Lion of the Blogosphere

How much money do you need to be rich?

I answered this question before, and I agree with the answer.

The answer means that Steve Bannon qualifies as rich because he’s said to be worth $10 million, and my previous answer was the rich begins at a net worth of around $7.5 million.

You may wonder how much a three bedroom coop in Manhattan plus a summer home in the Hamptons costs? Let’s say $2 million for the coop and $1 million for the summer home. With a net worth of $7.5 million, that leaves $4.5 million left over to pay for private school education for your children, two international vacations per year, maintenance on the coop and the house, and a car (plus $600/month for parking in Manhattan) to drive from your coop out to the Hamptons.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

March 25, 2017 at 10:11 am

Posted in Wealth

46 Responses

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  1. There are 3 main types of residents in the enchanted isle known as Manhattan.

    1) Wealthy White Gentiles, Wealthy Jews and a few Asiatic types from West to East Asia.

    2) White Gentile strivers and few Jewish types (the typical suburban-transplant who pays an arm and a leg to live in the greatest city in the world)

    3) Jews, Chinese, Hispanics, and a few White proles, who live on the gov’t dime.

    #1 is the status quo, #2 wants to be #1 and #3 is #1 without the Hamptons and the summer home.

    And I forgot to mention blacks who are a dying demographic, but are ubiquitous #1 as commuters, and are needed by #1 for certain types of menial work.


    March 25, 2017 at 10:53 am

    • * but are ubiquitous #1 as commuters…


      March 25, 2017 at 10:54 am

    • needed by #1 for certain types of menial work.

      That doesn’t seem right. They absolutely lend a certain kind of cultural cachet, but I don’t see how they’re needed for menial work.


      March 25, 2017 at 1:16 pm

      • And many #2s resent #3s, because they live in Manhattan for free. #2s are dumb chumps.

        It goes to show you that many White Americans have stockholm syndrome and criticize the socialized economies of Western Europe. Meanwhile they are envious of anyone who lives a good life on gov’t money.


        March 25, 2017 at 8:11 pm

  2. Know of a Jewish couple who live in subsidized housing and they send their 2 kids to private schools.

    If you pay $800/month for a 2 bdrm apt in Chelsea, with a six-figure household income, most certainly, your children can mingle with the upper class kids from the Upper East Side.


    March 25, 2017 at 11:03 am

  3. Lion, i love you but you are out of touch. You can’t buy any three bedroom co op in manhattan for under two million


    March 25, 2017 at 11:17 am

  4. $7.5 million is the entry level threshold for one percent net worth, so I agree that it qualifies as “big city” rich. However, I would say that a net worth of $2 million qualifies as rich in flyover country. People that live in New York City cannot even fathom how far that kind of money can go in a place like central Pennnsylvania, North Dakota or Tennessee. At $2 million net worth in Red State America you can pay for a nice house in cash and comfortably live off of your investments for the rest of your life.


    March 25, 2017 at 12:00 pm

    • “$7.5 million is the entry level threshold for one percent net worth…”

      No. 100K is the top 1% in personal wealth, but 11% of US families have $1 MM in clear assets and growing thanks to the policies put in by libertarians (it was 1 in 300 when they began in 1971)… that’s not adjusting for the fact that you have trillions of equivalent assets from things like cell phones, PC’s etc.

      Don’t be confused by all the cherry-picking left propaganda. 40% of the people have little wealth because they’re basically what we used to call domestics, under 95 IQ’s that have trouble tying their shoelaces. They need to be sheltered in the homes of those above them in IQ. Instead left policy makes that hard and creates a broken welfare class.

      A small income, paid home/insurances and some dough in the bank and you’re quite well-off in the US and way ahead of the rest of the world.


      March 25, 2017 at 5:06 pm

      • I’m not sure where you are getting your info from but 2016 Fed data says top 1% income is $434,000/year or more and top 1% net worth is 7 million or more.

        Sorry but there is no way in hell that $100,000 a year is top 1% income.


        March 25, 2017 at 6:38 pm

  5. I’m re-printing this from the earlier post, to get it into the main body of the comments here, since it will be germane to the hundred or so comments that will probably follow:

    “n my opinion, rich should means that you can afford:

    3-bedroom apartment in Manhattan
    Private school education for two children, through graduate school
    Summer home in the Hamptons
    Extra money for two international vacations each year.

