It hit me the other day that maybe the government is benevolent and not a bunch of self serving, two-faced, power hungry crooks. For the longest time, I thought the government was sexist because they don’t provide an equal amount of deductions or leeway once a couple gets married.
If I make $250,000 and my wife makes $250,000, why is the government penalizing couples making more than $250,000? $250,000 plus $250,000 is $500,000 in household income numb nuts! Do you expect one spouse to make nothing or a fraction of the other spouse’s income once they get together? That’s kinda silly and totally presumptuous you sexist pigs.
And another thing. What about if one spouse has a $1 million mortgage and the other spouse has a $1million mortgage. $1 million + $1 million is $2 million, so why is the mortgage interest deduction on income capped at $1 million for couples? Isn’t it logical to conclude that two people living in $1 million mortgaged houses might seek to live in an even more expensive house when they marry? Heck, the couple might even want kids too which warrants a bigger house. Guess not.
DON’T LISTEN TO POLAR ENDS
You know that only the poor or the super wealthy say “money can’t buy happiness.” When I write “poor”, I don’t mean those who are poor through no fault of their own. What I mean is those who’ve tried to make more money but failed and use the phrase as an excuse, and government-funded researchers who continue to try and prove the theory over and over again. First the researchers came up with a study that anything above $60,000 a year stops making you happy. Then I read recently, to NO SURPRISE that anything above $75,000 doesn’t make you any happier. I started giggling like a school girl when nobody noticed the nice little 23% inflation in the happiness income indicator!
Listen up researcher number one thousand seventy eight who thinks money can’t buy happiness. Money sure can, just not at the capped level of $60,000 and now $75,000 you state! It’s so obvious you guys choose these numbers because they correspond with YOUR average income level. Do you really think that people don’t know how much academics make nowadays? Come on, we ain’t stupid.
Any good student from a good university can graduate college and make $65,000-$75,000 as a 22 years old if they want to. It’s amazing why the government and academics want to coddle the masses into thinking they are good enough. Instead, why not encourage progress?
THE REAL INCOME LEVEL FOR MAX HAPPINESS
Can anybody guess what that magical income number for happiness, or specifically no more happiness is? Anybody guess $100,000? How about $1 million dollars? No? OK, well I’ll stop teasing you now.
The magical income level where happiness stops increasing is $200,000! The reason why your happiness doesn’t get much greater after making more than $200,000 is because the current administration has clearly telegraphed they are going to gang tackle every dollar from you after $200,000! Thankfully, a compromise has been reached as of 2013 where only income over $400,000 for individuals faces a 4.6% higher federal income tax rate to 39.6%. That said, once you add in state tax, medicare tax, and social security tax, you’ll be paying over 50% in total marginal tax. If you stay around $200,000, you’ll get to keep more of your money than the government.
Remember, the government has your best interests at heart. They are here to serve you, and not themselves. They know that making more than $200,000 won’t make you happier, because a large majority of them do, with steady raises during economic Armageddon to boot! Hence, it is only logical to draw the line in the sand and say that $200,000 is what differentiates the wealthy between the middle class.
The government wouldn’t be so evil as to arbitrarily make $200,000 the line given how equal the cost of living is around the nation. Who cares if $500,000 buys you a 4,000 square foot mansion in Des Moines, and only a 600 square foot studio in Manhattan. Everything is equal!
The government knows that after you make $200,000, you start craving power and the desire to make your own rules. That is a threat to national security, and we can’t have that. So remember non-zombie readers, $75,000 is still way too low. You are being brainwashed to being average. Good for us, we’re not mindless zombies!
Recommended Action For Increasing Your Wealth & Happiness
Manage Your Finances In One Place: Get a handle on your finances by signing up with Personal Capital. They are a free online platform which aggregates all your financial accounts in one place so you can see where you can optimize. Before Personal Capital, I had to log into eight different systems to track 28 different accounts (brokerage, multiple banks, 401K, etc) to manage my finances.
Now I can just log into Personal Capital to see how my stock accounts are doing, how my net worth is progressing, and whether I’m spending within budget. The best feature is the 401K Fee Analyzer which is now saving me over $1,000 a year in portfolio fees I had no idea I was paying! There is no better free online tool out there to manage wealth. It only takes a minute to sign up.
Start your own business: If you feel you’re not getting paid what you’re worth and want to boost your income, start your own business online on the side! It used to cost a fortune and a lot of employees to start your business. Now you can start it for next to nothing with a hosting company like Bluehost for under $4/month and they’ll give you a free domain for a year to boot.
Brand yourself online, connect with like-minded people, find new consulting gigs, and potentially make a good amount of income online one day by selling your product or recommending other great products. Not a day goes by where I’m not thankful for starting Financial Samurai in 2009.
Updated for 2017 and beyond.