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How do people draw the incredibly high salaries I see posted
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amother




OP
 

Post Mon, Jun 27 2022, 9:31 am
Hi all - I'll start off with saying that I am honestly, totally, confused. We're doing OK financially, but only because we are drawing 2 salaries. We live in Baltimore, we are both college educated, and we have each been working for over 20 years (I realize I'm also saying that we are middle aged Surprised ). We each make mid $60,000. I think that for Baltimore, that's an average salary working for a non-profit, which is what we each do.

How do people, possibly not college educated, make the money they seem to be making? I realize a college degree is almost meaningless nowadays. But people knocking down houses, putting up mansions, going on vacations, driving fancy cars, wearing designer labels (not judging, happy for them, just wondering what I didn't do that I should have done, or can maybe start doing now!), and my husband and I did what we thought we were supposed to do: went to school, got jobs with stability, and now we have (BH we're happy, well, and meeting our expenses. Counting our blessings!) little savings, little left over for vacations, but again, BH happy with what we have (though worried for the future).

Happy for everyone, but any ideas what we should start doing now to save for the future? I'm actually not the fancy type who needs fancy things, but I am the worrying type, worried for my family's financial future. Thanks!
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amother




Aconite
 

Post Mon, Jun 27 2022, 9:35 am
amother [ OP ] wrote:
Hi all - I'll start off with saying that I am honestly, totally, confused. We're doing OK financially, but only because we are drawing 2 salaries. We live in Baltimore, we are both college educated, and we have each been working for over 20 years (I realize I'm also saying that we are middle aged Surprised ). We each make mid $60,000. I think that for Baltimore, that's an average salary working for a non-profit, which is what we each do.

How do people, possibly not college educated, make the money they seem to be making? I realize a college degree is almost meaningless nowadays. But people knocking down houses, putting up mansions, going on vacations, driving fancy cars, wearing designer labels (not judging, happy for them, just wondering what I didn't do that I should have done, or can maybe start doing now!), and my husband and I did what we thought we were supposed to do: went to school, got jobs with stability, and now we have (BH we're happy, well, and meeting our expenses. Counting our blessings!) little savings, little left over for vacations, but again, BH happy with what we have (though worried for the future).

Happy for everyone, but any ideas what we should start doing now to save for the future? I'm actually not the fancy type who needs fancy things, but I am the worrying type, worried for my family's financial future. Thanks!


The people I know doing the things you reference are working for themselves - business owner's or doctors/lawyers/accountants. Salaried workers are not drawing hundreds of thousands of dollars in income. Maybe in the 200ks but not more than that unless they are partners/shareholders.
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realtalk




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Jun 27 2022, 9:38 am
Are the people you’re comparing yourself to also working for non profits? I know my salary nearly doubled when I switch from working for a non profit to a private business while doing basically the same job.

Also, the quickest way for higher income is to switch companies unfortunately which isn’t something that happens as frequently in the non profit world as it’s typically a tighter knit group.
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amother




DarkGreen
 

Post Mon, Jun 27 2022, 9:44 am
Tech field salaries start at 100,000…. At your level would be 300,000+.
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lamplighter




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Jun 27 2022, 9:44 am
The lifestyle you're describing are usually people in business. Some salary work is higher than other (lawyers, doctors, finance) but the big bucks and the lavish lifestyle are businessmen/women.
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amother




Mocha
 

Post Mon, Jun 27 2022, 9:44 am
I grew up in Baltimore so I know exactly what you mean, I can picture which of the neighborhoods you live in. That said, there are a lot of people there in government jobs and (you can look up the salary scale) by the time they are working 20 years they are making more than mid 60s, for the most part (obviously depending on what position), so they do ok though aren't wealthy by any stretch. The "wealthier" old Baltimore types are usually lawyers or such, working for bigger firms, not the government, or have real estate investments or such. (Government jobs also come with excellent benefits and decent retirement packages, so there's a security in that.) Non profit jobs just aren't going to be that profitable unless you are the CEO.