    And I think that list requires more then $5 million, but can be had for less than $10 million.”

    What generally happens on these threads is that people fall over themselves to point out that you don’t need that kind of wealth in flyover country.

    This is true, but if you live in flyover country, you will not be having a 3 bedroom apartment in Manhattan by definition, and the summer home in the Hamptons doesn’t make much sense. You may well do private schools, but even at the university level this is very much a New York/ New England thing.

    However, a better way of framing the discussion is whether you really want these four things or can do without them, and if there is something else you would spend the cash on instead. Because money is just a means to an end. Here the end is the Manhattan apartment, the summer home in the Hamptons, the private schools, and the two international vacation.

    Take my case personally. The summer home is easy, since I have had no desire for one, to the point where if one were given to me for free it would go on the market as soon as possible, so I could convert it into cash to spend on something I actually wanted. A winter home I would consider. I’ve been in plenty of summer homes as guests or when my parents rented places out, so I actually had some idea of what is involved. I’ve been in the Hamptons and its one of those places I would go to if you kidnapped me and brought me there.

    But if you really like the summer home thing, people in the Midwest have perfectly nice summer homes on Lake Michigan and the smaller lakes, at much lower costs, and the whole notion becomes ridiculous if you live in the sunbelt.

    We’ll move on to the apartment in Manhattan (I assume what is meant is below 96th Street). Again, I’ve lived in Manhattan and would on balance prefer not to, and I like cities. People who don’t like cities shouldn’t live in Manhattan. For people like me who like cities, its a bit difficult, especially finding places where you can get income, but its doable by living in a large city that is still smaller than New York. Note that people with money, who have to live in New York for business reasons, will often not live in Manhattan instead prefer brownstone Brooklyn, the Hudson Valley, or the nicer suburbs in New Jersey or Connecticut. Manhattan real estate is really a bank these days for people around the world to stash the money they have stolen from whatever kleptocracy they come from, and that is what is driving the prices.

    The private schools may be a necessity given the direction the American educational system is going, but elsewhere in the country, the “live in a good public school district/ good state college” strategy still works. And of course you can avoid the whole thing by not having children.

    I left the “two international vacations a year” but that is the strangest item on the list. I actually like travelling and could not imagine taking two international vacations a year just because of the sheer logistical effort that involves. Its safe to assume this also involves hiring a planner on your permanent household staff? Wouldn’t you run out of places to go at some point? Isn’t hard to take even one annual vacation if you have a permanent job these days?

    One thing I will grant that there are alot of places in the USA that are pretty dire places to live, but its far from “Manhattan or bust” yet. Wealthy people living in the New York City area tend to not live this way. Manhattan prices for everything have been inflated by hot money coming in from around the world, and the federal government’s policy of boosting prices for real estate, which really distorts the top of the market, and as long as this is still the case the place is really best avoided.


    March 25, 2017 at 12:49 pm

    • Does your 10 million net worth number mean that you still have to work? I don’t see how one could still live that kind of lifestyle in NYC just living off the income of 10 mil in investments. At 4% withdrawal rate that is only 400k a year. Don’t garbagemen in Manhattan make that kind of money nowadays?


      March 25, 2017 at 5:12 pm

      • This point and your point later on are both good.

        The paradox here is that if you have the sort of net worth Lion is talking about, you should be able to manage it so you don’t have to go to an office job ever again. To me, that is worth more than most other conceivable uses of the money.

        But the key to doing that is to keep annual expenses down, which rules out living in Manhattan or even New York City right away.

        The paradox is that the main reason to live in New York is to be able to work at a high paying job to boost your income. If you have enough wealth to avoid this, there is no reason to live in New York.

        I happen to like city living, but in this case you just find a city that the global elite hasn’t adopted. One thing that has changed about New York is that thirty years ago, you could still find neighborhoods here and there that weren’t taken over by the very rich or the very poor. That is not the case now, living in a middle class neighborhood and having an office job in Manhattan means a super-long commute.


        March 25, 2017 at 8:20 pm

    • In my opinion private schools are a necessity in any number of cities including D.C., Honolulu and Seattle.


