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Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

At what point do you believe a person breaks through the ”C-note Ceiling”?

Asked by Hypocrisy_Central (26801points) July 24th, 2016

In the US people reach a tipping point where they do not have to worry about being homeless, having ruined credit, having utilities turned off for back payments, etc. I am sure in other nations it might be a ”Yen Ceiling”, a ”Deutschmark Ceiling”, etc. A person breaking the ”C-note Ceiling” doesn’t necessarily become uber rich, but they do not have to work about money and getting bills paid like Larry Lunchmeat working the factory, or Willie Lump-Lump driving the bus. Once you get past the ”C-note Ceiling” financial institutions treat you favorably with better loans at better interest, the government helps you with more tax breaks one can access, and the money allows for taking advantage of more streams of income and investment to create even more money Larry Lunchmeat can only dream about. Those who are well structured are even making more money while they sleep than they can spend while they are awake. Do you, by your standard would say that ”ceiling” is a X amount of dollars, X amount of property or stocks, X amount of liquid assets? Maybe it is a combination of a formula of X amount of this, Y amount of that, and Z amount of those?

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13 Answers

stanleybmanly's avatar

There are too many variables involved to speculate on where that line is. The hopeless nature of your question is realized when you consider just how few people you can locate who feel they have enough money to fulfill their needs and desires. The insidious nature of the setup we operate in demands that the more you have, the more you seem to need.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

^ The hopeless nature of your question is realized when you consider just how few people you can locate who feel they have enough money to fulfill their needs and desires.
Need vs desire for some I guess is a blurred line. A need is something you have to have at a minimum or the least amount to get a job done. If I work 60 miles away and I cannot get there by train, then by default I need a vehicle. It moves to desire when I place certain criteria on said vehicle such as I must have AC, power assist breaks, intermittent wipers, cruise control, tinted windows, etc. none of those things truly contribute to the mechanical soundness on how the car will drive or make the commute trip. On the other hand, if I own five vehicles but I can pay the note on all of them without struggling, going broke or having to pull food out of the baby’s mouth to keep up the payments or have my credit janky then it is a desire I can afford, I am above the minimum.

stanleybmanly's avatar

That’s what I’m getting at. There are people in the world who would probably feel fortunate for an opportunity to sleep on our sidewalks. From where I sit, the only comment I can make on this issue is that there is a decided and precipitous rise in anxiety over the ability to match levels of income to perceived needs.

YARNLADY's avatar

Any amount can be comfortable if you refuse to spend more than you make. When we were both taking classes and working minimum wage jobs, we lived in shared housing and walked or used public transportation. We bought used clothes, did not own any furniture, and used the public benefits we were eligible for. We lived within our means then, as now.

Once our income improved enough, I quit work to become a stay at home mom with our new baby. (he is now the father of two boys) Over time, we have reached the point where we now own two houses and four cars and we provide substantial financial help to 9 other people. My husband’s income has been in the six figures for several years now.

Our credit ratings are in the 800’s and we take advantage of all the free interest for a year balance transfers we receive to pay for floor replacement and other various upkeep and repair jobs. We also “earn” between 5 and 10 free hotel rooms a year on credit card offers. We still buy used clothes and furniture, or watch for really good bargains on them.

We put a substantial amount away for our retirement. Longevity is common in our families, and we are prepared.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@stanleybmanly From where I sit, the only comment I can make on this issue is that there is a decided and precipitous rise anxiety over the ability to match levels of income to perceived needs.
Even if the ”need” is not real, say Larry LuchmeaI perceived he need a Maybach Benz for himself and his spouse, and I need a 6,500 sq. ft. home, a pair of jet skis and a motorcoach, even if he purchased some of the items outright, there is still maintenance cost connected to them. If he could afford them but not out of an abundance of excess, then if he got hurt, or was someway unable to work for 6–18 months he could be in danger of losing some or all of them because they come from his income, even more so if that income included a lot of overtime. If he would have invested the money that went towards those toys” and purchased a REO fourplex that needed some SPT (_spit polish and paint) and put leasers in there, then his money would be earning him money and not costing him money. If he repeated that he could purchase the “toys” and have those leasing basically paying the note and maintenance. If he chooses to still buy at the thrifts or drive an older modest car, it is not because it is his only choice.

@YARNLADY Any amount can be comfortable if you refuse to spend more than you make
I have said that to many people I know who gripe about how much they have to pay for things or that their check is basically spent before they get it. If one made the choice to live as close to the minimum in keeping them alive and relatively healthy I think people in the US could make on quite well on 25k a year. However, no one wants to really live without the “creature comforts” or in areas where housing is that cheap.

