Monday Night Finance- Volume 97

Monday Night Finace Featured Image

How Much Income Do You Need to Be Rich? [2022 Latest Data]

Do you consider yourself rich? What about your neighbor? While we all may have different definitions of what it takes to become rich, objectively speaking, there must be some people who are considered rich. Since most people mainly interact with those of a common social class on most days, we may not encounter truly rich or truly poor individuals in our daily lives. Furthermore, we often perceive wealth in relative terms, such as ‘richer than I am.’ If you want to know what it takes to be truly rich, this article by Nick Maggiulli provides a detailed analysis using the latest data from the 2022 Survey of Consumer Finances, exploring the various factors that define wealth, including age, education level, and location.

The answer to this question is highly subjective and dependent on individual factors such as your age, your education level, and where you live. For example, someone making $100,000 a year might be considered rich if they are 18 years old, but not if they are 50

~Nick Maggiulli, Of Dollars and Data

The article by Nick Maggiulli explores the subjective nature of wealth and provides data to help readers assess their own financial status. However, it is important to note that the article looks at income levels by age and not wealth or net worth. When I think of rich people, I think of people who don’t need to worry about money. In actuality, many high income earners live paycheck-to-paycheck to fuel their lifestyle. Leaving the discussion of wealth vs. income aside, Maggiulli uses the 2022 Survey of Consumer Finances to outline the top 10%, 5%, and 1% of household incomes in the U.S., with the top 1% being at least $1,199,812. The article breaks down these income levels by age and education, illustrating that wealth accumulates in mid-career and decreases in retirement, and that education significantly boosts income. Maggiulli also challenges the notion that location heavily influences wealth, arguing that while cost of living varies, this doesn’t necessarily correlate with wealth. Ultimately, the author concludes that wealth is more of a feeling than a number, as it depends on personal expectations and desires.

Can Money Buy Happiness?

Would you rather be happy, or be rich? While I’m sure you’d probably want to be both, I’m guessing you’d choose to be happy if you had to choose one. Or perhaps you think that if you were rich, you’d clearly be happy. But is that true? Many people believe there is a direct correlation between wealth and happiness, but the relationship is actually more complex than that. If you are looking for a quick summary of the research, you might want to check out this article from Marjolein Dilven of The Radical Fire. She dives deep into this topic, exploring how money impacts our overall well-being and satisfaction with life.

There are a ton of studies done on the relationship between money and happiness. There are many different things that influence the relationship between the two. 

Things that bring you happiness are hard to quantify into money. When you think about a warm summer afternoon with your friends or a lovely day with your partner, it’s hard to express that in terms of money. 

~Marjolein Dilven, Radical FIRE

This article by Marjolein Dilven explores the complex relationship between wealth and well-being. Dilven reviews various studies and expert opinions to unpack the concept that while money can indeed contribute to happiness by fulfilling basic needs and providing security, it is not a direct pathway to contentment. For example, if you think back to some of your happiest memories as a child, they probably involved carefree experiences with your family or friends. On the other hand, if you do not have enough money to buy groceries, getting money to buy food will definitely make you happier. The article emphasizes the importance of how money is spent, with experiences and meaningful purchases often bringing more joy than material goods. Additionally, the author discusses the significance of financial independence and the freedom it brings, which can significantly enhance one’s life satisfaction. If you’ve been thinking about whether money can truly buy happiness, you may enjoy the insights from this article.

Partial Roth Conversions

Do you contribute to a retirement plan? Do you know if it is a Roth or Traditional type of plan? And when was the last time you thought about if your strategy of Roth vs. Traditional is still right for your tax situation? Since your income and tax situation change over time, it’s good to stay on top of these decisions. However, if you’re sitting on a large amount of money in a traditional IRA or 401(k), all hope is not lost. There are strategies you can employ to optimize your tax situation and make the most of your retirement savings. One such strategy is the partial Roth IRA conversion, a topic that is thoroughly explored in this article by David Graham of

Let’s review partial Roth IRA Conversions. They are done by rolling over pre-tax funds from a retirement account into Roth accounts, thus paying taxes at your marginal rate the year of conversion. Partial Roth conversions optimize tax diversification to control future income, taxes, and surcharges.

~David Graham, FiPhysician

The article discusses the benefits and process of partial Roth IRA conversions, a financial strategy where one converts a portion of their traditional IRA into a Roth IRA. This method can help manage tax liability by taking advantage of lower tax brackets in particular years. The author outlines the importance of understanding your current tax bracket, expected future income, and overall financial plan when considering a partial Roth conversion. Furthermore, the article provides detailed examples to illustrate the potential tax savings and highlights the importance of consulting with a financial advisor to tailor this strategy to individual circumstances. Overall, partial Roth conversions can be a valuable tool for optimizing tax efficiency and maximizing retirement savings.