      March 25, 2017 at 5:20 pm

  6. Just a little more…

    Jokah Macpherson

    March 25, 2017 at 2:26 pm

  7. Why frame the question in terms of one of the top ten most expensive metro regions in the world? It’s a bit silly.

    I’d say $3.5 million in relatively liquid assets is a fairer answer for an American if you’re not blinded by irrational devotion to NYC.


    March 25, 2017 at 2:36 pm

    • Exactly, adding the NYC bubble to the WDC bubble.


      March 25, 2017 at 4:45 pm

  8. To qualify as rich in Canada you have to have at least 10 million CAD in liquid assets. This from a news report from some years back.


    March 25, 2017 at 3:59 pm

  9. Some things are worth more than money, like the undying sense of satisfaction derived from being more open minded about gays, trannies, and NAMs than unwashed proles.

    Two in the Bush

    March 25, 2017 at 4:49 pm

  10. You left virtue signaling charitable contributions off your list.


    March 25, 2017 at 5:23 pm

  11. Lifelong private school education for the kids would put a large dent in that money. Figure 50K per year all in for each kid (tuition plus ancillary expenses like transportation, clothes, trips, and sports; though I may be overestimating private primary school tuition).

    16 years of education per kid.

    The prep K-12 school that I attended (as a prole kid on tuition assistance) was around 12k per year at the time, around 20 years ago. Now it’s 35-40k. I’m going to assume Manhattan schools are comfortably at at least 40k per year at the moment, if not more.


    March 25, 2017 at 5:25 pm

    • You are way off. Catholic schools are in the region of 6-12K$ per kid per year.

      St. Annes-Belfield is the Richie-rich private school in Charlottesville, VA (for example: John Grisham’s kids are supposed to go there). It costs 25K$ per year.

      Pembroke Hill is the Richie-rich private school in Kansas City. Its around 20K$ per year.

      A quick google of private schools in Los Angeles mentions Harvard-Westlake. Its 35K$, though fees bring it up to about 40K$.

      50K per kid per year is way too much, excepting perhaps top tier schools in New York City.


      March 26, 2017 at 12:06 pm

  12. How much would you need to buy off Judge Watson’s security detail?

    more bread

    March 25, 2017 at 5:34 pm

  13. I feel rich at about 1.5m. I can retire and have about $50,000 a year in passive lightly taxed income a year, and add social security on top of it later.

    NYC is a bad place to be on the fringes of being rich.


    March 25, 2017 at 5:36 pm

  14. This definition of rich (at net worth of $7.5 million plus) includes the private school requirement for children, which implies that this amount of wealth be obtained by parents in their mid to late thirties. That is a lot of money by that early stage in life. I would sincerely like to know how these people are doing it. Aside from being born with a massive trust fund this is a tall order. Even if you are making Wall Street money in NYC ($500k/year) it is still very hard to save since the cost of living is so astronomical, particularly if you are living the said lifestyle requirements. So what kind of work are these people doing to get so rich?

    I am in my late thirties and have a net worth just shy of $1 million and live in flyover country. Where I live that is considered pretty well off. I was only able to get to that point through inheritance, real estate investing and living frugally. Most flyover rich are the same way in that their parents either owned a successful small business or granddaddy left them a bundle to work with. I suspect that aside from the occasional tech entrepreneur or hedge fund manager almost all of the NYC rich have had their entire educations and initial housing subsidized by their parents, plus a substantial grubstake for early investment. How else could they pull it off?


    March 25, 2017 at 5:36 pm

    • I attended an elite coastal private school in the late 70s. The students were composed of the children of the very rich, very high performing others who, like Obama received generous scholarships, and high performing children of doctors, lawyers and executives. The only marginal students were the children of the very rich.


      March 25, 2017 at 7:07 pm

  15. I’ve lived in Manhattan all my life, and I was going broke on a $1 million a year thirty years ago!

    Sherman McCoy

    March 25, 2017 at 5:39 pm

  16. Wealth can mean two things: personal fulfillment, quantifiable monetary value…the former, imho, is more important once the basic financial needs are met. As for NYC, I dunno, don’t live there, but it’s probably a lot . It seems like the minimum requirement keeps going up. Costs of living in some cities seems out of control. Steve Bannon’s net worth will probably surge by leveraging his public visibility after Trump’s term or terms are over

    grey enlightenment

    March 25, 2017 at 6:08 pm

    • It’s quite amazing that Steve Bannon is a darling to the Hicksville Rural-Stormfront crowd, given his wealth and his association with liberal centers. He has a residence in Los Angeles County, and once lived in a luxury condominium in Manhattan.

