale for a month or so...but I really would be forcing the new computer by getting the monitor. I could wait....then might have to spend a few hundred more if the monitor goes away?

Ahhhhh.....the burden of making choices.
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Re: How rich is enough?

Postby TJrandom » Tue May 17, 2016 12:15 am

Lance Kennedy wrote: ... But if you have a person who owns tens or hundreds of billions, and concentrates on making more, what sort of person is that?


IMO - that is a quite normal person - doing today, what they did yesterday, and most probably have a steady income stream even if they simply sit back and do nothing.

What intrigues me is why people complain about the `death tax` - since they aren`t going to benefit from their wealth after they die. The masses should support confiscatory inheritance taxes and a cap on how much a person can inherit. (Say progressively up to 75% on $5 million, with a cap of $2 or 3 million.) But they don`t.

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Re: How rich is enough?

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Tue May 17, 2016 12:42 am

TJrandom wrote:What intrigues me is why people complain about the `death tax` - since they aren`t going to benefit from their wealth after they die.

Isn't that pretty straight forward? What I hear is that Rich people selflessly work in order to provide for their children and the death tax is double or triple taxation. Thats what I've heard. It flows from the notion that all taxation is theft, the gubment doesn't need funding because the free market can do it all, and the stupidity of the masses doing that and worst on the unthinking hope that one day they will be in a position to hate having to pay such taxes....or...hate being denied giving that $$ to their kiddies. Even if they have no kiddies and have no job.

You know....its the principle of the thing.
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Re: How rich is enough?

Postby Lance Kennedy » Tue May 17, 2016 12:53 am

The people who mostly complain about death taxes are the people who would like to inherit.

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Re: How rich is enough?

Postby TJrandom » Tue May 17, 2016 12:59 am

Lance Kennedy wrote:The people who mostly complain about death taxes are the people who would like to inherit.


Not necessarily true. I know a married man in the US who complains bitterly, and his only direct heir would be his wife. He just doesn`t want the government to get any of his hard earned wealth – even after he dies.

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Re: How rich is enough?

Postby Lance Kennedy » Tue May 17, 2016 2:42 am

My advice to that grouchy old bastard would be to spend what he can and give the rest to charity so that the greedy gubmint gets nothin'.

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Re: How rich is enough?

Postby Matthew Ellard » Tue May 17, 2016 2:53 am

Lance Kennedy wrote:My advice to that grouchy old bastard would be to spend what he can and give the rest to charity so that the greedy gubmint gets nothin'.


My will is clear. If I die after Amanda and have no children, half of my assets and money goes to the Cat Protection Society and the rest to her relatives.

I have lived with five or six cats from that shelter. It's family. It is part of whom, I see myself as.

I lie down on the floor, on my back and wait to get adopted by one of the pusses.

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Re: How rich is enough?

Postby zeuzzz » Mon May 23, 2016 6:44 pm

Not being rich at all is enough. As long as you have water, food, shelter and friends you will be fine. And probably happier than most rich people. Who tend to know the price of everything, but the value of nothing.
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Re: How rich is enough?

Postby Poodle » Mon May 23, 2016 7:40 pm

I once thought long and hard about this, given that the UK lottery gives silly amounts of money away from time to time. But there must be rules ...

You can have what you want but you can only have one of anything. So - the car you really want, but not a fleet of them. The house you want but only the one. And so on. It's a doddle to get rid of the first million or three, but then you start to run into problems - what more is there I can want? I had a lot of imaginary change out of of my imaginary £50 million.

Maybe I'm just a small thinker.

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Re: How rich is enough?

Postby Lance Kennedy » Mon May 23, 2016 8:58 pm

There was an interview with John Key, the prime minister of NZ. He is independently rich, with about $50 million. He gives his prime ministerial salary to charity.

HE was asked what it was he found best about being rich. His reply was that it was not having to worry. If the car broke down, the cost of repair was not a worry. Normal unexpected costs he could laugh at.

I think that is a very sane and sensible attitude. He is clearly satisfied with his $ 50 million. He feels no need to add to it.

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Re: How rich is enough?

Postby fromthehills » Tue May 24, 2016 12:08 am

Hmm.... I don't worry much. If my car breaks down, it's fine. But, in the States, at least, even with forced medical insurance, one may find themselves destitute rather quickly if they become sick. And I'm not at the 7mil mark. Maybe 1 mil in assets, not near that liquid. But I don't have bills. I still drive the 04 Dodge for trips and hauling. And the 83 Toyota pick up for local stuff. I'm pretty happy. I do have plenty, no doubt.

But I have to work legal voodoo in order to keep the vultures out of my {!#%@} if my circumstances change.

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Re: How rich is enough?

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Tue May 24, 2016 3:18 am

Lance Kennedy wrote:There was an interview with John Key, the prime minister of NZ. He is independently rich, with about $50 million. He gives his prime ministerial salary to charity.

HE was asked what it was he found best about being rich. His reply was that it was not having to worry. If the car broke down, the cost of repair was not a worry. Normal unexpected costs he could laugh at.

