Home>Financial Articles and Q&A>Articles>You’ve heard of the “1 percenters” – ...

You’ve heard of the “1 percenters” – what percenter are you?


<section class="entry" style="color: #555555; font-variant-numeric: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-stretch: normal; font-size: 16px; line-height: 1.5em; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; background-color: #f1f1f1;">

You can get a sense of what “percenter” you are through a handy site that summarizes income or wealth (and other stuff too) called Shnugi. The numbers are based off of the results of the Survey of Consumer Finances by the Federal Reserve.

 

There are two measures that people often confuse being similar. Income and Wealth … they’re not the same. High income would NOT necessarily translate to someone who is wealthy if they spend it all. That would be a high spender. Wealthy would not necessarily translate into high income if they don’t spend it. For retirement, a balance needs to be struck between saving enough while working (human capital) to sustain your current (or target) standard of living via financial capital.

 

A reminder about percentiles … the 50th percentile, or 50 percenters in the context here, is the group at the peak of the graph above, where half the group is below, and half the group is above.

In the context of Shnugi …  90% or 90th percentile would suggest that 90% of the population measure lies below the given value.

Rather than go into great explanation here, instead I will simply refer you to two main categories and you can explore them both directly on Shnugi.

Please click on the links for each calculator to go directly to the calculator page.

 

INCOME BY AGE PERCENTILE RANK CALCULATOR options:

  1. Customized by different age ranges
  2. Customized by different age ranges AND income
  3. Common age range searches (if you don’t customize the search)
  4. Common income searches (if you don’t customize the search)

 

Bonus Income insights (States ranked by the values on the right side of the graph):

Courtesy of: Visual Capitalist

 

NET WORTH BY AGE PERCENTILE RANK CALCULATOR options:

  1. Customized by different age ranges
  2. Customized by different age ranges AND income
  3. Common age range searches (if you don’t customize the search)
  4. Common income searches (if you don’t customize the search)

 

Bonus

RETIREMENT SAVINGS BY AGE PERCENTILE RANK CALCULATOR [USA]options:

  • Customized by different age ranges AND savings
  • Common age range searches (if you don’t customize the search)
  • Common income searches (if you don’t customize the search)

 

Okay – so now you know the above. Here’s an interesting article “How Do You Know When You’re in the Upper Middle Class?” by Kaitlin Mulhere, that discusses the difficulty of defining what Middle Class even is! So my take is, that even knowing where you stand doesn’t tell you how you’re doing! The Moral of the Story below explains WHY knowing the above doesn’t even matter as a measure of how you’re doing.

</section>

 

Now … The Moral of the Story

Although the above may be interesting, and how people think they should measure their progress … by looking at how everyone else is doing … BUT …

” ‘The majority of the American public is driving off a cliff financially.’ says Mr. Fellowes. ‘They’re just driving at different speeds.’ ” This sentiment reflects many studies that most people are simply not doing enough for their retirement, let alone other goals. (segment from Should You Keep Up with the Joneses?)

This means trying to compare yourself to others financially sets the bar way too low!

Another problem is succumbing to peer pressure. This is kind of like the high school approach to planning where you try to fit in without having any perspective at all on how you may be different … and that different is okay.

 

A better approach than comparing yourself to others?

How about actually determining your own specific situation and customizing your financial plan to YOU? Once you have done this … it is liberating because you have your own benchmarks and don’t need to know how anybody else is doing. What they’re doing doesn’t matter anymore since what you are doing does.

In other words, forget about how everybody else is doing! Simply determine what you need to do to reach your own specific and unique goals. Once you do this you’ll find the application of the approach liberating from external measures that don’t matter.

Upvote (1)
Comment   |  2 months, 1 week ago from Roseville, CA