      Talking about cognitive dissonance – a word that hasn’t been floating around on this blog for quite sometime, ever since the celebratory mood of Trump’s ascendancy to the White House that has taken hold here.


      March 26, 2017 at 1:14 am

      • Most of the alt-right is class cognizant former strivers and NEETs like the people who post on this blog.

        They are well aware of Bannon’s circumstances and they are well aware of where his heart truly lies.

        It’s clear he wants to help his fellow Americans and that he is just a Steve Sailor that happened to “make it”.

        The alt-right is a bit like Marxism in that there is an elite upper middle class which forms the intellectual and spiritual foundation of it. Trump is just the leader that mobilized proletariat masses into following the philosophical underpinnings that were discovered by people like Mencius Moldbug and Larry Auster. Trump has weaponized the movement. He is the samurai warrior that wields the mighty middle class katana of legend.

        Paul Ryan's Sickly Old Lap Dog

        March 28, 2017 at 1:01 am

  17. I found my dream house: 3,000+ square feet, five acres of land, expansive views, gorgeous location, and it’s less than $400,000.



    March 25, 2017 at 6:10 pm

    • America is a crappy place to lap in luxury. And the ultra-wealthy understand America is a wasteland, and real estate is only worthy in places like Manhattan.


      March 25, 2017 at 8:14 pm

    • Great house!


      March 25, 2017 at 11:38 pm

    • That really is a dream home.

      Mike Street Station

      March 26, 2017 at 7:47 am

  18. Only proles spend the winter holidays in Manhattan: that’s what the Palm Beach house is for. Tack on another 4 million.


    March 25, 2017 at 8:08 pm

    • Florida is prole. Northeastern snow birds with class do not travel to Florida during the winter months.


      March 26, 2017 at 1:04 am

  19. I don’t agree with your answer. It is too low if you insist on living in Manhattan. Assuming a 2% return on your capital $7.5 million in wealth is just $150,000 a year which doesn’t qualify as rich in Manhattan. $500,000 a year (or $25 million in capital) would be more like it.

    Of course as pointed out above there is no reason to live in Manhattan if you don’t work there. Among other things taxes are high and the weather isn’t great.

    James B. Shearer

    March 26, 2017 at 2:32 am

  20. I think the correct answer is 50 times what you would like to spend each average year including all insurances you need in case something goes wrong (healthcare, civil responsability etc). That way, you don’t need to earn any revenue to secure your chosen standard of living until death. That is being rich.

    So some could be rich with 600K (if they spend 1K a month) or need 15 M (if they spend 25K a month).

    The quantity you’ve chosen 7.5 correspond to someone spending/earning 10 K a month, and i believe it’s your ideal level (i remember you’re saying a 4 pp family need 300 K /year income in NY, so 120K for a guy is ok). What’s amusing is that you estimated it by property value and not by income (the value of a flat can be calculated in income, it’s the average between the value of the rent and the cost of buying it per month in 15 years).

    Bruno from Paris

    March 26, 2017 at 9:26 am

  21. 7.5M equals a 12.5 K per month guaranteed revenue for life.

    Bruno from Paris

    March 26, 2017 at 9:28 am

  22. Gothamist just had a story about “getting by” in Manhattan on $500,000 a year. They have a breakdown of costs, with a table. Naturally, the virtue signalling losers who comment at Gothamist are howling in fury at “the rich” who make $500K a year.

    I used to post alt-right bomb comments at Gothamist. I was banned in two days. They are very proud of their open-mindedness over there.


    March 26, 2017 at 10:12 am

    • In that link, it mentions Financial Samurai, the owner of the site who is a typical, uncultured East Asian infatuated with the superficiality of “Keeping up with the Jones-American Pipe Dream”.

      And the reason why many White people in America and much of the Anglo Sphere suck is because of individuals like him.