I think that is a very sane and sensible attitude. He is clearly satisfied with his $ 50 million. He feels no need to add to it.

Dear Old Dad told me the same thing: "It doesn't change the big issues, but the small irritants are taken away." /// I thought of this a while back running a bit late and needing to get to the airport. My "living cheap" hobby would dictate I take the public bus, but that would have been cutting it too close to missing the flight. So..........actually having the money........I splurged and took a taxi all the way.'

Felt great. I still very consciously try to remember to "enjoy" when I do splurge on something enjoyable--like the 4K UHD as my main monitor. Great joy regardless of how much money I have............and I didn't have to make 50MM to get to this point.

How rich is enough?==> FOR ALL THE BASICS whether provided by genereal taxation or by private purchase. There after, very little is needed but a little perk now and then makes it sweet.......I'm still back at around 100K/year under full taxation WITH gubment benefits to match.
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Re: How rich is enough?

Postby Lance Kennedy » Tue May 24, 2016 3:42 am

To get $100,000 per year of what an investment advisor at a lecture called "permanent income" (meaning it is from investments, not salary, so you cannot lose it by being sacked), you would need about $3 million in property investments returning 5% per annum in rent, after subtracting expenses and tax. I use property investments as the standard, since property, if you use good judgement on what you buy, will appreciate in value at least level with inflation..

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Re: How rich is enough?

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Tue May 24, 2016 7:37 am

Hmmmm....seems to me a 100K income stream from real property would be totally tax free after standard deductions?---or is that netted out??

My only point: people are rich enough well before the millions and billions our society squanders in such manner. Rich enough whether they agree or not. Rich enough whether the wanna-bes who vote such provisions in agree or not.

Instead of functionally working for the betterment of the whole, we turn everything into a competitive knife fight and call it Freedom.
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Re: How rich is enough?

Postby Lance Kennedy » Tue May 24, 2016 7:56 am

Bobbo

I totally agree with you on the 'rich enough' bit. Why any one needs billions is just crazy.

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Re: How rich is enough?

Postby Matthew Ellard » Tue May 24, 2016 8:35 am

bobbo_the_Pragmatist wrote:Hmmmm....seems to me a 100K income stream from real property would be totally tax free after standard deductions?---or is that netted out?


Ordinary income from real property is taxable in the USA. In Australia, I can negative gear a investment property. That means I can borrow $500,000 to buy an investment property and deduct the interest from the rental income.

Cost of Investment Property = $500,000
Matthew borrows $500,000 from a bank.

Each year
Rental income = $26,000
Less interest on loan at 5% = ($25,000)
Less maintenance & depreciation of fixtures = ($1,000)
Assessable income = $0

However I need to pay back $500,000 in capital ( as well as interest) to the bank which is not deductible. Therefore the real calculation is how much the investment property appreciates in value, as the $500,000 loan capital depreciates in value due to inflation.

If I buy the investment property for $500,000 and sell it for $600,000 I have to pay capital gains tax on the profit, which in Australia is reduced by 50% and then added as ordinary income to my normal personal assessable income from work. There is no capital gains tax on the house you live in, if you sell it, but you cannot claim any interest deduction)

Negative Geared Share portfolios
If you want to go bankrupt overnight, try negative gearing a share portfolio. Houses generally go up in value. Share value goes all over the shop.

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Re: How rich is enough?

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Tue May 24, 2016 11:25 pm

I owned rental property. Had tax savings at the end. Brought on a "rich" partner so he could profit at his marginal rate. He gave me pennies on the dollar.....better than nothing.

Matt: from memory only, just a lazy thought....you seemed "humble" in only requiring a few million in your estate to make life comfortable for your kiddies. In that analysis, were you thinking you had to provide for all your "social needs" that in a sane society would be taken care of thru tax and social policies?? An inartful and vague question. I know the answer even if you disgree. You have evidence too curious a mind to be trapped in egomanical money considerations...........or.......your mania is far deeper than most.

Most successful businessmen "as business men" that I have met have been dullards. Rich people made rich by following their dreams....all fascinating and wonderful.

Life is like that.

EDIT: kiddies---meant kittens. Its muscle memory I tells ya!!
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Re: How rich is enough?

Postby Matthew Ellard » Wed May 25, 2016 2:39 am

bobbo_the_Pragmatist wrote: In that analysis, were you thinking you had to provide for all your "social needs" that in a sane society would be taken care of thru tax and social policies?
No. I started off as an archaeologist, which pays no money, and decided to work for thirty years, make an amount of money to live on, and then return to archaeology. It just didn't go as planned.

Social security is a very good thing and I have no problem paying my full tax for social security, for those in need. However I simply spend more money than I would receive through a state pension.

bobbo_the_Pragmatist wrote: Most successful businessmen "as business men" that I have met have been dullards.
In mid level management people are pretty dull. When you meet the teams, who actually run big companies, you start meeting odd people with no defined job, who "do their own thing", who form something like a medieval court, that the CEO bounces questions off. It is not a team dynamic that can be set down on paper.


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