(Originally written March 7, 2012. Part of Great Upload of 2013.)
A colleague once showed me a book by Peter Schiff, in which the author and investment-house CEO purported to explain how the US got into the muddle they’re in.
Like so many textbooks I left it unread, but according to Wikipedia, Schiff believes a lot of the US’s problems would go away if people just saved more money. (Oddly enough, there’s no mention of drastically-higher taxes on high-income earners like himself. Go figure…! ;) ) As is typical for people in the financial sector, he finds a way to blame government. :)
So it’s hilarious that his brother and coworker Andrew Schiff is saving so little from his $350k salary that he’s worried about the effect a smaller-than-average bonus would have on his lifestyle! (It’s all over the web, so you may well have been pointed to it already.)
Schiff, 46, is facing another kind of jam this year: Paid a lower bonus, he said the $350,000 he earns, enough to put him in the country’s top 1 percent by income, doesn’t cover his family’s private-school tuition, a Kent, Conneticut, summer rental and the upgrade they would like from their 1,200-square- foot Brooklyn duplex.
“I feel stuck,” Schiff said. “The New York that I wanted to have is still just beyond my reach.”
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The malaise is shared by Schiff, the New York-based marketing director for Euro Pacific Capital, where his brother is CEO. His family rents the lower duplex of a brownstone in Cobble Hill, where his two children share a room. His 10-year-old daughter is a student at $32,000-a-year Poly Prep Country Day School in Brooklyn. His son, 7, will apply in a few years.
“I can’t imagine what I’m going to do,” Schiff said. “I’m crammed into 1,200 square feet. I don’t have a dishwasher. We do all our dishes by hand.”
Welcome to the club, Schiff — may I suggest cucumber-scented Method dish detergent? It’s “aromatherapeutic”! ;)
And a note to my fellow 10-percenters
Not that we should snort too loudly of course; if any of us 10-percenters [most folks on I emailed this to, being fellow engineers or other professionals, are probably among the top 10% of individual income earners in Canada] were to complain about the lifestyles we strive for being just out of our reach (thanks to the hedonic treadmill), there’d be people a-plenty across town, let alone across the world, justly ridiculing us for our own fiscal profligacy and distorted lifestyle expectations! :)