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the HENRY class - High Earners, Not Rich Yet

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Jul 10, 2007
12,050
3
0
Boy, you're not a very trusting type. Actually, in the last few years I've managed $400k+ and its not that hard. I put in about 60-65 hrs a week. The state and local government take about $125k off the top and I invest a large portion of what's left. Actually, I think you are probably irritated because I pay mare in taxes than you earn in a year.

I spend a fair amount of time on the internet educating myself on world politics, finance and economics. I ran across the "HENRY" term in a Forbes article a few days ago and I wanted to see if there was anything behind it. Frankly there are a lot of HENRYs that share the same opinions I do.
may i ask what you do (without getting too specific), and how long you've been doing it?
 

Blackjack200

Lifer
May 28, 2007
15,993
1,679
126
Boy, you're not a very trusting type. Actually, in the last few years I've managed $400k+ and its not that hard. I put in about 60-65 hrs a week. The state and local government take about $125k off the top and I invest a large portion of what's left. Actually, I think you are probably irritated because I pay mare in taxes than you earn in a year.
Nope, if your income is as you say it is, it doesn't irritate me. I make decent money (not $400k) and I hope to make more some day. I don't resent those that make more than me. But I have little patience for high earners that bitch about having to pay a few more percentage points than everyone else. Do you know how uncouth that is?

I spend a fair amount of time on the internet educating myself on world politics, finance and economics. I ran across the "HENRY" term in a Forbes article a few days ago and I wanted to see if there was anything behind it. Frankly there are a lot of HENRYs that share the same opinions I do.
You earn almost a half million a year and you spend your free time rummaging around the internet trying to figure out how bad you're being fucked by the tax man? Wow man, that's really fucking pathetic. Sorry.
 

spidey07

No Lifer
Aug 4, 2000
65,469
5
76
Nope, if your income is as you say it is, it doesn't irritate me. I make decent money (not $400k) and I hope to make more some day. I don't resent those that make more than me. But I have little patience for high earners that bitch about having to pay a few more percentage points than everyone else. Do you know how uncouth that is?



You earn almost a half million a year and you spend your free time rummaging around the internet trying to figure out how bad you're being fucked by the tax man? Wow man, that's really fucking pathetic. Sorry.
See, that's why jealousy is such an evil emotion. Do you realize that most all tax incentives forbid those "evil rich" from using them? This is the real problem with HENRY's. They are fucked from a tax perspective. That's the reason for this acronym. We make what to some may be a lot of money, but after taxes, after paying for life, it ain't that much, we aren't rich. I don't feel rich, I am not rich, and I work my ass off 10-12 hours a day. I want to retire before 50 and have been living my life that way.

I am sick and fucking tired of paying tax that could give me a nice 540 every single year. I drive a 6 year old 210K mile car. I'm the millionaire next door type, and a million dollars just won't let me retire they way I want to, I require 4-5.

So fuck all of you. My net worth is about 1.5 million and I ain't fucking rich, I don't touch that. That's what I'm living off of when I hit 50. I'm not kidding. Why do you think I hate Obama so much? Because he is stealing my hard earned money.

I remember when I was young and thought "WOW! I could live forever on 1 million!" Reality squashed that idea.

Fuck Obama.
 
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Blackjack200

Lifer
May 28, 2007
15,993
1,679
126
See, that's why jealousy is such an evil emotion. Do you realize that most all tax incentives forbid those "evil rich" from using them? This is the real problem with HENRY's. They are fucked from a tax perspective. That's the reason for this acronym. We make what to some may be a lot of money, but after taxes, after paying for life, it ain't that much, we aren't rich. I don't feel rich, I am not rich, and I work my ass off 10-12 hours a day. I want to retire before 50 and have been living my life that way.

I am sick and fucking tired of paying tax that could give me a nice 540 every single year. I drive a 6 year old 210K mile car. I'm the millionaire next door type, and a million dollars just won't let me retire they way I want to, I require 4-5.

