The Cost of Being Alive and $60k Salaries
Something that I keep wanting to address, but don't have the words to dissect, is just how much Billions of wealth is in US Dollars (USD). Yes, the B was intentionally capitalized - because it's Big. I can't bring myself to make a Bigly joke now that the Chief MAGAt is no longer in office, just know that the intention was there.
Onto the numbers. I encountered a tweet, no surprises there:
Elon Musk’s wealth:— Public Citizen (@Public_Citizen) May 1, 2021
2020: $24.6 billion
2021: $151 billion
Jeff Bezos’ wealth:
2020: $113 billion
2021: $177 billion
Mark Zuckerberg’s wealth:
2020: $54.7 billion
2021: $97 billion
Bill Gates’ wealth:
2020: $98 billion
2021: $124 billion
Tax the damn rich.
Doing a quick verification of the numbers:
((( steps here )))
Looks like that is correct. A quick tangent on how much billions means, and how much larger billion is than million.
((( stuff here )))
Now back to our originally scheduled programming. In the tweet was have some of the most lucrative of the lucrative billionaires. I was reading some articles to help me come up with a more true "cost of living" calculator - as in what it actually costs to be alive with medical debt, student loan debt, etc. as this post focuses on the United States and well. Yeah. We don't take care of our own. We trick our own into thinking we take care of our own but anyway.
Student Loan Debt
For student loan debt, the average debt is about $32,000. It's worth mentioning that this can vary pretty significantly for a variety of factors. Also before I get too far from this topic, there's also two scary graphics about student loan debt. The first is how much student loan debt takes up as a percentage of income, based on average income in a student's first year post-graduation:
And while you're taking a deep breath about that, also take a look at this:
So while the average debt may be ~$32k, there's still ~7.8 million students with debt greater than $50,000. According to Statista for the same year (2019), there are about 22 million 20-24 year olds. (Study done with binary gender, no breakdowns on race / etc., only the age brackets.) So with ~8 million who have a debt >$50k, that's still about about one third. One third of students with debt greater than $50k.
Taking another deep breath.
Due to the disparity here, I feel like running numbers for both $32k and $100k, to accommoate the sheer difference between the "bottom" two thirds and the top in terms of debt. Assuming a 4.66% interest rate on student loans, which is another sort of average, what these humans are looking for monthly student loan payments looks a little like this:
$32k, 10 year loan: $334
$32k, 20 year loan: $205
$100k, 10 year loan: $1044
$100k, 20 year loan: $641
Calculated with this handy calculator right here.
There is a lot of variance for medical debt, depending on whether or not you're "relatively healthy", chronically ill, and so on. According to CNBC, adults spend an average of $5,000 per year on medical debt. Due to what I mentioned about varying health concerns, I won't be scaling this number at all for "younger vs older".
It's also worth mentioning that some, but not all, jobs come with a healthcare benefit where you can estimate your out of pocket medical costs and take them out of your income pre-tax. This can end up helping you significantly - if you can successfully estimate this number. I've been burned more than once on this: calculating what I thought my yearly cost was going to be over the course of the year, then changing jobs and 1 ) having higher or lower out of pocket fees at a new job and/or 2 ) losing the pre-tax money. No, you don't "get it back" at a taxed rate if you miscalculate. It's just a loss.
So much greatness here in a America, you just wanna implode, right?
(For those reading this that are unfamiliar, take a look at Flex Savings Accounts and Health Savings Accounts, typically referred to as FSA and HSA respectively.)
As an aside, before I get into the next mini-section, that I didn't encounter my first FSA or HSA until I was about 5-7 years into adult-jobs, which is something to consider too.
Savings for Future
Cue boomer joke about why is there even this section, just stop eating avocadoes and you'll be able to afford a house.
((( Now actually write up what the savings recommendations are for here. )))
((( rent / mortgage / utilities / computer / food )))
((( Less a justification and more a reminder that we need phones and computers now, unless you plan on doing a phone screen without a phone and responding to your potential employer emails with ... not a computer )))
A Truly Living Wage
A living wage should support your ability to be alive. This means food, water, housing, medical, education, and so on.
((( Basedon the above numbers, that number is... )))
This part is for the billionaires. Well, not just for them but also for them.
((( Calculating a minimum number for self sustaining wealth, even for a lucrative life style )))
((( Subtracting everything above that )))
((( Here is the part where I actually do some math, and will roll it into the intro so people can get the quick answer before they get to the "how" )))