      March 26, 2017 at 11:02 am

  23. Here in Lexington MA it is possible to buy a basic 3-bedroom home for $0.5 million. They are being torn down, but they still exist. Lexington happens to be #1 public school district in the country in terms of SAT scores. A household earning $150 K can afford it if they manage their money carefully, no need to move to flyover country.


    March 26, 2017 at 11:06 am

    • If you have to manage your money carefully and you are poorer than most of your neighbors it’s hard to say you are rich. And having schools full of very smart kids is fine if your kid is also very smart maybe not so good if he is just average and at the bottom of all his classes. .

      James Shearer

      March 26, 2017 at 1:34 pm

  24. Here is why 7.5 million is not rich.

    7.5 million at a 4% withdrawal rate = $300,000 per year.

    300,000 – taxes (assumed 40%) = 180,000 per year.

    180,000 / 12 months = 15,000 per month.

    Note: there is no retirement built into this. There is no income, so no social security to expect. I quickly googled a calculator and found that in 40 years (a 30 year old when he’s 70), with an inflation rate of 3%, a dollar is worth $.305 dollars. Or, 300.000 *.305 = 91,500. So, is an annual income of 91,500$ rich? Of course not.

    In other words, you have to invest part of your income to maintain your standard of living over the course of your life. What does ‘invest’ mean when your whole fund is investment? It means don’t spend the income, so it turns over and grows your investment. How much? How about social security withdrawal rate (note: this is equal to social security= 7%, and its far less than social security + employer’s matching funds =14%). But you have to invest pre-tax.
    7% of 300K = 21K. Or $1,750 a month.

    15,000 – 1750 for retirement = 13, 250 per month.

    Note: there is no health insurance included, and you’re not getting any health insurance benefits from the job you don’t have. A quick google tells me that the average private family plan is $1000 per month (this surprises me-I would have expected a lot more).

    13,250 – 1000 for health insurance = 12,250 per month.

    private schools for two kids. I’m going to invent the number 2000 per month. This is a bit more than the cost of catholic schools, but a bit less than the cost of reasonable collegiate prep schools, and quite a bit less than the cost of top tier collegiate prep schools (I have a different comment that mentions several schools around the country, with tuition 20K, 25K, and 35K per kid. For two kids that’s 40K (3,333 per month year round), 50K (4000+ per month year round), and 70K (5000+ per month, year round).

    12250- 2000 for private schools = 10250 per month. And remember; this number is probably for the middling Catholic school-not the collegiate prep school.

    500K house. This is not a mansion. This is nothing more than a decent sized house, even in flyover country-perhaps with land, or perhaps with high grade faucets and showerheads. There’s no servants’ quarters, or room for a private chef, in this house. Mortgage under current extremely low interest rate would be around 3000K a month (my mortgage on a 350K loan, with 4% rate, is 1950/month. My house is a cheaply built, though large, contractor grade home).

    10250 – 3000 = 7250 per month.

    Cars: roughly 1000/month, per car. This is for good cars, but not high end cars (i.e. high end Mercedes or porche, much less Maserati/Ferrari/etc). This would be a top end Honda, solid Acura or Lexus, and so on (and not top end Acura or Lexus-they would be substantially more). Admittedly, these are nice cars-not a Chevy or Ford. But not rich people cars. This number is probably low-you’d have to add car insurance, but its a decent round number estimate.

    7250 – 2000 for cars = 5250 per month.

    General life expenses. I’m going to call it 1000/week. This includes food, gas, cable, phone, utilities, going out to eat, clothes, kids activities (basketball camp, art stuff for the school project, gymnastics uniforms), life maintenance (the vacuum cleaner broke) and so on. It includes stuff that other people might list separately (home maintenance? Im including it here. Car repairs like tires/oil changes? its here). This isn’t extravagant. For instance, my family tends to go out about once a week-which is less than our neighbors (people really eat out a lot). But that is not to expensive restaurants. That is to chain restaurants. This level of spending (50K per year) is obviously out of the range of lots and lots of people (the average American makes less than 50K a year total, of course). But its not extreme for your upper middle class. I’m in that upper middle class, this is what I spend, and I spend less on this type of stuff than almost all of my contemporaries and neighbors. And my contemporaries and neighbors eat at Red Lobster, they drive middling cars (Hondas and Toyotas), they have the type of crap you’d expect (newest Xbox, big tv, exercise machine in the basement, etc), but they aren’t ‘rich.’