So fuck all of you. My net worth is about 1.5 million and I ain't fucking rich, I don't touch that. That's what I'm living off of when I hit 50. I'm not kidding. Why do you think I hate Obama so much? Because he is stealing my hard earned money.

I remember when I was young and thought "WOW! I could live forever on 1 million!" Reality squashed that idea.

Fuck Obama.
Wow, you really have no clue how petulant and ungrateful you sound, do you? How sad.
 

blackangst1

Lifer
Feb 23, 2005
20,980
849
126
See, that's why jealousy is such an evil emotion. Do you realize that most all tax incentives forbid those "evil rich" from using them? This is the real problem with HENRY's. They are fucked from a tax perspective. That's the reason for this acronym. We make what to some may be a lot of money, but after taxes, after paying for life, it ain't that much, we aren't rich. I don't feel rich, I am not rich, and I work my ass off 10-12 hours a day. I want to retire before 50 and have been living my life that way.

I am sick and fucking tired of paying tax that could give me a nice 540 every single year. I drive a 6 year old 210K mile car. I'm the millionaire next door type, and a million dollars just won't let me retire they way I want to, I require 4-5.

So fuck all of you. My net worth is about 1.5 million and I ain't fucking rich, I don't touch that. That's what I'm living off of when I hit 50. I'm not kidding. Why do you think I hate Obama so much? Because he is stealing my hard earned money.

I remember when I was young and thought "WOW! I could live forever on 1 million!" Reality squashed that idea.

Fuck Obama.
First off man, although I agree with you in spirit, chill. If you need a place to shelter your money from taxes, they exist. Second, 1.5 mill could support you very nicely...outside of the USA. Stretch your mind man ;)
 

Bowfinger

Lifer
Nov 17, 2002
15,776
392
126
First off man, although I agree with you in spirit, chill. If you need a place to shelter your money from taxes, they exist. Second, 1.5 mill could support you very nicely...outside of the USA. Stretch your mind man ;)
Third, he's dreaming. I don't believe a word of it.
 

nonlnear

Platinum Member
Jan 31, 2008
2,497
0
76
Second, 1.5 mill could support you very nicely...outside of the USA. Stretch your mind man ;)
Not to mention many of the places where that money can be stretched further also have very agreeable climates - hurricanes and monsoons notwithstanding.
 

Bowfinger

Lifer
Nov 17, 2002
15,776
392
126
My total state and federal AVERAGE tax rate was 29%.

Note the top marginal rate a person is subject to is not BS. It is the tax rate that applies to the last few dollars you earn (few is a relative term). The top marginal rate is the one that drives people to take decision to reduce their tax bill.

Example. My top marginal rate was 35% w/o AMT and 39.5% with AMT. So, if I find another deduction that allows me to deduct $100 on Schedule A (not limited by AMT deduction rules), I actually pay $39.50 less in federal taxes. That's the way it works. If you want another opinion, find a tax accountant.

The top marginal rate really matters.
Absolutely, the marginal rate matters, and it does drive behaviors intended to reduce taxes. What it rarely does, in my experience, is drive people to make less money. Instead, it drives people to find shelters, increase charitable giving, etc. That's where the anti-tax argument becomes phony, "High taxes punish success so people stop trying to be successful." It's nonsense.
 

CountZero

Golden Member
Jul 10, 2001
1,796
36
86
See, that's why jealousy is such an evil emotion. Do you realize that most all tax incentives forbid those "evil rich" from using them? This is the real problem with HENRY's. They are fucked from a tax perspective. That's the reason for this acronym. We make what to some may be a lot of money, but after taxes, after paying for life, it ain't that much, we aren't rich. I don't feel rich, I am not rich, and I work my ass off 10-12 hours a day. I want to retire before 50 and have been living my life that way.

