If the average pay for Big 4 partners (I’m in regional firm) is 1.3 million annually, why do I see Big 4 partners living in such modest houses. I am having a hard time believing that Big 4 partners really make that much.

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Typical non-leadership partners don’t make $1.3m. Plus, many have SAH spouses so only one income. And many have kids as managers or SMs, so they are already established as a family in that house, and then they don’t want to move their kids away from their childhood home and neighborhood friends and school.

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$1.3M is indeed the average as well as the median

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Not sure your definition of modest. I don’t know a single partner that doesn’t live in a quality home in a good school district. Admittedly I don’t think they generally buy mansions… but we are accountants for goodness sakes!!! More conservative by nature.

Partners do quite well and many live well below what they could theoretically afford.

likesmart
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1.3m, 1M, 800k whatever it is - this level of income has built up slowly, so it’s not as if partners are making that kind of money from day 1 as a partner. If a 10 year partner is making 1.1M now, they were probably making 350–400k when they made partner originally and likely already owned their home or bought one around that time. Moving is a pain, and with kids can create more challenges. Personally I like the extra cash flow every month as it allows me to build upon my “walk-away” number, invest, own rental real estate, give freely to charity or just leave big gratuity when someone is awesome. I still live in a nice house, with good schools, and drive the cars I want, but I also live well below my means so that I don’t become reliant on this level of income should I someday decide I don’t want to continue choking down the shit sandwiches served up to me each year.

likesmart

Me too. I literally make 5X what I did when I bought my house as a new partner. It’s all but paid off now (maybe not the smartest w my money). From time to time I get frustrated or jealous of bigger houses, but it’s a great n’hood my kids like their schools. And for all reasons P3 said… I’m happy not ever stressing over $ or payments living pretty freely. And one day when I had enough of this I’ll be happy to say 🖕🖕✌️

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Everyone has different spending/saving habits.

I know wealthy people who live flashy extravagant lives (and carry heavy debt) and I know wealthy people who live modestly. Likewise, some low I come earners do the same at both ends.

I was a non b4 partner earning in excess of $1 million. I live in a nice but modest home that I bought in the late 90s (3500 sf in a great neighborhood). It needs some updating too. But still love it here. By not upgrading to larger and larger homes, I never lived outside my means. In fact I saved and was able to create lifetime financial stability.

I paid cash for 2 college educations.

I vacation wherever I want.

I don't stress about money.

Etc.

And....I retired before mandatory retirement age.

Just driving home the point that everyone operates differently and my life goals and priorities were other than having the biggest house on the block.

likesmarthelpful

Maybe we’re responsible adults and don’t make partner then run out and try to spend every dime we made (or expect to make?)

I’ve often found flashier the home people have the less money they make - they just want you to think they have money but are house poor

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I’d be more curious about the median comp rather than the average.

likesmart

PwC 2 is obviously a non-partner in the partner bowl.

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We all know that people who live in large houses are happier.

funnylike

Have you seen the taxes we have to pay? Don’t less gross pay fool you…

likefunny

Why does living in a mansion equate to high income in your mind?

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I’d recommend spending less time judging others and focus on self development.

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Also why have one big home when I can have one home that fits my family and 3 homes that cash flow themselves and give me nice locations to vacation…..

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This is a ridiculous post. First, The compensation of a Partner is not directly related to the appearance of their home.

Second, average B4 Partner compensation is less than $1.3M. Certain firms may average this amount. Certain firms may not.

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It’s not that high

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Read the book, “millionaire next door”…you’ll get your answer

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Need to afford second home for their girlfriends

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I still can’t afford the first.

likefunny

I’m not talking size, I’m talking at least having it maintained and looking new.

I’ve not run across a single partner who didn’t maintain their home. You said “modest”. Modest and “poorly maintained” Are two very different things

likefunny

Median is closer to $1M.

Accounting firm partner,
Compensation and lifestyle,
Numbers never lie.

Haiku written by ChatGPT

Live within your means. When I retire early my next permanent home will be much nicer and one of 3 that I’ll live in throughout each year. Kids school and 2 mortgages are paid off and I could say good bye tomorrow if needed. That’s why my home of 25+ years is modest

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