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Archive for August, 2007|Monthly archive page

iViva Joybubbles!

In gleaners, LOOK! on August 22, 2007 at 2:39 am

Viva Joybubbles

How To Help Hal (Part 1)

In blowback, gleaners, HELP HAL !!!, NEW(S) on August 7, 2007 at 5:04 am

middle class rich

Damon Winter/The New York Times

Hal is a marketing executive from Silicon Valley. Hal is age 51. Pictured here in a modest blue collar dress shirt, in front of a suburban looking backyard fence, Hal is the exemplar of a recent New York Times front-page story chronicling the woes of a new class of American society: the middle class rich.

Hal works 12 hours a day, arriving at work at 7am most mornings. He works an average of 10 hours on the weekend. He has a $1.2 million home that is paid off and he and his spouse are worth an estimated $3.5 million. Good job, Hal.

Hal says “a few million doesn’t go as far as it used to.” For fun, let’s see what Hal might be able to do if he liquidated a mere 1/2 of his assets. $3.5 mill / 2 = $1.75 mill. Say the feds were to take almost half. Hal would be left with about $1 million to play around with while the other $1.75 mill would continue to mature in the diversified investments of his choice.

With roughly $1 million – free and clear – Hal and his family may choose to: Purchase a seaside villa on the South Coast of Jamaica. 8 bed, 8 bath w/ “beautiful ocean and mountain views”… more details

At a mere $675,000 (he could probably do better with a little leg-work) minus $25,000 to grease some local wheels, Hal & Co could settle down w/ roughly $350,000. According to the World Bank, an average Jamaican family subsists on under $4000 a year. If they could squeeze by on merely 3Xs the local average – $12,000/year – Hal & Co should be able to make it until Old Hal turns 80. That’s 3 years past the average life expectancy for an American and 5 years past that of a Jamaican. Not bad, Hal.

Do you have any other thoughts of how to help Hal?