I am sick and fucking tired of paying tax that could give me a nice 540 every single year. I drive a 6 year old 210K mile car. I'm the millionaire next door type, and a million dollars just won't let me retire they way I want to, I require 4-5.

So fuck all of you. My net worth is about 1.5 million and I ain't fucking rich, I don't touch that. That's what I'm living off of when I hit 50. I'm not kidding. Why do you think I hate Obama so much? Because he is stealing my hard earned money.

I remember when I was young and thought "WOW! I could live forever on 1 million!" Reality squashed that idea.

Fuck Obama.
But you still bring home more money, right? And your choice to save instead of buying a new car is your choice so that you can retire by 50, right? Taxes are part of the market system you work in and you can do what you want within that system.

If the system was truly so horrible you wouldn't even bother. If the system was broken retiring at 50 wouldn't even be an option you'd have no choice.

Maybe whatever you earn doesn't entitle you to be 'rich' Maybe the same notions that a million dollars could last you forever were also wrong about what you earn.

I think you hate Obama because you toe the party line and the new party line is Obama is gonna steal all your money. While you may have valid points your hatred towards Obama is probably more fueled by your extreme partisanship than anything else.

While there is some validity to this HENRY thing in terms of issues this country has to face high earners not taking home more money doesn't even register a blip.
 

CitizenKain

Diamond Member
Jul 6, 2000
4,480
14
76
See, that's why jealousy is such an evil emotion. Do you realize that most all tax incentives forbid those "evil rich" from using them? This is the real problem with HENRY's. They are fucked from a tax perspective. That's the reason for this acronym. We make what to some may be a lot of money, but after taxes, after paying for life, it ain't that much, we aren't rich. I don't feel rich, I am not rich, and I work my ass off 10-12 hours a day. I want to retire before 50 and have been living my life that way.

I am sick and fucking tired of paying tax that could give me a nice 540 every single year. I drive a 6 year old 210K mile car. I'm the millionaire next door type, and a million dollars just won't let me retire they way I want to, I require 4-5.

So fuck all of you. My net worth is about 1.5 million and I ain't fucking rich, I don't touch that. That's what I'm living off of when I hit 50. I'm not kidding. Why do you think I hate Obama so much? Because he is stealing my hard earned money.

I remember when I was young and thought "WOW! I could live forever on 1 million!" Reality squashed that idea.

Fuck Obama.
Maybe if you weren't so fucking lazy and worked harder you wouldn't be such a whiny baby. I doubt you work anywhere close what you claim, as its pretty obvious you spend a lot of time posting on the internet.
 

razor2025

Diamond Member
May 24, 2002
3,010
0
71
Absolutely, the marginal rate matters, and it does drive behaviors intended to reduce taxes. What it rarely does, in my experience, is drive people to make less money. Instead, it drives people to find shelters, increase charitable giving, etc. That's where the anti-tax argument becomes phony, "High taxes punish success so people stop trying to be successful." It's nonsense.
++

It makes no rationale sense to use marginal income tax rate as the EXCUSE to not "working hard for success". If you're really motivated to make it up to the next income level, why would you be hindered by higher tax-rate? Your net paycheck is still higher right? Also, this whole shenanigans about "oh but I can't support 3 kid's private school or keep up with my expensive housing" is pretty BS. If you're high-income earner, you have VASTLY better opportunity to move to a lower COL. Come down to ATL. All the nice houses are mere $300-400k these days. You can live comfortably for mere $40k/yr AND support a family of 4. I know it's possible, because my parents did it with both of them working (Total of 40k/yr). They also finished off their mortgage in 6 years.

It's all about reasonable expectations. If the HENRY's simply move out of those high COL location, they can easily average down those area's COL to lower amount. It's only their desire to "keeping up" that drives up the prices to insane levels. I suggest AHenry to look into their lifestyle and see why his $250k/yr isn't enough. Send your kids to public school? Get a smaller house? Move to a cheaper area? Assuming you DID pay 50% total tax, what kind of expense do you have that $125k/yr isn't enough for family of 5? Tax man is always the easiest target for blame, instead of taking a hard look at their own self.

