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Wealth is elusive in Silicon Valley and one software engineer told Mercury News how he determines whether someone is wealthy: Do they have to work to live?
Despite an annual income around $400,000, the engineer says he doesn’t qualify.
That’s because the cost of living in the area has skyrocketed, and even families earning a solid six figures might not be able to send their kids to a top school, live in a larger home, buy a new car, and save for retirement.

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Silicon Valley does not settle when it comes to innovation, disruption, or money.

In the golden era of tech, the goal posts are continually shifting. As far as being “wealthy,” the threshold is as elusive as ever.

One Palo-Alto-based software engineer recently shared with Mercury News his litmus test for whether someone is wealthy: Do they have to work to live?

The engineer, Marvin Chan, earns $400,000 a year in combined income with his wife, reported Mercury News’ Leonardo Castañeda, and he doesn’t consider his family wealthy, by his own standard.

“I know that, given our income, we would be considered wealthy in other parts of the nation,” Chan told Mercury News. “But in the Bay Area, I think we’re just kind of middle class. We have a good salary, but we have a lot of expenses.” Chan drives a 12-year-old Nissan and usually takes his family on camping trips for vacation, Castañeda reported.

“We have a mortgage. We know that there will be more expenses in the future,” Chan said. “I don’t think we have the luxury of not working.”

Chan isn’t alone in feeling like his mid six-figure income doesn’t count for much in Silicon Valley.

The Palo Alto Weekly, a community newspaper published in Palo Alto, California, surveyed more than 250 residents in in late 2017 and early 2018 and found 81 people who said they earn up to $400,000 a year defined themselves as middle class, Business Insider previously reported.

To be sure, the financial markers to be considered middle class in Silicon Valley and Bay Area cities are higher than other parts of the US. By the Pew Research Center’s definition, middle class Americans earn 67% to 200% of the median household income. In San Francisco, that’s annual earnings between $67,809 and $203,428 — anything above that figure is technically upper class, but the …read more

Source:: Business Insider


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A Silicon Valley software engineer says there’s an easy way to determine who’s rich and who’s not

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