{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "Having grown up in the lower middle class and not with much money family wise, I always thought one day when I made six figures I would have tons of money coming in, but lately I am discouraged with my “take home pay”. Combined my wife and I make about $275k, we max both our 401k accounts out and after all taxes, and other deductions we take home roughly $150k. Don’t get me wrong this is a great amount. I just always dreamed my take home would be more. Anyone else feel this way? We lose over 40%", "post_id": "61710e1a8cb413003a54f658", "reply_count": 11, "vote_count": 5, "bowl_id": "552d1d24dc1c586b09d2d051", "bowl_name": "Consulting" }

Having grown up in the lower middle class and not with much money family wise, I always thought one day when I made six figures I would have tons of money coming in, but lately I am discouraged with my “take home pay”. Combined my wife and I make about $275k, we max both our 401k accounts out and after all taxes, and other deductions we take home roughly $150k. Don’t get me wrong this is a great amount. I just always dreamed my take home would be more. Anyone else feel this way? We lose over 40%

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Why are you deducting your 401k from your definition of take home pay? That’s real money that’s yours.

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I thought the same but realized that frankly it was never mine to begin with. I plan to use Medicare and social security when I’m older, and my city relies on so many government programs. That’s the tax portion. As for the 401K I plan to not work after 55-60 at the most, so this is an investment for future me. We are still making more than most Americans will ever dream of, unfortunately.

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Why are you ignoring your retirement savings? That is money that is yours. Regarding taxes, just focus on post tax income. Also, don't forget that $100k whilst you were growing up went a lot further than $100k does now. Manage your own expectations.

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It all depends on your perspective. What do you value, OP? Lovely home, cars, traveling, family, etc. You have to define that first. You can always make more money, but that can significantly reduce the time you have with your family, depending on the role. I would suggest hiring an accountant to review your tax deductions. Aside from that, it’s either focusing on what you value/enjoy or testing the market and increasing your HHI.

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Similar TC. Single and pay CA tax. After maxing 401k and HSA, I receive less than 50%. I’m happy to be where I’m at, but at times I feel I need a higher paying job.

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OP, you are very far ahead

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Yeah if I’m honest I’m struggling with some of that at the moment but maybe more in a midlife crisis kind of way. As a result of the pandemic (mostly) I’ve watched several people around me die untimely deaths. It’s got me thinking a lot about waiting for some promised land in the future. For some reason the future doesn’t seem so certain and I find myself asking what I’m actually working my ass off for. What’s the reward. Anyway, back to finishing a deck at 3am in the morning.

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Well you’re not ‘losing’ the $39k you’re putting into the 401k so take that out of the equation. So you’re down 36% after 401k. Congrats, you’ve made it to the upper class.

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Hi OP - I feel the same way. However, occasionally I look at my total net worth including investments and retirement income and that helps put things in perspective. I say that because like someone mentioned here I HAVE sacrificed my family life a bit out of insecurity for retirement and hence to feel a winner the bank balance sum is reassuring that maybe all the sacrifices were not in vain. And before people unload on this comment let me be clear… everyone is different and people change / evolve. I’d suggest hiring a financial planner and a tax advisor to right the ship (if needed). There are banks that will offer the financial planning services - its up to you how much planning services you avail after the plan is built. A tax consultant will help you optimize how u take deductions, withdrawals at retirement etc.

I agree with this except the bank financial planner part. Only use an independent financial advisor who has a fiduciary duty and is fee only (only gets paid by you, no kickbacks or sales incentives). Do not go with people who work for a bank, they get pushed to sell crap all the time. That is a must, otherwise you run a risk of getting screwed by being sold products that make far more sense for the bank than for you.

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