    Note: you probably think this number is unrealistically extravagant. If you do, just add ‘vacation expenses’ to it (notice I haven’t mentioned vacations yet). 1000/week includes all the stuff of life, plus vacations.

    5250 – 4000 for life stuff plus vacations= 1250 per month.

    So you are all saying that a rich person is someone who makes an extra 1250 a month, after living an upper middle class life.

    I’m suggesting you really aren’t thinking about money in the right way. You read about Bannon having 10 million, and think: “He’s rich. If I had 10 million, I could do whatever I want.’ What you really mean is ‘He’s rich. He has 10 million, on top of his annual income of 150,000 a year. He is living off his income, and can afford to have a 2 million dollar house.’ Which is true, but is different from only living off of 10 million dollars. The 150,000, which probably covers most of his expenses, allows his 10 million to be just idle money that generates value. Without a job, that 10 million won’t go as far as you are all thinking. What you should be thinking is ‘If I had 10 million AND MY CURRENT JOB, I could do whatever I want.’ Which is entirely different.

    So now I’ll do a similar calculation, but from the other direction. How much are YOU worth?

    I’ll assume YOU make 80K, and your spouse makes 80K. If you don’t: just accept that this amount of money is comfortable, but not rich.

    That’s 160K a year. But it also includes social security, an investment of 14% (7% by you, 7% by your employer). So its actually
    160* 1.14 = 182.4.

    But you also have emplyer matching funds in your 401K. I don’t know how much that would be-depends on your plan, your income, your investment level. I’ll guesstimate 750 a month (375 per month per individual?).

    182.4 + 750*12 = 191.4K

    But you also have health insurance help from your employer. I’m going to call it 750 a month (again, pure educated guess).

    191.4 + 750*12 = 200.4K

    You have a real income (or i should say the real value of your job) of 200.4K per year.

    How much of an investment would you need to equal 200.4 in annual spending? Remember the 4% withdrawal rate? 4% is 1/25th of the total. So,

    200.4 * 25 = 5 million dollars.

    So if you are a married couple, with two very average white collar jobs (I made more than 80K when I was a government employee, and I was NOT a manager-I was just a worker), you have an income equal to a net worth of 5 million dollars.

    I suggest you do the same thing with your own, real income. Try to figure out the actual value of your job, then multiply that by 25. That is the investment equivalent of your job. It is surprisingly large. And it should really open your eyes to the fact that, unless you are defining ‘rich’ as ‘having more money than me,’ it takes a lot of money to be ‘rich’ in any meaningful sense.



    March 26, 2017 at 1:18 pm

    • “300,000 – taxes (assumed 40%) = 180,000 per year.”

      You don’t pay tax to withdraw your own savings.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      March 26, 2017 at 2:56 pm

      • Most proles have their retirement in taxable IRAs or 401ks. Withdrawals are taxable income.


        March 26, 2017 at 3:05 pm

      • You are not withdrawing savings. You are withdrawing investment income on that savings. When I say 300K, I mean your investment will increase by 300K (an average rate of 4%), so you can live off that 300K this year, and make 300K next year to live off, and so on, and never eat into your investment. Or, to put real numbers on it: 7.5 million earns 4% this year (300,000$). You then, at the end of the year, have 7.8 million dollars. You spend 300K to live on this year, and start over at 7.5 million dollars. Repeat next year, spend the investment income, so you always have 7.5 million dollars, and always have 300K to live off for the year.

        If you are simply withdrawing savings, you will have 300K * 33 years = 10 million dollars. You start doing that at 30, you are doing the same thing at age 63 (remember, that 300K is worth about 90K at that time), and at age 64, you have savings of 0. 0 in the bank is not rich.

        Admittedly, at some point in your life, you can start drawing down those savings-say, assume you will live to 90, and plan on having 0 dollars at that point. So you can live off of more than 300K in the future. That is a bit risky: you don’t know how long you will live, and you don’t know exactly how to safely draw down the money. And if you do that, you leave nothing to your kids. A viable way to live, if you want.



        March 26, 2017 at 5:07 pm

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