According to Sam Dogen of the Financial Samurai blog, $350,000 salary is barely enough for a family to live comfortably in coastal cities like New York and San Francisco.
In response to the audacious claim, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez called B.S.
The 29-year-old congresswoman and champion for the working class took to Twitter and shot Dogen down.
"Struggling" with what? Math?"
“Struggling” 🤣 with what? Math? https://t.co/oDMet9QtNE— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez)1569894053.0
Dogen wrote in a CNBC post:
"You can certainly live a middle-class lifestyle earning less, but it won't be easy if your goal is to raise a family, save for your children's education, save for your own home and save for retirement (so you can actually retire by a reasonable age)."
He outlined a budget of expenses based on a family of four in a graph shared by MarketWatch.
$350,000... and STILL struggling https://t.co/Q5XEM96D12 https://t.co/XZaWiXIP7p— MarketWatch (@MarketWatch)1569780253.0
Here is a better look at Dogen's illustration of the expenses to which he claimed were vetted by Financial Samurai readers who raise their families in cities like New York, Los Angeles, Boston and San Francisco.
Dogen added that in addition to accounting for unexpected expenses and monthly bills, the couple would have to continue working past their retirement age because they are not building an
after-tax investment portfolio.
"Unfortunately, despite making $350,000 a year, this couple will be unable to retire before 60 because they aren't building an after-tax investment portfolio to generate passive income."
"In order for this couple to achieve financial independence, they need to accumulate a net worth equal to at least 25 times their annual expenses — or 20 times their annual gross income."
He said it would behoove couples wanting to hit their FIRE goal (financial independence, retire early) and living comfortably to move to more affordable areas, eating at home more often, and limiting vacation plans.
Many joined AOC's swipe at Dogen's laughable assertion that $350,000 is a paltry sum for a family to survive on and agreed that the term, "struggling," does not apply here.
@AOC Struggling? From what I can see, after 30 years of that, they’ll have grown kids - college paid for - a home t… https://t.co/fQBPYyOc2F— Rob Anderson for Louisiana (@Rob Anderson for Louisiana)1569894849.0
@AOC What’s the struggle here? Three weeks of vacation? Entertainment? $70 a DAY on food?— Denny Utter (@Denny Utter)1569894246.0
@AOC Their annual SAVINGS rate (50k per year) would be close to median income nationally. These guys aren't struggling with a damn thing.— Kris Srinivasan (@Kris Srinivasan)1569895017.0
@AOC Typical first world problem... biting off more than one can chew.— Angela Belcamino (@Angela Belcamino)1569894276.0
The luxury of having options isn't available to everyone.
@steveglines @minytrash @James_Giesea @NativeNYer4ever @RobAnderson2018 @AOC When I do go out to eat I really "stru… https://t.co/9fKQKUJkXx— Rexus (@Rexus)1569947605.0
@AOC “Toyota Highlander not Range Rover” how can people be allowed to suffer like this— kevin dork (@kevin dork)1569894413.0
@PapaCoke @AOC And one of the three vacations they have to sacrifice and spend it home! The horror! Can someone r… https://t.co/hh5qKPJnkT— Choko G (@Choko G)1569895591.0
What are the spending habits of these "struggling" couples?
Inquiring minds want to know.
@kt_g1 @summerbrees84 @boblapham @dennyutter @AOC Who spends 400$ a MONTH on clothes? Like is your house filled wit… https://t.co/ysMunoco4a— leighanne (@leighanne)1569937978.0
@heymsbriggs little Brayleigh needs her caviar applesauce with her afternoon tea or she'll have a fit— Lohboh, 19, never learned how to read (@Lohboh, 19, never learned how to read)1569895446.0
@cmclymer @AOC Not a parent--but why does a pre-school cost $2000 a month? That seems like a LOT.— Cheryl Corgi (@Cheryl Corgi)1569894701.0
@AOC having a permanent forever baby is hard— raandy (@raandy)1569894497.0
The U.S. Census Bureau states that the median household family income is $57,782, with San Francisco and New York City showing income at $96,265 and $79,781, respectively.
Does an income of $350,000 being classified as families that are "struggling" to live add up for you?
The book How to Make a Budget Work For You: A 31 Day Guide to creating a personal budget that fits your lifestyle, income and finances is available here. Sorry, don't spend $400 every month at Old Navy is probably not part of the advice.
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