BTW, the people in Baltimore knocking down homes and building the huge sized homes, mostly come from the New York area (sorry it has to be said!) and mostly have jobs in finance or are self employed (and yeah a lot of them come from family money which is how they got their businesses started).
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amother




Orchid
 

Post Mon, Jun 27 2022, 9:44 am
Most people who have that kind of money are working for themselves or are very smart investors - they know how to turn every dollar into four. Your method works for many but you aint gonna get rich at a 60k job. Frustrating, I know!!!
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amother




Seablue
 

Post Mon, Jun 27 2022, 9:46 am
amother [ Aconite ] wrote:
Maybe in the 200ks but not more than that unless they are partners/shareholders.


Perhaps you missed the part where she said they each make mid $60,000. It sounds to me like she is asking about the salaried workers making in the 200ks
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amother




Mocha
 

Post Mon, Jun 27 2022, 9:49 am
amother [ Seablue ] wrote:
Perhaps you missed the part where she said they each make mid $60,000. It sounds to me like she is asking about the salaried workers making in the 200ks

That doesn't really exist in Baltimore.
NY/NJ salaries are higher (but so is the cost of living/taxes).
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Rubber Ducky




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Jun 27 2022, 9:50 am
I know (and in my kitchen and residential design business serve) some of the people building mega-mansions and doing whole house remodels: business owners, people moving in from places like New York who think Baltimore housing prices are a bargain, a few professions like doctors and some attorneys, family help, inherited money...

But there are also other approaches. For example, I also see people renting out basements or taking in boarders. I have current clients who own both sides of a semi-D. For years they rented out one half, then reclaimed the basement from the other side while still renting out the 1st and 2nd floor, and are now combining the 2 sides into 1 house.
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mha3484




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Jun 27 2022, 9:50 am
Its obviously mazal but its also a mix of high risk tolerance and ambition. I grew up BT where being a professional was the goal and you can make good money but risk taking to open your business was not something most people we know did. In the frum world I feel like its the opposite.

Also I think for most FFB people I know, they did not go to college to make 60k. If they go, its for a degree that will pay a significant salary like Dr, Lawyer, Accountant some therapists or health care positions. Basically six figure income positions. Otherwise they save themselves a ton of student loan debt and find jobs without it. There is a reason being a nursing home administrator is so popular. Minimal schooling and you make six figures where I live. If your ambitious you get promoted. The really ambitious eventually start their own nursing home companies.
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amother




Indigo
 

Post Mon, Jun 27 2022, 9:52 am
Construction salaries can be quiet high.
My 25 year old brother makes 120k in that field as an employee, no degree, but smart and dedicated.
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mha3484




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Jun 27 2022, 9:54 am
amother [ Indigo ] wrote:
Construction salaries can be quiet high.
My 25 year old brother makes 120k in that field as an employee, no degree, but smart and dedicated.


Any trade really. I feel like certain segments of frum and secular society look down on being a tradesman and the money can be fantastic.
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amother




Arcticblue
 

Post Mon, Jun 27 2022, 9:54 am
We’re not building a mansion but my husband and I make a lot make than that.
My husband works for a company that invests in real estate. He’s pretty high up in the company. I’m a therapist in private practice. Both of those bring in significantly higher income that you mentioned. However, with prices the way they are right now, we’re definitely not living the life you described. BH can pay our bills and lots extra, but we’re not rich.
Also we don’t live in Baltimore, so maybe salaries are higher elsewhere.
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amother




Mocha
 

Post Mon, Jun 27 2022, 9:56 am
mha3484 wrote:
Its obviously mazal but its also a mix of high risk tolerance and ambition. I grew up BT where being a professional was the goal and you can make good money but risk taking to open your business was not something most people we know did. In the frum world I feel like its the opposite.