As for AreaCode707, quit your b*tching. Seriously. You want to retire early, then you have to pay the price. If society made it easy for 30,40 year olds to become unproductive, then we'd be in a world of hurt. Take a vacation, cool-down a bit and enjoy life outside of work. If you'd do that, you would be less inclined to "retire early".
 

AHenry

Junior Member
May 3, 2010
16
0
0
may i ask what you do (without getting too specific), and how long you've been doing it?
I'm an exec in an large EPC (engineering, procurement, construction) company in the US. One of the top 4 in the world. My division provides engineering and construction services to the commercial nuclear industry (i.e. nuclear reactors).

Just short of 30 years.
 
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spidey07

No Lifer
Aug 4, 2000
65,469
5
76
I'm an exec in an large EPC (engineering, procurement, construction) company in the US. One of the top 4 in the world. My division provides engineering and construction services to the commercial nuclear industry (i.e. nuclear reactors).

Just short of 30 years.
Congratulations on your success. High dollar industry right there.
 

AreaCode707

Lifer
Sep 21, 2001
18,425
45
91
As for AreaCode707, quit your b*tching. Seriously. You want to retire early, then you have to pay the price. If society made it easy for 30,40 year olds to become unproductive, then we'd be in a world of hurt. Take a vacation, cool-down a bit and enjoy life outside of work. If you'd do that, you would be less inclined to "retire early".
I don't judge your lifestyle so don't judge mine.

I'm paying the price for my decisions. I work my ass off and THAT is my trade off. Why is the government entitled to more of my money because I work harder? I'm not asking for it to be easy, I'm asking for it to be equitable.

Look at it this way.
Let's say you and I both make $10 an hour. We both earn $800 for every 80 hours we work. You pay 20% on your 80 hours, I pay 35%. Is that fair?

That's EXACTLY what's happening. It just so happens you work your 80 hours in two weeks and I work my 80 hours in one week.

I have no problem paying a reasonable tax rate for spending more money. Like I said, charge for luxury items and skim off the top that way. What I get pissed at is that the government charges me more taxes for the sole reason that I make more effort.

As for "take it easy and retire regular" I have a degenerative autoimmune disease. People with my disease have a shortened life expectation by a few years, but my period of time where I have a decent quality of life is DEFINITELY going to be shorter than yours by decades. You may be able to retire at 65 and enjoy some of those years off. I won't. It definitely shifts my perspective on planning for the future. If I want some of the benefits of retirement I had better do it younger than normal, and I better have some serious cash stocked away for a much longer period of age and disability than normal.

So please, tell me that I'm b*tching about my lifestyle and that I should have no problem with the government taking a higher percent of my income when I live with less luxury right now than you do.
 
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CountZero

Golden Member
Jul 10, 2001
1,796
36
86
I don't judge your lifestyle so don't judge mine.

I'm paying the price for my decisions. I work my ass off and THAT is my trade off. Why is the government entitled to more of my money because I work harder? I'm not asking for it to be easy, I'm asking for it to be equitable.

Look at it this way.
Let's say you and I both make $10 an hour. We both earn $800 for every 80 hours we work. You pay 20% on your 80 hours, I pay 35%. Is that fair?

That's EXACTLY what's happening. It just so happens you work your 80 hours in two weeks and I work my 80 hours in one week.

I have no problem paying a reasonable tax rate for spending more money. Like I said, charge for luxury items and skim off the top that way. What I get pissed at is that the government charges me more taxes for the sole reason that I make more effort.

As for "take it easy and retire regular" I have a degenerative autoimmune disease. People with my disease have a shortened life expectation by a few years, but my period of time where I have a decent quality of life is DEFINITELY going to be shorter than yours by decades. You may be able to retire at 65 and enjoy some of those years off. I won't. It definitely shifts my perspective on planning for the future. If I want some of the benefits of retirement I had better do it younger than normal, and I better have some serious cash stocked away for a much longer period of age and disability than normal.

