When Joe Biden was in the midst of his campaign to become the President of the United States, he outlined some of his plans for the economy.
He talked about his ideas for taxation and wanted to increase the taxes paid out from the wealthy.
When asked to define wealthy, he explained that he defined wealthy as any American that earned more than $400,000 a year.
When we’re thinking of the numbers – in America, the percentage of citizens that make over 400k a year is about 1.8% of the taxpayers, and they account for about a quarter of the income for the United States.
However, it can be difficult for us to conceptualize who in this country is actually making this sort of money.
We need to make a divide between a household and an individual, because some households in the United States can make 400k and still not be financially comfortable.
It’s therefore important that we examine who in America is earning this sort of money and what this means.
The President Of The United States
Yes, the top job in the country earns a rate of $400,000 per year along with some bonuses like a nearly 20 thousand dollar entertainment package, a 100k travel account that is exempt from tax and an annual expense account of about 50k.
Not bad right? But at the same time, we need to consider the size of this job. It is undoubtedly one of the most difficult and stressful jobs in the world.
When all eyes are on you and you are the commander-in-chief of the Nation’s defenses – you’re the person that needs to make the tough decisions.
This can mean you’re being demonized in the media and on social media, you’re walking around your daily life with security and bulletproof jackets and car windows.
The fact is, the money might appear fantastic – but it comes at a cost!
Founders And CEOs
It’s perhaps unsurprising that founders and CEO’s of large organizations and companies make serious money. A public company CEO is thought to earn the median figure of about 700k!
Mostly though, the way they get to this salary does not come easy.
Many CEOs and founders of organizations will have dealt with sleepless nights, working all hours of the day and night and have been in serious debt for a long time.
Through careful planning and very hard work, they have grown and flourished in their work to get to a comfortable financial position.
However, it is probably important to note that some founders and CEOs have not reaped the benefits of their brain child.
Sometimes, their business has gone under, and they have lost everything and gone bankrupt.
So while their money might look nice, it’s one of the hardest jobs to excel in and one of the biggest gambles of a person’s life.
Medical professionals are some of the most well-trained and hardworking citizens of our society.
They have trained and educated for many years and worked countless hours to get to where they are.
Surgeons and other specialists can easily see a salary of 400k and above, whereas a general practitioner will earn about 100k.
But perhaps the biggest earners in this category are plastic surgeons who can earn 800k and above.
Wild figures! But considering their jobs are so difficult and can come with a whole host of legal implications and insurance involvement – maybe these figures are justified.
Moreover, the clientele tend to be high earners too, so a private practice charging megabucks is not uncommon.
Lawyers And Judges
Lawyers, especially the more experienced lawyers, can earn princely sums of money and the more cases they win and the more high profile they get, the more money they can charge for their services.
Sometimes, lawyers work on a no-money-down basis, meaning they will accept your case and only charge if they win.
Typically, these are lawyers who back their abilities and your chances of winning the case, or they might be moralistic.
The most experienced lawyers will usually put themselves forward to be voted in as a judge and judges can earn huge salaries – especially in the Supreme court.
But, these jobs come at a cost. Sometimes, it is very financially difficult to begin with for lawyers who have no cases, contacts, clients and their name is not out there.
Many hours a day of research and traveling can be common and the pressure to win cases can be massive.
As a judge, you may even be the person who sends someone to prison for the rest of their lives, or even call for their execution – so the pressure and mental health impacts can be overwhelming.
It might be obvious to some, but sports stars can earn money that is almost unthinkable. Soccer stars have long been known for earning mega dollars and some of which can earn 400k in one week!
The NBA is flush with stars that earn huge deals with sponsors and other commitments, and it’s incredibly common to see these stars with the best cars, clothes and homes.
However, these jobs come with huge public pressure to perform well and at their best, behave outside their sport in specific ways and work their bodies to the extreme for years to get there.
Some people might not realize this, but public speakers can earn massive sums of money simply for turning up and giving a speech.
The money might have been put up by a company or a group of investors and there’s usually a good reason why they’re being paid vast sums – they’re experts in their field.
Tony Blair, the former British Prime Minister, is often a guest public speaker in events all over the globe and earns hundreds of thousands of dollars for doing his work.
The Bottom Line
While the percentage of Americans that earn 400k is low, the ones that do make the money are deserving of such a massive salary through their hard work and commitment – and you can be among them!