Also I think for most FFB people I know, they did not go to college to make 60k. If they go, its for a degree that will pay a significant salary like Dr, Lawyer, Accountant some therapists or health care positions. Basically six figure income positions. Otherwise they save themselves a ton of student loan debt and find jobs without it. There is a reason being a nursing home administrator is so popular. Minimal schooling and you make six figures where I live. If your ambitious you get promoted. The really ambitious eventually start their own nursing home companies.

Baltimore FFBs, not really. The op is not so far off, shes actually pretty on the money (except usually it would be just 1 spouse working for a non profit, the other working elsewhere.)
We went to college mostly with a government type job in mind...accountant, let's say, but planning to work at the state government. Special ed degree, but planning to work at a public school. You get the idea. Baltimore FFBs are different in that way, probably because the yeshiva actively supports the guys going to college, even before marriage.
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mha3484




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Jun 27 2022, 10:02 am
I am not knocking the path of getting a stable job in a profession. I'm just saying the people making the money she is referring to took a different path usually.

I live in a community with a lot of professionals mixed with a lot of people in nursing homes and industries related to nursing homes. The big houses I see going up and the more high end life style usually come from those who did not take the med school/law school/cpa/therapist approach. There are exceptions but its usually a package deal.
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amother




Forestgreen
 

Post Mon, Jun 27 2022, 10:13 am
I think that more and more people need to realize that the go to college = comfortable middle class equation is outdated.
It is really important to evaluate the salary potential before choosing a field, and consider non- college alternatives as well (skilled trades can make more then the lower paying fields like social work or nursing).
It may be worth seeing if the is any schooling you can do to utilize your degree and turn it into a higher paying opportunity. I know someone who was burnt out of earning a salary similar to your as an accountant, used the degree to become a real estate appraiser, opened her own firm and is making double.....
Maybe consider seeing a career counselor to see what switches would make sense.
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BrachaBatya




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Jun 27 2022, 10:16 am
Between my husband and I, one has MBA and the other has PhD and M.A. We make about $350,000 combined, and work in different sectors, for established organizations. I think education usually makes a difference in the opportunities one will be able to access.
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amother




Steelblue
 

Post Mon, Jun 27 2022, 10:27 am
I also live in Baltimore, working the same amount of time (so probably the same age range). Both my husband and I have bachelor degrees. I make low 6 figures working for the government. My husband makes a similar salary in private industry. Together we make about 225k. We don't live in a fancy house, but I wouldn't even if I won the lottery. It's not my type nor does it fit in the area I live.

But I also don't care or look what others are building. I know someone that doubled the size of their house. Their neighbor, who recently bought, built a bigger addition and now she's jealous that the neighbor has a bigger house. I don't want to live like that, so I don't look what size they have, but look where I came from (a tiny tiny apartment).

I don't think you make high salaries in non-profit. Just know the risk that in private industry there is no job stability. My husband is on his 4th job since covid started, but bh working now.
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amother




Mocha
 

Post Mon, Jun 27 2022, 10:30 am
mha3484 wrote:
I am not knocking the path of getting a stable job in a profession. I'm just saying the people making the money she is referring to took a different path usually.

I live in a community with a lot of professionals mixed with a lot of people in nursing homes and industries related to nursing homes. The big houses I see going up and the more high end life style usually come from those who did not take the med school/law school/cpa/therapist approach. There are exceptions but its usually a package deal.

No, I realize that. I'm just explaining that her salary, while on the lower end for Baltimore white collar jobs, is not a huge outlier. The average FFB who grew up in Baltimore is ok with the idea of going to college and then becoming a state auditor or maybe accountant working for the IRS, they aren't necessarily looking to get a job in a high end firm, though of course some do. (Though the salaries there aren't comparable to tristate ones, anyway.) Just, usually 1 of the spouses at least is getting a higher salary than op by the time they've been working 20 years. So maybe their combined income is let's say 140-170k if one spouse is working non profit.

The average frum person in Baltimore isn't making 200k+ as an individual salary, and if he/she does, they probably came from NY and/or had family money or backing to start a business. (And those are the ones building the big fancy homes.)
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