So please, tell me that I'm b*tching about my lifestyle and that I should have no problem with the government taking a higher percent of my income when I live with less luxury right now than you do.
It is fair in that you get taxed on an annual income basis. We don't tax on effort we tax on end result. You are charged more taxes solely because you earned more money, the government doesn't care if you do 1000, 2000 or 4000 hours of work a year to get that money. And even if you pay a higher % you still made more money for your effort.
 

AreaCode707

Lifer
Sep 21, 2001
18,425
45
91
It is fair in that you get taxed on an annual income basis. We don't tax on effort we tax on end result. You are charged more taxes solely because you earned more money, the government doesn't care if you do 1000, 2000 or 4000 hours of work a year to get that money.
Yeah, I understand that, my point is that I think taxes would be better collected based on spending rather than income, with certain exemptions for necessities. If you want to disagree please explain your reasoning rather than stating a fact that we don't disagree on.

And even if you pay a higher % you still made more money for your effort.
Not necessarily. I may have more take-home pay per year but at certain points in my career I have made less per hour than less-skilled workers simply due to the fact that I was salaried (read: slave) and worked a godawful number of hours.
 

Tom

Lifer
Oct 9, 1999
13,293
1
76
I don't think I said that. I said marginal tax rates will drive people (like me) to take actions to reduce their tax burden. The higher the marginal tax rate, the stronger the driver.
How is the situation in Greece working out for their Henrys ?

btw, I would argue that Henrys benefit the most economically from government spending.

Exceptionally talented people will succeed in most any system.

Poor people can subsist on very little money. Their lives are a little better in our system, but not that great.

Henrys though are just average folks who do mundane tasks. Their incomes are inflated by government subsidized education, they live in cities with costly infrastructures that the rich and poor don't need as much. The corporations most Henrys work for couldn't exist without lots of governmental framework.

Take a look at countries with lower taxes, I can't think of any that have many Henrys. They have wealthy people, and poor people, not much upper middle class.
 
Jul 10, 2007
12,050
3
0
It is fair in that you get taxed on an annual income basis. We don't tax on effort we tax on end result. You are charged more taxes solely because you earned more money, the government doesn't care if you do 1000, 2000 or 4000 hours of work a year to get that money. And even if you pay a higher % you still made more money for your effort.
how is it fair that one gets taxed more because they make more? that is NOT fair.

do the rich use govt services more than the poor? i'd argue that the opposite is true. all the social programs that benefit the poor that the govt shits out is paid for not by the poor but by the middle and upper classes.
 

Bowfinger

Lifer
Nov 17, 2002
15,776
392
126
how is it fair that one gets taxed more because they make more? that is NOT fair.

do the rich use govt services more than the poor? i'd argue that the opposite is true. all the social programs that benefit the poor that the govt shits out is paid for not by the poor but by the middle and upper classes.
One can make a much stronger case that, on the average, the very wealthy draw far greater benefit from the infrastructure and services supported by tax dollars than do the poor or the middle class. See the "Is it bad to be rich" thread. I agree it is the middle class and especially the upper middle class, the so-called HENRYs, who pay the most in proportion to their income, while both the poor and the very wealthy contribute at a lower effective rate. The poor pay less simply because they cannot afford more. The rich pay less because they own Congress and have stacked the deck in their favor.
 

Tom

Lifer
Oct 9, 1999
13,293
1
76
Not to mention the only way to get rich is to sell stuff, so the rich benefit from selling to the poor.

Actually, the poor spending $65k on potatoe chips is better for our rich than one Henry buying an expensive German car.
 