However, even then there is a minimum amount one has to have. In this area you must have running water, garbage, and gas service or they will red tag your home and bar you entrance. That means if you are buying or renting a home where you have to cover all of that, some of that is out of your control, the garbage company sets a price you have to pay and you cannot refuse because of city or county ordinances. You could decide to take a shower only twice a week, or if you have a job that gets you grimy, a 10 min shower a day. Even that adds up to a minimum amount as you have to pay per gallon what the water company set, that cost times the number of gallons your shower takes for a 10 min shower times how many times a week you did, and that is one’s very minimum water usage, that is if you never washed the cars or dishes at home, never bath the pets, or used a laundromat to do your clothes. Even if you never fired up the TV, ran the AC, etc. the fridge and lights in the evening will rack up a minimum cost. People could live off way less than they do, some just don’t want to make that deep of a sacrifice.

Once our income improved enough, I quit work to become a stay at home mom with our new baby. (he is now the father of two boys) Over time, we have reached the point where we now own two houses and four cars and we provide substantial financial help to 9 other people. My husband’s income has been in the six figures for several years now.
Would you say for your family you have passed that tipping point and shattered the ”C-note Ceiling”? Right now if you and your husband were injured in a sight-seeing plane crash and was laid up for the next eight months would the expenses take care of themselves without cannibalizing the savings or retirement?

YARNLADY's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central Yes, we are also very careful to keep insurance policies that would cover most unexpected events. We have a very good medical plan plus income protection.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

They treat you better when you live within your means. That’s the short answer. Living within your means by nature involves having a savings account with money in it, responsible use of credit and generally showing responsibility. Now that’s all fine and dandy but we all know that “life happens” and the financial institutions don’t give a shit if you fall outside of the lines through no fault of your own. That’s just tough as far as they are concerned. This “C” note ceiling is only a temporary situation when you have money and shit is not happening to you. There is no objective permanence to it at all.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@ARE_you_kidding_me Now that’s all fine and dandy but we all know that “life happens” and the financial institutions don’t give a shit if you fall outside of the lines through no fault of your own.
The financial institutions have no real control on if you get past that tipping point, they can only treat you more favorably because you have more capital to work with and they want to be a part of it. The only way they can effect someone is of they do not have the ability to satisfy a debt with said institution.

This “C” note ceiling is only a temporary situation when you have money and shit is not happening to you.
Do tell, how would getting pass that tipping point not be permanent? If a person structured himself well and had streams of income that did not involve swapping sweat or labor for dollars, how will those dollars not keep coming in even if something happens to him?

gondwanalon's avatar

Ah the bourgeoisie. I think that you reach this status when your stock market investments reach criticalness. When you sit around the homestead and try to decide what to do tonight. Lets see will it be bridge, pinochle or profit-taking?

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

@HC life can happen to anyone, even the rich. You could get sued into oblivion, tossed in jail, swindled out of everything, health problems can eat up your assets, depending on where you live gov’t or criminal organizations could simply take your assests, natural disasters could wipe you out, the assests you own could become worthless overnight…. nobody is immune to life, some are positioned to defend against it better than others but only the super rich have anything close to approaching a guarantee.

Zaku's avatar

Do they really? I’ve met quite a few Americans who seem to have a lot of money, who are still preoccupied with their theoretical potential homelessness.

I think except for people really on or below the brink of financial collapse, the worry is really worry rather than objective danger.

SecondHandStoke's avatar

The entire notion is at best a myth.

Anyone runs the risk of losing all.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@ARE_you_kidding_me @HC life can happen to anyone, even the rich.
There is no dispute there unless to say if you are structured well enough, even health problems, being sued, or even natural disasters will but a hurting on you but not destroy you because you will still have more coming in and/or income to outpace the cost of the setbacks.

That, however, only is after one obtained the wealth or capital. A future law suit does not stop a person from acquiring a money stream in which their money makes money for them.

@Zaku I’ve met quite a few Americans who seem to have a lot of money, who are still preoccupied with their theoretical potential homelessness.
That would seem to be an indication that they do not know what they are doing. If you have income streams from diverse sources of which will not all collapse or stop producing simultaneously they will always have more money coming in or enough to weather any storm, if they greatly increase their spending or debt as to overshadow the income then they could go under just as those who have not broken through.

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