CountZero

Golden Member
Jul 10, 2001
1,796
36
86
Yeah, I understand that, my point is that I think taxes would be better collected based on spending rather than income, with certain exemptions for necessities. If you want to disagree please explain your reasoning rather than stating a fact that we don't disagree on.



Not necessarily. I may have more take-home pay per year but at certain points in my career I have made less per hour than less-skilled workers simply due to the fact that I was salaried (read: slave) and worked a godawful number of hours.
In your example you do. You stated an example using an hourly wage and give a counter example using salaried position. I am salaried, when it is crunch time I make near what I made at a grocery store. As annoying as that is it has exactly zero to do with taxation.

IMO (aka these are basically gut feelings, not well researched thoughts) taxing spending exclusively would be devastating to our consumer based economy. Exempting essential items means every deep pocketed corporation will be pushing to have their products labeled as essential. You could fight this by just exempting food in general I suppose. My main concern is that this tax rate would have to be very high (25%+) to completely make up for no income tax. Now a federal sales tax or luxury item sales tax combined with a reduced income tax might be ok, but you get the whole double tax argument and I am fairly sure that if you don't completely remove the income tax it'll creep up over time anyways and then the sales tax would just be an added extra revenue stream.

I have no problem with a progressive tax scheme. As someone who is paying more than my 'fair' share I don't have a problem with it. That doesn't mean I like the level of government waste and spending, it doesn't mean I think the brackets are set up correctly or 'fairly' even with the consideration that progressive tax is fair. I'd like to see AMT go away. I'd like to see most if not all exemptions/deductions/credits go away. I have no problem with lower incomes paying no taxes but the fact that some get extra money back beyond what they paid is plain dumb. We have entitlement systems in place without writing checks to people.

I'd like to see progressive tax structure. I'd like it to be straight based off of income, no deductions, no loopholes. All income taxed the same. The first X dollars at this rate, next at this rate and so on. The first bracket would essentially need to be tax free. Flat tax changes across all brackets possible with regular majority but increases or decreases in a single bracket either impossible or require a super majority. The brackets should be indexed by some decent economic measure (real inflation, average income, some other great measure I don't know about).

I think a big problem with our current system is that the higher brackets are taxed higher than they need to be because of the large number of loopholes. So you are expected to play the money shuffle game. I don't think the government should be in the business of sponsoring behavior (buy a house! Have some kids!) they should take their piece based on income and what you do with it should be your business.
 

Icepick

Diamond Member
Nov 1, 2004
3,658
1
81
See, that's why jealousy is such an evil emotion. Do you realize that most all tax incentives forbid those "evil rich" from using them? This is the real problem with HENRY's. They are fucked from a tax perspective. That's the reason for this acronym. We make what to some may be a lot of money, but after taxes, after paying for life, it ain't that much, we aren't rich. I don't feel rich, I am not rich, and I work my ass off 10-12 hours a day. I want to retire before 50 and have been living my life that way.

I am sick and fucking tired of paying tax that could give me a nice 540 every single year. I drive a 6 year old 210K mile car. I'm the millionaire next door type, and a million dollars just won't let me retire they way I want to, I require 4-5.

So fuck all of you. My net worth is about 1.5 million and I ain't fucking rich, I don't touch that. That's what I'm living off of when I hit 50. I'm not kidding. Why do you think I hate Obama so much? Because he is stealing my hard earned money.

I remember when I was young and thought "WOW! I could live forever on 1 million!" Reality squashed that idea.

Fuck Obama.
If you will be enabled to retire at 50 while the majority of Americans will have to work into their late 60's (maybe even early 70's) then you have too much money hoarded away and can afford to pay more taxes. Sorry.
 

Icepick

Diamond Member
Nov 1, 2004
3,658
1
81
35% fed tax + 8 for SS/medicare, then add in county/state taxes and it get's very close or above 50%. And according to Obama, those WILL be going up. If he has his was the highest rate will be 40%, then add the 8% and you're looking at almost 50% in FEDERAL taxes alone.
Good.
 

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